SBD/July 26, 2013/People and Pop Culture

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  • PGA Of America President Ted Bishop Transforming Position Into One Of Change

    Bishop and the R&A have been at odds over the anchoring ban

    PGA of America President TED BISHOP is profiled by GOLF WORLD's Ron Sirak, who notes since taking office last November, Bishop has "transformed what ... had traditionally been a ceremonial position into an activist role." Bishop has "locked horns with the USGA and the R&A" over the anchoring issue while at the "same time building a stronger bond with the PGA Tour." He is "battling for the livelihood of his members, which is tied to the growth of the game," and when he says he opposes the anchoring ban "because he fears it will impede that growth, it is clear he speaks with a genuine passion and real concern." R&A CEO PETER DAWSON is among a group that has accused Bishop of "grand-standing and self-promotion," but others see him as a "grass-roots common man ... fighting against the blue blazers of the USGA and blue bloods of the R&A on behalf of the working-stiff club pro and recreational golfer." Golfer CARL PETTERSSON said of Bishop, "He's a sensible guy who just wants to grow the game. I think the PGA of America is more involved in the game than the USGA and the R&A." Sirak notes what Bishop hopes to accomplish is for the PGA of America "to be included in all the decision-making process of the game, including the rules." PGA of America CEO PETE BEVACQUA said, "Ted can and should be labeled as an activist president. He has helped provide a voice to the PGA and has refused to allow the organization to be left on the sidelines or in the shadows when it comes to the critical dialogue surrounding the game" (GOLF WORLD, 7/29 issue).

    PIN PALS: The PGA of America is allowing fans to pick the hole location on the 15th green during the final round of the PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club next month, and Bevacqua said the "minute we started talking about it, we all looked at one another and just loved the idea." JACK NICKLAUS was asked to help develop the four possible pin locations, and Bevacqua said to "hear Jack's reaction and how excited he became about it, that just took it to a whole other level." Bevacqua: "That initial conversation we had with Jack, he was like, 'Well, why don’t we do it for all 18 holes,' and we said, 'Well, that's obviously a little bit farther than we want to go.'" Bevacqua said the idea has "been favorably received so we're excited about it" ("Morning Drive," Golf Channel, 7/26).

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  • Weekend Plans With WNBA Sun VP & GM Chris Sienko: All-Stars And Family

    Sienko likes to relax by spending time with his kids and working on the lawn

    The best of the best in the WNBA will descend upon Uncasville, Conn., this weekend for the league’s 11th annual All-Star Game, and as VP & GM of the Connecticut Sun, CHRIS SIENKO is ready to play host to one of his most exciting events of the summer. The game itself will be played Saturday at 3:30pm ET and broadcast on ABC, but there is plenty else to be done in and around Mohegan Sun Arena over the course of the next three days.

    STARTING OFF WITH A BANG
    : We actually have several things going on Thursday night, including fireworks here on the property to promote the All-Star Game and some of the players are on hand for that. Then on Friday we start off with a community relations appearance in New London. We worked with (hardwood floor company) Bona and the WNBA and the Connecticut Sun to refurbish a new gymnasium for an elementary school. Then the players come back and they have a series of meetings with (WNBA President) LAUREL RICHIE and autograph signings and then we have open practices for the public, which I find are always quite fun because we mic the coaches and (Fever coach) LIN DUNN always has something good to say.

    PARTY ROCK
    : We have a private function in the evening (at Mohegan) for all the players, their guests, sponsors and participants from the league and the property. … Seeing how we’ve hosted this multiple times in the past, we’re kind of doing a “MAD MEN” theme, ‘50s-ish, if you will. It doesn’t mean you have to dress like you’re from the ’50s, but just the way we serve it up with large cocktail glasses and the imagery on the walls.

    GAME DAY
    : We have Miss USA (ERIN BRADY) who is a Connecticut native, so she’ll be here. … We’ll do all of the blocking for the player introductions and make sure it’s good with ABC television as far as their needs are from a camera perspective and some sightlines perspective. Then the different dance teams that the teams have will come in and do their practicing, so it’s really not unlike any other game day that we have.

    FRONT-ROW SEAT
    : The game -- we’re really excited about it. I think it’s great it’s on national television because it’s always a great showcase for people to kind of see what the W is all about. I think there’s still a lot of people out there that don’t really know who and what we are or the skill level we have. I will actually sit in the stands and watch this game. This is kind of the exception to the regular season. I do not sit in the stands for any game nor have I in my WNBA career. I stand for every game in a certain place in the arena. That’s never changed in 11 years. But this is an event, it’s not really our game per se, so I will try and sit with my family and watch a little bit, but I’m sure I will be tracking things as we go. I’m always in constant contact with my people.

    DAY OF REST
    : On Sunday, I will have one of two choices: I can either go to the beach or I can cut my lawn. Cutting my lawn is very therapeutic for me, it’s very cathartic. I love it to death. I’m very anal about my lawn. I like the streaks, I like the edging; I like to make sure everything looks good. But there’s nothing better than sitting on the beach doing nothing, especially after a weekend like this. So if it doesn’t rain, I’m leaning toward the beach. We have a home on the Rhode Island shoreline. It’s about a two-minute walk from the beach. My kids -- CHRISTOPHER (10) and EMILIE (13) -- will body surf or boogie board or skim board and just ride the waves and chill out. There’s a lot of restaurants out there, but there’s a little place called the Hitchin' Post. It holds maybe 20 people to sit in, but they sell clam fritters and hot dogs and cheeseburgers, so the kids and I and my wife love to go there and hang out.

