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SBD/January 23, 2012/Events and Attractions
Turner Sports Creating Live Events Division, Taking Over Final Four Fan Fests
Published January 23, 2012
Turner Sports is "getting into the event business and will take over operations of the prime fan engagement area at the Final Four -- Bracket Town and the Big Dance," according to Michael Smith of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. The company is creating a live events division and has hired Shea Guinn to lead the group, which now "will take over the NCAA's ancillary events business from IMG College." Guinn will serve as Senior VP & Chief of Live Events and will report to Turner Sports Exec VP/Ad Sales & Marketing Jon Diament. Guinn formerly ran IMG College's events department, including "management of the Final Four events the last two years, but the company's contract to run Bracket Town and Big Dance expired after last year's Final Four in Houston." Turner, owner of those event rights through its 14-year, $11B media and marketing deal with the NCAA, "decided to bring the ancillary events in-house beginning in 2012." Those include Bracket Town, Big Dance and the Tipoff Tailgate at the Final Four, as well as "fan fest areas at the College World Series, NCAA lacrosse championships and FCS football title game." Guinn said that he "hopes to extend the live events activation into the NBA, too." With the loss of the NCAA's events, IMG College said that its events management group "has shut down." IMG events execs Rachel Downie and Andre Plaisance "moved with Guinn to Turner." Turner's Janet Abbazia "also has join the events team" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 1/23 issue).