Ep 290: How Personal Branding is Changing the Sports Game with Mollie Marcoux Samaan



Sometimes building a personal brand is easier to do when you’re doing it for a cause that’s bigger than yourself.

Our guest today, Mollie Marcoux Samaan, Commissioner of the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA), is on a mission to do just that.

She is a fierce admirer of the women who form a part of her organization and firmly believes that more people should know about their stories as well as their incredible accomplishments.

In our conversation, we discuss Mollie’s storied career in sports, how she came to work for the LPGA, and how she hopes to contribute to the organization.

We delve into the changing role of personal branding in sports, and how an individual’s brand can elevate their organization.

Mollie breaks down some of the changes she’d like to see in the golfing world, including equal pay for women, and broader access to a sport that can be prohibitively expensive for many people.

We also talk about the importance of being a team player, no matter the size of your role, and how we form a part of many teams in our lifetime, whether it’s at work or at home.

To learn more about personal branding in sports, and much more, make sure you tune in today!


  • Get to know today’s guest, Mollie Marcoux Samaan, Commissioner of the LPGA.
  • How personal branding in sports affects women’s success and income.
  • Some of the LPGA’s incredible accomplishments.
  • How the personal brand of players is also elevating the LPGA brand.
  • What players can do to make themselves more well known.
  • How players tend to relate to personal branding.
  • Some of the resistance players feel towards personal branding.
  • Why the LPGA is committed to supporting players in elevating their personal brand.
  • How learning about incredible players can lead to loving the sport that they play.
  • Some of the ways that sports can build community and connection.
  • What Mollie hopes the LPGA will achieve in the next ten years.
  • The importance of investing in your current work, rather than furthering your career.
  • The many teams we are a part of in our lives, like work, family, and sports.


“People are seeing that these are amazing role models. And they can hitch their corporate values, or their corporate identity to these remarkable women who are not only being very successful on their own but inspiring that next generation of young girls to say ‘I can do this’” — @mmarcoux91 [0:08:59]

“I think the LPGA doesn’t get as much credit as it should. We’ve been around 71 years we’ve had amazing women for longer than any other really women’s professional sport. We’ve done it kind of on our own.” — @mmarcoux91 [0:09:40]

“The way they handle the successes and the failures, and the ups and the downs, and they stay with it. And they continue to focus on the process. It’s very inspirational. And it’s hard to get stressed about the things that you have to do in life when you see how they’re handling disappointment and public disappointment.” — @mmarcoux91 [0:14:14]

“If you think about sports, why do people love their hometown team? Why do people love their college team? It’s because it builds community and you’re a part of something bigger than yourself and there’s a personal connection to that team.” — @mmarcoux91 [0:24:45]

“Whatever my role is, my job is to make that team better. Whether I’m the star player, or on, you know, sitting at the end of the bench, everybody on that team contributes to the overall success.” — @mmarcoux91 [0:34:49]

About Mollie Marcoux Samaan

Mollie Marcoux Samaan is the ninth commissioner of the LPGA. Marcoux Samaan assumed the leadership role at the LPGA on May 25th, 2021. As a values-centered leader, she’s known for her skills in collaboration, managing through complexity and building a winning team culture. In every role, she’s had an outstanding record of performance in navigating change, forging lasting partnerships, and seeing – and seizing – new opportunities.


