Kathy: Hi, everybody, it’s Kathy. Today, we’re networking with Becky Newell. Becky holds a leadership position with one of the biggest brands in sports, the Ladies Professional Golf Association. She’s the senior director of tournament business affairs, and she’s running the show for the upcoming international event, the LPGA Solheim Cup in 2021. Becky was also the tournament director of the 2013 Solheim Cup, and the tournament director of IMG. She even spent a few months in China as the director of operations for Octagon Sponsorship Consultancy. In her current role, Becky has the responsibility of overseeing the marketing and management of the LPGA brand, it’s events, it’s sponsors, it’s volunteers, and it’s athletes. She’s a master at developing strategic partnerships, and building brand awareness nationally and internationally. I met Becky when I was monitoring the LPGA Kia Classic Women’s Leadership Panel, and she was there behind the scenes supporting the tournament director, Lindsay Allen. Becky, welcome to the show.
Becky Newell: Good afternoon, Kathy. Glad to be here.
Kathy: Nice to have you. I understand we’re talking to you from Florida.
Becky Newell: Yes, from our LPGA headquarters in Daytona Beach.
Kathy: Wonderful. Well, thank you so much for spending some time with us today.
Becky Newell: Well, thank you for having me. This is gonna be fun. I love this.
Kathy: Becky, I’d like to get started, I gave a little bit of a background. I’d like to have you tell us a little bit more about your professional journey, and your background in the sport’s industry.
Becky Newell: It’s very interesting. My, basically, background, I had a teaching degree. My teaching degree actually led me to the sport’s world, and more importantly golf. A good, good friend of mine, I grew up in northwest Ohio, and a good friend of mine started in a LPGA event in Toledo, Ohio, which is now the Marathon Classic. Like teachers, what we enjoy June, July, and August were always our off times, and so the event actually took place in July. I got a really good feel for the background of what it took to put on a LPGA event. Fast forward, shortly after that, my husband got transferred to Atlanta, and with my time in Toledo, I got to know some folks that were in the operations world of golf. They had an office I’m Marietta, Georgia. Connected with them, and basically that was my big intro to the LPGA gold world, and the fact that I ran a LPGA event for, I believe it was 13 years, which was the Chick-Fil-A Charity Championship hosted by Nancy Lopez. Started out as a volunteer, then moved up to, I was an operations’ director, tournament director, and then basically just continued to grow from that event. Then, move into your little introduction of me that we went to work. We lost the Chick-Fil-A event. Went to work for IMG, Octagon, and then ended up with the LPGA, where I sit now. I was a little bit all over the place. People nicknamed me a squirrel sometimes, because I bolt from one thing to another. That’s my life.
Kathy: That’s really interesting that you started out as a teacher and a volunteer. In an event hosted by Nancy Lopez, no less. That’s a pretty cool start.
Becky Newell: We had lots of pajama parties tournament week with Nancy Lopez during that time in Atlanta.
Kathy: Well, let’s talk a little bit abour marketing. I’d like to hear what you think is the most significant misconception regarding marketing and managing a sport’s event.
Becky Newell: I’ve been thinking about it since you sent me these questions, Kathy, been thinking about them for the last 48 hours. I fell that there’s two things here. I feel like there’s managing a sport’s event, that side of it, putting on the vent. But, then marketing, and I look at the LPGA, and our marketing comes from our players. Our players are our greatest gift. When you look at it, the LPGA was, and I’m gonna go off on a tangent. But, you look at our brand, the LPGA is the longest running women’s professional organization in the world. I separated it from the marketing side, but being our players, but then managing the event. Much like what I’ll do for the Solheim Cup in 2021 in Toledo, Ohio at the Inverness Club. I look at them at two different things.
Kathy: Managing the sport’s event is one thing, and then the players, really, it sounds like, are the marketing arm of these events.
Becky Newell: You’re exactly right. They’re an extension of the LPGA and of our brand. They’re what we look at them as independent contractors. They’re not employed by the LPGA, so they’re basically an extension of us, and so I know we’ll get into talking about social media and things like that throughout. But, yeah, I look at them as an extension of our brand.
