SBD/October 24, 2011/People and Pop Culture

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  • Executive Transactions

    The Univ. of Cincinnati named Missouri Exec Associate AD WHIT BABCOCK AD. Babcock is "known as an excellent fundraiser, having reached all-time highs at Missouri in donor participation, fundraising, season ticket sales and department-wide revenue generation." Terms of his contract "have not been finalized." Babcock said that he will be in Cincinnati today and tomorrow, but that he "has not determined a starting date of his new job." Babcock "was chosen from among four finalists." BOB ARKEILPANE has been serving ad interim AD since MIKE THOMAS resigned Aug. 10 to become Illinois AD (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 10/23).

    EXECS: PGA Tour Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial Dir of Sales & Sponsor Relations MICHAEL TOTHE has been promoted to Tournament Dir, replacing PETER RIPA, who resigned in June to accept a similar role with the Farmers Insurance Open (STAR-TELEGRAM.com, 10/21)....Ilitch Holdings has put real estate developer ERIC LARSON "in charge of all current and future real estate transactions for Olympia Development, the Ilitch entity that would play a big role in a new hockey arena" for the Red Wings (DETROIT NEWS, 10/22)....Lagardere Unlimited Stadium Solutions is now headed by ULRIK RUHNAU following the acquisition of Stadia Consulting Group (Lagardere)....Navy Pier Inc. named JIM MUNO VP/Marketing & Business Partnerships. He previously served as a consultant for the White Sox (THE DAILY).

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

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  • Names In The News

    The L.A. TIMES' Pringle, Lin & Blankstein in a front-page piece reported former L.A. Memorial Coliseum GM PATRICK LYNCH “received hundreds of thousands of dollars from a stadium contractor.” Sources said that TONY ESTRADA told Coliseum attorneys that “the money came from an increase in his billing rate for janitorial services approved by Lynch.” Estrada’s claims “are the first to allege improper payments to Lynch, who managed the Coliseum for 17 years before resigning in February after the announcement of the investigations.” Sources said that Coliseum officials “were told that more than $300,000 was paid to Lynch starting” in ’06 (L.A. TIMES, 10/23).

    King working with Solutions for Change
    to combat family homelessness
    HELPING HAND: In San Diego, Nathan Scharn noted TaylorMade-adidas Golf President & CEO MARK KING has worked since ’08 with nonprofit Solutions for Change to "combat family homelessness." TaylorMade has “pledged $1 million to the initiative.” King said, “You get to a stage in your life where you want to be making a more meaningful contribution than just delivering financial results for the company” (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 10/22).

    PAY IT FORWARD: Former UConn AD JEFF HATHAWAY “will receive $1 in salary as a men’s basketball consultant to the Big East Conference, so that’s all he’ll have to repay UConn as part of a stipulation in his late August separation agreement with the school.” The position with the Big East will allow Hathaway “to keep his job as chairman of the NCAA men’s basketball committee” (HARTFORD COURANT, 10/21). Under terms of his separation agreement, Hathaway’s Big East salary “will be deducted from his nearly $700,000 salary” at the school (AP, 10/21).

    TIME TO HANG TEN: Surfer KELLY SLATER was profiled on CBS Sunday, and the net's Tracy Smith said Slater "is to surfing what TIGER was to golf or MICHAEL JORDAN was to basketball.” Smith said Slater competes on the ASP Pro World Tour and was the “youngest champion ever” and at 39 years old, "the oldest.” Slater said of his many titles, “It’s almost like it happened to someone else.” Smith noted surfing "is actually the only full-time job Kelly Slater’s ever had, except for a brief, and in his view regrettable, turn as a TV star" on "Baywatch." Slater began a "championship run that’s made him a multi-millionaire, with prize money and endorsement deals.” Slater also began his own company, Kelly Slater Wave Company, which Smith said is developing a machine that “makes perfectly rideable waves,” although at this point the waves are “only a few inches tall.” Smith: “Slater hopes to build full-size machines in parks. … It could happen as early as 2014, anywhere there’s enough room and enough people willing to pay for a consistently perfect wave.” Slater said ‘we have an idea” how much the parks will cost and added, “It’s a big number” (“CBS News Sunday Morning,” CBS, 10/23).

    WORLD SERIES NOTEBOOK: MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez wrote, “Thanks to the extra revenue generated by the Cardinals’ trip to the World Series, St. Louis employees won’t have to take any mandatory furloughs this year.” St. Louis Mayor FRANCIS SLAY said that postseason baseball games have “generated a little more than $2 million in extra funds for the city and were expected to save St. Louis $2.8 million” (MLB.com, 10/22)....In St. Louis, Tom Timmermann reported Rams coach STEVE SPAGNUOLO, his wife and the team “attended Game 3 of the World Series on Saturday night.” The team stayed at a hotel “a short drive away for their game Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys, whose stadium is a few hundred yards from Rangers Ballpark in Arlington” (ST. LOUIS POST DISPATCH, 10/23).

    NAMES: S.F. Chronicle A’s beat writer SUSAN SLUSSER was elected Baseball Writers Association of America VP, and in October ’12 she “will become the first woman president of an organization that was founded in 1908” (S.F. CHRONICLE, 10/23)....In Charlotte, Scott Fowler writes the Redskins-Panthers game showed the “best ownership contrast.” Panthers Owner JERRY RICHARDSON “was working the crowd from his golf cart,” while Redskins Owner DANIEL SNYDER “had a phalanx of security guards as he rolled quickly through the pressbox in the pregame” (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 10/24)....Churchill Downs Inc. “will move its corporative offices next year from its 137-year-old Central Avenue track to a new office building being built” at the Univ. of Louisville’s ShelbyHurst Campus. CDI’s 120 corporate employees “will occupy the entire fourth floor, which will have 33,172 square feet of space” (COURIER-JOURNAL.com, 10/21)....HBO and TOM HANKS have a half-hour comedy called “PLAYERS” in development. The show, which "follows the lives of college athletes," will be produced by GARY GOETZMAN (HOLLYWOODREPORTER.com, 10/21)….TOM AMBROSE, who “ended a 37-year career in the Suns’ front office last year,” has a new book called “Notes from the WACKO! File And Tales from the Madhouse on McDowell.” The 276-page book “will walk you from the franchise’s inception to the last game played at the Coliseum as an insider.” It is expected to be “followed by a sequel to chronicle the US Airways Center years.” The book is available for $16.95 (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 10/24)….The WALL STREET JOURNAL’s Futterman, Barbarisi & Costa wrote under the header, “Baseball Needs Its Own 9-9-9 Plan.” Among the suggestions are that baseball should price all kids tickets at $9 and playoff games should end by 9:00pm ET (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 10/22).

    IN MEMORY: Former Cactus League Association President ROBERT BRINTON died Friday at the age of 60. Brinton was “a driving force in the Cactus League and in keeping the Cubs in Mesa, Ariz.” (MLB.com, 10/23).

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