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Speaker 1 (00:07): Hey brand builder, Rory Vaden here. Thank you so much for taking the time to check out this interview as always it’s our honor to provide it to you for free and wanted to let you know the there’s no big sales pitch or anything coming at the end. However, if you are someone who is looking to build and monetize your personal brand, we would love to talk to you and get to know you a little bit and hear about some of your dreams and visions and share with you a little bit about what we’re up to to see if we might be a fit. So if you’re interested in a free strategy call with someone from Martin team, we would love to hear from you. You can do that at brand builders, group.com/pod call brand builders, group.com/pod call. We hope to talk to you soon. AJV (00:53): Hey, everybody. Welcome back to another episode of the influential personal brand. This is AJ Vaden. I am one of your co-host here at the CEO of brand builders group, but more importantly today I get to be the interviewer of a very special guest. And I’m so excited to introduce you guys to Molly MoCo Simon. And before I formally introduce her to you guys and let her share some of her brilliance and excellence, I, I have a formal bias, but I’m gonna read just some highlights out up. And if you guys listen to this often, you know, this is not something I typically do, but when I was reading through Molly’s bio, I was like, holy Nikes. I’ve gotta read some of this. So there’s some like, really amazing stuff in here. So currently Molly is the commissioner of the L PGA. AJV (01:44): And we’re gonna talk a little bit about how she got there and what does this all have to do with personal branding, but I’m gonna give you just a, a tiny bit of the back story of how she got to hear, and then I’m gonna let her share that as well, but she is a Princeton graduate and not just that, but a two sport varsity athlete, which I do not think is easy. I am not that skilled in the realm of athletics, but you were also named to the collegiate women’s ice hockey team of the decade, which is, I think is amazing. You were also you were also announced sportswoman of the year while you were there. You have then like you went on to had a more decade long career of a ver variety of different positions in the collegiate world, but then you came back to Princeton as the university’s family director of, of athletics. AJV (02:36): You did that for another, almost a decade, and it’s like, I could go on and on, but this is like, when I was reading your bio, I was like, oh my, my gosh, like you are truly an individual who has dedicated their entire life to sports and not just sports, but the discipline and the just work ethic that it takes to be that excellent at any one thing. And it wasn’t just one thing for you. It was so many different things. And so I’m amazed, like genuinely I was reading this time. I was like, I had no idea of all these things because you’re also really humble. And you don’t talk about any of that. So I gotta wanna introduce you so formally welcome to the show. MMS (03:19): Well, thanks AJ that was quite an intro, like, you know, bring you on the road with me as my best secretary. That was really nice. But again, the, the, the decade was the eighties, so it was a little different decade than today. So anyway, it was really fun and my joy and pleasure and life to be able to participate in two sports at Princeton and to play sports my whole life and have that opportunity. And yes, my, my whole life has been largely about sports. So you know, really grateful your shirt says grateful, which we just were talking about. And I try to be grateful every day in, in everything that I get to do. AJV (03:51): Oh my gosh. I just, I think that your accomplishments are incredible and now you’re leading an entire generation of female athlete in the, you know, field of golf. And I just, I find this too fascinating. And so I’m, I want everyone to know, it’s like, you heard a little bit about your background, but why the commissioner, why the LPGA tour? MMS (04:11): Yeah, absolutely. I mean, listen, I’ve had the pleasure, as I said, I’ve always had great jobs. I think when I, I always tell the story when I was graduating from college, my friends and I also sat around and we said, well, what, what would we like to be doing in five years? What would we like to be doing in 10 years, 15 years. And at every step of the way, I just put, you know, a really cool job in sports, a really cool job in sports, you know, at every, at every juncture, I, I knew that’s what I wanted to do. And I’ve had the great pleasure to have really cool jobs in sports, kind of in all parts of sports I worked in, right when I graduated, I did some stuff at a, at a boarding school and coached and worked in athletic administration. MMS (04:44): And then I worked for Chelsea Pierce, which is a big sports and entertainment complex in Manhattan and in Connecticut for almost 19 years. So really saw the amateur side of things and running big businesses and kind of working with athletes young and old at every level. And then having this really unique opportunity to go to prince. And obviously my Alma mater that I love and you know, really committed to the mission of education through athletics. That really is the cornerstone of the program there in the Ivy league, but also just at Princeton more broadly. And I was really, you know, going about my business really en enjoying the job despite the fact that it was COVID and those presented some, you know, that presented some really interesting challenges, but I got a full own call from someone saying, Hey, this is a, this is an opportunity that’s out there to be the L PGA commissioner. MMS (05:27): And you know, again, I, I love my job at Princeton, but this was a once in a lifetime opportunity to really in my mind impact sports, but really in particular impact women’s sports. I, I love golf. I’ve played golf my whole life and have Studi golf and think it’s a really unique sport, but mostly, you know, coming to at this at the way of like, this is a moment in time for women and women in sports that I think can really change not only sports, but change kind of the world and how people look at women and the talents that they have and the opportunities that exist in, in this world. So I, I you know, jumped at this chance and obviously convinced my family to make a pretty big move, to come down from New Jersey to Florida, which is a, you know, a big move for, for kids particularly, and my husband. So again, that, that grateful theme will, will run through everything I said and have this to live, to live my dreams, but hopefully more importantly to impact you know, the world of sports and impact specifically our, our women who play golf and also just young girls who play golf around the world. AJV (06:28): Oh, I love that. I love what you’re doing too. And for, for those of you