SBD/Issue 35/Sports Industrialists

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  • ESPN's Bill Simmons Promotes New Book On "The Colbert Report"

    Simmons (l) Says NBA In A "Boom Right Now"'s BILL SIMMONS appeared on Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report" last night to promote his new 736-page book, "THE BOOK OF BASKETBALL: THE NBA ACCORDING TO THE SPORTS GUY." Stephen Colbert said of the book, "Why basketball? Isn't baseball the national pastime?" Simmons replied, "For people over 50." Simmons: "If you watch the baseball playoffs, it's like erectile dysfunction commercial after erectile dysfunctional commercial. It's like golf, it's the new golf. Basketball -- they're selling sneakers, they're selling TVs, they're selling beer." Colbert: "Why do you think that basketball hasn't gotten the respect that like football or baseball has gotten?" Simmons: "Isn't 700 pages respect?" Colbert: "700 pages is actually a weapon." Simmons said the NBA is in a "boom right now." Simmons: "If you look at the guys under 28, they have like 12, 14, 15 marketable guys. Whereas baseball has basically A-ROD and JETER, and Jeter." Colbert: "Because marketability is really what makes the sport great." Meanwhile, Colbert noted that Simmons is an avid Red Sox fan and asked, "So is the World Series between the Phillies and the Yankees more like a baseball bat to your face or your crotch?" Simmons: "That's the Mets fans that feel that way. The Red Sox fans are actually all rooting for the Phillies" ("The Colbert Report," Comedy Central, 10/29).

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  • What's Up For The Weekend With Carnegie Sports' Harrie Bakst

    Bakst Will Be Prepping For The
    N.Y. Marathon This Weekend
    Ever wonder how executives in sports business spend their weekends? THE DAILY this week continues, "What's Up For The Weekend?," providing readers with an inside look at people in our industry. Today, we catch up with Carnegie Sports Group President & Founder HARRIE BAKST, who talked with Staff Writer Jessica Collins this week about his weekend plans, which include running in Sunday's N.Y. Marathon.

    Q: What are your plans for this weekend?

    Bakst: This weekend is all about race prep for the N.Y. Marathon. I’m trying to raise as much awareness for Fred's Team of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, the charity I run with, so I will spend time emailing people as a reminder for support. I was diagnosed with cancer at age 22 and treated at MSKCC. This year, Carnegie helped Coca-Cola sponsor Fred's Team and create a text-to-give campaign around the marathon, so I hope to get many people part of that.

    Q: What are your pre- and post-marathon meals?

    Bakst: The night before the race, I go back home to my parents' house with my brother and have my mom's pasta: penne, olive oil, and cherry tomatoes. Post run, I'm having four hot dogs with mustard and sauerkraut from Liebman's Deli in The Bronx, and French fries.

    Q: How do you prepare pre-marathon and relax/celebrate post-marathon?

    Bakst: There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about what I went through and what cancer patients are currently going through. Running for a purpose and for those who survived cancer, those who passed away from it, and those who are battling it is all the preparation I need. Post marathon, I am going to give ETHAN ZOHN, a good friend and Carnegie client, who is currently fighting cancer, a big hug.

    Q: What is a weekend must-read?

    Bakst: I read the N.Y. Times and try to stay up to date with all going on in the Mayor's Race here in N.Y. as well. This weekend I'll read LIZ ROBBINS' book "A Race Like No Other" to get me ready for the Marathon.

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  • This Week's Newsmakers: Redskins Endure Rough Week In DC

    THE DAILY each Friday offers our take on the performances over the past week of people and entities in sports business. Here are this week’s newsmakers:

    WIN: SPORTS ON TV -- As the temperatures are getting lower, television ratings for sports programming are heating up. Fox scores with its NFL national window, using Falcons-Cowboys to get its most-viewed NFL regular-season Sunday telecast since '96. The net also hits pay dirt with a Phillies-Yankees World Series, which is already up big from last season’s Fall Classic. TNT rings in the NBA regular season with its most-viewed opening night ever and best doubleheader since '96. Even Versus gets its best rating ever for an NHL regular-season game. Not a bad week on the tube for sports.

    LOSE: REDSKINS -- As the team stumbles to a 2-5 start on the field, things are headed south for DAN SNYDER -- and fast. The Washington Post uses its front page to detail a perennially rabid fan base whose patience and interest are rapidly waning, a contention that team COO DAVID DONOVAN takes to the airwaves to dispute. Donovan goes on the defensive, claiming the Post is "relentlessly hostile" in its coverage. But Post scribe LEN SHAPIRO says Snyder and Co. are "in total denial about what's wrong with this football team." The Redskins have plenty of work to fix things in Landover, and extending an olive branch to a suddenly impatient fan base seems to be a good place to start.

    Pats-Bucs Draws Big Crowd,
    But Criticism Remains Stateside
    DRAW: NFL IN LONDON -- The Patriots' dominating win over the Buccaneers last Sunday in London draws a massive crowd of 84,254 jersey-clad fans to Wembley Stadium, and the NFL says it is looking at doubling the number of games in the U.K. as soon as next season. However, last Sunday’s game draws little coverage from the local English press, and the trip again is met with criticism stateside, with one writer calling the league’s annual overseas game “compulsory, underwhelming and mildly inexplicable.”