    FAMILY FIRST
    : I’m an early riser. That’s what happens with kids. I never use an alarm clock, it’s an automatic wakeup. So if I can sleep in, sleeping in would be until literally like 7:00 or 7:30. I love reading the paper, there’s something about holding a paper and reading it that’s really nice. When I travel on the road I’ll try and grab the USA Today, but I’ll always go back to the local paper, even read it online. So I’ll always try to do that, and if we can get out and walk the dog that’s always a plus, too. We have a black lab named Bella. But we’re usually playing something with the kids. I feel sometimes that my work is so much, you want to be able to be involved with your kids as much as possible, so a guilty pleasure for me is really to spend as much time as I can with them. We goof around a lot. Whatever it is they want to do I’m up for it because they’re the best things going.

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  • Executive Transactions

    Time Warner Cable Chair & CEO GLENN BRITT will "retire at the end of the year, capping several years of succession discussions and months of talk about a departure." Britt will be succeeded by TWC President & COO ROBERT MARCUS, who "represents a generational change for both the company and the industry." Marcus has been "in line for the top job since" '10, when he took his current role. He said that his "priorities would include residential subscriptions, the corporate culture and overall customer service." Marcus: "We've got to develop a level of emotional connection with our customers" (N.Y. TIMES, 7/26).

    ADDITIONS AT UCF: UCF DeVos Sport Business Management Program named Paragon Marketing Group co-Founder TONY SCHILLER as the DeVos Program's National Policy Advisory Board Chair, while former Black Coaches and Administrators Exec Dir FLOYD KEITH has been named Senior Associate Advisor to the DeVos Program. In addition, ESPN will have an ESPN Executive-In-Residence Program where a senior ESPN exec will spend up to one month each year in residence with UCF (THE DAILY).

    EXECS: Maple Leafs GM DAVE NONIS on Thursday signed "a five-year contract extension" (TORONTO STAR, 7/26)....Altamont Capital Partners named DaKine Chair & CEO LESLIE LANE to the same position. He previously spent several years as a senior exec with Nike (TRANSWORLDBUSINESS.com, 7/25)....Buffalo-based HARBORcenter named Sabres scout NIK FATTEY VP & Dir of Hockey (WIVB.com, 7/25).

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

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  • Names In The News

    Karmanos in addition to the Hurricanes owns teams in the ECHL and OHL

    Hurricanes Owner PETER KARMANOS on Thursday was elected to the U.S. Hockey HOF along with former NHLers DOUG WEIGHT and BILL GUERIN, former Michigan State Univ. men's hockey coach RON MASON and CINDY CURLEY, who has "been called one of the pioneers of women's hockey." Karmanos' contributions to hockey "are considerable." He has "funded youth hockey programs in the Detroit area for decades." He also owns the OHL Plymouth Whalers and ECHL Florida Everblades (Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER, 7/26).

    HEIR APPARENT? In London, Kevin Eason suggested possible successors to F1 CEO BERNIE ECCLESTONE, and notes CLO SACHA WOODWARD-HILL is "rarely seen and relatively unknown," but she is Ecclestone’s "right-hand woman." She is "one of very few people in the F1 organisation who has his complete trust." Ecclestone when asked who might succeed him said, "Why not a woman? I believe that women generally don’t have such big egos and they don’t need to go and play golf to close deals. They simply work harder to get the same recognition as men and, because their ego is less important" (LONDON TIMES, 7/25).

    ACTING OUT: The Oprah Winfrey Network has "handed out a series order to 'IT'S PRIME TIME,' a docuseries starring" former Pro Football HOFer DEION SANDERS (HOLLYWOODREPORTER.com, 7/25)....Clippers F BLAKE GRIFFIN is "being courted for a role" in the indie film "FLOCK OF DUDES" (DEADLINE.com, 7/23)....Director TOMMY BROWN's latest project, "THE BOOTH," focuses on MLB announcers, including VIN SCULLY, DON SUTTON, BOB UECKER, CHIP CARAY, TOMMY HUTTON, RICH WALTZ, DUANE KUIPER, MARTY BRENNAMAN, DAVE O'BRIEN, ED FARMER, JON MILLER and DAVE FLEMING (PALM BEACH POST, 7/24).

    NAMES: 49ers DB TARELL BROWN “decided to part ways” with agent BRIAN OVERSTREET (FOXSPORTS.com, 7/25)….TNT NBA analyst SHAQUILLE O’NEAL’s home on the westside of L.A. has “come on the market” for $9.5M (LATIMES.com, 7/25)….Cubs President of Baseball Operations THEO EPSTEIN is “selling his six-bedroom, five-bath” home in Chestnut Hill, Mass., for “something in the neighborhood” of $3.6M. Epstein paid $2.35M for the home in ’07 (BOSTONHERALD.com, 7/25).

    IN MEMORY: Former World Equestrian Games CEO and Goodwill Games President JACK KELLY died Wednesday after a two-year battle with bladder cancer. He was 68 (KENTUCKY.com, 7/25). Kelly also was the exec dir of the ’86 Olympic Festival in Houston and a “consultant to Houston’s bids to host the 2012 and 2016 Olympics.” Former Houston 2012 Foundation Chair GEORGE DEMONTROND said, “Houston lost a great supporter in Jack” (CHRON.com, 7/25).

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