SBJ/Sept. 9-15, 2013/Game Changers

Game Changers: Regina O’Brien

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Photo: GOLF CHANNEL
O’Brien’s lucky club represents golf as a social escape and a way to spend time with her family.
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Regina O’Brien
Golf Channel | Senior Vice President, Marketing

A
golfer since she was 8 years old, Regina O’Brien was able to bring a player’s perspective to the Golf Channel when she joined the network’s marketing team in 2007. More recently, she was a key voice in Golf Channel’s highly successful “We Know We’re Different” campaign that launched late last year and highlighted what O’Brien calls the “quirky” culture of golf. Now distributed to more than 84 million homes, Golf Channel is on pace to register its most watched year for the third consecutive year.

“The quality of our production has been enhanced greatly, and people are staying with us longer because of the quality of the game,” O’Brien said.

O’Brien and her team already have set their sights on bigger projects ahead, as well. Among them: the 2016 Rio Summer Games. “Golf is back in the Olympics,” O’Brien said. “This is going to be a worldwide changer for our sport, and obviously we want to be a big part of that.” 

— Jillian Fay

  • Crowning professional achievement: The team that we’ve been able to build here. I look at the team that I have now and I think we’ve built a team that questions the status quo and always is pushing to innovate.
  • Biggest professional disappointment: [It] is actually here at the Golf Channel: I thought my handicap would go down, and it’s actually gone up. It’s one of the secrets that they don’t tell you about, [that] when you work in golf or work at the Golf Channel you don’t get to play as much.
  • Woman in sports business you’d most like to meet: [Former Gatorade President] Sarah Robb O’Hagan. I’m really a student of branding and advertising, and the work that they do at Gatorade, I think, is some of the best in the industry.
  • What would you, at age 18, find surprising about the person you’ve become today?: I never would have thought words like Twitter and Instagram and hashtag would be part of my daily lexicon. The things that we say nowadays, it’s pretty amazing what technology has brought us.
  • My vision of success is …: Seeing all teams working together with the same vision.

“Not only is Regina a strategic and innovative leader, she also is the ultimate team player. She is a trusted adviser on nearly every area of our business.”

— Mike McCarley | President | NBC Golf Media

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