SBD/October 19, 2010/People and Pop Culture

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  • Puma CEO Zeitz To Head New Sports And Lifestyle Division At PPR

    Zeitz Has Been CEO Of Puma Since '93

    Puma Chair & CEO Jochen Zeitz will "head a new 'sports and lifestyle' division at parent company PPR," according to James Wilson of the FINANCIAL TIMES. Zeitz also "will become executive chairman at Puma and oversee the search for a new chief executive for the company, which is to be at the centre of PPR's plans to build a bigger portfolio of sports and leisure brands." Puma will be "converted into a societas europaea, or SE, with a one-tier board." PPR Chair & CEO Francois-Henri Pinault said that the changes will "strengthen the organisation of Puma's management team and put Mr. Zeitz in charge of creating a portfolio of sports brands." PPR owns 71% of Puma, and Pinault said that the moves "were not designed to presage a complete buy-out" of the company's minority shares. He noted that Zeitz will "pass on 'day-to-day operational responsibility' to a chief executive at Puma once the changes were implemented, expected to follow a vote at Puma's annual meeting next year." Zeitz and PPR are expected to "disclose more details of the strategy next week along with Puma's quarterly financial results" (FINANCIAL TIMES, 10/19).

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  • Ecclestone Remains Committed To F1 Ahead Of 80th Birthday

    Ecclestone Has No Plans To Step Aside As F1 Management Chair

    F1 Management Chair BERNIE ECCLESTONE "will turn 80 next week," but it is "obvious that the billionaire controller of Formula One is concerned less with his age than a relentless schedule before the controversial first grand prix in South Korea this Sunday," according to Donald McRae of the GUARDIAN. Ecclestone "will be working on his birthday because he cannot imagine himself retiring before he dies." He "smiles when asked if he still expects to rule Formula One in another 10 years, aged 90." Ecclestone: "Yes! The way I feel at the moment, why stop? I do it because I enjoy it. And yesterday is gone. I don't care what happened yesterday." Ecclestone "has always believed he has the right to reshape Formula One by moving into countries with no previous tradition of racing -- as long as they pay him enough money." He "runs racing as his personal fiefdom," and "for 32 years he has controlled Formula One, amid increasing accusations that he has stripped racing of its soul." He has been "involved in Formula One for 53 years," and "as a former team owner who won the world title three times with Brabham, surely he retains some passion for racing over money." Ecclestone: "We used to have 16 races. There's 19 this year and next year, with India, it will be 20. There's no magic number -- it's what is commercially viable." McRae notes the "addition of Texas and Russia will raise the amount of potential races" to 22, but Ecclestone said, "I think we'll find a way to keep it to 20 somehow." Meanwhile, McRae writes Ecclestone "has never worried much about public opinion." When asked if he lost "any sleep last year after describing Hitler as a politician who was 'able to get things done,'" Ecclestone said, "Not at all. I knew what I meant" (GUARDIAN, 10/19).

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  • Executive Transactions

    Churchill Downs Inc. announced VP/Corporate Communications LIZ HARRIS will become VP & Exec Dir of the Churchill Downs Inc. Foundation, effective October 25. Harris will report to Senior VP/Corporate & Government Relations BRETT HALE (LOUISVILLE COURIER-JOURNAL, 10/18)….The Ladd-Peebles Stadium BOD appointed EARL MCKINNELL Chair after "ousting" MILTON JOYNER, who served as Chair for four years (PRESS-REGISTER, 10/18)….Canada Basketball (CB) has created two new positions and named RENATO PASQUALI Technical Dir and MICHELE O'KEEFE Dir of Basketball Operations (CB)….JOSIE O'DONNELL was appointed Convention Sales Manager for Visit Fort Wayne. O'Donnell will primarily work to bring sports groups and tournaments to Fort Wayne (Visit Fort Wayne).

