Knight Officially Retires As Nike Board Chair NFL Cardinals' Amazon Series Debuts DeWalt Extends Sponsorship With Matt Kenseth Fox Sports' Sprint Cup Viewership Down 6% SBJ In-Depth: The Education Issue Tennis Could Be Blueprint For Olympic Golf NBA Names Spruell President Of League Operations Finishing Touches Being Put On Fort Bragg Field Source: Disney Buying 33% BAM Tech Stake Perrin Weighing Ticket Options
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For the first time in the three-year history of the Sports Business Awards, SportsBusiness Daily subscribers can take part in the voting process. Subscribers’ votes will represent 25% of the overall evaluation process. You may vote in any or all of the 15 Sports Business Awards categories, but you may only vote once. Your vote will remain confidential. But don’t delay! The last day to submit your ballot is Monday, April 26. Let your voice be heard! Go to www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/sba/vote to cast your vote today. Winners will be announced live at the Sports Business Awards ceremony at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City on Thursday, May 20.
The following lists the agents and their agencies/firms who are repping the NFL’s first-round draft picks. Some players are listed with multiple representatives, as client responsibilities may fall to multiple agents.NO.TEAMPLAYERAGENT1)RamsSam Bradford/QB/OklahomaTom Condon, Ben Dogra/CAA Sports2)LionsNdamukong Suh/DT/NebraskaRoosevelt Barnes/Maximum Sports Management3)
Buccaneers Gerald McCoy/DT/Oklahoma Ben Dogra, Kelli Masters/CAA Sports4) Redskins Trent Williams/OT/Oklahoma Vincent Taylor, Eugene Parker/Maximum Sports Management5) Chiefs Eric Berry/S/Tennessee Chad Speck/Allegiant Athletic Agency6) Seahawks Russell Okung/OT/Oklahoma State Peter Schaffer/All Pro Sports & Entertainment7) Browns Joe Haden/CB/Florida Malik Shareef/Dimension Sports8) Raiders Rolando McClain/LB/Alabama Pat Dye, Bill Johnson/ProFiles Sports9) Bills C.J. Spiller/RB/Clemson Gary Wichard/Pro Tect Management10) Jaguars Tyson Alualu/DT/California Kenny Zuckerman/Priority Sports & Entertainment11) 49ers Anthony Davis/OT/Rutgers Sanat Shah/320 Sports12) Chargers Ryan Mathews/RB/Fresno State Frank Bauer/Sun West Sports13) Eagles Brandon Graham/DE/Michigan Joel Segal/BEST14) Seahawks Earl Thomas/S/Texas Andrew Kessler/Athletes First15) Giants Jason Pierre-Paul/DE/South Florida Drew Rosenhaus/Rosenhaus Sports16) Titans Derrick Morgan/DE/Georgia Tech Ben Dogra, Michael Lartigue/CAA Sports17) 49ers Mike Iupati/G/Idaho Ryan Tollner, Bruce Tollner/Rep 1 Sports Group18) Steelers Maurkice Pouncey/C/Florida Joel Segal/BEST19) Falcons Sean Weatherspoon/LB/Missouri David Dunn, Justin Schulman, Mark Humenik/Athletes First20) Texans Kareem Jackson/CB/Alabama Tony Fleming, Mitch Frankel, Sean Kiernan/Impact Sports Management21) Bengals Jermaine Gresham/TE/Oklahoma Ben Dogra/CAA Sports22) Broncos Demaryius Thomas/WR/Georgia Tech Todd France/France AllPro Athlete Management23) Packers Bryan Bulaga/OT/Iowa Tom Condon, Ben Dogra/CAA Sports24) Cowboys Dez Bryant/WR/Oklahoma State Eugene Parker/Maximum Sports Management25) Broncos Tim Tebow/QB/Florida James Sexton/Athletic Resources Management26) Cardinals Dan Williams/DT/Tennessee Todd France/France AllPro Athlete Management27) Patriots Devin McCourty/CB/Rutgers Wesley Spencer, Andy Simms/PlayersRep Sports Management28) Dolphins Jared Odrick/DT/Penn State Peter Schaffer/All Pro Sports & Entertainment29) Jets Kyle Wilson/CB/Boise State Chafie Fields, Joel Segal/BEST30) Lions Jahvid Best/RB/California Tony Fleming, Mitch Frankel, Sean Kiernan/Impact Sports Management31) Colts Jerry Hughes/DE/TCU Michael Lartigue, Ben Dogra/CAA Sports32) Saints Patrick Robinson/CB/Florida State Kevin Conner, Robert Brown/Universal Sports Management
NOTES: CAA Sports leads the way with six first-round selections, marking the fourth-straight year the agency has repped the most picks. CAA's BEN DOGRA is involved in the representation of all six of the agency's clients selected Thursday night, marking the seventh-straight draft that Dogra has at least tied for the most first-round picks (THE DAILY).
