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AEG yesterday formally announced that it has hired BRYAN PEREZ as President of Digital, Ticketing & Media. Perez will oversee the continued development and deployment of the company's new digital strategy, which is linked to ticketing and media initiatives that are already underway. Perez will focus on efforts to leverage AEG's ticketing assets in a planned launch of digital and media platforms. A longtime ticketing and digital exec, Perez most recently served as NBA Digital Senior VP & GM (AEG). In L.A., Alex Pham wrote Perez's appointment at AEG suggests that the firm "may be making progress on its plans to launch an online TV network and cable channel with RYAN SEACREST and Creative Artists Agency." The channel "would focus on pop culture and music, featuring live shows from AEG's venues" (LATIMES.com, 8/10).
BRIAN MCINTYRE has left an indelible mark on the game of basketball during his 30-plus year career as a public relations executive, and tonight he will be honored for his dedication to the sport. McIntyre at a ceremony in Springfield, Mass., will receive the John W. Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award, the highest honor the Basketball HOF can bestow on an executive, short of induction. McIntyre's career started with the Bulls in ’78, and he joined the NBA's league office in N.Y. in '81. During his time with the league, McIntyre helped formulate and implement many of the NBA’s communications procedures still in place today. He also had a hand in creating several player awards, and initiated White House visits for the league's annual champion. Last year, McIntyre stepped down as NBA Senior VP/Basketball Communications, but he continues to work with the league in an advisory role. He took some time to speak with Staff Writer Theresa Manahan before tonight's ceremony.
Q: Who have been some of your mentors through the years?
McIntyre: Quite a few people, but definitely people like JOHNNY KERR, MATT WINICK, HAL CHILDS, TOM AMBROSE, JIM FOLEY, JOHN WHITE, BOB KING and JIM HEFFERNAN.
Q: How has the world of sports PR changed since you entered your position?
McIntyre: Wow. I mean we’re talking massive changes. When I started with the Bulls in 1978, basically Al Gore hadn’t quite yet invented the Internet (laughs). ESPN was just beginning, I think it was strictly tractor pulls in those days. I didn’t get it in Chicago and I didn’t get it for my first few years living in the New York area. International wasn’t there. I mean just the massive changes that have happened. Print journalism was king when I came in because they set the agenda. They did all the work. Television got all the credit and all the money. But the Internet wasn’t even a player. Now this is just instantaneous. The news cycle used to be 24 hours, now if it is 24 seconds if you are lucky. Things are instantaneous; that’s both good and bad. As a consumer, to be able to get your array of information almost any way you want almost any place you want is tremendous. The downside is that perhaps not all people who are providing information verify what they are writing. And if there is a bone to pick on that, that’s one of the big things that would be great if it were remedied. I’m not sure if it will ever happen. But there’s just so many people out there now that people just run with things instead of double checking.
Q: MARK CUBAN wrote on his blog a few weeks ago that he doesn't really need the mainstream media to cover his games anymore. What are your thoughts on his comments?
McIntyre: It’s an interesting thought. It’s not necessarily one that I agree with wholeheartedly. I do remember reading the piece, and he made some interesting points. But I still think the media can provide a tremendous stamp of third party approval on something, and I think that is an important thing.
Q: You were responsible for initiating the visit of NBA championship teams to the White House. How did that come about?
McIntyre: I think baseball was getting its team invited for the last couple years and I thought why couldn’t we? I went to [then-Commissioner LARRY] O'BRIEN and asked him if it was okay to follow up on it and we did. The first few years we did it we had to be at the White House the next day, the day after the championship the first year I broke it in. And you really can’t discuss it with the team much prior because of superstition and no one wants to deal with it until it is real. We didn’t have a lot of time to put it together.
Q: Do you have a favorite memory from one of those visits?
McIntyre: It’s different styles for different administrations -- but always gracious. I’ve been fortunate to have been at the White House numerous times and it never ever gets old. Every time you walk into the White House or to meet the president you get goose bumps.
Q: What is an attribute of DAVID STERN's that perhaps we don't know that you have seen from your perspective?
McIntyre: He’s a man who cares greatly about what he does, about the NBA, about basketball. He’s a harder worker than anyone here, that’s a great example to set to a lot of people who work with him. He’s got a great sense of humor. He’s sentimental but he doesn’t want to let people know that. He’s got a soft spot to him that I’m not sure is part of his public persona but it’s very much a part of who he is. It’s been a very satisfying 30-year run to work with David Stern. He is an incredible innovator, he has an amazing mind and a tremendous work ethic and he challenges you. He makes you a better worker. I’ve known him a long time, but I’ve never known if he has played chess. I would only imagine that he does and he does it well because he is usually so many moves ahead of most people.
