FRISCO – One appearance at any Texas Legends’ NBA G League home game, and anyone can easily surmise that it is truly an experience built around making sure that the customer gets the best bang for their buck from an entertainment standpoint.
Amidst that backdrop, the Legends were named on Thursday as the G League Franchise of the Year for the 2018-‘19 season. And as a double celebration for the Frisco-based franchise, Legends president and general manager Malcolm Farmer was named as the G League Executive of the Year.
The awards were presented during the league’s sales and marketing meetings on Thursday in Las Vegas.
A selection committee composed of the G League’s executives decided the Franchise of the Year winner All 27 G League teams were evaluated based on the league’s three core pillars – compete with intensity, lead with integrity and inspire play. Also, the league’s team presidents voted for the winner of the Executive of the Year.
No one was more thrilled about the Legends receiving the multiple awards than Farmer, who was quick to praise his staff in lending a helping hand to make this occasion happen.
“The Franchise of the Year Award, it means a lot because it’s truly something that recognizes everybody,” Farmer told Mavs.com. “It’s not something that one person or one department can go do.
“It’s something that everyone from myself to the janitors to the dancers to our coaching staff helped us win. To us, we certainly consider our season ticket members and our partners as part of the team. It’s a team award and it’s something that recognizes all of their efforts and all of their good work.”
The Legends are owned by Mark Cuban and are the G League franchise of the Dallas Mavericks, who are also owned by Cuban.
For the past two years the Legends led the G League in attendance, despite playing in a very hot sports market that includes the Mavs, the Dallas Cowboys, the Dallas Stars, the Texas Rangers, FC Dallas, and the WNBA’s Dallas Wings. Before home games, Farmer even makes his way from his seat and walks to the entrance of Dr Pepper Arena to lead the cheers in front of a legion of fans.
“That’s what it’s all about it for us is having fun,” Farmer said. “We’re different than a lot of other sports entities. We’re all about entertainment and having fun.
“I’m not going to say that it’s ever easy. I think that every sports team, whether you’re the Cowboys, the Mavericks or the legends, it’s always a challenge. But we’re unlike any sporting experience I think you’ve probably ever seen. That’s what we hang our hat on is that experience for our fans.”
Farmer pointed out Byron Bogar (assistant general manager), Britney Wynn (vice-president of media relations), Brittany Payne (vice-president of business operations), Blake Armstrong (vice-president) and Kyle Judkins (vice-president of digital media and broadcast productions) as those who were keys in assisting the Legends in winning the Franchise of the Year Award.
“We’ve got a team of executives here,” Farmer said. “We’ve got a lot of people on staff who go do these things. Other teams, or the league, will ask questions about what we do, and there are so many areas where I tell them, ‘I don’t know. Go talk to so and so on my staff. They do that.’
“I’ve got a picture of what they do and I have a general understanding of how we do it, but they are the ones getting it done and making it happen. But not all G League teams have that.”
Under Farmer’s guidance, the Legends led the G League in attendance for the second year in a row, and were among the league’s lead in merchandise sales, corporate sponsorships and media rights deals, and also sold out 23 home games.
In addition, during each home game the Legends wore customized jerseys to celebrate a charity or corporate partner. Those events included Wipe Out Kids Cancer Night presented by ZTE, and Military Night 2018 Benefiting American Fallen Soldiers Project sponsored by Swypit.
The Legends also developed over 45 events benefiting local schools, including its partnership with Raytheon on a STEM initiative (Science. Technology. Engineering. Math.) that ran throughout the local region. In addition, the Legends hosted 40 events designed to energize Collin County’s business communities via innovative networking and speaker series.
Farmer also praised Cuban and the powers that be for making sure he had the necessary staff in order for him to effectively do his job.
“We have a good size staff,” Farmer said. “Every single year teams come up to me and ask me, ‘How are you able to retain your employees?’
“It makes it a lot easier when you have a staff and a team who take initiatives and own projects and go make great things happen.”
The icing on the cake for Farmer occurred on the flight back to Dallas from Las Vegas on Thursday. That’s when Wynn huddled with the flight attendants and told them of Farmer’s accomplishments, and they allowed Wynn to get on the intercom and announce what Farmer had just achieved. Of course, Farmer, with a sheepish grin, sunk down in his seat.
“This is a team thing,” Farmer said. “Britney Wynn and the whole team, they make it all happen.”