SBD/Issue 245/Sports Industrialists

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  • Gold Rush: James, Walsh, May-Treanor Make Post-Beijing TV Rounds

    James Discusses Beijing Olympics Experience
    During Appearance On "Late Show"
    Cavaliers and U.S. F LEBRON JAMES appeared on CBS’ “Late Show” last night, with host David Letterman apologizing for going long with his interview with headline guest U.S. Sen. Barack Obama. James: “No problem. Y'all were good.” When asked for his thoughts on Obama, James said, “He can play for us too.” When asked about the difference between his first Olympic experience in Athens in '04 and this year in Beijing, James said, “The main difference was we finally understood what it meant to represent our country. To be an Olympian is a privilege, it’s an honor, and I don’t think the first team understood that in 2004.” Letterman at one point said, “Tell me about the (NBA) season. The Knicks are still not in the league so tell me, what does that mean for Cleveland?” (“Late Show,” CBS, 9/10).

    Walsh (c) And May-Treanor Give DeGeneres
    Volleyball Lessons During Apperance 
    DAY AT THE BEACH: U.S. beach volleyball duo KERRI WALSH and MISTY MAY-TREANOR appeared on yesterday’s edition of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” wearing U.S. Olympic jackets and their Gold Medals from the Beijing Games. Walsh said wearing the Gold Medal “makes every outfit sassier.” May-Treanor talked about the "butt slaps" Walsh gives her during matches, saying, "I don't notice it because I'm on the receiving end. … It's like a high-five now." Actress Pamela Anderson followed Walsh and May-Treanor and asked host ELLEN DeGeneres, "Are (Walsh and May-Treanor) coming out?" Anderson then proceeded to remove her dress to reveal a bikini, saying, "I can't help myself." Walsh, May-Treanor and Degeneres played volleyball at the end of the show, with Walsh and May-Treanor wearing bikinis (“The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” 9/10).

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  • What I Like... With ESPN Publishing GM & Editorial Dir Gary Hoenig

    ESPN Publishing GM &
    Editorial Dir Gary Hoenig 
    In our continuing series, SportsBusiness Daily/SportsBusiness Journal asks top sports execs for their thoughts, ideas, aspirations and likes. Today, ESPN Publishing GM & Editorial Dir GARY HOENIG.

    A business deal: [RUPERT] MURDOCH buying The [Wall Street] Journal and chasing The [N.Y.] Times. In times like this, believing in print takes real nerve.

    A story that bears watching: The inevitable flattening of the Internet growth curve.

    An insight: We’ve conditioned the public to believe that media is free. If we don’t change that perception, our ad revenues won’t save us.

    An influential person in my career: I’ve had many, but the first was my brother-in-law ROBERT HERB, who died young but still had plenty of time to make me want to be like him: a journalist with principles.

    A marketing idea: I love it when a marketing idea truly captures the essence of what you’re selling. The whole way that “Gossip Girl” is marketed is pure genius.

    A TV ad campaign: Not to be a homer, but the “SportsCenter” ads are near perfect. They capture who we are here and make you want to be part of the team.

    A print ad campaign: Grab me visually, but never let me forget what the point is. Nike does a good job.

    A brand: Quality of the product is paramount. Never lose sight of that. No one does it better than Apple.

    A trend: Staying power. One more word about community, and I’m going back inside my hut and never coming out.

    An innovation: Something that actually makes my life better. DVRs, for one.

    A business decision: Not shutting down the [Wall Street] Journal’s paid site. Originally, Murdoch was set on doing just that. He’s smart to have changed his mind.

    A pro league business initiative: The NHL’s recent moves to make the game better. It is.

    A college sports business initiative: Leaving the NCAA tourney alone.

    Hoenig Feels Hamilton's 28 HR Performance
    At Home Run Derby Was Quite Impressive  
    A decision-maker
    : PETE CARROLL. Good guy, too.

    About my job: Making decisions so quickly, it feels like stopping pucks in a goal mouth.

    Sports: Seeing something that you’ve never seen before. Twenty-eight homers in 38 swings [in Home Run Derby]? JOSH HAMILTON qualifies.

    Sports journalism: You can cover the whole spectrum of human experience through the metaphor of sports. And people will read it.

    Competing in this business: You have to be good to be heard. There are so many competitors. And there is no more knowledgeable audience.

    The direction of sports business: The beauty of sports is its spontaneity and unpredictability. The danger is that those who run it want too much control -- and that drains those very qualities.

    About myself: I keep trying, no matter how many times I stumble.

    Players: Athletes who don’t take themselves too seriously.

    Teams: New York Jets, San Francisco Giants (my dad’s team), Knicks (Ouch!
    Did I say that out loud?).

    City: New Yorker through and through.

    Possession: An old Martin D-18 guitar.

    Memento: A ball signed by my original Magazine teammates.


    Books: Reading “War and Peace,” God save me.

    Magazines: New York, New Yorker, Economist, BusinessWeek.

    Newspapers: Still read the Times and the Journal on paper. Do wonder why sometimes.

    Web sites:,,, Weather Channel, eBay, Yahoo Finance, CNN.

    Blogs: JON FINE, BusinessWeek; RON ROSENBAUM, Slate; BUSTER OLNEY,


    Ideas: This is gonna sound pretentious, but I was a philosophy major for a while, and dialectics is what stayed with me. In brief: Everything is connected.

    Hobbies: I collect model trains. You got a problem with that?

    Movies: I’ll stick with “The Godfather,” the one that combines I and II.

    TV: “Friday Night Lights.” DirecTV, thank you for saving it.

    Hoenig Fondly Remembers
    Original Cream Concerts Of '60s 
    : Saw CLAPTON live with Cream. I’m not talking reunion concert. And, yes, I’m that old.

