Barry Mendelson has been involved with sports, media and entertainment for more than 45 years.
He embarked on his career upon his return from the US Army military service, serving as the radio announcer for the New York Giants and New York Jets radio network. On Saturdays, he did the radio play-by-play for the Army football radio network. After a stint as executive producer of the weekly nationally syndicated radio shows, “Baseball with Whitey Ford” and “Basketball with Red Auerbach,” Mendelson joined the Boston Celtics as the vice president in charge of broadcast.
In 1971-1972, Barry Mendelson joined the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Kings and the “Fabulous Forum” as director of broadcasting and marketing. From there, he became the manager of one of the greats in pro basketball history, Jerry West, while producing the TV and radio shows, “Backcourt with Jerry West” and “The John Wooden Show.” He also served as sports director for KFI radio in Los Angeles premiering his own talk show in 1973.
In 1974, Mendelson started the New Orleans Jazz basketball team in the NBA. As an expansion franchise, Mendelson was Executive Vice President as the team opened the Louisiana Superdome and acquired the rights to “Pistol Pete Maravich.” After leaving the Jazz, Mendelson owned a Grand Prix Tour tennis event, promoted closed circuits world championship boxing events of Sugar Ray Leonard v. “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler and Mike Tyson v. Michael Spinks, and presented over 50 other sports events and 300 hundred musical concerts until 1988 when he became Executive Vice President of Madison Square Garden. In that capacity, he oversaw all college basketball events including the Big East Championships, St. John’s games, holiday nit, as well as the Virginia Slims Tennis Championships, Milrose games, boxing and wrestling events, Grand Prix Masters tennis and over 70 music concerts yearly.
In 1992, he joined with NBC sports to partner and produce holiday theatrical ice skating events starring the great Olympic stars such as Dorothy Hamill, Peggy Fleming, Oksana Baiul and Brian Boitano. Mendelson went on to produce over 30 of these theatrical ice skating events. At the same time, he joined with the Fox Sports Network to co-own the long running sports cutting-edge series, “Beyond the Glory.” He has additionally produced the TV series “Courtside Jones,” and “Pistol Pete Basketball Diaries.” Today, Mendelson is the president of the Mendelson Entertainment Group in Dallas, Texas and is responsible for TV sports documentaries such as “The Night of Pistol Pete”, “Lone Star Holy War” and “The Red River Rivalry,” a series of great college football rivalries and profiles on well-known college basketball coaches. In December of 2009, Barry Mendelson teamed with the Dallas Cowboys to present the first college basketball game in AT&T Stadium between the then National Champion Tar Heels of the University of North Carolina and the Longhorns from the University of Texas. Today, his company produces the annual Dallas Children’s Health Holiday Parade in Downtown Dallas. This parade in its 29th year is seen on worldwide television.
Among the firsts for Mendelson include:
- Responsible for the first signing of a free agent in the NBA with compensation. (Gail Goodrich.) 1975.
- Presenter of the largest crowd ever for a rock n' roll concert indoors in the USA: The Rolling Stones, December 1981, Lousiana Superdome, 87,500.
- First crowd in excess of 25,000 for a regular season NBA game. New Orleans Jazz v. Los Angeles Lakers, November, 1975.
- Creator of NBA courtside seating. Louisiana Superdome, 1975.
- Co-presenter of first collegiate basketball game in AT&T stadium, Arlington, Texas. University of North Carolina v. University of Texas, December 2009.
- Grand opening producer for 7 major arenas.
Mendelson currently serves on the board of directors of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and has established scholarships at his alma mater, Ithaca College, where he has received a lifetime achievement award from the college and the alumni association.