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SBD/February 9, 2011/People and Pop CulturePrint All
CBS yesterday announced that SEAN MCMANUS has been named CBS Sports Chair. McManus, who has served as CBS News and Sports President since '05, will step down from his role at CBS News. In his new position, McManus will focus on the portfolio of sports properties across CBS Sports operations. He will continue to serve as an executive producer overseeing all aspects of CBS Sports' NFL coverage, as well as Showtime's "Inside The NFL" (CBS Corp.). CBS Corp. President & CEO LES MOONVES in a statement said that the move is "being made to free McManus to have a stronger presence in managing the company's sports properties, including the most well-rounded of the broadcast sports divisions," as well as CBS College Sports Network (FANHOUSE.com, 2/8). In L.A., Joe Flint wrote the move is "indicative of the growing role sports plays at CBS and the need of the network to have a more hands-on focus in its news division." McManus "has oversight over the cable channel College Sports Network and now Showtime, CBS' pay TV channel, is dipping its toe further into sports" (LATIMES.com, 2/8). In N.Y., Carter & Stelter wrote the changes "amount to a major shakeup" at CBS Corp. McManus "has been keen to move back full time to the sports division for some time" (NYTIMES.com, 2/8).
ALL SPORTS, ALL THE TIME: McManus yesterday said that "sports has become worthy of his undivided attention." McManus: "I will definitely be more hands-on. There are a lot of challenges that I haven't been able to focus on full-time that I (now) will." DAILY VARIETY's Jon Weisman noted "chief among those are building the programming, subscriber base and revenue of the CBS College Sports cable network and preparing for upcoming rights negotiations with the PGA Tour this year and with the NFL in two years." McManus also "plans to be more directly involved in sports production, most immediately working with Turner Sports to inaugurate the companies' new combined coverage of the NCAA men's basketball tourney." McManus: "The complexity of serving four networks is vastly greater than what CBS did in the past. There's myriad details that need to be worked out, and you're trying to blend two disparate operations. ... Integrating those together has been complex, but I must say it has been almost seamless up to this point" (VARIETY.com, 2/8). McManus said that "among his priorities will be expanding rights opportunities for CBS College Sports." He indicated that bidding for U.S. rights to the '14 and '16 Olympics is "not a priority of ours right now." McManus: "We're happy with the portfolio that we have. We're not looking to expand what we have on the (CBS) network. I would not characterize (the Olympics) as a priority for CBS Sports" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 2/9).
JOB WELL DONE: CBS Affiliates Board Chair WAYNE DAUGHERTY "cited McManus for his work atop CBS News, and in particular his stable influence on the division over the years -- especially in the wake of former star anchor DAN RATHER's ignominious departure from CBS" (BROADCASTINGCABLE.com, 2/8). Incoming CBS News Chair JEFF FAGER: "Sean's done an amazing job. ... He was here for five years, which I think is probably the extent of how long you should ever be president of a news division. They're very demanding jobs" (BROADCASTINGCABLE.com, 2/8).
Orchestrating Subway's sports marketing efforts is PAUL BAMUNDO, who was promoted to Dir of Sports Marketing & PR last fall. A native New Yorker who grew up on Staten Island and now lives in Brooklyn, Bamundo joined Subway in '08 after stints with the NBA and IMG, where he worked in the fashion space and sold sponsorships to Fashion Weeks throughout the U.S. Bamundo recently took some time to speak with Staff Writer William Cooper about the company's new deal with APOLO ANTON OHNO, plans for marketing and the general sports marketing landscape.
Favorite Subway sub: Turkey with American on Italian herb and cheese with a lot of peppers. I just love peppers, banana peppers, sweet peppers, that's kind of my thing.
First jersey you bought/received: BRAD VAN PELT No. 10 Giants jersey.
Favorite sports team: All the traditional New York teams: the Yankees, Giants, Knicks, Rangers. All the old-time teams in each one of the leagues.
Favorite Staten Island establishment: Denino's. It's a great pizza place, my favorite.
Most fashionable athlete: LAILA ALI. We have her in the Heart Truth Red Dress Fashion Show, she's walking in that today.
Nets in Brooklyn: Great to have a pro team back in Brooklyn.
Apolo Anton Ohno: Winner.
Q: Did you have anything to do with Ohno's, or JARED's, plans to run in the N.Y. Marathon this year and last year, respectively?
Bamundo: Absolutely. In fact it was a PR idea to have Jared run it, and we kind of took that ball and ran with it. For me, having been on the property side with IMG and the NBA, I believe in official partnerships, and if it's the right deal I'm all the more happy to do it. So I worked with my good friend ANN CRANDALL over at N.Y. Road Runners, the CMO there, and I said, "Not only do we want Jared to run, let's do a partnership deal." And so we became the official training restaurant of the N.Y. Marathon, and we will be again this year. Frankly, Apolo running was my idea. I thought we had such great success with Jared doing it, I wanted to approach one of our "famous fans" and see if they'd be willing to do it. That was a principal part of our relationship with Apolo and loved that he was willing to do it and take on the challenge from Jared.
