SBD/September 9, 2011/People and Pop Culture

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  • "Moneyball" Premieres Friday Night At Toronto Int'l Film Festival

    "Moneyball" set to debut
    nationwide later this month
    Sony Pictures' "MONEYBALL" makes its world premiere Friday night at the Toronto Int'l Film Festival, ahead of its general release in the U.S. on Sept. 23, and "depending on one's viewpoint, the rollout caps a feel-good underdog story that could have been lifted straight from the movie or offers a glimpse into what can nearly doom a film even with the shiniest pedigree," according to Steven Zeitchik of the L.A. TIMES. Whether the film, an adaptation of MICHAEL LEWIS' book, "succeeds at the box office or appeals to Academy Awards voters remains to be seen, but one aspect of the film has already achieved an Oscar-worthy level of drama.” BRAD PITT, who stars in the film as A's GM BILLY BEANE said, “I think the making of the movie is just as interesting as the movie itself.” Sources familiar with "Moneyball" contend that a "colorful picture emerges, filled with big personalities and clashing visions” (L.A. TIMES, 9/9). The HOLLYWOOD REPORTER's Kirk Honeycutt wrote "Moneyball" looks "good perhaps not for a home run but certainly a long double or even an exciting scoot around the bases for a head-first triple.” The movie "does achieve something nearly impossible: Someone who doesn't even like the sport may care" about Beane and the A's. Overseas markets are "probably a wash, however, except in baseball countries such as Japan or certain Latin American nations” (HOLLYWOODREPORTER.com, 9/8). DAILY VARIETY’s Peter Debruge wrote, “Throwing the conventional sports-movie formula a curve, ‘Moneyball’ defies the logic that auds need a rousing third-act championship to clinch their interest. ... Sparing auds the technicalities but not the spirit of financial reporter Michael Lewis’ business-of-baseball bestsellter, ‘Moneyball’ should appeal well beyond -- if not always to -- the game’s fans” (VARIETY.com, 9/8).

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  • This Week's Newsmakers: Inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix Exceeds Expectations

    THE DAILY each Friday offers our take on the performances over the past week of people and entities in sports business. Here are this week's newsmakers:

    WIN: BALTIMORE GRAND PRIX -- Looks like IndyCar might have found itself another marquee event to build around. Local businesses and fans responded incredibly well to the Labor Day weekend race, with all 84 private suites selling out and walk-up tickets selling quickly. Drivers and owners expressed their pleasure with the event, while the Baltimore mayor also noted it came in under budget. Look for IndyCar CEO RANDY BERNARD to quickly try and lock down the holiday weekend date to keep the momentum going next year.

    LOSE: USTA/U.S. OPEN -- So who wants to trade places with Tournament Dir JIM CURLEY? No takers? Terrible weather during the second week in Flushing has led to wet courts, cracked courts, angry players and ultimately unhappy ticket buyers. Obviously one can’t control the weather, but after four years of rainouts dominating the headlines, it's starting to seem like a sad version of "Groundhog Day." When much of the week is spent having your TV partners and players question the decision-making process of the organization, it's fair to say that it hasn't been a good week.

    DRAW: MARYLAND'S UNIFORMS -- Yes, they were controversial. The Terps' unis last weekend looked like something out of a SALVADOR DALÍ painting, causing many to shake their heads and/or cringe. But style aside, the new look was getting mentioned everywhere -- from Twitter to "Good Morning America" to DIANE SAWYER talking about them on "World News." The heavy exposure is something rarely seen at College Park, and one would think it will only help the program tell its story.

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  • Executive Transactions

    DirecTV Thursday announced that PATRICK CRUMB has been promoted to President of DirecTV Sports Networks. Crumb will be responsible for leading the unit, as well as the company’s three RSNs branded as Root Sports. Crumb previously served as DirecTV Exec VP/Business Affairs & General Counsel. In that role, he negotiated long-term TV rights deals with pro teams such as the Pirates, Penguins, Rockies and Jazz, as well as the company's distribution deals with Comcast and other providers (DirecTV).

    EXECS: Hulman & Co. has appointed IMS Corp. President & CEO JEFF BELSKUS to the same positions, effective Oct. 1. Belskus will replace CURT BRIGHTON, who is leaving Hulman & Co. to accept a position at another company (Hulman & Co.). RON GALL will assume Belskus' duties as CFO of Hulman & Co. (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 9/9)....Pasadena Tournament of Roses Exec Dir P. SCOTT MCKIBBEN resigned, effective Thursday, and will be replaced on an interim basis by COO WILLIAM FLINN (Tournament of Roses)....Easton Sports has hired Nike Commercial Dir of Action Sports JOHN GRAHAM as Senior VP/Commerce (Easton Sports)....Performance Bicycle named MARK LEYDECKER Senior VP/Merchandising (Performance Bicycle)....Providence College has given AD BOB DRISCOLL a two-year extension through the '17-18 academic year (PROVIDENCE JOURNAL, 9/8)....adidas India named TUSHAR GOCULDAS Brand Dir (adidas India)....New Meadowlands Racetrack named MIKE NEWLIN GM (New Meadowlands Racetrack)....Learfield Sports named Summit Group VP/Business Development CHAD JACKSON Business Development Manager for its Univ. of Minnesota sports property (Learfield Sports).