The NFL Giants promoted PAT HANLON to Senior VP/Communications and PETER JOHN-BAPTISTE to VP/Communications. The team also named Heat Business Communications Manager DEANDRE PHILLIPS Communications Manager, replacing AVIS ROPER, who joined the Colts as Senior Dir of Communications (Giants)....The NHL Panthers Foundation named team Owner CLIFF VINER Chair & President. The foundation's board also includes RANDY MOLLER, EVELYN LOPEZ, VANESSA WALKER, AL YOUNG, REID SHAPIRO, ROBERT PRINTZ, DARREN WEINER and STEVE ZIFF (Panthers).
EXECS: The Social+Capital Partnership Managing Partner CHAMATH PALIHAPITIYA has joined the Warriors' ownership group as an Exec Board member (Warriors)....DAN MIGALA earlier this summer left his full-time post as Padres VP/Creative Partnerships. Migala, founder and publisher of the The Migala Report, joined the club following the '09 season. He remains on retainer with the Padres as a consultant, and the new structure will allow more time for his various writing, teaching and consulting interests (Eric Fisher, SportsBusiness Journal)....True North Sports & Entertainment named MITCH BRENNAN Dir of Ticket Administration for the NHL Jets (WINNIPEG FREE PRESS, 8/11)....The Nets named MILTON LEE GM of Minor League Operations, overseeing the NBA D-League Springfield Armor (NJ.com, 8/10)....WHL Vancouver Giants COO STU BALLANTYNE is stepping down from his position, effective tomorrow (Vancouver PROVINCE, 8/11)....The Chargers promoted Pro Scout BRIAN COX to Assistant Dir of College Scouting and named TRICIA CAMPANELLA Coordinator of Football Administration (NCTIMES.com, 8/10)....WWE Studios VP MIKE PAVONE "has called it quits." He had "headed up the film division since 2009" (VARIETY.com, 8/10).
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News Corp. Chair & CEO RUPERT MURDOCH has "acknowledged publicly for the first time that his son JAMES is not the preferred choice to succeed him ... at least in the near-term." Murdoch "endorsed top lieutenant CHASE CAREY as a future CEO." Murdoch: "Chase is my partner and if anything happened to me I'm sure he'll get it immediately." James Murdoch has been "under pressure since the phone hacking scandal that erupted last month at News Corp's UK operations." Meanwhile, Rupert Murdoch indicated that the company's board "wants him to remain CEO" (REUTERS, 8/10).
Sarkisian earns more than any other Washington
state employee by more than $800,000
SO THIS IS SETTLED, THEN? JIM DONNAN "has agreed to settle a lawsuit filed by an Ohio-based company alleging the former University of Georgia football coach played a principal role in orchestrating a 'far-reaching Ponzi scheme.'" Court documents reveal that Donnan and his wife, MARY, who was "also named in the suit, will transfer liquid assets" totaling roughly $5.5M to GLC Limited. The retail liquidation company, which "attracted investors including well-known college football coaches TOMMY TUBERVILLE, FRANK BEAMER and BARRY SWITZER, filed for bankruptcy in February" (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 8/11).
NAMES: In anticipation of JIM THOME's 600th career HR, the Twins "have directed Target Field staff to be on alert in the stands." A handful of ballpark employees "have been placed in right-field and right-center field locations to either retrieve the prized baseball or make whoever catches it a trade offer" so Thome can keep the ball (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 8/11)....Patriots Owner ROBERT KRAFT yesterday revealed that the Myra Kraft Giving Back Scholarship Fund at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston "has received $3 million in donations" since her death last month. The Kraft family also "plans to start an 'emergency fund' to help people who contact them with one-time, urgent needs" (BOSTON GLOBE, 8/11)....Suns F VINCE CARTER has donated $2.5M to the Carolina Basketball Family Fund, which will "support the operating endowment" for the men's basketball program at the Univ. of North Carolina, his alma mater (Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER, 8/11)....Broncos QB TIM TEBOW's namesake foundation has selected Jacksonville-based Dreams Come True as its "official wish-granting" partner (JACKSONVILLE.com, 8/10)....T'Wolves F MARTELL WEBSTER is "seeking an internship" with singer RYAN LESLIE during the NBA lockout (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 8/11).