I love his passion for golf and his unwavering respect for the people in the industry – I am absolutely thrilled to call him my teammate.
The USGA announced today that Jon Podany will join the Association as its new Chief Commercial Officer, starting September 1.
Podany brings to the USGA an extensive background in sports spanning marquee companies such as the PGA Tour, LPGA, Arnold Palmer Enterprises and Procter & Gamble. Podany’s roles as CEO, Chief Commercial Officer and Chief Marketing Officer have touched virtually every aspect of the sports industry.
“Jon is a well-known, well respected difference maker with a track record of making organizations and people better,” said USGA CEO Mike Whan. “His vast experience in the game will be critical as we look to more deeply connect industry stakeholders to an even better future for our game. Jon and I have partnered before, and I love his passion for golf and his unwavering respect for the people in the industry – I am absolutely thrilled to call him my teammate!”
In his new role at the USGA, Podany will oversee corporate partnerships, hospitality, broadcast and digital media, communications, marketing, ticketing and merchandising.
“I am very excited to be returning to the golf industry and reuniting with Mike Whan to build on the success we’ve had together,” said Podany. “I have had a lifelong passion for the game and have been fortunate to have a 25-year career in the industry, which I hope will position me well to champion and advance the game, our people and our partners.”
Most recently, Podany was a partner in two companies within the college sports industry, The Brandr Group (TBG) and CampusLore, focused on maximizing the value of athletes’ names, images and likenesses (NIL), primarily through group rights programs. TBG has the group rights for college with the NFL, NBA and MLB players associations, and recently created a group rights program for current student-athletes and/or alumni at schools including The Ohio State University, the University of North Carolina and the University of Miami.
During Podany’s nearly nine years at the LPGA, where he served as Chief Marketing Officer and then Chief Commercial Officer working with Commissioner Whan, he helped deliver a period of historic growth for the organization with revenues increasing 88 percent during his tenure. Additionally, the number of tournaments grew from 23 to 34 and prize money increased from $40 million to more than $70 million.
For most of Podany’s time at the PGA Tour, he developed new business and sponsorship relationships, including his final five years (2005-2010) where he led the department as Senior Vice President of Business Development and was instrumental in securing partnerships such as the FedEx Cup, title sponsors of tournaments, official marketing partners and media partners. In addition, Podany led the development and launch of various award-winning brand campaigns and marketing platforms, including “These Guys are Good” and “Giving Back: The Heart of the PGA Tour.” As Senior Vice President of Brand Development and Marketing Services from 2003-2005, Podany was twice named by the Sports Business Journal as one of the most prominent young executives in sports, earning their “Forty Under 40 Award.”
Podany, who graduated from Miami University (Ohio) with a degree in finance, began his career at Procter & Gamble where he worked on several iconic brands, including Ivory, Oil of Olay, Safeguard and Pert Plus. He is married and has three daughters.
About the USGA
The USGA is a nonprofit organization that celebrates, serves and advances the game of golf. Founded in 1894, we conduct many of golf’s premier professional and amateur championships, including the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open. With The R&A, we govern the sport via a global set of playing, equipment, handicapping and amateur status rules. The USGA campus in Liberty Corner, New Jersey, is home to the Association’s Research and Test Center, where science and innovation are fueling a healthy and sustainable game for the future. The campus is also home to the USGA Golf Museum, where we honor the game by curating the world’s most comprehensive archive of golf artifacts. To learn more, visit usga.org.