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/December 6, 2013/People and Pop CulturePrint All
The sports world mourns NELSON MANDELA, who died yesterday at 95, "leading to a vast outpouring of tributes from the world's best-known athletes and top sporting bodies," according to Gerald Imray of the AP. When it came to sports, Mandela "had the ability to inspire inspirational figures and leave global stars star-struck." As much as sports figures "loved Mandela, he in turn loved sport and appreciated its enormous potential to do good," and "nowhere more than in his own country, where he famously used the 1995 Rugby World Cup to knock down the last barriers of apartheid." IOC President THOMAS BACH called Mandela "a remarkable man who understood that sport could build bridges, break down walls, and reveal our common humanity." Bach in a statement said that the IOC "will fly the Olympic flag at half-staff for three days for Mandela." FIFA President SEPP BLATTER "ordered that the 209 flags of the world body's member countries at FIFA headquarters in Switzerland be flown at half-staff." NBA Commissioner DAVID STERN said of Mandela, "While we mourn his passing, we know that his legacy and quest for equality will endure" (AP, 12/5). Mandela's "last major appearance on the global stage" was at the championship match of the '10 FIFA World Cup (REUTERS, 12/5).
UNIFYING FORCE: In N.Y., Jere Longman writes Mandela "understood the power of sport to provide dignity and hope in the face of state-sponsored oppression, to undermine discrimination with resistance and to heal and to help unite a society that the racial segregation of apartheid had brutally divided." Institute for Diversity & Ethics in Sports Founder & Dir RICHARD LAPCHICK said of Mandela, "He definitely believed that sports and politics are entwined" (N.Y. TIMES, 12/6). Lapchick in a special to ESPN.com wrote part of Mandela's "humanity was understanding the role sports could play" (ESPN.com, 12/5). SPORTING NEWS' Peter Pedroncelli wrote Mandela was "the true spiritual architect of the World Cup in South Africa, and of the freedom that people in the country enjoy today." The'10 World Cup "must be seen as one of his greatest legacies" (SPORTINGNEWS.com, 12/5). SI.com's Jonathan Wilson wrote Mandela "saw the value of sport" and "used it to bring a sense of togetherness to South Africa" (SI.com, 12/5).
BRUSHES WITH GREATNESS: ESPN.com's Bob Harig wrote about TIGER WOODS under the header, "Tiger Felt Impact Of Mandela's Aura" (ESPN.com, 12/5). ESPN.com's Dan Rafael wrote boxing broadcaster LARRY MERCHANT's interview with Mandela "stands out as his most memorable" (ESPN.com, 12/6). SPORTS ON EARTH's Shaun Powell wrote under the header, "A Brush With Mandela" (SPORTSONEARTH.com, 12/5).
TV MONITOR: Last night's 11:00pm ET edition of FS1's "Fox Sports Live" and the 10:30pm ET edition of ESPN's "SportsCenter" led with retrospectives of Mandela, with "Fox Sports Live" featuring an appearance by author and Gold Medal-winning U.S. sprinter TOMMIE SMITH, and "SportsCenter" airing reactions from various sports personalities along with taped segments on Mandela's legacy and the '95 South African rugby team winning the World Cup. The regularly scheduled afternoon editions of ESPN's "Around The Horn" and "PTI" were pre-empted for coverage of Mandela. The net's coverage included Lapchick, ESPN's BOB LEY, and Giants DE OSI UMENYIORA discussing Mandela, and live coverage of President Obama's press conference on Mandela's passing. The full episodes of "ATH" and "PTI" aired on ESPN2. Meanwhile, last night's editions of ABC, CBS and NBC network news broadcasts all led with Mandela, with ABC's "World News" devoting its entire 30-minute broadcast to his passing. This morning's network morning news shows also each led with Mandela, with ABC's "GMA" featuring appearances by human rights attorney GAY MCDOUGALL. NBC's "Today" featured live, in-studio appearances from TOM BROKAW and CHARLAYNE HUNTER-GAULT. On CBS's "This Morning," former Sec. of States COLIN POWELL and JAMES BAKER appeared via satellite. Also, IMG Artists President & CEO JERRY INZERILLO, a close friend of Mandela, former Time magazine Managing Editor RICHARD STENGEL, South African author YVETTE CHRISTIANSE and the net's BOB SIMON appeared live in-studio, while a taped segment featured singer BONO discussing Mandela.
It has been almost seven years since Callaway Golf Senior VP/Marketing HARRY ARNETT and his wife KIM relocated to Carlsbad, Calif., from the southeast, but he still takes time every day to appreciate the West Coast's weather and lifestyle. With a house located just a mile from the ocean there are plenty of evening walks on the beach, and having been part of the golf industry for several years, there are many afternoons spent on the fairways. Arnett will get another chance to improve upon his six handicap this weekend, as he and his Callaway coworkers take on other industry execs in a friendly competition out on the links.
