For former Avon exec, it’s the LPGA that’s calling
After 30 years in the consumer products industry, marketing products aimed at women for such companies as Clairol and Avon, Bill Susetka joins the LPGA as chief marketing officer. Susetka feels that he can combine his love of sports with his marketing experience to lead the LPGA in expanding its list of corporate partners and help grow the brand.
New title: Chief marketing officer, LPGA
Previous title: President of global marketing, Avon
First job: Delivering newspapers
College education: Bachelor of science, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (1975); MBA, Columbia University (1990)
Resides: Palm Coast, Fla., with wife Stephanie, children Brian and Julianne
Grew up: Stamford, Conn.
Executive most admired: Bill Gates
Brand most admired: Disney
Favorite vacation spot: Nantucket
Last book read: “The Golf Omnibus” by P.G. Wodehouse
Last movie seen: “Happy Feet”
Favorite movie: “Casablanca”
Favorite music: Anything Motown
What will be the biggest challenge in your new position?
I think the biggest challenge is not about telling our story but having the story heard. By that, I mean getting the story in front of corporate America in a much bigger way than we have in the past. Secondly will be to create additional revenue streams for the LPGA and our members through more sponsors and more licensing and merchandising opportunities.
What is the biggest risk you’ve taken in your career?
Volunteering for an international assignment to live abroad with no guarantee that I would come back to the U.S. While that may have been the biggest risk, it also turned out to be the most important thing because I realized that learning new things is the most important thing you can do and that others find you more valuable when you have much broader experiences.
What is your biggest professional accomplishment?
From a growth side it would have been taking the Herbal Essences brand international and helping grow that brand on a worldwide basis from $0 to about $700 million. Then when I was president of the retail division, I came in at a time when the service levels were at an all-time low, so we revamped the supply chain and went from one of the lower-perceived companies in service to one of the best in the industry.
What career advice do you have for people wanting into the sports industry?
If you’re not willing to buy it (your product) then nobody else will be. In the sports industry you need to be a fan first, and in the consumer industry you have to be a consumer of your product.
This career spotlight is courtesy of the SportsBusiness Journal. CLICK HERE to visit their official website.