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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ESPN STAR Sports, a joint venture between ESPN and News Corp.'s STAR TV network, announced a series of management changes: CHRIS MCDONALD moves to Senior VP/Strategic Planning from VP/Marketing; Senior VP & GM/Affiliate Sales SIMON YU will add VP/marketing to his title; SALLY VAUGHAN was promoted to Marketing Dir from Marketing Manager (AD AGE, 4/10)....The Buccaneers "fired" Ticket Dir KEVIN BROOKS and two members of his staff. A replacement has not yet been announced (Pat Yasinskas, TAMPA TRIBUNE, 4/14).
KARL MALONE will start acting classes at the Strasberg Institute in New York after the season (N.Y. POST, 4/14). ...In Tampa, H.A. Branham reports that a "friend" of MARY PIERCE's family said that she and ROBERTO ALOMAR are engaged (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 4/14)....The Bucks have invited full season- ticket holders to a Milwaukee premiere of SPIKE LEE's "He Got Game," starring Bucks G RAY ALLEN. A charitable donation of $75 is requested for each ticket (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 4/14)....DEION SANDERS donated $1M for a youth center, Project 2000, to be built by his Dallas-based church, The Potter's House. Sanders said the church pulled him from the "brink of suicide last year," which will be the subject of his autobiography to be released in October (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 4/11)....Skater SCOTT HAMILTON wrote a Letter to the Editor of USA TODAY criticizing CHRISTINE BRENNAN's column last week on TARA LIPINSKI going pro. Hamilton wrote Brennan "has stepped over the line" and said she was "very biased in her coverage of the Nagano Games. Clearly, she was promoting MICHELLE KWAN at Tara Lipinski's expense" (USA TODAY, 4/13)....The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF SPORTS COMMISSIONS (NASC) annual meeting takes place tomorrow through Saturday at the Huntington Hilton on Long Island. The meeting will be the NASC's largest (NASC). ...Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst Chair TOM HICKS and his holdings (including the MLB Rangers and Stars) were examined by CNBC's Renay San Miguel on "Business Center." San Miguel: "For the last two years or so, Tom Hicks has been on a shopping spree. ... His strategy: unlike the '80s, instead of tearing down he's building up, and the foundation is in media and sports" ("Business Center," CNBC, 4/13).