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The USGA yesterday introduced MIKE DAVIS as the seventh Exec Dir in the organization's 116-year history. Davis, who has served as Senior Dir of Rules & Competitions for the USGA since '05, succeeds DAVID FAY, who retired at the end of last year after holding the position for 21 years. Davis joined the organization in '90 (USGA). In DC, Barry Svrluga notes in "accepting the job, Davis made one thing clear: He still wants to be heavily involved in both selecting sites for the U.S. Open and setting up the courses, his most high-profile duties in his old job." Davis "edged out" what USGA President JIM HYLER indicated was a "strong field of internal and external candidates for the job" (WASHINGTON POST, 3/3). Davis will continue to be based at the USGA's Far Hills, N.J., HQs. GOLFWEEK's James Achenbach noted Davis is "known as an attentive listener and a forceful speaker." He has "become a close friend" of Hyler, who had "considerable influence in choosing" Fay's replacement (GOLFWEEK.com, 3/2). GOLFCHANNEL.com's Rex Hoggard cited a source as saying that Davis "had to be strongly advised to consider the job, which is corporate speak for arm twisting." Meanwhile, a source confirmed that the USGA is in "no hurry right now to pick a new Senior Director of Rules & Competition." Hoggard: "I think they're going to take a wait-and-see approach" ("Golf Central," Golf Channel, 3/2). CBSSPORTS.com's Steve Elling wrote Davis is the "most popular figure in recent USGA history as it relates to the players." He has "become one of the most accessible figures in the game," and there is the hope that "will remain the case as he gets bumped up the food chain" (CBSSPORTS.com, 3/2).
The NHL has made changes to its creative department that include the departures of Senior VP/Creative ANDRE MIKA and three others. Mika joined the NHL in '07 and helped design the creative direction of the NHL Network and NHL Mobile, and was the league’s producer for all four Winter Classics. Mika came to the league after working as an Exec Producer with AOL and helping produce the Live Earth festival. “It’s the right time for me to depart and feel great about what I’ve done for the league,” said Mika, who added he is in discussions with five potential employers. The NHL declined to comment.
HARVEY DORFMAN, a "pioneering and hard-talking sports psychologist," passed away Monday at the age of 75 from a "lung affliction," according to Tim Brown of YAHOO SPORTS. Dorfman wrote four books and co-authored "THE MENTAL GAME OF BASEBALL," which "holds a reserved place in most baseball clubhouses." He also served 10 years with the A's, three with the Marlins and the past 10 "on the staff of agent SCOTT BORAS." During that time he "counseled hundreds of players, and in that role he is survived in the game by pitchers who couldn't trust where the ball would go, hitters who didn't think another ball would ever fall, and catchers with the yips." He leaves a "legacy of tough love, empathy and the notion that sports and life are connected through the soft tissue that is human frailty" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 3/1). In Newark, Marc Carig writes Dorman "may not have been a household name," but for "three decades, he was one of baseball's most influential figures, helping to bring the application of sports psychology to clubhouses in the major leagues" (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 3/3). MLB.com's Peter Gammons wrote Dorfman "changed the game because he understood that players are human and sometimes fragile and very often insecure." Gammons: "There ought to be a place in Cooperstown for one of the best persons baseball has ever known" (MLB.com, 3/1).
MAJOR LEAGUE IMPACT: ESPN.com's Jayson Stark noted though the headlines will say Dorfman "was a sports psychologist," he was "much more." Stark: "He was a mentor. He was a friend. He was a father figure to hundreds, maybe thousands, of players" (ESPN.com, 3/2). Among the players who have "credited Dorfman with assisting them" are Phillies P ROY HALLADAY and Nationals CF RICK ANKIEL (AP, 2/28). In New Jersey, David Hale notes Dorfman "mentored pitchers like" former MLBers GREG MADDUX and AL LEITER and Mets P MIKE PELFREY, but his impact on Halladay "may have been his most notable accomplishment" (ASBURY PARK PRESS, 3/2). Halladay: "I'm certain I would have never had the success I've had if it weren't for the time I've spent with him and the things I've learned from him." Halladay "handed out roughly 20 copies" of "The Mental Game of Baseball" during a minicamp for some Phillies pitchers in January (MLB.com, 3/1).
In our continuing series, SportsBusiness Daily/SportsBusiness Journal asks top sports personalities for their thoughts, ideas, aspirations and likes. Today, rEvolution President & CEO JOHN ROWADY.
What I like in an insight: In the people business, culture wins. You can use all the technology you want to run your business, but relationships will always be king.
An influential person in my career: My family. They shape the way I approach my career and the way I make decisions. I work for them. Gladly.
An out-of-the-box idea: Brands should share more information with each other about their sports marketing deals, so that they can balance the pricing scale with properties and media rights holders. Sport is too expensive, as a marketing tool, without proper intelligence.
