Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Good Bye Andy Dolich

It is with a sad heart that I write that Andy Dolich has resigned as President of Business Operations for the Memphis Grizzlies. Andy has been with the club since May of 2000. Andy was the lone holdover of the original group of executives who brought the club from Vancouver.

Andy has been the recipient of many negative comments over the years but in my dealings with him I always found him to be a class gentleman who handled himself and represented the franchise well. In his resignation letter Andy said:

“It was an honor to work for the Grizzlies organization and I am grateful for the incredible resources provided to our staff by Michael Heisley and our local owners. Ownership is doing everything in their power to build a successful community invested professional basketball franchise for all Memphians. FedExForum is a national jewel of a sports and entertainment facility that this community should be justifiably proud of.”

“I was blessed to work with a team of wonderful professionals who everyday in every way strive to improve the Grizzlies organization and the fan experience at FedExForum. I have never had a group of corporate partners and loyal fans more supportive of the ultimate goal of being a champion both on the court and in the community.”

Team owner Michael Heisley added these comments:
“Andy was instrumental in the team’s successful move from Vancouver to Memphis,” said Michael Heisley, Memphis Grizzlies Majority Owner. “His role in the marketing of FedExForum was critical to the outstanding arena that we have in our city. He was vital in every aspect of the organization’s success and was a champion of the team’s community investment programs which have set such a high standard in the pro sports industry. Having Jerry West and Andy Dolich assist me in launching the franchise in Memphis was invaluable. We have set a strong foundation which we are prepared to build on as we move forward.”

Andy did many great things in Memphis but will probably be best remembered for the Fan Advisory Board, the first of its kind in professional sports. The board, consisting of around 40 citizens including season ticket holders, power pack holders and non-season ticket holders was developed to have a better way to keep in touch with fans and their concerns. The model is being copied in many other markets around professional sports today.

The Grizzlies sales staff has asked me to appeal to fans of the team to attend the Houston game on Dec. 28th to give Andy a sell out at his last home game with the team. Call 800-HOOP for tickets.

The Grizzlies and 3 Shades of Blue will miss Andy's strong leadership and his willingness to try any means possible to help the team succeed in this community.

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