SBJ/20100308/Forty Under 40

Elizabeth Lindsey


Elizabeth Lindsey is a movie buff who has won her Oscar pool three years running, so it makes sense that upon receiving an award she issues a statement of gratitude for something that paved the way for her success.

Wasserman Media Group

“I thank taco night and Dos Equis,” she says.

On a Friday night in 2002, Lindsey and then-OnSport executive Sarah Hirshland discussed their careers during happy hour at a Durham, N.C., restaurant named Bandido’s. Hirshland mentioned that OnSport was expanding and asked Lindsey whether she was interested in speaking with owner Gary Stevenson. A week later she interviewed and was immediately hired to work on the agency’s American Express account.

Age: 39
Title: Senior vice president, consulting
Company: Wasserman Media Group
Education: B.A., broadcast journalism, University of North Carolina; M.A., mass communications research and theory, University of North Carolina
Family: Husband, Jeff; son Will (4)
Career: Nortel Networks; SAS; OnSport before being acquired by WMG in 2007.
Last vacation: Park City, Utah, ski trip my sons first time on skis
Favorite book: "The Body Farm," by Patricia Cornwell
Favorite movie: "Grease." High school kids break out in song, whats not to love? Its the original "Glee."
What’s on your iPod? Lots of Jimmy Buffett, the Stones, Van Morrison, Todd Snider
Greatest achievement: A happy marriage after 16 years and a well-adjusted child (so far!)
Greatest disappointment: That I never met my grandfather. He was a great businessman and an even better humanitarian. I wouldve wanted to learn from him.
Fantasy job: Movie producer
Executive you most admire: My mother (an executive in the hospitality industry). She doesnt know this, but I learned to appreciate the power of relationships in business by watching her.
Business advice: Never underestimate the power of honesty.

Stevenson uses words like “intelligent” and “tenacious” to describe Lindsey, attributes that have served her well at WMG, where she manages the strategic direction for American Express on venues, ticketing and sports.

“I never met anyone so conscientious that works so hard on our business that really wants to do the right thing for our cardmembers,” said Rich Lehrfeld, vice president of global sponsorship and access for American Express. “She picks up the phone and says, ‘How can I help you?’ Who does that?”

Using the company’s U.S. Tennis Association sponsorship as a model, she advised dropping high-dollar branding deals in golf, including an endorsement deal with Tiger Woods. In their place she negotiated more cost-effective, customized sponsorships with the PGA of America and U.S. Golf Association that provided cardmembers with access to major golf events, exclusive golf courses and teaching professionals.

In the same vein, Lindsey has also increased access to concerts and arenas by expanding relationships between American Express and MSG, AEG and Ticketmaster.

Lindsey previously worked in sports and entertainment marketing and public relations at Nortel. She joins fellow Forty Under 40 alums Hirshland and Malcolm Turner on the senior leadership team of Wasserman Media Group Consulting.

Back to 2010 Forty Under 40 list.

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