SBD/October 24, 2013/People and Pop Culture

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  • Time To Participate In The 2013 SBJ/SBD Reader Survey

    It’s time to make your opinion known as the 9th annual SportsBusiness Journal/SportsBusiness Daily Reader Survey is underway. The survey features more than 100 questions across leagues, teams, facilities, sponsorship, media, and more.

    *Should college athletes be paid?
    *Will Mark Emmert still be NCAA president a year from now?
    *Which of the following is the most effective conference commissioner?
    *Which companies/brands have done the best job aligning with college sports through corporate sponsorship?
    *Do you donate to the athletic program of your alma mater?
    *What should facilities and teams focus on to improve the fan experience?
    *If you could go to a storied U.S. sports venues that you haven't been to before, what would it be?

    Those are some of the questions you'll find in this year’s survey. Cast your votes and then see highlights of the results the week of Dec. 2. We want to hear from you.

    Vote now!

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  • Richard Peddie's Book An "Easy Read" Addressing MLSE Sale, Media Relationship

    Former MLSE President & CEO RICHARD PEDDIE's book "DREAM JOB" was released on Tuesday, and it is an "easy read, detailing his career in the corporate and sports world before ending with a dollop of his business beliefs," according to Neil Davidson of the CP. In the book, co-written with LAWRENCE SCANLAN, Peddie writes hiring JOHN FERGUSON JR. as Maple Leafs GM was "a mistake," as was giving former Raptors G VINCE CARTER's mother "a prized parking space under the Air Canada Centre." MLSE's lease with the city of Toronto for the Ricoh Centre, home of the AHL Marlies, was "a poor deal although it [helped] pave the way for better agreements on BMO Field and the Leafs' practice facility." Peddie also "details past tangles with the media." While he writes that it is "not the sports media's job to cover business," he also "makes the point that not many sports scribes understand a balance sheet," and the business section has "plenty of other stories to cover" (CP, 10/22). In Toronto, Morgan Campbell noted Peddie in the book "discusses MLSE’s aborted plans to establish its own sports network, and how the rising tide of rights' fees boosted MLSE’s value anyway." Peddie writes, "If we had launched Real Sports TV, in four to five years it would have been worth $1 billion. Rogers and Bell bought (MLSE) because they wanted the content themselves. They were worried about losing it, but they made sure they got the Raptors and Toronto FC and the Leafs. They guaranteed their future" (TORONTO STAR, 10/23).

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  • Executive Transactions

    MLS Toronto FC VP/Business Operations PAUL BEIRNE announced that Saturday's match will be his last with the team (, 10/24)....The Oilers and Rexall Sports Corp. named TIM SHIPTON VP/Communications. Shipton will oversee in-house media production entities (Oilers)....The independent Atlantic League Lancaster Barnstormers announced President LISA RIGGS is stepping down at the end of October to pursue other career interests. She has agreed to continue in a consulting role for the next few months (Barnstormers)....The independent Pacific Association San Rafael Pacifics named Single-A California League Visalia Rawhide Media Relations & Marketing Manager JOSH JACKSON Assistant GM (Pacifics)....Oregon State Univ. named Univ. of Washington Associate AD/Compliance KYLE PIFER Senior Associate AD/Compliance (, 10/23)....Chicago-based PR firm Edelman named former L.A. Mayor ANTONIO VILLARAIGOSA Senior Advisor, based out of the agency's L.A. office (, 10/22).

    Do you have an executive announcement? If so, please send to

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  • Names In The News

    MLBPA Exec Dir MICHAEL WEINER "is not in attendance at the World Series as he continues his fight against brain cancer." MLBPA Deputy Exec Dir TONY CLARK said that the travel from Weiner's N.Y. home "had become too arduous," adding that Weiner "would follow the World Series on television." Clark said that Weiner "still works at the MLBPA offices, although not every day" (L.A. TIMES, 10/24).

    MEETING OF THE MINDS: The NYU School of Continuing and Professional Studies this week launches NYU Sports and Society, whose advisory board includes GARY BETTMAN, FAY VINCENT, HARRY CARSON, GARLAND ALLEN, BOB COSTAS, TONY PONTURO, LESLEY VISSER, and SHELLEY ZALIS. The program will be a think tank for scholarship and dialogue on the study of sports as a societal force (NYU).