Kathy: You’re saying that the LPGA is one of the longest standing sports organizations?
Becky Newell: Yes, at the world. It’s a nonprofit organization, and we were founded in 1950.
Kathy: Wow, that’s incredible. The LPGA is really an iconic brand. How have you seen that change over the years? Can you describe the brand today?
Becky Newell: Yeah, so when you think about the LPGA, I think of four things. We have the LPGA, which I just talked about, that we’re the best in the world, the longest running women’s professional sports organization. Then, we have another, I would look as another extension, we have our teaching and club professionals, which we have approximately 1700 LPGA teaching influencers, influencing over two plus million golfers each year. Then, we have that. We have our LPGA foundation, which is our girls golf sites throughout the country. That’s our LPGA women’s network, and then our LPGA Amateur’s Golf Association. Then, we have our leadership academies that all make up our foundation side. Then, the fourth one is our Symetra Tour, which is basically paving the road to the LPGA. It’s our qualifier, so it sets up our players to be on that big stage of the LPGA. We have about, I would say over 500 Symetra Tour alumni, and about 46 were represented in 2018 on our Symetra Tour. When I think LPGA, I think of those four things, the LPGA, our teaching and club professionals, our foundation, and then our Symetra Tour.
Kathy: Wow, that’s a lot going on in one brand. How is it to present all that to the public? How do you keep all that straight, or keep them all together?
Becky Newell: Right.
Kathy: What’s your course there?
Becky Newell: I look at, where I sit today, I’m in the LPGA’s bucket. Let’s just think of it as four buckets. We have a whole nother teaching and club professional division. We have our foundation division, and then we have our Symetra Tour. Talk a little bit about the Symetra Tour. A gentlemen by the name of Mike Nickles is like the commissioner of that Symetra Tour, as we have Mike Wan, who is our commissioner of the LPGA. Then, leading, Nancy Henderson leads our TNCP division, and then the LPGA foundation. When you look at those four buckets, there’s a leader and then there’s staff that make up all those buckets.
Kathy: You’re overseeing all of those four buckets?
Becky Newell: Oh, no, no, no, no. I sit in the LPGA bucket.
Kathy: The LPGA bucket.
Becky Newell: I currently am in a division of the LPGA, which we call our tournament properties. In our tournament properties bucket … I hate to talk about all these buckets, but in that bucket I sit. Because, the LPGA actually owns and manages five events on the tour. Like you saw, the Kia Classic, where Lindsay Allen is the tournament director. We also have our Founder’s Cup in Phoenix. We have our CME Tour Championship, which is our season ending event, we have the Solheim Cup. Then, where I just came back from Korea, the UL International Crown. Those are five that fall in that properties, and I’m a part of that group. I just moved from tournament business affairs, over to our properties. In tournament business affairs … I know this can all be so confusing. In tournament business affairs, there will be three people that sit. When you look at our schedule of, we had, what 35, 34 events this year. We take those events and divide them up amongst those three people. We’re overseeing that tournament, so all those tournaments. We’re looking at the branding side of it. There’s just boxes that we check from television, to branding, to our logo, to onsite activation, to sponsors, where we’re basically monetizing and working very closely with those tournament owners. Hopefully that makes sense.
Becky Newell: If I had an organizational chart, it would be really easy to show you.
Kathy: Got you. No, it’s amazing what a complicated big organization it is, and all the different things that feed into it. For instance, the foundation, and the teachers, and the influencers. That’s a lot, and the events themselves.
Becky Newell: Right.
Kathy: When we talk about the activation of an event, you’re talking about TV, and logo, and onsite, and dealing with each one of the owners of those tournaments. You’re talking about five tournaments a year.
Becky Newell: Me, just for that properties.
Kathy: The LPGA.
Becky Newell: Properties, but then we’re overseeing.
Becky Newell: We’re there every week with every event of those 34 events.
