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Earnhardt Recently Granted His 200th
Wish Through The Make-A-Wish Foundation
When DALE EARNHARDT JR. “supports a cause, his fans around the globe often will follow suit,” according to the CHARLOTTE OBSERVER's Lukas Johnson, who profiles the NASCAR driver's charitable efforts. Earnhardt recently “granted his 200th wish through the Make-A-Wish Foundation,” and the amount of support he attracted from his fans “shocked ESPN producers.” Earnhardt met 15-year-old JEFFREY BUZZELL, who suffers from a genetic kidney disease, for ESPN’s “My Wish” series. After the segment aired, Earnhardt’s fans “responded to ESPN.” JR Motorsports Marketing Manager CAMILLE THOMPSON said, “Their phones blew up and it was Dale’s fans asking ‘Where can I give a kidney?’ and they were not used to that.” JR Motorsports co-Owner & GM KELLEY EARNHARDT said, “The producers were floored by the response. It’s great that Dale can have that influence to have so many people want to do that, but he’s pretty enamored by the fact that somebody’s major wish in their life would be to meet him and come to a race.” The experience "made an impression on Earnhardt," who said that it was the "most memorable of the 200 wishes he has granted." The Dale Jr. Foundation also supports local charities, but Thompson said that Earnhardt “doesn’t ever brag about his deeds.” Thompson: “Even if he writes a check and says, ‘Don’t tell anybody,’ which he does all the time, I have to tell some people. He says ‘I’m going to do this but don’t make a big deal out of it.’ And I always say, ‘Great, but can I make a little bit of a big deal about it?’ Because that’s how we get people to donate to charities we support.” Earnhardt recently donated $1M to Victory Junction Gang Camp, which was looking to "build a space to host plays, concerts and fundraisers." In March, he “broke ground for the Dale Jr. Corral and Amphitheatre,” which is scheduled to be completed on Oct. 23 (THATSRACIN.com, 9/29).
Driving Awareness: In Charlotte, Leigh Dyer notes NASCAR driver JIMMIE JOHNSON as part of his foundation's “Helmet of Hope” initiative will wear “logos of charities” during the Oct. 10 Sprint Cup Series Pepsi 400 at Auto Club Speedway. Johnson: “There’s just no way to help every cause, no matter how worthy. ... Sometimes people just want to be able to tell their story of why a charity is important to them. This was our small way of letting the people who follow us each week get some recognition for charities that are important to them.” Johnson said his foundation “definitely” will continue to offer Lowe’s Toolbox for Education grants this year where he and his wife, CHANDRA, grew up -- San Diego and the Muskogee/Tulsa area -- and where they live now, Charlotte. Johnson: “After being involved with Habitat for Humanity and building four houses in the San Diego area, we kind of wanted to focus our fundraising in another area” (THATSRACIN.com, 9/30).
Archey Cites Wife As
Influential Person In Career
In our continuing series, SportsBusiness Daily/SportsBusiness Journal asks top sports personalities for their thoughts, ideas, aspirations and likes. Today, MLB Senior VP/Int'l Business Operations PAUL ARCHEY.
What I like in an insight: There is no substitute for hard work. "The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary." -- VINCE LOMBARDI.
An influential person in my career: My wife, who encouraged me to take chances and supported me when I did.
An out-of-the-box idea: A lime in a beer.
A timeless idea: MLB Spring Training. Sunshine, baseball and all 30 teams are tied.
A sports facility: Wrigley Field. The new stadiums are great, but Wrigley is a special place.
A sports event: Game 7 of the World Series. I've been fortunate to attend numerous sporting events, but nothing compares to the drama of Game 7.
A strategy: A good business deal is never one-sided.
A hire: JOHN CALIPARI at University of Kentucky.
A brand: Apple.
A trend: Social media in sports.
An innovation: DVRs -- changing the way viewers consume programming.
A pro league or team business initiative: MLB Network.
A story that bears watching: IMG's expanding presence in college sports.
Archey Says Silly Bandz Is A Product He
Wishes He Had Thought Of
An idea or invention I wish I had thought of: Silly Bandz.
A fantasy job: Athletic director, University of Kentucky.
What I like about my job: Building relationships around the world. Cultures are very different, but people are not.
Sports: Competition, rivalries, underdogs.
