SBD/Issue 167/Sports Industrialists

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  • Eagles Senior VP Mark Donovan Leaving To Become Chiefs COO

    Donovan To Be 
    Named Chiefs COO
    Eagles Senior VP/Business Operations MARK DONOVAN is leaving the team after six years to join the Chiefs as COO later this month, numerous industry sources told THE DAILY. An internal announcement was made to some Eagles staffers on Friday, and a formal announcement from the team is anticipated later this week. Donovan could not be reached for comment. As far as a replacement, sources said a search firm had already been retained. Donovan, a '05 winner of the SportsBusiness Daily/SportsBusiness Journal Forty Under 40 award, joins a new management team both on and off the field at the Chiefs, a team coming off a franchise-worst 2-14 record in '08. During the offseason, the team brought in former Cardinals offensive coordinator TODD HALEY as coach, along with former Patriots VP/Player Personnel SCOTT PIOLI as GM and former Pats QB MATT CASSEL. Adding to what the Chiefs hope will be a football renaissance are $375M worth of renovations ongoing at 37-year-old Arrowhead Stadium. "With all the changes, it’s a franchise everyone is watching," said one NFL marketer. Donovan has been with the Eagles, directing sponsorship, marketing, ticket sales, media, retail and premium seat sales since '03. During his tenure, the team completed and moved in to Lincoln Financial Field. Prior to joining the Eagles, he was Senior Dir of Marketing & Sales at NFL's league offices in N.Y. He held a similar spot with the NHL in N.Y. before joining the NFL. Over the years, the Eagles executive pipeline to the Chiefs has been strong. Former Eagles player personnel guru CARL PETERSON resigned as Chiefs President, GM & CEO in December after 20 seasons with the club. Also, former Eagles coach DICK VERMEIL coached the Chiefs from '01-05.

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  • Cable/Satellite Exec Carl Vogel Joins SCP Worldwide As Partner

    Vogel Joins
    SCP Worldwide
    Former Dish Network Vice Chair CARL VOGEL has joined SCP Worldwide as a partner, according to John Ourand in this week's SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. Vogel, who has held senior positions with EchoStar and Charter for the past eight years, "will be tasked with finding investment opportunities for SCP, from team ownership to Web- and TV-based deals." Vogel: "SCP has a good management team, and it has a good track record of raising capital. This is a good time to potentially pick up nice assets." Vogel will be based in Denver, "where he plans to open a new office for the company," and will report to SCP Worldwide Chair DAVE CHECKETTS. Vogel said that the current economy "shouldn't pose a problem to SCP's expansion plans" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 5/18 issue).

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  • Show Me The Funny: Fox Picks Strahan's Sitcom For Fall Lineup

    Fox has picked up "Brothers," a comedy featuring former NFLer and current Fox NFL analyst MICHAEL STRAHAN, as part of its fall primetime lineup, according to Gary Levin of USA TODAY. The show features Strahan playing an "ex-football star who spars with his wheelchair-bound brother." DARYL "CHILL" MITCHELL, CARL WEATHERS and CCH POUNDER also star in the show (USA TODAY, 5/18). The show is "rumored for the less desirable 7:30 pm Sunday berth, often pre-empted by NFL games" (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 5/18). The show had been rumored as a midseason replacement, but it "may make sense on Sundays during football season" with Strahan's involvement (DAILY VARIETY, 5/18).

    Bradford Has Been Invited To Play
    Himself In New Film "Moneyball"
    CASTING CALL: In St. Petersburg, Marc Topkin reported Rays P CHAD BRADFORD "has been invited to play himself in STEVEN SODERBERGH's film version of the book 'Moneyball.'" Soderbergh "likes to use 'real' people in his movies and reportedly has signed on more than two dozen" MLB personalities, including former MLBers DAVID JUSTICE and SCOTT HATTEBERG, former A's manager ART HOWE and former A's pitching coach RICK PETERSON. Bradford said that the "scheduling would be tough unless he could film his part during the four-day All-Star break" in July. BRAD PITT is set to star as A's GM BILLY BEANE (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 5/16). Meanwhile, Padres VP/Scouting & Player Development GRADY FUSON will be in the movie, most likely "watching Pitt fling a chair not far from Fuson's head, re-enacting an infamous scene in Oakland's draft room" while he worked with the A's. Fuson will receive $750 for each day he is involved in the filming (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 5/18).

    NOTES: A documentary focusing on former NBAer WAYMAN TISDALE's battle with cancer "is scheduled for a November release." BILL KURTIS and SHALEELA HASSAN are co-producing "SOUNDS OF FAITH: THE WAYMAN TISDALE STORY," proceeds of which will benefit the Wayman Tisdale Foundation. Tisdale died Friday at the age of 44 from the disease (TULSA WORLD, 5/16)....Detroit Free Press columnist MITCH ALBOM and director KEVIN SMITH "will be teaming up for a movie adaptation" of the late WARREN ZEVON song "Hit Somebody (The Hockey Song)." Smith is hoping to begin the project in either '10 or '11 (, 5/14).

