In 23 years as managing general partner of the Miami HEAT, Micky Arison has
guided the franchise to unprecedented heights, including bringing South Florida
three NBA championships.
As the leader of the most successful cruise operation in the world, the 69-yearold
Arison and his family have always been involved with the team. Although his
father, Ted, brought the NBA franchise to South Florida in 1988, it has only been
since Micky took control in 1995 that the HEAT has evolved into one of the NBA’s
Arison, who was elected Chairman of the NBA Board of Governors in October
2005 and served a three-year term, brought to the HEAT the same standard of
excellence that propelled Carnival Corporation & plc into a global vacation leader.
One of Arison’s fi rst moves was to dramatically re-shape the franchise by hiring
Pat Riley, one of the NBA’s all-time winningest coaches, as Miami’s President
and that began a run of sustained excellence.
Together, Arison and Riley have built an organization that is considered one of
the NBA’s elite franchises. In addition to winning NBA championships in 2006,
2012 and 2013, with Arison and Riley at the helm, Miami has made the playoffs
in 18 of the last 23 seasons, winning 13 division titles, fi ve Eastern Conference
championships and advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals seven times. The
13 division titles the HEAT has captured over the last 23 years are the most in the
Eastern Conference during that span and second most in the NBA.
Arison and Riley have been able to maintain a level of excellence in Miami by
pulling off some of the largest acquisitions in the league. They initially built the
foundation of success by acquiring franchise cornerstones Alonzo Mourning and
Tim Hardaway. Next came Dwyane Wade and Shaquille O’Neal and a blockbuster
13-player trade, the largest in NBA history, in which they acquired James Posey,
Jason Williams and All-Star Antoine Walker, all key cogs in Miami’s fi rst title
run. The groundwork for Miami’s 2012 and 2013 championships was built in the
summer of 2010 when Arison and Riley played key roles in re-signing Wade to a
multi-year contract and acquiring NBA All-Stars LeBron James and Chris Bosh via
Previously, Arison showed his commitment to the fans of South Florida when
he worked successfully with Miami-Dade public offi cials to keep the HEAT in
downtown Miami. The result of his diligence was an innovative public-private
partnership that together built the county-owned state-of-the-art American
Airlines Arena that fans enjoy and the three-time NBA Champion HEAT calls
Arison has enjoyed an all-star business career as well, growing up in the cruise
business and spending the better part of two decades learning it from the
ground up before being named chairman and CEO of Carnival Corporation & plc
in 1990. In 2013, the role of Carnival Corporation & plc chairman and CEO was
split with Arison continuing to serve as chairman and longtime Carnival board
member Arnold Donald named CEO.
Arison followed his education with a two-year stint in the Carnival Cruise Lines
sales department. He became reservations manager in 1974, and took over the
post of vice president of passenger traffi c in 1976, succeeding to the presidency
in 1979. In 1990, he was appointed chairman of the company’s board of directors.
In 1987, the company went public, generating $400 million for future expansion.
8 I MIAMI HEAT 2018-19
As Carnival continued its growth through the traditional avenue of new ship
construction, Arison also sought to expand the company’s cruise operations by
entering new market segments of the industry.
In 1989, Arison engineered the acquisition of the venerable Holland America
Line, giving Carnival entry to the premium segment of the cruise industry. Arison
also led the company’s effort in the acquisition of ultra-luxury leader Seabourn,
as well as Cunard, operator of the world’s most famous ocean liners, and Costa
Cruises, Europe’s number one cruise company.
Arison also spearheaded Carnival Corporation’s acquisition of P&O Princess
Cruises, one of the most recognizable names in travel, in a deal valued at
approximately $8.2 billion. The combined Carnival/Princess group, named
Carnival Corporation & plc, is the largest cruise vacation group, with a diverse
portfolio of brands catering to vacationers from all over the world. The Carnival/
Princess entity is truly a global vacation leader with its stock trading on both
the New York and London exchanges. In 2016, Carnival Corporation & plc launched
Fathom, a social impact brand with voyages to the Dominican Republic as well
as Cuba – the fi rst sailings to the island in more than 40 years.
Under his direction, Carnival Corporation & plc has grown into the largest, most
successful cruise operator in the world. Arison’s keen attention to marketing and
growth priorities has also increased revenues from approximately $600 million
in 1988 to $17.5 billion in 2017.
Today, as chairman of Carnival Corporation & plc, he oversees diversifi ed
travel and tourism holdings, including cruise ships serving virtually every
market segment -- from contemporary to ultra-luxury -- as well as leading tour
operators and hotel chains in Alaska and the Yukon Territory.
The Arison family and Carnival Corporation & plc are devoted to South Florida
and over the years have supported a variety of arts-related and community
service organizations. Organizations supported by the Arison family and Carnival
include the New World Symphony, The National YoungArts Foundation,
Miami Children’s Museum, Jackson Memorial Foundation, Miami Project to
Cure Paralysis, Project Medishare for Haiti, American Red Cross, Big Brothers/
Big Sisters, United Way, Chapman Partnership and many others.
Arison’s contributions to the cruise industry have been recognized by a wide
range of international organizations. He has been named an “Offi cer of the
French Legion of Honor” – the country’s highest civilian honor – by French
President Jacques Chirac, received a honorary doctorate in naval architecture from
the University of Genoa, and has been awarded the Decoration of Commander,
First Class, of the Order of the Lion of Finland by the President of the Republic
of Finland. He has also been awarded the insignia of “Onorifi cenza al Merito
della Repubblica Italiana” by the President of Italy, which confers that country’s
highest title on a civilian.
Managing General Partner