In a special crossover episode we combine United States of Dramerica and America the Beautiful Game. We talk to whisky lover and soccer expert Oliver Wyss. The former Swiss international youth player, coach, agent and soccer tech is now the President of Soccer at Orange County Soccer Club in the United Soccer League. We talk about the controversial new European Super League, his love of wine and then whisky and the state of soccer in the United States. Oliver tells us about working on Playing for Keeps with Gerard Butler, being sold expensive whisky at Glasgow airport and how much he enjoys work Orange County's partner club Glasgow Rangers. He talks about the transformation of US soccer, its continued shortcomings but also how they might win a World Cup in 2030. And why he wants to share a Bruichladdich Black Art with Michael Jordan.
We talk to stuntman, fight co-ordinator, martial arts specialist and member of the famous Crosby family, Luke. He talks about his great-grandfather Bing, the extraordinary career of his mother Spice Williams-Crosby and his fascination with martial arts - not surprising given his father Gregory trained with Bruce Lee. We talk growing up in a celebrity family, the community of black belts and why he chose stunts over acting. And Luke tells us about family film night, earning his SAG card playing a ninja and why he wants to share a Japanese whisky with Bruce Lee.
We go Down Under this week to talk to Dave Vitale, the founder of Australian whisky sensation Starward. He talks about his company's market positioning, why Starward is perfect for cocktails and as a 'dinner table whisky'. He explains how the pandemic has been tough for a growing brand, why he wanted to start distilling and the growing market in Australia. He talks about the pleasing lack of whisky prejudice against newer markets and why people should embrace new expressions and how Starward are growing in the US. And Dave explains what cuisine pairs best with his whisky, how Two-Fold and tonic is the new gin and tonic and where he expects to see Starward in the next five years.
This week's guest is Martin French, managing director at Berylls Strategy Advisors. We talk the future of driving, mobility, electrification and autonomous vehicles. Martin tells us why range anxiety should no longer be an issue, the joy of electric cars and the psychology of autonomous vehicle adoption. He explains why he doesn't own a car, his favorite driving experiences and the difference between mobility adoption in America and Europe. He also tells us why he wants to share a Redbreast with his grandfather and sharing a gin and tonic with Dame Judi Dench.
We talk to Scottish entrepreneur Chris Newlands, founder of space selfie company Spelfie. The navy veteran explains the genesis of his company, why he thinks people will want to take space selfies at live events and how clouds are Spelfie's enemy. He talks through the challenges of launching a start up in a global pandemic, the ways his company has adapted and his plans for expansion. Chris talks about his partnership with Airbus, selling space visible advertising and why he wants to share a Macallan with Barack Obama on the beach in Barbados.
We talk to Gary Gillan, the president of NARSA - the North American Rangers Supporters Association. He talks about his beloved club Rangers, how being further afield brings you closer to the club and the origins of NARSA. He talks about the sense of community that these fan groups create, how tough it has been during Covid and he feels closer to the club in Canada even though he used to have a season ticket. Gary tells us about the excitement around Rangers' season, what it will mean to win the league again after a ten year gap and reminds us all that Rangers are the most successful domestic team in global soccer. He explains the rivalry with Celtic, where Rangers would fit in the English game and the importance of European competition. And why he wants to share a whisky with the Beatles.
We talk to veteran whisky and luxury travel expert Ricky Crawford. He tells us about the growing importance of sustainable travel, how it's going to become more important post-pandemic and the genesis of his Amazon Prime show Leave No Trace. We talk about green luxury travel in Scotland, the purity of distilleries and his time as a roving whisky ambassador - including a disappointing trip to the Playboy Mansion. Ricky tells us about his new virtual Scottish corporate tour company - where he is one of the three Dram Good Laddies, what he misses about drinking whisky with friends and his love for the Maldives. And he tells us why he wants to drink a Glenlivet with George Clooney.
We talk to Dom Madell, resident of Auckland, New Zealand. He explains what it is like living in a relatively covid-free country, survivor's guilt and the Kiwi view of the rest of the world. He talks about masks on trains - and nowhere else - in his country, the reality of being on an 'island of purity' and the inequity of billionaires of using his country as a safety bolthole. Dom explains his worries about New Zealand for when they re-open borders, he drinks a local Thomson whisky and we share stories of our childhood and our first (terrible) attempts at drinking illegally in pubs. He also talks about his new band, set up during the pandemic, and how Frayed Flag are happily playing gigs in busy pubs.
