SBD/March 3, 2011/People and Pop Culture

What I Like.... With rEvolution President & CEO John Rowady

rEvolution President & CEO John Rowady
In our continuing series, SportsBusiness Daily/SportsBusiness Journal asks top sports personalities for their thoughts, ideas, aspirations and likes. Today, rEvolution President & CEO JOHN ROWADY.

What I like in an insight: In the people business, culture wins. You can use all the technology you want to run your business, but relationships will always be king.

An influential person in my career: My family. They shape the way I approach my career and the way I make decisions. I work for them. Gladly.

An out-of-the-box idea: Brands should share more information with each other about their sports marketing deals, so that they can balance the pricing scale with properties and media rights holders. Sport is too expensive, as a marketing tool, without proper intelligence.

A timeless idea: Any competition that uses a bracket format is always exciting.

A business deal: Groupon not taking the Google offer. Of course, their Super Bowl spot may not help their impending IPO.

A sports facility: Wrigley Field, "The Big House," Keeneland, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Laguna Seca.

A sports event: The Masters, Monaco F1, Indy 500, America's Cup, FIFA World Cup.

A strategy: Integration -- one-stop shop for all marketing and media services for efficiency and consistency of branding.

A hire: JIM HARBAUGH. He's going to make more money than when he was a pro. Coaching rules.

A brand: rEvolution. It has been hand-crafted to be a catalyst for the advancement of sports marketing and media. We work for my favorite brands -- Red Bull, ESPN, EA, Target, Motorola, Jeep, Chipotle, Polaris.

A trend: Twitter. Privacy and confidentiality issues will continue to stress player contracts and player union policy. Twitter depends on influencers.

An innovation: The search engine. All human information can be found on your PDA in a matter of minutes. Incomprehensible, actually.

A pro league or team business initiative: Verizon's sponsorship vision with the NFL. And ESPN's pre-announcement of a new "Monday Night Football" deal.

A story that bears watching: Comcast takeover of NBC and affiliate fees, competition for ESPN and Fox Sports? A new player in big-time rights fees? Watch the issues over antitrust.

An idea or invention I wish I had thought of: The Internet.

A fantasy job: My job or being SIR RICHARD BRANSON for a few months.

What I like about my job: The constant change and challenges to provide the best marketing and media services to brands around the globe. The variety of brands, sports properties and regions of the world where we work. The prospect of changing brands through sport. The ability to compete at the highest levels.

Sports: There are two things people can't do without -- their dentist and sports. Immeasurable impact on society.

Sports business: How the profession continues to advance in credibility. Once we stood outside the boardroom door. Now, we stand shoulder-to-shoulder in the boardroom to impact business.

Sports media: The sports experience is so exceptional with multi-channel information, HD, 3D, LCD, DirecTV, that many times I'd rather sit home instead of going to the game -- except for hockey.

Sports technology: 3D. We need more production investment and better glasses -- do you hear me, Oakley?

Competing: The taste of victory.

The future direction of sports business: Smarter, creative, technical -- the best business-building platform on the planet.

Sports fans: They are real. It's our job to keep the game authentic. Understanding how fans tick will be the key to how brands can inspire consideration of their products and services through sport. Their desire to consume sports continues to increase at a rapid pace. They are a primary pillar in what drives the sports economy (how players get paid, the price for TV rights, sponsorship deals, ticket prices, etc.) Fans go away, we go away.

What I would like to change: Better education by brands to their stakeholders on how their sports expenditures are a catalyst for business building, not executive boondoggles.

Change in what I do: Spend more time with my wife and kids.

See: The United States be more respected by the world for all we have done and continue to do for the Olympic movement.

See more of in sports: The World Cup and the growth of soccer in the United States.

See more of in sports business: Better negotiating via data intelligence, so there's more money retained by brands to activate rights.

See less of in sports: Labor disputes.

See less of in sports business: Shock media/TMZ athlete destruction.

See different: College football's championship process.

Eliminate: Commercial air travel. And the planes that fly message banners over The Masters.

