SBJ/Sept. 9-15, 2013/Game Changers
Game Changers: Mary Pat Augenthaler
Published September 9, 2013, Page 2A
Augenthaler has fond memories of the 2006 reopening of the Superdome.
As one of the senior events specialists at the league, Augenthaler oversees major events, especially the Super Bowl. In the past year, that means getting ready for this season’s New York Super Bowl — and in particular, Super Bowl Boulevard, the outdoor, 10-block stretch through midtown Manhattan that will be part of the game-week festivities.
When she arrived at the NFL in the mid-1990s, she said she was aware of being a female executive at the league in part because she was the only one in the room. But, she said, there was never any different treatment, and in some ways, it helped her stand out.
Her favorite event? Helping reopen the Superdome after Hurricane Katrina.
- Person who had the biggest influence on your career in sports: Commissioner Goodell. I have been lucky enough to work for and learn from him for the majority of my career.
- Woman in sports business you’d most like to meet: Danica Patrick. She’s fearless.
- Best advice you’ve received: From Joe Browne, longtime NFL EVP of communications: “Don’t only compare yourself to other women in the industry. Compare yourself to leaders like Roger Goodell and Jeff Pash. Gender shouldn’t matter.”
- What would you, at age 18, find surprising about the person you’ve become today?: That I’m an early bird. I get so much accomplished in the mornings. When I was 18, I could sleep till 1 p.m.
- The biggest challenge I face working in the sports business is …: Continuing to find ways to be innovative in an industry with so many creative minds at work.
- My vision of success is …: Being physically healthy, emotionally happy, motivated and aspirational.
“As head of special events for the NFL, Mary Pat holds the access keys to the kingdom. If Warren Buffett wants to get into Roger Goodell’s tailgate party, he has to go through Mary Pat.”