SBD/April 10, 2012/People and Pop Culture

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  • NCAA Hires Mark Lewis To Replace Shaheen As Exec VP/Championships & Alliances

    The NCAA today named MARK LEWIS Exec VP/Championships & Alliances, a position formerly held on an interim basis by GREG SHAHEEN. NCAA President MARK EMMERT made the announcement, stating that in Lewis’ new role, he will be a member of the organization’s senior management group and oversee the NCAA’s 89 championships, as well as its business initiatives, including the corporate and media partner programs.  Lewis was previously President of the hospitality and event company Jet Set Sports, but has also served as NBC VP/Sponsorship and was President & COO of OPUS, a joint venture between the SLOC and USOC around the '02 Salt Lake City Games. In the statement, Emmert also recognized Shaheen for his work as interim Exec VP/Championships & Alliances, and Lewis stated, “Greg and I will be meeting over the next several days to discuss his role with the NCAA moving forward.” The NCAA had used Atlanta-based search firm Parker Executive Search in reviewing candidates and began publicly advertising for the job in December. Shaheen was a candidate for the position, but the uncertainty surrounding his future dominated conversations in New Orleans at the NCAA men's Final Four because he has established himself as the tournament’s guiding force, from negotiating media contracts to managing the hour-to-hour operations (THE DAILY).

    REAX: The move by the NCAA drew several responses on Twitter. CBS Sports' Seth Davis wrote, "Hopefully Isch, Emmert and newly hired Mark Lewis will find role for Shaheen but if it's not running the tourney he should quit." SI.com's Stewart Mandel wrote, "Absolutely dumbfounded the NCAA ran off Greg Shaheen, head of the tourney -- you know, the one thing they do right." The Sporting News' Mike DeCourcy wrote, "I've defended the NCAA on many occasions. Today's not one of those days. Replacing G Shaheen is ludicrous. Brilliant guy.” SI.com's Rob Dauster wrote, "The easiest way to tell that Greg Shaheen was good at his job is when every disagreeable writer covering college sports praises him.”

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  • Executive Transactions

    In this week's SportsBusiness Journal, Terry Lefton reports MillerCoors named ADAM DETTMAN the company's new sponsorship chief. Dettman was previously GMR Marketing VP/Account Services. Meanwhile, the Buccaneers named former IMG College VP/National Sales JIM PYNE Chief Partnerships Officer (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 4/9 issue)....The Knicks named former NBAer LARRY JOHNSON Basketball & Business Operations Rep. Johnson will work closely with the basketball operations department, focusing on player development (Knicks)....N.Y.-based sports and entertainment sponsorship marketing agency Strategic named TONY ANDREA Exec VP. Andrea was previously President of agencies Kaleidoscope and People & Properties. The company also named DARBY ASHLING NELSON Marketing Coordinator. Nelson previously worked at Octagon as western region lead on the BMW "Drive for Team USA" tour (THE DAILY)....The city of Jacksonville named Jacksonville Univ. AD ALAN VERLANDER Dir of Sports & Entertainment (JACKSONVILLE.com, 4/5). Verlander will be paid "a salary of $179,416 a year." Jacksonville Mayor ALVIN BROWN said that it will be up to Verlander to "take the city to 'the next level'" (JACKSONVILLE.com, 4/9).

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  • Names In The News

    In N.Y., Viv Bernstein noted members of the WTA's "Original Nine," a group of women who “defied the tennis establishment in 1970 and started their own tour,” met almost 42 years later on Friday night and were “honored as part of the 40th anniversary” of the WTA Tour Family Circle Cup, the longest-running tournament on the women’s tour. It was the “first time all nine -- BILLIE JEAN KING, ROSIE CASALS, PEACHES BARTKOWICZ, JULIE HELDMAN, KERRY MELVILLE REID, KRISTY PIGEON, NANCY RICHEY, VALERIE ZIEGENFUSS and [JUDY TEGART] DALTON -- had been together since 1986.” Richey said of events before the group made its stand, “There was a tournament that, say, had $10,000 for the men and $1,500 for the women. You’re talking about a huge disparity.” Bernstein noted tournament purses this year on the women’s tour “will total $96 million” (N.Y. TIMES, 4/8).

    Elway has been praised by people inside Broncos
    organization for not having any ego

    THE ELWAY WAY: ESPN.com’s Bill Williamson profiled Broncos Exec VP/Football Operations JOHN ELWAY and noted some of his friends said that Elway's “new role has filled a void in his life and given him a chance to compete, something he dearly missed.” When he was hired in Denver last year, Elway “joked that he had played enough golf in his retired life.” Broncos President JOE ELLIS said, “I think people underestimated how hungry John was and his love for the Broncos. He’s been waiting to do this. He brings a deep skill set, including a willingness to roll up his sleeves and work hard. … He has a terrific, deep base of football knowledge and he commands strong business skills. He is perfect for the big picture of our organization.” Elway has been “praised by people inside the organization for not having any ego and for his willingness to learn on the job.” A team employee said, “He knows what he doesn’t know.” Agents around the league have been “impressed with Elway’s professionalism and knowledge of players and contract situations,” and have found him “easy to deal with” (ESPN.com, 4/6).

    COURT REPORT: In Minnesota, Jim Hammerand notes U.S. District Court Judge GARY FEINERMAN has “thrown out a trademark lawsuit" filed by Bobcats Owner MICHAEL JORDAN against Supervalu Inc., "ruling that an advertisement congratulating” Jordan on his HOF inclusion was noncommercial speech protected under the First Amendment. Jordan demanded damages of at least $5M, arguing that the ad’s “unauthorized use of his name and number in conjunction” with a Supervalu subsidiary’s logo and slogan “diminished his endorsement earning power.” Jordan will appeal the ruling (MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL BUSINESS JOURNAL, 4/6 issue).

    WEDDING BELLS:
    Red Sox GM BEN CHERINGTON married Goldklang Group marketing exec TYLER TUMMINIA on Friday in N.Y. It remains unclear if Tumminia, who “currently lives in New York, will be moving to Boston.” Cherington was previously married to ESPN’s WENDI NIX (BOSTON GLOBE 4/10)….NFL Network’s JEFF DARLINGTON was married on Saturday (SI.com, 4/8).
     
    NAMES: Former NBAer and Oregon gubernatorial candidate CHRIS DUDLEY on Saturday said that he and his family “will soon leave Oregon and move to the San Diego area.” Dudley 18 months ago lost a “close race” for governor. He said that his wife, CHRIS, has “a business opportunity in Southern California, which he declined to name, that he wants her to be able to pursue.” He also said that the move “comes after he decided not to run for office again” (Portland OREGONIAN, 4/8)….Holy Candy, a horse part-owned by Saints QB DREW BREES, was scratched Saturday from the Santa Anita Derby and will run in the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland in Lexington next Saturday (L.A. TIMES, 4/7)….Thunder F KEVIN DURANT is “preparing to open a restaurant in Lower Bricktown, just a short walk from the Chesapeake Energy Arena.” The restaurant is “being developed by RANDY HOGAN and will be operated by the Hall Smith Restaurant Group.” Durant said that the concept “is a mix between an upscale restaurant and sports bar” (NEWSOK.com, 4/6)….Yankees 3B ALEX RODRIGUEZ is “being approached to play a drag queen in an upcoming indie movie” on SALVADOR DALI called “THE SURREALIST,” starring ALAN CUMMING (N.Y. POST, 4/10)….Dodgers Team Travel Advisor BILL DELURY is “one of only two current Dodgers employees who has been with the team since it moved” to L.A. in ’58, was profiled by the L.A. DAILY NEWS. DeLury works “primarily as a behind-the-scenes assistant” to announcer VIN SCULLY and the Dodgers broadcast crew (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 4/10)....A celebrity pro-am following The Masters has been “a perennial success in its 10 years” at Barefoot Resort’s Dye Club in Myrtle Beach. The Hootie & The Blowfish Monday After The Masters host DARIUS RUCKER said, “It’s really amazing 18 years later that we’re still doing this.” Fund-raising figures “aren’t in yet for this year, but organizers said the 2011 tournament and affiliated events raised $350,000 for MAM charities” (Myrtle Beach SUN NEWS, 4/10).

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