Sunoco Debuts "Essence Of Racing" Campaign Executive Transactions Isiah Thomas Expected Backlash Over Hiring FanDuel Brings On Most Of Zynga Sports Team Georgia Approves Increased Athletic Budget Kentucky Adding Ribbon Boards At Rupp IndyCar Ponders How To Attract Fans Long Term Jeff Gordon Hired As Full-Time Analyst For Fox Danica's Sponsorship Status To Be Telling For NASCAR Classified Advertisements
SBD/April 11, 2013/People and Pop CulturePrint All
MSG Exec VP/Revenue Performance GREG ECONOMOU will be leaving the company at the end of this week. Economou joined the company in '11, but in an email, told colleagues it is the "right time to transition and the process has been as mutual and fair as possible." He added, "The Garden is an incredible place and I am most appreciative, thankful, and proud that I was able to contribute to the incredible success of the company over the past three years.” There were no details as to his next endeavor (THE DAILY).MOVING AROUND 30 ROCK: NBC Sports Group VP/Communications ADAM FREIFELD will be taking a new position in June as NBCUniversal VP/Internal Communications. Freifeld joined NBC in '06 as a PR consultant for the newly-established NBCSports.com and was hired full-time as Dir of Communications in September '07. Freifeld told THE DAILY, "While I have thoroughly enjoyed my 26-year run in the sports industry, including the last seven at NBC Sports, where I worked with the most talented people on the biggest events in sports media, I am excited about this new chapter in my career. Though I will miss my daily interaction with the sports-media press … mostly” (THE DAILY).
RACING TO DIVERSITY: ISC named SONIA MARIA GREEN and LARRY WOODARD to its BOD (ISC). Company execs have “made no secret of their desire to diversify NASCAR’s fan base by attracting younger fans and minorities, in part through increased use of social media marketing efforts.” The addition of Green and Woodard “could help the company in accomplishing those goals.” ISC BOD member HYATT BROWN, who chaired the committee that nominated Green and Woodard, said that he believes the pair “are the first Hispanic and African-American to be named to the board.” Brown said that “both were chosen, not because of their ethnicity but rather for their strong business backgrounds and expertise in advertising and marketing” (Daytona Beach NEWS-JOURNAL, 4/11).
BAY MAN: Tampa Bay Sports & Entertainment, parent company for the Lightning, AFL Storm and Tampa Bay Times Forum, named JIM SHIMBERG Exec VP & General Counsel, beginning May 1 (TBS&E). He will “oversee all legal matters for the organization” as well as Owner JEFFREY VINIK’s “outside real estate interests.” Shimberg “brings a close working relationship with city officials” (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 4/11).
EXECS: SiriusXM named Liberty Media CEO GREG MAFFEI Chair. The company also named Discovery Communications CEO DAVID ZASLAV and Liberty Media BOD member EVAN MALONE to its BOD (N.Y. POST, 4/11)….Sony Computer Entertainment America named former ESPN Associate Marketing Manager for Digital Media ANDREW WAMUGI Account Manager for Strategic Business Development within the Video Services Group (THE DAILY).
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LPGA Commissioner MIKE WHAN is “grounded back home near Orlando, Fla., with back and leg pain.” Whan’s “main issue: sitting still for long periods.” He has “dealt with this since last October and tried physical therapy, adjustments and epidural shots to relieve inflammation.” Whan is “hoping he finds a surgical answer and gets back on the road soon” (GOLFWEEK, 4/12 issue).
DUTCHMAN STILL FLYING: D’Backs Owner KEN KENDRICK said that his 1909 HONUS WAGNER baseball card “hasn’t lost its multimillion-dollar value," despite one of the card’s former owners admitting in federal court Tuesday that he "made cuts to the border of the card decades ago.” Kendrick, who bought the card in '07 for $2.8M, said that he “doesn’t believe its value will diminish” (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 4/11).
GOT REP? Excel Sports Management has signed Lehigh Univ. G and projected first-round NBA Draft pick C.J. MCCOLLUM for representation. Excel agent SAM GOLDFEDER will rep McCollum. Excel also signed Bucknell Univ. C MIKE MUSCALA, who will be repped by SEAN KENNEDY (Liz Mullen, Staff Writer).
CHARITY STRIPE: Former NFLer DOUG WILLIAMS and Pro Football HOFer ROGER STAUBACH yesterday participated in a charity flag football game at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis to benefit the Heart Health Foundation (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 4/10)….Former NFLer DOUG FLUTIE helped the Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation donate more than $1M in grants to 69 local nonprofits (BOSTON HERALD, 4/11)….Several Browns players on Tuesday visited the Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital for Rehabilitation Center (CLEVELAND.com, 4/10).
REAL ESTATE: Pistons Owner TOM GORES and his wife, HOLLY, have “sold their house in gated Mulholland Estates” in L.A. for $10M. The couple paid $4.6M for the property in ’99 (LATIMES.com, 4/10)….Dodgers P ZACH GREINKE “has bought a gated home in Studio City” for $4.6M. The compound, “built last year, features an art studio, a bar, a gym, a library/study, a media room, seven bedrooms, nine full bathrooms and two powder rooms.” The grounds include a “nine-car motor court, a swimming pool and a waterfall with a walking bridge” (LATIMES.com, 4/10)….LANCE ARMSTRONG “has sold his estate in Central Austin, but he still plans to call the city his home.” Local real estate agents said that the house "was listed" for $10M last year (STATESMAN.com, 4/10)….Yankees 3B ALEX RODRIGUEZ “has been living in a luxury rental apartment on the Upper West Side” of Manhattan while rehabbing his injured hip (N.Y. POST, 4/11).
NAMES: Monumental Sports & Entertainment Founder, Chair & CEO TED LEONSIS was a guest host on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” throughout this morning’s broadcast. CNBC’s Joe Kernen noted how when Leonsis was AOL president and how they “traded that currency for a company the size of Time Warner.” Kernen said AOL is a $3B company and “you traded it for” for more than market value. He added, “You were able to buy a sports empire with it” (“Squawk Box,” CNBC, 4/11)....Bulls C JOAKIM NOAH will be a producer on a documentary about "former basketball phenom” LENNY COOKE (HOLLYWOODREPORTER.com, 4/10)….Sacred Heart AD BOBBY VALENTINE “just inked a deal with Simon & Schuster to publish his baseball memoirs in a tome entitled ‘Valentine’s Way.’” Valentine is writing the book with sports journalist BRAD LEFTON (BOSTON HERALD, 4/11)….Town & Country magazine ranked Cowboys Owner JERRY JONES and his family No. 7 on its T&C 50 power list. The magazine “cited the fortune raised for the Salvation Army by the Dallas Cowboys’ Thanksgiving half-time shows as well as large Jones donations to the Perot Museum of Nature and Science and the Library of Congress" (DALLASNEWS.com, 4/10)….Thunder F KEVIN DURANT and C NICK COLLISON yesterday “took advantage of the Thunder’s day off in the Bay Area to visit AT&T Park.” Durant “spent some time in the dugout” talking with Giants 1B BRANDON BELT (S.F. CHRONICLE, 4/11)….WWE HOFer SHAWN MICHAELS will drive the pace car at Saturday night’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series NRA 500 at Texas Motor Speedway (ESPNDALLAS.com, 4/10).
IN MEMORY: Former AP New England Sports Editor DAVE O’HARA died from cancer at his home in Winter Haven, Fla., yesterday at the age of 86. O’Hara started with the AP in Boston in July ’65 and “held that position until his retirement” in August ‘92 (AP, 4/10).