Becky Newell: Someone from the LPGA will be represented at each one of those events. But, I didn’t want to … I know the question that you posed was, the iconic brand, and how it’s changed over the years. The one thing that I think that’s probably the greatest highlight when you look at why the LPGA, and there’s three things when our commissioner talks with folks, or with potential title sponsors, or current partners is, we look at three different things. We look at our partner approach, our athletes, and then our community impact. One thing is, our partner approach is, we look at role reversal. We’re always looking at our title sponsor. We think about those things that partner’s are looking for. We have created, each week, say for instance, we’ll talk about Kia Classic, all right, since you’ve been to that event.
Becky Newell: We’re leading up to the Kia Classic. The LPGA will work very closely with Lindsay and put together a partner profile. There’s four things that go into that partner profile that we will provide to the players, so when they’re doing a podcast, like we’re doing now, or their social media, they’re tweeting out something. They know what is happening that week, and they know all about the Kia Classic. Here’s what we need to know from you, so there will be a bunch of bullet points, several bullet points about Kia. There maybe, why does Kia support this event, and we’ll bullet out that. Who are some of the people that we need to know about that week? It’ll be key people that you may run into the CEO of Kia Motors in the Pro-am. Then, there’s the last section is, how we post, or the things that we need to say in social media, so that the tournament, whether it’s a handle for Twitter, or it’s Facebook posting, what they can say about our title sponsor. The next one is acting like a founder is, always knowing that our players will deliver an outstanding client experience. Because, they are our greatest gift when we try to sell the LPGA. They’re approachable, our players get it. They’re personable, they engage with our partners. They are our greatest asset. Then, the last part is our community impact, of how we play it forward. The LPGA has, since 2001, has donated over $300 million to local and national charities, based off of all of the events that we play week in and week out.
Kathy: That helps a lot. Thanks for breaking that down. Your approach to each one of these tournaments starts with the partner approach, and making sure that you have the partner profile down. Who are the key people, what are the key bullet points? Then, making sure that your athletes, who are your biggest asset, have all that information, and that they’re engaging at the right level. Then, it’s the community level too, the impact that you’re having there, and making sure that you’re paying it forward, and working within each community that you’re in.
Becky Newell: Correct, yes.
Kathy: That makes a lot of sense. Becky, you mentioned social media, so let’s talk about that. I’d love to hear how social media has impacted your marketing strategies.
Becky Newell: Yeah, and it’s gonna go back, again, to our players. Our players are an extension of the LPGA. Whether you’re looking at Michelle Wie has, I think, 485 thousand follows on Instagram. They are our greatest asset in promoting the tour. We will look at, we’ve started using, and I’m not sure if you’re familiar with it, it’s called Opendorse, O-P-E-N-D-O-R-S-E. We work very closely with our players each week on potentially is it highlights about a sponsor, is it welcoming a new sponsor? We provide them content to help them with their Tweets, or with their posts. Again, I keep saying this over and over, but they’re a branch of the LPGA, they’re an extension of the LPGA. Because, so many of our players like to promote not only what they’re doing inside the ropes, and thanking sponsors, and highlighting sponsors. But, they create sometimes their own handles. Where it maybe something that they’re a foodie, or they really like to exercise, or it’s their travel. It’s just ways to keep our fans engaged just outside the ropes, and not playing professional golf.
Kathy: Yeah, and bet you there that’s one player out there, Cristie, who has a winery. I bet she has a handle there, doesn’t she?
Becky Newell: Oh, yes she does. Oh, yes, Kerr Wines, definitely.
Kathy: Kerr Wines.
Becky Newell: I think that really helps us, and I think that’s … There’s the PGA tour players, and then there’s the LPGA, but I think that’s one thing that our players are so good at, and encourage someone to just follow Lexi Thompson post an event. She’s very good at thanking the sponsors, the volunteers. There was a rain delay, thanks to the golf course staff for making the course, and get it ready for play when there were rain delays, or there was two days of rain. She’s just really good at thanking all those different parts that go into putting on. We go back to talking about managing a sport’s event. She’s just very good at going back to thanking those people that make it happen.
