SBD/Issue 237/Sports Industrialists

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  • Vaccaro Eyes Return To Hoops Business, May Team With Li-Ning

    Vaccaro's Return To Summer Hoops Scene
    Could Force The Hand Of Nike, Adidas

    Former Nike, adidas and Reebok exec Sonny Vaccaro confirmed that he is "being pursued by four different companies" to aid in his "quest to again dominate amateur basketball at the grassroots level," according to Gary Parrish of CBSSPORTS.com. Sources indicated that Li-Ning is a "strong possibility to back Vaccaro as a way of countering Nike's ongoing and aggressive move into China." The plan is for Vaccaro to "secure a deal, put the strength of his name behind" a new summer basketball venture, "then hire point men in various cities to disperse the money and apparel however they see fit all in the name of securing commitments from elite talents." Vaccaro said, "I will get x amount of dollars and x amount of equipment or whatever, disperse it to my people, then they'll disperse it to their people, and then things will happen. That's my plan. And if it happens, I think we'll be competitive right out of the gate." Until Vaccaro has signed a contract, "nothing is certain." But the former sneaker exec said that he "absolutely expects to sign a deal with somebody, and that he has every intention of getting back in and creating the kind of opportunities that have vanished in his absence." Parrish noted Vaccaro's return to the basketball scene "will likely force Nike and adidas to spend more money than they've been spending during Vaccaro's absence." Grassroots Basketball of America Founder Gary Charles said, "I do think Sonny returning will make Nike and adidas stand up again. Right now Nike and adidas can do whatever they want, just tell (summer coaches) to take it or leave it. ... But with Sonny back in, people will have choices" (CBSSPORTS.com, 8/23).

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  • YES' "SportsMoney" Holds Roundtable Discussion With Top Execs

    Top Sports Execs Levine, Kraft, Galatioto And
    Jones (l-r) Discuss State Of The Industry

    Friday's edition of YES Network's "SportsMoney" featured a special roundtable called "The State of Sports," with Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones, Patriots President Jonathan Kraft, Yankees President Randy Levine and Galatioto Sports Partners President Sal Galatioto. Jones said the Cowboys could have built the $1.2B Cowboys Stadium for $800M and "had a whale of a place," but he noted the other $400M was the "'wow' factor for television." Jones: "It was really about making Al Michaels talk about, ironically, the art, or talk about the architecture. … It was very calculated." Galatioto said the Yankees, Cowboys and Patriots are "evolving businesses and they're adding ancillary businesses to make them more and more valuable, and it's beyond the basic sport business." However, Forbes National Editor Michael Ozanian noted as those teams become more valuable, "the problem this may cause is some of the lower-tier teams in each league are falling further and further behind, and you're going to see them really start to grumble about more revenue-sharing, they can't compete for players, those types of things."

    TALKING MEDIA: Kraft said the Patriots have "made it very convenient" for fans to "know when there's new content available" through social media sites. Kraft added social media has "really created an opportunity for us to get to know our fans better." Kraft: "People today don't want to take the time to go to all their favorite websites and check it out. They're really living their lives off of their news feed from Facebook or the Twitter feeds. ... We have seen our media consumption triple on Patriots.com and I attribute it all to what we're doing at Facebook and the strategy that we have for posting things there." Meanwhile, Levine said the Yankees do not view MLB Network "as a competitor" to the the team's YES Network. Levine: "I think they do a totally different thing. I think they view themselves more as a competitor with ESPN" ("SportsMoney," YES, 8/20).

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  • Utah, BYU ADs Share Honor Of Most Influential In Utah Sports

    Univ. of Utah AD CHRIS HILL and BYU AD TOM HOLMOE "share the title of the Most Influential Person in Utah Sports for 2010," according to Kurt Kragthorpe of the SALT LAKE TRIBUNE. The AD position is "more challenging and important than ever." Hill is "credited with positioning" Utah for its invitation to join the Pac-10 because of the Utes' "growth in his 23 years on the job." Meanwhile, the "last-minute crumbling of BYU's plan to become independent in football while joining the WAC for other sports kept Holmoe from registering a major breakthrough of his own." But BYU's "maneuvering itself to even consider such a revolutionary move illustrates the clout of Holmoe's position" (SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, 8/22).