In a special to the PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, Allen Barra wrote ROB RUCK, MAGGIE PATTERSON and MICHAEL WEBER's book, "ROONEY: A SPORTING LIFE," is "one of the best books on football written so far this century," largely because late Steelers Owner ART ROONEY SR. "was the most interesting of owners." "Rooney" is "handsomely packaged, lavishly illustrated and assiduously researched" and is "more than a biography." Barra: "It's a virtual cutaway view of the growth of development of professional football and its relationship to its communities." Rooney's life "would have been a rich enough read if it had ended in 1969 before he hired a colorless but brilliant defensive coordinator from the Baltimore Colts named CHUCK NOLL." For Steelers fans, the "last 140-odd pages of 'Rooney' will seem like a rich dessert, covering the creation of perhaps the greatest dynasty in football history" (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 4/21).
FIGHTING WORDS: In Baltimore, Kevin Richardson noted MMA fighter B.J. PENN has written his autobiography "WHY I FIGHT," and UFC President DANA WHITE "is not happy with this book." Penn is "quite candid about his relationship" with White in the book, as he "talks about White's selfishness, and favoritism toward some fighters." Penn writes about how "there would always be the one guy UFC owners, the FERTITTAS ... and White would give a lot of money to." They had their "favorite fighters, like PEDRO RIZZO and later CHUCK LIDDELL, who received much larger purses." However, Richardson noted the book "is not just about Penn's fights with the UFC, inside and outside the ring." Richardson: "It's a look at his life story and dedication to mixed martial arts. ... I strongly urge anyone that enjoys MMA and competitive sports to read this book" (BALTIMORESUN.com, 4/22).
KINGS OF THE TRACK: In South Carolina, Gregory Hardy noted former SMI President & CEO HUMPY WHEELER has written a new book entitled, "GROWING UP NASCAR: RACING'S MOST OUTRAGEOUS PROMOTER TELLS ALL." Wheeler said there was a "tremendous amount that didn't get in the book." Wheeler: "Actually, it was about 298 pages when we got through. So obviously they cut a lot out. And that's good now, because we're thinking of a sequel if this keeps going like it is." Wheeler added one of the things that has amazed him "is the amount of women that are buying" the book (Columbia STATE, 4/18)....In Daytona Beach, Godwin Kelly wrote there is an "abundance of praise for the France family" in H.A. BRANHAM's book, "BILL FRANCE JR.: THE MAN WHO MADE NASCAR." But the biography is "surprisingly candid, especially when Branham details France's struggle to stay alive the last 10 years of his life" in the wake of suffering a heart attack in '97 (Daytona Beach NEWS-JOURNAL, 4/15).