Kathy: It really makes a difference. I have followed Lexi, and she’s fantastic, and boy. When you talk about, not only do they promote the specific tournament, but they also are promoting it via their own personality and their own interest. I know that Lexi is a workout nut. I see her a lot on Instagram and Facebook showing her workout. You mentioned Michelle Wie, and you mentioned Cristie Kerr. Not only are they using social media to advertise the event, but they’re bringing in their personality, and opening up the funnel of communication to people. Therefore, putting the tournament on stage as well.
Becky Newell: Correct, yes, absolutely. They are our greatest asset with our brand.
Kathy: Having been around for a long time now, in this sports industry. What do you think are the best ways for sports brands to breakthrough the clutter? We’ve talked about social media. Are there some other ways that you’re seeing your brand getting noticed?
Becky Newell: It’s gonna go back to our earlier conversation, why the LPGA and the approach. It goes back to our athletes and their approachability. I can’t … I could tell you stories upon stories of where I’ve seen players really make an impact, and it’s really, when you look at paying it forward, it’s what we’re doing for the young kids and getting them out there through our kids golf programs, and so on, to get our kids out there picking up a golf club. Sorry, I shouldn’t say our kids, but young athletes just experiencing the game. But, they are, it’s the approachability. There was one time, I think, it’s a Stacy Lewis story. We were at an event that was in Alabama at the time, and there was a little girl. She was probably seven-years-old. The only thing that she wanted to do was go to a LPGA event for her birthday, so her dad drove two hours to go to the event. They bought a pin flag in the merchandise tent, and then she stood on the first tee, or I can’t remember if it was one or 10, waiting for players to go through so they could sign it. I remember Stacy was coming up, and I said to the little girl, “Who’s your favorite player,” and she was really shy. She said, “Stacy. Stacy’s my favorite player.”
As Stacy was approaching, her caddy was right there, and I mentioned it to him that this little girl, Stacy is her idol and so on. Stacy got up there, and the little girl, I could just see, she was just like, what I do, what do I say? Stacy asked her, “What’s your name? How old are you,” and she said she was spending her birthday there. Stacy asked her, “What are you doing this afternoon,” and the little girl looked at her like, “Just getting autographs.” She goes, “Well, how about spending the day with me?” She hoped in the golf cart with Stacy and spent the entire day. Let me just tell you, it’s a life long friend. To this day, I get letters each year from her dad, that they try to find a LPGA event to attend, and she’s also picked up the game of golf.
Kathy: Wow. Wow, so the brands are getting noticed just really by the accessibility that these athletes have. I think I read somewhere once where the largest group of growing golfers is young ladies, young girls.
Becky Newell: Yep, and I don’t have it. I wish I had some statistics in front of me. But, we look at our girls golf sites we talked about earlier, the LPGA foundation. But, I think we have over 450 girls golf sites, with over 72 thousand girls participating at those sites. It’s definitely, it’s growing. That’s our way of playing it, we call it, play it forward.
Kathy: Play if forward. That a great play on words. It really makes sense to get young athletes involved in the sport, and the best way to do that is through the connection to the athletes.
Becky Newell: Correct. I couldn’t agree more.
Kathy: Talking a little bit more about brands. As a marketer yourself, are there maybe one or two brands that you’re following right now that maybe you can mention to us, and give us some insight on what kind of marketing lessons we might learn from them?
Becky Newell: It’s so funny, I really don’t have another brand. I think about apparel brands, I think about other professional sports brands. If I’m not watching golf, I love the NHL, so I follow the NHL. I don’t really, there’s been little things that I, basically I would say “stole” from them that I’ve seen them do with their sponsors or partners, and try to bring it over to the LPGA. But, really, I just do a lot of reading. The Sports Business Journal is probably one of my favorite. I know we’ll talk a little bit later about that marketing resources, or books, or magazines that you may read. But, I do a lot of that, just looking for ideas, and ways that we could potentially incorporate it, not only into our LPGA properties, but is there something that would work for the LPGA Meijer even up in Grand Rapids, Michigan, or maybe it’s the Walmart event in Arkansas. Just, I try to do a lot of reading, so I really don’t have an allegiance to any particular brand.
