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SBD/September 23, 2013/People and Pop CulturePrint All
Nike Brand President TREVOR EDWARDS spoke during the exec Q&A session of the company's shareholder meeting last Thursday, and it "provided a powerful hint at what Nike watchers have suspected for some time: Edwards is the leading contender to succeed" CEO MARK PARKER some day, according to Allan Brettman of the Portland OREGONIAN. Edwards began his new position on July 1 after previously serving as Nike VP/Global Brand & Category Management, but Thursday's meeting "might have been the day he really came into his own, at least in the eyes of analysts and others who watch Nike closely." Parker "would appear to be set" as CEO until at least '17, and Nike COO ERIC SPRUNK also has been "mentioned as a possible CEO candidate." Also speaking at the shareholder meeting were Nike co-Founder & Chair PHIL KNIGHT, VP & CFO DON BLAIR and VP/Sustainable Business & Innovation HANNAH JONES. Edwards for the past decade has "been at the forefront of Nike's foray into digital products, e-commerce and customer interaction," and that focus "came to the fore in one of the questions posed by Knight." Edwards said, "You know, one of the greatest things we're seeing today and I think one of the things all of us as consumers are experiencing is around digital technology. ... We're really expanding out the idea of brand not only being about great products but also being about great services in terms of how we connect with our consumers" (Portland OREGONIAN, 9/21). The OREGONIAN's Brettman reported Edwards "fielded the bulk of the questions" during the Q&A session. The format, with Knight "reading the questions, offered Edwards a platform to expound on one of his favorite subject's: digital technology and Nike" (Portland OREGONIAN, 9/21).
SLUGGISH SALES IN RUSSIA HURTING ADIDAS: The FINANCIAL TIMES reported one of adidas' distribution centers in Russia had a "hiccup" in sales, which is worrying for the company because its "strength in Russia gives it an advantage that helps to offset the global superiority" of Nike. Russia is adidas' third-biggest market after the U.S. and China. As adidas "moves away from its flagging Reebok brand, especially in the US, it is Nike, not Adidas, that is picking up the share." Nike's shares this year have "gained a third, more than twice as much as Adidas’s, with most of the gains coming this month" (FT.com, 9/20).
SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL’s Don Muret reports AECOM Principal & Project Manager DOUG BEICHLEY, “a veteran of 20 years in sports architecture,” was named Populous Principal, effective today (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 9/23 issue)....SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL’s Michael Smith reports IMG College named former 76ers Senior VP/Corporate Partnership & Broadcasting TOM WARD Regional VP/East (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 9/23 issue)....In this week’s SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, Terry Lefton reports ANC Sports Marketing President DAVE BIALEK is "leaving the firm after seven years to hang his own shingle as Skylark Marketing, which he described as a sports marketing and technology firm" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 9/23 issue).
EXECS: The Spurs named BRIAN PAUGA GM for the club’s NBA D-League Austin Toros affiliate. Pauga will keep his duties as Spurs Dir of Scouting (Spurs)....Florida Gulf Coast Univ. named UNLV Assistant Dir of Student-Athlete Academic Support JOHNNA STRENCHOCK Dir of the FGCU Student-Athlete Learning Center (FGCU).
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In Minneapolis, Mike Kaszuba analyzed the holdings of Vikings Owners MARK and ZYGI WILF, noting the family's businesses "are spread over 37 states." An accountant told a New Jersey court considering a civil suit against the Wilfs "of preparing roughly 700 separate tax returns." The legal trail "left behind by the Wilfs is relatively skimpy, but complicated." There are "a handful of other lawsuits, in New Jersey and elsewhere, that involve everything from federal allegations that the Wilfs' companies discriminated against blacks in renting apartments to charges by a landscaping contractor that Wilfs' companies were 'nickel and diming' him" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 9/21).
