SBD/September 25, 2013/People and Pop Culture

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  • Andrew Wilson Unveils New EA Senior Exec Team; Patrick Soderlund To Lead EA Sports

    Newly installed Electronic Arts CEO ANDREW WILSON late yesterday laid out his new senior exec team in a company town hall and internal corporate memo. PATRICK SODERLUND, who had been running EA Games' development studios, will now also lead EA Sports, the position Wilson vacated last week to become company CEO. EA Games and EA Sports will now operate as a joint development entity. FRANK GIBEAU, who had been EA Games President, will shift roles and now lead the company's mobile division. PETER MOORE will continue to lead EA's global publishing, marketing, customer experience and global media solutions. Wilson did not delineate specific titles in his internal communications, and it is not known whether Moore is keeping his prior title of COO. But the moves indicate a desire on Wilson's part to retain Gibeau and Moore, EA execs who had been in the running for the CEO position given to Wilson. Soderlund, Gibeau and Moore will each report to Wilson. "Our priorities right now are simple," Wilson wrote in his internal memo. "We must deliver on our FY14 plan, continue the transformation of our organization for our digital future, create amazing games and services, have a ruthless focus and execute." Also reporting directly to Wilson are EA CTO RAJAT TANEJA, CFO BLAKE JORGENSEN, Senior VP/Legal & Business Affairs JOEL LINZNER, Exec VP/HR GABRIELLE TOLEDANO, and LUCY BRADSHAW, head of SimCity games studio EA Maxis.

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  • Minding My Business With Sabres Social Media Manager Craig Kanalley

    Kanalley left the Huffington Post to return to his native soil in Buffalo

    Going from the Huffington Post to the Sabres may seem an unlikely career trajectory. But CRAIG KANALLEY did just that when he returned to his hometown in June to become the team's Social Media Manager, and he brought his 22,000 Twitter followers with him. He called leaving behind his Senior Editor title to work for his favorite team a "no-brainer," and now finds his days dominated by what happens on the ice, not the news on Capitol Hill. Kanalley recently spoke to THE DAILY about the Sabres' strategy with Twitter and Facebook, how the social media landscape is evolving, and shared ancient wisdom from a grade-school teacher.

    Biggest change in my day-to-day...
    A different pace. It’s obviously very busy times -- especially around the games -- and I’m used to those from media where it was breaking news, but it has a different flow to it. You know when the games are, and you can kind of plan a head a little bit, where in the breaking news business, you never know if something is going to happen. I’m able now to focus on one thing, which is hockey, whereas with my old job I was covering literally everything from every section -- tech, politics, sports. This job is classified in the marketing department, and a lot of the infrastructure was already in place when I joined. 

    Most of my time at work is spent thinking about...
    A lot of it goes back to the games and goes back to the hockey side, thinking about interesting things we can do or try that maybe teams haven’t done. I’m a big believer in experimenting and trying new things and seeing how people react to it, so I think about things we can do that haven’t been done before.

    Which news to break on social media...
    It’s something we always have to talk about and kind of think through. It’s a little bit tricky because there are a lot of pieces involved with contracts and a lot of people involved, but we want to be cutting-edge and doing things that other teams aren't doing and when we have the opportunity to break news through our social media channels, we’d like to do that.

    Staying on top of an industry in flux...
    The social media industry is constantly changing, and it has been for the last five years or more. The key is to constantly be up on the latest trends and the latest features and the latest tools as they’re always changing. It’s a very crowded, very competitive space right now in terms of analytics and monitoring platforms. I’m always pulling together metrics. I’m actually very analytics-focused through my background and previous employer, who were very analytics-focused. I’m constantly looking at numbers, and relaying them on.

    Apps I'm using the most...
    I turn to Twitter first thing in the morning. It’s the first thing I’ll check to see what happened overnight and what’s going on. Also, Facebook and Instagram. I use ESPN's ScoreCenter app to check scores. Most of my go-to apps involve sports.

    Best advice I've ever received...
    My third grade teacher once told me, “Always do a little extra. Never do the minimum of what’s required, always go beyond that.” 

    How I relax...
    Turning everything off and going into the outdoors, whether it be a park or going for a walk or a run. Things like that are important.