listening, it’s Molly and I had the opportunity to meet because she, you heard me on another podcast, another Molly, a different Molly Molly Fletcher on the game changers podcast. And we got to connect and we’ve had a few pop conversations. And one of the things that is one of my passions, one of my goals for this year is to really break in to the world of professional sports when it comes to personal branding. Because I know rather during your tenure, as a professional athlete or post the impact of your personal brand, how many people know about you, like while you’re actually in the endeavor of your profession, it’s like, that has a lot to do with your income, right? Those are your brand deals, sponsorships negotiating pay raises because you bring the crowd with you, but then equally as important, if not more after, as you venture into, you know, your next endeavors post athletics. AJV (07:30): And so I’m curious with you this, this idea, this concept of personal branding, and I know, and everyone else knows, and this is no secret. It’s like female athletes make less than their ma than their counterpart male athletes. Like that’s no secret. We’re not like a whistleblowers here. That’s, that’s just, that’s a known fact. Right. So I’m curious, like, when you think about the world of sports and you think about women role in that, how much does a player’s personal brand matter when it comes to them being successful in terms of income and success and all of that? MMS (08:11): Yeah, I mean, I think it’s, it’s absolutely critical. And I I’ve said this often, you know, when I was evaluating whether to jump into this position, I, I asked my kids, you know, to name five women on the LPGA and they could name a few and they, they weren’t, my kids aren’t necessarily, you know, serious golfers they’re they’re athletes and they’re engaged in the world of sports and they could only name a couple. And so that’s where I, I, I felt like, okay, I, I can really have an opportunity hopefully, to come and, and help these women elevate their, their own brands and elevate the brand, the L PGA brand more broadly, because at the end of the day in professional sports, that’s really what it’s all about in terms of getting eyeballs viewership getting people to engage with us. But I also think it’s about inspiring the next generation. MMS (08:58): Our women are so good at this game, you know, to be the best a hundred players or 150 players in the world. I mean, that’s pretty darn remarkable. How many times do you find someone who is the best? You know, we have people who are obviously the best, but also even the top hundred or 150. And I think world needs to know about them more because that will help obviously the LPGA in terms of our partnerships and our commercialization, but it’ll also help them. These are individual athletes who make their money in a number of different ways. They obviously make money by competing and by winning the prize money on the tour, but they also are the personal brands and the represe, there’s the ambassadors for a number of companies and a, a good portion of their income can come from that association from, from the brand. MMS (09:42): And, you know, we are getting a lot of traction in that area. People are seeing that these are amazing role models, and they can hit their, their corporate values or through their corporate identity to these remarkable women who are not only be very successful on their own, but inspiring that next generation of young girls to say, I can do this. You know, I can, I can compete at the highest level. I can be a very good person while I do it, and I can represent others brands along the way. So I think it’s really critical to their overall direct income, but it’s also really critical to the L PGA’s success more broadly, and our ability to have a positive impact on the world. So we’re really doubling down on that right now, trying to figure out ways to help them elevate their brands to help us elevate our own brand, which is really important. MMS (10:28): I think the L PGA doesn’t get as much credit as it should. We’ve been around 71 years. We’ve had amazing women for the, for longer than any other really profe women’s professional sport. We’ve done it kind of on our own. People have made a, a living, a good living and have, like I said, inspired the world through their play as a young girl, the only real role models that you had to look up to in professional athletics were golfers or tennis players for the most part is I was growing up. And so, and I played golf. So I was very engaged with the women that were doing very well. And the tour now I’ve gotten to meet them, you know, the same women who are my inspiration as a young kid to say, Hey, anything’s possible. You know, there, there, there are opportunities in sports, whether you’re actually competing or you’re working in sports, but sports is a place for women. So I think it is a hundred percent you know, sort of top of mind, critical for us on the go forward strategy for the LPJ and for our players to it, continue to get the world, to see, you know, these remarkable women do what they do. AJV (11:22): Ah, I love that, you know, and you, it’s funny as how you’re talking is, you know, I think about the study that our company did brand builders group went out and fielded a national research study on the trends and impacts of personal branding just about a year ago. And it’s the first national study about branding and a huge part that we thought were so was so interesting. And something you just said made me think about this is that 88% of millennials, age 26 to 44, but then 82% of the entire general population, no matter what your age is, agree that a company is more influential when the founder or executives have a public facing personal brand. And what you just said, like really resonated to something that we talk a lot about. It’s like, we are no longer really in the era of the company is no longer the entity that is known. It’s the people within the company that make the company known. And so when you said it’s like, Hey, like the more well known our players become the more well known our organization becomes. Oh yeah. I mean, that goes across all sports, all industries, all organizations, no matter what. And so I’m curious in your opinion, what do you think in this specific conversation the players need to be doing to help themselves become more well known, thus making the entire organization more well known? Like what would you like to see? MMS (12:49): Well, I, I would, you know, I think that letting people get to know them as much as possible, and some of that is our responsibility you know, out outside of their own social media and outside the things that they can do to continue to place themselves into situations where, you know, they’re letting the world see all the good that they’re doing, not only on the golf course, but the way that they train the way that they eat, the way that