Mark Cuban transformed his passion for sports into money, turning Dallas Mavericks into a company that’s worth almost $6 billion. Mark Cuban’s passion for business and sports let him see what steps he should be taking to bring his business to the next level. With his unorthodox strategy, he transformed and touched every business that he got involved with.
After various challenges that he had faced—court charges and business failures—Mark Cuban emerged victorious and even stronger. He is a one of a kind entrepreneur and a lucky guy in today’s digital age. People can feel his self-confidence in the way he talks. Like these words that he said in an interview, “Somebody got to be the luckiest person in the world, somebody … and I am glad it’s me.”
The Genius behind Broadcast.com
Mark Cuban started out early during the dawn of the Internet, his first website was Broadcast.com. The website was one of the pioneering internet streaming sites that broadcast live events such as Victoria’s Secret fashion shows and major sports events.
Broadcast.com was the first one to scale Internet broadcasting, sourcing out broadcast from about 500 radio and 100 television stations. Included to the events that were broadcast by Broadcast.com were the NHL, college footballs, Major League Baseball, and product launches.
After founding Broadcast.com Mark Cuban crossed the border and ventured to television with HDNet and then to movies with the Magnolia Pictures and participated in the television show “Shark Tank.”
Difficult Life in Pennsylvania
Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Mark Cuban grew up in a working class Jewish family in a suburb called Mount Lebanon. Mark started learning business skills early in life by selling trash bag, newspapers, and postage stamp.
Because his reputation in business grew, he would be given $5000.00 by his neighbors to buy stamps in New York and earn money by doing it. His skills got a boost when he studied at Indiana University where he started a chain letter, taught disco, and ran a bar called Motley’s from a money he loaned from his friend while he was an undergraduate student.
Making $6 Million Dollars in Selling MicroSolutions
After graduating from college, Mark went to Dallas and worked first as a bartender and later as a salesperson for Your Business Software. After less than a year, he launched MicroSolutions at the dawn of desktop computers, providing trainings, software, and hardware to his clients.
After seven years of founding MicroSolutions, Mark Cuban sold his business to CompuServe for $6 million. He then, according to him, purchased a lifetime pass on American Airlines and said that he only had one mission in his life during that time, “to be able to go to as many countries around the world as I could and get drunk with as many people as I possibly could” and was so good at it.
Yahoo! Purchases Broadcast.com for $5.7 Billion
After his early retirement in 1995, Mark with his college friend, Todd Wagner, after purchasing a computer and software, started Audionet. The website, which he has also co-founded with Chris Jaeb, was later changed to Broadcast.com in 1998.
Cuban and Wagner brought the company to public attention during the Internet boom and the stock price per share on its opening day was $18 and increased by up to 249% closing at $62.75, creating a record of the highest percentage increase of stock on its opening day.
At the height of its massive success in going public, Cuban wanted to expand the content of Broadcast.com and found the content that he needed on lingerie. A combination of new technology, the internet, and one of a kind fashion, Victoria’s Secret. The web broadcast about fashion became a phenomenon, making it the largest viewed event on the Internet during those times.
Mark Cuban also wanted to make it big by making his company worth billions of dollars so he turned to Yahoo.com and he positioned his company as a main rival that competed head-to-head with the search engine giant. Yahoo, feeling the pressure not only from Broadcast.com but also from the emerging search engine Google, purchased Mark Cuban’s company for a staggering amount of $5.7 Billion.
People at Broadcast.com felt like they’ve won the lottery twice by making it big at initial public offering and by being acquired by a technology giant which was Yahoo.
Acquiring Majority of Dallas Mavericks’ Share
Yahoo! struggled with its acquisition of Mark Cuban’s Broadcast.com and Mark started to cash out and bought a 24,000 square foot mansion and a Gulfstream V jet at $40 million. After becoming a member of what he called as the BBC or the billionaire boys club, Mark Cuban, in 2000, purchased Dallas Mavericks’ majority shares from H. Ross Perot Jr. at $285 million.
Mavericks, during the purchase of majority shares by Cuban, had the worst NBA win/loss record. He changed everything about the team—in his own way. Cuban transformed the locker and training rooms of the Mavericks by incorporating an open locker room ceiling, a clubhouse–like atmosphere training room and DVDs.
