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What John Wooden Taught Us About Marketing

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Former UCLA basketball coach John Wooden waves before the start of the NCAA national championship game in Seattle, in this April 3, 1995 file photo. Wooden, the peerless U.S. college basketball coach who became known as the Wizard of Westwood while winning a record 10 national championships at UCLA, died on June 4, 2010, at age 99, a spokesman for the UCLA Medical Center said. REUTERS/Jeff Vinnick/Files (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL OBITUARY)

“Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best of which you are capable.” – Coach John Wooden

John Wooden’s death over the weekend, at the age of 99, got me thinking about the man they called “The Wizard of Westwood.” As someone who spent the early years of his career working in sports marketing, I thought about Wooden’s NCAA-record 10 national championships while coaching the legendary UCLA Bruins of Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul Jabbar) and Bill Walton and many others. I also remembered the man’s great humility and sense of humor, as well as his uncanny ability to get the best out of his players without overtly trying to put his ego or his own highly-respected reputation ahead of the game, his team or his employer (UCLA). Continue reading

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