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Media placement is an Impact Players specialty, whether you are a corporation, nonprofit organization, entrepreneur, or mixed martial arts fighter

who benefits from national exposure in Fight! magazine.

“South Florida’s Best and Brightest”

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Aventura Business Monthly named Impact Players President Stu Opperman one of “South Florida’s Best and Brightest in June.

Here’s the Q&A:


Stu Opperman
His achievements span more than two-and-a-half decades, and during that time, the list of clients he’s represented has been as impressive as it has been wide-ranging.Stu Opperman, President of Impact Players He has created and implemented both public relations and strategic communications campaigns for, among others, the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Florida, the hugely popular “Paul & Young Ron Show,” The Andy Roddick Foundation, Pine Crest School, III Forks restaurant, Castronovo Vineyards, The Broward Alliance, and Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Foundation. Throughout his career, Stu Opperman has played a vital role in every conceivable aspect of PR, including: crisis management, relationship creation and enhancement, and audience and content generation. He also serves on the board of directors for the Public Relations Society of America’s (PRSA) Gulfstream Chapter. Opperman, a University of Florida graduate, founded Hollywood-based Impact Players in 2009.

Q: What advice would you give youngsters who want to embark on a career in your industry?

A: Don’t put restrictions on your career path by limiting what you are willing to do. “I only want to work at a large agency” or “I’m only interested in travel industry PR” unnecessarily close the door on opportunities that might be enjoyable and lucrative. Being a generalist (I joke that my niche is not having a niche), and working within a wide variety of industries keeps every day fresh and makes me a valuable resource to many different clients.

Q: Of what professional accomplishment are you most proud?

A: Having the courage to leave a stable, well-paying, senior position at an agency during a recession to devote myself to Impact Players ( I didn’t have a year’s salary in the bank or a formal business plan like the experts recommend, but I did have a belief in myself and a strong sense that I was capable of creating something personally and professionally special. I also didn’t want to be the guy who told his daughters to follow their dreams when I wasn’t willing to follow mine.

Q: What’s the most challenging part about your work?

A: I demand excellence from myself and it’s tough to find the time to be great at everything when you are a one-man band. I’m in charge of strategy, implementation, client relations, business development, accounting, IT [information technology], brand enhancement, and everything else that goes into running a small business.

Q: What did you envision doing for a living when you were growing up?

A: After it became clear that playing for the New York Yankees probably wasn’t going to happen, I assumed I’d be a sportswriter for a newspaper. At the University of Florida, I discovered that working in radio and television was much cooler than the newspaper job I envisioned, so I did that for a number of years, including a stint as the program director at SportsRadio 560 WQAM, before making the switch to public relations.

Q: In ten years’ time, I will be _________________.

A: Successful enough to be living whatever life is best for my family. More selfishly, I’ll also be attending the Florida/Georgia football game, “The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party,” the last Saturday in October, something I’ve already done more than 25 times. What that says about me, good or bad, I don’t know, but that weekend in Jacksonville is one of my happy places.

Q: Who are/were your professional role models and why?

A: Bob Woolf was one of the first sports agents and at the top of the game when I knew him as a young professional. Despite all the success, he never big-timed anyone, and he treated everyone, from the commissioner of the NFL to the guy who cleaned the locker rooms, with respect. He also taught me to return every phone call, because you never knew where the next opportunity might come from. Also, my dad, who worked hard every day and sacrificed for his family. He wouldn’t spend a penny on himself, but the rest of us always had everything we needed.

Q: If you could do anything else in the world for a living, what would it be?

A: One of the great things about public relations is that it enables you to work in many business environments, because accounts are very often in different industries. It is a requirement to become somewhat of an expert in many fields, to stay informed, and to constantly navigate a shifting landscape. Those skills, and the ability to communicate effectively, would serve me well in other careers, but because there isn’t an obvious one I’d switch to, I know I’ve found the professional niche for me. I love that I already get to live in other worlds, everything from nonprofits to mixed martial arts (MMA), without ever having to leave the job I already have.

Q: What’s the best part about your job?

A: Freedom to do things how and when I please. If I’m willing to work at midnight, which I am, then I can also take a bike ride at the beach at two in the afternoon. I make decisions about who I want to work with, the type of work I want to do, and, ultimately, how much money I make. The “obligations” you have working for someone else become “opportunities” when it is for yourself.

Q: What’s the worst part about your job?

A: The worst part, whatever it may be, is better than a lot of people’s best part, so I’ve got nothing to complain about. That being said, it’s probably the desire to always do more for your client’s business or for my own business, knowing there are only so many hours in the day. That’s especially difficult for me because I’m also focused on sharing time with family and friends.

Q: What’s the one most important thing that experience has taught you?

A: How you look at situations determines your level of happiness. It’s true that “things turn out best for those who make the best of the way things turn out.” Your attitude is the key, and thankfully, that is something over which each of us has control.

Q: What’s the best career advice anyone has imparted on you?

A: Never lose sight of the big picture.

Q: What one thing would you do different/better if you could start it all over again?

A: I’d learn to speak Spanish. In South Florida, especially, being bilingual is a huge advantage.

Q: What’s your favorite South Florida charity?

A: The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Florida. I’ve seen firsthand “the power of a wish” and the life-changing impact it has for children who have life-threatening medical conditions. One little girl told her mother on the day her wish was granted, ‘For the first time I feel like a real kid, not a kid who has cancer.’ The Foundation delivers that type of magic every day.

What Would Fudgie (the Whale) Do?