they sleep, the way that they engage in sort of high performance, I think is very interesting to the world. Also the way that they give back. I mean, our, our women are significant contributors to, to charity, to young girls, you know as I said before, allowing young girls to have inspiration and to be role models, I think getting that word out and being very creative and, and aggressive with their own social media, but also from our perspective, one of the things that we’re, we’re trying to do more is, you know, give, give audiences more of an opportunity to know the, the, the players individually, not just their talent, I mean their talent. MMS (13:43): I think people still need to understand how significant it is, but I also wanna be able to do things in broadcast. You know, we’re trying to stream holes, you know, on, on various streaming platforms where we can interview the app plates in the middle of their round. It’s also a really unique sport where they can be playing and we can actually have an announcer or broadcaster come up and, and just ask them what they’re thinking as they’re about to hit their next shot within a very large competition where they’re competing for a great deal of money was really cool. And I think that’s where the association starts to come in, because as you said, people think of P people, they, they, you know, they follow the LPGA and we need to do continue to do a better job and continue to grow our abilities in that area, which our team is really good and they’re really focused on it, but mostly we connect with people. MMS (14:26): We cheer, cheer on people. It’s you know, you want, you wanna be watching someone, you know, you wanna be watching someone whose story, you know, what, how hard it was to get to that point. And every athlete on, on our tour has a different story. And they’re quite remarkable. They’re not what you think they are. And I think they provide inspiration. They’re very interesting. They’re very engaging. And I think that they have this platform to help people be better in their own lives. And also if you think about golf, I mean, wow, golf is just a hard sport. When you, I don’t know how much you play J but, but when you stand up on that tee, you never know what’s gonna happen. And at the end of your round, imagine being in your professional life, we all were talking about being stressed and other things that are challenging. MMS (15:05): But if in your professional life, every day at the end of your Workday, you gotta score . And, and then on top of that, that score was blasted out to the world. Yeah. And everybody knew how you perform that day. So the way they handle the successes and the failures and the ups and the downs, and they stay with it and they continue to focus on the process, it’s very inspirational. And it’s hard to get stressed about the things that you have to do in life when you see how their hand handling disappointment and public disappointment. So I think telling that story more and letting people into the, the, the challenges that they face will really be a great inspiration for others. AJV (15:41): Oh my gosh. It’s so true. And it’s it’s so true to, you know, just anyone who’s in the public eye, rather you’re putting yourself there, or you just you’re there. Right. I think a lot of this has to do is so much of what we talk about in our community at brand builders group. And I believe a huge resistance to a lot of our community of like really putting themselves out there is the fear of people not liking them or disagree with them. And it’s like, the truth is it’s like, the more true you are to yourself, you’re gonna have more lovers and more haters. That’s just the part of being, and that’s hard, that’s like a hard choice. And then to be in a profession where that just is a part of the job, that’s so intense. And so I’m curious to know genuinely it’s like, what would you say that most of your players, or even like you yourself, it’s like, do you think that there’s a resistance to build personal of brands? MMS (16:34): Yeah, I think there, I mean, I, I don’t know that there’s a resistance to build personal brands because I think we all want to do that. I mean, I know I need to be a lot better about that and because I agree with you and you and I have been talking about that. Like, I think the people really do believe that the CEO or the leader of the company is the representative of that total company. And so I need to do a better job myself on that, but I think our players, you know, it’s very hard to put yourself out there and, and particularly in the world of professional sports where everyone just feels like they have the right to, to tell you what they think of your play, of what you look like out there of what, you know, so it’s very, very hard, but, but I, so I think that there is sometimes some resistance, but I, I think the more we educate on how to do it positively and just continue to focus on your own values and continue to focus on the things that you believe in, and then let the chips kind of fall where they may, you know, and, and obviously we need to support them in that every step of the way as well. MMS (17:31): So it’s, you know, it’s hard, but it, it does does matter. And I think it will just continue to open up doors for them, every P every sponsor or partner that comes up to me tells me how amazing our athletes are, you know, and that’s almost like this, this secret that we’re keeping. And we need to just tell the world a little bit more aggressively, listen, we, our, our players are quite well known in many circles and some of them more than others, but I just think there’s this huge opportunity for them, sorry to inspire. And we really just are, like I said, we’re really focused on that. So I think there is a resistance, but we’re trying to give people it’s comfortable in environment as possible to do that. AJV (18:11): Yeah. You know, there’s two things I wanna, I , I wanna comment on it’s like one of the sayings that we have at brand builders group is that it’s the worst in the, it’s the worst thing in the world to be the world’s best kept secret. Yeah. Right. It’s like, there’s a lot of things that are true. And one of, of the things that are true that I believe it’s like, no matter how good you are, people cannot do business with you. If they do not know about you. Right. And it’s like, there’s that mix and mingle of like, you can be the most talented golfer on the planet, but if no one knows about it, then like, there’s nothing that’s gonna benefit of you. It’s like, there’s that part of like having a great skillset. And there’s another part of making sure that people know about that. AJV (18:55): Right. And that, that is the business of sports. And then the other thing I was gonna say, it’s like, you know, this same resistance, or not even resistance reluctance, or sometimes it’s confusion. It’s like, I think this is what the entire world is experiencing right now with