SBJ/Sept. 30-Oct. 7, 2013/People and Pop Culture

Frank Vuono, partner and toll collector, 16W Marketing

PROFESSIONAL

What I Like …
Vuono’s 16W helped make the deal that put Quest Diagnostics’ name on the New York Giants’ HQ and training facility.
Photo by: ANGELA CRANFORD

An insight: Honesty is the best policy. Tell the truth and you won’t ever have to worry about what you said.

An influential person in my career: Starts with everyone in my family. Professionally, I have been incredibly fortunate to have many mentors: Matt Crisci at Y&R, Roger Atkin and Paul Tagliabue at the NFL, Bill DeVries (former head of Foot Locker/Kinney Shoe) and my partner of 20 years, Steve Rosner.

FRANK VUONO
Partner and toll collector
16W Marketing


Where I'm from: Lyndhurst, N.J., born and raised. Family has been here since 1906 and I have never left.

Where I Went to School: Very proud Princeton Tiger. Bleed orange and black.

My First Job:
Assistant account executive at Young & Rubicam advertising agency. I owe much of my career success to what I learned about strategic marketing there.
A business deal: Comcast buying NBC; first Fox NFL deal.

A sports facility: Yankee Stadium, Powers Field at Princeton Stadium.

A sports event: Super Bowl and Masters (tie).

A strategy: Have a positioning statement and stick to it; know who you are and don’t deviate. Nike and Under Armour come to mind.

A trend: Instantaneous information. Accept it. Embrace it.

Yankee Stadium
Photo by: GETTY IMAGES
An innovation: IPod — saved the music business. GPS systems — lost without them.

A pro league or team business initiative: Leagues/teams trying to enhance the live game experience. Also, leagues bringing all digital in-house. MLB early adopter/leader. Streaming live video is incredible.

A story that bears watching: Paying college athletes what they deserve for their intellectual property rights.

An idea or invention I wish I had thought of: The Keurig coffee maker. I am the Johnny Appleseed of Keurig.

A fantasy job: Toss-up: Lead singer of the E Street Band or NFL owner.


What I Like about …

My job: Freedom. Come and go as I please, no politics, work for/with people I really like, able to volunteer for good causes.

Sports: At its purest, nothing like working together as a team toward a common goal, and knowing, whether you won or lost, you left it all on the field.

Sports media: I can’t get enough (ask my wife). Happy to see things changing with the times and new sports networks emerging.

Sports technology: Love live streaming anywhere, anytime. Hate that I can’t get a signal in the stadiums.

Sports fans: Sports is social at its core. If parents continue to share experiences with their kids, passionate sports fans are born every day.


What I Would Like To …

Change in what I do: I hate when business gets in the way of golf.

See: Young folks learn the English language and use it in communications effectively.

See more of in sports: True sportsmanship. Televise the handshakes after all games.

See less of in sports: Obsessed parents. Career-ending injuries and long-term disabilities.


What I Don’t Like …

In general: Liars.
 
Pet peeve: Abuse of the English language. Wrong use of the word “myself.” Please tell everyone it’s a reflexive pronoun.

In business: Reliance on contracts. Not a big lawyer fan. Your handshake or your word should be enough.

About sports fans: Absolutely can’t tolerate fans rooting for athletes to be injured.


PERSONAL

What I Like …

Photo by: GETTY IMAGES
People: Seeing people we have mentored or trained have success and remember where they came from.

Heroes: My dad. My sister-in-law and brother (fighting cancer with a smile for many years). Muhammad Ali, Frank Sinatra.

Players: Boomer Esiason, Phil Simms, Howie Long, Cris Collinsworth, Jim Kelly, Ron Darling.

Boyhood idols besides Ali: Kareem, Bill Russell, Mickey Mantle, Joe Namath.

Possession: My dad’s cufflinks from Westinghouse for working the night shift in the factory for 31 years.

Memento: Thank-you ball and letter from the New Orleans Saints for our work post-Katrina.

Season: Fall. Football season. Smell of cut grass still gets the juices flowing. Still feel like I can strap on the equipment and hit somebody.

Music: Oldies fanatic (have original 1956 jukebox with over 1,000 mint 45s). Rock, jazz, Sinatra and all the Jersey guys.

Books: Anything on Lincoln or Churchill. Just read “Bruce,” by Peter Carlin.

Websites: Bleacher Report, Yahoo, every men’s fashion and shoe site.

Photo by: GETTY IMAGES
iPad apps: FaceTime (keep in touch with my daughter and granddaughter in Hawaii), NFL Mobile, MLB At Bat, Pandora.

Hobbies: Golf on days that end in Y, cooking, winemaking, cigars.

Trips: Ireland/Scotland, golf buddy or “peg” trips to Whistling Straits, Pebble Beach, Pinehurst, etc. (My business partner and I have a peg board of the top 100 golf courses, given to us by Turner’s David Levy. Each year we go on at least one trip with him to keep filling the board.)

Movies: “The Godfather,” “Goodfellas,” “The Pope of Greenwich Village,” “Diner,” “Rocky.”

Artist: Impressionists, especially Van Gogh.

Food: Spaghetti aglio olio at Angelo’s in Lyndhurst, N.J.; Chicken Savoy at the Belmont.

Dessert: Nothing like fresh Italian Sfogliatelle, cannoli or lemon ice from Lyndhurst Pastry Shop.

Scent: My baby granddaughter Talia’s skin.

Aftershave: None, never.

Quote: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
 — Edmund Burke.

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