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EP.3 Show Runner – Lindsay Allen

EP.3 Show Runner – Lindsay Allen

•Sport Marketing – The LPGA•

Lindsay works on several LPGA tournaments each year including the Kia Classic in San Diego California. Her duties Include developing advertising & marketing campaigns, creating unique sales opportunities, and managing sponsor fulfillment programs.

Lindsay also coordinates the LPGA Kia Classic’s annual Women’s Leadership Day event, that I have attended and which in part inspired me to want to network with women in marketing and develop this podcast.

Lindsay Allen, Tournament Director for the Ladies Professional Golf Association

Lessons you will learn from this podcast:

  • How to succeed in Sports marketing
  • Why the newest marketing innovation may not be right for your core audience
  • How to overcome the challenges of event marketing
  • How the LPGA uses Instagram stories to reach a broader audience
  • An easy to incorporate daily habit for continued learning
  • What stand-out trait Lindsay believes the most memorable people in marketing have in common
  • Mentoring and learning how to deal with stressful situations
  • What professional golf, global marketing, and the Olympics have in common

Listen to Next episode

Kathy:  OK welcome to Show Runners.  Today my guest is Lindsay Allen.  She’s the assistant tournament director for the LPGA KIA classic here in San Diego. Lindsay, welcome.

Lindsay:  Thank you for having me Kathy!

Kathy:  Yes.  So, Lindsay the L.P.G.A is one of the primary brands in sports and you’ve been with the L.P.G.A. and the Kia Classic for a few years now.  How many years?

Lindsay:  About six to seven years now… it’s been awhile.

Kathy:  Wow that’s a long time! Well give us a little bit of your background and how you got started in marketing and how you ended up at the L.P.G.A.?

Lindsay:  I’ve always had a passion for sports and that led me into be a sports marketing major at the University of Oregon. Through different programs at a school I met an alumn there.  His name is Peter Jacobson.  He was a professional golfer and now he has his own management company. He’s an announcer on N.B.C. But I started interning for him in college and they ran a Champions Tour event in Oregon at the time. I worked for him after college and you know living in Portland just wasn’t for me.  I couldn’t handle the rain, and then the opportunity came up for the L. P.G.A.  down in Southern California.  So, I jumped on it and seven years later here I am.

Kathy:  Wow that’s great!  So, sports marketing… that’s what you majored in?

Lindsay:  Yes.

Kathy:  Well that’s fantastic and you know a lot of people major, but they don’t really get that job that they’re majoring for, so that’s pretty amazing.

Lindsay:  Yeah and what I really liked about it was just studying general business, but really with some context, and context that I was passionate about.

Kathy:  Excellent.  So, tell us a little bit about the role that marketing plays in your tournaments.

Lindsay:  It’s very vital just to the success of tournaments how we attract spectators there and that’s ultimately what we judge the success of the tournament on.

Kathy:  Well that’s interesting as well.  One of my questions was how do you measure your success?

Lindsay:  I think event marketing is kind of unique in that aspect. We do have this end goal that we compare year after year. and that’s spectators. If we see a jump in spectators one year, we kind of look back at what we did and try to repeat it.

Kathy:  Excellent.  Were there any unique challenges that you face marketing professional female sport like the L.P.G.A?

Lindsay:  I think in general for any kind of golf tournament it only happens once a year. So really the hard part is reeducating these people, reminding them that it’s coming back.  But more with the L.P.G.A. it’s really kind of education. So, through our marketing, we must really show what we’re all about. We must introduce them to the athletes, and what we really offer and bring to the table.

Kathy:  So how does introducing them to the athletes get them involved in that sport?

Lindsay:  Well we think that the athletes are our biggest asset, so we really try to show that off. There is a ton of different personalities, I think we have over thirty-three different countries represented on the LPGA tour right now, so we really try to just take advantage of that and let them show everyone what the tour is all about.

Kathy:  That’s great!  What do you see as the biggest misconception regarding marketing?

Lindsay:  I think it’s that you must do the newest and the greatest.  I think it is important to embrace change and try new things, but I think a lot of times people forget about their core audience. For us we really must keep our core demographic, but still trying to do some new things.

Kathy:  Yeah that’s true you know you’ve got to stay focused on the core when you know dance with who bring you’re right.

Lindsay:  Exactly.

Kathy:  Tell me about the role of branding.  What’s branding like for your tournaments?

Lindsay:  For us it’s really our reputation. It’s what is put out into the marketplace, what spectators are maybe thinking about when they’re considering coming to our tournaments or even goes into sales. If you’re trying to sell a tournament with a great reputation it makes a lot easier, so it’s very important to us.

Kathy:  So, reputation is really the role of branding.  How do you maintain that kind of reputation?

Lindsay:  I think you just must keep it out there and keep it top of mind for people. Something about the event that’s hard to do because once again, it’s once a year.

Kathy:  Right.

Lindsay:  If you keep reminding them, keep reintroducing them to it, maybe different kind of aspects of that. Whether it’s one player that has one kind of brand that they put out representing in the tour or a different event has a little different spin on it.  You just really try to keep it top of mind.

Kathy:  So, the players brand and the tournaments brand… there’s a lot of different brands going on there.

Lindsay:  Right, and they’re all good which is amazing to see, and I think they kind of all balance each other at the same time.

Kathy:  Lindsey describe for us your personal brand.

Lindsay:  I like to think that my personal brand is well rounded.  I have a lot of different interests that I try to share with people, and I also do a lot of different things within my job. I hope that people notice that whether it is marketing which is a big part of what I do or sales or managing budget or P.R. I just would like to be known for wearing many different hats and I hope that’s what people see.

