San Diego Business Journal


Nels Jensen

— The Notre Dame-Navy football game on Oct. 27 at SDCCU Stadium will have an obvious built-in fan base given the military presence here. But there are some new Notre Dame stakeholders in the market as well.

The Fighting Irish have outsourced much of their athletic corporate sponsorships and marketing rights to locally based JMI Sports in a 12-year deal. Finding a new radio broadcast team is on the immediate to-do list for CEO Erik Judson and his team.

JMI Sports, which was founded by Judson and former Padres owner John Moores, also works with Clemson, Kentucky, Georgia and the Ivy League.

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San Diego was among 10 cities quietly disappearing from a list of finalists to house the Army’s Future Command headquarters. The Army HQ will house experts in technology and innovation, similar to what SPAWAR does for the Navy with its local workforce of about 5,000. SPAWAR is the Space and Naval Warfare System Command.

The Army complex will have a staff of roughly 500. Finalists are Austin, Boston, Minneapolis, Philadelphia and Raleigh, N.C.

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Illumina Inc. Executive Chairman Jay Flatley received the Economic Opportunity Award recently at the LEAD San Diego Visionary Awards. I’m not sure people understand how rare it is for the same leader to take a company from its infancy to a market cap of $40 billion. The skills needed to develop a product are not the same for building an organization to take it to market. A wider skill set is needed to scale a company and more nuanced skills to run a public company and the associated analyst expectations, activist shareholders and takeover bids. What Flatley and Illumina have achieved is, indeed, remarkable.

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Don’t underestimate the high degree of difficulty when expanded in far-flung markets. Stone Brewing Co. was the first from San Diego to open a brewing facility on the East Coast, in Richmond, Va., in 2016, but its plans to open a restaurant there continue to hit obstacles.

The site identified in a 2014 agreement for the proposed Stone Brewing World Bistro and Gardens was deemed structurally insufficient, and since March the Richmond City Council has five times delayed a vote to demolish the 30,000-square-foot building to make way for a 12,000-square-foot structure. The city has not wavered in its commitment to front $8 million in bonds for construction, but one can only guess how much more Stone will have to spend as that clock ticks.

Editor-in-Chief Nels Jensen can be reached via