SBD/October 8, 2012/People and Pop Culture

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  • Cowboys' Jerry Jones Showing No Signs Of Slowing Down, But Succession Plans In Place

    Jones turned 70 on Saturday and hopes to keep Cowboys' ownership within his family

    Cowboys Owner JERRY JONES was profiled by Brad Townsend of the DALLAS MORNING NEWS, who noted that after turning 70 on Saturday, Jones has owned the team for "23 years, seven months and counting." Jones said, "The idea of putting together and handling the nuances of a team that can win a Super Bowl is the most challenging thing I’ve ever done in my life. It’s the hardest thing to get and keep your hands around." Jones: "It’s like holding Jell-O. About the time you think you’re holding on to it, it starts coming out someplace else." Jones' wife, GENE, said, "I don't see him slowing down in any aspect of his life. Children, grandchildren, Cowboys, he wants the best for all of them. His passion and desire for all of us to share that championship experience never wavers. I see it every morning when he walks out the door."

    ALL IN THE FAMILY: Townsend noted speculation has been that Jones' son STEPHEN, who serves as Cowboys COO & Dir of Player Personnel, "would eventually assume" his father's role. Jerry Jones said that was "partly true," pointing out that "Stephen already oversees the scouting and player personnel departments, Cowboys Stadium management operations and attends NFL owners meetings." Jones said, "I do want to emphasize that, at this particular time, it would be madness not to think about succession. ... I’m very confident that if I got hit by a truck tomorrow, we’ve got a great succession plan. Everybody here understands football, loves it, is not really interested in anything else in sports and has tunnel vision relative to football." Townsend wrote that in reality, Jerry Jones sees a "continuation of Team Jones management already in place." His daughter, CHARLOTTE ANDERSON, also serves as Cowboys Exec VP, VP/Brand Management & President of Charity Foundation. In the early '90s, Jones "transferred minority limited partnership interests to Stephen, Charlotte and JERRY JR., giving them what he calls 'serious skin in the game.'" Jerry Jones: "I was fortunate to have put things like that in place long before the Cowboys were worth what they are now." Townsend wrote seldom if ever speculated "is the scenario of Gene stepping forward as principal owner." Jones said, "There’s no question that on an ongoing basis she would be involved." Jones also "foresees some or all of his grandchildren joining the franchise, if they choose so." Jones: "The way we're structured here, I don't see this team owned by anyone other than my immediate family."

    JERRY WORLD: Jones "gambled" in expanding Cowboys Stadium's "scope and opulence, which spiked construction costs to $1.2 billion and the Cowboys' share to $850 million." The team's 27-25 record since the new venue opened "has fed a perception that Jones overleveraged, causing the franchise to cut corners until the debt is paid." Today, Jones says only a "fractional" amount of debt remains, adding, "but that amount has been cash-reserved for." Jones said that the stadium's greatest accomplishment "is that it already operates profitably." Townsend asked the question, "Why would Jones settle for a perhaps-lesser naming rights deal now, when Cowboys Stadium is practically paid for and its mere name further brands the franchise every time a non-NFL sporting event or concert is held there?" Jones: "At this juncture, it’s going to have to fit just perfectly for what we want to do at the stadium" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 10/7).

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  • Team Owners In The News: Orioles' Angelos Not In Attendance For AL Wild Card

    Orioles Owner PETER ANGELOS "did not make the trip to Arlington, Texas," for Friday night's Orioles-Rangers AL Wild Card. Towson, Md.-based Café Troia Owner CAROL TROIA said that Angelos "instead watched it" from her restaurant. Angelos "appeared to be happy following the win and was congratulated by those around him." Troia said, "He's not overly ecstatic. But he was happy. And then he went home" (Baltimore SUN, 10/7).

    JUST WIN, BABY: Today marks one year since the death of late Raiders Owner AL DAVIS, and in Oakland, Jerry McDonald writes, "Some of those closest to Davis are still coming to grips with his loss." Being a friend of Davis "could be intense and exhausting, while at the same time rewarding in terms of depth and loyalty." Raiders CEO AMY TRASK said, "Not a day goes by that I don't think of him. I miss our interaction -- the wonderful interaction and even the screaming-and-yelling-at-one-another interaction" (OAKLAND TRIBUNE, 10/8).

    FAMILY MATTERS: Magic Exec Vice Chair CHERI DEVOS VANDERWEIDE, the daughter of team Owner RICH DEVOS, "has filed for divorce from BOB VANDERWEIDE -- who left his post as the team's CEO last December." Magic Chair DAN DEVOS, Cheri's brother, said, "Bob is not considered a part of the family any longer" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 10/6).

