SBD/June 5, 2012/People and Pop Culture

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  • NASCAR Restructuring Media Group; COO Jay Abraham Leaving Company

    Five years after bringing all of its media operations under one roof, NASCAR is recasting NASCAR Media Group as four independent departments: NASCAR Broadcast, NASCAR Production, NASCAR Digital and NASCAR Entertainment. They will have separate financial goals but continue to share the same P&L and revenue with racetracks. The sanctioning body in its announcement today described the move as a rebranding. The change brings with it several shifts in personnel. NASCAR CMO STEVE PHELPS will assume oversight for three of the four departments, taking over the responsibilities once held by NASCAR Media Group President PAUL BROOKS, who left the organization in March. He will have two direct reports: MARC JENKINS, VP/Digital and STEVE HERBST, VP/Broadcasting & Production. Managing Dir of Entertainment Marketing & Business Development ZANE STODDARD will continue to report to VP/Strategic Development ERIC NYQUIST. Herbst takes over responsibility for production from longtime NASCAR Media Group COO JAY ABRAHAM, who is leaving the organization. Phelps said, "It doesn't mean the group from a functional standpoint is going to change all that much. If you look at the core group in terms of the talent we have and product they produce, it's an incredibly high quality and that's something we want to continue." Herbst said that he will spend more time in Charlotte as a result of his new responsibilities and will rely on several recently promoted execs there. Also, as part of the changes, STEVE STUM was promoted to VP/Operations & Technical Production, TALLY HAIR was named Managing Dir of Production & Programming and SETH BACON was named Senior Dir of Broadcasting. Herbst said, "We have a world class facility in Charlotte and a lot of talent."

    FOCUS BACK ON NASCAR: As part of the change, NASCAR's production division will cease production of college sports and other content and focus exclusively on NASCAR programming. Phelps said that NASCAR Media Group's revenue from production of non-NASCAR programming was insignificant. Phelps said, "It's the right thing that those folks are going to focus on NASCAR. We need to build our NASCAR audience. We need to focus on our fans. We took our eyes off the ball a bit." The change is not a significant one for NASCAR's digital and entertainment divisions. NASCAR's digital division had been brought into its marketing department a year ago in anticipation of its agreement last December to regain control of NASCAR.com from Turner Sports. The production department, however, had remained a central part of NASCAR Media Group. Phelps said that changing its name to NASCAR Production signals to employees that they're part of NASCAR, not a separate entity. Phelps said, "That may seem like semantics but I don't think it is. There was a separation from the name as ridiculous as it sounds."

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  • Executive Transactions

    Golf Channel promoted ANDREW FLEMING to VP/Business Development & General Counsel and PRAVEETA SINGH to Senior Dir of Marketing & Promotions (Golf Channel)….Bobcats Sports & Entertainment named KIM HENDERSON VP/Community Affairs and Exec Dir Cats Care Foundation. Henderson was previously Presbyterian Hospital/Novant Health Senior Dir Corporate Relations & Sponsorships (Bobcats)….Nike announced Hurley Int’l Founder & Chair BOB HURLEY will assume the role of interim CEO, replacing MICHAEL EGECK, who decided to leave the company (Nike). In Portland, Allan Brettman noted the move was “surprising,” as Egeck was named CEO only eight months ago (Portland OREGONIAN, 6/4)….The Int’l Tennis HOF named BREWER ROWE Dir of Special Events & Assistant Tournament Dir (Int’l Tennis HOF)….The Atlantic-10 conference named former Old Dominion Univ. women’s basketball coach WENDY LARRY Associate Commissioner (A-10)….Central State Univ. dismissed AD KELLEN WINSLOW. Associate AD and track & field coach JAHAN CULBREATH will serve as interim AD (DAYTON DAILY NEWS, 6/5)….St. Cloud State Univ. named HEATHER WEEMS AD, the first female to hold the position at the school. Weems was previously Drake Univ. Associate AD (MINNESOTA.PUBLICRADIO.org, 6/1).

