SBD/Issue 197/Sports Industrialists

What I Like.... With Pro Billards Player Ewa Mataya Laurance

HOF Pool Player, ESPN
Analyst Ewa Mataya Laurance
In our continuing series, SportsBusiness Daily/SportsBusiness Journal asks top sports personalities for their thoughts, ideas, aspirations and likes. Today, HOF pool player, World Champion trick-shot artist and ESPN analyst EWA MATAYA LAURANCE.

What I like in an insight: The tougher the climb, the more rewarding the view.

An influential person in my career: My daughter. She inspires me to work harder and is a constant reminder that I need to always be the role model.

An out-of-the-box idea: Women's pool on ESPN.

A timeless idea: Always try to do the right thing, whatever that means to you at that time.

A business deal: A handful of women pool players negotiating a contract with ESPN and securing more than half of the major companies in the billiard industry to create the WPBA Classic Tour. An improbable concept that is alive and well 14 years later.

A sports facility: Wrigley Field, Boston Billiard Club.

A sports promo: Bobbleheads.

An ad: American Express' "Don't leave home without it."

A business decision: A sneaker company making golf clubs (Nike).

Laurance Likes E*Trade Talking Baby Ads
A TV ad campaign
: The E*Trade talking babies.

A print ad campaign: PETA's "Be comfortable in your own skin."

A hire: The Bulls hiring VINNY DEL NEGRO as head coach.

A brand: Brunswick.

A trend: Going green.

A pro league or team business initiative: The players of the Women's Professional Billiard Association taking charge of our own destiny to create, promote and run the WPBA Classic Tour in spite of the numerous critics at the time.

A competitor's idea: Mac.

A story that bears watching: USA soccer.

An idea or invention I wish I had thought of: Liquid resistant pool table cloth.

Laurance Would Like To Caddy
For Tiger Woods At The Masters
A fantasy job
: Caddying for TIGER at Augusta (Can I use a pull cart?).

What I like about my job: Everything! I get to compete, entertain and travel around the world while meeting and inspiring people from all walks of life.

My sport: The fact that there's only me and the table, no excuses.

Sports: How it challenges and encourages you to improve and to reach higher.

Sports business: Opportunities to expand, grow and envision. The business of sports is limitless when it comes to creativity.

Sports media: The feel-good stories.

Sports technology: That it allows me to drive the ball 200 yards plus!

Pro sports: Being, watching, dreaming, striving to be the best of the best.

College sports: The hunger and pure passion of college athletes.

Competing: The rush.

The future (or direction) of sports business: Paying attention to the next generation.

Sports fans: Their loyalty.

What I would like to change in my sport: More prize money.

See less in my sport: Less preconceived notions about pool from people who don't even know the sport.

See more of in sports business: Responsibility and awareness of impact on kids.

See less of in sports: Cheating.

See less of in sports business: Purely money-driven decisions.

Reinvent: The wheel.

Reintroduce: Straight Pool.

Eliminate: Speed Pool.

What I don't like in general: Preconceived notions.

Laurance Wants People To Understand,
Appreciate Game Of Billiards
Pet peeve
: The fact that most people don't understand and appreciate what an intelligent, beautiful, fascinating, yet difficult game billiards is.

In sports: Money having such a big role in school sports.

In my sport: Hustling.

In business: Dishonesty.

In media: In-your-face television hosts.

In technology: When it compromises the game's integrity.

In sports marketing: Exploitation.

In sports facilities: Dirty restrooms.

In sports journalism: Being misquoted.

About sports fans: When they forget that in the end, it's just a game.

What I like in people: Who make me laugh.

That would surprise those who know me: I've become a Facebooker.

Above all else: My family!

About myself: I'm a hard worker.

Hero: BONO.


Teams: Blue Devils, Yankees, Brynas (the hockey team from Gavle, Sweden).

City: Stockholm, Chicago and Charleston, S.C.

Laurance Lists Her Brunswick Montibello
Pool Table As A Favorite Possession
: My Brunswick Montibello table.

Memento: The gold medal from my first European Championship.

Time of year (because): Spring. The weather is perfect for golf during the day, and for playing pool at night.

Music: Pretty much anything.

Books: Ditto.


Magazines: Self, Newsweek, People, Vanity Fair.

Web sites:,,,

Blogs: Not into it.

Gadgets: My Blackberry.

Chores: Cleaning house, feeding the horses.

Hobbies: Golf, photography, gardening and playing with my animals.

Trips: Anywhere! Partial to going home to Sweden for family visits.

Movies: "Forrest Gump," "The Hustler," "Spartacus," "Slumdog Millionaire."

TV: "American Idol," "The Daily Show," "The Colbert Report," golf tournaments.

Concerts: TOM PETTY & the Heartbreakers, Queen.


Food: Sesame-seared tuna.

Dessert: Pear ice cream.

Drink: Water, coffee and wine. Not necessarily always in that order.

Scent: Flora by Gucci.

Vacation spots: Sweden, Ireland, Scotland, Mexico, South Africa. Pretty much anywhere I can bring my clubs.

Cars: Volvo (and maybe a Porsche for the weekend).

Aftershave: Not so much ... though I love Calvin Klein "Escape" on my husband.

Singer: Tom Petty, DUFFY, SADE.

Quote: "Don't give up. Don't ever give up" -- JIMMY VALVANO.

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