SBD/Issue 244/Sports Industrialists

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  • NFL Names Mark Waller First CMO; Keith Turner Hired As Senior VP

    Turner Hired As
    NFL Senior VP
    With the NFL’s season opener just a day away, the league has unified its sales and marketing departments, with MARK WALLER named the organization’s first CMO. Waller will have responsibility for crafting an integrated marketing function across all league platforms and properties, including NFL Ventures, NFL Network and Waller, who was Senior VP/Sales & Marketing, will also continue to oversee the league’s international businesses. He joined the NFL in early ‘06 as Senior VP/International after 17 years at Diageo, rising to Exec VP/Consumer Strategy & Marketing for North America. Meanwhile, KEITH TURNER has been hired as Senior VP/Media Sales & Sponsorship. Turner fills a void created by the departures earlier this year of former VP/Partnership Marketing & Corporate Sales PETER MURRAY, who headed sponsorship sales before becoming a Senior VP at William Morris; and former Senior VP/Consumer Marketing & Sales RON FURMAN, who left for Comcast in June. Turner reports to NFL Network President & CEO STEVE BORNSTEIN. Turner was with NBC for 19 years. He was president of NBC Sales & Marketing between ’98-‘06. He joined Mercury Media earlier this year for a brief stint as Vice Chair at the Santa Monica-based agency that specializes in buying media for direct-response ads. Before joining NBC in ‘87, Turner began his career at Grey Advertising, coincidentally now the NFL’s creative agency.

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  • Executive Transactions

    Former ATP World Tour Exec Chair & President ETIENNE DE VILLIERS is stepping down at the end of the month as BBC Worldwide Chair & Non-Exec Dir. De Villiers has served in the role since January '06 (, 9/7)....The Padres named Dell Global Consumer E-Commerce Dir LAURA BRODERICK Senior VP/Brand Development(Padres)….The Nationals have dismissed Dir of Player Development BOBBY WILLIAMS, the "first significant front office change" under GM MIKE RIZZO (WASHINGTON POST, 9/6)....NFL Network named JOHN MALKIN VP/Affiliate Distribution, reporting to COO KIM WILLIAMS. For the past five years, Malkin was VP/Affiliate Marketing & Local Ad Sales for New York for Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network (NFL Network)… appointed SUSAN BRACEY interim CFO, effective immediately. Bracey fills a position that has been open since the departure of JIM BURK at the end of March. Previously, Bracey served as Ticketmaster CFO (….Sportvision named DAVID KNISE Senior VP & GM of the company's motorsports business unit. Previously, Knise spent five years at WWE as VP/Interactive Development for the Global Media, Mobile Division (Sportvision).…Football Association (FA) Group Commercial Dir JONATHAN HILL is leaving his post after seven years. Hill joined the FA in '03 after serving as Commercial Dir at Wembley Stadium. Hill will continue to serve as a consultant (, 9/8).

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  • Names In The News

    Former Predators Investor William "Boots" 
    Del Biaggio III Sentenced To Eight Years
    Former Predators investor William "Boots" Del Biaggio III yesterday was sentenced to eight years in prison. Del Biaggio admitted that he "used phony documents to borrow $48[M] from banks and big lenders, while mismanaging another" $20M that was entrusted to him by friends and other investors. Del Biaggio, in his first public comments since being accused of fraud, said, "I'm incredibly sorry. I can't begin to express how sad and ashamed I am" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 9/9).

    TAKING THE COURT: N.Y.-based attorney ALAN RICH, who is filming a documentary titled "FIRE IN THE BELLY" about wheelchair tennis players, yesterday filed suit against the USTA, "claiming it discriminates against wheelchair players by refusing to sell broadcast licensing rights to their matches." Rich is "seeking a court order that would allow him to film wheelchair competitors" during the U.S. Open when their matches start tomorrow. The USTA "does not allow matches to be filmed by anyone but its rights holders" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 9/9).

    FEELING BLUE: Univ. of Kentucky (UK) men's basketball coach JOHN CALIPARI last week "posted a video on his Facebook page and his Web Site,, asking fans to guess who'd be receiving a No. 44 UK jersey that he held up to the camera." In the comments section below the video, "many UK fans guessed correctly that PRESIDENT OBAMA ... was the intended recipient." Calipari in a post wrote he "deleted the original post because there were comments not appropriate for this Facebook page." Calipari added that he is "aware that 'politics and sports don't mix' and that the gift is 'simply a way of spreading the word of Big Blue Nation into the White House'" (Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL, 9/6).

    HITTING THE BIG SCREEN: Director STEVEN SODERBERGH will direct "KNOCKOUT," a "spy thriller that will mark the screen starring debut" of MMA fighter GINA CARANO. The film casts Carano as a "girl from the wrong side of the tracks who is given a second chance to use her skills for constructive purposes." Relativity Media will "fully finance" the film, which will be produced by GREGORY JACOBS (, 9/7). Meanwhile, MMA fighter QUINTON "RAMPAGE" JACKSON "might not fight RASHAD EVANS in December because he's, instead, going to be the next B.A. BARACUS in the remake of 'THE A-TEAM'" (, 9/8).

    NAMES: ARNOLD PALMER threw out the first pitch before last night's Cubs-Pirates game as part of a three-day celebration of Palmer's 80th birthday. Palmer "attracted two, separate standing ovations" from fans at PNC Park. Pirates Owner BOB NUTTING and President FRANK COONELLY, "whose introduction drew boos from much of the small crowd," stood at home plate for the festivities (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 9/9)....BONNIE KRAUSS, who "had been an administrative assistant in the Bills' marketing and broadcasting department for about a decade," yesterday pleaded guilty to "illegally using team credit cards to make purchases for her family before her dismissal last year." Krauss "came to court with certified bank checks for slightly more than the $70,382 she actually stole" from the Bills (BUFFALO NEWS, 9/9)....Colts QB and Univ. of Tennessee (UT) alum PEYTON MANNING announced a pledge of $1M to the UT athletics department Saturday. The gift will be used toward a new football facility scheduled to break ground this fall (UT)....The Dayton Daily News and the Reds are teaming to honor HOF baseball writer HAL MCCOY prior to the Astros-Reds game on September 16. McCoy, 68, is retiring in October after covering the Reds for 37 years. Fans can buy tickets to Hal McCoy Night for half price, compliments of the Dayton Daily News (DAYTON DAILY NEWS, 9/6)….Angels P SCOTT KAZMIR, who was traded from the Rays last month, thanked the Rays organization and fans in a half-page ad that appeared in yesterday’s St. Petersburg Times (, 9/8).

    IN MEMORY: Former N.Y. Post sports writer PETE COUTROS died Monday from heart failure. He was 86 years old (N.Y. POST, 9/9)….Former MLBer and broadcaster BUDDY BLATTNER died Friday at the age of 89. Blattner covered games for the St. Louis Browns and Cardinals, Angels and Royals and was the radio voice of the St. Louis Hawks during the ‘50s (, 9/8).

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