SBD/Issue 241/Sports Industrialists

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  • Executive Transactions

    Fischer Worked For The NBA For 12 Years,
    Most Recently Leading Efforts In Asia

    SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL's Don Muret reports the UFC has hired former NBA Asia Senior VP & Managing Dir MARK FISCHER "to lead the efforts to expand" the MMA company's "brand in the Far East." Fischer, now UFC Exec VP & Managing Dir for Asia, will "focus on expanding broadcast and digital media deals and developing relationships in a vast Asian market" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 8/30 issue). Fischer has opened the China office of the UFC, and a Chinese version of "The Ultimate Fighter" reality TV series "is expected to kick off UFC's expansion" (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 8/30).

    TAKING THE HANDOFF: SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL's Mickle & Ourand report the NHL has hired former NFL VP/Programming CHARLES COPLIN to oversee all media content as Exec VP/Content. Coplin will be tasked with trying to "improve the quality of NHL content across all of its media platforms, including the NHL Network and" He also "will maintain relationships with regional sports networks that carry NHL programming." In addition, Coplin will be lead the league's efforts "to improve the quality of programming on the NHL Network" and the efforts to more fully integrate NHL Network content "with content from" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 8/30 issue).

    EXECS: The Tennis Media Company, publisher of Tennis magazine and, has hired former Wired Associate Publisher MASON WELLS as Publisher (Tennis Media Co.)....Keeneland Race Course Dir of Communications & Marketing JAY BLANTON has left the thoroughbred track for the Univ. of Kentucky "to run the school's public relations and marketing" (LEXINGTON HERALD-LEADER, 8/27)....STACY BEARSE will retire as Blood-Horse Publications President & CEO, effective Nov. 1 (Blood-Horse).

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  • Names In The News

    Beebe Credited For Saving The Big 12 Amid
    This Summer's Changes In College Sports

    In Dallas, Barry Horn profiled Big 12 Commissioner DAN BEEBE, who "stepped up" to save the conference when it "appeared primed for extinction" this summer. Big Ten Commissioner JIM DELANY said, "I'm very proud of how he represented his conference and how he fought for their survival." Beebe said, "They say there is nothing you can do to prepare for the crisis we went through. But crisis can result in great opportunity to strengthen who you are" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 8/29).

    ENDLESS SUMMER: In Portland, Rachel Bachman profiled Oregon State Univ. President ED RAY, who as Chair of the NCAA's Exec Committee monitored negotiations for the recent TV contract for the men's basketball tournament and "served on the search committee for the next NCAA president," ultimately MARK EMMERT. When asked how close the NCAA was to expanding the basketball tournament to 96 teams, he said, "Not very close. Nobody had agreed to do it" (Portland OREGONIAN, 8/29).

    RUNNING OUT OF GAS: In Charlotte, Kerry Hall Singe reported Regions Bank "wants to foreclose on the NASCAR office tower" in Charlotte. Corporate Plaza Partners LLC "developed the 19-story tower" next to the NASCAR HOF, but then defaulted on a $95M loan in November. About "two-thirds of the building's 390,000 square feet is available for lease." NASCAR is the "largest tenant with 118,000 square feet" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 8/28).

    THE DREAM IS STILL ALIVE: Last night’s episode of HBO’s “Entourage” showed that Ari Gold’s dream of bringing an NFL team to L.A. is still alive, except now fellow agent and past protagonist Amanda Daniels, played by CARLA GUGINO, is the one trying to bring the team to town. Gold, played by JEREMY PIVEN, runs into QUEEN LATIFAH on the street and she tells him about a meeting they have scheduled for the following week. Latifah: "I didn't want you to be my agent. I wanted to be involved with the NFL team." Gold: "Involved how?" Latifah: "Good seats for one, and then I was hoping it would help promote my scholarship foundation. But since you're not involved I figured…" Gold: "You can be as involved as you want to be." Latifah: "I am involved, through Amanda Daniels now that she's bringing in the team." Looking puzzled, Ari asked, "Where'd you hear that?" Latifah: "I met with her yesterday" ("Entourage," HBO, 8/29).

    NAMES: Trail Blazers and Seahawks Owner and Microsoft co-Founder PAUL ALLEN is suing "nearly a dozen major companies," including Google and Apple, "alleging they infringed on four web technology patents held by his company Interval Licensing LLC" (AP, 8/27)....ANDY RODDICK "had his agent arrange box tickets" to an upcoming tennis match for a reporter who "was involved in a fender bender and taken to a hospital" while on the way to interview Roddick, who also wrote the reporter a personal note (N.Y. POST, 8/29)....In Phoenix, Dan Bickley profiled NFL Cardinals President MICHAEL BIDWILL under the header, "Michael Bidwill Helps Change Arizona Cardinals Culture." Though his "naked ambition and haggling skills turned off many business colleagues, his hard-charging style pushed Proposition 302 past the finish line" and delivered Univ. of Phoenix Stadium (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 8/29)....Former Florida State Univ. football coach BOBBY BOWDEN attended Jets practice last week and "may appear" on Wednesday's episode of HBO's "Hard Knocks" (, 8/26)....WNBA Atlanta Dream Owner KATHY BETTY showcased her new home near the Chattahoochee River for a profile by the ATLANTA CONSTITUTION (, 8/30)....Patriots Owner BOB KRAFT and his wife, MYRA, attended a fundraiser this weekend for Massachusetts state Sen. President THERESE MURRAY (BOSTON GLOBE, 8/30).

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