MORE NEW RELEASES: In N.Y., gossip columnist Cindy Adams writes "GEORGE STEINBRENNER: THE LAST LION OF BASEBALL" is an unauthorized biography of the Yankees Owner written by N.Y. Daily News columnist BILL MADDEN. The release "starts with his early days in Cleveland," and "pokes into his politics, like the few pages on his being a NIXON fund-raiser," before getting to his time with the Yankees. Madden cites "'hundreds of sources,' including personal interviews with anyone who had a love/hate relationship" with Steinbrenner, including "locker-room types, fired bat boys [and] front office personnel" (N.Y. POST, 4/23)....FANHOUSE.com's JJ Cooper wrote if there "isn't a whole lot about the Super Bowl that you don't already know," then Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Packers beat writer BOB MCGINN's "ULTIMATE SUPER BOWL BOOK" is "the book for you." The book "tries to teach you things you don't know about the Super Bowl" because McGinn "talks to the people who don't normally get interviewed about the Super Bowl" (FANHOUSE.com, 4/19)....U.S. figure skater JOHNNY WEIR will release a book that is a "collection of wildly entertaining anecdotes and essays." The untitled book is scheduled to come out in January '11 (AP, 4/19).
Gardner Always Finds Time To
Run, Call Kids On 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. This week, we catch up with Astros President of Business Operations PAM GARDNER, who talked with Staff Writer Jessica Collins about her plans for the upcoming weekend.
Q: What are your plans for this weekend?
Gardner: I always plan more than I can actually accomplish. On the list for this weekend: my morning run; N.Y. Times crossword puzzle; buy and plant spring flowers; see a movie; finish my book, "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo;" have dinner with friends and be at Minute Maid Park for our weekend games.
Q: What do you always make time for on the weekend?
Gardner: I always make time to call my kids and to run.
Q: What is your weekend exercise routine?
Gardner: I am an avid runner, so on Saturdays I try to pick up a medium length run and on Sundays a long run. Running keeps me sane and it counter balances my obsession with chocolate.
Q: What do you like to read and watch on the weekend?
Gardner: I read the Houston Chronicle and N.Y. Times on Sunday, and I catch up on my DVR shows: "24," "Modern Family" and "Brothers & Sisters." And, of course, Astros road games.
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: NCAA -- The rich get richer. Taking a calculated gamble that March Madness could fetch more than the $2.1B CBS was due to pay for rights over the next three years, the NCAA opts out of its deal and scores big. Not only will the NCAA receive an average of $771M annually under the new deal, but it also brings Turner Broadcasting and its family of networks into the fold, making every men's tournament game available on TV. To top it off, the tournament tentatively plans to jump to 68 teams -- for now -- quieting uproar from fans over speculation of a 96-team field.
Brawl Following CBS' "Saturday Night Fights"
Does Not Look Good For Sport, Organization
LOSE: STRIKEFORCE -- CBS' "Saturday Night Fights" took on a whole new meaning after a brawl broke out at the end of the net's Strikeforce telecast. The fiasco doesn't bode well for a sport and an organization looking for credibility with mainstream TV audiences. But not too many viewers even saw the debacle, as the telecast draws a 1.8 Nielsen rating, down about 28% from FEDOR EMELIANENKO's bout last November, and down 40% from MMA's broadcast TV debut with KIMBO SLICE in '08.
DRAW: HOODIE-GATE -- After initially prohibiting Rays manager JOE MADDON from wearing his trademark hoodie during future games, MLB ultimately relents as league officials "re-interpreted" their decision. Hoodie-Gate ends almost as quickly as it begins, as Maddon is allowed to resume wearing what he calls his "security blanket," but MLB comes away from the situation looking like the overbearing Big Brother for coming down hard on such a seemingly minor issue.