this enormous shift of going from like this traditional marketing and advertising world to this new kind of world order of the just undeniable importance of your reputation, your audience engagement people knowing about you. Like, that’s just becoming increasing more important. Like we just strongly believe it’s like personal branding is a trend. It’s not a fad which means it’s not going away. Right. It it’s a growing amplified part of how we do business. And there is not a ton of talk around this and a lot of businesses and organizations, but you are making this a topic like is something that you guys are focused on and intent of like, how do we get our players to be more well known? AJV (19:57): Cuz we know if we do that, it’s gonna benefit the organization. And there’s, there’s still a lot of debate on, should we shouldn’t we, and you’re kind of taking the stance of, no, this is what we’re gonna do. And that’s clearly a shift of what has been done within the L P G a. And so I’m curious, like as your like seat as commissioner and in kinda like during your reign here, right. Why, why this, like, what is it about this that you think is just so important as we kinda like move into this next era of marketing? MMS (20:28): Well, a co a couple things. One, I, I do think it’s also though in that hesitancy or the reluctance, I think it is our responsibility as the LPGA to continue to help with kind of helping them through the difficult parts of it too, you know, kind of providing the right perspective on it. So it doesn’t, you know, so really they can focus on their own wellbeing and their own mental health and all of that too. And making sure that there’s good perspective. I always think that mindset and perspective and approach is really the most important thing in anything you do in life is sort of how you enter, how you enter that challenge and how, you know, what you’re getting into when you into it and just really staying true to your own values and knowing, being confident with who you are and knowing what the upside is, but also knowing where the downside can be and being prepared for that. MMS (21:15): So I think those are some of the things that we’re trying to, to work on. But, but again, getting back to your question, I mean, it’s it, like I said, it’s just so critical that that, that they as individual athletes really entrepreneurs. I mean, if you really think about it, the women on our tour, they don’t play for a team. They play for themselves. Yeah. And so their own personal brand is even that much more important because they’re actually selling their brand, just like the LPJ is selling our brand to be able to make all of this work. You know, we, we don’t exist without the, the commercialization of, of the sport. I mean, we, we are in the business to allow women to live their dreams through golf you know, tangentially, but, but, or not even tangentially just as, as an integrated part of what we do, we are also part of our mission is to give this opportunity to young girls, to women, whatever skill level, all around the world, because we think it’s so by valuable. MMS (22:08): So in order, like you said, in order for us to do that, people have to know the opportunities exist. They have to know the the benefits of participating in golf and participating in sport for young girls and for women, you know, the community building the networking. So in order for us to be successful in that way, people have to know our stories and have to, to, to get to know our athletes and it for our athletes to be able to truly maximize this amazing gift that they have they’re individual entrepreneurs and they need to commercialize it. You know, there are different ways they can do it. So it’s really built into their entire ability to reach our mission and their mission mission, which is to live their dreams through the game of golf and inspire the world to have a positive impact. So it’s all tied in together. I mean, I think it really is all part and parcel of what we do as an organization is we need more of the world to, to know about us. So we’re really focused on that. AJV (23:02): Yeah. And it’s like kind of the easy, easiest maybe not, I must say simplest, not easiest, but the simplest thing to do, it’s like as your players become more well known, you become more well known. It’s like this win-win situation. I love what you said too. It’s like really our players are entrepreneurs. Like that is such a great way at looking at this particular sport and there’s other sports like that, but it’s, you know, you said something earlier that just made me think this it’s like the more that we get to know the stories of the players and here’s what I have found to be true. The more that I get to know the stories of the athletes, of the teams that I follow, I don’t just love the athlete more. I love the entire sport more. Yeah. You know, and I think I shared this with you. AJV (23:47): It’s like, I recently watched the movie king Richard about Venus and Serena Williams father and about them. And the most fascinating thing happened through like the next few weeks after watching this movie, it’s like one I’m just dumbfounded at their superiority and the skillset and just like who they are as humans and individuals. And there’s the fact that they’re in the same family. Like, so I have become like so endeared to both of them and their excellence, but I’ll tell you what else happened is I’ve become way more interested in the entire sport of tennis. Oh yeah. Right. It’s not, and here’s what I’d say. It’s like the stories of athlete don’t make, you just love them more. They make you love the entire sport more. And that’s something that I think is really amazing. It’s like my husband is a really great golfer and really loves golf. AJV (24:35): And he’s always pressuring me to go golfing. And, you know, it’s like, I haven’t necessarily ever had a great desire and passion to it until I met you. Right. And it’s like, now that I talk, I talk to you and I’m getting to know it. It’s like, I’m naturally more inclined to wanna learn about this sport because I’m fascinated by you. Like, I wanna get to know your players because it’s like, I wanna support people that I believe in the exact same thing happens with companies. Right. When I fall in love with a founder of a company it’s like, and I wanna support what this person is doing because I’m fascinated and interested by their story. And I wanna be a part of it. And I think it, this exact same thing happens when we fall in love with stories. We fall in love with the people, but also what they’re a part of. And that includes the entire sport. MMS (25:18): Absolutely. The sport, the LPGA women’s sports. I think, I think by watching king Richard, which I, I loved as well. And you know, you, you really get, you appreciate the hard work, the sacrifices, the challenges that have gone into getting them to where they got, it’s pretty darn remarkable and, and how hard it