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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TY VOTAW, special assistant to the Commissioner/General Counsel, has been promoted to VP/Business Affairs for the LPGA. Votaw will handle all business deals, including sponsorships and TV rights negotiations (LPGA)....USA Baseball promoted PAUL SEILER to Dir of National Team Baseball Operations. He was Special Projects Manager since '88 (USA Baseball)....The Coyotes named DAVE SMREK as Dir of Ticket Sales. Smrek has been with the Canucks, Grizzlies, Nuggets and Avalanche. The team also promoted STACI GREVILLIUS to Manager of Fan Development (Coyotes).
EAGLESON PLEADS: ALAN EAGLESON, founder and former Dir of the NHLPA, "pleaded guilty to three counts of mail fraud for his role in elaborate, illegal schemes that bilked huge sums of money from the players he had pledged to serve." The plea arrangement calls for Eagleson to be imprisoned for 18 months in Canada, and for him to pay back C$1M to the players he stole from. Much of that money will be held in trust to benefit past and present NHL players (Zachary Dowdy, BOSTON GLOBE, 1/7). ESPN's Bob Ley reported that Eagleson, a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame will be asked "to resign from the Hall, and that would be a first for the Hall of Fame of any major sport" ("SportsCenter," 1/6). OTHER NAMES: Twentieth Century Fox Film Division Chair TOM SHERAK, on HOWIE LONG, who stars in "Firestorm," which opens Friday: "Hollywood has a need for the next big action star. Howie brings to the party likability, [plus] he's big, strapping and good looking" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 1/7). ...Cowboys FB DARYL JOHNSTON, on Cowboys Owner JERRY JONES: "He gives us every opportunity to be successful, [but] one of the things I think he has to be careful about with what he's doing right now, is scaring a coach away because of the involvement that he wants to have with the football team" ("Up Close," ESPN, 1/6)....BOBBY KNIGHT, on DENNIS RODMAN: "I have great admiration for what Rodman has done in a capitalistic society. ... In the process, I think Rodman, if he's as intelligent as people have told me he is, would be genuinely upset with himself at the influence, negatively, that he's probably had on a lot of kids" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 1/6)....Devils LW REID SIMPSON and D SHELDON SOURAY, along with Islanders D BRYAN BERARD and D BRYAN MCCABE, are featured in this month's issue of GQ in a hair styling piece titled "No Helmet Required" (GQ, 1/98 issue)....The RED WINGS will visit the White House on January 30 where they will be honored for winning last year's Stanley Cup (DETROIT NEWS, 1/7)....BILL LAIMBEER, "touted by Michigan Republicans as a possible candidate for Congress," said that he "has no interest in politics" (DETROIT NEWS, 1/7).
BASEBALL AMERICA lists its annual "25 Most Influential" people in baseball (BASEBALL AMERICA, 1/19): RANK NAME POSITION/ORGANIZATION 1) Don Fehr Exec Dir, MLBPA 2) Bud Selig Acting Commissioner/CEO, Brewers 3) Paul Beeston President & COO, MLB 4) Rupert Murdoch Chair & CEO; News Corp. 5) Jerry Reinsdorf Chair, White Sox 6) Ken Griffey Jr. OF, Mariners 7) Jerry McMorris Chair, Rockies 8) Jerry Colangelo Managing General Parnter, D'Backs 9) Scott Boras Agent 10) Ted Turner Owner, Braves Vice-Chair, Time Warner 11) Steve Bornstein President & CEO, ABC Sports/ESPN 12) Randy Levine Players Relations Committee, MLB 13) Dick Ebersol President, NBC Sports 14) John Hart GM, Indians 15) Alan & Randy Hendricks Agents 16) George Steinbrenner Owner, Yankees 17) Ron Shapiro Agent 18) John Harrington CEO, Red Sox 19) Tony Tavares President, Anaheim Sports 20) Jim Bronner/Bob Gilhooley Agents 21) Gene Orza Assistant General Counsel, MLBPA 22) Peter Gammons Boston Globe/ESPN analyst 23) Tom Reich Agent 24) Peter Angelos Owner, Orioles 25) Pedro Martinez P, Red Sox