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

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  • Names In The News

    NFL free agent WR TERRELL OWENS has left his long-time agent DREW ROSENHAUS and hired Dallas-based agent JORDAN WOY. Rosenhaus has been representing Owens since he played for the Eagles (ESPNDALLAS.com, 6/4). ESPN’s Mike Greenberg said, "If he fires Rosenhaus and actually says in the statement, ‘I have to hire somebody who believes in my ability to play football again,’ there’s no other way to read that. Rosenhaus, who knows the landscape better than you and I combined obviously because he’s in it every single day, and talking to those people who would be making that phone call every single day, … is it just obvious he said to T.O., ‘Listen Terrell, it’s over’” (“Mike and Mike in the Morning,” ESPN Radio, 6/5)....The WALL STREET JOURNAL’s Futterman & Perrotta wrote the separation between tennis player ROGER FEDERER and his former agent TONY GODSICK, who left IMG Worldwide last week, “could be short lived.” After his third-round victory at the French Open Friday, Federer said, “I’ll have to see what happens, but never say never. Who knows what happens the next few weeks, months, and years.” Godsick said, “I’m going to look at my options and I hope to have an opportunity to talk to (Federer) and continue to work with him in the future” (WSJ.com, 6/1).

    AWARDS & HONORS: Rogers Sportsnet “Soccer Central” host GERRY DOBSON was recognized with the ’12 Brian Budd Award of Distinction by the Soccer HOF on Saturday (Sportsnet)….To honor the 35th anniversary of the Trail Blazers’ only NBA Championship, The Oregon Historical Society today is hosting “An Evening with The Schonz” during which NBA HOFer and Blazers broadcaster BILL SCHONELY “will share memories from the team’s title run” (OREGONLIVE.com, 6/4)....A group of 1,200 students countywide “who had perfect or near-perfect school attendance got to hang out at Angel Stadium, meet the Angels, watch batting practice" and the game against the Mariners (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 6/4).

    McCartney confirms he will be
    closing act at London Games
    NAMES: Rock & Roll HOFer PAUL MCCARTNEY has confirmed that he will “be the closing act” at the London Games’ Opening Ceremony. McCartney yesterday said, “I’ve been booked” (AP, 6/4)....Former boxer MUHAMMAD ALI watched Saturday’s Louisville-Arizona NCAA baseball tournament regional game in Tuscon “from behind the Louisville dugout with his wife and one other friend” (ARIZONA DAILY STAR, 6/3)….Heat F MIKE MILLER is auctioning his 9,000-square-foot, waterfront estate in Pompano Beach, Fla., “to the highest bidder on June 30.” The estate “last sold" for $5.4M in September '11 (BIZJOURNALS.com, 6/1)….Blue Jays 3B BRETT LAWRIE after Saturday afternoon’s game against the Red Sox tweeted to his more than 125,000 followers, “Pretty sure someone just let off a round bullets in eaton center mall.” Lawrie was credited on Twitter and by media “as one of the first people to break the news” (TORONTO STAR, 6/2)....Saints President DENNIS LAUSCHA will “teach a course on the business of professional football” at Loyola Univ.’s inaugural Alumni College, which will be held June 22-24. Lauscha is an alumnus of Loyola’s College of Business, where he received his MBA in ’93 (AP, 6/4)....D’Backs President & CEO DERRICK HALL took park in a ribbon cutting ceremony to unveil the D’Backs Pediatric Dental Suite at A.T. Still Univ.’s Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health (D’Backs).

    IN MEMORY: Former Warriors Owner JIM FITZGERALD died yesterday at the age of 86. Fitzgerald was part of a group that bought the Warriors from FRANKLIN MIEULI  in ’86 and was the majority owner until selling the team to CHRIS COHAN in ’95 (S.F. CHRONICLE, 6/5).

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