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Volume 20 No. 46
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What I Like: Elizabeth Lindsey, Wasserman


What I like …


An insight: Just like traditional media, social media has to be evaluated on quality, not quantity. That’s true even for huge athletes and brands with millions of followers. The average percentage of social media followers for a particular organization or individuals who are engaged or interacting is 6 percent.

An influential person in my career: Emma Carrasco, the CMO at National Geographic, who was my manager at Nortel, where I spent 11 years before getting into sports marketing at OnSport. She showed me in a tech world, which was almost as male-dominated as sports, how to be a leader, be respected and still be effective as a woman. Back then, most female leaders felt they had to be the stereotypical bitch-on-wheels. She was not.

Elizabeth Lindsey
Managing partner
, Wasserman

What I Do: Head the marketing division, which includes brands and properties (which includes consulting), events and experiential, our international offices, along with research and insights.
Where I’m From: Roxboro, N.C. (current residence: Chapel Hill).
Where I Went to School: Proud Tar Heel — B.A. in broadcast journalism, master’s in mass communications theory and research.
My First Job: Ran the layaway department at Rose’s, a local department store, during the holidays.

An out-of-the-box idea: Putting together American Express and the USGA. When we did it (2005) it was something the USGA had never done before and it was in the works, in one form or another, for around 10 years. The USGA had to be convinced that commercial partners could help them advance their own cause.

A timeless idea: Honesty. When you Google “negotiation,” the images are all people beating each other up. My favorite deal to do with a partner is the second, because then they know how we work.

A business deal: I’m fascinated by AT&T, DirecTV, and what’s going to happen with Time Warner. It could completely change the way content is created and push us into a mobile-first entertainment world.

The O2 in London
A sports facility: The O2. I am a venue junkie, and it was the venue that was never supposed to happen and it did. Now it’s one of the premier arenas on the planet.

A brand: Microsoft. What they did with Surface tablets on NFL sidelines was legitimately game changing. And I maintain that technology companies are the new endemic sponsors in sports.

An innovation: Mobile payments are an innovation I could not live without.

A pro league or team business initiative: When Cleveland and Veritix first got into paperless ticketing, it was a brilliant answer that people had been looking for forever. It was simple but backed by strong and deep CRM.

An idea or invention I wish I had thought of: Comfortable high-heeled shoes, but no one has invented those yet.

A fantasy job: Movie producer. I love sports from the business side, but my passion is movies.

What I like about …

Sports: I like how much consumers love it. From that perspective, it’s a brand marketer’s dream.

Sports business: It’s all relationship-based, so it should be all about building those.

Sports technology: As long as it makes things better for fans, it’s valuable. Otherwise …

The future of sports business: The passion isn’t going away, even if the way fans consume sports changes.

What I would like to …

See: More diversity in this industry. We’ve done a good job on that here; I’d like to see more of that across sports.

See more of in sports: Diversity.

See more of in sports business: Diversity.

Eliminate: The 75-mile radius rule for marketing teams. It’s been irrelevant for 10 years because of the internet.

What don’t like …

Pet peeve: Lines. There are too many of them at sports venues.

In business: There’s way too much “that’s how it’s been done” thinking.

About sports fans: Back to respecting their passion, except for Duke fans. We can do without them.

Mia Hamm


What I Like …

That would surprise those who know me: I can read tarot cards. Have since I was 13. I don’t necessarily believe in them, but they can be fun in business or at a party.

Heroes: My mother, who taught me how to survive anything.

Players: Michael Jordan and Mia Hamm: both Tar Heels, and both the best ever.

Teams: When I was pregnant, I negotiated with my husband for which teams my (forthcoming) son would be raised on. I actually allowed my husband to turn my son into an N.C. State Wolfpack fan, in exchange for the Atlanta Braves.

City: Domestically, Chapel Hill; overseas, I am a massive fan of Prague.


Memento: I have every concert ticket I ever had — before paperless ticketing.

Music: Jimmy Buffett. More than 50 shows, and it may even be pushing 100. My first date with my husband was a Buffett concert.

Magazines: I read US Weekly for a long time — it actually gave me a lot of marketing ideas. Now I love Real Simple and National Geographic Traveler.

Trips: Italy is my summer family vacation destination this year; we try to get to one new place in the U.S. and internationally every year.

Movies: “Grease.” Watched more than 500 times — I can quote it. Other than that: “Grosse Pointe Blank,” “Pulp Fiction.”

Concerts: The very first concert I bought tickets for was Duran Duran. My mom wouldn’t let me go, so I had to sell them. So when they reunited and toured when I was 30, I made my mom buy me those tickets as a replacement.

Artist: Old school: Matisse. Contemporary: Banksy.

Scent: Anais Anais. Been wearing it since I was 16.

Singer: Outside of Buffett, I am a huge fan of the Avett Brothers, not only because they are from North Carolina.

Quote: I have a Madonna quote in my office that says: “I’m tough, I’m ambitious and I know what I want. If that makes me a bitch, okay.”

Another quote: “I use all the brains I have and any I can borrow,” Woodrow Wilson.