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John Donald Carroll

August 16, 2018
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JOHN DONALD CARROLL

 

 

Mr. John D. Carroll, 84 of Hopedale MA and formerly of Quincy MA, died Thursday (August 16, 2018) at his residence after an illness. He was the beloved husband of the late Phyllis A. (Moreau) Carroll, who died in 2017.

 

 

Born September 6, 1933 in Boston and raised in Wollaston, MA, John was an alumnus of the Wollaston School, North Quincy High School, Boston University and the Boston College Graduate School of Business. He passed peacefully surrounded by his children on August 16, 2018.

He was married to the wonderful Phyllis Ann (Moreau) Carroll for 58 years until her passing in 2017. Together, they leave four spectacular children: Bill and his wife Susie of New York City; Kelley Ann and her husband Rob McMahon of Hopedale, MA; Kim Renee and her husband Mark Castaldo of Madison, CT; John and his wife Jennifer of Austin, TX.  Their children produced seven grandchildren: Carolyn, John, Julie and Connor Castaldo; Cole, Jack and Ryder Carroll and one great grandchild, Mia Bohbot, daughter of Carolyn.

 

THE START

John`s only brother Bill who was 5 years older was killed in an automobile accident at age 22 when he was a Junior at Boston College.  John was a senior in high school planning to attend Amherst College but, because of his brother`s death he became a commuter student to Boston University.

Upon graduation from Boston University he received a Second Lieutenant Commission in the U.S. Air Force after spending four years in the ROTC.  John had played baseball at BU for four years and established himself as a top-notch pitcher.  He was offered an opportunity to join the Philadelphia Phillies farm team, the Harlingen Capitals in the Rio Grande Valley League of South Texas and played for one season before reporting for active duty. 

 

THE U.S. AIR FORCE

While in the Air Force he attended several flying school earning wings as a Pilot and Navigator, as well as a Certified Electronic Warfare Officer. This extensive training was designed to prepare him to fly the brand new B-52 Stratojet in the Strategic Air Command where he served as a standby pilot, celestial navigator and electronic officer on a crew of five officers. He rose to the rank of Captain and flew on a combat ready status for two years.  His active duty and reserve time totaled 16 years of service in the Air Force.

 

THE CORPORATE WORLD

John`s first job was with the DuPont Company of Wilmington, Delaware where he served as an advertising and marketing specialist. He worked on DuPont products Corian, Mylar and was on the team to introduce Teflon to America.  Owing to the fact he had three children while employed there he was motivated to move to the state of Connecticut and join Uniroyal where he became Director of Advertising for the company`s Chemical Division.  After one year, he was named Director of the Agricultural Chemical Division and was subsequently promoted to Worldwide Director of Proprietary Chemicals.

 

THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE

In the mid-1960’s John was approached by a headhunter seeking a General Manager with advertising and chemical experience for the New York office of the Allen and Dorward Advertising Agency based in San Francisco (they had the Shell Oil account).  Coincidentally, the National Football League moved from Los Angeles to New York City and because of the agency`s connection with the San Francisco 49ers, A&D secured the NFL account and John was placed in charge. In this capacity he designed the first NFL marketing programs that encouraged corporations to invest in sports “properties” as a new component of their marketing strategies. For all intents and purposes, this was the launch of “Sports Marketing” that packaged the assets embodied in sports i.e. fan passion, event signage, tickets, media exposure, etc. and utilized them for brand marketing utility. 

 

CAPITAL SPORTS, INC.

