What I Like: Jay Parker, Daktronics
Photo by: DAKTRONICS
■ An influential person in my career: Dr. Al Kurtenbach, co-founder of Daktronics. He had the vision, saw the need, and created an industry leader around serving customers.
■ An out-of-the-box idea: Need-based solutions created by Apple with their family of products. Staying connected for business and personal needs via social communications.
■ A sports facility: Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Daktronics’ first indoor “Super System” installation with a uniquely designed center-hung display that has been replicated throughout our industry.
■ A sports event: March Madness captures the country and dominates the sports pages. There are always David vs. Goliath matchups, buzzer-beater games and Cinderella stories.
■ A trend: Information on demand, at our fingertips. Fans want scores, statistics and video on demand. Mobile devices, LED, IPTV and control technologies make that possible.
■ An innovation: Smartphones. The power in the hand-held device is amazing and the future is unlimited.
Xcel Energy Center
■ An idea or invention I wish I had thought of: Performance-enhancing clothing (Under Armour/Nike).
■ A fantasy job: A successful football coach.
What I Like About …
■ Sports: It’s a reflection of real life: hard work, dedication, teamwork, discipline, accountability.
■ Sports technology: The integration of LED video, digital signage, scoring, stats, IPTV and control technologies in a truly integrated system … and the ability to paint or brand an entire facility with the touch of a button.
■ Competing: Makes you wake up and stay motivated.
What I’d Like To …
■ See: The economy getting out of the slump it is in.
■ See more of in sports: Fans getting more access to the athletes and the ability of the family of four to afford attending events on a regular basis.
■ See more of in sports business: Another Olympic Games on U.S. soil.
■ See less of in sports: Tattoos, long hair and trash talking. Athletes are role models for the youth of today and need to set good examples.
■ See less of in sports business: Colleges in the headlines for rules violations. Let’s all play by the rules … no one is above the rules.
■ See different: Purchase decisions based on price alone.
What I Don’t Like …
■ In general: I believe in the Golden Rule, but too many people believe it means “He who has the gold makes the rules.”
■ Pet peeve: Excessive touchdown celebrations. Act like you’ve been there before.
■ In sports: Free agency. I grew up where players stayed with the same team for many years. I miss player and fan loyalty. I like fantasy sports, but where did the loyalty to the team go?
■ In business: Politics. There is too much of it in the world today. It often gets in the way of making sound business decisions.
■ About sports fans: I love team loyalty, but all need to be respectful of visiting teams and their fans. Everyone should have fun at sporting events.
What I Like …
■ About myself: I strive for work-life balance and work hard to juggle the busy business world and still have time for my family.
■ Heroes: Bear Bryant, Bud Grant, Tom Landry: Quality coaches who survived the test of time.
■ Players: Walter Payton, Jerry Rice.
■ Possession: My boat. I love to be on the water on a hot sunny summer day.
■ Books: “Control Your Destiny or Someone Else Will” and “How to Be Like Coach Wooden.”
■ Authors: I follow Jeffrey Gitomer. He writes great selling books and articles.
■ Chores: Yardwork. Nice to get outside and enjoy the day.
■ Hobbies: Boating, watching my children’s events.
■ Trips: Trips with family and friends watching my son play college football.
■ TV: “SportsCenter” and “Suits.”
■ Concerts: Tim McGraw, Garth Brooks.
■ Artist: Terry Redlin.
■ Dessert: Flaming bananas Foster. Wow, if done right, is to die for!
■ Drink: A cold beer, especially at a great game or on a hot summer day.
■ Vacation spots: Hawaii and Huntington Beach, Calif.
■ Cars: Chevy Suburban, the all-purpose machine for living in the upper Midwest.
■ Quote: “Hard work beats talent if talent doesn’t work hard,” and “You can’t expect change if you keep doing the same thing.”