August 5, 2020

Humor, Honor, and Resilience, with JJ Gottsch

Episode 88:

JJ Gottsch is the longest-tenured employee with Ryan Sanders Sports & Entertainment and has played a key role in the development of both the Round Rock Express (Houston Astros Triple-A) and Corpus Christi Hooks (Astros Double-A). He was promoted to his current position, COO, in January 2015. In this role, he oversees all business operations for the Express, RS3 Turf, RS3 Strategic Hospitality as well as the company’s growing entertainment division. Gottsch was president of the Hooks for the club’s first five years, where his leadership and experience helped them draw more than two million fans in their first four seasons. Previous to his position in Corpus Christi, Gottsch served as assistant general manager for the Express during the first six years of the organization’s existence. Gottsch helped lead the franchise to record-setting attendance numbers, establishing a new Double-A home attendance record with 660,110 fans in the club’s first year, eclipsing the old attendance mark that had stood for 20 years. The franchise would proceed to break its own attendance standard in each successive season with Gottsch on board as a steadying influence.

A former player, Gottsch’s professional career included time with the Butte Copper Kings in the Pioneer League and the Perth Baseball Club in the Western Australia Baseball League. At the collegiate level, Gottsch played for Creighton University as well as TCU, where he was a member of the Horned Frogs1994 Southwest Conference Championship and NCAA Regional team.  He transferred to TCU after spending three years at Creighton, where he was a shortstop on the 1991 Bluejay team that advanced to the College World Series.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Why resiliency is not an option for JJ
  • How being raised in a household full of problem-solvers helped shape him into the leader he is today
  • Why it is so important to look at who all of your stakeholders are and what they need before making a big decision
  • How to navigate the cancel culture and the social media firestorm and figure out who it is you need to be listening to
  • How this time during the pandemic has proven that you do not know how much you can do until you are forced to do it
  • How Ryan Sanders Sports and Entertainment continues to find creative ways to serve their customers without the MiLB season
  • What was one of the greatest lessons he learned from his legendary college coach at Creighton, Jim Hendry

Additional resources:

Will Ferrell Pitching for Round Rock Express – Promotion with Will supporting his Cancer for College charity – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=haHlFA_bDkI&t=

Truckin & Buckin – A two-day simultaneous Monster Truck and Bull Riding Event in 2016- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-cWDZiXPa0

Fear the Walking Dead – We rented our stadium out to AMC Studios for six months (before our 2018 season) so they could shoot the first season of Fear the Walking Dead – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPYH7WMKPrs&t=103s *You’ll need to rewind back to the beginning, it seems to be opening ½ way through

Home Run Dugout – A new startup in Austin basically a baseball version of Top Golf – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VnkjqByAnO0&t=

The UFC Watch Party – https://www.milb.com/round-rock/fans/ufc-252

Recap of the Granger Smith / 4th of July Concerthttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6wRtwFkARA

RR Hairy Men Page – https://www.milb.com/round-rock/fans/hairy-man

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