Cuban would also book first class hotels for Mavericks’ out of town games and bought a jet that was customized for seven–footer players. Gestures that were never done on the National Basketball Association were first done by Mark Cuban. He would also go to Mavericks game wearing a Mavs fan t-shirt, put his email address on a large stadium television, and seat on a courtside chair instead of sitting in a skybox.
Mark Cuban would also occasionally yell on the referee and once said that a referee wasn’t even qualified to manage a Dairy Queen, which as a result, also upset the management of Dairy Queen. Cuban’s behavior inside the court has him fined for seven times with a fee that ranged from $5000.00 to $250,000.00.
The hands–on involvement brought a prompt success on the part of Dallas Mavericks with game attendance increase of up to 35%. The Mavericks also reach NBA Playoffs in 2001 and increased the team’s value to $50 million.
In 2001, Mark Cuban launched HDTV and a year later, married Tiffany Stewart with a reception held on Dallas Mavericks’ home court, the American Airlines Center.
Another Purchase: Landmark Theaters and Magnolia Pictures
In 2003, after teaming up again with Todd Wagner, Cuban bought the national theatre chain, Landmark Theaters and Magnolia Pictures. The two also bought a home entertainment unit, which was combined with the theaters and a movie distribution company and was made into a movie production, distribution, and exhibition business all under one roof.
Their new business resulted in the creation of movies released simultaneously on theatres, DVD, and TV. Some of the movies that Magnolia distributed were Control Room, Bubble, Ong-Bak, Freakonomics, and Magic Trip.
In 2006, after the NBA Finals, Mavericks lost to Miami Heat. Cuban got so upset that the team’s star player, Dirk Nowitzki, got some words for him:
"He's got to learn how to control himself as well as the players do. We can't lose our temper all the time on the court or off the court, and I think he's got to learn that, too. He's got to improve in that area and not yell at the officials the whole game. I don't think that helps us ... So he needs to know how to control himself a little."
In 2007, Mark Cuban appeared on the TV show “Dancing With The Stars” and his own TV show, “The Benefactors.” His TV network also has a strange combination of bikini theme shows, mix martial arts, and former CBS Evening News host Dan Rather with his Dan Rather Reports.
In 2008, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil suit against Mark Cuban. The allegation involving Mark Cuban was the inside trading of 600,000 shares of Mamma.com, now Copernic. The District Court, however, dismissed the suit but due to the appeal done by SEC, the case was restored in 2010.
Mark Cuban hired new players for the Dallas Mavericks in 2010 including a new coach and, as a result, brought the Dallas Mavericks in 2011 to the NBA Finals—winning the championship games.
After Mavericks won the Finals, HDTV was also renamed to AXS.TV, adding Ryan Seacrest to its line-up of host. Cuban also partnered with AEG and CAA on his entertainment business.
Mark Cuban’s life has full of ups and downs and lots of luck as he calls it but one thing's for sure, Mark has challenged the conventions and changed everything to make his life a success and become an extraordinary person.
Achievements and Awards
- Guinness Book of Records holder for the largest single e-commerce transaction of Broadcast.com
- Rank by Forbes as the 459th World Richest People in 2011
- Together with Todd Wagner, created a vertically integrated business called 2929 Entertainment
- Featured on the premiere cover of Best Magazine
- Co-founded AXS TV
- Produced the television series, The Benefactor
- Purchased Dallas Mavericks majority stake in 2001
- Founded the Fallen Patriot Fund
- Started the “Mark Cuban Stimulus Fund”
- Held a position on Unity08
Participated in TV shows and movies such as:
- Kick Buttowski: Suburban Daredevil
- Breaking the F-ing Rules
- The Loop
- All In (2006 film) as himself
- Like Mike 2: Streetball
- The Cookout
- Walker, Texas Ranger
- Lost at Sea
- Talking About Sex
- Real Time with Bill Maher
- Dancing with the Stars
- The Simpsons
- NBA All-Star Weekend Celebrity Game
- WWE Raw
- Shark Tank
- Colbert Report
- Skechers Super Bowl Commercial
- Trust Us With Your Life
- The Men Who Built America
Organizations and Charities Supported
- Electronic Frontier Foundation
- Fallen Patriot Fund
- National Basketball Association
- MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference