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Volume 6 No. 264

People and Pop Culture


Position: Lagardère Sports Exec VP/Golf Events (CareerBuilder Challenge Exec Dir)

Age: 60

Where I call home: Portland, Ore.

Focusing on right now: Our tournament this week. Last year we were the consultant on this tournament and this year we’re the operator. Trying to get everything settled away.

Best advice: You’ve got to be willing to take some risks to make change a positive. At the point of change, there’s a one-time opportunity to improve. You only get one swing. JACK NICKLAUS once said the only thing more important than winning is preparing to win. We believe in that. We’re prepared.

Person I admire: My father was my mentor and best friend, he encouraged me and supported me to get started in this business when I left the PGA Tour in ’85. He encouraged me to stay in golf.

Best book I’ve read: I live by a book called “Selling To VITO (The Very Important Top Officer)” by ANTHONY PARINELLO. I’ve read it 10 times. It talks about how to take care of the customer at the highest level. In our business, we are absolutely quite frankly, concierge, host and hostesses, waiters and waitresses. That’s the business we’re in. You have to be able to sell, and not just sell, but over-deliver to highly successful people. I’m also writing a book called “Pick Up The Phone.” Nothing’s ever happened in business without picking up the phone. Every relationship that we have, everything starts with the phone.

Must-have music: I’m a classic rock guy, all day long. I’m 60, so that’s my ideal. I like some contemporary music, too. I'll listen to bands like the X AMBASSADORS or GAVIN DEGRAW. But I live and die by classic rock. I love HUEY LEWIS, THE EAGLES, JOE WALSH, DOOBIE BROTHERS, THE ROLLING STONES.

First thing in the morning: I get up early, usually by 4:00, and get right to my emails. I’ll make a pot of coffee. I write down what I need to do that day. If I don’t do that, it doesn’t work.

Talking tech: The apps available to us these days make our jobs much easier. We’ve got all of our communication that we do with our sponsors. We used to send envelopes full of paper to them, now it’s all on an app. That’s been a big deal for us, a really nice customer service benefit. We want to communicate highly and effectively and take all the questions away.

Food for thought: I eat really healthy. I’m a big fish guy, we love salmon. We eat out a fair amount on the road, but when we’re at home in Portland we try to eat clean. I like to have a drink or two now and then. I’m a big red wine, Cabernet guy. But we try to eat really well. It’s important. It keeps the energy high and the weight down. This business requires a lot of energy.

How I unwind: Because I played so much competitive golf, it’s very challenging for me to play social golf, I don’t really enjoy it. The reason is because I’m not prepared, and I always want to play well. I love to work out and I’ll go on some pretty long walks up in the hills around Portland. I went on a 10-mile walk this morning here in La Quinta. I also have season tickets to Oregon football.

Day in the life: This tournament has the identical model of the Safeway Open, which we've also operated. We call it our golf festival entertainment model. We eliminated all of the cover charges. We went to one $30 daily ticket, or a four-day, $75 weekly ticket. That ticket includes getting onto the golf course, it includes getting into a green-side hospitality location on 16, 17 and 18. At 4:30pm on Friday right after golf, on the driving range, Lewis is going to do a concert. On Saturday, same thing with the GOO GOO DOLLS. We believe in enhancing the fan experience, which leads to more and more hospitality from a corporate sponsor standpoint.

Copa90 "bolstered its leadership roster" with the appointment of ED TURNER as chief media officer. Arriving with more than 15 years' experience in digital media, including a six-year spell at Engine Group, Turner "will get to work on further boosting commercial interest in Copa90 ahead of this summer's World Cup in Russia." While at Engine Group, Turner served as a managing partner at Deep Focus "before going on to create and lead Engine Media" (THE DRUM, 1/17).

COACHES/MANAGERS: England rugby head coach EDDIE JONES signed a two-year contract extension to stay in the role until '21. The 57-year-old Australian's previous deal ran through the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan. The Rugby Football Union board "also agreed a process for finding Jones' successor," which is "likely to involve" the appointment of a new head coach by the end of the '19-20 season (BBC, 1/17). ... Top14 side Stade Français coach GREG COOPER will "step down" after the team's next game, the club said on Tuesday. The former All Black, who became head coach this season, will be replaced by OLIVIER AZAM and JULIEN DUPUY (REUTERS, 1/16). ... FA of Ireland CEO JOHN DELANEY said that MARTIN O'NEILL "will sign his new contract to extend his stay as Ireland manager next week." O'Neill "agreed to stay on in October," but that deal was a verbal agreement, "which left a void for the manager to freely speak to other clubs" (IRISH INDEPENDENT, 1/17).

CARLOS TEVEZ was the "highest paid player in the world" on a £650,000 ($899,200)-a-week deal at Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenua but labeled his time in China a "holiday." The former ManU striker was "roundly criticised for being overweight and disinterested during his time in the Far East." It seems those criticisms were "well founded," with Tevez admitting he did not take his time in the CSL "seriously" (London DAILY MAIL, 1/16). ... Cricketer BEN STOKES will be available for England's tour of New Zealand in February after the England & Wales Cricket Board ruled he "could play while defending himself against charges of affray." Stokes was charged, along with two other men, as a result of "an incident in Bristol last September." The ECB said that while the all-rounder is defending himself as part of the legal process, it "would not be fair" to continue his suspension from selection (Sydney DAILY TELEGRAPH 1/17). ... EPL side Leicester City Manager CLAUDE PUEL said that he "liked video assistant refereeing" after his team became the first club in English football to "benefit from a VAR decision" in its FA Cup win over Fleetwood. KELECHI IHEANACHO's second goal in a 2-0 victory was "initially disallowed for offside, before being awarded 67 seconds after it hit the net." Puel said, "The time was not so long," but Fleetwood Manager UWE RÖSLER said, "I don't like it" (BBC, 1/16). ... The Chinese government is expected to send HAN ZHENG, "the seventh-highest-ranking Communist Party official," to the PyeongChang Games, according to diplomatic sources on Tuesday (CHOSUN, 1/17). ... Footballer ALEXIS SÁNCHEZ agreed to a four-and-a-half-year contract worth £14M ($19.5M) after tax to join ManU. Sánchez is "now just waiting to find out" if HENRIKH MKHITARYAN "will agree a switch in the other direction to Arsenal, which would trigger his move to Old Trafford" (London TELEGRAPH, 1/17). ... Cyclist CHRIS FROOME "should not race" until the probe into his adverse analytical finding for salbutamol has concluded, according to French rival ROMAIN BARDET. The four-time Tour de France winner denied breaking any rules, saying that he was advised by a Team Sky doctor "to take more than the usual number of puffs of his inhaler" but that he "knew the limits very well and was certain he had never exceeded them" (London TELEGRAPH, 1/16).

RONALDINHO RETIRES: Brazilian int'l RONALDINHO retired from football, "although he has not played a game" since '15. Ronaldinho, 37, was part of the triumphant Brazil 2002 World Cup squad, won the Champions League in '06 with Barcelona and won the Ballon d'Or in '05. His brother and agent, ROBERTO ASSIS, confirmed the retirement on Tuesday and announced "a series of tribute events" (BBC, 1/16).