Sunoco Debuts "Essence Of Racing" Campaign Executive Transactions Isiah Thomas Expected Backlash Over Hiring FanDuel Brings On Most Of Zynga Sports Team Georgia Approves Increased Athletic Budget Kentucky Adding Ribbon Boards At Rupp IndyCar Ponders How To Attract Fans Long Term Jeff Gordon Hired As Full-Time Analyst For Fox Danica's Sponsorship Status To Be Telling For NASCAR Classified Advertisements
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Kathy Betty (c) Planning To Attend
Dream's Game In Phoenix 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. This week, we catch up with WNBA Atlanta Dream Owner KATHY BETTY, who shared some of her holiday weekend plans with Staff Writer Jessica Collins.
Q: What are your plans for this weekend?
Betty: I am planning to fly out to Phoenix to watch the Dream take on the defending WNBA champions, the Phoenix Mercury. We are off to a 4-0 start, so this is a big road trip for the team. When I get back to Atlanta, I will carve out some time to play golf before I get back to work.
Q: What workout routines or activities do you like to do on the weekend?
Betty: I have a consistent workout plan that I follow. I wake up at 5:00am every day and go to the gym at 6:00am to work out with my trainer, lifting weights and running on the elliptical. I love to work out, but I also enjoy the fine dining in Atlanta! One of my favorite restaurants in my neighborhood is Ray's on the River, so I often meet friends there for a weekend dinner.
Q: What do you like to watch on the weekend?
Betty: I love to watch sports. Right now I am following the WNBA, golf, and the Atlanta Braves. This weekend I will try to watch some of the French Open. I usually catch up on my favorite news shows on Sunday evening.
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:
Johnson Played A Large Role In New
Meadowlands Stadium Getting Super Bowl
WIN: WOODY JOHNSON -- The Jets Owner is credited with being the driving force behind bringing the Super Bowl to New Meadowlands Stadium. Johnson convinces Giants Owners JOHN MARA and STEVE TISCH on the merits of the idea, and the trio successfully lobbies NFL brass and other owners that America's biggest sporting event should be played in its biggest market for the first time. Reaction is mixed as to whether a February Super Bowl in N.Y. is a good idea, but nobody is questioning the potential marketing and sponsorship benefits. The successful bid should also help both the Jets and Giants toward securing what thus far has been an elusive naming-rights deal for the new venue.
LOSE: CYCLING -- This has not been the best week in the sport's history. On the heels of FLOYD LANDIS' accusations of doping against former teammates, federal authorities are wondering if they can expand an investigation to include LANCE ARMSTRONG. The Amgen Tour of California, the top domestic cycling event, sees TV viewership drop precipitously for the first time on Versus amid the event's move from February to May. Meanwhile, all indications are that the Tour of Missouri, the No. 2 race in the U.S., will not take place amid funding concerns.
DRAW: VENUS WILLIAMS -- The No. 2-ranked player garners most of the headlines from Roland Garros during the first week of the French Open with her on-court wardrobe. The lacy black dress, with its "near-sheer, skin-tone undershorts," has been described as something from a "19th century Parisian cancan chorus line." The discussion garners plenty of publicity for Williams' EleVen clothing line, but it is still disappointing that one of the most decorated female tennis players in history feels the need to walk the line in showing too much skin.
The Finish Line co-Founder & Chair ALAN COHEN this week informed the company's BOD of his decision to retire as Chair and as a board member at The Finish Line's 2010 Annual Meeting of Shareholders on July 22. Current board member and CEO GLENN LYON will succeed Cohen as Chair (The Finish Line).