    MOST INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE IN UTAH SPORTS
    RANK
    NAME
    t1
    Utah AD Chris Hill
    t1
    BYU AD Tom Holmoe
    3
    Real Salt Lake Owner Dave Checketts
    4
    Jazz Exec VP/Basketball Operations & GM Kevin O'Connor
    5
    Real Salt Lake coach Jason Kreis
    6
    Jazz G Deron Williams
    7
    Utah football coach Kyle Whittingham
    8
    Jazz CEO Greg Miller
    9
    Jazz Owner Gail Miller
    10
    BYU football coach Bronco Mendenhall
    11
    Utah Sports Commission President & CEO Jeff Robbins
    12
    Pac-10 Commissioner Larry Scott
    13
    Jazz coach Jerry Sloan
    14
    U.S. Ski & Snowboard Association President & CEO Bill Marolt
    15
    U.S. speedskater Apolo Anton Ohno
    16
    Jazz President Randy Rigby
    17
    U.S. skier Lindsey Vonn
    18
    BYU G Jimmer Fredette
    19
    Utah gymnastics coaches Greg and Megan Marsden
    20
    Jazz F Paul Millsap
    21
    BYU men's basketball coach Dave Rose
    22
    U.S. bobsledder Steve Holcomb
    23
    Univ. of Texas AD DeLoss Dodds
    24
    Mountain West Conference Commissioner Craig Thompson
    25
    Bingham High School football coach Dave Peck

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  • Executive Transactions

    Vail Resorts promoted ALEX ISKENDERIAN to COO & Senior VP of its real estate arm. He will now be in day-to-day charge of its initiatives and projects (BIZJOURNALS.com, 8/23)….The Big 12 Conference named MARIA HUGGINS Championships Manager (Big 12)….LISA WARD joined the Jazz as an Account Exec (THE DAILY)….The Royals named JEFF RYDMAN Inside Sales Rep (THE DAILY)….COLE BURKHALTER was named the first recipient of USA Hockey's Brendan Burke Internship, named after the late son of Maple Leafs President & GM BRIAN BURKE  (BIZJOURNALS.com, 8/23).

    Do you have an executive announcement? If so, please send to editorial@sportsbusinessdaily.com.

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  • Names In The News

    Rooney Reportedly Asked To Leave New
    Meadowlands Press Box Prior To Game

    In Pittsburgh, Ed Bouchette cited a source as saying that Steelers Chair Emeritus and U.S. Ambassador to Ireland DAN ROONEY was "thrown out" of the New Meadowlands Stadium press box prior to Saturday's Steelers-Giants game. Rooney "flew in from Ireland just to see the game" and returned to Europe on Sunday. Bouchette reported one of the press box attendants "ordered him out of the press box and back to the private box which he had a ticket for." Rooney "left without protest" (POST-GAZETTE.com, 8/23).

    CHANGING LANES: Richard Petty Motorsports part-Owner Ray Evernham said that he has "submitted an offer to purchase" Motorsports Management Int'l, the agency and consulting firm started in '95 by lawyer CARY AGAJANIAN. Evernham said, "It's not like I will have an office there that I'll be at every day. My part will be some of the driver development and help with driver coaching, driver management." MMI reps TONY STEWART, KYLE BUSCH, DENNY HAMLIN, KASEY KAHNE and JAMIE MCMURRAY, among others (FOXSPORTS.com, 8/23).

    KICKED INTO HIGH GEAR: AD WEEK's Andrew McMains profiles ad firm Anomaly and the company's co-Founder CARL JOHNSON, whose effort to "revive the storied New York Cosmos" soccer club is among the agency's "most ambitious" projects. Johnson, recently appointed CEO of New York Cosmos LLC, is "central to the effort," though the "obstacles to winning a place in MLS are formidable." The company now is "focusing on building credibility and reestablishing roots" in N.Y. Johnson works "18-hour days, seven days a week to manage Cosmos-related business, his agency and key clients" (AD WEEK, 8/23 issue).

    NAMES: At least "four entertainment acts have refused to perform during the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games because" Alliance Coal is "one of the major sponsors." All are performers with "strong Appalachian ties, who often incorporate coal mines and miners into their performances." The artists in recent weeks were "told Alliance Coal was one of the pavilion's main sponsors, and they would be performing in front of a banner" proclaiming "Clean Coal." Musical group Kentucky Wild Horse member John Harrod said that "that was something he could not do" (LEXINGTON HERALD-LEADER, 8/24)....Resort lifestyle network Plum TV has raised $1.7M of a $2.5M round, according to an SEC filing, which lists The Kraft Group President & COO JONATHAN KRAFT and BOD member DAVID KRAFT (CITYBIZLIST.com, 8/23)....Celtics coach DOC RIVERS yesterday appeared in studio at Golf Channel to tape several segments for the network's "The Golf Fix." Host Michael Breed examined Rivers' swing and provided tips on improving (Golf Channel)....Heat Gs PATRICK BEVERLEY and KENNY HASBROUCK and C DEXTER PITTMAN yesterday partnered with Office Depot to distribute 900 backpacks filled with school supplies to children during the first day of school in South Florida (THE DAILY)....Bobcats Owner MICHAEL JORDAN sat for a "one-on-one interview" with ABC's ROBIN ROBERTS during the recent league-wide NBA sponsorship meetings in N.Y. (CHARLOTTE BUSINESS JOURNAL, 8/20 issue).

    IN MEMORY: SI.com's Jack McCallum cited sources as saying that former Pistons Dir of PR MATT DOBEK, who was found dead Saturday afternoon, took "his own life" (SI.com, 8/23).

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