Q: Do you see that trend of running the marathon continuing in the future with your athletes?
Bamundo: It's hard to say. I think the marathon overall works for us. It's the right type of event, because we're all about healthy eating and a healthy active lifestyle. I don't know what the future may hold, I know Jared keeps saying on record that he won't ever do it again, but we'll see about that. But I think Apolo is a great next step.
Q: Ohno is one of several Subway Olympic "famous fans," along with NASTIA LIUKIN and MICHAEL PHELPS. How much has the focus on healthy eating played into choosing Olympic athletes in particular as endorsers?
Bamundo: One hundred percent. That's what it's about. For us it's really about who are true famous fans of the brand, and we knew that Michael was and found out that Nastia was and I found out that Apolo was. They're obviously at the height of their own individual sports. It's wonderful to be associated with winners. They're famous fans of the brand, and they're also winners, and nothing is more telling of that in their individual sports as being successful as they've been on the international stage, the biggest stage in the world.
Q: Given your background with the NBA, is that a league in particular you are focusing on for future marketing efforts?
Bamundo: It's definitely been on my watch. For the past two-and-a-half to three years that I've been here, a thing that I've kind of wanted to bring to the table is doing more in basketball. So we had a deal with TONY PARKER and really enjoyed working with Tony, and decided that BLAKE (GRIFFIN) was the right guy to take out of the draft a couple of years ago, and even though he got hurt right away, we decided to stick with him. And I'm really glad we did. He's a wonderful guy and a fantastic player and I see some great things for him, I really do. I very much enjoyed my time at the NBA and I think the world of the league, and I think it's a good thing for us to be involved in more basketball. That was one thing I talked to [CMO] TONY PACE about right away.
Q: Do you plan on amping up marketing around Griffin given the season he is having and his potential winning of the Rookie of the Year Award?
Bamundo: Sure. It was always in the plans anyway regardless of awards or not, but we were confident that he would be that good. He's another winner for us. We use the tagline, "Subway: Where Winners Eat," and we think he's an embodiment of that too. You will see an ad coming out with him very shortly in the next couple of weeks. We've got some great social media -- that's another thing that I am charge in here as the leader of a cross-functional team of people, I want to do a lot more with Blake socially -- so we've got a big social media and digital media push with him. Of course we would celebrate if he happens to win that award, in fact we were lucky enough to have NDAMUKONG SUH be the best rookie in football this year too.
Q: What was your favorite Super Bowl ad, and why?
Bamundo: The 60-second spot for the Volkswagen ad with the "Star Wars" and Darth Vader kid. I think that's a phenomenal ad, and I think the numbers are bearing that out too. The proof is in the pudding for what people like, and I'm no different. I was born in the '70s and was a kid in the '80s, and "Star Wars" was a huge thing for me, so I think it was a very, very wise and interesting ad. It kind of tugs at the heart strings from young people all the way up through folks who either see that little boy in themselves or their own children.
Q: Besides your own company, who do you feel does an effective job with its sports marketing?
Bamundo: The one that comes to mind immediately is Under Armour. I've always thought Under Armour is a kindred spirit to Subway. We come across those guys all the time. Of course they are more endemic to the sport so that's something that's natural. But as a brand that came in later and doing it with smaller budgets and being nimble and getting great results with smaller budgets and less resources, I think the world of them personally. That's a brand that's been successful and one to watch, because I think they are doing it the right way.
Hurley Int'l VP & CEO ROGER WYETT will become President of Nike Affiliates, reporting directly to Nike President & CEO MARK PARKER. Wyett replaces EUNAN MCLAUGHLIN, who has retired, and will lead business and strategic direction for Nike's affiliate brands, including Hurley, Cole Haan, Converse and Umbro. Prior to Hurley, Wyett served as Global VP/Apparel for Nike. Nike also announced that VP/Global Footwear JAN SINGER will become VP/Global Apparel, replacing JILL STANTON, who is leaving the company to pursue other interests. Nike Sportswear VP/Footwear ANDREA CORREANI succeeds Singer as VP/Global Footwear. Singer and Correani will both report to Nike Global VP/Merchandising & Product ERIC SPRUNK (OREGONLIVE.com, 2/8).
