"To work for my wife enables me to spend as much time with our kids as I want, which means the world to me."
Mike McGee is Managing Director for ANNIKA, the business enterprise of golf legend Annika Sorenstam. He oversees the ANNIKA brand and is responsible for developing businesses that include: the ANNIKA Academy, Annika’s boutique golf and fitness Academy in Orlando, Fla.; Golf Course Design, which has six courses under various stages of development globally; the ANNIKA Collection with Cutter & Buck, a high-performance golf apparel line for women; ANNIKA Financial Group, a boutique accounting firm that caters to athletes. In addition to supervising these ventures, Mike serves as Annika’s agent and interacts daily with her many world-class partners. They include 3M, ADP, AHEAD, Callaway Golf, Cutter & Buck, Golfing World TV, Lexus, Oakley, Pacific Links International, and Rolex.
1. What brand do you represent? I represent the ANNIKA brand. This includes Annika personally, and the ANNIKA Academy, ANNIKA Collection of apparel with Cutter & Buck, ANNIKA Course Design, ANNIKA Financial Group and I serve as interim President of the ANNIKA Foundation, which promotes excellence in women’s golf at the junior, collegiate and professional levels and teaches young people the importance of living a healthy, active lifestyle through fitness and nutrition. We have five global tournaments and the ANNIKA Award Presented by 3M, which goes to the top women’s collegiate golfer.
2. How long have you been working in the golf industry? Since I graduated college in 1997.
3. What do you love most about your position? I get to represent the best female golfer and brand in the industry. She has 10 high-end corporate partners and it’s an honor to work with them. I also enjoy the fact that my duties vary so much that things never get stale.
4. What do you believe sets your brand apart from the
competition? We are unique in that Annika is a “cele-brand” or “celebrity brand.” Her name is the brand. We are a “Promise” based company. Everything we do, we try to deliver on our Brand Promise, which is to “provide inspirational experiences.” We have a brand guide and are very particular about the way her name, likeness, logo, etc. can be used. Most athletes have endorsement deals and even logos, but that doesn’t automatically make you a brand. Few deliver on the emotional and functional benefits necessary to make you a genuine brand.
5. Who is the most prestigious golfer you've met? I have been very fortunate to spend a fair amount of time with Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Gary Player and most of the legends of our game. But I have to say my wife, Annika, is the most prestigious.
6. If you could have any job in the golf industry, what would it be and why? The one I have. I am beyond blessed to get to work for Annika. Not only is she the best female golfer ever, she is a class act and far better person. I literally work on different things everyday. Whether it is one of our five global junior golf tournaments, or managing the relationships with our 10 corporate partners, or proofing a press release, my work evolves daily. Also, to work for my wife enables me to spend as much time with our kids as I want, which means the world to me. I can also be with my wife on most of my business trips. Not many people have that luxury!
7. How often do you play golf? Probably 25-30 rounds per year.
I play 2 Member Guest events per year. Both are four days in a row. Aside from that, I probably average one or two times per month.
8. What is your favorite course and why? I guess I have two. I would say Pebble Beach due to the spectacular setting and Lake Nona, because that is where we live.
9. If you could play at any course in the world, which would you choose and why? Augusta National and Pine Valley are on my bucket list. I checked off Cypress Point a couple years ago.
10. What is one way that your organization has utilized social
platforms to build awareness and how successful do you feel it was with the target audience? We utilize Twitter and Facebook for our businesses. Anytime we have a press release or general news to share, I tweet it and Annika retweets it. Then we put the more detailed information on our websites: annikasorenstam.com, annikfoudation.org, and heannikaacademy.com
11. Tell us one thing about yourself that not too many people know (and you are willing to share with the world). Annika e-mailed me first and it ended up in my spam folder. I was fortunate to find it or I wouldn’t be answering these questions.
12. What is your favorite holiday? Thanksgiving. Four days filled with our entire family, amazing food and lots of football!
13. Night Owl or Early Bird? I’m definitely an early bird. I have never been one to sleep in.
Connect with Mike:
Twitter: @Annika59, @jmikemcgee