SBD/October 25, 2012/People and Pop Culture

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  • Last Week – Vote Now: The 2012 SBJ/SBD Reader Survey

    It’s time to make your opinion known as the 8th annual SportsBusiness Journal/SportsBusiness Daily Reader Survey is underway. The survey features more than 100 questions across leagues, teams, facilities, sponsorship, media, and more.

    * Who is the most influential sports executive?
    * Which teams are the most innovative?
    * Which teams would you want to work for?

    Those are some of the questions you'll find in this year’s survey. Cast your votes and then see highlights of the results the week of Nov. 26. We want to hear from you.

    Vote now!

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  • Armstrong's Downfall May Make Story More Appealing For Hollywood Adaptation

    Armstrong might be asked to repay up to $16M in victory earnings

    Following the recent USADA report on cyclist LANCE ARMSTRONG and the stripping of his seven Tour de France titles, the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER's Kit & Siegel ask, "Will Hollywood race to adapt the cyclist's antiheroic story?" Two "once-promising Armstrong dramas quietly have been dropped" including Sony's hopes for "a project based on Armstrong's 2001 best-selling memoir 'It's Not About the Bike.'" A source said that the studio "let go of the property more than a year ago," though movie producer FRANK MARSHALL is "developing it on his own." A project from producer ED PRESSMAN "had Armstrong's backing until he threw in with Marshall." With a script by "Olympic documentarian BUD GREENSPAN, who died in 2010, it's considered inactive." Several agents said that Armstrong is now "a much more compelling figure to Hollywood." One agent said, "He has become a polarizing figure." To that end, "Paradigm is shopping screen rights to cyclist TYLER HAMILTON's tell-all, 'The Secret Race: Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France: Doping, Cover-ups, and Winning at All Costs.'" Sources said that the book "was taken to studios by various producers." The studios "passed, but as the Armstrong story unfolds and sponsors like Nike drop him, interest has picked up." One sports films producer said, "It's too tragic right now. You would need some sort of redemption at the end" (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 11/2 issue).

    PAYBACK: BLOOMBERG NEWS' Levinson, Williams & Duff noted Armstrong "may lose as much as $200 million in future earning potential, more than the wealth he accumulated in a championship cycling career now gutted by revelations of doping." Armstrong now "faces demands that he repay up to $16 million in purses and bonuses from those victories." He has a net worth "estimated by Forbes at $125 million" (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 10/24). In N.Y., O'Keeffe & Thompson cite a source as saying that Dallas-based insurance company SCA Promotions "will send a formal request" to Armstrong and his reps, perhaps as early as today, "demanding repayment of bonuses the company insured for the disgraced cyclist for his Tour de France wins in 2002, 2003 and 2004, as well as legal fees and interest." The source said, "It could be $12 million, probably more" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/24). DAILY VARIETY'S A.J. Marechal noted Discovery Communications "made a point of distancing itself from its past association with Lance Armstrong on Wednesday as the cyclist grapples with the expanding scandal over doping allegations." Discovery in '04 "became the title sponsor of Armstrong's team," but since '07 "has had no formal ties to Armstrong" (VARIETY.com, 10/24).

    THE FUTURE OF LIVESTRONG: Deutsch Inc. Chair DONNY DEUTSCH said Livestrong can survive Armstrong's scandal, albeit “barely.” Deutsch: “Some celebrity should step up and say, ‘I'm going to take that mantle (from Armstrong).’ To me, if there's a great athlete out there who cares about this cause, which we all do, step up and say, ‘You know what? This is bigger than any one person,’ which, of course, it is and fill that mantle.” NBC’s Willie Geist said “it’s not fair but it's reality” that Livestrong is “going to be held responsible for the actions of Lance Armstrong." Geist: "There are a lot of good people working there, have raised a ton of money. But they'll be held responsible for what Lance Armstrong did. You hope some people can overlook it but if you're giving money and you have a choice between that organization, one of the many others, you probably go the other way.” TV personality STAR JONES said, “I raise money for charity for cancer organizations and I think it probably needs to move to the real people every day who are living with cancer. Because the Livestrong Foundation really doesn't raise money for research, it raises money for the survivors and if that becomes the face of the foundation, then I do think it can survive” (“Today,” NBC, 10/25).

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  • Bonner Paddock Sets World Record; Completes Ironman World Champs With Cerebral Palsy

    Paddock crossed the finish line in 16 hours, 38 minutes and 35 seconds

    BONNER PADDOCK once again is making the most of an NHL lockout. During the '04-05 lockout, Paddock, while employed by the Ducks, was urged by Owners HENRY and SUSAN SAMUELI to explore more about his cerebral palsy. Paddock became involved in United Cerebral Palsy of Orange County and decided to become the first person with CP to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. This time around, Paddock wanted to be the first person with CP to complete the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii. He finished the 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and 26.2-mile run with a most unusual yet inspiring dance as he crossed the finish line. Paddock, 37, now serves as Senior VP/Marketing & Partnership Activation for Young's Market Company. Below he discusses his heroic effort, which thus far has raised almost $1M.