EXECS: In N.Y., Keith Kelly reports TINA JOHNSON, the launch editor of Women's Health for Rodale, “has been tapped as the editor-in-chief of ESPNw, its new digital push for women over 18.” ESPN has also hired AIMEE CRAWFORD as Editor-in-Chief of ESPN Rise for Girls (N.Y. POST, 2/9)....Turner Entertainment Networks has promoted JEFF GREGOR to Exec VP & CMO of TNT, TBS and TCM. Gregor also will serve as GM of TCM (Turner)....The MLBPA has hired NHLPA Associate General Counsel MATT NUSSBAUM as Assistant General Counsel (MLBPA)....MLS/SUM has hired DIMITRIOS EFSTATHIOU as Senior Counsel and PETER AMADOR as Coordinator for MLS Digital Properties (MLS/SUM)....Pacific Sports LLC has promoted Dir of Marketing KYLEE BELFLOWER to VP. The company also has hired JAMESON SHAW as Dir of Operations, KATE VAKAY as Dir of Development and JENNA HELTON as Marketing & Event Coordinator (Pacific Sports)....Mission Skincare has hired Everlast Worldwide President ADAM GEISLER as Exec VP/Sales & Business Development and Relevent Partners Senior VP/Marketing & Brand Strategy WENDY KULA as VP/Marketing (Mission)....Global Spectrum has hired CHRIS CONNOLLY as GM for the Iowa Events Center. Connolly previously managed several facilities at Global Spectrum's Roanoke Civic Center (Global Spectrum).
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In DC, Jason Reid writes Redskins Owner DANIEL SNYDER's libel lawsuit against the Washington City Paper "typifies the kind of self-inflicted public relations crises that have characterized Snyder's 12-year tenure as owner." What is "worse is that, in one step that has nothing to do with football, Snyder has undone whatever goodwill he may have earned since hiring" BRUCE ALLEN and MIKE SHANAHAN more than a year ago. Reid: "Most of the fans who buy tickets and jerseys and concessions couldn't care less about the details of libel law. What should concern them is that the organization continues to put itself in a negative light through bad judgment even after Snyder turned the football operations over to Shanahan last January" (WASHINGTON POST, 2/9).
GETTING GOOD VIBES: BLOOMBERG NEWS' Brett Pulley cites a source as saying that Basketball HOFer MAGIC JOHNSON has "agreed to invest in Vibe Holdings LLC, a magazine and television company focused on the urban market," along with Penguins co-Owner RON BURKLE. As part of the deal, Johnson will become Chair of the N.Y.-based Vibe (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 2/9).
SUPER DEED: Steelers S TROY POLAMALU last week helped raise $135,000 "for veterans, service members and their families through an online auction on Twitter." The gift is a "record for Operation Once in a Lifetime, a Dallas-based charity that helps the military, often with free tickets for travel or entertainment," but the total "fell short of expectations -- possibly because of the Super Bowl." Operation Once in a Lifetime Founder & President PATRICK SOWERS said that "about 30 celebrities ... had said they would help out, but never filled out the paperwork to participate" (Pittsburgh TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 2/9).
PITCHING MILLIONAIRES: Walt Disney Pictures has tabbed screenwriter TOM MCCARTHY to write "MILLION DOLLAR ARM," based on the "inspirational story of how sports agent J.B. BERNSTEIN discovered professional pitchers RINKU SINGH and DINESH PATEL through his Indian reality show." MARK CIARDI and GORDON GRAY's Mayhem Pictures "are producing alongside JOE ROTH" (HOLLYWOODREPORTER.com, 2/8).
SEEKING A TURNAROUND: The L.A. TIMES' Andrea Chang profiled Pacific Sunwear CEO GARY SCHOENFELD, who has been in the role since '09, as part of the paper's "How I Made It" feature. The Anaheim-based "seller of surf and skate apparel, which has reported sales declines and losses for the last nine quarters, is struggling to recover from the recession." Schoenfeld said after being offered the job, he "went out and looked at some of the stores" and "called back and said 'No, thank you.' I didn't like what I saw." Schoenfeld added that he was "put off by the cluttered stores, excessive discounting and the lack of authentic surf and sports brands." But Schoenfeld said after meeting with several PacSun BOD members, he was "confident that the board understood the realities of what it would take to turn the business." He added of his tenure so far, "The honest answer is I would have liked to have made more progress by now. I'm hopeful that we'll begin to see a demonstrable shift" (L.A. TIMES, 2/6).
NAMES: Singer JOSH GROBAN "will sing the national anthem Feb. 20 at the 60th NBA All-Star Game." Others "scheduled to perform during the first NBA All-Star Amex Entertainment Series are LENNY KRAVITZ and RIHANNA" (USA TODAY, 2/9)....Bengals G EVAN MATHIS is partnering with Kickstarter.com to fund a documentary about the looming NFL lockout. The documentary, which can be seen at LockedOut.tv, is Mathis' first-ever media project (LockedOut.tv)....CBS announcer BILL MACATEE will be honored as one of Lamar Univ.'s '11 Distinguished Alumni (Lamar Univ.).