SBD/January 7, 2011/People and Pop Culture


This Week's Newsmakers

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:

Augusta National makes debut in EA Sports' golf game
WIN: EA SPORTS -- The company nabs the golden goose of golf courses with the addition of Augusta National to its "Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12" game, including the placement of the iconic flag from The Masters on the cover. The addition should help reverse a trend of weak sales for the game in recent years and also gives Augusta National an expanded multimedia presence at a time when golf is seeking increased awareness among a younger demo. Fans of the game should also be clamoring for the ability to replay famous moments from The Masters, such as TIGER WOODS in '05 and ARNOLD PALMER in '58.

LOSE: RON FRANKLIN -- The longtime ESPN college football radio voice is terminated following inappropriate comments made to colleague JEANNINE EDWARDS prior to last weekend's Chick-fil-a Bowl. Franklin had been a fixture of ESPN's radio telecasts since '87, but this marked his second run-in with a female co-worker after an '05 incident with sideline reporter HOLLY ROWE. With the company seeking to dispel perceptions of a "boys-will-be-boys" workplace attitude, execs in Bristol make the correct call in ending their association with Franklin.

DRAW: JERRY RICHARDSON -- Not a great week for the Big Cat. He loses a chance to draft ANDREW LUCK and holds his first press conference in nine years before a market eager to hear from him, but he fails to deliver or ease an anxious fan base. Local media pan the performance, with one columnist writing he was “condescending and he was certainly patronizing toward women among his questioners.” Another influential columnist said he came across “as irritable, cheap, confused, obstinate and a bit of a bully.” Ouch. But Richardson rebounds with a phone call to one of the writers and apologizes for coming across that way and stresses changes to the organization.

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