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MLBAM Names Gersh
Senior VP/Business Development
MLB Advanced Media has hired former CBS SportsLine.com VP/Business Development KENNY GERSH as its new Senior VP/Business Development. Gersh replaces GEORGE KLIAVKOFF, who left to become chief digital officer for NBC Universal. Gersh will lead MLBAM’s new media licensing business and play a prominent role in the company’s still-expanding presence in digital content initiatives for the performing arts industry. He spent six years with CBS SportsLine.com, during which time he worked with MLBAM on CBS’s successful March Madness on Demand for the NCAA basketball tournament and CBS SportsLine.com’s licensed fantasy baseball game. Gersh will relocate from Miami to N.Y., where he previously worked as an associate attorney for Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.
The NBA named MARK MASTALIR Senior Dir of Business Development. He was previously Dir of Sports Marketing for the Americas Region at Nike (THE DAILY)....The Minnesota Ballpark Authority, which will oversee the new Twins ballpark, appointed DAN KENNEY as its first Exec Dir. His starting salary is $110,000. Kenney helped develop the ballpark’s financing plan (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 8/5). The three-year contract is renewable (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 8/5)....AHL Charlotte Checkers President JEFF LONGO signed a three-year extension through August ’09 (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 8/6)....Chip Ganassi Racing named former Dodge Dir of Motorsports JOHN FERNANDEZ Managing Dir, where he will oversee the NASCAR teams (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 8/5).
TICKETMASTER: Ticketmaster has formed Ticketmaster Venue Relations to facilitate ticketing programs and services for venue clients, and Cottonblend, an in-house new media design studio. Venue Relations is headed by Exec VP/Sales & Marketing DAVID GOLDBERG and Senior VP/Venue Relations MIKE MCGEE. Ticketmaster Central Region Senior VP NEAL GUNN has been named Senior VP in the venue group (Ticketmaster).
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HEADING INTO THE TURN: ROBERT EVANS, who officially takes over next week as President & CEO of CHURCHILL DOWNS INC., said of the company’s future, “We’re going to stay in the entertainment gaming space, but that is the challenge that leadership is to get people to adopt a new way of thinking about the future and then execute against that future” (Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL, 8/6).
NAMES: Penguins ’04 draft pick EVGENI MALKIN has fired his agent, Newport Sports Management’s DON MEEHAN. It is “believed that Malkin has returned to” former IMG agents PAT BRISSON and J.P BARRY (Pittsburgh TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 8/6). The Web site of Malkin’s Russian team, METALLURG MAGNITOGORSK, states that Malkin has “signed a new contract” to play for the team in ’06-07. Malkin had a contract that ran through ’08, “but that has reportedly been replaced” by the new one-year deal, “after which Malkin will become a free agent and presumably able to sign with the Penguins” (TSN.ca, 8/7).... Sixty-three South Florida firms have signed up for the NFL’s EMERGING BUSINESS PROGRAM, “an effort to give minority- and woman-owned businesses a chance to work with the NFL, its contractors and affiliates and the array of hotels, venues and event producers that” will hold events around Super Bowl XLI at Dolphin Stadium (PALM BEACH POST, 8/7).