    Pink Oregon football helmet signed by Nike's
    Phil Knight already over $10,000 in auction
    CHARITY STRIPE: A pink Univ. of Oregon football helmet autographed by Nike co-Founder & Chair PHIL KNIGHT was "going for more than $10,000" as of yesterday, with the proceeds going to the Kay Yow Cancer Fund. Twenty-five of the helmets, which were worn by the team last Saturday for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, were autographed by various people connected with the program. A helmet signed by Fox analyst and former UO QB JOEY HARRINGTON was "up over 7,000," and one signed by CBS analyst and former UO QB DAN FOUTS was "worth $2,500." Several unsigned helmets had bids "upwards of $4,000" (, 10/23)....The Kirk Urso Memorial Fund one year after its inception has "reached its goal of raising $100,000 to benefit youth heart research and programming." The fund is named after late MLSer KIRK URSO, who died in last August from an undetected congenital heart defect, and was "primarily boosted by a memorial preseason game" featuring the MLS Crew against the Univ. of North Carolina and a charity golf event with golfer NATALIE GULBIS. Crew President & GM MARK MCCULLERS said that a number of MLS teams "contributed $1,500 each" (COLUMBUS DISPATCH, 10/23).

    NAMES: Topps last week released a baseball card in its '13 Update set featuring Reds batboy TED KREMER. Kremer, who has Down syndrome, appeared in a story in the Cincinnati Enquirer in September and was then the subject of a profile on ESPN's "E:60." Kremer's parents "lauded the Reds organization for 'embracing the idea' of a Ted card" when approached by Topps, which "came up with the idea of a Ted card" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 10/24)....Lincoln Financial Field parking lot attendant ROBERT VON RYAN, who watched over cars belonging to Eagles players during home games, was accused yesterday of "stealing more than $225,000" from the bank account of G TODD HERREMANS (, 10/23)....Jets QB DAVID GARRARD "plans to open three gyms in the Jacksonville area." The Retro Fitness chain yesterday announced that Garrard and his wife, MARY, "have been awarded three franchises" (, 10/23)....Patriots TE ROB GRONKOWSKI, in conjunction with ProCamps Worldwide, is hosting the ’13 Rob Gronkowski Football 101 Women’s Clinic on Nov. 11 (BOSTON GLOBE, 10/24)....Univ. of Kansas freshman basketball player ANDREW WIGGINS is “featured in the latest issue of GQ.” He has already appeared on the cover of SI “before his first game” (K.C. STAR, 10/24)....Patriots WRs DANNY AMENDOLA and JULIAN EDELMAN, country singer KENNY CHESNEY and actors MATT DAMON, JON HAMM, ROB LOWE, MIKE O’MALLEY and JOHN SLATTERY all appeared at last night’s World Series Game 1 at Fenway Park (Eric Fisher, Staff Writer).

    REMEMBERING BILL MAZER: A "voice and face of sports coverage in New York for decades," BILL MAZER died yesterday in Danbury, Conn. at age 92. Mazer, who retired in ’09, spent “more than 60 years in broadcasting -- 20 of them as a nightly sports anchor and the host of the weekend roundup ‘Sports Extra’ on WNEW-TV." He previously had been "a host of sports-talk radio when the very idea of the format was new" (N.Y. TIMES, 10/24). In addition to his radio work at WOR-AM, Mazer worked "on CBS television’s NHL and NFL coverage, on ABC and NBC TV game broadcasts and in radio at WFAN, WEVD and WVOX-AM" (AP, 10/23). ESPN's KEITH OLBERMANN noted he was an intern for Mazer "in the summer of 1978." Olbermann said, "Did he take me under his wing? That wasn't his style. Did he let me essentially produce his show, suggest which highlights to use, watch as he showed me tricks on how to narrate them, ask me why he was including some stories and not others, explain it was okay to be wrong as long as you corrected yourself? Yes, he treated his interns as equals" ("Olbermann," ESPN2, 10/23).

    REMEMBERING ROBERT MAZER: White Sox investor ROBERT MAZER died on Friday of natural causes at age 90. Mazer "invested in the Sox after being introduced" to White Sox Chair JERRY REINSDORF through fellow investor BURT URY. Mazer was a “faithful attendee at board of directors meetings and, like fellow investors, left the team's operations to Reinsdorf.” When he was buried on Monday, “a Sox flag was draped across the casket.” Reinsdorf spoke at the services Monday, saying that Mazer and his family were “devoted fans and proud of the team.” Mazer often “donated the use of his suite at U.S. Cellular Field to charitable organizations” (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 10/23).

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