Due to his pioneering success with the NFL and corporate sponsorship, John founded his own company Capital Sports located on Park Avenue in 1972.  He continued to represent the NFL and created Super Bowl weekends for entertaining corporate clients.  One of his first “grass roots” programs was the creation of The Equitable Family Tennis Challenge that was based upon his experience with the NFL’s Punt, Pass & Kick program for kids. A series of competitions staged across the country, the tennis program engaged thousands of families and ran successfully for 17 years. This led to the procurement of the United States Open Tennis Championships as a client (owned by the USTA) and CSI managed it for eight years building into a world-class event.  CSI`s emerging prominence in the world of tennis led John to create The Family Circle Tennis Championships at Hilton Head Island, the Women’s Tennis Association Championships at Amelia Island and The Federation Cup which was sponsored by Colgate.  He also served as a Board Member of the WTA for close to a decade.

In addition to CSI’s impactful contributions to the sport of tennis, the company was instrumental in starting the New York City Marathon, producing the first Formula One Racing Track in New York, creating the Corporate Compound at Wimbledon, marketing the Colgate Dinah Shore Golf Classic and bringing the Tour de France to American television for the first time.  It created a plethora of grass roots sports programs like the Manufacturer Hanover Trust Shootout for kids, the Sprite Sprints for Coca-Cola and the Penthouse Ski Races. 

In 1976, Capital Sports reached the pinnacle of its success by securing the worldwide marketing rights to the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid.  Under John’s leadership, the company spearheaded the design of the Lake Placid symbols for the games, wrote the ticket plan and generated twice the revenue it guaranteed to the Olympic Organizing Committee.  Over the course of a decade, CSI became the first sports marketing company in America to revolutionize how corporations invested in sports to implement and leverage their marketing strategies.

 

CARROLL & COMPANY

After twelve years of great success, John sold CSI in 1984.  Shortly thereafter, he founded Carroll & Company with two of his children Bill and Kim. Together they packaged several promotional concepts including the Pilot Pen By-Line Journalism Contest for High School Juniors. This program ran in 2,800 schools across America and had Tom Brokaw as it`s National Spokesperson; the winner and runner-ups received college scholarships. Independently, John became the Booking Agent for several TV shows including Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous, Super Models of the World and The Magic of Music with Dick Clarke.  Around 1990, John joined ProServ as Worldwide Marketing Director and led initiatives on behalf of the Caribbean World Series of Baseball and USA Volleyball.

 

 

 

USA VOLLEYBALL

In 1992, John was recruited for the position of CEO & Executive Director of USA Volleyball, the National Governing Body of the sport.  He moved to Colorado Springs with his wife and spearheaded the non-profit organization for six years including two Olympics.  He is credited with saving the Association from bankruptcy; changing the name and symbols, and most historically, negotiated to put beach volleyball permanently in the Summer Olympics. USA Volleyball became one of the most significant Governing Bodies in the Olympic movement and John was the first American named to the Board of the Federation International de Volleyball (FIVB) in 25 years.

In the twilight of his career, Mr. Carroll served as CEO & Commissioner of the Women`s Professional Softball League which was backed by the Cowles media family of Minneapolis. He developed the new league for six years and because of his personal relationships with ESPN put women`s professional softball and the U.S. Olympic Softball team on television. In the process, he developed a relationship with Major League Baseball to designate the women’s league a “Development Sport” for baseball.

 

LAST HURRAH

John Donald Carroll was a true pioneer in the world of Sports Marketing as it is known today.  He was an entrepreneur and risk-taker, a great writer and an orator.  An athlete and an artist who travelled the world for business and for pleasure, he was a man of great integrity, passion and pride who always led by example.  Most importantly, he was an exemplary husband, a role model father and grandfather who will be missed by many that crossed his path.  He lived his life to the fullest and leaves it without regret.

 

 

In accordance with his wishes cremation will take place. Relatives & friends are invited to attend his Memorial Mass, with Military Honors, on Saturday (September 8th) at 12PM in Sacred Heart Church, 187 Hopedale Street, Hopedale MA. Private committal services will be held at the convenience of the family at a later date. There are no funeral home visiting hours.

 

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute at Milford Regional Medical Center, c/o the Milford Regional Healthcare Foundation, 14 Prospect Street, Milford MA 01757

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