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  • Executive Transactions

    U.S. Bowling Congress (USBC) COO KEVIN DORNBERGER has stepped down from his position and plans to leave next month. Dornberger was named interim COO in July '07 after ROGER DALKIN retired, and he had the interim tag removed in '08 (USBC).

    COLLEGES: The Big East Conference named former Bryant Univ. Dir of Athletic Marketing & Promotions MARK HODGKIN Dir of Internet Services and Foxwoods Resort Casino Studio Manager ANDY ANDERSON Video Services Coordinator. The conference also announced several administrative changes: NICK CARPARELLI JR. has been named Senior Associate Commissioner for Football, JOSEPH D'ANTONIO JR. has been named Senior Associate Commissioner for Compliance & Governance, DONNA DEMARCO has been named Associate Commissioner for Administration and BENJAMIN FAIRCLOUGH has been named Senior Dir of External Affairs. Big East Associate Commissioner for Men's Basketball DAN GAVITT also has had his duties expanded in men's basketball (Big East)....JOHN ASHAOLU was named Dir of Basketball Operations at East Carolina Univ. (, 10/27).

    EXECS: Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca named RWB Marketing & Communications VP/Global Communications BARRY TOEPKE VP/Historic Races (, 10/28)….ISP Sports named MARK MCKEEN Senior VP & Chief Information Officer, and promoted MIKE KOHLER to VP & GM of the Arizona State Univ. ISP Sports Network, BRANDON FORBIS to Associate GM of the Univ. of Richmond ISP Sports Network and ANDY DEMETRA to Dir of Broadcasting for the Univ. of South Carolina ISP Sports Network (ISP)….The Single-A South Atlantic League Lexington Legends named STEPHANIE FISH Dir of Community Relations, BRIAN BAUERWEISS Season Ticket Sales Rep, NICK JUHASZ Audiovisual Production Manager, JAKE THAYER and ASHLEY BROOKS Corporate Account Execs and MARGARET HILL Front Office Receptionist (Legends)… has hired ALEXI NEILL as a Staff Writer for its Georgia Tech basketball, football and baseball coverage (THE DAILY).

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

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  • Names In The News

    Jeter Awarded Annual Chevrolet-
    Sponsored Roberto Clemente Award
    MLB Thursday night awarded Yankees SS DEREK JETER with the annual Chevrolet-sponsored Roberto Clemente Award, which recognizes a combination of on-field skill, sportsmanship and humanitarian work. MLB Commissioner BUD SELIG said, "It's a player like Derek Jeter that makes me proud to be commissioner." Jeter joked in response, "I've got the commissioner fooled, too, huh?" VERA CLEMENTE, the widow of Baseball HOFer ROBERTO CLEMENTE, Thursday was named an official MLB goodwill ambassador (Eric Fisher, SportsBusiness Journal).

    WILDCAT OFFENSE: The DAILY NORTHWESTERN's Sarah Kuta profiled USA Today columnist CHRISTINE BRENNAN. Brennan, who majored in journalism at Northwestern, said that she "strives to uphold the values of hard work she learned" at the school. Brennan said of her writing, "I hope that my best column that I've ever written is this week's. And then next week, I hope it's the best" (DAILY NORTHWESTERN, 10/29).

    HOOP IT UP: The N.Y. TIMES' Harvey Araton profiled Nets F TERRENCE WILLIAMS as part of the paper's "At Home With" feature. The new 3,575-square-foot town house Williams is renting in Manhattan, for about $7,000 a month, has "two oversized closets to go along with three bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, a high-end kitchen, a finished basement, an elevator" and a roof deck (N.Y. TIMES, 10/29).

    NAMES: In Toronto, Linda Barnard reviews "MORE THAN A GAME," a documentary that is "more than a LEBRON JAMES bio, which helps make this low-budget look at a group of high school basketball heroes deliver on its promise." Barnard awards the film three stars out of four (TORONTO STAR, 10/30)....ESPN's BOB KNIGHT Wednesday contacted Indiana Univ. (IU) AD FRED GLASS to "inform him that he would not attend his Nov. 6 induction ceremony into the IU Athletics Hall of Fame." Glass said that Knight "said he was concerned the media interest in his attendance would take away from others being inducted" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 10/30)....The PGA Tour Travelers Championship Wednesday donated $1.08M to more than 130 Connecticut charities, with the primary beneficiaries being the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp and Greater Hartford Jaycees. The amount, which comes from the net proceeds of this year's event, was up over 40% from last year's donation of $767,279 (, 10/28)....U.S. Sen. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ) will serve as grand marshall for the November 15 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix Int'l Raceway (, 10/29)....Are you or someone you know in the sports business industry running in Sunday’s ING N.Y. Marathon? If so, please contact Brian Helfrich at and let him know. Then on Monday, send him your time and a quick note about the experience to share with our readers.

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