SBD/Issue 37/Sports Industrialists

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  • Ornstein To Be Sentenced Nov. 17 For Super Bowl Ticket Scams

    Marketing agent MIKE ORNSTEIN is now scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 17 in a case in which he faces a maximum of 25 years in prison after pleading guilty to two federal felonies involving scams to sell Super Bowl tickets and falsely advertised NFL jerseys. Ornstein had been scheduled to be sentenced on one count of mail fraud and one count of conspiracy on Jan. 24, but Ornstein's attorney asked that the hearing before Cleveland Federal Judge CHRISTOPHER BOYKO be moved up, said MIKE TOBIN, a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney's office in Cleveland, which is prosecuting the case. Ornstein's attorney, ANGELO LONARDO, did not return a phone call. Ornstein, best known as the former marketing agent for Saints RB REGGIE BUSH, has ties throughout the sports industry and his criminal case is being closely watched in the industry where some worry he could name names in ongoing federal probes of Super Bowl ticket scalping and NFL jerseys that were falsely advertised as game worn. He pleaded guilty to the two counts in June, but news of his plea deal, which sent shock waves through the industry, was not reported until October. Ornstein originally had been scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 30, but his lawyers and the U.S. Attorney in a joint motion asked that the hearing be rescheduled to Jan. 24 so that Ornstein could have time to sell his properties or otherwise find a way to pay the $350,000 in restitution he agreed to pay the U.S. government as part of his plea deal. He had already paid $110,000 and it is not clear if the sentencing hearing was moved up because he is now able to pay the remaining $240,000. A notice moving up his sentencing hearing was filed with the court last week.

    FACING MAXIMUM OF 25 YEARS: Ornstein in June pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison, and one count of conspiracy, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. The U.S. Attorney in Cleveland said that Ornstein conspired with others, whose identities are known and unknown to the government, in the ticket and jersey scams. The others Ornstein conspired with are not named in court papers filed by the U.S. Attorney's office and it is not clear if they are being prosecuted. Tobin said the investigations are ongoing but declined to answer other questions about the probes. Ornstein has a prior federal felony conviction on his record, having pleaded guilty to mail fraud in the mid '90s after he and two others were charged with defrauding Ornstein's former employer, NFL Properties, of $350,000.

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  • Executive Transactions

    Veit (l) Stepping Down As MLS Philly
    Union President At End Of Year

    MLS Philadelphia Union President TOM VEIT will step down from the position effective Dec. 31 and return to the role of Primary Business Consultant for the club. Union CEO & Operating Partner NICK SAKIEWICZ will assume management of Veit's responsibilities in addition to his duties associated with the club's ownership group (Union). Veit was appointed President in April '09 after previously joining the club as a consultant through his Tampa-based The Solutions Group. Veit will return to Tampa, where he "will act as a liaison for the Union in upcoming and ongoing deals, most notably talks of bringing Villanova football to PPL Park, the Union's 18,500-seat facility" in Chester, Pa. (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 11/2).

    EXECS: NFL Network named Six Flags Entertainment Corp. Exec VP/Park Strategy & Management MARK QUENZEL Senior VP/Programming & Production, effective yesterday. Quenzel will report to NFL Network President & CEO STEVE BORNSTEIN. Prior to joining Six Flags, Quenzel worked for ESPN for 15 years, most recently serving as Senior VP/Programming & Production (NFL)....Bristol Motor Speedway promoted acting GM JERRY CALDWELL to GM. Caldwell "will direct operations of the track, previously run by BMS President JEFF BYRD, who died Oct. 17 after a lengthy illness." Caldwell previously served as VP/Corporate Sales at the track, where he has worked since '97 (SCENEDAILY.com, 11/1)....Imperial Headwear named Russell Athletic Group President DOUG KELLY CEO (Imperial Headwear)....Univ. of Wisconsin-Parkside named TAMIE FALK-DAY AD. Falk-Day had served as interim AD since December '08 (Univ. of Wisconsin-Parkside)....The Single-A South Atlantic League Hagerstown Suns promoted Assistant GM BILL FARLEY to GM (Suns)....The AHL named MARIA LAURING Coordinator of Team Business Services (AHL).