    Do you have an executive announcement? If so, please send to editorial@sportsbusinessdaily.com.

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  • Names In The News

    Formers Kansas AD Lew Perkins has started his own consulting business

    In K.C., McCollough & McGraw profile former Univ. of Kansas AD LEW PERKINS, who just weeks after leaving KU last September formed The Lew Perkins Team, LLC. The Kansas-based business "generated some Division I consulting fees in April for helping" George Washington Univ. finds its new AD, PATRICK NERO. A GWU spokesperson “would not reveal how much Perkins was paid.” Neinas Sports Services Founder CHUCK NEINAS noted that the "college sports consulting field is growing rapidly” (K.C. STAR, 9/9).

    NIGHT AT THE MOVIES: Lionsgate Entertainment “has been hit with a quirky copyright infringement lawsuit over a piece of music" used in the documentary "MORE THAN A GAME," which chronicles Heat F LEBRON JAMES’ high school basketball days. Songwriter MASON HALL filed suit Tuesday in Georgia federal court, claiming that he "authored a copyrighted composition entitled, 'We Ready'” (HOLLYWOODREPORTER.com, 9/8)....The HOLLYWOOD REPORTER’s David Rooney reviewed “THE LAST GLADIATORS,” a documentary from ALEX GIBNEY about the "toughest guys in ice hockey." For audiences "with little knowledge of professional hockey, Gibney’s sharply crafted film offers an exhaustive education, particularly about the decades before changes in the rules diminished the importance of enforcers" (HOLLYWOODREPORTER.com, 9/8).

    FASHION FORWARD: Knicks F AMAR’E STOUDEMIRE Thursday at N.Y. Fashion Week sat “front row at Richard Chai.” Stoudemire's new shoe, the Nike Air Max Sweep Thru, debuts Oct. 1 and he said, "It’s stylish and clean, and I like playing basketball in a shoe with a strap” (NEWSDAY.com 9/8)....Coyotes RW SHANE DOAN, Lightning C STEVEN STAMKOS and RW MARTIN ST. LOUIS appeared at an NHL-sponsored event at the Versace store during fashion week (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 9/8)....Fox Business' Chris Cotter profiled former NFLer CARL BANKS' foray in fashion as the President of G-III Sports by Carl Banks. Noting he has been involved in fashion "for a while," Banks said, "The company that started it and inspired me was Starter Corporations and that was way back in the 80s. They really embraced the culture of sports and fashion.” He added, “I started in outerwear. … Now, I am the number one outwear manufacturer of sports licensing in all major sports” (Fox Business, 9/7).

    NAMES: Former softball player JENNIE FINCH will team with Timex to run the ING N.Y. Marathon on Nov. 6. in support of NYRR Youth Programs (THE DAILY)....Boston's WBZ-FM host ANDY GRESH has teamed up with writer MICHAEL CONNELLY for “THE GREAT BOOK OF BOSTON SPORTS LISTS,” a 272-page, “no-holds-barred jock-athon.” The two enlisted "other local sports fans" to help with the book, including announcers GIL SANTOS and MIKE GORMAN and Bruins Owner JEREMY JACOBS (BOSTON HERALD, 9/9)....Lakers F LAMAR ODOM, a spokesperson for Life Insurance Awareness Month, appeared in a “recent PSA on behalf of the nonprofit Life Foundation” (LATIMES.com, 9/8)....Cubs P RYAN DEMPSTER "has once again lowered the asking price" for his five-bedroom, 5,300-square-foot home “near Wrigley Field, this time to $1.8 million from $1.899 million” (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 9/9)....Mets VP/Media Relations JAY HORWITZ “was hospitalized Thursday after breaking his right ankle while walking to work.” In 32 years with the club, Horwitz “hadn’t missed a game since August 1990, when his mother died.” In addition, Mets Dir of Media Relations SHANNON FORDE “was walking on crutches Thursday after fracturing her ankle a day earlier” (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 9/9). Horwitz “will undergo surgery Monday” (N.Y. TIMES, 9/9).

    PAYING THEIR RESPECTS: Hundreds of guests on Thursday came “from all walks of life to honor the memory" of former Univ. of South Florida AD and Pro Football HOFer LEE ROY SELMON, who passed away Sunday (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 9/9). As part of their efforts to honor Selmon, the Buccaneers will have players "wear his No. 63 on their helmets all season." Also, there will be a "moment of silence in honor of Selmon" at Raymond James Stadium before Sunday's season opener against the Lions (TAMPABAY.com, 9/8).

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