Kathy: Is the LPGA pretty open to experimentation when it comes to the tournaments that you’re supervising, and trying something different?
Becky Newell: Yeah, I would say, absolutely. Because, every event, outside of the five that we own and manage, every, whether it’s … Every tournament has their own tournament organizer. Whether the title sponsor owns the event, or it’s an Octagon, or an IMG running the event on behalf of the tournament title. One thing that’s unique, that I really love, that we do every year is, much like the PGA Tour has, but we have season ending meetings. In our season ending event, the CME Tour Championship, we will have what we call our Tournament Owner’s meetings. All tournaments will send some representation from their tournament, and we do round tables. We’ll have guest speakers, we share ideas. What’s happening in the operations world? What’s happening in the marketing world? What did you do with the newsletter, or something new with volunteers? We’re always trying to look at all those facets of putting together that event. What’s on the cutting edge, what have you tried? What’s worked, what hasn’t worked? Maybe it worked in the Michigan market, but it’s surely not gonna work in Southern California. But, it’s great, because I think that networking opportunity and sharing those best practices that you’ve done, are very helpful.
Kathy: That sounds like an invaluable resource. A season ending meeting where you get together all of the Champion Tournament owners. That’s great. What worked, what didn’t work, what’s new? That’s a fantastic way to network, and to share ideas, and to grow together.
Becky Newell: Correct, yes. Our commissioner will come and speak. We’ll hear from all the different, when we talked about the structure of the LPGA, where I really confused you there in the beginning with the foundations, the Symetra Tour, the LPGA. We’ll hear from all of the divisions within the LPGA, and basically it’s a town hall. They’ll get to hear what … We’ll go through and talk about ’18, and do a recap. But, then also we announce our next year’s schedule. Then, anything that’s new and different that we have, that will be coming out.
Kathy: I think that’s great. I think what I’ll have you do too, is follow up and send me an org chart, and then we’ll put it up on our website, so if people really want to-
Becky Newell: Sure.
Kathy: … See what that look like, I think it might help to do that.
Becky Newell: Absolutely.
Kathy: Let’s talk a little bit more about you, Becky.
Becky Newell: Oh, boy.
Kathy: You are a leader in a very big organization, and I’m sure our listeners would like to have you describe your personal brand. Tell us about you.
Becky Newell: That’s another one that I’ve been trying to think about. I’m such a behind the scenes, I don’t like to really toot my horn or anything. I just, when I talk to large groups, I think about some single words that really, I feel that are a part of my brand. My elevator speech. But, I think about being positive, those are some words that come out, communicate, network, motivate, inspire. I’m blessed to be able to do what I do. I like to engage, and either if it’s large groups or it’s one-on-one, the teachable moments. I’m a big communicator, and I know in our world today, where we live with millennials and so on, but form a communication standpoint, still to this day, I try to encourage our young. Whether it’s an intern, or it’s a new staff here at the LPGA, to pick up the phone and talk to people. Don’t always hide behind an email. It’s not really hiding, but people really like to talk and have conversation with them. Communication is really, really high on when I think about my brand. It’s something that I enjoy doing, and I love talking with people. Then, I like to listen. That was a lot. Sorry, Kathy.
Kathy: Not it wasn’t, it was fabulous. I really like the way you broke it down by using words. I think that’s a really easy way to do it, and you gave us a really clear vision of who you are, and really, how you’ve risen to take this leadership role that you’re in right now. Communication was a big part of that, and networking is great. Motivating, inspire, and I really love the fact that you used the word blessed too. Because, I think it’s about looking around and being grateful for what it is that we do have. The one-on-one, face-to-face communication is still very important, I can tell, in your brand.
Becky Newell: There’s really one too, I left out passion. Because, you have to have, and we’ll talk probably about that a little bit later. But, you got to have a passion for what you want to do. I don’t play golf for a living. I like to play golf, but I have a passion for athletes, and I know we keep going back to our athletes. That’s how we’ve built our brand. They’re extension of the LPGA, but that’s who we are. I have a passion for what those women bring to the game of golf.
