Weekend Plans With Damage Co-Founder & CEO Johnny Ward
JOHNNY WARD is the co-Founder & CEO of L.A.-based esports agency Damage, which launched back in ’16 with partners that include Steelers minority investor PAUL SAMS. Ward is a frequent traveler for work throughout the week, so he makes sure to save weekend time for his wife and two young children. He caught up with THE DAILY to dish on what he has up his sleeve for them this weekend and the best spot in L.A. for a date with his wife on a night without the kids.
WEEKLY GRIND: It’s been a busy week. I founded my chapter of a national fraternity 25 years ago at UC-Santa Barbara and last weekend we had our reunion. About 50 guys fly in from across the country to reconnect over a dinner that I emcee. It’s always a good time and maybe that’s why I’ve been exhausted this week. Work-wise, I started the week with a trip to Las Vegas for a brand immersion workshop to kick off a new client. Then later this week I flew to S.F. for more meetings.
HOME LIFE: We live over on the west side of L.A. in Playa Vista. This weekend’s Mothers Day, so I’ll pay homage to my mom but also pay my wife the attention she deserves. We have a 5-year old son and 3-year old daughter. I rarely see them during the week because of my travel, so the weekends are all about family. Typically we love to do beach days, we’re only about a mile from the sand. I genuinely enjoy every minute of being a husband and a father. Every weekend we do a new Ward family adventure. My big thing right now is this app called Joymode. They basically deliver a package of fun stuff to your home that you pick for a monthly subscription. You can order everything from cooking supplies to seven Nerf guns. This week I ordered the kids a lemonade stand. I even created a custom brand identity because I’m weird and I own an agency. So my son JACK now has his own logo and signage. Plus free stickers for everyone who makes a purchase.
SPORTS LOYALTIES: I’m a huge Rams fan. I love everything L.A., but the Rams are near and dear. It’s funny because you usually get your fandom from your family. My father was a firefighter captain for years, you’d think he’d be a big jock but he just never played sports. So it was really an aunt who passed on the Rams passion to me. Our family got season-tickets when the Rams came back in ’16. The crazy thing was my wife is from Maine -- so she's a big Patriots fan. For the Super Bowl we had to just watch with each other so we could talk as aggressively as we wanted to without anyone judging. She got the last laugh, but the Rams are coming back strong.
FAVORITE EATS: One of our spots is Scopa in Venice Beach. It’s not on the actual boardwalk because that gets a little creepy and crazy. But it’s a killer Italian spot. Food is amazing and it’s a really cool scene at night. Then attached to it they converted this old warehouse into a small bar where they only allow 22 people. Its got a ‘60s, Cuba-meets-Palm Springs décor. No food is served, and the menu of alcohol is an inch thick. You can get any scotch you could ever dream of. That’s my favorite spot -- my wife’s favorite spot is the restaurant.
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