    Q: First things first, what was your first meal after nearly 17 hours of exercise?
    Paddock: The first thing that actually went into my body was two IV bags because I was taken to the medical tent right after I crossed the finish line. I’m not sure where the dancing moves came from when I crossed the finish line because miles before the finish I wasn’t doing well at all. Then, I don’t know, when you get so close you muster it up and go. When I hugged my coach GREG WELCH, I just felt my legs and everything else just start going. They had to unfortunately help me to the medical tent and I was there for almost two hours afterward. So the first thing I got to eat per se was two beautifully-made IV bags for me (laughs). … But my first real meal was a cheeseburger. I was craving a cheeseburger and fries.

    Q: The Ironman has a strict time limit of 17 hours to complete the race and you came in 21 minutes before deadline. Did you have a plan for the race? How did it pan out?
    Paddock: It was close. I had done the half Ironman earlier and a bunch of other smaller races, sprints and Olympic distance triathlons so we really had a good gauge on what my paces are no matter what the weather is plus or minus wind. I sent race maps out to everybody that was coming out and I told them roughly what times to be at each of the areas, like 10- or 20-minute gaps. I hit every one of those almost dead on. It was great because I think in order for this crazy endeavor to actually work we had to have a perfect game plan, a perfect race. We knew we were going to be 11:30 to midnight. 11:30 was best-case scenario and midnight or somewhere after was going to be the worst-case scenario. I nailed the bike. I told people eight hours and I did it in eight hours, two seconds. I told them that I’d do the swim between 1:20 and 1:30; I did it just short of 1:25. We trained for almost two years for this thing and my coach is a legend and arguably the greatest male triathlete, one of the best male triathletes to walk this earth. We felt like we had a great game plan, but it had to be.

    Q: What was the hardest part of the race for you? Which leg (swim, bike, run)?
    Paddock: With my cerebral palsy, since it primarily affects the lower half of my body -- it’s spastic diplegia -- that means my legs and lower back are very tight. … The bike basically is the worst for me because it’s almost 99% lower body. I’m just stuck on that seat and just pedaling those little legs. The bike for sure is the hardest for me, then the run. The swim is by far the best and I actually really enjoy swimming.

    Q
    : You are sponsored by Oakley. Did you have any pre- or postrace obligations or appearances?
    Paddock: Oakley has just been a supporter of my endeavors. They always provide product. They outfitted our expedition team in 2008 when we climbed Kilimanjaro to break that world record for a person with cerebral palsy. It’s a company based in Orange County where I grew up and where I currently live. They’ve been a huge supporter of the foundation. They have always given me everything that I need in terms of eyewear and stuff like that. Greg Welch works for Oakley so my coach works there. My contact went over and talked to him to say, “Hey this guy is interested in doing an Ironman, do you mind chatting with him?” And that’s how the whole thing came together.

    Q: Can you describe the moment you crossed the line?
    Paddock: It was a whole lot of emotion going on there. Like my dance -- I don’t know what that was, really. It was arguably the worst dance I have ever seen in my entire life. I don’t even remember much of it. It was just sheer elation and emotion and happiness. I wish I could say I thought of everything, except that I just kept saying in my head “We did it, we did it, we did it. Hell yeah, we did it!”

    Q: What’s the blue cowboy hat worn by your supporters about?
    Paddock: I have to give credit to one of the guys that climbed Killi with me, his name is JAYSON DILWORTH. He said he was coming out to Hawaii to support me and asked if we get team shirts. Every team out here has team shirts. So he said, “We got to do something different then. We’re OM Foundation, we’re going after a world record here.” So I told him to shoot me some ideas. And he’s from Texas. One day a link comes over with these huge 20-, 25-gallon hats. Monstrous foam cowboy hats. We just put the Go Bonner on each side of it with the foundation website and logo on the front. Everybody loved those things. People were asking to donate $50 to the foundation if we gave them our hats. Other people said they would make a donation if you cheer for my brother that’s coming by here shortly. They ended up calling it the "Blue Hat Army" ‘cause the NBC camera crews said it was the largest contingent by far. I just bought them out of my own pocket. I just wanted to give a few nice gifts for the people, because I knew we had over a 100 people come out.

    Q: How is your body taking it? Any injuries during the race? After?
    Paddock: I did have a bunch of little knick-knack injuries along the way. I had the standard issues: I had wet feet. I put so much ice down my shirt and my pants to cool the core because I heat up so fast because my body is already tight and overworking. So we try to keep the body as cool as possible, the core and all of my hip flexors and quads that really heat up, and that’s when they start cramping and spasming with my CP. At every aid station we dumped a ton of ice water on me, so my feet were soaking wet for 17 hours through my shoes. The bottom of my feet look like a cheese grater were taken to them. But they are not pusing and bleeding now, which is good.