A timeless idea: Any competition that uses a bracket format is always exciting.
A business deal: Groupon not taking the Google offer. Of course, their Super Bowl spot may not help their impending IPO.
A sports facility: Wrigley Field, "The Big House," Keeneland, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Laguna Seca.
A sports event: The Masters, Monaco F1, Indy 500, America's Cup, FIFA World Cup.
A strategy: Integration -- one-stop shop for all marketing and media services for efficiency and consistency of branding.
A hire: JIM HARBAUGH. He's going to make more money than when he was a pro. Coaching rules.
A brand: rEvolution. It has been hand-crafted to be a catalyst for the advancement of sports marketing and media. We work for my favorite brands -- Red Bull, ESPN, EA, Target, Motorola, Jeep, Chipotle, Polaris.
A trend: Twitter. Privacy and confidentiality issues will continue to stress player contracts and player union policy. Twitter depends on influencers.
An innovation: The search engine. All human information can be found on your PDA in a matter of minutes. Incomprehensible, actually.
A pro league or team business initiative: Verizon's sponsorship vision with the NFL. And ESPN's pre-announcement of a new "Monday Night Football" deal.
A story that bears watching: Comcast takeover of NBC and affiliate fees, competition for ESPN and Fox Sports? A new player in big-time rights fees? Watch the issues over antitrust.
An idea or invention I wish I had thought of: The Internet.
A fantasy job: My job or being SIR RICHARD BRANSON for a few months.
What I like about my job: The constant change and challenges to provide the best marketing and media services to brands around the globe. The variety of brands, sports properties and regions of the world where we work. The prospect of changing brands through sport. The ability to compete at the highest levels.
Sports: There are two things people can't do without -- their dentist and sports. Immeasurable impact on society.
Sports business: How the profession continues to advance in credibility. Once we stood outside the boardroom door. Now, we stand shoulder-to-shoulder in the boardroom to impact business.
Sports media: The sports experience is so exceptional with multi-channel information, HD, 3D, LCD, DirecTV, that many times I'd rather sit home instead of going to the game -- except for hockey.
Sports technology: 3D. We need more production investment and better glasses -- do you hear me, Oakley?
Competing: The taste of victory.
The future direction of sports business: Smarter, creative, technical -- the best business-building platform on the planet.
Sports fans: They are real. It's our job to keep the game authentic. Understanding how fans tick will be the key to how brands can inspire consideration of their products and services through sport. Their desire to consume sports continues to increase at a rapid pace. They are a primary pillar in what drives the sports economy (how players get paid, the price for TV rights, sponsorship deals, ticket prices, etc.) Fans go away, we go away.
What I would like to change: Better education by brands to their stakeholders on how their sports expenditures are a catalyst for business building, not executive boondoggles.
Change in what I do: Spend more time with my wife and kids.
See: The United States be more respected by the world for all we have done and continue to do for the Olympic movement.
See more of in sports: The World Cup and the growth of soccer in the United States.
See more of in sports business: Better negotiating via data intelligence, so there's more money retained by brands to activate rights.
See less of in sports: Labor disputes.
See less of in sports business: Shock media/TMZ athlete destruction.
See different: College football's championship process.
Eliminate: Commercial air travel. And the planes that fly message banners over The Masters.
What I don't like in general: The amount of time spent to commute. Time travel would be nice. And real estate appraisers.
Pet peeve: Lines. Most recently the line I was in to get into the NFL's tailgate party. Oh, add Porta-John lines, too. BTW, once inside the NFL's tailgate party, it was great, actually.
In sports: How the "play under review" continues to creep into the human element of every game -- and still does not help my Lions.
In business: The costs associated with hiring people. The new Illinois tax increase. Not understanding the new health care law. Let's find better solutions to help our fellow small businesses grow.
About sports fans: That they can be dismissive to new fans, as their sport grows, and more brands get involved (e.g., NASCAR). Isn't growth and popularity the point?
What I like in people: The ability to continue to learn and grow no matter what age. How we can do anything, if we put our mind to it. We are amazing creatures when challenged.
That would surprise those who know me: I would like to live to be 500, so that I can experience all that this world has to offer -- and that still may not be enough time.
Above all else: My wife and kids and my appreciation for each moment I have with them. Life is short. It's a gift.
About myself: I'm willing and able to recognize fault in myself, and I'm determined to get better. Patience comes with knowledge; I realize there's no fast way to do something great.
Heroes: My mom for the dedication to raise a bunch of boys and my wife for "kicking me into the water" to build a business from scratch.
Players: STEVE YZERMAN, BARRY SANDERS, "The Bird" MARK FIDRYCH, KEITH SMART, EMERSON FITTIPALDI, PELE and MUHAMMAD ALI.