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  • Names In The News

    Seahawks coach PETE CARROLL met with former President BILL CLINTON yesterday in Seattle, where Clinton was campaigning for U.S. Sen. PATTY MURRAY (D-Wash.). Clinton "wrote a blurb for Carroll's book, 'WIN FOREVER,' and the two are friends." Carroll: "We invited him to practice knowing that he was coming to town and he couldn't make it, and so they called this morning and said he was going to be available, and so we just jumped together and hung out for a little while. It's a great honor" (Tacoma NEWS TRIBUNE, 10/19).

    FILM SCHOOL: In L.A., Steven Zeitchik noted WWE Chair VINCE MCMAHON "has created a film division of WWE, with a slate of more than half a dozen pictures distributed through Samuel Goldwyn Films," and the latest film, "KNUCKLEHEAD," arrives in theaters Friday. The movie stars WWE wrestler The Big Show "as a gentle giant who has gotten to his mid-30s without having lived outside of a Catholic orphanage." Zeitchik wrote the L.A.-based WWE movie operation is run, "probably more than any modern-day Hollywood backlot, like a classic midcentury studio." Wrestlers are "slotted into whatever entertainment vehicle is available, and the more vehicles, the better." McMahon "has a lot riding on the development of the WWE's stars and their diversification to other platforms, as competition from mixed-martial arts and other entertainment media intensifies" (L.A. TIMES, 10/17).

    40 UNDER 40: Cavaliers F LEBRON JAMES ranks No. 20 on Fortune magazine's list of this year's "40 Under 40," the only athlete on the list. James' ranking "took into account both his earning power on and off the floor (an estimated $42.4 million this year) and the attention he generated during the free agency process this summer" (AP, 10/14). Others on the list included News Corp. Chair & CEO for Europe and Asia JAMES MURDOCH (No. 8), Univision Networks President CESAR CONDE (No. 12), Under Armour Chair & CEO KEVIN PLANK (No. 14) and Coca-Cola Senior VP/Integrated Marketing & Communications WENDY CLARK (No. 15). Fox Sports President ERIC SHANKS is listed among the ones to watch (THE DAILY).

    LET'S DANCE: Last night's edition of ABC's "Dancing With The Stars" featured former NFLer KURT WARNER earning a 24 out of 30 for his performance of the Quickstep and former NBAer RICK FOX earning a 24 for his Rumba, putting them in a tie for third place. Judge LEN GOODMAN said of Warner, "The transition from the football field to the dance floor can be tough." Meanwhile, he said Fox is “the one to watch.” Goodman said he was "so concerned when I heard that Rick Fox was going to be on the show: 6' 7'' basketball player. I thought he's going to be clumsy, he's going to be awkward, he's going to have no movement. Wrong in every category" ("Dancing With The Stars," ABC, 10/18).

    NAMES: The National Football Foundation & College HOF will recognize outgoing NCAA Exec VP TOM JERNSTEDT with an NFF Legacy Award during the '10 NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 7 at the Waldorf-Astoria in N.Y. (NFF)....Dallas Business Journal awarded Rangers Exec VP & CFO KELLIE FISCHER its "CFO of the Year" award (, 10/18)....Literary agent LARRY KIRSHBAUM is "talking to New York publishers about a memoir -- tentatively titled 'Rafael Nadal, My Story' -- that would be written with" author JOHN CARLIN (, 10/17)....U.S. District Court Judge MATTHEW KENNELLY last week, responding to a complaint by Racing Speed Associates, "ordered that all rights in the ASA Late Model Series name will revert to Racing Speed Associates, owner of the American Speed Association and ASA family of trademarks" (Daytona Beach NEWS-JOURNAL, 10/19)....Bulls G KYLE KORVER bought a $1.38M, 16-room mansion in Glencoe, Ill. The six-bedroom house has five baths, a spa, a home theater and a walkout basement (, 10/18)....AHL President & CEO DAVE ANDREWS Sunday ran the Toronto Half Marathon in a time of 2:02 (THE DAILY)....Vikings DE JARED ALLEN "makes a cameo appearance" in the new movie "JACKASS 3D." Allen "tackles star JOHNNY KNOXVILLE" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 10/19).

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