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Richard Anderson didn’t play golf growing up in Florida, but the game is virtually part of his job description now. Anderson, 40, is general counsel of PGA TOUR, Inc. The Tour’s 3,000-plus employees run the PGA, Champions, and Nationwide Tours. They also operate 30 Tournament Players Club (TPC) real estate ventures that include some of the country’s preeminent golf courses. Anderson started at the Tour as an intellectual property attorney in 1995, after five years of IP work at Atlanta’s Troutman Sanders. He was promoted to GC in 2001, and supervises three other lawyers. Anderson talked to Corporate Counsel while he was working on the road at Pebble Beach. (His home office is in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.) What drove your decision to go in-house? It wasn’t a decision to go in-house as much as it was a decision to be deeply involved in the sports business. I don’t think I would have left Troutman for anything but that type of opportunity. I used to say that the only way this [job] would be better is if I could do this in sports somehow, because I really enjoyed my law practice. Tell me about your IP background. I just stumbled into working in IP. Back at that time, the big firms like Troutman really didn’t have any kind of IP practice. And right as I was starting my practice, they woke up to the fact that there was this huge area of the law. I got involved on the trademark side first, and then got involved in doing a lot of licensing. What kind of work does the PGA legal staff do? We probably work as many hours [as] lawyers at law firms do. One attorney is an employment and litigation attorney. One lawyer handles all the commercial property matters, retail licensing, and corporate marketing-all the official relationships with the PGA Tour. My newest attorney’s responsibilities are going to center on the tournament business relationships. The majority of tournaments are managed by separate companies that work all year-round solely on one golf tournament. And so we enter into a contract with each entity-multiply that by 120, across three tours. I manage all that and [work on] our U.S. and international television deals, which are significant contracts. I [also] spend a lot of time in the new media ventures. Why do you like new media? I’m a technology geek myself. I like those deals. They’re not standardized . . . you sort of make it up as you go. And it’s a new revenue source, too. So you’re responsible for everyone watching golf on the Web at work? Our traffic on our Web site absolutely spikes on Thursday and Friday when people are working. Were you a big golf fan growing up? Not really. I’m a huge college football fan, a huge football fan in general. I played everything growing up-except golf; and my father, who loves golf, literally begged me to play. Growing up, if we were watching sports together, he’d try to watch golf and I’d say, Dad, turn that off. It’s one of his favorite stories to tell: “Oh, I told that boy he should play golf.” It’s a great irony in our family. Do you play now? Well, I did take the game up when I first came to the Tour. And then I got married and had children, so I don’t play much anymore. I have two small children, 4 and 2, and so I kind of left the game behind a little bit-on a temporary basis. I am going to get back to it as soon as my daughter is old enough to drag out to the driving range.

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