SBD/Issue 124/Sports Industrialists

Executive Transactions

The NHRA will put a sales executive in Charlotte for the first time with the hiring of Tony Driscoll as VP/Sales & Business Development. Driscoll, formerly a Senior Dir of Partnership & Integrated Media Sales for ISC, will report to NHRA Senior VP/Sales & Marketing Gary Darcy. At ISC since '03, Driscoll was responsible for developing integrated corporate partnerships. Driscoll is expected to split his time between his base in Charlotte and the NHRA's HQs in Glendora, California. The NHRA also maintains a strategic alliance with IMG, which began in '08, as its exclusive outside sponsorship marketing agent at the league level (Michael Smith, SportsBusiness Journal)

STEPPING UP TO THE PLATE: The MLBPA named former MLBer TONY CLARK to the newly created position of Dir of Player Relations. Clark will oversee the union's expanded efforts in the areas of membership communications and education, and play a major role in future rounds of collective bargaining. In addition, STEVE FEHR was named Special Counsel, which formalizes a role Fehr has held for the past 23 years while serving as outside counsel to the MLBPA. Fehr is the brother of former MLBPA Exec Dir DONALD FEHR (MLBPA)….A source indicated that former Padres GM KEVIN TOWERS is close to finalizing a deal to become a "low-level" member of the Yankees front office. Towers likely will be a West Coast-based Special Assignment Scout (NORTH COUNTY TIMES, 3/10).

EXECS:  Versus named HBO Sports Creative Dir TRIPP DIXON VP/Creative Services and promoted the following: Senior Dir of PR MEIER RAIVICH to VP/Communications, Dir of Program Planning & Scheduling MICHAEL PERMAN to Senior Dir of Program Planning & Acquisitions, and Advertising Manager ANNE FORD to Senior Marketing Manager (Versus)….TVG President GERARD CUNNINGHAM has been replaced by Dir of Horse Racing STEPHEN BURN. This is the "first major change at TVG since the company was bought" by Betfair in early '09. Cunningham was installed as TVG President after the acquisition closed (DRF.com, 3/10)....ISC named Talladega Superspeedway President RICK HUMPHREY Managing Dir of Business Operations. Talladega Superspeedway Chair W. GRANT LYNCH JR. is taking over day-to-day operations at the track (AL.com, 3/9)….Learfield Sports named NICK RALSTON Account Exec for its Univ. of Iowa property, MATT GAMEWELL Senior Account Exec for its Univ. of Missouri property, GRAHAM ASHE Account Exec for its Univ. of Northern Iowa property, JARED WESTON Account Exec for its Oklahoma State Univ. property and PATRICK CUSTER Account Exec for its Univ. of Tulsa property (Learfield).

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