Dear Boston 2024: Just Be Your Rich, Well-connected Selves

After their initial public relations effort was panned as the work of a secretive, hubristic cabal, the folks who want to bring the Olympics to Boston in 2024 have gone back to the huddle to plan a relaunch. Here’s a suggestion, Boston 2024: just be yourselves. For example, let’s see more of the honesty you showed in that pitch you made to wealthy executives, urging them to join the elite Founders 100 Club (admission, $50,000):

Supporting Boston 2024 brings with it the opportunity to network and develop relationships with the businesses, entrepreneurs, and wealthiest individuals in New England – groups who are already working together to bring the Olympic Games to Boston.

As you said elsewhere in that pitch, investing in the Olympics is a smart opportunity. So why not say a little more about why? Like who those “wealthiest individuals in New England” who are already on the Olympics bandwagon are? Just for starters, we know that at least seven of them belong to the wealthiest one-tenth of one percent (measured by Forbes Magazine at $3.8 million annually — “the point at which one achieves orbital velocity and starts to escape earth’s monetary gravitational field”):

  • Bill Teuber, Executive Vice President, EMC Corporation: $6.0 million in 2013
  • Ron Sargent, Chairman and CEO, Staples Corporation: $10.8 million in 2013
  • David Long, Chairman and CEO, Liberty Mutual: $10.9 million in 2013
  • Roger Crandall, President and CEO, Mass Mutual Financial Group: $11.4 million in 2013
  • Jeffrey M. Leiden, Chairman, President and CEO, Vertex Pharmaceuticals: $13.1 million in 2013
  • Joseph L. Hooley, President and CEO, State Street Corporation: $15.8 million in 2013
  • Joseph M. Tucci, Chairman, President and CEO, EMC Corporation: $16.6 million in 2013.

(Not for nothing does Boston’s income inequality score rank us very high among U.S. cities.)

Also, Boston 2024, you should chat up the networking possibilities. After all, one of the reasons the U.S. Olympic Committee picked you over the three other U.S. cities was, to quote the Globe, “the deep interlocking involvement” of political and business leaders here, which the USOC likes because it “gets things done.” Of course, the give-and-go play (Deval Patrick to Richard Davey to Deval Patrick) will probably never be surpassed as a classic of the genre, but it’s just one example. Consider these other deep interlocking involvements:

  • Doug Rubin is a Boston 2024 Member and Founding Partner of Northwind Strategies, which has done lobbying work for Suffolk Construction (John Fish, Boston 2024 Member and President of Suffolk Construction);
  • Karen Kaplan is a Boston 2024 Member and President and CEO of Hill Holliday, which has done public relations work for Liberty Mutual Corporation (David Long, Boston 2024 Member and CEO of Liberty Mutual);
  • David Manfredi is a Boston 2024 Member and Founder and Principal of Elkus-Manfredi Architects, which has provided architectural services for State Street Corporation (Joseph Hooley, Boston 2024 Member and State Street CEO), Vertex Pharmaceuticals (Jeffrey Leiden, Boston 2024 Member and Vertex CEO), and Bentley University (Gloria Larson, Boston 2024 Member and Bentley University President);
  • John Fish is a Boston 2024 Member and President of Suffolk Construction, which built the David Koch Center for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT (Israel Ruiz, Boston 2024 Member and Executive Vice President at MIT), and which has provided construction services for Harvard University (Katie Lapp, Boston 2024 Member and Executive Vice President at Harvard), Vertex Pharmaceuticals (Jeffrey Leiden, Boston 2024 Member and Vertex CEO), Hill Holliday (Karen Kaplan, Boston 2024 Member and President of Hill, Holliday), and Liberty Mutual (David Long, Boston 2024 Member and President of Liberty Mutual).

So to conclude, Boston2024: When you relaunch, just be yourselves. Not so much talk about “living legacies,” “powerful global experiences” and especially “transparency.” You got to your lofty places making money together and that’s one of the reasons why the U.S. Olympic Committee picked you. No sense trying to hide it.

(March 25: Post edited to reflect the fact that the U.S. Olympic Committee, not the International Olympic Committee, chose Boston.)

2 thoughts on “Dear Boston 2024: Just Be Your Rich, Well-connected Selves

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s