SBJ/January 2-8, 2012/People and Pop Culture

Sports business New Year's resolutions

Industry executives tell you what they want to accomplish personally and professionally in 2012

ADAM ZIMMERMAN
President, marketing, CSE

My hope is that in 2012 teams and leagues recommit themselves to providing family- and female-friendly environments. Fan incivility is a problem as it deters attendance and prevents the next generation of formative fan experiences. Augusta National has it right — act up and forfeit your right to attend — permanently. Personally, my resolution is to continue to remind those in my life how much they mean to me and to strive for personal and professional integrity every day.

ANDREW WALKER
CMO, WTA

Sports business: WTA will establish new revenue, attendance, television and digital milestones in 2012.
Personal: Learn to effectively eat pudding while on my Gazelle Glider (“Holiday Gifts,” SportsBusiness Journal, Dec. 5-11).

HECTOR VALLEJO
Multicultural marketing manager, DeWalt

As a sports fan: I want to see the Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao fight come to fruition.
Sports business: I look forward to continue to maximize and leverage our Golden Boy Promotions Boxing Program for DeWalt and overdrive our goals in 2012. I also resolve to balance out my travel and figure out a way to keep my inbox under 200 emails.
Personal: Spend more time with my family and get involved in my children’s sports activities as well as charity and church activities with them. I also resolve to get back in soccer shape and play at least twice a week.

JERRY TARDE
Editor-in-Chief, Golf Digest

“Think Young, Play Hard.” It’s a new mantra we’ve adopted here at Golf Digest that we’re encouraging our readers to seize on as their new approach to life, whether they’re 21 or 91. It’s not about age or swing speed, it’s a way of life — shaken and stirred.
 
BOB PUCCINI
CEO and president, Mizuno USA

Personal: Play more golf, and get my index down from 9.5 back to the 5 it once was. Just got fit for new MP-59 irons with KBS X-Flex shafts and am ready to take on the course! Also want to increase miles from running twice a week for 4-5 miles to three times a week. Was running in the Prophecy, but just switched over to the Wave Rider 15 and love them.
Business: Want to have more customer interface. It is important to stay close to customers in this ever-changing economic climate. Also, at Mizuno we have hired a VP in Latin America and have increased our presence in Brazil, with the Olympics in 2016 and the World Cup in 2014.

LUC ROBITAILLE
President of business operations, Los Angeles Kings

Help more kids via our family charity, Echoes of Hope.

Conrad Smith
COO, Minnesota Lynx

Enjoy our 2011 WNBA championship; continue to focus on building our brand; and see the 15,000 Lynx fans who packed Target Center in the 2011 playoffs on a regular basis next season.

KEN ROSEN
Executive producer/head of programming, Madison Avenue Sports and Entertainment

If possible, I would try to spend more time with my family. It’s easy to take for granted and lose focus of what and who is really important. The business we’ve chosen demands our time, focus and dedication, but we have to make time for those we love.

JON PODANY
CMO, LPGA

Sports business: Do my best to “stay in the moment” and not get spread too thin or distracted with things that are not going to make a difference.
Personal: Read more books. It’s often a resolution of mine, but I was recently inspired by listening to Pat Williams (Orlando Magic) talk about reading a book for one hour a day.

CAREY PINKOWSKI
President, Chicago Event Management;
Executive race director, Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Since we are celebrating our 35th anniversary, I resolve to make this year’s Bank of America Chicago Marathon a memorable event for all involved — elite athletes, citizen runners and spectators. I also resolve to make my new executive assistant, Siri, earn her money by keeping me better organized.

DAVID PARO
President, Deep Alliance Marketing

More consistency in writing DeepThoughts blog and more aggressive promotion of the work we’re doing at Deep Alliance Marketing.
Hoping to see some serious thought leadership brought to college athletics. Conference expansion and increased revenue are not helping to solve many underlying issues.
Smile.

