WWL>Topics>>3-13-14 2:10pm Angela: with Saints/Pelicans president Dennis Lauscha

3-13-14 2:10pm Angela: with Saints/Pelicans president Dennis Lauscha

Mar 13, 2014|

Angela profiles New Orleans Saints and New Orleans Pelicans President Dennis Lauscha.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

He has been called confidence right and Dennis launch a strategic thinker. Has helped Tom Benson's deal not only sports dynasty. Expand his holdings in the television film and developing champions square. If you ask anyone associated with this thing even remotely. Always say missing. Dennis -- -- that. He's the man who gets done. Now president of the -- and it has -- long week net interest wrote from. Pelican. Interesting wrote from jesuit high school to the top. Involving. It. -- Really thank you very much and very happy to be here. Before we get into the seizure like that. Albert. Tomorrow if -- -- the Apollo and so here comes -- your way thank you equally importantly can tell everybody you are you sure can't patent happy -- It surely was a surprise that have to be asked with the was. I was truly shocked when I walked into the saint cafeteria today and what's so nice as we had Dennis his wife on. For another completely different reason than she is such a delight. Which she surprised she with a lucky -- me she did. I had a unique opportunity to spend some time with some of the folks -- -- lucky dog over the Mardi -- holiday and I came home and that told -- You know I don't need enough lucky dogs I'm trying to always trying to you know lose weight and stay in shape and I talked to nutritionist weekly and she said -- stay away from hot dogs and fatty foods and said you know I got to do something about that are really enjoy lucky to hugs. You know I have a need -- a long time and so she she had a lucky dog caught. Clark brought out to the facility today and she she gave hot dogs out to all of our employees from -- it was very special. And that's what -- so much. This kind of interview I'd like to. Real people real life and and a special thoughtful birthday yes yes I was shocked -- not and shocks me I can tell you I was shocked today. Now she's gonna have to beat that yet scares me kinda that. But we'll have you back the next thing it's not her numbers well. Another little factoid -- get something in the mail today what happened. This is unfair criticism in the saints 29 years but 29 years ago today. What happened what happened in the saints. History while -- -- people -- do I would never expect that question. About -- do it by being there. That would be a good one however it was that Tom Benson mr. meet them agreed on price how I should know that you know -- -- -- Yes but I have to always thank William Taylor who's sort of art historian who sends me info. Now let's get down to -- it is interesting and it's a wonderful thing. That a young man growing up on the West Bank. Could end up to -- the president on what really has become sports. No question and I still decent no question. You know a lot of people. Talked to me about being the president and in talked me -- -- the -- basketball team in town and I never take that program and you know I grew up. In a family that absolutely adored the saints in again it was. It's tough here's a lean years for the -- that we were truly die hard football fans and you know whether we were going -- the game whether. We're watched on television that we truly were filming a die hard -- yet and so. You know as a kid grown up with someone it's would have said what he went when he when he wanna do when you grow up other than perhaps playing for the saints who have been working for the -- and shockingly I'm I'm in this position and I couldn't be more excited about it I'll tell you coincidentally. Enough -- ever disclosed they don't think humans sit here. But when I was in the fourth grade there was that. There was tests that they give kids to see what they want to when they grow up in and mine came back as a basketball executive. Which you know it's a basketball executive aura owner of art -- Hamas has -- But I remember listed to -- that to this day and things have worked out whoever whoever -- that -- but obviously that he could traveling yes. And so all we fast forward. But it was -- jesuit high school and then he went to Alabama and I do and. At that I don't like seeing it too much heart volleys you know LSU fans I don't want them to hold it against BP yes and went to Alabama. It was a moment in time and moment in time yes and and then after I graduated. From Alabama. I was actually health care management major -- wanted to. Run hospital be involved in in that. A lot of work in them. In down when -- finished my house -- -- shocked that. There was an along with hospitals and willing to offer me that he hopes she and -- Though that the best advice I got it was go back to school engage your MBA and so that's what it went back to school in and went home came back home to loyal. Bomb went to school at night work during the day worked for actually work tree had a part time job at east Jefferson hospital certain -- to some part time job there. In and put myself. Do. To MBA school at Loyola. In it was literally the last class