EXECS: Delaware North Companies promoted Bruins VP/Business Operations DAN ZIMMER to VP/Corporate Finance & Development (Bruins)….Universal Sports Network named KEVIN ENDSLEY Dir of Communications. For the past three years, Endsley was in the TV publicity group for NBC Universal (Universal Sports)…. Comcast Sports Group has named RANDY HOUSTON to serve as Senior Counsel. Houston is relocating to Philadelphia from Austin, where he practiced intellectual property and entertainment law. Comcast Sports Group has also hired ZI WANG from NFL Films as Art Director and named CSNPhilly.com New Business Manager AMIE SANTOLERI to the newly created position of Manager of Digital Partnerships (Comcast Sports Group)....ESPN promoted KEVIN SULLIVAN to Associate Writer & Producer (ESPN)….Greg Norman Production Company promoted VERONICA MULLER to Sales & Marketing Manager for the PGA Tour Mayakoba Golf Classic (Great White Shark Enterprises)….The Aspire Group promoted A.J. SMITH and RYAN GOTTLIEB to Senior Sales Consultants at the Georgia Tech Fan Relationship Management Center (The Aspire Group).
Do you have an executive announcement? If so, please send to email@example.com.
Fall Recently Opened The NBA's
First Office In Johannesburg, Africa
In N.Y., William Rhoden notes NBA VP/Development for Africa Amadou Gallo Fall recently "officially opened the NBA's first office in Africa," located in Johannesburg. The hoopla surrounding this summer's World Cup in South Africa is "precisely why Fall and the NBA chose this moment to open shop." Fall: "The eyes of the world will be here." Rhoden notes the NBA "needs exposure in Africa," and Fall "certainly faces one of the most daunting challenges: planting the NBA flag here and using the league's enormous global brand to develop basketball on a continent where the game of choice is soccer." Fall's challenge is "not creating interest in the game," but rather "facilitating access: building indoor courts, providing coaches and conducting clinics." Fall: "The professional leagues don't exist, and leagues, as we know them, do not exist. But there is a passion for the game. That's why we're here" (N.Y. TIMES, 5/28).
STAYING BUSY: Falcons TE TONY GONZALEZ this offseason is "doing the publicity and marketing work on All-Pro Science, a line of all-natural nutritional supplements and products." Gonzalez: "It's pretty much my job now." Gonzalez' products are available online, and he "promotes them through" his Twitter account, which has more than 9,000 followers. Gonzalez said the plan for the line is to "go into all of the stores like Whole Foods," and added he would "like to be in Costco" (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 5/28).
SWIMMING NORTH: Golfer GREG NORMAN "has shut his only Australian office as he chases the Asian golfing dollar through China." The closing of the Sydney Greg Norman Golf Course Design office "signals that Norman's company no longer sees Australia as its key Asia-Pacific hub." The company opened a "new sales and marketing office in Beijing." Norman's "main golf course architects will now be based only" at the company's West Palm Beach HQs (Sydney DAILY TELEGRAPH, 5/26).
NAMES: WMG Chair & CEO Casey Wasserman Thursday visited the White House with the U.S. World Cup team. The team met with PRESIDENT OBAMA and former President Bill Clinton. Clinton and Wasserman are both on the board for the U.S. Bid for the '18 or '22 World Cup. Clinton is the honorary chairman (Tripp Mickle, SportsBusiness Journal)....Baseball HOFer SANDY KOUFAX on Thursday attended the first-ever Jewish American Heritage Month reception at the White House (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 5/28)….Former NHL Oilers Owner PETER POCKLINGTON, who has been charged with two counts of bankruptcy fraud, on Thursday made a "perjury plea." He is “expected to yield six months’ house arrest, with an undetermined period of probation to follow.” His sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 9 (NATIONAL POST, 5/28)….The Univ. of Georgia’s athletic department will donate $2M to “help the university through hard financial times.” The contribution “will be in addition to the $6 million over three years pledged by the UGA Athletic Association to the university’s academic programs last year” (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 5/28)….Actors BRADLEY COOPER, JESSICA BIEL, FORREST WHITAKER, rapper SNOOP DOGG and MIKE TYSON are expected to attend Saturday’s UFC 114 in Las Vegas (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 5/28).