Australian Financial Review: The Moment Everything Changed
Greg Norman was honored by Australian Financial Review in a list of 10 Australians – all global leaders in their fields – to talk about “the moment everything changed.”
The Moment Everything Changed
It was 1992 to 1993. I’d been No.1 player in the world for a while and a management company was representing me with all my endorsement deals. I came to a realisation that I was a pass-through entity for them, in other words there was always going to be another Greg Norman coming through. I thought, you know what? I’m not going to re-sign with this management company. I’m going to go out and start my own business.
I’d never had any experience. I subsidised my office, recruited people that I knew were like-minded, and I developed my company Great White Shark Enterprises, which is now Greg Norman Company. I built it into where I am today, with 12 different divisions from real estate to consumer products to clothing, golf course design, health and wellness to education and investment portfolios.
When you reach the upper echelon of sport or business, you’ve got to take a look around you and see who’s in your inner circle, who wants to be in your inner circle, and do they have the same mindset to think out 10 years, 25 years, even 200 years. You’ve got to protect your brand, and brand integrity is critical for me.
The Moment It Will Change Again
I see the big change ahead in connectivity with golf carts and that is going to open up a whole new world of gamification and gaming.
I came up with the idea six years ago. I put a 10.1 inch screen in carts –soyouandIcouldbe playing golf in cart 43 and our friends are playing six holes ahead of us. We can start gambling with each other on who’s going to do what – from cart to cart, golf course to golf course, across the country, around the world. There are 5500 golf courses in the United States, so there’s 16,000 carts. That’s close to 620 million hours you have people on your device on an annual basis just on the golf course. So you just think about the gaming side of things, how we can morph that out. It’s not an idea, we’re making it a reality now.
Greg Norman spent 331 weeks as the world’s No.1 golfer in the 1980s and 90s. He runs his $400 million business empire from Florida, USA, but plans on returning to live in Australia within the next five years.