that was taken -- one last classes that I was taking it was an accounting class now and I never really liked or enjoyed accounting and all. And now for some reason the light bulb went off and and that really learned. -- well enjoyed it and. And -- professor came up to -- you know they're changing the rules here in Louisiana with regards the CPA instinct is CPA test and you know before they make those changes and we don't match for exactly what they're going to be you you would be grandfathered in. He only took a couple more classes and so that's what I decide to do and that's the -- have -- become an accountant shortly thereafter. After -- those classes -- -- resonate without accounting. Firms and down. Went to work -- Arthur Andersen and literally the first day on the job. First assignment was to go out to well veterans. -- work and veterans and and now on the salary cap and it was only its second year of salary cap back so we were really. Cutting new ground. Really -- -- on it's something we really never audited before they it was a previous the year before but -- -- still. And the clout trying to figure out the captain. And somewhat game and managed to stick around. And so you work with Arthur Andersen. As the auditors the saints for -- -- that's right it was it was about four years I think and that would do the salary cap on it each year in out offs that you financial statement audit each year. In the remember rather. It that we would do for mr. Manson and his family and it got to know them and with really it's -- toward I was. I was actually at a town received phone call from the things and they mentioned. Would you be interested in coming to work for us unfortunately. The previous the and gentlemen members spurs art. Had been diagnosed with elastic thing disease that. Steve Gleason and and they had to replace him and he said would you be interested in the job and in an -- ultimately 28 huge hole -- -- really don't think there's any shot that'll ever get this job. And I did one interview because of independence rules in the counting. In auditing and in one in one interview in and not get the job have to leave that's the thing audit that put so much time -- and literally flying back from Phoenix. An -- by following held an athlete. And has things and world what why am I had second thoughts about this. And the second but really was is that you know but I'd -- you know actors make partner and be there forever in and and you know that kind of so much instability by National Football League you know coaches -- -- every three years that and. Really walk away from a great career perhaps spent on work for the -- and -- hole. For instance no -- existence and I still work for the New Orleans thinks that's the whole. Been very -- well you know we were talking before we start to lock. Yeah coupled with a lot of hard work yet and it is all the hard work that is taking you where you are but that was luck -- the -- David Carter. Right company disintegrated. Exactly and yes it was funny and in mentioned to you as well. There was a time there's another I was doing actually to audits at the time there's another. Largest company in New Orleans I was doing on that same time outs in the saints on it. And had to make a decision which which on and I was gonna continue on and probably. The other -- at the time would have been better -- -- career now decide to go sent to do with the saints and really a lot of good things have worked out for. He is the president of the saint and the pelicans and he is with -- for the next hour stay with this I'm Angela under the don't do well. Dennis launcher is our very special -- he is the president of the New Orleans Saints and the pelicans. Two jobs monumental unto themselves. And look let's talk about that first time. You know it's it's fabulous that they're together it's got to be a tremendous amount of work. And yet. I'm sure the saints are bringing things to the pelicans. That are helping it grow shore and I wanted to know me especially since in the fourth grade you're going to be -- as the net cash for a brought. Thinking about the smallest -- Have you learned well. Either you bring up a really good point and sometimes it gets overlooked we talked a lot about this when you're. Talk about purchasing on boards and they'll pelicans in and that is there really in truth to -- is -- economies of scale here what we do. -- It in and I don't want to sound self serving but the truth the -- is professionally -- -- about the slot. I don't know if anyone else to have bought the pelicans. Would've. Been able to do what we've been able to do and am -- an end in no way in my suggesting that there are extremely talented people in the world do amazing great things. It's just that we had the mechanism we have the contacts we had. The sales we had everything ready to go today we purchased the team in it was like flipping a switch and we were able. To you know do a lot of things that. New owners particularly new owners who would not have been sports would have had to learn and a very long learning curve and that that would put a lot of stress I think on the franchise. So. I think you mentioned what we learn what we can transport over to the