SBD/June 1, 2011/People and Pop Culture

Executive Transactions

World Triathlon Corp. yesterday announced that it has named AEG Sports President ANDREW MESSICK CEO. He succeeds BEN FERTIC, who will continue serving on the organization’s BOD and will assume the newly created position of President (WTC). Messick, a two-time Ironman finisher, "will run the day-to-day operations" of the Tampa-based company. He said that WTC made an "offer he couldn't refuse." Messick: "To help shape the global direction of the sport of triathlon was an offer too good to pass up." He said the new organizational structure of AEG's Amgen Tour of California is expected in the "next week or so," and mentioned AEG Sports Senior Dir KRISTIN BACHOCHIN as his likely successor to oversee the cycling race. Messick added, "I think the last few years have proven that the Amgen Tour of California has gotten big enough that it's bigger than any one person, certainly bigger than me." His departure comes as Amgen is "weighing the return on investment of its title sponsorship" (VELONEWS.com, 5/31).

PLAYING THROUGH: PETE BEVACQUA, the former USGA business chief who left on March 22, has been hired by CAA Sports. Bevacqua will be an executive in the company’s growing golf practice and will work alongside CAA’s other executives in golf, ANDY PIERCE and MICHAEL RIELLY. CAA’s golf business includes events, sponsorship and individual clients, such as JACK NICKLAUS, GREG NORMAN and TOM WATSON. CAA’s consulting work in golf includes Royal Bank of Scotland. Bevacqua, who had been the USGA’s Chief Business Officer since ‘07, will be based in CAA’s N.Y. office (Michael Smith, SportsBusiness Journal).

EXECS: The NTRA has hired STEPHEN PANUS as VP/Communications. Panus, and a second media specialist to be hired in the near future, will work to expand the NTRA’s media and PR efforts, with an emphasis on mainstream media exposure. The organization also announced plans to relocate the NTRA Communications office from its present HQs in Westchester County, New York, to The Jockey Club offices in Manhattan (NTRA)….Farmers Insurance Exec VP & CMO KEVIN KELSO “has quietly left” the company. There is “no immediate word on what caused Kelso’s exit” (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 5/30 issue)….Betfair named former Yahoo Head of Engineering for Real Time Communications RAJ VEMULAPALI VP/Mobile Engineering (THOROUGHBREDTIMES.com, 5/27)….Australian Ladies Professional Golf has hired former Great White Shark Enterprises VP FRANK WILLIAMS as Dir of Corporate Development & Sales (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 5/29)....The Packers have selected three new BOD candidates, to be voted on by shareholders: V&J Holdings Companies President & CEO VALERIE DANIELS-CARTER; former Brown County Exec THOMAS HINZ; and Kohler Co. President & COO KARGER DAVID KOHLER (JSONLINE.com, 5/27)....Jacksonville State Univ. has named Coastal Carolina AD WARREN KOEGEL to the same position (JSU).

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