SBD/January 18, 2011/People and Pop Culture

Names In The News

Ndamukong Suh's sister handling his business ventures, appearances

In Detroit, Tim Twentyman profiles Lions DT NDAMUKONG SUH's sister NGUM, who is Dir of Operations for the Ndamukong Suh Family Foundation and is "responsible for handling her little brother's business ventures, appearances and nonfootball related activities." Ngum "was running an in-home personal training business in their hometown" of Portland, Ore. She also was "involved in a youth soccer mentoring program and was a fitness model" when Ndamukong reached out to her in '09. She "dropped it all" and "decided then and there that her plans for the future could wait so she could help get Ndamukong's career off the ground." The Ndamukong Suh Family Foundation "has already made charitable contributions to schools in Cameroon," and Ndamukong and Ngum said that they are "working to broaden the scope of their charitable work in Detroit." Maximum Sports Management Principals ROOSEVELT BARNES and EUGENE PARKER handled Suh's contract with the Lions (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 1/18).

WORK TO DO ON BROADWAY: "LOMBARDI" Producer TONY PONTURO said one of the surprises of producing the Broadway show is that it is "hard work, a lot of meetings because you're raising capital." Ponturo: "You have to raise money to do the show and I look at it as a new brand new roll out. You're creating a show like 'Lombardi,' you're creating the content … and then you go and market it and reach that customer who becomes the ticket buyer and then the word-of-mouth is really your trial and repeat customer." Ponturo: "I'm sure there were many people watching to see if a sports play, a play about Lombardi would work" (Bloomberg TV, 1/14).

WORDPLAY: Univ. of North Dakota hockey fans STEVE EKMAN and HANS HALVORSON are "using wordplay to try to find some humor in the pending retirement of the university's Fighting Sioux nickname." The two have "started an effort known as Save Our Suhaki," and their "mission, as stated on www.suhaki.com, is to prevent the extinction of the suhaki, an antelope that lives in areas of Russia, Kazakhstan and Mongolia." The "tongue-in-cheek protest has the support of several former UND hockey players," including Devils LW ZACH PARISE, "who asks fans in a 'public service announcement' posted on the website to join the Suhaki crusade and 'do it for the kids'" (AP, 1/16).

NAMES: Thirty-six charities Monday received funds from the '10 PGA Tour Bob Hope Classic, "just two days before the 2011 tournament begins." The tournament gave $1M to charity, but the donation is "less than what the tournament has been handing over annually during the last few years, generally" $1.5M. Bob Hope Classic President JOHN FOSTER: "Without a title sponsor, you just can't raise that kind of money" (Palm Springs DESERT SUN, 1/18)….Former NASCAR driver DALE JARRETT will be inducted into the N.C. Sports HOF on May 12 (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 1/18)….Last night’s 53rd annual St. Louis Baseball Writers’ Dinner was “both a toast to and a roast” of Cardinals manager TONY LA RUSSA, with comments from Tigers manager JIM LEYLAND and ESPN’s BOB KNIGHT, among others (MLB.com, 1/17)….The Int’l Tennis Federation will donate “a minimum of US$25,000 to assist in rebuilding tennis facilities damaged or destroyed due to the devastating floods” in Australia (SI.com, 1/17)….New Balance has donated 1,000 pairs of athletic shoes to Boston Public School track athletes (New Balance).

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