    Dessert: When I can? Anything dark chocolate.

    Vacation spot: Hawaii.

    Cars: Audi A6.

    Aftershave: Neutrogena.

    Quote: Great ideas don’t happen from the top down.

    Miscellaneous: Now you’re going too far.

    What I don’t like in general: Overbearing people.

    Pet peeve: Herd mentality.

    In sports: People who take the games too seriously.

    In business: Short-term thinking.

    In journalism: Self-righteousness. Uninformed opinion.

    In sports business: Contempt for the fan.

    In sports marketing: Thoughtless repetition.

    In sports facilities: Too many distractions from the game.

    About my job: Not being a part of the storytelling process anymore.

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  • Executive Transactions

    The AVP announced that the number of members on its BOD will be reduced from nine to five, along with the resignation of five of the company’s directors. The AVP also named JASON HODELL COO & CFO (AVP).

    FRANCHISES: Royals Senior Dir of Scouting DERIC LADNIER will not return next year as he has been offered another job in the organization. Assistant GM for Scouting & Player Development J.J. PICOLLO will oversee the First-Year Player Draft for the Royals (, 9/9)….DANA CZAPNIK has resigned as Media Relations Dir of the NLL N.Y. Titans to become Dir of Marketing & Media Relations for the AFL N.Y. Dragons (THE DAILY)….The Thunder named TYLER COFER Entertainment Coordinator. Previously, Cofer was Dir of Game Operations for the CHL Odessa Jackalopes (DAILY OKLAHOMAN, 9/10)....The Hornets named JONATHAN DIEDRICH and WILL MCCLARAN as basketball communications interns (Hornets).

    EXECS: Turner Sports promoted Senior Producer HOWARD ZALKOWITZ to VP/Production and Senior Studio Producer TIM KIELY to Coordinating Producer (Turner)….FSN South and SportSouth named JULIA EZELL Supervisor of Remote Operations, PHILIP OLSHANSKI Writer, Producer & Editor for SportSouth and EILEEN SCHNETTLER Media Relations Coordinator (FSN)….South Carolina-based NCR eCommerce named JOHN CURNUTT Business Development Manager. Most recently, Curnutt managed Marketing Intel efforts for the Hornets (THE DAILY).

    Do you have an executive announcement? If so, please send to

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  • Names In The News

    Documents filed in San Diego Superior Court indicated that Padres Owner JOHN MOORES and his wife BECKY, who filed for divorce in January, have "resolved their dispute over access to the owner's box at Petco Park," though the documents did not reveal the outcome of the resolution (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 9/11).

    Hornaday Admits To Taking
    Testosterone From '04-06 
    OFF TRACK:'s Shaun Assael reported NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver RON HORNADAY from December '04 to January '06 received "shipments of testosterone and [HGH]" from the Palm Beach Rejuvenation Center, an "anti-aging center that has been linked to drug-related scandals in the NFL" and MLB. Hornaday acknowledged taking testosterone, though he "denied using growth hormone that was sent to his home for his wife's use." Hornaday, referring to a tube at his house "half-filled with a cream," said, "I never knew that was a steroid." NASCAR Managing Dir of Corporate Communications RAMSEY POSTON said that Hornaday "had not informed anyone in the league that he was using testosterone," and noted that officials "would seek more information" from Hornaday prior to this weekend's Camping World RV Rental 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (, 9/10).

    BOOKS & FILM: SI's Alexander Wolff writes N.Y. Times sports writer JERE LONGMAN's new book, "THE HURRICANES," which profiles Louisiana's Port Sulphur high school football team immediately following Hurricane Katrina, is the "richest, most engrossing treatment of high school football and community" since BUZZ BISSINGER's "FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS." Longman "conveys the pride of place felt by a people determined to live where and how they always have" (SI, 9/15 issue)....Anonymous Content, an L.A.-based production company, will make the Dakar Rally the subject of a documentary-style feature film entitled "DAKAR THE MOVIE" next year. The movie will follow four teams from different parts of the world to Dakar for the 16-day race. Charlotte-based motorsports agency Leverage Sports will handle sponsor procurement and branding of the teams, event and the film. Sponsors will be integrated into the film with guaranteed exposure, said Leverage CEO RYAN KUREK (Michael Smith, SportsBusiness Journal). 

    FISH OUT OF WATER: A source indicated that Dolphins RB RICKY WILLIAMS owes the team an "$8.1[M] judgment that wasn't broached" in his recently signed contract extension. The Dolphins "could garnish Williams' salary and his assets at any time" (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 9/10)....The 17th Circuit Court of Broward County (FL) Tuesday entered a judgment that Dolphins CB WILL ALLEN owes CAA Sports $209,012, after Allen failed to respond to the agency's suit that claimed Allen did not follow through "with a settlement agreement" (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 9/11).

    NAMES: English Premier League club Newcastle United Owner MIKE ASHLEY, while in N.Y. for Fashion Week, "spent an inordinate sum of money" at Manhattan's Pink Elephant. A source said Ashley "spent $200,000 in the club and ordered well over 200 bottles of champagne including Cristal and Dom Perignon -- buying a bottle for every patron in the club" (N.Y. POST, 9/11)....Angels CF TORII HUNTER and rapper CHRIS "LUDACRIS" BRIDGES have collaborated on a "hip-hop tune called 'Luv of Da Game,' which they hope will promote baseball among disadvantaged youths" (L.A. TIMES, 9/11)....ESPN Regional TV has signed a deal for former NFLer MIKE ALSTOTT to be the honorary chair at the '08 St. Petersburg Bowl (ESPN).

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