over to the pelicans from the saint but I have to tell you. That's been a tremendous learning experience the opposite way to be quite honest with you from learning things in the NBA. Hollering things some of the things you know it's a lot more games it's forty you know plus games. And yeah its its a lot more dedication Tom in many respects it and and there's a lot more attention paid to the arena experience. And things outside of the game and so we've we've learned a lot as an organization that can today and I think it's made everyone it was in the organization much better. And and if nothing else -- always push. You know talked -- our staff about. -- pushing ourselves continually pushing ourselves always trying to be known for fraud and and I don't have to do much of them most of our staff wants to be number one and everything we do. Everyone's always bring new ideas it's very refreshing place to work. In in in didn't. You know acquiring the pelicans in the other acquisitions that we may have -- -- made over the last couple years. It really has been a very brought a lot of freshness a lot of new ideas and it's it's been very exciting place to war. You literally have been on the ground floor of those. Additional industry whether it's getting television Norton going into film. And it literally gauges come up with the idea and then go to town and since then what about the shore army or you know or he may and he very comes up many of the ideas as well -- but. You know what. Like many companies. You know we we look at the assets that we have and -- and we look around the city we look at some of them that sets them might be undervalued or some of the other assets. That you know could could perhaps -- that our expertise our knowledge or perhaps some of advertising. Or some of our. Staff whatever it may be in and we just look for those types of opportunities and see how they connected -- like a city where there might be economies of scale. And see you -- where the opportunities truly are. That we can we can mine in the city and at the same time really and truthfully on the forefront of our minds our businesses in -- where I was trying to think about. How we can better city -- his. At the at the end of the day the better city is the better our franchise's enemy we we need we need of vibrant. Workforce of vibrant. Populations. When we need folks be excited about the actually when he folks to be educated. We have we need folks to be pushing us. When he folks be -- -- ticket so what we we have to make sure we're investing in counseling investing in in the community in this city. And plus it's just what we think is the right thing to do. You know I'm looking at you instruments and Tom Benson thinks -- you as a sign. And which is a beautiful statement and I am thinking perhaps some other vocabulary. -- numbers short if you're both great numbers people right. And yet what have you learned from him well that's a tremendous honor for someone to say that because -- -- -- have the utmost admiration for him. His family. They have been nothing to extort and it's extraordinary to me they've given me remarkable opportunities. -- Truthfully. Yeah those are important and that's a lot of fun but truthfully one of the greatest -- have had over the last seventeen years is spending time with Tom Benson. And it has been truly an honor. You're right he and I are very similar. We both have accounting background in both went to label we both came from. Moderate incomes from both. Love business we're both very open minded. Two two opportunities. He and I think a lot my wife tells me how much time to time and an everyday and among 45 year old guy thinks like 85 year old guy house but I take as a compliment because. I would say his vice price told him the same thing that he thinks like 45 girl put. But he he's just a remarkable Parsons always. You know he. He is always to have put the communities I was thinking about the organizations. In and again he's. He's always thinking about employees in in a lot of times I think a lot of people -- businesses are run businesses. Perhaps don't play enough time and effort and thinking about their employees and he has done a tremendous. I'm amount of work to make sure we have the best employees are given assets that they need to run businesses are given. The latitude that they need to make decisions there power to admit to me the right decisions. In and again it's it's it's a truly it's a spectacular place to work and -- credit to him. Well it always does begin with him yeah yeah starts at the top and a I think to a man -- a man or woman in our organization if you if you go to anyone. -- ask him about Tom Benson there is -- Unbelievable. Amount of loyalty. Regardless of who you are -- organization that for the men and again. It start it starts at the top he sets the direction every and everybody really wants to to to make him proud to be honest with you and in he has. -- everyone wants to deliver championships for the city and delivered championships for him and packet tea making I have the utmost admiration. From instruments. Well speaking about those championships -- gonna talk about the next one which is probably right around the -- and