Kathy: Those athletes, when we talk about the brand, that they do deliver for the LPGA, there really is a ton of passion behind their message.
Becky Newell: Yes, I would agree.
Kathy: They are all very passionate. You just have to follow them, like I said, and their workout, and the things that they’re doing in their personal life. Very, very passionate.
Becky Newell: Yes.
Kathy: Well, as a leader in the front of a large organization, what kind of obstacles and challenges are you addressing this year, and what advice do you have for our listeners?
Becky Newell: I just, I really don’t ever, if it’s an obstacle, it’s a challenge, so I enjoy challenges. I don’t every, I don’t really come across many obstacles. Because, if there is one, I’m gonna figure out how to deal with it, and I can’t really put my finger on any one thing that’s even happened to me in the last, probably, six to eight months. I just always feel that every day is something that’s new. If there’s a challenge, we’re gonna take the challenge and really … I don’t see any obstacles in my life. I just feel like if I do have one, I’m gonna figure it out, and I’m gonna take the bull by the horns and solve it.
Kathy: Well, I think that speaks again, back to your personal brand, in that you have such a positive outlook that obstacles and challenges really aren’t even in your vernacular. Because, it’s just stuff that you got to do, and how are we gonna get it handled?
Becky Newell: Right, and … Actually, I do think of one now. I will think of it. When I was talking about the Chick-Fil-A Charity Championship hosted by Nancy Lopez. We lost our title sponsor there. They moved over to that thing they call SCC/ACC football. They have the Chick-Fil-A Bowl, and it’s not the Peach Bowl anymore. But, they moved over, and they decided to go into football. I remember, I had to make some big decisions in my life, or in my career. Was I going to continue with golf, or was I gonna look for something different, and I did. I was a race director, a US 10K race director in Atlanta for one year. That was something totally different. I enjoy running, I’m a big runner. But, I did something different, but once that race was over, I was ready to get back into golf. But, I did, I found still something to do that was in that, what I would call “the sport’s world.” But, it was fun. It was different, but I guess that was an obstacle in my life.
Kathy: What do you think it was that brought you back to the golf world?
Becky Newell: I missed our athletes. I missed working with them. I just know that, I don’t think there’s very many people, and I can say this for our commissioner that, at night, he doesn’t … I know in some other sports you worry about your athletes. I don’t think he ever worries about our athletes, something coming out in the media, or the press, or something like that. They’re truly special, special, special women.
Kathy: Wow, you really are blessed to be able to be working with such find athletes. Especially, since they’re such a big part of the brand too.
Becky Newell: Yes.
Kathy: Let’s talk about female leadership. I think it’s important for us to talk about, what do we need to do to develop more female leaders like yourself?
Becky Newell: I think, more and more I’ve been seeing, and we’ve been doing this on the LPGA front, and at all of our tournaments, they’ve been hosting different leadership seminars, tournament week. Much like the one you saw at the Kia Classic. If young women, whether they’re starting out, they’re gonna be in sports, or they’re gonna be in marketing, they’re gonna be in sales. But, being able to find someone who we call either, it’s a mentor, or I know sometimes I think the new word is, they call them your sponsor. But, find somebody to latch on, that you feel is in that same path, or in that same bucket of where you’re leading yourself towards. Does that make sense?
Kathy: Yeah, I think the leadership seminars that the LPGA is putting on are tremendous for women. I know it was an eye opener to me when I first went to one, in just what a great networking opportunity that was, and to see really fine examples of women leaders was a gift, I think.
Becky Newell: Yes. There is a woman who, actually, she used to sit on our board for the LPGA. Her name is Roberta Bowman.
Kathy: I saw here, yes.