Teams: Detroit Red Wings, Indiana Hoosiers, Michigan football, McLaren Mercedes F1, Arsenal.
Possession: My Emerson Fittipaldi Penske Indy car that sits in the office reception area.
Memento: An Omega Seamaster watch from my dad when he traveled to Switzerland when I was a kid.
Time of year: Fall -- great weather, tailgating, football, grilling, apple picking, bonfires.
Music: Classic rock, blues, jazz, Motown, reggae.
Books: "Good to Great," by JIM COLLINS; "Greatest of All Time," by TASCHEN.
Authors: MITCH ALBOM.
Magazines: Rolling Stone, Esquire, Road & Track.
Blogs: Our own -- rEvolutionworld.com/blog.
Gadgets: Control4 Home Automation.
iPad Apps: Weather Channel, Epicurious, ESPN ScoreCenter, Pandora, Livestrong.
Chores: Lawn care, washing cars, vegetable gardens.
Hobbies: Sailing, American Bulldogs, cars, scuba, fishing, Polaris off-road, watches, BBQ.
Trips: Going to Alaska to fly-fish the Kenai Peninsula during the spring Sockeye red salmon run. It's America, everyone needs to go. And the salmon chowder at Gwin's Lodge is a treat.
TV: "Top Gear," Bloomberg, ESPN, "Dog Whisperer," "Shatner's Raw Nerve," "The Apprentice," "The Chris Isaak Show," EPL, NHL Network, Speed Channel, Barrett-Jackson Auctions, "Hell's Kitchen," "The Office," "Guitar Center Sessions."
Concerts: The Grammy's live.
Artist: CHIP FOOSE -- he brings back raw emotion in car design; SIR ROY STRONG -- his mastery of landscape architecture.
Food: Alaskan Halibut (from Homer Spit) with wasabi and soy, the cheeks are incredible, food with truffle sauce, Detroit Coney Dog from National Coney Island, my ribs with hoisin sauce (turn for two hours).
Dessert: Mom's pumpkin pie -- what to do with your pumpkin before it ends up on the street.
Drink: Brunello di Montalcino, Maker's Mark.
Scent: "Of a new deal," the grill, an outdoor fire, being out on or in the open water.
Vacation Spots: Jamaica.
Cars: '65 Shelby Cobra, Ferrari 599.
Singer/bands: Foo Fighters, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Incubus, Smashing Pumpkins, EMINEM.
Quote: "Desire is the key to motivation, but it's determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal -- a commitment to excellence -- that will enable you to attain the success you seek" -- MARIO ANDRETTI. "Luck is the dividend of sweat. The more you sweat, the luckier you get" -- RAY KROC. "It's kind of fun to do the impossible" -- WALT DISNEY.
Sunrise Sports & Entertainment yesterday announced a new team-based corporate sales structure that organizes the department into five separate teams, each with five distinct positions: team captain, new business development director, strategic partnerships manager, brand activation manager and support staff associate. The team captains are President & COO MICHAEL YORMARK, Exec VP & CMO PEDRO GONCALVES and Exec Dirs TIM KUHL, DUFFY HOUSE and TED MAJOR (SSE).
KORRIO MAKES HIRES: Korrio, a Seattle-based developer of an online youth sports information and communications platform, has made three senior exec hires. Former Seattle Sounders player DANIEL JACKSON has been named Dir of Business Development. Longtime technology sales exec TIM BAUMAN has been named VP/Sales. BRAD HEFTA-GAUB, a veteran online entrepreneur and founder of fitness social hub Sweat365.com, has been named Chief Technology Officer (Eric Fisher, SportsBusiness Journal).
EXECS: The L.A. Memorial Coliseum Commission has hired JOHN SANDBROOK as interim GM, replacing longtime GM PATRICK LYNCH. The commission also "tightened oversight of management Wednesday, enacting an emergency measure requiring all new event contracts to be approved by the full nine-member commission" (L.A. TIMES, 3/3)....Universal Sports Network has hired ALLYSON DAVIS as VP/Marketing. Davis previously served as co-President of Big Top Marketing & Promotions, which she co-founded in '06 (Universal Sports)....Delaware North Cos. has hired LARRY WITTENBERG as COO for Sportservice. Wittenberg, who previously ran Wittenberg Operations, Planning & Design, will be responsible for overseeing the company's 50-plus venues in the U.S. and Canada. Delaware North also has hired DAVID URSO as Sportservice Regional VP for the southeast region, reporting to Sportservice VP/Operations JOE SIMS (Delaware North)....MLS/SUM has hired ANDREW CHEK as Retail Development Manager for Consumer Products and TRICIA BUTLER as Account Exec for MLS Digital Properties (MLS/SUM)....Charlotte Major League Lacrosse has hired WADE LEAPHART as Dir of Sales & Marketing. Leaphart most recently worked with Revolution Racing and The 909 Group (Charlotte MLL)....Speedway Children's Charities has hired former NASCAR Dir of Diversity & Special Projects TISH SHEETS as Managing Dir (SCC)....The Southland Conference has hired CHRIS MYCOSKIE as Dir of Television & Electronic Media (Southland).
