Jon Podany, chief marketing officer, LPGA
Photo by: BRAD BOYD / LPGA
■ An insight: Don’t confuse activity with results.
■ An influential person in my career: My grandfather — showed me at an early age what success could look like; Todd Putman, who helped me make the transition from finance to brand management/marketing at P&G.
■ An out-of-the-box idea: LPGA Founders Cup tournament, where the entire purse went to charity.
■ A timeless idea: Treating people with respect, no matter what level.
■ A business deal: Disney acquisition of ESPN (as part of ABC/Cap Cities).
■ A sports facility: Augusta National, Fenway Park, Cowboys Stadium.
■ A sports event: Anything my daughters play. Michigan-Ohio State football game in the Big House … especially when Michigan was winning.
■ A strategy: IMG’s aggregation of college rights.
■ A hire: Larry Scott by the Pac-12. The new TV/media deal is quite impressive.
■ A brand: Apple. The most recent run under Jobs is one of the greatest streaks any business has ever had (iPod, iPhone, iPad).
■ A trend: Everything mobile … amazing what my kids do on their smartphones.
■ An innovation: HD television. It reinvigorated TV watching, particularly sports. I don’t think 3-D will have the same impact.
■ A pro league or team business initiative: LPGA’s efforts to build back the tournament schedule.
■ A story that bears watching: College conference realignment. Are we going to lose great rivalries (e.g., Oklahoma-Nebraska) and do the smaller schools lose relevance?
■ A fantasy job: NFL quarterback. As a kid, most of my dreams were to play professional sports.
What I Like About …
■ Sports: Anything can happen on any given day.
■ My job: My working relationship with LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan, the variety of the things I touch (sponsors, TV, tournaments, etc.) and the support LPGA players provide to our partners to create special experiences.
■ Sports business: The passion people have for working in sports. People are here because they want to be in sports (and many spent years trying to get into the industry). I couldn’t say that about soap or shampoo.
■ Sports technology: It seems we are in the golden age of technology adding value to the fan experience (HD, giant screens in stadiums, mobile devices, super slo-mo cameras, etc.).
■ Competing: Not just like — I love competing. I always have, particularly in athletic events.
■ The future of sports business: I think sports will continue to be a major part of our society, and will continue to be increasingly global. It’s a great release from life’s challenges.
What I’d Like To …
■ Change: My oldest daughter’s health.
■ Change in what I do: My commute time to work.
■ See more of in sports: The kind of integrity and sportsmanship you see in golf.
■ See different: Fewer commercials in sports programming. I know that helps fund the programming, but it can be very disruptive. That’s why the Masters has always been great TV.
■ Eliminate: Our government’s debt.
What I Don’t Like …
■ In general: People who don’t do what they say they are going to do,
■ In sports: The exorbitant cost to take your family to a game.
■ In business: Bureaucracy.
■ About sports fans: Yelling “you da man,” and recent violence vs. other fans.
What I Like …
■ That would surprise those who know me: I have an artificial hip (wear and tear from many years of sports).
■ Above all else: Faith in God and family.
■ Heroes: Our military personnel who sacrifice their lives for our freedom. In sports: John Wooden, Gordie Howe, Tom Landry, Arnold Palmer.
■ Players: Roger Staubach, Tom Brady, Tim Tebow (three generations of quarterbacks).
■ Teams: Michigan Wolverines, Detroit Tigers, Jacksonville Jaguars (moved to Jax their first year).
■ City: Vancouver.
■ Memento: My grandfather’s scorecard the first time he shot his age.
■ Books: The Bible, “Built to Last,” “Outliers.”
■ Gadgets: IPad (when I can wrestle it from the rest of my family … need another one).
■ Chores: Laundry, cleaning/organizing (I’m a neat freak).
■ Hobbies: Playing golf, working out, coaching Little League, snow skiing.
■ Trips: Scotland for golf, Colorado for skiing.
■ Movies: “Caddyshack” (never gets old), “Remember the Titans.”
■ TV: Golf and football, “Morning Joe” on MSNBC.
■ Artist: Michelangelo (for his significant religious pieces of work).
■ Food: A good filet and anything with Thai spice.
■ Dessert: Crème brûlée (only if creamy with glazed crust).
■ Vacation spots: Jackson Hole, Pebble Beach, Vail.
■ Concerts: Jimmy Buffett at an outdoor concert venue (many good memories in Cincinnati).
■ Car: Porsche (once I pay for three college educations).
■ Aftershave: Gillette.
■ Quote: “The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.” — Vince Lombardi.