    Q
    : NBC Sports will broadcast the 2012 Ironman World Championships this Saturday at 4:00pm ET. Do you have plans for a watch party?
    Paddock: The NBC camera crews spent almost 30 minutes with me as I was riding on the bike and then three times when I was out doing the marathon course. You just keep your fingers crossed and hope you don’t end up on the cutting room floor. It would be great exposure for the foundation, that’s what I’m really hopeful for. I do these things to try to help raise the awareness and share the story. The watch party will be calmly at my house. It’s just going to be my closest friends that are in town. My contact from Oakley, he and his wife are going to come.

    Q: What’s your next adventure? You said before Mt. Everest wasn’t an option. Is that still the case?
    Paddock: I think that the body is pretty banged up and we’ve put the best duct tape job we’ve ever done on a body up basically to get it to the start line. I’m not getting any younger; I’m not a spring chicken. I do feel for at least a good long while -- I would never say never, but I pretty much am convinced that it’s going to be never -- that I just am good. Someone came up to me and said, “I wonder what the number of people that have climbed Kilimanjaro and done Ironman Kona? It’s probably the smallest number we could even remotely think of is how many people have even done both. And to throw it in just for you to be a show-off -- you have cerebral palsy. It’s incredible. I don’t know where you go from there.” And I said, "You know what? I don’t know if I go anywhere from there." I think I’m content with using my time for the foundation. Not for training for something like that but continuing to get the message out.

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  • Executive Transactions

    The Univ. of South Carolina named SEC Associate Commissioner CHARLES BLOOM Senior Associate AD/External Affairs. Bloom spent 17 years directing the SEC’s media and PR efforts (Univ. of South Carolina). In Birmingham, Jon Solomon noted Bloom had been the "main spokesperson from the league's Birmingham office." He aided with the "creation of the Bowl Championship Series under former SEC Commissioner ROY KRAMER and has been the chief administrator for baseball in the SEC office." Bloom will work "through the SEC Championship Game and likely start Dec. 10 at South Carolina" (AL.com, 10/24).

    EXECS: The 49ers named Facebook VP/Finance CIPORA HERMAN CFO. Current CFO LARRY MACNEIL will stay on as Exec VP/Development, “devoting all his time to the stadium project” in Santa Clara (FORTUNE.com, 10/23)….USA TODAY Sports Media Group named Pittsburgh Post-Gazette VP/Digital Strategy & Business Development PATRICK SCANLON GM of USA TODAY High School Sports (USA TODAY)….DePaul Univ. “announced a contract extension” for AD LENTI PONSETTO through the ’16-17 academic year (CHICAGOTRIBUNE.com, 10/23)….The California State Athletic Commission named Georgia Athletic & Entertainment Commission Exec Dir ANDY FOSTER to the same position. Foster “will oversee the daily aspects of combat sports in the state” beginning Nov. 7 (ESPN.com, 10/23).

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

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  • Names In The News

    The Dolphin Cycling Challenge charity event under the direction of CEO MICHAEL MANDICH, son of late NFLer JIM MANDICH, has raised $1.6M over the last two years, and has "more than 1,000 riders" set for its third ride Nov. 3-4. This year's event will take riders through Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, with all proceeds going to the Univ. of Miami's Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, "where Jim Mandich was treated" (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 10/25).

    FLIP THIS HOUSE: Yankees 3B ALEX RODRIGUEZ is "trying to sell his Miami Beach mansion" for $38M (DETROITNEWS.com, 10/24)....Former NBAer ALONZO MOURNING "sold his spectacular bayfront home" in Gables Estate, Fla., for $11.35M (MIAMI HERALD, 10/25)....Patriots WR WES WELKER "has put his Back Bay condo on the market." The three-bedroom, two-and-a-half bathroom penthouse is on the market for "something in the neighborhood" of $2.5M (BOSTON HERALD, 10/25).

    SPREADING THE WEALTH: Oilers Owner DARYL KATZ "gave Alberta's Progressive Conservatives nearly half a million dollars -- almost one-third of the party's total fundraising in a single donation" (GLOBE & MAIL, 10/25)....NFL Giants Chair & Exec VP STEVE TISCH and DAN KRAFT, son of Patriots Owner ROBERT KRAFT, "put rivalry aside" to dedicate the Steve Tisch Sports & Fitness Center at Tufts Univ., for which Tisch donated more than $13M (NYPOST.com, 10/25).

    NAMES: Former Sara Lee CFO DIANA FERGUSON said that she is "a candidate to manage daily operations for the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 10/25)....Former NHLer DEREK SANDERSON is touring to promote his new autobiography, “CROSSING THE LINE, THE OUTRAGEOUS STORY OF A HOCKEY ORIGINAL," co-authored with KEVIN SHEA. In Montreal, Dave Stubbs writes the book is a “compelling read, often riotous and frightening and sickening with the turn of a few pages” (Montreal GAZETTE, 10/25)….Yankees SS DEREK JETER on Monday was seen using crutches and “hobbled into Southern Hospitality in Hell’s Kitchen with six friends” (N.Y. POST, 10/25).

    IN MEMORY: Former Dallas Morning News columnist FRANK LUKSA died on Tuesday in Plano, Texas, at the age of 77 (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 10/24).

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