What I don't like in general: The amount of time spent to commute. Time travel would be nice. And real estate appraisers.

Pet peeve: Lines. Most recently the line I was in to get into the NFL's tailgate party. Oh, add Porta-John lines, too. BTW, once inside the NFL's tailgate party, it was great, actually.

In sports: How the "play under review" continues to creep into the human element of every game -- and still does not help my Lions.

In business: The costs associated with hiring people. The new Illinois tax increase. Not understanding the new health care law. Let's find better solutions to help our fellow small businesses grow.

About sports fans: That they can be dismissive to new fans, as their sport grows, and more brands get involved (e.g., NASCAR). Isn't growth and popularity the point?

What I like in people: The ability to continue to learn and grow no matter what age. How we can do anything, if we put our mind to it. We are amazing creatures when challenged.

That would surprise those who know me: I would like to live to be 500, so that I can experience all that this world has to offer -- and that still may not be enough time.

Above all else: My wife and kids and my appreciation for each moment I have with them. Life is short. It's a gift.

About myself: I'm willing and able to recognize fault in myself, and I'm determined to get better. Patience comes with knowledge; I realize there's no fast way to do something great.

Heroes: My mom for the dedication to raise a bunch of boys and my wife for "kicking me into the water" to build a business from scratch.


Teams: Detroit Red Wings, Indiana Hoosiers, Michigan football, McLaren Mercedes F1, Arsenal.

City: Chicago.

Possession: My Emerson Fittipaldi Penske Indy car that sits in the office reception area.

Memento: An Omega Seamaster watch from my dad when he traveled to Switzerland when I was a kid.

Time of year: Fall -- great weather, tailgating, football, grilling, apple picking, bonfires.

Music: Classic rock, blues, jazz, Motown, reggae.

Books: "Good to Great," by JIM COLLINS; "Greatest of All Time," by TASCHEN.


Magazines: Rolling Stone, Esquire, Road & Track.

Websites: ESPN.

Blogs: Our own --

Gadgets: Control4 Home Automation.

iPad Apps: Weather Channel, Epicurious, ESPN ScoreCenter, Pandora, Livestrong.

Chores: Lawn care, washing cars, vegetable gardens.

Hobbies: Sailing, American Bulldogs, cars, scuba, fishing, Polaris off-road, watches, BBQ.

Trips: Going to Alaska to fly-fish the Kenai Peninsula during the spring Sockeye red salmon run. It's America, everyone needs to go. And the salmon chowder at Gwin's Lodge is a treat.

Movies: "Inception."

TV: "Top Gear," Bloomberg, ESPN, "Dog Whisperer," "Shatner's Raw Nerve," "The Apprentice," "The Chris Isaak Show," EPL, NHL Network, Speed Channel, Barrett-Jackson Auctions, "Hell's Kitchen," "The Office," "Guitar Center Sessions."

Concerts: The Grammy's live.

Artist: CHIP FOOSE -- he brings back raw emotion in car design; SIR ROY STRONG -- his mastery of landscape architecture.

Food: Alaskan Halibut (from Homer Spit) with wasabi and soy, the cheeks are incredible, food with truffle sauce, Detroit Coney Dog from National Coney Island, my ribs with hoisin sauce (turn for two hours).

Dessert: Mom's pumpkin pie -- what to do with your pumpkin before it ends up on the street.

Drink: Brunello di Montalcino, Maker's Mark.

Scent: "Of a new deal," the grill, an outdoor fire, being out on or in the open water.

Vacation Spots: Jamaica.

Cars: '65 Shelby Cobra, Ferrari 599.

Aftershave: Gillette.

Singer/bands: Foo Fighters, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Incubus, Smashing Pumpkins, EMINEM.

Quote: "Desire is the key to motivation, but it's determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal -- a commitment to excellence -- that will enable you to attain the success you seek" -- MARIO ANDRETTI. "Luck is the dividend of sweat. The more you sweat, the luckier you get" -- RAY KROC. "It's kind of fun to do the impossible" -- WALT DISNEY.
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