is to get there and how, how talented they really are. So, and again, if you think about sports, why, why do people love their hometown team? Why do people love their a college team? It’s because it builds community and you’re a part of something bigger than yourself. And there’s a personal connection to that team. You don’t generally just pick a team and say, oh, I, I like their colors. I mean, sometimes that’s how you originally sort of align yourself with the team, but then it’s about the people. MMS (26:03): I, I like watching sports when I have some understanding of who the people are, whether it’s a quarterback on a football team or whether, and whether it’s, you know, the star player. And that was why, you know, being at Princeton was, was so fun. I always loved Princeton athletics. I loved following the teams when I was not the ad, just as an alum, because that was my association of my affiliation. But then when you get to know the athletes and, you know, their stories, you become sort of obsessed by their results and by their success because you know, how much went into it. And that’s the same with the LPGA. I’ve always been a fan. I’ve always loved golf. I’ve always been a student of the game and the history of the, the LPGA, but now knowing these athletes and seeing who they are as people, you know, you wake up wondering how they, sometimes they, they were playing in Asia last week. MMS (26:47): And I was there. I was in Singapore for the first week. And then I had to come home for some meetings. They then played in Thailand. And so the time changes are very, you know, the time differences are, are significant. They’re 14 hours, 13 or 14 hours ahead. And so, you know, I’d wake up in the morning and just first grab my phone and see how they did at now, knowing all of the women you’re really following them, you’re connected with them. And so the more other people, not just the commissioner knows who, I mean, again, we have a huge fan base and a, a many, many people know our athletes and are inspired by them and they’re doing great work out there, but I think there’s even, there are more people that could be inspired and get to know them and sort of, you know have something to cheer for where else in the world do you actually cheer for other people? MMS (27:28): There are not many places where you’re putting your arms up, you’re clapping, you know, and you’re personally invested in it. I mean, look at the fans at different games and they have their hands and their, their face and their they’re so invested in the success of their teams. And it’s not really just the team, it people that they’re watching. And so there’s so much more of an opportunity for that, which I’m, I’m really excited about. And I wouldn’t be so excited if I didn’t think our women were so remarkable. And I didn’t think that our product was so good. And so you know, I’ve used this word too many times here today, but so inspiring. So, and that’s really what, why I’ve stayed connected with sports so much is because I do think changes people’s lives. I think it builds leaders. I think it builds communities. I think it gives people some optimism and something to look forward to. So I think there’s so many benefits of it that I, I love having this platform to, to tell our stories, AJV (28:18): Oh, I love that. And I so agree with you. It’s like, I just think there’s so many benefits of sports and Jim, like, regardless of what it is, there’s just so many, but in fact to what you said, it’s like, what are the, what are the things in life? Do you like physically jump out of your chair, horse screaming and yelling for other people. Yeah. Right. And it’s like, you get so emotionally invested into the team, the community, it’s like, like how many times do you like buy all the gear of your favorite come and wear it with pride. Right. MMS (28:47): Like AJV (28:48): This doesn’t happen. Like that’s such a great point. And so we have just like eight more minutes or so. And so I have, I wanna shift gears just a little bit and I wanna talk about you and really like your role. And you said earlier, it’s like at every decade in your life that you’ve said, like, I just wanna pick like the next, most awesome, like role in sports. And so I’m gonna kind of put you on the spot, right. And looking at this next decade, like 10 years from now, like, what do you wanna be doing? MMS (29:16): Well, I mean, listen, I, I have a, a big, big task ahead of me here. And so I’m really not, not looking forward past this opportunity at all. I mean, I’ve just gotten here, been here, you know, six months, a little over six months. And we have a great platform. The LPJ is in a really good position, but, but they’re the, the fun of it is that there’s huge growth to be had too. So I would like to look back in 10 years and say, Hey, we, we elevated the LPGA to a place where the women are making more money, you know, getting closer hopefully, or, or getting to the point, the same amount of dollars that the men make to play the sport that more people know about them have been inspired by them. That girls golf has grown around the world, not just, you know, we’re a global tour. MMS (29:57): So we have women from, I think, over 50 cut countries participating on the LPGA. And we also partner with the ladies European tour and we have a qualifying tour that the EEPs tour. So we have, I think over 50 women from different countries. And so our 50 countries represented. So we have the opportunity not just to impact what’s happening in the us, but you know around the whole world. And so I hope that we wake up in, I wake up in 10 years and say, well, we really did take this to the next level. And we were able to impact the individuals that participate, but also the world more broadly. I hope the number of girls that are playing the game have, has grown. I hope the number of girls who, who really might not otherwise have that opportunity if we weren’t really intentional about it, I think you know, certain sports these days, almost all sports have become very expensive. MMS (30:44): Yeah. And you know, golf has traditionally been known as a very expensive sport, and this is an opportunity that can’t be just given to, to young girls or boys whose families have the resources it’s like education. I really feel like it’s our responsibility to give this remarkable game to those who might not other feel either comfortable or feel have the resources to be able to play. So I’d like to wake up and say, Hey, we really did give this opportunity to many, many more young girls and we impacted many, many more lives along the way. So you’re kind of looking at impacting lives, but you’re doing it through this, this overall platform. Which, and, and hopefully women’s sports has grown during that period and no longer do people look and go, okay, well, there’s, there’s golf. And then there’s, women’s golf. You know, it’s sort of like, there’s golf and there’s, men’s golf and