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THE DAILY each Friday offers our take on the performances over the past week of people and entities in sports business. Here are this week's newsmakers:
WIN: ESPN -- The network wraps up year one of the BCS-on-cable era with the Auburn-Oregon National Championship Game becoming the most-viewed cable broadcast ever. ESPN also gets good TV numbers for its other BCS telecasts, with the games getting traction on mobile and broadband platforms as well. The debate over broadcast vs. cable for big sporting events doesn't end, and critics note that the viewership is lower, but the bottom line is that this deal clearly worked for ESPN and its business.
LOSE: STEPHEN ROSS -- The Dolphins owner has a less-than-stellar week on the PR front, beginning with the bungling of the team's coaching situation. Ross expresses regret over the courting of JIM HARBAUGH with TONY SPARANO still under contract, saying that he "never thought it would be national news." The franchise also receives bad news when Broward County Commissioners vote in opposition to a proposal that would have used hotel bed taxes to help renovate Sun Life Stadium. The proposal is also unpopular with the neighboring Panthers, as Sunrise Sports & Entertainment President & COO MICHAEL YORMARK appears before the commission to state the NHL club is "vehemently opposed" to the idea.
DRAW: NBA KINGS -- With the search dragging on for a viable option to replace the aging venue in Sacramento, JOE MALOOF admits the Kings are keeping all options open, including possibly relocating outside of the region. The team later gets a much-needed dose of positive PR, not to mention a cash infusion, upon announcing a five-year deal awarding arena naming rights to Power Balance. But even this seemingly positive development draws criticism, as the Kings face questions for partnering with an "up-from-nowhere manufacturer of wristbands" that has struggled to defend the science behind its popular bracelets.
CBS Sports has promoted CHRISTOPHER CARTER to VP/Finance (CBS)....The Dodgers have promoted AMY SUMMERS to PR Manager, MANNY RODRIGUEZ to HR Coordinator and HISAYO YOSHIIKE to Technology Operations Manager (Dodgers)....TigerSports Americas Inc. has installed a new senior management team for TigerTurf Americas, naming DAVE POWELL President, GREG ROSCOE VP/Sales & Marketing and DOUG DEMASIE VP/Operations (TigerSports)....Liberty National Golf Course has named BILL CAMPBELL Membership Dir (Liberty)....Pinnacle Entertainment has named KEVIN KAUFMAN GM of newly acquired River Downs Race Track in Cincinnati (DRF.com, 1/13)....The Atlantic League Long Island Ducks have promoted GM MICHAEL PFAFF to President & GM (Ducks)....Maroon PR has hired Nationals VP/Communications & Community Relations CHARTESE BURNETT as Dir of Nonprofit PR (Maroon).
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A "large delegation of baseball and business executives" from the Dodgers attended Thursday's public memorial service for CHRISTINA TAYLOR GREEN, the daughter of Dodgers Scout JOHN GREEN who was killed in last Saturday's shooting in Tucson. Dodgers Owner FRANK MCCOURT and Assistant GM KIM NG were in attendance, as were Astros GM ED WADE, Yankees GM BRIAN CASHMAN and Baseball HOFer RYNE SANDBERG. Green was the granddaughter of former Phillies manager DALLAS GREEN, and several Phillies officials were in attendance, including Chair BILL GILES, President & CEO DAVID MONTGOMERY, GM RUBEN AMARO JR. and former GM PAT GILLICK (MLB.com, 1/13).
COMMUNITY SERVICE: Stamford (Conn.) Mayor MIKE PAVIA Thursday appointed ESPN MLB analyst BOBBY VALENTINE Dir of Public Health & Safety for the city. However, "some have questioned whether he has the experience necessary to oversee several of the city's largest departments." Stamford Police Sgt. JOE KENNEDY: "I guess this is going to be a ceremonial position" (STAMFORD ADVOCATE, 1/14). Valentine "will begin immediately in his new role and will earn $10,000 annually, a salary that he said he plans to give back to the community" (STAMFORDADVOCATE.com, 1/13).
GIVING BACK: Free agent P PEDRO MARTINEZ Monday at the Ambassador Hotel in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, will be joined by Red Sox DH DAVID ORTIZ and Red Sox officials for the launch of the Pedro Martinez Youth Academy & Baseball Park. The project "will be built on land acquired in and around the former site of the very modest house he grew up" in in the village of Manoguayabo in the hills outside Santo Domingo (BOSTON HERALD, 1/14).
BOOKSHELF: SI.com's Stu Hackel noted the Canucks and Sabres are "celebrating their 40th anniversaries this season with two excellent books that commemorate their colorful histories." "CANUCKS AT FORTY," by GREG DOUGLAS and GRANT KERR, which features essays by seven other writers, "reviews the team's story not by telling it chronologically like a standard history, but largely through fine photography and short biographical sketches of the legendary figures who have been associated with the franchise." Meanwhile, "SABRES AT FORTY" is "not the product of a commercial publisher, but the companion book to an exhibit of team photographs at the Albright-Knox Gallery in Buffalo that had a very successful run" beginning in November and ending on Jan. 9. The book is "far more photo-oriented than the Canucks book," and there are "many excellent images of the Sabres throughout their four decades" (SI.com, 1/13).
NAMES: Former Univ. of Kansas Dir of Ticket Operations KASSIE LIEBSCH "admitted Thursday that she was part of a scheme to reap millions of dollars from stolen sports tickets at the school." Liebsch served in her position until Nov. 18, when federal prosecutors "announced that she and four of her former co-workers were indicted on a single count each of conspiracy to commit wire fraud." In pleading guilty, Liebsch "admitted that she received about $100,000 in proceeds" (K.C. STAR, 1/14)....BRENT MUSBURGER, BOB UECKER and BOB RYAN will be inducted into the National Sportscasters & Sportswriters Association HOF during its awards weekend May 14-16 in Salisbury, N.C. The organization also has selected PETER KING as the '10 national sportswriter of the year (THE DAILY)....About 6,400 Saints Super Bowl XLIV license tags had been sold as of Tuesday since they became available Dec. 1 (New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE, 1/14)....ESPN analyst MERRIL HOGE Thursday presented Stowe Township, Pa., with a $10,000 donation from Procter & Gamble on behalf of the NFL Play 60 program (Pittsburgh TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 1/14)....Padres Vice Chair & CEO JEFF MOORAD and his wife, JAN, have officially listed their eight-bed, nine-bath vacation home in Paradise Valley, Ariz., for $17.9M. The home "had been quietly marketed" for $28M in fall '09 (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 1/14)....NASCAR HOFer JUNIOR JOHNSON will be at the opening of the "White Liquor and Dirt Tracks: Legacy of Teamwork" exhibit at the Mount Airy (N.C.) Museum of Regional History on Jan. 22. The exhibit runs through July (THATSRACIN.com, 1/11).