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SBD/December 3, 2012/People and Pop CulturePrint All
Former NBA Media & Marketing Group President DAVID SCHREFF has accepted a job as COO of the Americas for Sportech, which supplies pari-mutuel wagering technology to racetracks, off-track venues and casinos. Schreff will be based at Sportech’s North American HQs in New Haven, Conn., and has responsibility for Latin America and the U.S., where Sportech has around 700 employees. Schreff has worked in sports, entertainment and media for more than 30 years, including positions with Disney, Marvel, and Showtime. He worked at the NBA from '90-96 and was Chair of USA Volleyball from '08-11. Schreff’s sports marketing background makes him an intriguing hire, with cash-strapped states like New Jersey seeking to grab a piece of the estimated $350B illegal gambling business in America. Could the hiring of someone like Schreff mean that the market is opening up to regulation and legitimacy, as it has in the U.K., where Sportech is headquartered? “I have no crystal ball on that," said Schreff, “but when and if that happens, we are well positioned for what appears to be a big opportunity” (Terry Lefton, THE DAILY)
EXECS: U.S. Ski & Snowboard Association President & CEO BILL MAROLT “will depart the position in spring 2014.” The 69-year-old Marolt called his decision "part of a long planned succession.” Marolt joined the USSA in ’96 after serving as Univ. of Colorado AD (SKIRACING.com, 11/26)….The Eagles appointed former Philadelphia Inquirer Managing Editor ANNE GORDON to the newly-created position of Senior VP/Media & Communications, beginning Jan. 2 (Eagles)….The Triple-A Int’l League Charlotte Knights promoted VP & GM DAN RAJKOWSKI to VP & COO. In his new role, Rajkowski will focus his efforts on the under-construction BB&T Ballpark in downtown Charlotte. The club also named Single-A Carolina League Myrtle Beach Pelicans GM SCOTT BROWN GM of Baseball Operations (Knights)….Turfway Park promoted Operations Manager DANIEL BACH to GM (COURIER-JOURNAL.com, 11/30)….Intrust Bank Arena named Guest Services Coordinator JESSICA ELMQUIST Event Coordinator (Intrust Bank Arena)….Northern Arizona Univ. named George Washington Univ. Assistant Dir for Athletics Development TANYA VOGEL Senior Associate AD (NAU).
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In N.Y., Eder, Sandomir & Cowan note 1-800-Flowers.com Founder & Chair JAMES MCCANN "became a minority owner of the Mets" in March, shortly after his company was one of a few retailers named in a federal lawsuit as "having participated in a cynical and longstanding scheme to cheat customers out of millions of dollars." It is unclear if Mets Chair & CEO FRED WILPON and President SAUL KATZ "knew that McCann's company had been accused of defrauding customers" (N.Y. TIMES, 12/3).
CHARITY STRIPE: PGA Tour program Birdies For the Brave this weekend "raised almost $3 million" for military charities endorsed by the U.S. Dept. of Defense (JACKSONVILLE.com, 11/30)....Red Wings coach MIKE BABCOCK, GM KEN HOLLAND and radio play-by-play announcer KEN KAL last Thursday represented the team at its annual holiday visit to DMC Children's Hospital (DETROIT NEWS, 11/30)....Nationals manager DAVEY JOHNSON and wife SUSAN this weekend hosted the first annual Davey Johnson Celebrity Invitational benefiting Lighthouse Central Florida, at Rosen Shingle Creek and Shingle Creek Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. Lighthouse is a "private, non-profit organization involved with people living with blindness or a loss of vision" (MLB.com, 12/1).
UP FOR AUCTION: SCP Auctions yesterday said that Baseball HOFer OZZIE SMITH "sold his 13 consecutive Gold Glove Awards from 1980-92 for $519,203." His '11 Cardinals World Series Ring "sold for $51,364 and his 2006 ring went for $42,448." Both were "gifts from the team." In addition, two pairs of MUHAMMAD ALI boxing gloves "used during fights each sold for $385,848." A BABE RUTH team sweater from around '22 "sold for $250,642, OSCAR ROBERTSON's NBA MVP Award from 1963-64 for $177,632 and a Robertson 1960 U.S. Olympic team jersey for $121,324." PAUL HORNUNG's '56 Heisman Trophy "sold for $173,102." A LOU GEHRIG game-used bat from '38 or '39 "sold for $75,205 -- the same price as a '66 Green Bay Super Bowl ring presented to STEVE WRIGHT" (AP, 12/2).
TRANSACTION LOG: Patriots coach BILL BELICHICK "contributed an undisclosed amount of money" to Case Western Reserve Univ.'s planned $8M Wyant Field House in honor of his father, STEVE. The building will feature the "Steve Belichick Varsity Weight Room" (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 12/3)....Fox NFL analyst MICHAEL STRAHAN has sold his townhouse in Hermosa Beach, Calif., for $1.725M. He had listed the home in August at $1.849M (L.A. TIMES, 12/2)....Former NBAer ALLEN IVERSON's $4.5M mansion in Atlanta, Ga., will "go up for auction this month after bank bosses foreclosed on the property" (WENN.com, 12/1)....Clarity Media Group, owned by AEG Chair PHIL ANSCHUTZ, purchased The Colorado Springs Gazette from Freedom Communications (AP, 11/30)
NAMES: Burton Snowboards President DONNA CARPENTER wrote the N.Y. Times' "The Boss" feature. Carpenter wrote, "We've always felt that our success has never been about us; it's about the snowboarding world. We believed we were pioneering something that others loved as much as we did" (N.Y. TIMES, 12/2)....N.C. State Univ. AD DEBBIE YOW made The Legacy Agency's JORDAN BAZANT "one of her first calls after firing" football coach TOM O'BRIEN to "check on" former Northern Illinois Univ. coach DAVE DOEREN, who was eventually hired to replace O'Brien. Bazant also reps NCSU men's basketball coach MARK GOTTFRIED (Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER, 12/3)....Yankees 3B ALEX RODRIGUEZ will “host one of Art Basel Miami’s hottest parties,” showing art from his personal collection including pieces by artists JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT, ANDY WARHOL, NATE LOWMAN and GEORGE CONDO (N.Y. POST, 12/2)….Yankees SS DEREK JETER was “seen tasting chef JOSE ANDRES’ dishes at The Bazaar in South Beach” (N.Y. POST, 12/3)….Yankees GM BRIAN CASHMAN’s challenge last year to former Red Sox manager BOBBY VALENTINE was “answered Friday morning with some whoops from the Stamford baseball great after he stepped over the edge of the 22-story Landmark Square building and dangled more than 200 feet high in the chilled air” as part of the Downtown Special Services District's Heights & Lights celebration (STAMFORD ADVOCATE, 12/1)….Magic team photographer FERNANDO MEDINA was recognized by SI in its “100 Greatest Sports Photos Of All Time” for his photo of the last shot of MICHAEL JORDAN’s Bulls’ career (Magic)….Twins C JOE MAUER and high school classmate MADDIE BISANZ were married Saturday in St. Paul (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 12/2)….Gold medal-winning U.S. gymnast ALY RAISMAN hosted an event for Pandora at the Burlington (Mass.) Mall on Saturday (BOSTON GLOBE, 12/3)….EPL club Arsenal Chair PETER HILL-WOOD is “recovering well in hospital” after a heart attack on Friday (London INDEPENDENT, 12/3).