This conversation is with Peter McLoughlin – the president of the Seattle Seahawks.

When most people think of professional franchises, they think of the athletes, coaches, or general managers. I wanted to better understand what goes into running the business of an elite sport franchise and to better understand how someone switches careers after 21 years of success in one industry to another.

Currently, Peter is responsible for all financial and business operations, sales and marketing, sponsorship, and administration of the Seahawks and the business operations for the Portland Trail Blazers.

He also directs the management of CenturyLink Field, CenturyLink Field Event Center and WaMu Theater.

Before moving to Seattle, he served as CEO of the St. Louis Blues Enterprises from 2006-10

For 21 years prior to joining the Blues, McLoughlin served in a variety of executive roles at Anheuser-Busch. From 1998 to 2006, McLoughlin was vice president of corporate media and served as an officer of the company. He negotiated media agreements with television networks that included category exclusivity in 15 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics and dominant presence in MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, NCAA and World Cup soccer telecasts.

He and his wife Kelly have five children.

From this conversation, I hope you learn about the art of setting a vision, risk taking, negotiation and the process of grief and loss.

“For us to be our best we have to communicate … upward, across, and down.”

In This Episode:

  • His deep love for sports guiding his early decisions
  • Attending Harvard and picking up a sports-writing gig at the Harvard Review
  • Having an epiphany at the end of college and then taking action
  • Landing his 1st job in TV production at NBC Sports
  • Why he transitioned from production to media sales
  • Moving to St. Louis to work for Anheuser-Busch
  • Launching Anheuser’s “Busch Media Group” and beginning to develop strong negotiation tactics
  • The value of understanding the desires of each party in negotiation
  • Why trust is everything in the media sales business
  • Coming to realize  he “had to” take a huge leap and leave Budweiser after 21 years
  • Where his best ideas emerge from
  • How he deals with grief

 

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Quotables:

“You don’t get remembered for the deals you lose.”

“I could see where the finish line was before the negotiation started.”

On negotiation: “If you know what both sides think is right going into it, you can get there a lot quicker.”

“The way I get to know people in this business is sitting across the table from them and doing a deal.”

“Negotiation is all about win-win. Both parties have to feel like they got what they wanted fairly.”

“Neither team performance nor the economy can affect how we run the business because you can’t count on that.”

“You’ve got to convince the fans that the value proposition of coming to our games is an entertainment tool, is a fun thing to do regardless of winning or losing.”

“Good things will come to you if you go about things the right way.”

“You can’t get ahead in your career unless the people around you want you to get ahead so that means you have to get along with people and you have to try.”

“I think listening is huge. Listening to what others are saying because they’ll give you all the cues you’ll need in a negotiation.”

 

References:

 

President, CEO at Vulcan Sports |

Peter is responsible for all financial and business operations, sales and marketing, sponsorship, and administration of the Seahawks and the business operations for the Portland Trail Blazers. He also directs the management of CenturyLink Field, CenturyLink Field Event Center and WaMu Theater.