Becky Newell: She is probably … Every time, I wish I could talk to her every single day. But, she’s a former LPGA board member. She came from Duke Energy, but she has helped me a lot with different leadership … When tournaments have called us and said, “I want to hold a leadership for women. A women’s leadership. Some type of seminar during tournament week, what’s the message? What should our message be, or who should we put on the panel.” She been very instrumental in helping us get a group of women together. Whether it’s in Toledo, Ohio, or it’s in, I keep going back to Grand Rapids, Michigan. I guess I love to go there. But, putting that, what’s the messaging gonna be, and then how do you set up your panel, but then how do you sell it to the people who are gonna come buy tables? She’s very good at pulling all of that together. I look at her as, she’s definitely one of my idols.
Kathy: Well, and I think that speaks to, how do we develop more leadership, and you’re just talking about a really great helping hand that you’re getting from another female leader. You have somebody to network with, to turn to. She’ll give you advice freely, and help you develop the leadership trail.
Becky Newell: Correct, yes.
Kathy: That’s fantastic, and she is wonderful. She is, I think she was the moderator the year that I went, and she did a really great job. Again, it’s like, wow, what a great example of a female leader she set up on the stage.
Becky Newell: She just wants to elevate. We go back to talking about your brand. She wants to help you elevate your brand. She’s a great mentor. She’s just extremely positive, and she always has vision. That’s what I like about it, she always has vision.
Kathy: Well, let’s talk a little bit about mentorship. You mentioned the word sponsor, and one of the things that I understand about the difference between … A mentor is someone that you’re following. They may or may not know that you’re following them. A sponsor is somebody that is really an advocate for you.
Becky Newell: Correct.
Kathy: They try to make sure that you’re advancing in your career, and they have the power to do that. Let’s talk a little bit about mentorship. Is there something that you’ve learned from mentoring that you can share with us?
Becky Newell: When I went through college, they did not have a sports management program yet at Bowling Green State University. Now, they do, and it’s via the education department. It wasn’t until, I think, someone saw something that I was the tournament director for the 2013 Solheim Cup, and reached out to me. Ever since then, now I go back to Bowling Green and I’ve spoke at several of their sports management classes. Just about what I do as a leaders, or someone who actually didn’t, how I took the education background that I had and developed it into sports management, and how that’s unfolded. But, I think last year, from a mentoring side, I pass out my business card, and I really, I tell these kids, if you need someone to talk to, or a direction to take, please reach out to me. I think I was talking to 14 or 15 different kids, but I like to find a way to give back, and that’s what I’ve been doing for the last, probably three years is, I go back to the college in January and February, and they find ways to plug me into different courses.
Kathy: Well, that’s great. Becoming a mentor yourself, and putting yourself out there as available, that’s wonderful. You’re passing out your business card to these kids.
Becky Newell: I just feel, I wish I would have had something like this when I was going through college. Just someone to lean on. It’s as simple as, how can I tweak my resume, or what’s the best way to reach out to Nike? I would really like to work with them, or is it the NHL, or is it the LPGA? How can you help me blaze that trail for me?
Kathy: That’s wonderful, and thank you for sharing this advice with us today. Because, I find that what I hear from people, young students that might listen to our podcast. They say that kind of a thing to me. They say, “Wow, it’s so interesting to hear somebody talk about being in marketing and business, and how they did it, and I really learned a ton just from listening to them.” It’s amazing the wisdom that we all have to share.
Becky Newell: I just feel like it’s those teachable moments, again. Where, if you have an opportunity to demonstrate the things that you’re … Whether it’s something that you’re working on, but then it might be the same parallel path that they may like to take, that you’ve already experienced, and maybe they’ll learn from the positives and the negatives of that experience.
Kathy: Well, let’s talk about a daily habit or two. Do you have something that you can share with us that contributes to your success? Something that you do that we can learn from?
Becky Newell: I love to exercise in the morning, and I feel like if I don’t, whether it’s 30 minutes, 45 minutes, or an hour, I just have to do something like that in the morning. I just gets my brain thinking. I can be on the treadmill at the gym, and I’m already going through these ideas of some things that I might want to do that morning. But, it definitely, it just makes me much more fresh in the morning. I don’t have certain diets that I do, or food. Sorry, I’m not a big … I just like to eat. But, I really do, it’s the exercise of it that gets me started in the morning.
