SBJ/October 8-14, 2012/Game Changers

Game Changers: Ann Wool

Photo: TOM WOOL
Wool, with son Marlon (left) and daughter Natasha, credits
team-building for Ketchum’s success.
Ann Wool
Ketchum Sports & Entertainment
Partner, Managing Director

Ann Wool can’t quite choose her favorite moment from the London Olympics. Perhaps it was the satellite interviews that her Ketchum Sports & Entertainment crew organized for volleyball player Kerri Walsh, gymnast Jordyn Wieber and swimmer Rebecca Soni — all gold medal winners. Maybe it was the brand work Ketchum did with Kellogg’s and Oakley. Either way, Wool had a major presence at the Olympics, and it came just 11 years after she helped bring Ketchum into sports. Wool started Ketchum’s sports and entertainment wing in 2001 with zero employees and one client, Visa. Today, she has a staff of 35 and an undisclosed number of major clients, from the organizing committees for the forthcoming Sochi and Rio Olympics to IBM, Russell Athletic and Wendy’s.

Wool credits the success to choosing the right team. “We spend a lot of time working and traveling together, so you get to know somebody extremely well,” Wool said. “We’ve got to like and respect each other, and be very passionate about what we’re doing.”
— Fred Dreier
  • What is the best advice youve ever received?: Pick your battles carefully. Don’t waste time to win a point and lose sight of what’s important to make progress.
  • What advice would you give to yourself 10 years ago?: Trust your gut.
  • Person who had the biggest influence on your career in sports: My dad. Throughout his career, he was highly regarded for having unshakable integrity, for treating people with respect, and for being successful by working damn hard and earning everything through perseverance and not trying to take shortcuts.
  • One attribute I look for when hiring is …: We are always looking for people who thrive in a team environment and people who have great listening skills. It is fundamental to being a good counselor.
  • Outside of work and family, Im spending a lot of my time on …: My big resolve for 2012 is making sure I get a daily four-mile run in before the kids get up. It’s my time for thinking and planning my day.

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING

“There is an immediate level of trust in Ann that you get from the minute you meet her. She has great stories to go along with each piece of counsel she provides. Not only is this comforting as a client, but it is inspiring as a woman in this business to have such a well-respected colleague in the industry.”

  • Jessica Weidensall, director of global public relations, World Triathlon Corp.
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