SBJ/February 21-27, 2010/People and Pop Culture

Laatz has eye on analytics in new post at Repucom

Spotlight: Peter Laatz

Age: 40
New title: Vice president of motorsports, Repucom International
Previous title: Director of marketing, Chip Ganassi Racing
First job: Worked in the lawn and garden section at a True Value Hardware store
College education: Bachelor of journalism, University of Missouri (1992)
Resides: Huntersville, N.C., with wife Jodi, daughter Sophie (2.5 years) and dog Murphy
Grew up: Northbrook, Ill.
Executive most admired: Jack Donaghy
Brand most admired: Apple, though their rampant innovation has cost me a lot
Favorite vacation spot: Big Island, Hawaii
Last book read: “Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln’s Killer,” by James Swanson
Last movie seen: “The Social Network”
Favorite musician/band: The Samples
Peter Laatz

With more than 15 years of marketing and media experience, Peter Laatz has joined Repucom International as its vice president of motorsports after spending the last three years as director of marketing for Chip Ganassi Racing. Before joining Ganassi, Laatz was Miller Sports & Entertainment marketing manager. Laatz recently spoke with staff writer Brandon McClung.

What will be the biggest challenge in your new position?
Working remotely to the head office as opposed to being in a larger office environment will be challenging, but most challenging will be the ongoing market education process as it relates to media analytics, particularly in motorsports.

What is the biggest risk you’ve taken in your career?
Early on in my career, I left the Chicago advertising community and moved to Denver to manage a field office for Miller Brewing. It ended up setting the stage for the next few phases of my career, and I had four great years there. I would go back tomorrow.

What is your biggest professional accomplishment?
Respecting other people’s time.

What is your biggest professional disappointment?
The invention of e-mail. People have stopped talking to each other.

What career advice do you have for people wanting into the sports industry?
If you are in this because you are a big sports fan, stay home and watch it on TV. If you want to be a businessperson in the sports industry, you will be more inclined to succeed. Sports is a business.

What is one story you are continuing to watch in the sports world today?
The damage that a fallen sports star can do to a sport strategy that is reliant on stars.

What is the one element you would like to see changed about the sports industry?
Billions of dollars are traded every year in the sports marketplace, and there is very little accountability in terms of measurement. See question No. 1!

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