Kathy: Great advice. Is there any other advice that you have for women that want to get into sports marketing, and become a leader in an organization such as yours?
Becky Newell: I feel like it’s got to, and I’m gonna go back to that one word, passion. You have to have a passion for something to really want to dive into it. Like I said earlier, I don’t … I play golf, I’m not a professional athlete, nor I have never been a professional athlete. But, I have that passion for the LPGA and our female athletes. It’s, I just feel like you’ve got to find something that interests you. There’s so many times where I have, so many of my close friends will say, “Uh, I got to go to work tomorrow,” or I have to go and do this, and it feels like it’s such a burden on them. I just look at every day for me here at the LPGA, whether I’m in Korea, or I’m in Japan, or I’m in Carlsbad, California, that every day is different, and I’m inspired by that. I enjoy that. I love that every day is different, and it’s exciting to me.
Kathy: It seems like you’re inspired by the challenge, and maybe some of those people you’re talking to aren’t really inspired by a challenge. It’s more of a drudgery. But, it sounds to me like, you look forward to solving the problems, and the challenges, and you’re so passionate about that, and the people you work with are too, it sounds like.
Becky Newell: Absolutely. Absolutely, and I fell like too, it’s I think sometimes people may just have to just checkout. Just, they’ve got to go find what really is gonna move the needle for them. You may have to leave a place, because it’s no longer challenging. It’s just become just a 9:00 to 5:00 job.
Kathy: Good advice. Do you have any advice, any marketing resources, books, or podcasts or anything that you would recommend?
Becky Newell: Yeah, I talked a little bit earlier about the Sports Business Journal, because I think that you see, whether it’s the NFL, it’s the NHL, it’s major league baseball, there’s just so many things that, from the marketing side of it to ticketing. I’m just trying to think, they’re doing a lot of research on ticket sites lately and what really drives people to purchase tickets online. But, I think the SBJ is probably one of my favorite magazines. A couple of books that I’ve really, I’m just looking at them here on my desk, but The Speed of Trust by Stephen Covey, that was probably one of my favorites. Strength Finders is always a really good one. Then, the one that I think we must have read this book as part of the LPGA in probably one of our year end things was, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. It was a leadership fable, but it’s quite interesting.
Kathy: The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, huh.
Becky Newell: Hilarious, you got to read it.
Kathy: Any of those you could share with us? Do you remember any of them?
Becky Newell: I can’t, I knew you were gonna ask me that, Kathy. I can’t remember any of them.
Kathy: Sorry. We’ll find out and we’ll post that online.
Becky Newell: It’s a leadership fable, basically.
Kathy: Strength Finders, do you remember which strengths are yours?
Becky Newell: Yeah, I do. Probably the positive side, the mentoring, passion, going back to some of those one words that we talked about earlier. Then, I value folks, and that I’m a team player. You don’t, you very rarely hear the word I, it’s always we.
Kathy: Well, Becky, thank you so much for your time today. It was fascinating learning the ins and outs of the LPGA and the whole organization. We appreciate so much your time.
Becky Newell: Well, thank you Kathy, I enjoyed it. This was fun, and it’s my first podcast. Woo-hoo.
Kathy: All right everybody, we hope you enjoyed our show today, and got some really juicy insights into sports events and athletic marketing. If you’re interested in learning more about Becky or the upcoming Solheim Cup, or the LPGA, visit the ShowRunnerMarketingPodcasting.com to learn more. Leave a question on our podcast page, and checkout our video highlights from this show. Show Runner Marketing Podcast is brought to you by Advanced Marketing Strategies. At Advanced Marketing Strategies, we pride ourself on staying up with the latest trends, innovations, and creative marketing techniques that help businesses of all sizes thrive. You can find all the Show Runner Marketing Podcast snippets and more, and creative tips on Advanced Marketing Strategies Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Feel free to reach out to us with any questions or comments. Thanks, guys.