hopes but organist a stay with us everyone we're talking to Dennis launcher but now let's go to the newsroom. Dennis launcher president of the New Orleans Saints and the pelicans are guests today. And we're talking about will really -- giving great tribute and appropriate tribute Tom Benson but. Talking about what has expanded. In sports in our world and what about baseball. Yeah really what about baseball well of course we have. AAA baseball yeah he's here in town and and there are basically are our neighbor to be asked for the out there nominal soundtrack in in Metairie and I know there's been some speculation on. Whether or not there may be a change in ownership or perhaps you know even god forbid a movement of that team. And what we're doing whatever we can make sure we can support that to keep the team here. In in a while once. And with that. May entail not exactly sure but dumb but we certainly think that all sports franchises in the city are important and as well as. The PGA golf tournament as well as. In -- curable as well as the final fours that are coming here and and and you know. We were we were talking earlier but. You know. I think. If you look at New Orleans and you see what we've been able to accomplish with regard to bring into troubles here maintaining our stance with -- miserable. In the final four is in the women's final four and in everything else and the ability to. To support two professional Major League franchises. I'm I think you know for city that is roughly about 5152. Ranking in size. Tom we truly do I'm a punch our weight here I think I think in that's a tribute to the people and sports industry and I think it's a recognition. By -- our fans with food the -- the folks who live here. That has sports industries important as a true economic benefit for our community does tremendous things with regards to identify and -- Both Latin nationally and internationally and something really important. And in I think we have to continue that and and -- say the relationship that our team has with a -- -- sports foundation. With the leaders of the that your goal with the leaders of the PGA tour event here in town. With with the leadership of two -- I mean we -- we were very big supporters of the Tulane football on the stadium. We him. This year a two -- we won't loan them our indoor practice facility all year couldn't have a place to practice week. We love what CJ stimulant and truly with the and certainly leadership is doing their very supportive. Very supportive of -- -- now. And in in in so we continued support on sports throughout alchemy has frozen many other things. That we support in in truthfully even though. Done the secret that we used it's like to say is that we truly are not. When we say with a 51 serve fifty seconds that's marker folks. And actually make some of that but really we don't look at that way we. We look at the population of Louisiana all being saints fans and all Mississippi is truly if you look at. Where fans are coming from they're always -- -- Mississippi into southern part of Alabama and the panhandle Florida and if you add that population on. That's seven million people yet in XX seven million people is roughly you know we start getting 20068. Top five cities maybe even the size of Chicago. In the different. Now like say which is different than say I don't wanna pick on Chicago but it -- -- pick on China. Is. Is that seven million people here or football fanatics they're avid football fans they know what football is they go to football games they -- a high school football games go to college football games. Whereas you know you look at Chicago you look at New York -- look at who these large populations they don't have that avoided the football that is that this that this market has and so. When people say kind of match for how how it works a wire works so well today -- -- -- -- that you are directly linked with the NFL because you know with expensive out there. But what do you think it is that. Separates the teams. From some who every year seem to. Get close close close and those that never did now that's that's a very good question because you look at the teams that one's a bull. And you would think by now you know where in the fiftieth. Year's Super Bowl coming up here shortly and you would think that more than. Six was only 171818. Maybe nineteen counts Seahawks won one you know it. Very many times it's been. The same organization that's -- and now for many many times 23 it would happen in New England in Pittsburgh Dallas and Longley Oakland as a whole as wind screen obviously. But we talk a lot about -- as an organization and I think. In order to be successful the one thing that we truly had discovered in in I think -- -- -- -- terrorism organization but the really our -- Really more open. Was after Katrina and then and now you know QB you know gone back to mr. Benson for a second ultimately. We came back from. From our evacuation and we get back to New Orleans. And it was opting to reboot if you will as an opportunity to do things differently than we have done before. And some of that was much waste and some of that was by necessity. When I'm -- on the sesame. One of the things that we do every day for two months of saint facilities that as an organs as his complete organization we have lunch together every day -- pay for lunch for everyone. In all our employees eat lunch together and it's not in stages it's not the football players are first person in the coaches in the it's everyone eats together and that came about because of after Hurricane Katrina we came back in gives them a bit of scarcity of restaurants and mean people were taken. 