We talk to Jon Ryan, the Super Bowl winning punter from the Seattle Seahawks. He tells us about the feeling of being part of a Super Bowl and the euphoria of victory. He also tells us about the feeling of being part of a Super Bowl the following year and the agony of a narrow defeat to Tom Brady. Jon talks us through his Championship game touchdown, the first play-off touchdown ever thrown by a punter. We talk about punters tackling, some of Jon's highlight reel - mostly painful-looking hits - and the under-rated value of the CFL, and why playing in his home country was so important to him. There is also time to cover soccer - including his love for Swansea City and Jordan Morris' transfer there - and his new career as an owner of rugby and baseball teams. We also cover retirement, Brady, Gronk and whisky. And Jon tells us why he wants to drink bourbon with Jackie Robinson in a minor league dugout. A fantastic discussion with one of the game's popular figures.
We talk to event and marketing expert David Balfour. The Scot living in Dubai with plans to expand in to the US talks events, how the pandemic has changed the industry, what is possible now and what direction he thinks events will go in the future. He tells us how the uneven pace of recovery is creating opportunities, the huge appetite to return to live experiences and how Usher nearly ruined one of his first events in the US. David tells us about his favorite whisky, his sneaker collection and the appeal of life in Los Angeles. And why he wants to share a Wolfcraig whisky with Sir Alex Freguson.
We talk to Estelle McCartney, Chief Customer Officer for Arctic Shores and veteran communications professional. She tells us about how the interface between business and Government has changed, the importance of ‘doing good’ and her first role with Britain in Europe. She talks about her work with Arctic Shores, using technology in recruitment to improve diversity and getting people into the right jobs for the long term. She also talks about watching her father compete in the Whisky Olympics, we debate how to pronounce Glenmorangie and she tells the story of pioneer Gertrude Bell.
We talk to screenwriter Grant Pierce Myers. He talks about the excitement of working on The Maze Runner, his parents organizing a special screening for their friends in his home town and his favorite line from the movie. He tells us how he celebrates movie projects by buying bottles of whisky, his love for the cherry-infused bourbon made by Traverse City Whiskey Company and he tells the story of being fired from the Maze Runner - and how the lead actor didn't even realize he was the writer. Grant tells us how he would pitch a movie about Trump, how the pandemic ruined one of his latest projects and whether his new projects will have masks and social distancing written in to them. He talks about script envy, the Maze Runner being sued for stealing someone else's idea and how he feels about the Maze Runner sequels making less money than the first. And he tells us why he wants to drink any whisky with Ernest Hemingway on a boat - and his favorite cocktail stories.
We talk to David Mackay, the Chief Pilot for Virgin Galactic. He tells us his journey from a young boy in northern Scotland watching the moon landing on television to his own flight into space. David, who has more than 15k flying hours, talks about testing aircraft for the British Royal Air Force, his transition to commercial airliners for Virgin Atlantic and then his move to flying spacecraft for Virgin Galactic. He describes the simple joy of his first ever flight, the beautiful vistas he has captured from the cockpit of planes around the world and the thrill of flying into space and the unique experience and view. David talks through what a Virgin Galactic astronaut will experience, the types of passengers who have signed up for space travel and why he enjoys a post-flight Clynelish. And he tells us why he wants to share a whisky with Neil Armstrong.
We talk to James Keston, owner of Orange County Soccer Club. He explains why he bought a USL team, what he is hoping to achieve on and off the field and how hard the pandemic has hit live sport. James talks about the unique partnership with Glasgow Rangers, the CBS documentary about their deal and why all the Scottish players needed subtitles. He tells us that he doesn’t think a promotion and relegation system will happen in US soccer in the next 30 years, the importance of giving American youngsters a pathway to pro that avoids college and how close he came to owning an MLS team. And why he wants to share a highland whisky in a European pub with Alexander Hamilton and Benjamin Franklin.
We talk to whisky entrepreneur Steve Lipp, the man behind everything from Alexander Murray, to Costco's Kirkland whisky and also banana flavor bourbon sensation Howler Head. He tells us about how near-death experiences took him from the oil business to the whisky trade, why he named his brand after his great uncle and how a drowning fisherman helped Lagavulin 16 become his favorite whisky. He talks about banana bourbon - and his partnership with UFC owner Dana White, his beer/whisky partnership with Firestone Walker and what next for Costco whiskys. And why he wants to share a Lagavulin 16 with Sean Connery at the Pittodrie House Hotel.