SBD/Issue 100/Sports Industrialists

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  • Tapped Out: A-B Ad Guru Bob Lachky Stepping Down This Month

    Lachky Says Decision Not
    Related To InBev Acquistion
    A-B InBev Exec VP/Global Industry Development & Chief Creative Officer Bob Lachky is stepping down from his role by the end of February, according to Suzanne Vranica of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. Lachky: "I've chosen to move on and explore new challenges." A-B InBev will not replace Lachky, instead choosing to take a "more decentralized approach to marketing." Lachky said that InBev's acquisition of A-B last year has "nothing to do with his exit and was something he has been thinking about for a year." A-B President DAVE PEACOCK said it is a "generational transition." Vranica notes Lachky, who joined A-B in '89, has helped make the brewer "one of the most prolific marketers in the country." Lachky also is known as the "king of the Super Bowl, whose ad polls the brewer often wins" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 2/11). Lachky: "I just felt this was the perfect time for me to reevaluate" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 2/11). Lachky said his decision to step down "may seem" like it is related to InBev's acquisition. But Lachky said, "Not really. This is a good time for me to take stock" (NYTIMES.com, 2/10). Lachky received nearly $21M when InBev bought A-B last fall for $52B (BIZJOURNALS.com, 2/11).

    TAKING A LOOK AHEAD: AD AGE's Jeremy Mullman wrote Lachky's departure "will not be welcome news at A-B's roster of creative agencies, which regarded him as their primary client and a key personal relationship." DDB, Chicago, has served as A-B's agency since '94, and DDB Worldwide Chair & Chief Creative Officer Bob Scarpelli said, "It's going to be different without him there. I look at the work, the awards and how we helped to build those brands -- it's a remarkable record." Mullman noted in light of InBev's acquisition, it is "easy to view the departures" of Lachky and former A-B VP/Global Media & Sports Marketing Tony Ponturo, who left at the end of last year, as a "clear changing of the guard at A-B." But Lachky and Peacock stressed that the "new generation of leadership at the brewery largely consists of executives trained by the likes of the old guard" (ADAGE.com, 2/10). Ponturo desribed Lachky as a "creative genius." He added that Lachky "had an intuitive sense of the beer business" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 2/11). 

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  • Fathead CEO Weatherup Leaves; McInnis, Lunsford To Fill Ranks

    Brock Weatherup
    Leaving Fathead
    An executive shakeup at Fathead sees CEO BROCK WEATHERUP leaving "to pursue other interests." Weatherup was with the wall graphic marketer for almost two-and-a-half years. Fathead is owned by Quicken Loans and Cavaliers Owner DAN GILBERT, and he has dispatched two Quicken Loans veterans to fill out Fathead's top exec ranks. PATRICK MCINNIS, a 16-year veteran of the loan company, will be the new Fathead CEO, while TODD LUNSFORD has been named President. McInnis previously was Quicken Loans President, while Lunsford's previous titles include CMO and Chief Information Officer at Quicken Loans. Fathead, which has licenses from nearly every major domestic sports and entertainment property, has been one of the most compelling licensing stories in recent years, with its oversized wall graphics -- some of which command prices of $100 or more -- reinventing what was a moribund celebrity/sports poster market. Sales have slowed recently as the economy has cooled. At a recent licensing show, the company was showing line extensions that included a half-sized version called Sidekick and skins for laptops and hand-held game systems, all intended for mass market distribution.

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  • Executive Transactions

    LimeGreen Entertainment Names
    Myers VP/Sports & Entertainment
    Texas Motor Speedway (TMS) promoted Assistant GM KENTON NELSON to VP/Events, MAT STOLLEY to VP/Development & Operations, KEVIN CAMPER to VP/Sales & Marketing and MIKE ZIZZO to VP/Media Relations (TMS).

    EXECS: The Coyotes named BRITTANY GRANT Corporate Partnerships Account Exec (Coyotes)....LimeGreen Entertainment Group named InStadium Managing Dir MICHAEL MYERS VP/Sports & Entertainment (THE DAILY)….USA Football named GARY DEL VECCHIO Dir of Membership. From ’96-08, Del Vecchio served as Dir of USA Hockey InLine for USA Hockey (USA Football)….Vivid Marketing promoted DARIUS KIRSCHNER to Account Exec (Vivid)….Deep Alliance Marketing promoted MATTHEW FORZLEY to Account Exec (Deep Alliance).