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  • Influential Golf Announcer Bob Rosburg Passes Away At 82

    Rosburg Dies
    At Age Of 82
    Longtime ABC golf analyst BOB ROSBURG passed away Thursday at the age of 82 after falling and hitting his head Tuesday, according to Ron Kroichick of the S.F. CHRONICLE. Former golfer KEN VENTURI, a close friend, said that Rosburg "had been weak from chemotherapy treatments for cancer." Rosburg, who won the '59 PGA Championship, was "one of the first on-course reporters, adept at succinctly providing information without becoming intrusive." Rosburg, known as "Rossie" by friends and colleagues, worked at ABC for 31 years (S.F. CHRONICLE, 5/16). In N.Y., Richard Goldstein noted Rosburg "embarked on a pioneering role in golf broadcasting" as an on-course reporter, as he became the "first broadcaster to work entirely from the fairways" (N.Y. TIMES, 5/16). The WALL STREET JOURNAL's John Paul Newport wrote Rosburg's "gift of gab and knowledge of the players landed him a job as television's first walking, on-course analyst" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 5/16).

    FOUNDING FATHER: FRANK MUNDY, who was "part of a group of drivers, owners and mechanics who met in Daytona Beach to form" NASCAR in '47, passed away Thursday at the age of 90 from complications from a fall and related health issues (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 5/18).

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  • Executive Transactions

    Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) CEO TOM REDDIN Friday confirmed that he has "resigned for personal reasons from the organization." Reddin: "When I made the decision to do this I thought it could be done with me at the race track about 12 weekends a year. As I've gotten to learn, it takes a lot more. That's just the reality of what it takes in this business." Reddin said that he "will remain as a consultant." Reddin: "I think we'll have a strong transition period. I feel confident that we are on the right track here and I think you'll see us win some races this year." RPM Principal FOSTER GILLETT said that it is "too early to determine whether someone will be named CEO or if Reddin's responsibilities would be assigned to other members of RPM's management team" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 5/16)....Lightning Exec VP/Corporate Sales & Marketing HARRY HUTT Tuesday was let go by the team after four and a half years (THE DAILY)....The Astros named Astros beat reporter ALYSON FOOTER Senior Dir of Digital Media, effective June 1. Footer previously worked for the Astros from '97-'00 (Astros).

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  • Names In The News

    President Obama Friday Hosted Phillies At
    White House To Honor '08 World Series Title
    PRESIDENT OBAMA Friday welcomed the Phillies to the White House to congratulate the team on their '08 World Series title. In Philadelphia, Paul Hagen wrote it was "fun to watch the players' faces as they stood on the podium behind Obama during his 7-minute speech, fun to see big-league ballplayers who become accustomed to having others look up to them be just a little in awe of the company they were keeping." Obama, after accepting a Phillies jersey from SS Jimmy Rollins, joked, "Can I have your ring, too?" (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 5/16).

    WORDS OF WISDOM: MLB Commissioner BUD SELIG yesterday, delivering the commencement address at the Univ. of Wisconsin, talked about "how he dreamed of living a 'baseball life' while a college student." Selig used his story "as an example for graduates, whom he encouraged to dream big and not be afraid of failure." Selig: "In baseball, as in life ... hope and faith are critical to success. Take advantage of these difficult times because if you have hope and faith, if you are smart and tenacious and dedicated and willing to sacrifice, you can make a difference and make this a better world. And don't be afraid of failure" (AP, 5/17).

    BACK ON THE ROAD: In N.Y., Charles McGrath wrote late author JACK KEROUAC "obsessively played a fantasy baseball game of his own invention," a hobby that "even close friends ... never knew about." Kerouac collected stats and notes, which are now part of the Jack Kerouac Archive at the Berg Collection of the N.Y. Public Library, and the library this week will publish "KEROUAC AT BAT: FANTASY SPORTS & THE KING OF THE BEATS." The 75-page collection, written by curator ISAAC GEWIRTZ, will be on sale exclusively at the library's gift shop, "at least for now" (N.Y. TIMES, 5/16).

    SITTING DUCK: Ducks GM BOB MURRAY Thursday night after Red Wings-Ducks Game Seven at Joe Louis Arena was interviewed by Detroit police, "but was not charged" after TV stage manager RACHEL PARIS claimed that Murray "hit her in the left chest, arm and shoulder with a chair" following the Ducks' loss. Murray denied throwing a chair at Paris, and said, "It was a complete accident. I've spoken with her and cleared it all up" (L.A. TIMES, 5/16).  

    Actors Jennifer Garner, Ben Affleck Attend
    Sunday's Celtics-Magic Game Seven In Boston
    NAMES: Hornets Owner GEORGE SHINN Friday chaired a meeting of New Orleans-area business leaders aimed at "generating monies to help save" the Univ. of New Orleans (UNO) athletic program, which "faces a possible" $1.4M budget cut. Shinn had "offered his expertise, as well as financial assistance," to the effort (New Orleans TIMES PICAYUNE, 5/16)....In Providence, Bill Reynolds profiled Red Sox President & CEO LARRY LUCCHINO, who often has been the "public voice of the organization." In MLB, most team presidents "are out of sight, and usually are out of mind," but "not Lucchino." He makes a weekly appearance on WEEI-AM and has "few qualms about going after the Yankees" (PROVIDENCE JOURNAL, 5/17)....NBA Commissioner DAVID STERN, Patriots Owner ROBERT KRAFT and President JONATHAN KRAFT, Turner President of Sales, Distribution & Sports DAVID LEVY, NBA agent AARON GOODWIN and actors JENNIFER GARNER, BEN AFFLECK and ELIZA DUSHKU were among the many celebrities to attend last night's Magic-Celtics Game Seven at TD Banknorth Garden (BOSTON GLOBE, 5/18)....Former 49ers Owner EDDIE DEBARTOLO JR. will be the first inductee into the team's HOF, and will be honored at halftime of the Seahawks-49ers game on September 20 (, 5/17).

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