The Eagles have promoted Senior VP & CFO DON SMOLENSKI to COO. The team also has signed President JOE BANNER to a contract extension (Eagles)....Under Armour named American Eagle Chief Merchandising Officer HENRY STAFFORD Senior VP/Apparel, effective in June (BIZJOURNALS.com, 4/22)....Sporting News named JOE HOFFMAN Midwest Franchise Sales Dir. Hoffman, who will be based in Chicago, will be responsible for all sales of SportingNews.com, Sporting News Today and Sporting News Magazine. For the past six years, Hoffman was Midwest Account Manager for SI and SI.com (THE DAILY)….Former Washington Times Deputy Sports Editor JOHN TAYLOR has been hired by SB Nation as Dir of Editorial Operations (Eric Fisher, SportsBusiness Journal)….Baseball HOFer Joe Morgan has joined the Reds as a Special Advisor, and his "chief role will be in the community." Morgan’s position with the Reds “will not affect his duties” on ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball” (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 4/22)....UW-Milwaukee AD GEORGE KOONCE has been placed on administrative leave, effective immediately. The university said in a statement the leave is "related to a personal matter." Senior Assistant to the Chancellor DAVE GILBERT will serve as acting AD in Koonce's absence (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 4/22)....Global sports television exec PHIL LINES will join CAA Sports June 1 to help build its global media advisory practice overseas. Most recently, Lines was Dir of Media Operations & Int'l Broadcasting for the EPL (CAA).
Do you have an executive announcement? If so, please send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
J.C. FRANCE, the grandson of late NASCAR Founder BILL FRANCE SR., "will be behind the wheel of a race car soon, now that a technicality has wiped out" the charges lodged against him in an October arrest. France on Thursday was reinstated to Grand-Am Road Racing and will compete in Rolex Series events after a five-month suspension. A judge "granted a motion to suppress all the evidence collected against" France when he was stopped by Daytona Beach police (Daytona Beach NEWS-JOURNAL, 4/23).
PARTYING FOR A CAUSE: In Boston, Karen Guregian notes Patriots DT VINCE WILFORK every year hosts an NFL Draft party where a "ton of money is raised" for charity. Wilfork has "managed to donate a ton of cash for diabetes research." In the past two years, he has "raised more than $350,000" for the Joslin Diabetes Center and the Diabetes Research Institute at the Univ. of Miami. Wilfork and his wife, BIANCA, "matched all funds raised up to $50,000." Wilfork's father, DAVID, died from diabetes complications in '02 (BOSTON HERALD, 4/23).
"Pelada" Examines Soccer Around The World
GOING TO THE MOVIES: In N.Y., Christopher Clarey notes the new soccer documentary "PELADA," which is "making the festival rounds," is "brimming with energy and optimism." The movie, made by "four Americans in their twenties," was filmed in "25 countries, from the pounding heart of the game in Brazil to the much more obscure playgrounds of Iran" (N.Y. TIMES, 4/23)....Endemol's first feature film, "BLUE MOON RISING," is a "cinematic snapshot of a year in the life of high-profile" EPL club Manchester City. The film, directed by STEWART SUGG, "follows a group of Manchester City fans throughout" the '09-10 season and "in the wake of the takeover by" SHEIKH MANSOUR BIN ZAYED AL NAHYAN. It is due out this summer (DAILY VARIETY, 4/22)...."THE PERFECT GAME," which is about the "motley team of Mexican schoolkids who somehow won the 1957 Little League World Series," opened in 417 theatres last Friday, earning around $500,000 (L.A. TIMES, 4/20).
NAMES: IMG Chair & CEO Ted Forstmann and Harvard Univ. professor Niall Ferguson co-authored an opinion piece in Friday's Wall Street Journal under the header, "Back To Basics on Financial Reform. The Case For Limiting Leverage And Regulating Derivatives Is Overwhelming, But That Doesn't Require A New 1,300-Page Law" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 4/23)....Former NBAer VLADE DIVAC on Tuesday was named Serbia's Olympic Committee President (ESPN.com, 4/21)....The PGA Tour Wives Association, in collaboration with The Players Championship, Valero Texas Open and HP Byron Nelson Championship, has launched Operation Literacy, a three-week campaign to bring awareness to the importance of literacy skills (PGA Tour).