there’s, women’s golf. MMS (31:29): And then we play together. I mean, that’s the beauty of golf also that men, men and women can play together. And you know, people who think that they can beat our women, you know, men or women who, who don’t really know, I love that scenario when you say, okay, yeah, you, why don’t you come out and play against these women and see what happens at the end? I mean, they are just as good as the men. They might not hit it quite as far off the tee, but then their game from there on, in our data and our statistics are showing that they are just as good or better in many areas. And so I’d like the, the world to know that and for us to tell those stories. AJV (32:01): Hmm. That’s so good. And I love that. I love, I love too that you’re just focused on the here and now, right. We’ll see where the road takes you, but you’re focused on the here and now. So if we were just to take it personal for you, it’s like, I know you wanna see these women’s stories told you wanna see the, the, you know, game of golf, you know, it shared, and hopefully it grows and you know, all these D from things. So those aside, right, I’m just super curious, like, are there any like internal things that, or messages that you hope come out of your tenure here? And this could be just not even about golf, but sports women’s sports, men’s sports, whatever, but it’s like, are there any underlying themes that you’re like, man, if you know, the world were up my fingertips and I had a magic wand and I could make sure all these things happen, is there anything that you really want your legacy to be? As you know, you think about, at some point, this position will be over however many years down the road. It is. But when people think back and they think about Molly Marman, like, what do you want them to think about? MMS (33:09): Well, I mean, I think as you said, I like to be in the, in the here and now. I mean, I’ve never had a job where I’m looking for the next job. I mean, those jobs have always, fortunately I’ve just had a lot of really lucky you know, connections and relationships and people who have put me forward for other other opportunities, but I’ve always just tried to say, like, you gotta care deeply about what you’re doing at that moment. So I hope people, you know, look back and say, you know, she really cared because she cared not because she was trying to, you know, elevate her own career, anything like that, because I actually think that’s the worst thing that you can do in, in your job. You have to be invested in, in what you do for what it is. Not, not for what it can get you. MMS (33:48): And I do think that’s a really important thing for people is just like, be where you are, love what you do care deeply about the product and the people, and try to make it better every day, you know, wake up thinking, how do I get this organ to be better? How do I get the people around me to be better? How do I get myself to be better? You know, how do I grow every day? So I hope people from my own perspective, I hope that’s what people, what people say. You know, there was one of my bosses at Chelsea Pierce, you know, where they were doing this in my going away party. And, you know, they were standing up and saying really nice things. And you’re always like, oh, I never knew they, they thought that, but one of my bosses, you know, that’s, that’s what he said. MMS (34:25): And at first I was like, wow. He just said, like, I thought, he’d say, oh, I did really well at this. Or I had these accomplishments or I was hoping, but he just said, you know, at the end of the day Molly cared, you know, she, she really cared about our organization, cared about our people. And so when I reflected back on that, I was a little younger or I was like, that’s, that’s, that’s good. Like, I was proud of that. I hope I hope that that continues. And that that’s what people can sort of say the same thing along the way, because makes life a lot more fun to care about the teams you’re on, you know, being an athlete, being associated with teams. I think everything is about your teams, whether it’s your family or your work, or your friends or your community, they’re all teams. MMS (35:01): And so how do you show up for that team? So that’s what I, that’s what I hope in my career is like, I, I really have no, I have no aspirations for a different job or for, you know, really just to have impact where I am and to, to, to have people who I work with say, Hey, she really does care and she’s not gonna be perfect is gonna make mistakes. And, you know, not gonna know everything by any stretch, but she care. And, and I think that’s really that’s what my hope is. AJV (35:25): Mm. I love that. You said two things there. I thought that was so good. Is that you’re a part of teams, no matter what you do in life, like maybe it’s your family team or your work team, or maybe you have a church team or a nonprofit team, or maybe you’re on a sports team, right? Yeah. But it’s like, you’re a part of teams, no matter you’re in sports or not. And that’s such a great way looking at all the different things that we do. It’s like, I’m a part of like six different teams. Right. Right. And I had never thought about it that where it’s like, I’m a crucial integral part of making our family team work. Right. And if I don’t, if I don’t do good, they don’t do good. MMS (36:04): That’s the most important team by the way, that is by far, the most important team is your, is your team. I heard someone yesterday say you know, the, the, the team that really matters the team, that’s sitting at your Thanksgiving dinner. Yeah. And, and that’s a good way of putting it, you know, that’s the team that makes the most, and it was actually from a coach who cares deeply about his specific team that he plays on or that he coaches. But I think the most important team is always the team that’s sitting at your Thanksgiving dinner. But yeah, I mean, sometimes your role on the team is not exactly the role that you would like to have. And I, I, I talk to kids about that all the time, but if you go in with like, Hey, whatever my role is, my job is to make that team better. MMS (36:43): Whether I’m the star player or I’m, you know, sitting at the end of the bench, everybody on that team contributes to the overall success. And if you don’t wake up thinking about that, you can actually be a negative impact to the team. Oh, that’s so great. And so you, you really, you have to, you know, and in sports, you know, the college level, we talk about that with the coaches all the time. It’s like the end of the bench is just as important as, as the starting superstar. And so make sure you as the coach or the leader play to that whole bench, but also if you’re on the end of the bench, how are you contributing to make that team better that day? And it translates to work. It translates to family it, to everything. We know that in marriages and in, you know, listen, some days