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Volume 20 No. 41
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Greg O’Dell, president and CEO, Events DC


What I Like …


An insight: Teamwork. Hire athletes because you have to work together to achieve a common goal: Win!

An influential person in my career: My dad, because he instilled in me the value of hard work/“put in your time.”

An out-of-the-box idea: Athletes of the Universe competition, where athletes would have to compete in all mainstream sports. LeBron would have to throw a

Nationals Park
football, John Wall would have to hit a baseball …

A timeless idea: Newsprint over pixels.

A business deal: Expansion of Jay-Z’s Roc Nation from the entertainment industry to sports management.

A sports facility: Nats Park.

A strategy: Communication is the key to success.

President and CEO
Events DC

What I do: Events DC owns and operates the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, the historic Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium and the surrounding Festival Grounds, and the non-military functions of the DC Armory. The organization also built and serves as landlord for Nationals Park.

Where I'm from: Hometown: Stone Mountain, Ga. Residence: Washington.

Where I Went to School: Wofford College, B.S. in finance and government.

My First Job: Prudential Real Estate Investment Group.

A hire: Mike Rizzo, general manager of the Washington Nationals.

A brand: Nike.

A sports event: March Madness.

A trend: Greater usage of analytics in sports.

An innovation: Using online catering from seats/enhancing the fan experience.

A story that bears watching: Kobe’s rehab.

An idea or invention I wish I had thought of: Waze, social media GPS.

A fantasy job: Pro golfer.

What I Like about …

My job: Working with the best team in the world.

Sports media: It’s 24/7. You can never shut it off.

Sports technology: Accessibility — multiple platforms to watch sports.

Sports fans: Unbridled passion and emotion.

What I Would Like To …

Change: Free agency.

See: Olympics or World Cup in Washington, D.C.

See more of in sports: Athletes serving as role models.

See more of in sports business: Athletes being more financially responsible.

See less of in sports: Touchdown celebration dances. Act like you’ve been there.

See less of in sports business: Athletes going broke!

See different: Less partisan politics.

Eliminate: Terrorism.

What I Don’t Like …

In general: Traffic.
About sports fans: Violence — when fans go too far.


What I Like …

Above all else: Loyalty.

About myself: Don’t sweat the small stuff.

Heroes: JFK and Muhammad Ali.

Players: Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Tiger Woods and our local studs: Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper.

Teams: Washington Nationals, D.C. United, Wizards, Washington Kastles, and Capitals —

go, D.C.!

City: Barcelona.

Possession: Signed flag by Tiger Woods when he won the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach.

Memento: RFK Stadium seat.

Time of year: Spring — March Madness and Masters.

Music: Jay-Z, Jill Scott, Sting, Michael Franks.

Books: “The Social Animal,” “Delivering Happiness.”

Magazines: Fast Company, ESPN, Men’s Health, Golf Mag, GQ.

Gadget: Nike+ FuelBand.

iPad app: SoundHound.

Chores: Outsource all chores!

Hobbies: Golf, basketball, reading.

Movies: “The Usual Suspects,” “Seven,” “The Matrix.”

TV: ESPN’s “30 for 30.”

Dessert: Anything chocolate.

Drink: Crown Royal and Ginger Ale.

Car: Aston Martin.

Aftershave: Cologne by Tom Ford.

Quote: “Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers, who can cut through argument, debate and doubt, to offer a solution everybody can understand.” Colin Powell.