Do you have an executive announcement? If so, please send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In Dallas, Chuck Carlton writes if new Texas Tech Univ. AD KIRBY HOCUTT "manages to deliver on football and fundraising, Red Raider Nation will be very happy," as a "successful football program almost invariably means a gleeful and giving fan base." If he can "put the bitter feelings of the MIKE LEACH firing in the past" and if football coach TOMMY TUBERVILLE "produces a Big 12 contender, Tech has a blueprint for success." Upon his introduction yesterday, Hocutt "sounded like a PowerPoint presentation minus the visual aids." He "suggested an approach of Texas, excellence, champions and healthy relations," and he "invoked The Social Network, talking about using new media 'to get our brand, to get our message out there.'" Hocutt said of his decision to leave the Univ. of Miami for Texas Tech, "For me, it was coming home and being a part of something that is truly special and is in a position really to take off" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 3/3).
CHANGING DATES: The NASCAR HOF induction ceremony "has been tied with the May race weeks at Charlotte Motor Speedway" since the HOF's inception last year, but the induction ceremony "will move to a standalone event in January next year." Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority CEO TIM NEWMAN, whose group runs the HOF, said, "We believe we can complement the star-studded main event with a full slate of activities that will draw fans from around the country" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 3/3).
GIVING BACK: Heat F LEBRON JAMES' Family Foundation and Hewlett-Packard yesterday in northwest Miami "began rolling out what will soon be 1,000 new computers to 59 different Boys & Girls Clubs nationwide." HP Strategic Advisor for Global Market Development Satjiv Chahil said, "We don't do celebrity sponsorships. We celebrate achievers from society who have multifaceted lives, who have an appreciation for technology and who have a human cause. ... We celebrate LeBron" (AP, 3/2)....Thunder G THABO SEFOLOSHA and his wife, BERTILLE, organized an event in Oklahoma City on Sunday that "included about 200 guests, who came from as far away as Switzerland to raise money to help children in South Africa." The event, entitled "A Night for Africa," raised $50,000. The Sefoloshas are working with Swiss foundation IMBEWU, "which establishes youth sports programs throughout South Africa" (DAILY OKLAHOMAN, 3/3).
LEADING THE WAY: In Boston, Stan Grossfeld profiled JUSTINE SIEGAL, who is "believed to be the first woman to pitch batting practice to a major league team," having done so with the Indians and A's last week. Siegal in '09 "became the first female coach in organized professional baseball with the Brockton Rox." She also coached at Springfield College, where "for three years, she was the only woman coaching men's college baseball." She is the founder of Baseball For All, which "advocates for baseball opportunities for girls and women." Siegal: "My goal is not integrating Major League Baseball, it's creating women's professional baseball" (BOSTON GLOBE, 3/2).
NAMES: Int’l Soccer HOFer PELE this morning said that UEFA President MICHEL PLATINI “will run against SEPP BLATTER for the FIFA presidency.” Platini and Asian Football Confederation President MOHAMED BIN HAMMAM are “considered the two strongest potential candidates to take on Blatter” (AP, 3/3)....NASCAR driver TONY STEWART yesterday took “unsuspecting fans” in Las Vegas on “faux cab rides in one of his No. 14 race cars.” Also this week, Stewart dined at Tao Asian Bistro in Vegas and saw the Blue Man Group with fellow driver BRAD KESELOWSKI (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 3/3)....TOM ZBIKOWSKI, an NFL restricted free agent who played safety for the Ravens last season, “plans to return to boxing next week in the likely event that NFL owners lock out players.” Zbikowski would fight a “four-round bout as a cruiserweight on March 12 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on the televised undercard of the Showtime PPV card” (ESPN.com, 3/2)....Golfer JOHN DALY yesterday filed suit against the organizers of the PGA Tour Honda Classic, "claiming he injured himself while trying to stop his backswing after being distracted by a fan taking his picture" during the '07 tournament. Daly, who is "seeking $15,000 in damages," alleges he "aggravated an old injury" (REUTERS, 3/2).
BEST WISHES: IOC Marketing Commission Chair GERHARD HEIBERG in an e-mail said that he is "well on the mend after heart surgery last week after what has been described as a minor heart attack." Heiberg: "Things are now much better and I am almost one hundred percent back in action!" (AROUNDTHERINGS.com, 3/3).