(from Sports Business Journal, October 29, 2012) Recently sports merchandise mogul, Mitchell Modell, joined a growing list of sports figures appearing on CBS’ “Undercover Boss.” Modell joins a group that features the likes of Chicago Cubs co-owner Todd Ricketts, Churchill Downs COO Bill Carstanjen, and TaylorMade Golf CEO Mark King. Modell went undercover in three of his east coast sports merchandise franchises and had an overwhelming experience.
The no-nonsense CEO, a legendary Yankee fan and fixture behind home plate in his trademark seats, worked the cash register, sales floor, and even rolled up his sleeves in one of his warehouses while the CBS cameras filmed every second. While specifics of Modell’s experience of course won’t be released before “Boss” airs Sunday, November 4, the CEO said the work had a profound effect on him, “Being a family business, we say that we want to treat our people like family, but were we? This showed us.”
Modell has already announced some changes he wants to implement which directly extend from “Boss.” One of which came after he spent a day working in a warehouse that was so hot his moustache disguise, part of the undercover in “Undercover Boss,” fell right off. After a day in the warehouse left Modell exhausted, “…I had no idea how good a shape you had to be in to do that every day,” the CEO announced plans to add staff at peak hours. Some other reforms, which came as a result of the CBS program, were a system that allows easier recognition of talented employees, streamlined shipping to stores, reduced tasks for sales associates, and less pressure on store managers to prevent burnout. “Seeing our associates’ dedication, despite some of their hardships, that was a real eye-opener,” Modell said to Sports Business Journal, he continued, “I’ve told my friends who run businesses that they need to find a way to do this.”