Sports Business Journal's Jon Show tracks down Mike Whan at his home office to find out more about the new LPGA Commish.
Whan, 44, had been working as a consultant based out of a home office since January when he received a call from Spencer Stuart, the recruiting firm leading the search and a company that Whan had a relationship with through earlier job searches.
He went unnoticed by outside observers during the interview process and is not widely known in the sports industry, making “Who is Mike Whan?” the prevailing question as reports came out last week that he would replace Carolyn Bivens.
There were no pictures of him available until hours after the announcement, leading at least one LPGA executive and pockets of industry observers to wonder whether the LPGA was about to name its first Asian commissioner.
Accompanying the story was this sidebard asking "What’s ahead for the LPGA?"
Two bullet points caught my eye:
- Shore up the balance sheet and income statement. Liabilities from the former commissioner, a $5 million unresolved lawsuit, few long-term contracts and shallow reserves have left the LPGA in a sustainable, but precarious situation.
Anyone know what the $5 million unresolved lawsuit is about?
-Move the headquarters, or at least sales and marketing, from Daytona Beach, Fla., to New York City. It’s difficult to court Madison Avenue from 100 International Golf Drive, a lesson successfully learned by NASCAR for the last decade.
Oy...granted, I know Daytona Beach was a bad choice, but would a costly move to New York really help? Besides, since it rains every day in New York, maybe the Madison Avenue set would welcome trips to Daytona Beach?
The piece features little brandspeak from the new Commish, and frankly, he'll have a hard time topping this whopper from today's New York Times, quoting Turner Entertainment Networks head Steve Koonin when talking about his network versus the big boys:
“We’re not slaves to everything except our brand,” Mr. Koonin said. “It’s the only idol we worship.”