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SBD/January 13, 2011/People and Pop CulturePrint All
Ducks CMO and VP/Sales & Marketing BOB WAGNER resigned from the organization earlier this month, leaving a team he helped start as a member of the inaugural staff in '93. Wagner and Ducks officials said it was an amicable parting, and Wagner added that he was not let go or pushed out of the organization. Wagner said, "Not only did I learn a lot there, but I experienced things like winning a Stanley Cup that most people will never do in their life. There were some things out there that intrigued me and now I can pursue those with the support of the SAMUELIS and TIM RYAN. I definitely plan to stay in the industry." Wagner was named Senior VP and CMO of the Ducks in '05 and led all of the team's business operations, from broadcasting and sponsorship to ticket sales and communications. He previously worked as VP/Sales & Broadcasting for the Angels and VP/Sales & Business Development for the NHRA.
Former N.Y. Red Bulls D MIKE PETKE has joined the MLS club's front office as a business operations manager and individual development coach. During his 13-year MLS career, Petke played for the N.Y. MetroStars, DC United, Colorado Rapids and Red Bulls, and was named to the MLS All-Star team in '00, '01 and '02. He graduated from Southern Connecticut Univ. in '98 and was drafted 8th by the MetroStars in the '98 College Draft. “This is where I started and ended my career, and there's no place I'd rather be," Petke said in a release. "I always will consider this club as my home, and I am thrilled to be able to contribute my ideas here" (Fred Dreier, SportsBusiness Journal). In Newark, Michael Fensom notes Petke "ended his decorated playing career as the Red Bulls franchise leader in games played (169), games started and minutes played" (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 1/13).
EXECS: The USTA "has relieved" Western & Southern Open Tournament Dir BRUCE FLORY of his duties and is "pursuing a replacement." Flory was named Tournament Dir of the event in '99 and "retained his post after the USTA became the Western & Southern Open's majority owner in 2008" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 1/13)....Learfield Sports named KEVIN FARLOW and BRAD THOMAS Senior Dirs of Business Development, based at the company's Plano, Texas, HQs. Farlow previously served as GM for Hurricane Sports Properties at the Univ. of Miami, while Thomas spent the last nine years in real estate, most notably with Staubach Retail (Learfield)....Suns scout TODD QUINTER, a Suns employee since '86, "resigned from the basketball staff last week." Quinter was "one of the few holdovers in basketball operations during this summer's regime change but had been reassigned to pro scouting after previously serving as" Dir of Pro Personnel (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 1/13)....Minor League Baseball has hired JESSICA WATTS as Business Services Coordinator and MARK LABBAN as Business Development Assistant (MiLB)....The U.S. Bowling Congress named Robert Kimball & Associates Project Manager GREG MOORE as Dir of Tournaments Planning & Production (USBC)....Conover Tuttle Pace has promoted TODD GRAFF to VP/PR. The agency also has hired COURNTEY MEGLIOLA as Account Dir of Sports PR and TARA MULLOY as Account Exec (CTP).
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Tennis players ROGER FEDERER, RAFAEL NADAL, NOVAK DJOKOVIC, KIM CLIJSTERS, LLEYTON HEWITT, SAMANTHA STOSUR and former player PAT RAFTER will take part in a "Rally for Relief exhibition match at Melbourne Park on Sunday," ahead of the Australian Open. The event will "raise money for the victims of Australia's flood disaster." Stosur said that the "devastating extent of the Queensland flooding was really brought home to the world tennis fraternity when they saw Pat Rafter Arena, where many of them played the Brisbane International last week, under water." Stosur: "To see that under water, everyone who is not from here realises how bad it is now" (AAP, 1/3).
GONE MISSING: In Ft. Worth, Shlachter, Nishimura & Baker note some fans "didn't receive game tickets and dozens of others got a different hotel than promised" from Maximum Sports Connection, the "official fan travel partner" of the Cowboys, for the Dec. 19 Redskins-Cowboys game. MSC Owner RONNI SOKOL "insisted that it was a rare glitch." But JEFF FULLER, GM of the Embassy Suites Outdoor World in Grapevine, Texas, said that MSC "still hadn't paid a $31,500 bill for rooms in October," and Maryland travel agent BETTY MCKENZIE-MABRY said that Sokol "has made good on refunds for only two of seven hotel and ticket packages costing $449 each that Maximum had failed to deliver." Additionally, some Auburn fans said that MSC "never came through with packages for" Monday night's Auburn-Oregon Tostitos BCS National Championship Game (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 1/13).
GOOD DEED: Golfer ERNIE ELS Tuesday announced the "inception of the Els for Autism Golf Challenge, which has the potential to be the largest charitable, amateur golf tournament in the world, and to bring in upwards" of $5M annually. The money will be used to "fund the planned $30 million Els For Autism Center of Excellence, which will offer a digital learning platform and an education and research facility to families with autistic children." Els' son, BEN, "was diagnosed with autism four years ago" (GOLF.com, 1/12).
NAMES: Texas-based boxing promoter EDMUNDO LOZANO filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court after boxer MANNY PACQUIAO "did not appear at an event" in McAllen, Texas, in September. Lozano said that the "botched event has tarnished his credibility and image with luring big-time boxers" to the Rio Grande Valley. He is "seeking more than $1.1 million in damages" from Pacquiao (McAllen MONITOR, 1/12)....The Heat yesterday morning "practiced at the Bel Air home" of L.A. Gear Chair STEVE JACKSON ahead of last night's game against the Clippers. The Heat "worked on a regulation court painted in Los Angeles Lakers colors, with a Lakers logo at center court, a near perfect replica" of Staples Center, where Jackson "holds eight courtside seats" (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 1/13)....Hawks G JOE JOHNSON has signed with EAG Sports Management for publicity and marketing (EAG Sports Management)....The HOLLYWOOD REPORTER's Philiana Ng noted FX' boxing series "LIGHTS OUT" "may have critics in its corner, but the viewers didn't show up" for Tuesday night's premiere episode. The show averaged 1.5 million viewers, and averaged a 0.6 rating and 793,000 viewers in the adults 18-49 demo (HOLLYWOODREPORTER.com, 1/12).
IN MEMORY: North Texas Super Bowl Host Committee member and former North Texas Commission President DAN PETTY has passed away. Petty was "one of the leaders" of North Texas' successful bid for Super Bowl XLV (DALLASNEWS.com, 1/12).