Powered by

Establishing A Strategic Vision With LEARFIELD’s Ben Mathan

Guest Ben Mathan, LEARFIELD
18:38 min watch


LEARFIELD Chief Strategy Officer Ben Mathan joins ADU’s Steph Garcia Cichosz at the 2024 PACnet to discuss the organization’s core strategic initiatives and reflect on recent momentum from a strategic perspective. Mathan breaks down LEARFIELD’s core business units and strategic imperatives, sharing a behind-the-scenes look at the company’s quarterly operating scorecard against which units are assessed. Mathan also reflects on the concept of strategic thinking as an aspiring leader and how Athletics Directors can act as the Chief Strategy Officer for their own department, advising ADs to balance a focus on the day-to-day operations with a broader, five-to-10-year approach.

Mathan: “Once you ground yourself in [the organization’s core priorities], you have to make sure any new problem, any new distraction, if it’s not something that either supports one of those things or is something that is a reason why one of those things isn’t succeeding, it has to take a backseat. In the world of college sports today… a lot of leaders would agree that you have to ground yourself in the handful of things that you know matter and have supreme conviction in getting those things done despite how many day to day distractions and chaos might seem to be there.”

The conversation is indexed below for efficient viewing (click the time stamp to jump to a specific question/topic).

  • - Tell me about some of the core strategic initiatives that you're focused on right now.
  • - How can a behemoth like LEARFIELD be nimble in a time when everything seems to be changing day to day?
  • - Let's talk about some specific services LEARFIELD offers - Fanbase, LEARFIELD Studios, the Allied initiative. What are some under the radar wins for these units?
  • - How do you balance the need to constantly be "on" and receiving information and inspiration with taking time to step back and recharge?
  • - How can we translate LEARFIELD's creation of its own core values to what a new AD needs to do when he or she takes over a new department?
  • - How do you create the metrics that you'll then use to evaluate the effectiveness or success of a new product or service?
  • - The mundane, everyday parts of our work is really where the magic happens - so finding ways to gamify it can be the secret to success in this industry.
  • - At what point in your career did you realize you needed to think strategically?
  • - What is your own personal scorecard? How are you evaluating yourself and how are others evaluating you as the Chief Strategy Officer?
  • - How can ADs act as their own Chief Strategy Officer for their department?
  • - How do you celebrate your wins?