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  • Executive Transactions

    Univision named NBCUniversal Exec VP/Cable Entertainment Ad Sales STEVE MANDALA Exec VP/Ad Sales. Mandala will oversee the net’s Client Development Group along with sports sales and direct response advertising. Meanwhile, Univision Client Development Group Exec VP LISA MCCARTHY has left to form her own consulting business, and former Exec VP/Brand Solutions GRACIELA ELETA will transition to provide consulting to Univision (Univision).

    MICHIGAN MAN: Palace Sports & Entertainment, owner of the Pistons and Palace of Auburn Hills, named CHRIS QUINN VP/Business Development & Premium Seating, reporting to President & CEO DENNIS MANNION. Quinn will be responsible for growing the Pistons’ season-ticket base and marketing sponsorships, as well as selling suites. In addition, Quinn will also play a key role in the team’s $15M project to develop a new upper suite level club at the 24-year-old arena. Quinn most recently worked as a consultant for Legends Premium Sales at the Rose Bowl and Churchill Downs. He also has extensive experience in the horse racing industry. Quinn spent seven years at Santa Anita Park, where he was VP/Sales & Marketing, and he also worked at Hollywood Park (Don Muret, SportsBusiness Journal).

    EXECS: The NLL Edmonton Rush named former CFL Edmonton Eskimos VP/Communications & Broadcast DAVE JAMIESON President (EDMONTON JOURNAL, 10/6).

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

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  • Names in the News

    Summitt issues statement saying Univ. of Tennessee AD did not force her to retire

    Univ. of Tennessee women's basketball head coach emeritus PAT SUMMITT on Friday in a statement said that she “decided on her own not to continue coaching the Lady Vols and never felt” Tennessee AD DAVE HART “forced her out.” Summitt’s statement came "in response to the ‘misunderstandings’ created by her comments in a signed affidavit” that was released last Wednesday. The affidavit was “part of a lawsuit” filed by former Media Dir DEBBY JENNINGS against the university and Hart (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 10/6).

    SHOWING HEART: In Charlotte, Joseph Person wrote the son of Panthers TE GREG OLSEN -- “to be named T.J. -- will be born with a defective heart.” Owner JERRY RICHARDSON in late May “chartered a plane to take Olsen and his family to Boston” for experimental in-utero surgery and “asked if he could accompany them.” Olsen said of Richardson, “For him in our darkest moment of our life to go out of his busy schedule to not only set it up for us to fly up there is one thing. But to take two days to fly with us to Boston. To sit in those waiting rooms. To sit in those consultations. Sit with teams of doctors examining our son’s heart and be there through it all…” (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 10/7).

    DAVIS REMEMBERED: In Memphis, Marlon Morgan reports speakers “lined up to offer their reflections on the life” of late Grizzlies VP/Basketball Operations & Team Programs DANA DAVIS at his funeral yesterday at Mount Olive Cathedral CME Church. Morgan writes Davis was a “humanitarian who cared most about helping others.” Grizzlies Owner MICHAEL HEISLEY said, "In a very short period of time, I realized he was an extraordinary man. He was loyal. He was like one of my children. He had an extraordinary capacity for work” (Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 10/8).

    EASIER MONEY? In Pittsburgh, Prine & Rossi wrote under the header, "Athletes Seem To Have An Advantage When Competing For Tax Dollars." After “combing through thousands of pages of IRS and state agency filings from the charities of sports celebrities,” research showed “a dozen athletes who regularly took government money.” The athletes in many cases “hired lobbyists to help secure the money -- even when they had millions in private donations to spend.” The story included a “scorecard of some of the athletes” (PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 10/7).

    NAMES: Virgin Atlantic Founder RICHARD BRANSON yesterday attended his first NFL game -- Broncos-Patriots at Gillette Stadium -- as a guest of Patriots Owner ROBERT KRAFT. Branson said, "I love sports. But for some reason, I've never gotten to see American Rugby. This is quite the matchup, I hear. I'm completely and absolutely spoiled" (USATODAY.com, 10/7)....Former Ohio State Univ. football coach JIM TRESSEL “discussed the virtues of unselfishness” in the first episode of his show “A Moment with Jim Tressel” on WKYC-NBC in Cleveland (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 10/6)….Ravens C MATT BIRK “recorded a video message opposing the upcoming referendum on gay marriage in Maryland.” The video was posted Friday on YouTube and was available on the Maryland Catholic Conference channel (WASHINGTON POST, 10/5)….JACK DISNEY retired after “almost 60 years as a sports reporter and horse racing publicist” at Santa Anita racetrack (L.A. TIMES, 10/8)….N.C. State Univ. inducted the first 10-member class into the school’s athletic HOF (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 10/6).

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