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SBD/May 14, 2012/People and Pop Culture
Published May 14, 2012
ON THE OUT: The CFL Montreal Alouettes on Friday announced that President & CEO RAY LALONDE is “leaving the organization for personal reasons.” Lalonde joined the Alouettes in March ‘11 and “implemented a new commercial strategy in time for last season” (CP, 5/11). In Montreal, Herb Zurkowsky wrote Lalonde’s departure is the “classic example of going from a good cop to a bad cop, passing the torch from the personable, quotable and visible LARRY SMITH to Lalonde, who earned a reputation as being arrogant and obtrusive during his years" as Canadiens VP/Marketing. Not only did Lalonde “feud with members of the administration office, he was at loggerheads with key members of the football operations department -- never a good omen.” Zurkowsky wrote Lalonde’s “ultimate sin was the team’s eroding bottom line.” Corporate sponsorship, which “totalled more than $6 million as recently as the 2007 season, now hovers at about $2.5 million,” and major sponsors, including Subway, Nissan and Discount, have “deserted the team.” Season-ticket sales “once were in the 18,000 range, higher when including corporate tickets,” but they currently are “slightly over 14,000.” Still, Alouettes BOD Chair PAUL HARRIS said of Lalonde, “He did some good things. He has excellent marketing skills. If he had stayed longer, you would have seen that.” Harris said that the organization will “be in no rush to find a successor.” Not only was Lalonde “under a personal services contract to [team Owner Robert] Wetenhall -- perhaps earning $400,000 annually -- senior executives remain in place to steer the ship.” Harris, the interim president between Smith and Lalonde, also “is available as a resource” (MONTREAL GAZETTE, 5/12).
EXECS: In this week’s SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, Terry Lefton reports MLS named DAVID BRUCE Senior Dir/Brand & Integrated Marketing (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 5/14 issue)….Univision named Television Deportes Network CEO JUAN CARLOS RODRIGUEZ Univision Deportes President (Univision).
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