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Volume 20 No. 41
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Jim Gerson, president, Speedo USA and Calvin Klein Swimwear


What I Like …

Photo by: Speedo
An insight: Walk in your consumer’s shoes.

An influential person in my career: My father.

An out-of-the-box idea: Facebook.

A timeless idea: The Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

A business deal: VF’s acquisition of The North Face.

A sports facility: AT&T Park in San Francisco and the smell of those garlic fries.

A sports event: World Cup soccer captures the eyes of the world.

President, Speedo USA and Calvin Klein Swimwear

Where I'm from: Hometown: Spokane, Wash. Current residence: San Clemente, Calif.

Where I Went to School: B.S., marketing,
University of Idaho.

My First Job: In high school — Tennis instructor: Spokane Parks and Recreation.

A strategy: TOMS Shoes. Buy a pair; give a pair to a child in need.

A hire: Darryl Sutter: L.A. Kings — Stanley Cup champions.

A brand: Apple.

An innovation: Nike+ FuelBand.

A pro league or business initiative: Branding of the Oregon Ducks.

A story that bears watching: Breaststroke 4 Hope.

L.A. Kings coach Darryl Sutter

An idea or invention I wish I had thought of: iPod.

A fantasy job: Playing in the Wimbledon finals.

What I Like about …

My job: Our opportunity to inspire people to swim and to assist them in reaching/achieving their goals.

Sports: Competition and sportsmanship.

Sports business: The ability to showcase premier athletes doing what they love to do.


Sports media: Their ability to evolve and bring insights to the fans.

Sports technology: Functional design that solves athletes’ challenges.

Competing: Ability to measure your efforts.

Sports fans: Their passion.

What I’d Like To …

Change: L.A. transportation. Too much unproductive time.     

Change in what I do: Spend more time thinking about the next five years.

See: The Olympics, specifically the 400 IM with three of our Team Speedo stars — Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte and Tyler Clary.

See more of in sports: Parity between teams.

See more of in sports business: Leagues providing affordability to the average fan.

See less of in sports: Attitudes of entitlement.

See less of in sports business: Athletes being leveraged for every commercial dollar.

What I Don’t Like …

In general: Focusing on the negative.
Pet peeve: People who treat others as if they were below them.

In sports: My Warriors’ playoff appearances.

In business: Short-term decisions that affect long-term results.

About sports fans: I love the passion of sports fans but believe you should celebrate with respect.


What I Like …
People: We all have our strengths.

That would surprise those who know me: I was very shy as a youth.

Above all else: Treat others with respect.

About myself: Competitive, fair and driven.

Kevin Durant
Players: Earl Monroe (spin move), Michael Jordan (closer), Kevin Durant (humble superstar).

Teams: Golden State Warriors, San Francisco Giants, Seattle Seahawks, anything USA.

Possession: Memories. Experiences have more value than possessions.

Time of year: December — skiing, family, reflection.

Music: Oldies, island music, R&B.

Book: “It’s Your Ship,” by D. Michael Abrashoff. A story about empowerment and leadership.

Gadget: iPad.

IPad app: Speedo Pace Club — a virtual swim coach.

Hobbies: Swimming, biking, skiing, golf, basketball.

Trip: Biking through Europe.

Movie: “Remember the Titans.”

TV: “Modern Family.”

Artist: Jack Johnson.

Alicia Keys
Food: Abalone.

Scent: Lemongrass.

Vacation spots: Bend, Ore., and Kauai.

Cars: BMW 6 series — great lines; Toyota Prius — great leader.

Singers: Alicia Keys, Jack Johnson, IZ (Hawaiian musician Israel Ka’ano’i Kamakawiwo’ole).

Quote: “If you don’t know where you’re going … any road will get you there.” — English Proverb.