Overnight Ratings: Brickyard 400, UFC IMS Continues NASCAR Attendance Battle Executive Transactions Large Crowd Turns Out For Baseball HOF Inducation Jaguars, Panthers Unveil Stadium Upgrades Haslam Addresses Manziel's Party Persona NBA Players Set To Vote On New Union Head Smith Apologizes For Domestic Violence Comments Carl Edwards Leaving RFR In '15 SBJ/SBD Seek Hockey/Soccer Beat Writer
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THE DAILY each Friday offers our take on the performances over the past week of some people and entities in sports business. Here are this week’s newsmakers.
LOSE: GRIZZLIES The team finishes with the worst record in the NBA, and JERRY WEST announces he’ll be stepping down as President of Basketball Operations. MICHAEL HEISLEY says the team will be taken off the market if a buyer is not found by May 1, and the Commercial Appeal writes in an editorial, “More than anything, ... the Grizzlies need some stability and a sense of direction. Let’s hope Heisley can provide that.”
DRAW: NBA -– A third-straight season of record attendance is nothing to sneeze at, but regular-season ratings are down across all networks, much of the coverage heading into the postseason is around the suspension of referee JOEY CRAWFORD and the headline about playoffs on MSN’s home page asks, “Where’s The Buzz?”
Breeders’ Cup Ltd. removed the interim tag from President & CEO GREG AVIOLI after a six-month search conducted by the BOD and a search firm. Avioli was previously NTRA Deputy Commissioner & COO (NTRA).
FRANCHISE: The Blue Jackets named JMac Inc. President MIKE PRIEST President to replace DOUG MACLEAN, who was fired this week as President & GM (COLUMBUS DISPATCH, 4/20)....The Cavaliers promoted PAUL BEE to Sales Exec, MICHAEL BEHAN to Inside Sales Manager, LAUREN FAIRCHILD to Sales Exec, NICK FRASCO to Corporate Sales Exec, DANIEL ROSENTHAL to Business Development Specialist and BOB SIVIK to Business Development Manager. The team also named KATE MCSHEA Manager of Game Presentation, HEATHER WOLF HR Manager, AMIR HILL Business Development Specialist and SARAH JAMIESON Web Production Coordinator. Meanwhile, the AHL Lake Erie Monsters, part of the Cleveland Cavaliers Holdings Co., promoted SCOTT FRIEDMAN to Sales Consultant and BEN SHANK to Youth Hockey Specialist and named JOSH MORIN VP/Corporate Sales, TOM BONDA Dir of Business Development, JEFF BOWLER Sales Consultant, and ELLEN GRILL and GREG PRYMICZ Corporate Sales Execs (Cavaliers).
EXECS: The LSU Board of Supervisors’ Athletic Committee approved a new three-year contract for AD SKIP BERTMAN, under which he becomes AD Emeritus in the final two years (TIMES-PICAYUNE, 4/20)....Puerto Rico-based 7 Sports Productions named RAMON CORRADA VP/Sales (THE DAILY)....The Massachusetts Golf Association named JOE SPRAGUE JR. Exec Dir, succeeding TOM LANDRY. Previously, Sprague was Exec Dir of the Rhode Island Golf Association (BOSTON GLOBE, 4/19).
VENUE: Calgary’s Centre for Sports Excellence named DAN MORO VP/Facility Development for the Calgary Olympic Development Association. Moro was a member of the VANOC organizing team (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 4/19)....Mansfield Motorsports Park President & GM CHRIS MIZE is resigning, saying “he’s burned out and worn out.” No timetable has been set to replace him (MANSFIELD NEWS JOURNAL, 4/17)....Dover Int’l Speedway named Stageco U.S. National Account Manager CRAIG AMHAUS Business Development Manager and Speakman Company Inventory Control Manager LARRY JONES Merchandise Supervisor (Dover Int’l Speedway).
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IN MEMORY: Former NFLer GEORGE WEBSTER, who lost a U.S. Supreme Court case in ’98 to have his NFL disability pension increased, died yesterday in Houston of heart failure at the age of 61 (AP, 4/20).