COLLEGE COSTS: Kent State AD JOEL NIELSEN received an 18% raise, which "makes him the highest paid athletic director" in the MAC. The school "raised Nielsen's base salary to $308,000 and doubled how much he can make in deferred compensation." His contract was extended two years to '17 and he "will be able to depend on steady raises for the next four years." His base salary "will rise $40,000 a year until it reaches $428,000" in '16-17. The school also will "continue to contribute $20,000 a year to a deferred compensation plan for Nielsen until June 2015 and will credit an added $100,000 to the plan as of March 2013." Nielsen will "continue to be eligible to receive 17 bonuses for meeting marks in athletics, academics and fundraising" (AKRON BEACON JOURNAL, 9/22)....The total package of contract payouts to former Cal football coach JEFF TEDFORD, who was fired last year, as well as "various incentives" paid to current coach SONNY DYKES, "will wind up costing the school's athletic program a whopping" $16.3M (S.F. CHRONICLE, 9/22).
PRICE OF ADMISSION: Texans RB ARIAN FOSTER in the documentary "SCHOOLED: THE PRICE OF COLLEGE SPORTS," disclosed that "he received money during his senior season" at the Univ. of Tennessee. Foster said, "I don't know if this will throw us into an NCAA investigation -- my senior year, I was getting money on the side. I really didn't have any money. I had to either pay the rent or buy some food. I remember the feeling of like, 'Man, be careful.' But there's nothing wrong with it. And you're not going to convince me that there is something wrong with it" (SI.com, 9/20).
NUMBER CRUNCHER: Pirates Dir of Baseball Systems Development DAN FOX has "arguably one of the most integral roles in the organization." He is "the computer whiz behind the curtain." His influence as an analyst "has reached a peak this season." The Pirates now have "five full-time staffers working under Fox dedicated to data architecture and quantitative analysis" (PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 9/22).
IT'S IN THE GAME: Electronic Arts has been approved for up to $5.9M in tax credits from the state of Florida "to offset the development costs of 'Madden 25.'" The company also will get up to $7.5M "for the latest editions of its college-football and pro-golf games." EA has received or been pledged $37M in Florida tax breaks the past three years (ORLANDOSENTINEL.com, 9/21).
A LOT IN COMMON: The WALL STREET JOURNAL’s John Paul Newport profiled the wives of PGA Tour players and wrote many of them “bond during outings sponsored by the PGA Tour Wives Association.” At 18-20 events each year, the wives “do things like help finish Habitat for Humanity homes and pack backpacks with food and supplies for poor children.” The Tour also provides “free day care, referred to as ‘school,’ with the same traveling teachers each week” (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 9/23).
NAMES: Nike co-Founder & Chair PHIL KNIGHT said that he will donate $500M to the Oregon Health & Science University’s Knight Cancer Institute if OHSU “can match it in the next two years” (OREGONLIVE.com, 9/21)….Former Orioles President of Baseball Operations ANDY MACPHAIL is “ready to get back into baseball,” but becoming a GM is “probably not” what he wants to do.” MacPhail “could return to run an organization, and he certainly has ties” to MLB Commissioner BUD SELIG (BOSTON GLOBE, 9/23)….Univ. of Miami men’s basketball coach JIM LARRANAGA has been “appointed an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Kinesiology and Sports Sciences” at the school (AP, 9/20)….Former NHL Oilers Owner PETER POCKLINGTON “has been sentenced to six months in jail, followed by six months of house arrest and two more years of probation.” Pocklington was “found guilty of submitting an inaccurate monthly income report to his probation officer” (CTVNEWS.ca, 9/20)….An autograph signing by Eagles QB MICHAEL VICK for Oct. 31 was “cancelled temporarily, thanks to death threats made against the event’s organizer” (PHILLY.com, 9/21).
IN MEMORY: Former WNBA and NCAA basketball referee BONITA SPENCE died Sept. 15 at the age of 52. She worked the “first men’s professional game to be officiated entirely by women.” The “cause was suicide” (N.Y. TIMES, 9/23).