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.