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ADAM GROSSMAN began his sports business career as an intern for the Red Sox, before becoming Special Assistant to the President & CEO Larry Lucchino and eventually VP/Marketing. While with the Red Sox, Grossman helped advance the club’s regional marketing activities and worked with MLB International on the franchise's presence in Japan. Since joining the Dolphins in ’09, Grossman has initiated and expanded many of the team’s regional marketing, corporate communication and community outreach efforts. Grossman recently took some time to discuss his Cleveland roots, his days with the Red Sox and his current role in the Dolphins organization.
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Q: Do you believe in the Cleveland Curse?
Grossman: I don’t believe in the Cleveland Curse, only because if the Red Sox won the World Series after 86 years, there’s hope for Cleveland. But it’s certainly been painful.
Q: What is the biggest difference between a Boston sports fan and a Miami sports fan?
Grossman: Well, the accents are very different. And I think the Miami fans are certainly passionate, but there are a lot of other things to be passionate about here in South Florida. In Boston, it’s a bit of a religion, at least with the Red Sox. They live and die with the teams. Here, they live and die but they can hang on the beach too, so I think the medicine is a little bit easier.
Q: As you worked your way up in the sports industry, what was your worst day?
Grossman: I remember my first summer working for the Red Sox, THEO [EPSTEIN] almost sent me home because I was wearing ugly pants. They were seersucker; this was week two and he just said, “Those are the most ridiculous pants I think I’ve ever seen.” That was one of those moments where your internship could go one of two ways after that. I thought it may have been grounds for dismissal.
Q: Who is your favorite celebrity owner?
Grossman: We’re close with all of them, but I’m personally the closest with the ESTEFANS because they live in Miami and they’ve been a huge door-opener to markets and relationships that I don’t think we had before.
Q: Since last summer, the Heat have had a very strong presence in Miami. How has that impacted your local marketing efforts for the Dolphins?
Grossman: We have a great respect for the Heat. We’ve celebrated alongside the Heat, congratulating them with a full-page ad when they landed WADE again and brought down BOSH and JAMES. We were also cheering for them during the playoffs. I think the Heat has made the market an even greater sports town. The excitement that they’ve generated is positive for all the clubs locally. For us, I don’t think it necessarily changed our strategies, but I do think, as with anything, there are a lot of challenges in all markets right now. I think we’ve become more aggressive and more vigilant in our marketing efforts to reach out to all areas of South Florida and make sure we’re reaching as many fans, as many communities as possible.
Q: What are your thoughts on LIV nightclub at Sun Life Stadium one year removed from the opening? Has it been a successful venture for the Dolphins?
Grossman: Yes. It’s still such a new concept but it has been a differentiator -- something that we offer that I don’t think anyone else in sports offers. And I think anytime you have that, it can be really positive, especially when you’ve got the NFL where a lot of teams and fans are travelling to the market. Our Owner, STEVE ROSS, has bold vision when it comes to these kinds of projects, and LIV offers a unique and alternative experience to that of the traditional NFL sports experience. We’ve certainly learned a lot the first year, and we’re going to be experimenting a little more with different concepts and different themes this year.
The USOC announced yesterday that Dir of Media Services BOB CONDRON is retiring after 28 years, effective at the end of '11. Condron has "directed the Games accreditation process for U.S. media for the past decade and has been involved in media planning for every Olympics since 1984 as well as seven Pan American Games, 11 U.S. Olympic Festivals and numerous Olympic trials, World University Games, world cups and international championships." Condron also serves on the IOC Press Commission and is "one of only two USOC staffers on an IOC Commission" (AROUNDTHERINGS.com, 8/23)....The IAAF re-elected SERGEY BUBKA as one of the track organization's four VPs (TELEGRAPH.co.uk, 8/24)....French Sports Administrator & Consultant ESSAR GABRIEL has been appointed IAAF General Secretary. Gabriel replaces PIERRE WEISS, who retired after working for the IAAF for the past two decades (AP, 8/22).
EXECS: The National Basketball Retired Players Association has hired New Orleans City Council VP ARNIE FIELKOW as CEO & Exec Dir. Fielkow served as Saints Exec VP from '00-05, and was twice elected as New Orleans Councilman-at-Large following Hurricane Katrina (NBRPA)....The Coleman Company named K2 Sports President & CEO ROBERT MARCOVITCH to the same position. ANTHONY DE ROCCO will replace Marcovitch as President & CEO of K2 Sports (THE DAILY)....Diamond Sports & Entertainment promoted BRIAN MACINNES to CEO (DSE)....AEG Facilities hired DOUGLAS HALL as Dynamo Stadium GM (THE DAILY)....Intersport has hired Winnercomm Sports Exec VP/Sales DON GORSKI as Senior VP/Media Sales (Intersport)....Syracuse Univ. named MOREY MOSSOVITZ Assistant AD for Facilities & Event Operations (SU)....Texas A&M Athletics hired Univ. of Alabama Dir of Marketing & Promotions JENNIFER MARTIN as Dir of Marketing (Texas A&M)....Kean Univ. named Goldey-Beacom College AD CHRIS MORGAN to the same position (Kean Univ.).