34 hours launched as -- confined place themes that we set our oldest supplies. Breakfast lunch and dinner until we get -- not beaten eventually evolved so to just launched. But that was a remarkable thing is really for the first time we saw an organization's. Football folks in the business folks truly talking to each other every day he saw. Perhaps the guy who mows lawns talking to the general manager and it goes on and on and on an -- -- all the bunkers on the lack of communication all miscommunication all those things really start to disappear anyway. And we truly became one organization and we were really unified. In trying to accomplish our goal was which was. I'm winning the championship back to it we have not looked back in in both Mickey Loomis and I. Feel very strongly. About being one organization that's why we won the Super Bowl. You know everyone an organization that's suitable -- it matter who you work as everyone was part of that accomplishment that was very important. For us to say yet. And it was you know again thanks to mr. Benson and basically I heard one -- a survival rate but but he absolutely believes in that is well and and then when he. Acquired. The pelicans that was the same deal we we brought everyone together a lot of folks don't know this but. The the pelicans have gone down every other entire organization is now out in Metairie -- -- -- saint episode same soundtrack is absent before in the first time in the history of the organization that. Company is all in one place even dating back to it stays in Charlotte it's always had. You know basketball operations here in basketball ticket sales of here and in the merit of being together and it -- and a it in communication. And UT is in those types of things in those words you know a lot townspeople. Talk on the don't let them we we really try to implement them on day to day basis. Stay with this will be back with Dennis launcher right after this. Couple quick questions for -- launch and announced today that you're going to be doing some of your training camp at the Greenbrier yes we're splitting. -- training camp this year. Between. Matter practice facility and in the Greenberg and you know that decision. As with all decisions. We make. Is about prepared football team do the best that we can we can't and I think if the question perhaps there for Mickey that you talked to make yeah I think he would say enough utterances numerous towns. That it's important he thinks it's important break up what we do to you stay at home for wall perhaps breaking up by going on the road it is. It helps team and an -- on feels the same way he seizes up to -- them combined as a team calm and -- similar things is team. On the on the same. On the illness thinking about that we also recognize how important is. That that there are -- to -- their team and married and that's why it would split between the two we never. Ever. Not appreciate where fans I mean it's. And and so we do our best to make sure all the things that they like will be there again. The open practices autograph sessions. All those things as well as. Now we go back to taken. Evening practice on the road somewhere at least one. Grasso. We're looking ahead from a couple places around town now. On to make sure that we're in we're in those spots and -- and and fans could -- you haven't set the date when you know we we we haven't yet. The football operations. Still working on their schedule. Number one and then in the number two. The pre season schedule primal dictate a little bit of you know the the timing of when we were there when we're leaving him when we're back in that area as well so. I'm really talking to the man who was the business and of football but you very much a part of that team. And we are hearing all the changes that are happening and some of the losses have. Of people that we have learned to love and adore me and that has to be emotional. And yet you still have to think big picture all the time of we want to win the -- sure sure his. -- not only are our -- their great player or are they great players. On the field and we get to see the great things -- that that they do. In their amazing talent for me and for making and for all the other folks that that work there on a day to day basis we get to know them as people we need to know their families in the talked a lot about. Talked -- about unit team and how much that means you know we get to see their families that the Christmas parties and we get to see their children and in NL it's really important for us so yes so we have to part ways with a player. Believe me it's a very different difficult decision for for every -- know within the organization but haven't said that. It's necessary to stay in -- with regards to two today and