Former PGA of America CEO Joe Steranka has joined Buffalo Communications (Buffalo) as Chief Global Strategist to further expand the firm’s leadership position in golf and springboard growth in the broader sports and lifestyle categories worldwide.
Steranka will help develop Buffalo’s short- and long-term strategic plans, and leverage his international experiences in golf and sports. He will also provide strategic counsel to Billy Casper Golf – Buffalo’s parent company – to further strengthen its leading golf-course management platform.
Buffalo currently manages strategy, public relations, branding, marketing-communications, social media and creative services for companies and organizations globally. In addition to golf, the 13-year-old, 30-person agency enjoys a burgeoning portfolio in adjacent segments of sports, travel, hospitality, real estate, fashion and luxury brands.
Billy Casper Golf is the largest owner-operator of golf courses, country clubs and resorts in the U.S. with more than 150 properties in 28 states.
Steranka is widely recognized for his contributions to return golf to the 2016 Olympic Games, branding the PGA and establishing a strategic direction for the world’s largest working sports organization, and developing extensive relationships with domestic and international media partners.
After seven years leading the PGA, he resigned in 2012 to spend more time with family and serve several non-profit organizations. In 2013, he led and participated in strategic planning for the Folds of Honor Foundation, Honda Classic, South Florida PGA Section and West Virginia University School of Journalism.
A year after stepping down, Steranka, 55, decided to re-enter the workforce, choosing Buffalo and Billy Casper Golf to mark his return to professional sports, which he has served his entire career. Prior to joining the PGA in 1988, he was with the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers and Washington Bullets, and acclaimed sports agency ProServ.
“The value of sports as content for media companies and a marketing platform for brands is increasing exponentially,” said Steranka, citing the new Fox Sports-USGA agreement, the continued growth of Golf Channel and rising digital traffic associated with sports. “This means there are tremendous opportunities, both at home and around the world, to expand Buffalo in golf and other markets.
“I have long admired the leadership teams at Buffalo and Billy Casper Golf, and both companies enjoy an unrivalled culture and cutting-edge programs. I’m thrilled to add value to their business model that produces impactful results for clients.”
“We’ve known Joe very well for decades and he brings a strategic approach to identifying growth areas and creating innovative solutions,” says Peter Hill, Chairman and CEO of Billy Casper Golf. “His fresh perspectives will diversify revenue centers previously untapped in the marketplace.”
“Sports are becoming a bigger part of our lives as is how we consume content and market to people through sports,” says Rich Katz, Managing Director of Buffalo. “We are excited to incorporate Joe’s high-level thinking helping to monetize these opportunities.”
Steranka began his PGA career in 1988 as Director of Communications and helped grow the organization into one of the most prestigious in all sports. As the PGA’s second CEO, from 2005 to 2012, he was responsible for administration and business leadership of the association serving 27,000 members, overseeing of a $227 million annual budget and a staff of 450.
In addition to his work growing PGA events into leading sports properties, he led development of the acclaimed Golf 2.0 / Future of Golf study. He is one of only 11 Honorary PGA Members in history.
Steranka’s global contributions – the Olympics, establishing the PGA World Alliance and creating the first-ever golf trade show in China, among others – were recently recognized by the PGAs of Europe which awarded him its Christer Lindberg Bowl Award for 2013. Past recipients include Ken Schofield, Peter Dawson, Annika Sorenstam and George O’Grady.
Buffalo Communications www.buffalocommunications.com
Billy Casper Golf www.billycaspergolf.com