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An Interview with Melissa Llarena

Jul 7, 2020

Mark Sullivan is the Host and Producer behind The Snowboard Project podcast. This week he joins me to discuss how he has been able to leverage his talent during five Olympics for NBC, Eurosport as a sports expert, and now as host and producer. We also discussed strategic partnerships and creating value for all parties involved. Mark shared how he refined his oratory skills in his career as an Olympics and sports announcer. Finally, Mark shows us, through a video presentation, an example of how he continues to grow his skills as an entrepreneur. This episode is full of many insightful lessons from Mark!  

Learn more about Mark: Mark Sullivan has had a career in snowboarding media that has spanned more than 30 years. From starting zines to running Snowboarder Magazine and starting SNOWBOARD Magazine. As an Olympic announcer and television host, Mark has also worked on his oratory skills for more than two decades. Key to Mark’s success has been his focus on executing processes in marketing, constant progression, as well as creating or participating in platforms where he’s been able to meaningfully advance action sports marketing, communications, products, and life experiences. 

Tune in to hear Mark’s thoughts pertaining to:

  • Mark shares some advice he received from his father, Your brain is stronger than your knees - your knees are going to break sooner or later, but your brain won’t. (3:00)
  • Mark shares how he went from professional snowboarder to magazine creator and beyond, including his time as a former Marketing Director and being tapped by NBC sports to be an expert on snowboarding for the Olympics. (3:46)
  • Mark shared his ability to create a more visually interesting communication, including being able to run a TV studio remotely. Watch the video clip below from our interview to see some of his skills in action! (8:00)
  • Storytelling is the thing that ties everything together and using storytelling to communicate marketing messages. (9:16)
  • Some of the demographics of snowboarding and the evolution of the community. (12:00)
  • The transferable skills of snowboarding. (14:05)
  • Calculated risks and pushing yourself to get better no matter what your age. Check out the video below to see some of the risk-taking moves Mark takes when snowboarding. (17:35)
  • Evel Knievel - the godfather of action sports. (18:52)
  • What is missing in the sport of snowboarding and post athletes syndrome. (27:02)
  • How Mark manages to measure progress and incremental goals. (28:16)
  • Mark breaks down how he developed his oratory skills. (29:47)
  • Making decisions using SWOT analysis and also, how decisions just happen. (33:04)

Listen to hear Mark’s answer to this question: You’ve been entrenched in the world of snowboarding for so long. You’ve seen the evolution of the industry as well as the partnerships that have evolved. What’s your take on picking out the best strategic partnerships and in ensuring that there truly is value on both ends?

Links to quench your curiosity:

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