professional football professional basketball for that for that matter and we we try to. To it to handle as best we can and making Inchon are very good about that they actually have a reputation at least of making sure that they. I'm into players properly -- with regards to cuts in. Again it's an ease and cliche it's part of the business that. It is part of the business incidents. And that the the pelicans are struggling that that's such wonderful people. Are you hopeful that to be able to maintain. Yeah absolutely -- -- -- -- I think that we double maintain know a lot of the players on the on the basketball team you know it's been. A very typical year with regard to injuries on the basketball front. I don't think we've played one game yet this entire year where we've had air the full. Allotment of our players come every game we've been at least album one of our key players and so. It's been very typical in truly appreciate the fan support and apple will keep plod along and again. Then the goal there is no different than the goal we have with the football team and it's we can win a championship in every championship. Come home to -- Stay with -- we'll be right back. Again we are very very special guest Dennis launcher president of the New Orleans Saints and pelicans. You go to the NFL teams I'd -- kind of know just a couple of issues they might be looking up with something that is sort of rearing its head right now. Is that. Even though mr. Benson -- owners own their own teams and they pay taxes the NFL is nonprofit. And there's been a lot of criticism that the commissioner. Was paid over forty million dollars meant for something that is nonprofit and and the discussion is a lot -- -- -- it's nonprofit and why has it right. But just sort of your thoughts on that -- -- that's. In a world of PR not a great and I think some an explanation of it being a non profit. Again. Maybe. It is isn't as clear as to -- non profit sounds and I don't. I -- American hardest to get yeah well we'll not only that the U all the revenue that's generated at the league level and many of the expenses are passed through to the various Porsche owners. It's it's really the NFL as more. Holding company but passes through. All the revenues like a sentiment in the expenses onto the various teams and those teams pay the taxes. So eventually those taxes are paid it it's a not for profit because of money gates goes straight to the teams in the future. You know taxed at twice if he attacks at that level and tax at the team levels well. So on the teams for example the television money that we receive all all 32 teams are taxed on it. I'm you know as are the idea is that split evenly among -- it yes it is of my market's not now now and that's the beauty of the the NFL. And and that goes back to that the whole -- really gone back to many many years and mean about. On each team basically sharing in national revenue. Has been the key to the economic viability in financial viability of the teams in small markets like -- -- we we we get to see. Television -- that New York has an obviously New York news a lot you know more people in their market on that's not the case in basketball I mean I'm basketball. Although we split on national revenues it's it's up to teams to basically go out and find a broadcast partner. And each one of its local markets and obviously if you're in a bigger market deal. I'm I'm a big share of local broadcast revenue. What are some of the issues that they're facing the NFL us face it. Well I think all professional sports are facing a number of issues obviously that helped the players' safety issue it is very big. For an NFL and I think. The NFL along with its teams have have done a -- mean at the end of the day. Regardless of what you may -- receive read everyone has the same goal that basically is estimate make the game as safe as it possibly can and and we want. NFL players. Missiles its professional. Athletes throughout the world we we want them have long lives after they finish their professional sports careers in in uninhibited. My you know lasting effects from from their professional endeavors but. That that's that's really important I think NFL is continuing to try to do that need to continue to try to waste. Down to help the players. Not only. Through safety issues that they're implementing now but also a big part of that is through. Implementation of policies he get them through their career. As football player into their next career. And there's an amazing amount of research that's out there with regards to the traumatic stress of going from one profession particularly. A profession where about the spotlight Tony constantly. And then the next day you're off the field and -- doing something else in and we have to think about what that does tough person mentally as well as visit. Tea person who's gonna be there who will be thinking about it is Dennis sloshing effect and I really thank you very much for the last hour or -- a permanent in the tank top thank you happy birthday tomorrow and here's the next. Great hot dog thank you thank you so much much has -- leisure every Wednesday with this Ron Foreman is next give us a call now let's go to the different.