What I Like: Andrew Walker, WTA chief marketing officer
What I Like …
■ An insight: Relationships are critical to success. (You can never have enough business friends!)
■ An influential person in my career: Larry Scott.
■ An out-of-the-box idea: An idea doesn’t need to be “out of the box” to be great.
■ A timeless idea: It’s all about the money.
■ A business deal: Island of Manhattan for $24 of beads.
■ A sports facility: Beijing Olympic Park National Tennis Center.
■ A sports event: U.S. Open tennis.
■ A strategy: Be more prepared and work harder than everyone around you.
■ A hire: “Doers,” not “talkers.”
■ A trend: Mobile consumption.
■ An innovation: Cameras in tennis balls.
■ A pro league or team business initiative: Liberal athlete social media policies to drive share of voice.
■ A story that bears watching: Instability in global financial systems; also anything related to Paris Hilton.
■ An invention I wish I had thought of: The Clapper, along with Chia Pet and the Fish Tie, and that knife that can cut through tomatoes and stainless steel.
■ A fantasy job: Commissioner of professional tennis.
What I Like About …
■ My job: Marketing the best female athletes on the planet.
■ Sports: Always unpredictable and usually fun.
■ Sports business: So much opportunity to innovate and create.
■ Sports media: Hard working and underappreciated.
■ Sports technology: Ability to enhance the fan experience.
■ Competing: Brings out your true character, and helps fight obesity.
■ The future of sports business: Convergence with entertainment.
■ Sports fans: Irresistibly optimistic, and strange liking for overprocessed, cheap meat products.
What I Would Like To …
■ Change: Earth’s temperature — slightly cooler so we aren’t all living underwater.
■ Change in what I do: Improve distance on Aerobie throw.
■ See: A talking platypus slapping a stuffed hedgehog with a steaming sack of hot nickels.
■ See more of in sports: Bitter rivalries.
■ See more of in sports business: Sales and marketing collaboration within and across sports.
■ See less of in sports: Canned interviews.
■ See less of in sports business: Splitting the difference.
■ See different: Less email, more old-fashioned talking.
What I Don’t Like ...
■ In general: Successful ventriloquists and their “dolls.”
■ Pet peeve: Broadway show tune whistlers.
■ About sports fans: Megaphone voices.
What I Like …
■ That would surprise those who know me: Yes, I do love rosé wine, even out of season.
■ Above all else: Gold.
■ About myself: My own jokes.
■ Team: New York Knicks.
■ Cities: New York City and London.
■ Possessions: Family photos, and gold.
■ Mementoes: Anything that someone in my family has made I hoard.
■ Music: French rap.
■ Books: Someone reading this column, please send me a good book as I stopped reading years ago.
■ Magazine: The New Yorker.
■ Gadget: Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc.
■ Chore: Washing dishes.
■ Hobby: Drying dishes.
■ Trips: Anywhere in Lithuania, and anywhere in California.
■ TV: “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”
■ Concerts: U2.
■ Artist: Richard Serra.
■ Food: Toro.
■ Drink: Double espresso, thrice daily.
■ Vacation spots: Mayan Riviera and Big Sur.
■ Car: Porsche 911. There is no substitute.
■ Singer: MC Solaar.
■ Quote: “The very purpose of our life is to seek happiness” — Dalai Lama. Words to live by!