you’re gonna be getting to do what you wanna do and other days your, your partner’s gonna need to do what they need to do. And it’s a constant, you know, team that we engage in, same thing with our kids. So I just love thinking of it as teams. Yeah. AJV (37:34): I love that. Like, I’m totally gonna shift my mindset around. It’s like, we all have different roles, but we’re a team and I’m a part of like a variety of little teams in my life. And it’s like, how am I showing up? Like, what’s my role in each of those teams. I love that. That’s so good. The other thing you said that when I like highlight for the listeners is you gotta care about what you’re doing for the sake of just doing a good job and loving what you’re doing, not because of what it’s going to get you. MMS (37:59): Right. AJV (37:59): Right. That is so significant. I feel like so many people in life intentionally are not, are doing things while subconsciously doing them going, if I do this, then I’ll get this. Yeah. Or if I do this for this person, and they’ll do this for me, it’s like, there’s this like subconscious mindset of I’ll do this, but I’ll do it to get this right. And you said, no, it’s like, do it for the sake of doing it and being a part of the team and loving what you do. MMS (38:25): Yeah. And for you to get better and for you to grow and for, you know, there’s those intrinsic benefits of that for sure. But it really does. I think reduce stress and you know, reduce the anxiety around what you’re doing. You wake up and say, okay, my task is to, to care and to, to make this organization better and to accomplish my goals and not worry about the rest. It’s not always easy to do. And believe me, I fall prey to all of that. Like we all do, but trying to get back to level set on mindset. And, and you know, even just with kids in school, there’s so much pressure on grades and successes on sports teams and in the play and various things. And, you know, I constantly try to say to my kids, listen, you know, you, you show up, do the very best you can and let the chips fall where they may, you know, and, and you contribute to it because you love it. MMS (39:08): And because it makes you happy and because it it’s fulfilling and it helps you grow, don’t worry so much about that result. That’s hard for kids. It’s hard for adults. It’s hard for all of us, but I do think it, for me, it reduces stress. You know, it’s like, listen, I can just put one foot forward, put my clothes on, get out of the house and do the very best I can do. And, and hope that things go the best that they can possibly go. And, and that’s not something I’ve always my mindset I’ve always had, you know, I think that’s you know, sort of I over time. So I try to share that with my kids and, you know, they have to go through some stuff on their own to figure that out. But I do think that’s an important mindset. AJV (39:43): Oh, I love that. I’m telling you what it’s like, the more time I get to spend with you, it’s like, you just have like all these little like excellent bombs, just dropping everywhere, all these like awesome little golden nuggets that just come outta your I so love what you’re doing. I know exactly why you were recruited for this position. I am so excited to see what you do for the, the whole game of golf. But specifically for these women players, I’m so excited to just see this change. And it’s like, regardless of how many of, how many other people it’s gonna impact, like I can my hand and say, it’s like from the day that we had our first conversation, I have had a new appreciation and interest for the game. And I’m just one. So it’s like, there’s gonna be a serious domino effect with all the things that you’re doing. And so people wanna learn more about you and stay in touch with the LPGA tour. Like where should they go? Where do you want people to find you? MMS (40:38): Well, again, I think I need to do a better job of letting people find me, but I am on Twitter. I think it’s M Mar U 91. Something like that, but I should probably know that more specifically, but, but you can always find me too on the LPGA site. And you know, we’re constantly doing things through our social media channels and through, through, but, but I think, you know, in me getting to know you that, that, and I reached out to you because I heard you, as I said on Molly Fletcher’s podcast and just was really, I loved your message. And I, I know that’s something, an area of growth for me to be able to put myself out there more and to be able to you know, be, be willing to, to do that. But mostly for me at this point, it’s a little bit about time, but it has to be a, a pro of time, you know, and I always wanna, if I’m gonna do something, I wanna do it really well. And sometimes it’s hard to find time to do this really well with all the other things that you’re trying to do and other ways that you’re trying to serve other people. But I do think that it is important. You know, for the LP G I, I wouldn’t do it so much if it was just to elevate my own personal brand, but if it’s gonna help elevate the tour and help elevate what we do, then I, I need to continue to get better at that. AJV (41:43): Well, I’ll do all the research. I’ll make sure all the right handles are in the notes. MMS (41:47): sounds good. Sounds good. Yeah. Yeah. Since I don’t even know them, but yeah, we’re working on that AJ with your help. Maybe I can, I can get there to the next level, AJV (41:55): Baby steps, baby steps, baby MMS (41:56): Baby AJV (41:57): Steps. But I’ll put all that in there. I’ll grab all the links for the LPGA. I’ll put all those in there and, and y’all like, go follow these players, go follow the LPGA. Like also follow Molly. I’m gonna, I’m gonna enforce her. I’m gonna make her share all of her brilliance more typically online. Thank you so much for being here. Thank you so much. I know how busy you are. Thank you so much for being on the show. MMS (42:21): Yes, my pleasure. Thanks for doing this and thanks for helping elevate our, our women. And like you said, go to the LPGA, a social media handles and, and also watch our broadcast we’re on golf channel. There’s times when we’re on we’re on network television, we’re, we’ve got some great ideas brew around some other ways that you can engage. We’ve done an all access video of one of our, or, you know, sort of docu-series. So again, getting to know our players through that docu-series and through sort of their personal lives is really remarkable. I think you’ll be inspired. So thanks for everything. And yeah, I look forward to continuing our conversation. AJV (42:52): X is awesome. Y’all thanks so much for listening. Stay tuned for another episode of the influential personal brand. We’ll see you next time.

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25 of the World's Most Recognizable Influencers Share Their Tips on How to Build and Monetize a Personal Brand

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