Sports business: At the end of the day, it's the entertainment business, not life or death. It should be fun.
Sports media: It's taking fans places they have never been in sports: in the huddle, locker room and on the field.
Sports technology: Helping expand the limits of athletic performances.
Competing: The best way to measure your ability.
The future (or direction) of sports business: Global. International markets increase business opportunities and talent pool.
Sports fans: Fans who truly appreciate the moment. I will always remember PAUL O'NEILL's last game at Yankee Stadium because of the way the fans embraced the moment.
What I'd like to change in what I do: Be less attached to my BlackBerry.
See: College athletes receive a stipend.
See more of in sports: Players staying longer with one team.
See less of in sports: Excessive and choreographed celebrations for less-than-extraordinary performances.
See less of in sports business: Self-promoters. Accomplishments speak louder than words.
See different: The BCS football championship system.
Eliminate: The "one and done" athlete in college basketball. Let players turn pro out of high school if they don't want to go to college.
What I don't like in general: Useless e-mails.
People Who Take Too Long At
X-Ray Machines Bother Archey
Pet peeve: People who take forever to go through X-ray machines at airports.
In sports: Youth coaches who are concerned more about winning than the kids they are coaching.
In business: People who don't do what they say.
What I like that would surprise those who know me: I was 21 when I first flew in an airplane. I've more than made up for it over the years. I also used to have a mullet.
Above all else: My faith and family come first.
About myself: My jumpshot. I can't play defense anymore but I still like to shoot.
Heroes: My parents. As a proud parent of three kids myself, I am continuously reminded of how supportive and encouraging my parents were for me growing up.
Players: My kids: JAKE (baseball), MEGAN (field hockey) and PETER (football).
Teams: University of Kentucky basketball and the Big Red Machine. Passions that span four generations.
City: A tie: Rome (it's a living museum) and Sydney (no place I would rather be than Bondi Beach in the summer).
Possession: My grandmother's homemade quilts and artwork.
Memento: Photo of me with PETE ROSE sitting on the back of a pick-up truck in my hometown of Greenup, Ky., (pop. 1,100) when I was 8 years old (sporting the same haircut as Pete, too).
Time of year: Spring.
Music: Classic rock and country.
Books: "All Over But the Shoutin'," by RICK BRAGG.
Authors: CARL HIAASEN -- great sense of humor.
Magazine: Sports Illustrated.
Websites: MLB.com and KentuckySportsRadio.com.
Hobbies: Basketball; watching my kids play sports.
Trips: Moonlight Basin, Mont.; and Casa de Campo, Dominican Republic.
Movies: "Bull Durham" and "The Dark Knight."
TV: MLB Network, "SportsCenter," HBO ("Entourage" and "Hard Knocks").
Concerts: My first concert was KISS in 1978; nothing else compares.
Food: In a restaurant: Ribeye steak and mashed potatoes; Takeout: Indian food; Delivery: Pizza.
Dessert: Blackberry cobbler with vanilla ice cream.
Drink: Cranberry juice and seltzer.
Scent: Pine tar.
Vacation spots: Chatham, Cape Cod; and Lake Cumberland, Ky.
Singers: ERIC CLAPTON, BOB SEGER and Rascal Flatts.
Quote: "Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are and your reputation is merely what others think you are." -- JOHN WOODEN.
Higgins Leaving Olympic
Olympic Delivery Authority CEO DAVID HIGGINS is leaving the organization to become CEO of Network Rail. Higgins will "leave in February with 18 months still to go until the Opening Ceremony in 2012" (GUARDIAN, 9/29)….The USOC named USA Weightlifting CEO RICK ADAMS Dir of NGB Organizational Development. He will report to the USOC executive office (USOC)….Int'l sports exec PHILIPPE LE FLOC'H has joined CAA to lead the agency's new business efforts in the Middle East and Asia. Most recently, Le Floc'h was Marketing Dir for UEFA (CAA).
FRANCHISES: MELISSA RENTZ was appointed VP/Marketing for the Wizards and WNBA Mystics. For the past three years, Rentz was Dir of Advertising & Branding for the Texans and sister company, Lone Star Entertainment (Wizards)….The Brewers named DICK GROCH Special Assistant to GM DOUG MELVIN for Pro Scouting & Player Personnel, ZACK MINASIAN Dir of Pro Scouting and KARL MUELLER Dir of Video Scouting & Baseball Research for Pro Scouting (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 9/29).