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The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation on Monday announced that College Football HOFer LOU HOLTZ, former NFLer DOUG FLUTIE and Pro Football HOFer LYNN SWANN will serve as co-Chairs of the Ronald Reagan Centennial National Football Coin Toss. This event is part of the Ronald Reagan Centennial Celebration, a year-long tribute to honor the late President's 100th birthday. As part of the campaign, 32 NFL teams, 120 NCAA D1 football teams, all NAIA teams and nearly 14,000 high school teams will be invited to flip a commemorative coin at the start of each game played the weekend of Sept. 23-26 (Ronald Reagan Foundation). Following the coin flip, a loudspeaker announcement and a Reagan football tribute video will air. Reagan was born on Feb. 6, 1911 (CNN.com, 8/22).
GREEN PEACE: Athletes from Protect Our Winters (POW) will visit DC on Sept. 14 “after Congress returns to session from a month-long break.” POW Founder JEREMY JONES, snowboarder GRETCHEN BLEILER, skier CHRIS DAVENPORT and Aspen Skiing Co. VP/Sustainability AUDEN SCHENDLER will "deliver a letter to the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives that opposes legislation that restricts the Environmental Protection Agency's ability to limit carbon pollution” (ESPN.com, 8/23).
A STITCH IN TIME... In L.A., Andrea Chang cited a source as saying that Penguins co-Owner RON BURKLE is “in discussions with American Apparel Inc. to refinance a portion of its $160-million debt load.” Burkle last year “bought a 6% stake in the L.A. clothing maker and retailer, only to reduce those investments this year” (LATIMES.com, 8/23).
SUMMER TIME ADVENTURE: Clippers F BLAKE GRIFFIN this week is “interning at Funny Or Die, the comedy website" co-founded by WILL FERRELL and ADAM MCKAY. Griffin arrived at the site's L.A. offices yesterday “to begin three days of work in video production.” He will “help write, shoot, edit and act in several videos for the site" (AP, 8/23)….Spurs F DEJUAN BLAIR is “spending his time away from basketball this summer working on his rapping/singing.” Blair has released his cover of DRAKE’s “Trust Issues,” which is a “gloomy song riddled with profanity, binge drinking references, racist and sexist remarks.” It is a “stark contrast from the professionalism we've seen from the franchise” (MYSANANTONIO.com, 8/22).
NAMES: BROADCASTING & CABLE named ESPN Exec VP/Sales & Marketing SEAN BRATCHES and Turner Broadcasting Senior VP/Strategic Audience Solutions TRISH JONES to the '11 Digital All-Stars list (BROADCASTING & CABLE, 8/22 issue)….Univ. of Miami President DONNA SHALALA said that UM will “hire an outside counsel to help its investigation with the NCAA.” UM reportedly has hired MIKE GLAZIER, a "former NCAA investigator who also was a former law partner of SEC commissioner MIKE SLIVE” (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 8/24)….A source said that Astros Owner DRAYTON MCLANE has given a $5M gift to Dallas Baptist Univ. “for renovations to the school’s baseball field” (CHRON.com, 8/23)….TIGER WOODS has “leased a Jupiter office building and plans to move his business empire” to the Florida city from Orlando. The building “formerly was home to the business holdings” of GREG NORMAN, who, like Woods, owns a mansion in Jupiter Island. Woods’ new business “command center is a 10,000-square foot, two-story, Mediterranean-influenced office” (PALM BEACH POST, 8/24)….NASCAR driver KYLE BUSCH “pleaded guilty Tuesday to speeding 128 mph in a 45 mph zone and was placed on probation for a year and fined $1,000.” District Judge THOMAS CHURCH also “revoked Busch’s driver’s license for 45 days and told him not to drive during that time” (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 8/24)….Former Univ. of Maryland’s men’s basketball coach GARY WILLIAMS reportedly is “making $400,000 a year as a special athletic department assistant” (BALTIMORESUN.com, 8/23)….Rangers P C.J. WILSON is partnering with The Partnership at Drugfree.org to promote the importance of a drug-free lifestyle and practice of healthy competition. The digital and grassroots effort, “Play Healthy” aims to educate families on the risks of steroids and performance-enhancing substances (Drugfree.org).
BEST WISHES: Univ. of Tennessee women’s basketball coach PAT SUMMITT announced she has been diagnosed with early-onset dementia. The 59-year-old “went public with her condition Tuesday,” and said that she “plans to coach this season.” UT interim AD JOAN CRONAN said, “I’m comfortable because I know her as a person and I know her as a coach. And I feel like if it wasn’t the right thing for her or us she wouldn’t be going forward” (Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 8/24).