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Volume 24 No. 155
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What I Like With Chicago Marathon Exec Race Dir Carey Pinkowski

In our continuing series, SportsBusiness Daily/SportsBusiness Journal asks top sports personalities for their thoughts, ideas, aspirations and likes. Today, Chicago Event Management President & Bank of America Chicago Marathon Exec Race Dir CAREY PINKOWSKI.

What I Like …
An insight
: Don’t ignore advice from someone you respect.

An influential person in my career: My college track coach, JUMBO ELLIOTT. He made sure running wasn’t our only focus -- that we had balance in our lives and knew that we needed to focus on other things in addition to running.

An out-of-the-box idea: Eight hours of sleep!

A timeless idea: Nothing beats the power of personal relationships.

A business deal: The partnership between InBev’s Budweiser and Goose Island’s 312 beer; a perfect example of a deal where everyone wins. Two great brands that benefit each other: The mass marketer gains my favorite craft beer to extend their line, and the Goose Island folks get better distribution.

A sports facility: Chicago’s Soldier Field, because I grew up going there and because it found a way to modernize while retaining its proud historical roots.

A sports event: Sox vs. Cubs in the summertime.

A strategy: Overdelivering on everything you do.

A hire: Someone who speaks their mind, even if they know it’s not what I want to hear.

A brand
: Nike. The brand is clearly defined, easily understood, well-represented in all of its messaging and, most important of all, makes the right connection to the athlete in all of us.

A trend: A return to community involvement and volunteerism. Not just for our race (we are turning away volunteers) but for all the programs and efforts that need manpower.

An innovation: The Nike+ Training System.

A pro league or team business initiative: The creative and custom-made messages in the billboard ads Miller Beer creates relating to every visiting team who plays the Cubs at Wrigley Field.

A story that bears watching: The IAAF’s ruling on women’s world records in marathoning.

A fantasy job: I’d like to be a PGA player, even one not at the top of the money list.

What I Like About …
My job: That what I do gives so many different people a common goal to shoot for, a dream they can achieve and a way to accomplish something many thought they could not do.

Sports: The way it brings together friends and family to connect over shared experiences and a common cause (which for us is usually, “Wait until next year!”).

Sports business: It allows me to work and promote an activity that I participated in as a kid, so it’s much more than a job.

Sports media: I prefer the traditional sports media who report, analyze and give context to what took place on the field, not the people who think their every opinion is important.

Sports technology: I love the instant accessibility of results, scores and updates.

Competing: It’s the true test of ability, dedication, sacrifice and commitment.

The future of sports business: That good things will come to those who remember the everyday fan is the most important one.

Sports fans: Their passion and lifelong loyalties.

What I’d Like To …
Change: The extreme polarization of politics in this country.

Change in what I do: Learn how to say “no” more often.

See: More personal communications and less e-mail.

See more of in sports: Championships in Chicago, especially on the south side!

See more of in sports business: A conscious effort to make events more affordable for families.

See less of in sports: Performance-enhancing drugs.

See less of in sports business: Labor issues being fought in public because each side wants to WIN -- just order some pizzas and beer, close the doors and figure it out!

Eliminate: Retro uniforms.

What I Don’t Like …
In general: People with hidden agendas.
Pet peeve: People driving 45 mph in the left lane on the highway. It’s the wannabe NASCAR driver in me.

In sports: Absolutely nothing! Well ... maybe the long lines for bathrooms at the ballpark.

In business: Risk management taking priority over all else.

About sports fans: Over-the-top loud and abusive fans.

What I Like ...
People: Energy and a strong personality.

That would surprise those who know me: I try to keep up with the KARDASHIANS!

Above all else: My wife, SUE, and my children, SARAH and MATTHEW.

About myself: My approachability.

Heroes: Growing up it was CARL YASTRZEMSKI (hello, look at the last three letters of his name), but now it’s the four athletes who have set world records at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon: STEVE JONES, KHALID KHANANNOUCHI, CATHERINE NDEREBA and PAULA RADCLIFFE. All magnificent athletes and even better people.

Players: PAUL KONERKO and A.J. PIERZYNSKI (are you seeing a theme yet?) and DERRICK ROSE.

Teams: White Sox, Bulls, Bears and Cubs.

: Hammond, Ind. -- a great place to grow up.

Possession: The couch in my den. It’s broken in just right.

Memento: The street sign at the intersection where the marathon starts, because that stretch of road was officially named after me by the city of Chicago.

Time of year: The fall because it means it’s marathon time -- and after it’s over, it means I will actually have time to enjoy the crisp cool air with my wife and kids.

Music: The Allman Brothers, ALICIA KEYS, ADELE and RAY LAMONTAGNE.

Books: ROGER BANNISTER's “The Four Minute Mile.” I have an original printing of it, and it’s still a good read.


Magazines: Golf Digest (even though the tips don’t ever really help my game), Rolling Stone and Esquire.

Websites: MSNBC for news and investment updates.

Gadgets: BlackBerry, iPhone, leaf blower and edger + lawnmower.

IPad app: Been meaning to get one of those.

Chores: Does turning on the sprinklers count?

: Fishing.

Trips: My job has afforded me the chance to travel all over the world, but I still prefer a five-hour drive with the family to northern Wisconsin.

: “Straw Dogs,” “Glengarry Glen Ross,” “Roadhouse,” “Goodfellas” and “The Way We Were.” Can’t even count how many times I’ve watched these.

TV: ESPN “SportsCenter” and “The Good Wife” (with my wife).

Concerts: The Who at the Spectrum in 1976 and, more recently, BARBRA STREISAND here in Chicago … is the best concert I’ve ever seen.


Food: Chicago steaks of any kind.

Dessert: Vanilla ice cream.

Drink: Beer.

Scent: My wife’s chocolate chip cookies.

Vacation spots: St. Germain, Wis., and the Florida Keys.

Car: I drive a 2011 Volkswagen Tiguan. Great for family and work.


Quote: “Winning is not a sometime thing. It’s an all time thing. You don’t win once in a while. You don’t do things right once in a while. You do them right all the time. Winning is a habit. Unfortunately so is losing.” -- VINCE LOMBARDI.