Executives Spotlight stories appeared on this website starting in 2001. Some of the executive's professional experience may have changed since they were published.
Spotlight - July 27, 2005
President, San Francisco Giants Enterprises
Job changing is akin to channel surfing (...ask a notable NBA coach). Is there anyone then who can reinvent the team, (and himself, for that matter), to withstand almost thirty years of ups and downs? Pat Gallagher.
Pat Gallagher joined the San Francisco Giants in 1976 following a few years marketing roller coasters. Erie.... that was precisely the position he needed for this career!
Throughout the 80s and 90s, the Bay Area spawned creative thinkers and progressive marketers. Silicon Valley rubbed off on Bay Area Sports. Andy Dolich became noted for marketing Oakland A's skipper, Billy Martin, in "Billyball" and his marketing exploits became one of Harvard Business School's first sports case studies. Tod Leiweke's marketing prowess fueled fans to sellout crowds for the Golden State Warriors. And although some of baseball's greats fielded fly balls in Candlestick Park, there were many years when Bay Area fans were pulled to the East side of the Bay. With odds against him, how did Pat Gallagher keep his edge to be able to pull ahead by the early 90s?
In 1987, I took out a billboard on the freeway near the Oakland Coliseum which read "Andy Dolich is celebrating his 40th birthday by giving away free All-Star Game tickets (Oakland was hosting the 1987 MLB ASG) and give him a call! (with his office phone listed). "USA Today" ran a photo of it on the inside sports section page. Andy received about 800 calls. Andy retaliated on my birthday by having a 40 ft inflatable A's player and a 12 foot bobblehead doll placed in front of my house.
In 1988, for Andy's birthday, I had a banner hung above the Oakland A's ticket office in February which said, "SOLD OUT". The Oakland A's have sold out of season and individual tickets. First time in baseball history! And the sign advised "for tickets call the Giants at 1 800 SF Giants". Andy retaliated by taking out a billboard in SF with a photo of me retouched to make me look really old (sort of how I look now, sadly) which said, "Congratulations to Pat Gallagher of the San Francisco Giants on his retirement."
In 1989, for my birthday, Andy had searchlights and a sign that said "Giant Garage Sale" put on my house (in a town that prohibits garage sales) and called the police to be there when I got home. The police arrested me (briefly). I countered and had a representative from the sheriff's department call Andy to inform him of the good news that his stolen fishing boat had been found. The problem was that Andy already took the insurance proceeds and purchased a new boat. His insurance agent informed him that he then owned TWO boats. He panicked and went to the harbor to make sure. (I was waiting with champagne). Andy had the last laugh as the A's swept the Giants in the earthquake "Battle of the Bay" World Series.
For my 1990s birthday, Andy convinced a "USA Today" sports editor to print a limited run of a phony story which proclaimed that I had left the Giants to take a position as president of "A's Entertainment" with Andy left his job to take a position with the World Wrestling Federation. He sent it to the local media. One sports radio director actually went on the air with it, and is still miffed about being had by the gag. I asked you, Buffy, an executive recruiter, to help create a phony job as "president of CBS Sports and Entertainment", a new visionary job with mega-perks, access to company plane and ability to live anywhere in the country, and it reported directly to CBS chair Lawrence Tisch. You sent a job outline of new job to Andy to whet his appetite. And in a rare moment of humility Andy didn't think he was qualified for the job. After you convinced him that Mr. Tisch was excited that Andy might be interested, Andy got excited. You called Andy to arrange meeting with Mr. Tisch in his suite at the St Francis Hotel in SF for a one-on-one interview. Andy is hooked. I called my west coast MLB colleagues and local media and invited them to suite to be there when Andy arrived. Andy arrived with new suit, haircut, briefcase, power tie and dreams of grandeur to suite. My friends and I greeted Andy. Andy said he knew all along it was a gag...(yeah, right)
In 1991, for some reason Andy and I decided to turn the joke on our wives for our birthdays, and so on Valentine's day we invited our wives to trendy SF restaurant and proceeded to unveil a new plan of quitting our jobs and starting a global sports management company "Dolich and Gallagher", with mock-ups of business cards, logos, business plan, etc. It was a bad idea. My wife, Joan, was thrilled that I am getting out of baseball. Andy's wife Ellen had the opposite reaction and was concerned about the wisdom and risks of such a venture. The girls left to go to the ladies room leaving us in a quandary. What do we do now? When they returned, we confessed that it was another joke around our birthdays. The girls were angry and refused to speak us. Everybody left the restaurant upset after an expensive Valentine's day dinner. Andy and I shook hands as a truce to end the practical joke war to save our marriages, and probably my job.
"You can't be in this business and not have fun," added Gallagher as he playfully slugged his former competitor.
And Andy replied, "None of this ever happened. Pat made the whole thing up."
Besides having fun, doing good work is what keeps people fulfilled, and keeps people in their jobs for nearly 30 years.
Pat's next finest skill is in mentoring people. In fact, one of his disciples is Larry Baer, a Berkeley graduate who worked for Pat in the late seventies and early 80s as his Director of Marketing. After attending Harvard Business School, Larry was tapped to lead the business side of the new ownership of the Giants in the early 90s. Larry relied on his former boss, Pat Gallagher, to help him guide the team through the new ownership, new ballpark and a winning tradition.
They say the best gauge of a great executive is to see how high his subordinates go. If so, then Pat Gallagher has to be one of the finest managers, not withstanding being a great practical marketing jokester!
- Buffy Filippell
"Sin the sports world where the cycle of ownership, management and player changes are a part of life, Pat has succeeded with the Giants for nearly thirty years by being both smart and a great, great guy."
--Tod Leiweke, CEO, Seattle Seahawks
What I do...
Pat manages Giants Enterprises, which is a subsidiary of the San Francisco Giants and created to generate profitable non-baseball business opportunities and revenue streams utilizing the venue and human resources of the organization. GE currently produces over 100 non-baseball public and private events per year and is in the development phase of business opportunities which will extend beyond the venue
HOW I GOT HERE...
SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS; San Francisco, CA; 1976-present
President, San Francisco Giants Enterprises
Senior Vice President
Vice President Business Operations
Director of Marketing
MARINE WORLD/AFRICA USA; San Francisco, CA; 1974-1976
Director of Sales and Promotion
SEA WORLD; San Diego, CA/Aurora, OH; 1967-1974
Marketing Sale Representative----Ohio
Assistant Director of Park Operations----Ohio
Assistant Director Park Operations/Traffic Controller----California