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

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  • Names In The News

    In New Jersey, Chuck Gormley profiled Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia Senior VP & GM Brian Monihan, who has "played a leading role in the coverage and presentation of Philadelphia sports." Monihan is "calling the shots for one of the nation's largest and most successful" RSNs. After being hired in March '09, he "helped integrate a new web platform, and last year saw the station win 13 Mid-Atlantic Emmy Awards" (CHERRY HILL COURIER-POST, 10/30).

    Larry Scott Lists David Stern, Gary
    Bettman, Mark Miles As His Mentors

    MR. PAC-MAN: The S.F. BUSINESS TIMES features Pac-10 Commissioner Larry Scott as part of its weekly's "Executive Profile." Scott named NBA Commissioner DAVID STERN, NHL Commissioner GARY BETTMAN and former ATP Tour Chair & CEO MARK MILES as his mentors. Scott said, "I believe you can learn best practices from different people." When asked about his best business decision, Scott mentioned the hiring of KEVIN WEIBERG as Pac-10 Deputy Commissioner & COO (S.F. BUSINESS TIMES, 10/29 issue).

    APPROPRIATE STANCE? In Orlando, Mike Thomas writes, "Does Rich DeVos have no shame?" The Magic owner contributed a "measly 12 percent" toward the building of the $480M Amway Center. And "now we see a commentary from DeVos in Sunday's paper trumpeting his free-market principles and decrying deficit government spending." Thomas: "Is he actually serious? ... I bet even [Magic President] Alex Martins cringed" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 11/2).

    LET'S DANCE: Last night’s edition of ABC’s “Dancing With The Stars” saw former NBAer RICK FOX score 37 out of 40 for his Quickstep, placing him in a three-way tie for first place. Former NFLer KURT WARNER scored 34 for his Tango, placing him in fifth place out of the six remaining competitors. Warner took his dance partner, ANNA TREBUNSKAYA, to the Cardinals’ training facility, where they spoke with Cardinals WR LARRY FITZGERALD. Fitzgerald said of watching the show, "I wouldn't miss it" ("Dancing With The Stars," ABC, 11/1).

    HISTORY LESSON: In Cleveland, Marc Bona wrote JANE LEAVY's biography of late Baseball HOFer MICKEY MANTLE titled "THE LAST BOY" is "tremendous." What starts as a "biographical portrait turns into a sobering look at a man profane, childish and selfish," but also "generous, fun-loving and tragic." Leavy "researches exhaustively, but never overwhelmingly so" (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 10/31).

    NAMES: Sunrise Sports & Entertainment has launched the Florida Panthers Sellout For Charity Program, in which philanthropic organizations will receive a percentage of every ticket sold for select games this season. The team has set a donation goal of $100,000 (SSE)....Lakers F RON ARTEST said that his appearance last week on CNN's "Larry King Live" to discuss raffling off his NBA championship ring for charity attracted "1.7 million page views" to his website and helped raise $120,000 (L.A. TIMES, 10/30)....ESPN WNBA announcer CAROLYN PECK discusses her travels as part of the N.Y. TIMES' "Frequent Flier" feature, noting, "It's not easy being a 6-foot-4 woman walking through an airport. I call myself the airport entertainment. ... Everyone gets a kick out of watching people watch me" (N.Y. TIMES, 11/2)....Bruins LW MILAN LUCIC recently posed for a photo shoot for NMTW Community Credit Union's new ad campaign (BOSTON HERALD, 11/1)....Bulls G DERRICK ROSE next year reportedly will "make a special appearance" on an episode of CBS' "THE GOOD WIFE" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 10/30).

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