Sunoco Debuts "Essence Of Racing" Campaign Executive Transactions Isiah Thomas Expected Backlash Over Hiring FanDuel Brings On Most Of Zynga Sports Team Georgia Approves Increased Athletic Budget Kentucky Adding Ribbon Boards At Rupp IndyCar Ponders How To Attract Fans Long Term Jeff Gordon Hired As Full-Time Analyst For Fox Danica's Sponsorship Status To Be Telling For NASCAR Classified Advertisements
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JEFF EISENBERG was named VP/Sales and Marketing for the Sabres. He had been VP/Tickets Sales for the Brewers (SABRES)....SUE ABRUZZESE-THORMAN, VP/Programming at MSG Network, is moving to Liberty Sports in New York....RON BISHOP has resigned as PR Manager for PRISM/SportsChannel Phila....JEAN- CLAUDE KILLEY, the French triple alpine gold medalist at the '68 Winter Olympics, is reportedly favored to win a seat on the IOC this week (KYODO NEWS).
The plight of former L.A. Kings Owner BRUCE MCNALL is featured by Kevin Brooks in the June issue of GQ. McNall, whose employees "semi-facetiously" called "God," has pleaded guilty to bank fraud and conspiracy, and admitted that he had "tricked banks and other investors" out of almost $250M. Cook reports McNall "had a ten-year party with other people's money," but, "until now, he has been winning the fight to save his reputation." As a young coin entrepreneur, McNall had a net worth of almost $60,000 at the age of 16. But from Gretzky's arrival in L.A. until last year, McNall "was constantly juggling hundreds of millions of dollars in loans, infinitely more than he was worth, to keep the party going." Cook writes that there was "little distinction between corporate and personal spending; they were inextricably, illegally, entwined." McNall Sports & Entertainment (MS&E) VP Controller Joanna Orehek: "None of us knew exactly what was real. It didn't matter as long as the next big loan kept the bills paid. In the meantime, you cheat a little." When one employee finally confronted McNall on possible bank fraud, McNall "swore the fraud was about to stop" as one more deal -- selling the Kings to Sony -- would work everything out. But by the end of '92, MS&E owed more than $200M, and by May '94 McNall was bankrupt. McNall will probably serve no more than five years, and "he is sorry, but not morose." Orehek: "Nobody ever wanted to say no to Bruce and hurt his feelings. But mostly it was golden handcuffs. It was greed" (GQ, 6/95 issue).
MIKE GOFF, Dir of Corporate Sponsorship for Sprint, is profiled in AD AGE's "On A Roll." In '94, Goff, 40, oversaw their title sponsorship of the World Cup. Goff's goal is to "sponsor fewer events, getting maximum reach per event," and predicts "sporting events sponsorship is losing ground to general event sponsorship" (AD AGE, 6/12 issue)....Celtics Chair PAUL GASTON said the team is still in "very serious dicussion" with the Wall Street Journal regarding the $100M suit over the paper's Reggis Lewis story (BOSTON GLOBE, 6/13).....Author JOHN FEINSTEIN appeared on "Charlie Rose" to promote his new book "A Good Walk Spoiled -- Days and Nights on the PGA Tour." Feinstein, on the impact of new technology: "I think it affects hackers more than great players" (PBS, 6/13)....Former Univ. of Arkansas football player ELBERT CRAWFORD has left Little Rock's Stephens Sports Management to open a rival sports agency. The agency will be financially-backed by ALICE WALTON, granddaughter of the late Wal-Mart tycoon, Sam Walton, and be called Llama Sports Management (ARKANSAS DEMOCRAT GAZETTE, 6/13)....JOHN MUCKLER resigned as Sabres head coach, but signed a three-year extension as GM: "I dreamt of winning a Stanley Cup as a coach, and now I dream of winning a Stanley Cup as a General Manager" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 6/13).... JAY LENO, on the Supreme Court's decision ending affirmative action: "You know what that means ... no more white guys in the NBA" ("Tonight Show," NBC, 6/13)....ESPN's KEITH OLBERMANN, on Brewer KEVIN SEITZER's quote that fans who think the game is too slow should go to the movies: "Kevin, if everybody who thinks the games are too long goes to the movies we'll see you there because you and all of the other players will be employed scraping the gum off of the seats" ("SportsCenter," 6/13)....DENNIS RODMAN appeared on Letterman last night sporting yellow hair and a black mesh vest. Rodman told Letterman that he has won as much as $120,000 and lost as much as $100,000 in different trips to Vegas. Rodman, on playing for the Knicks next year: "They don't have enough money for me, PATRICK EWING took it all." Letterman, speculating why Rodman is always late to practice: "It takes awhile to get your piercing all hooked up?" (CBS, 6/14)....LYLE LOVETT will sing the National Anthem at MLB's All-Star Game (MLB)....Magic GM PAT WILLIAMS is profiled on the front page of this morning's WALL STREET JOURNAL. Williams was "once considered part of the NBA's lunatic fringe, horrifying basketball purists with his promotions" for the 76ers in the late 60's. NBA Exec VP Rick Welts: "Pat's always felt we were in the entertainment business, and he realized that much sooner than the rest of the league" (John Heylar, WALL STREET JOURNAL, 6/14)....Agent LEIGH STEINBERG was interviewed last night on CNBC's "Sports View." Steinberg on the NBA's labor situation: "It was because the teams looked as if they were going to go bankrupt some fifteen years ago that the player pitched in and said 'we have to save this sport.' Those economics have completely changed. Basketball is now a sports with tremendous popularity, with very different economics, it does not need a cap" (CNBC, 6/13).