What I Like: David Grant, principal, Team Epic
What I Like …
Longtime marketer David Grant continues to be haunted by the Tyree helmet catch.
■ An influential person in my career: Joe Weiss: my first boss and a Holocaust survivor. No such thing as a bad day in the office.
■ An out-of-the-box idea: NASCAR’s move to an American ethanol fuel blend.
■ A timeless idea: Staggering the Summer and Winter Olympic Games.
■ A sports facility: Fenway Park.
■ A sports event: The Olympics.
■ A strategy: Just do great work. Everything else will follow.
■ A hire: The PGA Tour bringing in the next generation of leadership: Ty Votaw, Jay Monahan, David Pillsbury et al.
■ A trend: Dynamic pricing.
■ An innovation: The Hawk-Eye system of line calls in tennis. Instant and enhancing; fans see it the same time the umpire does.
■ A pro league or team business initiative: NHL Winter Classic: an annual meeting place for casual fans that’s more meaningful than an All-Star Game.
■ A story that bears watching: Sponsor reaction (or inaction) to labor uncertainty.
■ An idea or invention I wish I had thought of: EZ Pass. What took so long?
■ A fantasy job: Architect at Vandelay Industries.
What I Like About …
■ My job: Being able to bring others onto the field or to once-in-a-lifetime experiences is truly awesome.
■ Sports: Unscripted.
■ Sports business: My kids think I have a really cool job.
■ Sports media: Never a problem getting the score — anytime, anywhere.
■ Sports technology: Great when it enhances (first-down line, in-car cameras, K-zone), irritating when it’s technology for technology’s sake.
■ Competing: Telling our agency story and showing off our mad skills.
■ The future (or direction of) sports business: Always positive. Fan passion knows no offseason.
■ Sports fans: They don’t question what’s actually in a Monster Dog.
What I Would Like To …
■ Change in what I do: The usual: Eat better, get outside more, sit up straight — all the things my mother said.
■ See: The return of Clear lanes to airport security.
■ See more of in sports: Relegation. The Premier League got that right. If you suck, you get kicked out.
■ See more of in sports business: Agencies getting paid for value, not just time.
■ See less of in sports: Labor disputes. With all the world’s problems, can’t we find a way to play the games?
■ See less of in sports business: “Official Sponsor of XYZ.” Don’t you think sponsors can be more creative?
■ See different: A more affordable day at the game for American families.
What I Don't Like …
■ In general: Lines — in the airport, in traffic or on hold.
■ Pet peeve: The misuse of “literally.” Few people have been literally blown away, and fewer still have literally had their socks knocked off!
■ In sports: Having to leave early to beat the traffic we just spoke about.
■ In business: Over-complicating the challenge. Most of the time, it’s not that hard.
■ About sports fans: Sit down already!
What I Like …
■ People: Some.
■ That would surprise those who know me: I just found out pints of Ben & Jerry’s aren’t supposed to be single serve. Who knew?
■ Above all else: Family. Has anyone ever given a different answer?
■ About myself: I laugh at work every day. The day I don’t, I’m done.
■ Players: Jackie Robinson.
■ Teams: Mt. Kisco Elks (my son’s Little League team).
■ City: Sydney.
■ Possession: The remote.
■ Time of year: Summer. Everyone just chills a bit.
■ Music: Put on Classic Vinyl or Coffee House on SiriusXM and I’m good.
■ Books: My kids’ text books: algebra, global history, living environments.
■ Authors: The guys who wrote the text books. Without them, couldn’t help with homework.
■ Gadgets: My Peter Griffin bottle opener and Homer Simpson pizza cutter.
■ Hobbies: Hiking with my dog, golf, skiing, firing up the Weber grill (another great brand, by the way).
■ Movies: CaddySuperbadGodfatherShrekBueller’sHouse, part deux. Seen it?
■ TV: “Family Guy,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Glee.” Yeah, I said, it. “Glee.”
■ Concerts: Fox Lane High School Guitar Ensemble. Need tickets?
■ Dessert: Yes, please.
■ Drink: Guinness.
■ Vacation spots: Great Barrier Reef. Pebble Beach. Looking forward to Lake Como and Tuscany this summer.
■ Cars: Toyota. By the way, how strong a brand must you be to withstand what they’ve been through? Fantastic.
■ Aftershave: Lucky I shave at all!
■ Singer: My daughter. Want to see a video?
■ Quote: “It is our choices … that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” — Albus Dumbledore, to Harry Potter.