SBD/Issue 205/Sports Industrialists

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  • Churchill Downs Promotes Kevin Flanery To Track President

    Flanery Becomes Churchill
    Down's 13th President
    Churchill Downs Inc. (CDI) has promoted Senior VP/Communications & National Public Affairs KEVIN FLANERY to Churchill Downs President, according to Gregory Hall of the Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL. Flanery becomes the 13th president of the track, replacing STEVE SEXTON, who was named President & CEO of CDI's new entertainment group earlier this year. Flanery joined CDI in '05 and has "helped guide the company's efforts to get approval for slot machines at its Calder Race Course, near Miami, and has played a similar role in the company's efforts to obtain expanded gambling in Kentucky." CDI "will conduct a search to fill Flanery's prior role." Also, Churchill Downs GM JIM GATES is "moving to the new entertainment division now headed by Sexton" (Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL, 7/14).

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  • Executive Transactions

    Sternberg Leaving Magna Global
    Magna Global Exec VP/Audience Analysis STEVE STERNBERG, one of the "more respected and quoted TV-research executives on Madison Avenue," is leaving the company (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 7/14)....Tennis Channel named PATRICK WILSON Senior VP/Distribution (CABLEFAX DAILY, 7/14)....ESPN Star Sports (ESS) named J&M Int'l's JON LEFEBVRE VP/Sales Operations & Strategy, based in Singapore and reporting to ESS Senior VP/Advertising & Multimedia Sales CHARLES LESS. Lefebvre will be responsible for ESS ad sales and sponsorship strategies across seven sales regions covering southeast Asia, Japan and Hong Kong (ESS)....The Greater Washington Sports Alliance (GWSA) named BILL REIFSNYDER as Race Dir for the SunTrust National Marathon (GWSA)....Turner Sports and NBA Digital promoted NBA on TNT Producer ALBERT VERTINO to Senior Producer. Vertino's role will expand to include responsibilities within the newly created NBA Digital Content Group (Turner)....The Gridiron Greats Assistance Fund named KEN VALDISERRI President & CEO and SHANNON JORDAN VP/Marketing & Fund Raising (THE DAILY)....The AHL Worcester Sharks promoted SUZANNE SCHWARTZ to Senior Dir of Sales & Marketing, LINDSEY MARRANCA to Senior Account Exec and ERIC LINDQUIST to Dir of PR & Broadcasting. The Sharks also named KATIE KOHUTANYCZ Sales & Marketing Coordinator (Sharks)....Rutgers Univ. hired ALLISON MILLER and ALEX RESTREPO to join the athletics communications staff (Rutgers).

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  • Names In The News

    MLS Crew Owner Clark Hunt (l) Presents
    Obama With Autographed Ball, Jersey
    PRESIDENT OBAMA yesterday welcomed the MLS Crew to the White House to celebrate their '08 MLS Cup Championship. Crew Owner CLARK HUNT presented Obama with an autographed soccer ball and a yellow jersey with "Obama" and No. 44 on the back. Obama said, "It's clear that soccer in America is on the rise -- and that MLS is a big part of that" (COLUMBUS DISPATCH, 7/14).

    SUMMER LOVIN': In Virginia, Dave Fairbank wrote NFLPA Dir of Communications CARL FRANCIS' Peninsula All-Star Football Camp is a "staple of the local summer camp circuit" in the state, and it "appears to have a home" at Christopher Newport Univ., where it has been located for the past eight years. The camp is a "centerpiece of the Hampton Roads Youth Foundation" (Hampton Roads DAILY PRESS, 7/12).

    GOOD NIGHT & GOOD LUCK: In S.F., Henry Schulman profiles former MLB Giants Enterprises President PAT GALLAGHER under the subhead, "Giants' Longtime Marketing Master Exits Stage Left." Gallagher, who left the team on June 30, has worked with the Giants for 33 years and was the "force behind the giant Coke bottle and McCovey Cove" at AT&T Park, as well as baseball's "most memorable and fanciful promotions" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 7/14).

    Riley Says He Knows Fans Wonder What
    Makes Him Qualified To Steer Warriors
    CALIFORNIA LOVE: In Oakland, Marcus Thompson II profiles new Warriors GM LARRY RILEY, who "knows people call him the puppet" of coach DON NELSON and "knows fans wonder what makes him qualified to steer the Warriors." Nelson said, "He's got all the ingredients of a good human being. He works hard. He's great at communicating. Honest. Loyal. The whole package" (OAKLAND TRIBUNE, 7/13)....In Oakland, Gary Peterson ranked the Bay Area's "all-time top" sports execs, and lists former 49ers Owner EDDIE DEBARTOLO as No. 1. Raiders Owner AL DAVIS ranks No. 4 on the list, followed by San Jose Sports & Entertainment Enterprises at No. 10, current 49ers Owners JOHN YORK and DENISE DEBARTOLO YORK at No. 15, A's Owners LEW WOLFF and JOHN FISHER at No. 17 and Warriors Owner CHRIS COHAN at No. 18 (OAKLAND TRIBUNE, 7/12).

    NAMES: The Univ. of Akron has hired recruiting firm Eastman & Beaudine to "help find a replacement" for former AD MACK RHOADES, who resigned in June to join the Univ. of Houston as AD. Akron also announced the "members of an 18-person search committee" that includes eight Akron employees, one student-athlete and nine other people "with connections to the university" (AKRON BEACON JOURNAL, 7/14)....Steelers QB BEN ROETHLISBERGER will make an $8,000 donation to the Jeannette (PA) Police Department through his foundation, which "gives money to police and fire departments" (Pittsburgh TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 7/14)....Former tennis player ANDRE AGASSI Sunday participated in the Kennedy Funding Invitational, a tennis event at Dellwood Country Club in New York that "raised $500,000 for the breast-care centers at Englewood and Nyack hospitals." Agassi played ATP World Tour BOD member JUSTIN GIMELSTOB in a charity exhibition match, "spoke at a sponsors luncheon and hit around with high-end donors for an hour" (Westchester JOURNAL NEWS, 7/13)....NHL Deputy Commissioner BILL DALY and USA Hockey President RON DEGREGORIO were in attendance at the AHL BOG meeting in Hilton Head (, 7/13)....IndyCar driver DANICA PATRICK yesterday toured Stewart-Haas Racing's shop in Concord, North Carolina, and was introduced to NASCAR driver RYAN NEWMAN and Stewart-Haas Dir of Competition BOBBY HUTCHENS (, 7/13).

    IN MEMORY: Former Pac-10 Commissioner WILES HALLOCK died yesterday at the age of 91. Hallock oversaw the league's expansion from eight to 10 teams during his tenure from '71-83, and also served as WAC Commissioner and in positions with the NCAA, the Univ. of California and the Univ. of Wyoming (AP, 7/13)....Former Single-A South Atlantic League President JOHN HENRY MOSS died earlier this month at the age of 90. Moss, who spent "half a century in the low minor leagues," believed that Minor League Baseball was a "way to bolster communities" (N.Y. TIMES, 7/14).

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