IU Grad, Entrepreneur Earns Coveted Championship Ring

Many of today’s business success stories started with an Indiana University business education. But very few grads can claim to be as interesting — and controversial — as Mark Cuban.

Cuban started his career by creating a system integrating/software reselling company, and then went on to co-found AudioNet — a company that webcasted college sports. AudioNet eventually became Broadcast.com, which was sold to Yahoo! for nearly $6 billion in stock. And thus, a mogul was born.

In 2000, Cuban purchased a majority stake in the Dallas Mavericks NBA franchise. (He purchased the stake from H. Ross Perot, Jr., son of the presidential candidate, although the relationship between the two hasn’t exactly been cozy.)

The Mavericks were a rather hapless franchise since their inception before Cuban took over. And despite his reputation as being a troublemaker in the eyes of league officials — racking up millions in fines for criticism of referees, players and NBA policies over the years — Cuban devoted a great deal of resources and energy to building a winning franchise.

That effort came to fruition Sunday night as the Mavericks ousted the much-maligned Miami Heat on their home court to win the 2011 NBA Championship. Like him or not, he’s an interesting character with strong Indiana ties. (Although he’s not the only Maverick with Hoosier ties, as gritty scrapper Brian Cardinal is a Purdue legend and their head coach, Rick Carlisle, once held the same position for the Indiana Pacers.) The Mavericks have now made the playoffs 11 straight years, reached two NBA Finals and earned one title.

And if you’d like to read Cuban’s unique perspectives on varying topics — ranging from business advice to telecommunications law to God knows what else — check out his blog.

Pacers Offer Ticket Deals for Chamber Members

Are you ready for some basketball? The Indiana Pacers are — tipping off the 2010-2011 home season on Saturday against Philadelphia (after road games in San Antonio and Charlotte).

The Pacers are pledging to Protect the Promise on the court. Off the court, the front office is offering two special ticket packages for Indiana Chamber members. Both will allow you to reward employees/vendors/customers/etc. with group outings, while also seeing one of the two spotlight teams (the LeBron James-led Miami Heat or the defending champion L.A. Lakers) heading into the season.

Below are the details. Contact Dionna Widder at 317-917-3079 to take advantage of the opportunity.

  • Pacers Tip-Off Package ($1,000): 50 balcony tickets to the October 30 home opener against Philadelphia; 4 lower level tickets to the home opener; 2 Krieg DeVault Club Level tickets to the February 15 game against the Miami Heat; and 20 balcony tickets to a "value game" with a Fan Experience (Hi-5 players, presentation or cutting down the nets)
  • Pacers Pride Package ($500): 25 balcony tickets to the home opener; 2 lower level tickets to the home opener; and two Krieg DeVault Club Level tickets to the December 15 game against the Los Angeles Lakers