    Print | Tags: People and Pop Culture, Buffalo Sabres, NHL
  • Executive Transactions

    Fenway Sports Management promoted Exec VP/Sales FRANK HUCKABONE to Exec VP & Chief Revenue Officer. He will continue to report to FSM President SAM KENNEDY and Managing Dirs BILLY HOGAN and MARK LEV (FSM).

    EXECS: Arizona State Univ. Assistant AD/Recruiting SHERMAN MORRIS resigned on Friday “following his arrest in an alleged domestic-violence incident last month” (AZCENTRAL.com, 9/24)....The AHL named JONATHAN FORSBERG Manager of Team Business Services and ALYSSA DOMBROWSKI Coordinator of Digital Media & Communications (AHL)....The Canadian Women’s Hockey League named TRINA CROSBY to its BOD. She is the mother of Penguins C SIDNEY CROSBY (CP, 9/24)....Integrated meeting and event solutions firm Experient named San Diego Sports Commission VP/Sales STEVE SCHELL Strategic Sales Exec on the association and gov’t sales team (Experient)....Jacksonville Univ. named SMU Assistant AD/Compliance & Student-Athlete Welfare APRIL TAYLOR Senior Associate AD/Compliance (JU). 

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

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  • Names In The News

    Many conference attendees left when learning Ellison would not speak

    Oracle CEO LARRY ELLISON "skipped a keynote address at his software company's massive annual customer conference on Tuesday to be on San Francisco Bay as his Oracle Team USA made a comeback in the America's Cup." Hundreds of Oracle OpenWorld attendees "streamed out of San Francisco's Moscone conference center after an Oracle executive announced that Ellison was still on a boat and would not attend the keynote presentation, a focal point of the annual event" (REUTERS, 9/24). Oracle declined to comment on Ellison's absence. He wanted to "get out the news about Oracle's new cloud services so he sent" Exec VP/Product Development THOMAS KURIAN to deliver the keynote in his place (WSJ.com, 9/24). CNBC's Becky Quick asked of Ellison, "What is his primary focus, America's Cup or the company?" CNBC's Andrew Ross Sorkin: "He looks like he's the absentee CEO. ... Maybe there's a company that operates and you don't even need to run it." CNBC's Joe Kernen said Ellison is "at a point in his career where he can definitely do what he wants" ("Squawk Box," CNBC, 9/25).

    OFF THE BOOKS: Publisher Kar-Ben has pulled Brewers LF RYAN BRAUN "from the cover of 'JEWISH SPORTS STARS: ATHLETIC HEROES PAST AND PRESENT.'" The original edition was published in '06, and the second edition was originally "scheduled for August release but was moved to October so Kar-Ben could make the necessary changes." Braun was "replaced in the back cover copy and the jacket photo" by SANDY KOUFAX and gymnast ALY RAISMAN (PUBLISHERSWEEKLY.com, 9/23).

    NAMES: Director DEREK CIANFRANCE is "in talks to direct 'ESPN: THOSE GUYS HAVE ALL THE FUN' for Focus about the rise of the dominant sports channel." The project is "based on the JAMES ANDREW MILLER and TOM SHALES book" (VARIETY.com, 9/24)....Former NFLer HUGH DOUGLAS was arrested Sunday "following a domestic incident at the Hartford Marriott Downtown" (HARTFORD COURANT, 9/25)....ESPN's JALEN ROSE yesterday spoke to a crowd of more than 1,000 at Central Michigan Univ., and "joined a growing list of former professional athletes to call for more financial support for scholarship student athletes" (FREEP.com, 9/24)....Bears K ROBBIE GOULD's charity, The Goulden Touch, is partnering with local high schools to raise meals for the Northern Illinois Food Bank’s backpack program (Illinois DAILY HERALD, 9/25)....Patriots QB TOM BRADY and his son, BENJAMIN, appeared at Patriots Owner ROBERT KRAFT’s home last night to “offer praise and congratulations to a group of Brandeis University students enrolled in a program named for Kraft’s late wife, MYRA” (BOSTON GLOBE, 9/25).

    Print | Tags: People and Pop Culture
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