SBJ/November 14-20, 2011/People and Pop Culture

Jon Podany, chief marketing officer, LPGA

Podany and the LPGA are in Orlando this week for the tour’s season finale, CME Group Titleholders, which showcases all of the LPGA’s tournament title sponsors

PROFESSIONAL

Photo by: BRAD BOYD / LPGA
What I Like …


An insight: Don’t confuse activity with results.

An influential person in my career: My grandfather — showed me at an early age what success could look like; Todd Putman, who helped me make the transition from finance to brand management/marketing at P&G.

An out-of-the-box idea: LPGA Founders Cup tournament, where the entire purse went to charity.

A timeless idea: Treating people with respect, no matter what level.

A business deal: Disney acquisition of ESPN (as part of ABC/Cap Cities).
JON PODANY
CMO, LPGA

Where I'm from: Born in Ohio. Grew up in Dearborn, Mich. Have lived in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., for 16-plus years.

Where I Went to School: Miami University (Ohio), B.S. in finance.

My First Job: Caddying as a kid. First career job: Procter & Gamble. Spent the first eight years of my career at P&G (finance and brand management), and it was a terrific place to learn business fundamentals and be around talented, motivated people.


A sports facility: Augusta National, Fenway Park, Cowboys Stadium.

A sports event: Anything my daughters play. Michigan-Ohio State football game in the Big House … especially when Michigan was winning.

A strategy: IMG’s aggregation of college rights.

A hire: Larry Scott by the Pac-12. The new TV/media deal is quite impressive.

A brand: Apple. The most recent run under Jobs is one of the greatest streaks any business has ever had (iPod, iPhone, iPad).

A trend: Everything mobile … amazing what my kids do on their smartphones.

An innovation: HD television. It reinvigorated TV watching, particularly sports. I don’t think 3-D will have the same impact.

A pro league or team business initiative: LPGA’s efforts to build back the tournament schedule.

A story that bears watching: College conference realignment. Are we going to lose great rivalries (e.g., Oklahoma-Nebraska) and do the smaller schools lose relevance?

An idea or invention I wish I had thought of: Google — changed the way we get information.

A fantasy job: NFL quarterback. As a kid, most of my dreams were to play professional sports.


What I Like About …

Sports: Anything can happen on any given day.

My job: My working relationship with LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan, the variety of the things I touch (sponsors, TV, tournaments, etc.) and the support LPGA players provide to our partners to create special experiences.

Sports business: The passion people have for working in sports. People are here because they want to be in sports (and many spent years trying to get into the industry). I couldn’t say that about soap or shampoo.

Sports technology: It seems we are in the golden age of technology adding value to the fan experience (HD, giant screens in stadiums, mobile devices, super slo-mo cameras, etc.).

Competing: Not just like — I love competing. I always have, particularly in athletic events.

The future of sports business: I think sports will continue to be a major part of our society, and will continue to be increasingly global. It’s a great release from life’s challenges.


What I’d Like To …

Change: My oldest daughter’s health.

Change in what I do: My commute time to work.

Photo by: GETTY IMAGES
See: Our economy growing again.

See more of in sports: The kind of integrity and sportsmanship you see in golf.

See different: Fewer commercials in sports programming. I know that helps fund the programming, but it can be very disruptive. That’s why the Masters has always been great TV.

Eliminate: Our government’s debt.


What I Don’t Like …

In general: People who don’t do what they say they are going to do,
 
In sports: The exorbitant cost to take your family to a game.

In business: Bureaucracy.

About sports fans: Yelling “you da man,” and recent violence vs. other fans.


PERSONAL

What I Like …

That would surprise those who know me: I have an artificial hip (wear and tear from many years of sports).

Above all else: Faith in God and family.

Photo by: GETTY IMAGES
About myself: Hopefully, being able to balance a career and being a good husband/father.

Heroes: Our military personnel who sacrifice their lives for our freedom. In sports: John Wooden, Gordie Howe, Tom Landry, Arnold Palmer.

Players: Roger Staubach, Tom Brady, Tim Tebow (three generations of quarterbacks).

Teams: Michigan Wolverines, Detroit Tigers, Jacksonville Jaguars (moved to Jax their first year).

City: Vancouver.

Possession: My big-screen HD TV.

Memento: My grandfather’s scorecard the first time he shot his age.

Books: The Bible, “Built to Last,” “Outliers.”

Gadgets: IPad (when I can wrestle it from the rest of my family … need another one).

Chores: Laundry, cleaning/organizing (I’m a neat freak).

Hobbies: Playing golf, working out, coaching Little League, snow skiing.

Trips: Scotland for golf, Colorado for skiing.

Movies: “Caddyshack” (never gets old), “Remember the Titans.”

TV: Golf and football, “Morning Joe” on MSNBC.

Artist: Michelangelo (for his significant religious pieces of work).

Food: A good filet and anything with Thai spice.

Dessert: Crème brûlée (only if creamy with glazed crust).

Photo by: GETTY IMAGES
Drink: Margarita (I make my own frozen with limeade and Patrón).

Vacation spots: Jackson Hole, Pebble Beach, Vail.

Concerts: Jimmy Buffett at an outdoor concert venue (many good memories in Cincinnati).

Car: Porsche (once I pay for three college educations).

Aftershave: Gillette.

Quote: “The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.” — Vince Lombardi.
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