Kathy:  Well that’s a great brand wearing many hats!  It sounds like there’s a lot of different things that you must do in order to pull together a tournament.

Lindsay:  Absolutely, but that kind of makes it fun.

Kathy:  What do you think the best way for brands to get noticed is today?

Lindsay:  I really think it’s unique content.  Creating something new, something that stands out, something that maybe you know for instance on the LPGA shows a different side of the players, and some personality. People can really relate to that.

Kathy:  Well that’s great because getting noticed is hard, so it’s the uniqueness basically bringing that out.

Lindsay:  Yeah absolutely.

Kathy:  Can you tell us a little bit maybe about a time in your professional career that you had to overcome an obstacle and how you did it?

Lindsay:  What I think of is not a specific time, but something that we’re always trying to combat is stereotypes.  So, whether it’s stereotypes about athletes or tournaments or just reputations, it’s really trying to break those. And we do that by really trying to introduce people to the sport or to the athletes.  Then once they’re beyond that, then they can embrace that, and normally they’re fans for life.

Kathy:  Oh wow, so you turn stereotypes into fans for life?

Lindsay:  Hopefully. That’s the plan!

Kathy:  Do you have a daily habit or two that you can share with us that contributes to your success?

Lindsay:  So… I’m a little bit addicted to Twitter. So, kind of my morning routine is once I get to the office have some coffee get on Twitter and I really like to just see what’s going on.  Not only in the sports world but in the marketing sales sports business world.  It really helps me keep track, get some new ideas, and be introduced to some new things.

Kathy:  That’s great, so you’re staying up to date every day on Twitter?

Lindsay:  Yeah.

Kathy:  Any other social media that you find contributes to any of that information?

Lindsay:  I don’t know if it contributes, but maybe I take some of my time on Instagram stories.  I think that’s cool recently, and I think it’s more accessible than Snap Chat.  It really shows some unique sides of people.

Kathy:  Yeah, the Instagram stories are great.  I mean, that’s a great innovation. Speaking of innovations, what is your favorite marketing innovation and how are you using it?

Lindsay:  Oh man, can I say Instagram stories again? It’s something at the LPGA that we’ve been focused on. We do a lot of player takeovers of our handles. It really tries to reach a broader audience with not only the people that follow them, but people that follow LPGA, and to show them a different side of the players.  Which I think is so fascinating when you have so many different cultures all on one tour to get a glimpse into their world, and how it’s so different from player to player.

Kathy:  Can you take us a little bit deeper in that you said player takeover of your handles…can you explain that?

Lindsay:  Yeah, so for instance one of our players Danielle Kang, she won the women’s championship this year.  She’s from L.A.  She’s a ball of fire! She’s a lot of fun, but what she would do is just post stories all day on some of our handles. It will go through her workout routine, what she likes to do… you know after she plays golf, how she practices, what other player she hangs out with, how she picks out her outfits for the day… just really fun insights into her day.

Kathy:  That’s great. Tell us about mentoring.  Is there someone that mentored you or a mentor that taught you a good lesson? Or are you involved in mentoring right now?

Lindsay:  Kind of both aspects.  I have had a few great mentors, and I’ve been lucky to work with a lot of different people who have taught me a lot through doing multiple tournaments. Mainly the thing I’ve learned from them is how to handle situations. A lot of times they all must be handled differently or for different kinds of people, and just really know how to juggle and deal with that.  So, as I’m starting to mentor other people now, it’s something that I kind of keep top of mind – how I’m going to show them how to deal with situations and really take that into their career.

Kathy:  That’s a great one, dealing with stressful situations. Kind of along that same line – do you have any advice for women out there that want to get into marketing?

Lindsay:  Something that I think is special is if you could be memorable. Being in the sports and events world the most memorable people that I’ve met are passionate. You don’t have to be passionate about sports necessarily, but that’s really something if someone met you and they’re like, “oh Kathy I know how passionate you are about golf.” That’s something that would stick with me. I would remember that about you and that’s something I would take with me.

Kathy:  Well that’s great… so being memorable and passionate?

Lindsay:  Yeah.

Kathy:  And that’s a good way to make it in marketing.

Lindsay:  I think so. And it makes it a little bit more fun.

Kathy:  Yeah, I think so too.  Those are two great things.  Do you have any marketing resources? Any books or pod casts or anything like that, that you could recommend to our listeners?

Lindsay:  Something that I read every week is the business journal, the Sports Business Journal. I find it very interesting because I’m always curious about the business side of sports. It really has a lot of in depth articles about different leagues, different kind of mediums in sports, and how they’re trying to evolve.

Kathy:  Well that’s excellent … The Business Journal is a great place. Do that online or?

Lindsay:  Both. Delivered to my office and online.

Kathy:  So, you’re still touching the paper?

Lindsay:  Yeah and it’s a great way of kind of keeping tabs on people. It’s a pretty small world, the sports and events world – so you can kind of see where people are going, and you know the ideas that they have.

Kathy:  Is that just about American sports, right?

Lindsay:  Mainly, but it is focused kind of global as well. So, something that I’m passionate about, speaking of passions, is the Olympics.  There is a ton of Olympic coverage, the background of sponsorship on the Olympics, and all the nitty gritty.

Kathy:  Excellent.  Great!  Well thanks for sharing that with us.

Lindsay:  Yeah, thank you Kathy!

Kathy:  We’ll talk to you later.

Lindsay:  OK

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