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On Monday, June 17, the Manhattan Sport Business Academy Class of 2013 was able to hear Jeff Hayzlett, the former CMO of Kodak, and self titled Global Business Celebrity. Hayzlett now also runs The Hayzlett Group, which focuses on speaking engagements, consulting, and writing business related books, such as the New York Times Best Seller Running the Gauntlet.
During his speech, Hayzlett spoke about different topics such as his journey from Sioux Falls, South Dakota to becoming the Chief Marketing Officer of Kodak, where he led new marketing initiatives to land sponsorship deals with the PGA Tour and NASCAR, while also severing Kodak’s ties with the Summer Olympics. He also spoke about leaving Kodak to start The Hayzlett Group and how he made the transition to motivational speaker and best selling author.
Hayzlett elaborated on his sponsorship deal with Kodak with the P.G.A. Tour, specifically with their scoreboard signage at differing events. Also, he introduced the Kodak Challenge to the players on the P.G.A Tour where they would compete in a challenge comprised of 18 holes from 18 different golf courses for a $1 million prize at the end of the season. This provided Kodak value within their deal, while providing a cool, significant prize for the players. In addition, Hayzlett spoke about the Kodak sponsorship deal with Roger Penske Racing in NASCAR. He discussed how he only wanted Kodak ads on the racecar for eight races, but they were the most important eight races on the NASCAR circuit. Lastly, Hayzlett discussed the tough decision that he made right when he got to Kodak to end their sponsorship deal with the Summer Olympics, even though they were an original sponsor dating back to 1896. He preached the rule of 1/3’s, where one third of the organization will support you, one third will never support you, and one third might support you after time.
Great to have @JeffreyHayzlett at @goMSBA tonight! The quality of our summer speaker series is top notch! #MSBA13
— Chris Stathos (@TheRealStathos) June 18, 2013
It cannot be denied that Hayzlett had many accomplishments in the business world, but he was not done after Kodak. He started The Hayzlett Group centered around public speaking appearances and writing books, which have gone on to become New York Times’ Best Sellers. In his speech to the MSBA class, he left some powerful parting words: network like crazy, take risks, and there is no such thing as a stupid question. He also preached that doing the little things really go a long way, such as something as simple as following someone back on twitter when they follow you. There are so many opportunities to connect with people and in this informational age, if you aren’t doing the little things, you are wasting your opportunities.