EXECS: Subway promoted PAUL BAMUNDO to Dir of Sports Marketing & PR. He will manage sports property partnerships for the company and will be in charge of all consumer-facing PR efforts (Subway)….ISP Sports promoted Marketing Assistant ASHLEIGH WADDLE to Account Exec of the Virginia Tech ISP Sports Network. The company also named the following: ESPN Audio Account Exec MIKE JONES Associate GM for Razorback Sports Properties; Lincoln Financial Group Senior Financial Analyst JIGAR DESAI Conference Business Manager; LESLIE MONTEITH Accounting Assistant; KATIE BLOUIN Marketing Assistant for Gamecock Sports Properties; and ANGIE NESS Assistant GM for the Sun Devil ISP Sports Network (ISP Sports)….GU Energy Labs named REID SWANSON Dir of Sales and TORY JACKSON Business Development Manager (GU Energy Labs).
Do you have an executive announcement? If so, please send to email@example.com.
Smith Could Earn As Much As
$1.2M A Year If Incentives Are Hit
In Columbus, Ken Gordon reports Ohio State Univ. AD GENE SMITH "became one of the nation's highest-paid athletic directors" when he signed a contract addendum in June. Smith's base pay "increased more than 20 percent, to $800,000, and he is guaranteed at least" $1M per year. The contract "could be worth more than $1.2 million a year if Smith earns various incentive bonuses for athletic and academic performance." The addendum "came after several schools tried to lure" Smith. OSU President GORDON GEE and Smith "declined to name the suitors," but sources indicated that the Univ. of Oregon "was among them" (COLUMBUS DISPATCH, 9/30).
FINANCIAL AID: The NBA and Bacardi USA yesterday announced the launch of a scholarship program that will provide more than $350,000 of financial assistance to adult students (aged 21+) from the African-American and Hispanic communities. The program is being conducted in partnership with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and the Hispanic Scholarship Fund and is open to eligible candidates through January '11. The league held a special event yesterday at the NBA Store in N.Y. to announce the launch, and those present included NBA Commissioner DAVID STERN and Bacardi USA President & CEO JOHN ESPOSITO (NBA).
TOP BASEBALL MEN: SI.com's Jon Heyman named Rangers GM JON DANIELS the recipient of his AL Exec of the Year award. Daniels is a "hot name in the game right now, and a perfect fit for the Mets if they're willing to pay for a new GM." But "more likely, he'll re-sign in Texas, where he has an out in his contract but the faith of new owner CHUCK GREENBERG, who has said Daniels is a priority." Heyman named Braves GM FRANK WREN the recipient of his NL Exec of the Year award, as "nobody has made more moves, and a very high percentage of them have worked" (SI.com, 9/29)....Single-A Carolina League Winston-Salem Dash VP/Baseball Operations RYAN MANUEL was voted as the winner of the '10 Calvin Falwell Exec of the Year Award (Carolina League).
NAMES: The Jaguars and Winn-Dixie Tuesday launched their 16th annual joint food drive, which was "kicked off with a 52,000 pound food donation" from the grocery chain (JACKSONVILLE.com, 9/29)….The 4th Annual Tulane Law School National Baseball Arbitration Competition will take place in New Orleans on Feb. 10-11. Panelists will include former D'Backs GM JOSH BYRNES and MLBPA Exec Dir MICHAEL WEINER (SPORTS-LAW.BLOGSPOT.com, 9/27)….Magic employees, including Vice Chair & CEO BOB VANDER WEIDE, played basketball on Amway Center's main court yesterday afternoon "as a dress rehearsal" for the team's Oct. 10 preseason home opener (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 9/30)....Former boxer JOE FRAZIER on Sunday received the Palmetto Award, the "highest distinction a South Carolinian can receive" (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 9/28).
The 2010 SportsBusiness Daily/SportsBusiness Journal Reader Survey is now available.
* Who is the most influential person in the sports business?
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* Who is your favorite TV play-by-play personality?
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* Which sports property has the most growth potential?
* Who is the most marketable athlete?
Click HERE to begin the survey.
Cast your votes, then look for the results during the week of November 29 in both SportsBusiness Daily and SportsBusiness Journal.