SBJ/October 18-24, 2010/People and Pop Culture

What I Like: Ryan O'Hara

President and CEO, The Topps. Co.

Ryan OHaraThe Topps Co.
Ryan O’Hara, President and CEO, The Topps Co.

What I Like …

 An insight: Quantity as well as quality are important in family time.

 An influential person in my career: Michael O’Hara — volleyball Olympian, sports league executive and my father.

 An out-of-the-box idea: The International Track Association.

 A timeless idea: Major League Baseball.

 A business deal: Negotiating a TVG horse racing deal with NYRA at Aqueduct in the rain.

 A sports facility: Staples Center.

 A sports event: The Super Bowl.

 A strategy: Create the best products and serve consumers.

 A hire: Chris Harrison.

 A brand: Topps: Loved it as a kid, and now it’s my profession.

 A trend: Mobile upgrade everywhere.

 An innovation: The Ultimate Fighting Championship.

 A pro league or team business initiative: MLB Network.

 A story that bears watching: The Olympic bidding will reshape the landscape.

 An idea or invention I wish I had thought of: Electronic Program Guide patents.

 A fantasy job: Creating baseball and football cards for kids to learn from.

What I Like About …

 My job: Interacting with the best leagues in sports.

 Sports: The mix of fun and work.

 Sports business: The cultural and business power.

 Sports media: John Ourand.

 Sports technology: The accessibility of it in real time.

 Competing: The fun of it.

 The future (or direction) of sports business: It’s at the core of the content and distribution paradigm.

 Sports fans: The honesty to be clear about what they like.

What I'd Like To …

 Change: Add air conditioning while waiting for a subway train.

 Change in what I do: Less caffeine.

 See: WWE launch a network.

 See more of in sports: NFL playoff games.

 See more of in sports business: Partners growing together.

 See less of in sports: Player vs. management battles.

 See less of in sports business: Underrating how critical it is to engage kids.

 See different: Association of Volleyball Professionals back in a new form.

 Eliminate: Zero-sum-game thinking.

What I Don't Like …

 Pet peeve: Paper credit card receipts. Can you imagine the waste at businesses?

 In sports: Watching age break the body down.

 In business: Continual tardiness to meetings.

 About sports fans: Not much.


What I Like …

 That would surprise those who know me: I draw worse than a 4-year-old.

 About myself: Temperament.

 Heroes: Karch Kiraly.

 Players: Magic Johnson.

 Teams: The Lakers.

 City: NYC: The sports capital of the world.

 Possession: iPad.

 Memento: Topps Rookie Roberto Clemente 1955.

 Time of year (because): Autumn … winter is cold in New York City.

 Music: ’80s and radio.

 Books: “Working Together: Why Great Partnerships Succeed,” by Michael Eisner.

 Magazines: Bloomberg Businessweek.

 Web sites:,,

 Gadgets: BlackBerry.

 Hobbies: Anything with my kids.

 Movies: “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”

 TV: “The Office.”

 Concerts: Pearl Jam.

 Artist: U2.

 Food: Alaskan king crab legs.

 Dessert: Mixed berries in yogurt.

 Drink: Belgian beer.

 Scent: Neutrogena Sunblock.

 Vacation spots: Three Arch Bay, Laguna Beach.

 Cars: Lexus.

 Aftershave: Gillette Sensitive Skin.

 Quote: Get action. Seize the moment. Man was never intended to become an oyster. — Theodore Roosevelt
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