    PROMOTIONS: ISP Sports has promoted the following: PETER MOSIENKO to VP/National Sales & West Coast Market Manager, WILBUR CHRISTY to Seminole ISP Sports Network General Sales Manager, MATT BROWN to Georgia Tech ISP Sports Network General Sales Manager, MARK PAYNE to Auburn ISP Sports Network Associate GM for Regional Sales, SARAH KAY to South Florida ISP Sports Network Assistant GM, NATALIE RUSSELL to Washington ISP Sports Network Assistant GM, MATT IAZZETTI to Baylor ISP Sports Network Assistant GM, JASON GOLDEN to UNLV ISP Sports Network Assistant GM, SCOTT BIHL to Syracuse ISP Sports Network Senior Account Exec, ANDREW BOND to Cincinnati ISP Sports Network Senior Account Exec and TIM MCCULLOUGH to Villanova ISP Sports Network Senior Account Exec (ISP).

    Do you have an executive announcement? If so, please send to editorial@sportsbusinessdaily.com.

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  • Names In The News

    Margarito's (r) License Revoked For Illegal Use
    Of Wrapped Hands During Fight With Mosley (l)
    In L.A., Robert Morales reports boxer ANTONIO MARGARITO yesterday had his California boxing license "revoked for a minimum of one year because he was caught with illegally wrapped hands before his ninth round" TKO loss against Shane Mosley in their January 24 fight. Margarito trainer JAVIER CAPETILLO "also had his license revoked for no less than one year" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 2/11).

    CHARITY CHANGE: In Houston, Fran Blinebury notes Rockets C YAO MING's Yao Ming Foundation "is no longer one of the official beneficiaries of" next Wednesday's Clutch City Foundation Tux & Tennies Charity Gala. The change "was made to take the Yao Ming Foundation out of the loop, staying within newly enforced NBA guidelines set to prevent salary-cap circumvention." Proceeds from the event "will go to the BUSH-CLINTON Coastal Recovery Fund" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 2/11). 

    BOOK SHELF: Former Lawrence Eagle-Tribune reporter SHAWN BOBURG and Univ. of Massachusetts-Boston professor JEAN RHODES have co-authored, "BECOMING MANNY: INSIDE THE LIFE OF BASEBALL'S MOST ENIGMATIC SLUGGER." The book is due in bookstores next month (BOSTON HERALD, 2/11).....Red Sox 2B Dustin Pedroia's autobiography, "BORN TO PLAY: MY LIFE IN THE GAME," will hit bookstores "just in time for the All-Star game" in July (BOSTON HERALD, 2/11).

    SEARCH IS ON: In Atlanta, Chip Towers reports the Univ. of Georgia (UGA) has hired Atlanta-based Parker Executive Search President DAN PARKER "to conduct its search for a new men's basketball coach." UGA AD DAMON EVANS confirmed yesterday that he has retained the services of Parker's firm "to identify and make initial contacts with potential candidates to replace" fired coach DENNIS FELTON. Evans, "responding to a Georgia Open Records request filed by" the Atlanta Constitution, said that UGA "will pay the search firm a retaining fee of $75,000, plus various expenses associated with the search." A final contract "has not been completed and signed" (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 2/11).

    Johnny Kerr Awarded Basketball HOF Lifetime
    Achievement Award At Pistons-Bulls Game
    HONORS & AWARDS: NFL GM Advisory Committee co-Chair and former NFL Giants GM ERNIE ACCORSI will receive the Touchdown Club of New Orleans PETE ROZELLE Award. Accorsi "will be the 20th recipient of the award named for" Rozelle, the former NFL Commissioner (New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE, 2/11)....Bulls announcer JOHNNY KERR during halftime of yesterday's Pistons-Bulls game was awarded with the JOHN W. BUNN Lifetime Achievement Award from the Basketball HOF, an honor "previously bestowed upon such luminaries as JOHN WOODEN, HANK IBA and RED AUERBACH" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 2/11). The award is "the highest award the Hall can bestow short of enshrinement" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 2/11).

    NAMES: Former MLB Rangers President TOM SCHIEFFER said that he is considering running as a Democratic candidate for Texas Gov. (DALLASNEWS.com, 2/10)….Celtics Dir of Special Projects JOJO WHITE is opening a nightclub in Boston, “JoJo’s,” that will “cater to athletes who want to unwind out of view of the public.” The club is expected to open in April. Meanwhile, Patriots OT MATT LIGHT sat with NHL Commissioner GARY BETTMAN at last night’s Sharks-Bruins game at the TD Banknorth Garden (BOSTON GLOBE, 2/11).

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