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Faced with the “adapt or die” scenario, one would assume business people would understand the need to change. Yet each day there are numerous examples of those who still cling to the thinking of the past, even at the expense of their future. Here’s one example:

My daughter really likes those crunchy, chocolate things that are often between layers of an ice cream cake. With today being her birthday, I decided (with a little prodding from mini-me) to get some extra “crunchies” to go with the cake mom and sister had baked. Happy to overpay for a small container as a birthday treat, I’m told at my local ice cream shop that they won’t sell them to me unless I first buy a cake from them (the least expensive was $10). No exceptions, they say, we’ve never sold them separately (even though they do get requests to do so).

While I’m no expert on the cost of producing crunchies, if that’s even their name, or the potential scarcity should people be allowed to eat them outside of cake, I am confident there was profit to be made if they charged me, say $4, for a small cup. It might even have been the best margin they recorded all day.

Still, the manager refused to even consider the sale, since the preservation of the store’s decades-old business philosophy was apparently the top priority. Forget trying to survive a bad economy (somewhat prophetically there was an abandoned mall, 350,000 sq. ft. of retail space, directly across the street), making an obscene profit on a special request, or satisfying customers so they’ll come back/tell their friends, the store didn’t sell crunchies outside the cake 30 years ago and they weren’t about to start now.

Is your company doing things the way it always has even though the business arena and customer (service) expectations have evolved? While the resistance to change may provide some short-term comfort for those who enjoy the non-thinking zone, it’s also the fastest way to insure the number of birthdays your business enjoys is limited.

What They’re Saying about Impact Players

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“I’ve had the opportunity to work with numerous public relations professionals over the years and have found precious few of them that share the same level of innovative and strategic thinking as Stu Opperman.

For more than 10 years, we have worked together on a variety of projects with positive results. We rely on Stu to help guide us through the always-changing world of public relations. He has challenged us to be proactive in the social media arena and we are a better organization because of it.

We highly recommend Impact Players to any company or non-profit, both big and small.”

Richard Kelly, Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Southern Florida


(see more testimonials under the “Feedback” tab)


Iron Chefs?

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Emeril Lagasse, Guy Fieri



If you were looking for the epicenter of the food and cooking world one recent morning, there was no need to look further than the “Paul & Young Ron Show.”


Celebrity chefs Emeril Lagasse and Guy Fieri hosted the show’s annual cook-off between Paul Castronovo and “Young” Ron Brewer, with the “Iron Chef”-style competition judged by Cat Cora, Tim Love, Bryan Voltaggio, Howie Kleinberg, and Rick Moonen.


Paul Castronovo


The two were given a random sampling of items and had thirty minutes to create a meal once the main ingredient was revealed.  In a bit of an upset, Brewer’s “Lobster Tropicale” was judged superior to Castronovo’s “Mediterranean Surprise,” although the competition was not without controversy, with allegations that Brewer’s winning entry was primarily prepared by a sous chef from Florida International University.


The competition took place poolside at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel and was part of the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival.

Guy Fieri, “Young” Ron Brewer, Paul Castronovo

Some Needed Perspective

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It had been one of those days.  One of the ones where seemingly everything goes wrong and disappointment is around every corner.  A day where you go to bed early, just so that you can make “today” into “yesterday” without any further damage.

Then a remarkable thing happened . . . I got an e-mail.  Not just any e-mail, mind you, but one from the mother of child who had a wish granted by the Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Southern Florida, an Impact Players client.  Their son, David, a promising high school pitcher whose career had been derailed by illness, had traveled to Southern California to have his mechanics evaluated by former major league pitcher and current USC coach Tom House.  It was David’s hope that with some expert instruction and a little bit of luck with his health, he might be able to earn a college scholarship to play baseball.

Mom was thankful for some of the media opportunities we arranged for her family, but also wanted to share “the power of a wish.”

“I tried to explain (to the reporter) how incredible the experience was for us and how much it means to David.  It is hard to find the words that do it justice.   For us, having something to look forward to right when David needed it and then getting the encouragement that he got from Tom House has been life changing for him . . . it gave my son hope at a time when he needed it.  How do you thank someone for that?  It is beyond words.

David has tryouts next week for the Varsity spring team.  There is an amazing amount of talent on this team and they are ‘stacked’ with pitchers.  Hopefully, he will make it.  David thinks he will and has been training and working on the things that House taught him all through his holiday and time off (the wish is still making his life better).  Since his time with Coach House, David thinks he can do anything.   He had a Dr.’s appointment today and is the healthiest that he has been in three years (even the benign bone tumor in his leg has gone).  We don’t take anything for granted and we don’t know the what the future holds but thanks to (Make-A-Wish) and two incredibly smart doctors, David is living his dream today.”

Like I said, it was a great day.

Maybe the ‘World Record’ Ain’t What You Think

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This record has nothing to do with motorcycles.

The Guinness World Records people have a new division that helps companies figure out what records can be set for brands and products, and another division to help record-setters get media attention. The process costs nearly $5,000, which includes having a judge verify the accomplishment and brainstorm other potential record opportunities.

Does knowing this change your perception of Guinness and the records it chronicles?

Source: Tactics (November 2010)

Hope, Strength, and Joy is the Best Medicine

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One of the common misconceptions about the Make-A-Wish Foundation is that it only grants the wishes of children who are terminally ill.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  The kids all have life-threatening medical conditions, but, thankfully, many grow up to lead healthy lives.

At Impact Players, we work with the media to help tell their stories.