PAUL LEVESQUE
EVP of talent, WWE

My resolution is to continue sharpening my business and corporate skills in my new role as EVP, talent. Although whenever the day-to-day grind of being a company executive gets to me, I still have the opportunity to jump into the ring and take my aggression out on a few unsuspecting opponents.




STEPHANIE MCMAHON

EVP of creative, WWE

In 2012, my personal goal is to help stop the bullying epidemic that is affecting our children. As a mother of three girls, I am proud to represent the WWE as part of our Be a STAR initiative to help encourage students, teachers and parents to “be a star” by showing tolerance and respect. My professional goal is to help support the launch of the WWE network by providing a 24/7, interactive, creative experience that is worthy of the passion of our fans.


KRISTINA O’CONNELL

VP of marketing, Korrio

Business: Continue to make Korrio the definitive brand and technology platform for managing your sports life. 2011 was our rookie year and we had a blast introducing the youth soccer community to the benefits of sports automation found within Playflow, Korrio’s web-based sports automation solution. Staying focused and “on brand” as Korrio grows and evolves in the coming months are key resolutions for me.
Personal: I want to keep strong life/work balance. I also want to coach young athletes as much as possible as it makes me better at my job, pleases my girls and keeps me connected with what youth sports is all about — having FUN.

MICHELLE MARCINIAK
Co-founder, Sheex Inc.

Take yoga classes, run in at least four Rock ‘n’ Roll half marathons, learn how to take time off and manage my BlackBerry better, get more massages and chiropractic adjustments for my own health maintenance, spend time with my basketball coach from Tennessee, Pat Summitt, begin to write my book, find time to do more of my oil paintings, make myself available to do more public speaking and bring some really cool Sheex products to market.


ANDREW KLINE

Founder and managing director, Park Lane

As a firm, we would like to fund at least 10-15 early-stage businesses in 2012, and we also expect to advise on four or five larger transactions (i.e., sale or acquisition of a team or sports company). As a team, we always strive to communicate and operate with teamwork and integrity.

HEATHER HOUSTON
Executive director, Lone Star Sports & Entertainment

Continue to make Reliant Stadium a premier venue for college football and international soccer. On a personal front, after spending so much time with our dedicated bowl game volunteers, this is the year for me to find a purposeful volunteer opportunity for myself.

MATTHEW HONG
SVP/GM of sports operations, Turner Sports

My personal hope/resolution for 2012 is for our family (a natural foursome) to continue taking golf lessons together and growing our collective love for the game. It’s win-win!

PETER FITZPATRICK
President and co-founder, Home Team Marketing

Focus on what we do well, and keep everything else on the sideline. We can’t do everything, so I vow to simply focus on those simple things we do very well and commit to being the best.

STEVE DUPEE

VP, Group Account Director, GMR Marketing

Sports business: A return to a healthy economy.
Personal: Something other than political ads on television (I know … wishful thinking). Father Time adding more hours to the day. Finding my way back to the gym. And the Packers keeping the Lombardi Trophy in Titletown for another year.

JENNIFER CARPER
President, Sage Collective

Personal: Convince my husband, MaliVai Washington, to start playing tennis with me again. He stopped because I didn’t listen to him and swore too much on the court.
Business resolution: Keep my desk clean enough to see at least 50 percent of the surface every day.

DAVE BUTLER
CEO, Paciolan

For the sports business, I want us to continue to find new ways to bring fans closer to the teams and games they love. On a personal note, I want to spend more time with my family and friends enjoying their fantastic company!





GREG BIBB

COO, Washington Mystics;
EVP of business operations, Washington Wizards

1. To focus on staff development as much as business development.
2. To go on more “Addy and Daddy dates” with my daughter, Adelyn.
3. To complete another marathon and run 1,200 miles in 2012.

RICK ABRAMSON
President, Delaware North Sportservice

Sports business: We had a tremendous year with new accounts, the Bruins’ run to the Stanley Cup, and the final four teams in the baseball playoffs, so in 2012, I’d like Sportservice to share more of what we received with local Boys & Girls Clubs and other community organizations.
Personal: I’d like to spend more time mentoring younger people within our organization.



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