CALIFORNIA DREAMIN': On Fridays I normally get home around 5:30pm, and lately what we've been doing on Fridays is going and watching the sunset. We live about a mile from the ocean. We go watch the sunset and usually take the dogs down there, walk with the kids and try to forget about work for at least an hour or two. We have two Bernese Mountain dogs -- Sully is 11 and Doug is one. They're not your typical California dogs. Neither of them likes going in the water or anything. But they like the weather because they don't ever get too hot here. But we like to watch the surfers about that time and then usually we'll hang around Carlsbad Village and grab something to eat down there. There's a ton of fish taco and other cool places down there. Being near the ocean and the beach is really fun.
IT AIN'T EASY BEING GREEN: This weekend is the Golf Industry Cup in Irvine, which means I'll be playing tournament golf against a bunch of other people in the golf industry over the course of two days. We'll get to compete against each other in ways that are other than just trying to beat each other's brains out in the marketplace and sales. It's a team event, so each company can put together as many teams as they want. Callaway has five teams. I'm on the worst team, but that's okay. We're the worst, but we're the scrappiest. It's a four-man team and you accumulate points based on how you fared to par. Each round has a different nine-hole format. You end up playing with a bunch of different people from all over the industry, but you're not really competing against them necessarily, you're trying to accumulate as many points as you can.
BEST IN THE BUSINESS: I think in all there's more than 20 different companies represented in this thing. You've got Titleist, Ping, TaylorMade, Cleveland -- all the golf manufacturers as well as the sort of component brands that support the equipment industry like grip companies, shaft companies. It's pretty fun. We do it every year. It’s big bragging rights for whoever wins it. Callaway hasn't won it in a few years. Last year we came within a few points of winning, within a few shots of winning. Saturday after golf there's a big cocktail party and dinner and so it's just a chance to kind of put the gloves down from the normal competitiveness that we have against each other and then wake up and finish the tournament the next day. Tee time Sunday is to be determined depending on how we finish on Saturday, so hopefully I'll have a late tee time, which means that I'll be in contention. But I'm counting on an early tee time. I'm sure I’ll be first off.
GIRL POWER: After the first day of the tournament I'll get home for a 5:00pm tipoff to see my 7-year-old daughter CJ play basketball. It's her second year playing but a brand new team so that will be fun. My 5-year-old daughter KERRIS is actually on the same basketball team. It will be her debut. Kerris does whatever CJ does. CJ wanted to play basketball because I think she liked the outfits frankly. And one of our neighbors played basketball, he's 12, so she liked watching him shoot and just announced one day that she wanted to play basketball which was totally out of left field. So she's in a local Boys & Girls Club basketball league. CJ is sort of a coach's dream because she's the only seven year old that doesn't like to shoot, she likes to pass and play defense.
ANY WAY YOU SLICE IT: Usually Saturday night's pizza night, so we're going to continue with that tradition and head on over and get some slices of pizza and hopefully we'll be talking about a big basketball "W" and a good day on the golf course for Daddy. We are a family of routine and always go to Flippin' Pizza in Carlsbad Village. It's New York-style. There's no such thing really as California pizza -- even though there's a California Pizza Kitchen -- so you either get New York or Chicago-style here.
WORKING FOR THE WEEKEND: Sunday night, usually a couple hours after the kids are in bed, I kind of have the computer out and really get back into the mode of transitioning out of the weekend and into the next week. I usually like to plan out what the whole week looks like, and I sort of also look out over the next month and particularly this time of year when we have a whole bunch of product launches coming out in the next few days. Then I like to make sure that I have a list of all the Monday morning tasks that I want to get accomplished, like e-mails for the week, and plans for my staff meeting on Monday. I don't stay up late, I just usually am the most productive when it's the quietest, so that means usually from 8:00-10:00 at night and for sure from like 6:00-8:00 in the morning. But I don't like to stay up late. If I'm up past 10:00pm, something weird is happening.
Fox Sports shuffled some of its execs, naming Exec VP & GM DAVID NATHANSON GM & COO of FS1 and FS2, and Fox Sports Media Group Exec VP/Programming & Research BILL WANGER Exec VP/Programming, Research & Content Strategy. Fox also named SCOTT ACKERSON Exec VP/News and GEORGE GREENBERG Exec VP/Content Integration & Presentation. Ackerson, Greenberg and Senior VP/Original Programming MICHAEL BLOOM will all report to Nathanson (Fox Sports).
EXECS: FIA President JEAN TODT "unanimously won a second term," running unopposed. Former FIA Foundation Director General DAVID WARD would have been Todt's "main rival," but he "pulled out of the race last month because of a lack of backing" (AP, 12/6)....Padres Exec VP & Senior Advisor DAVE WINFIELD has joined the MLBPA as a special assistant to new Exec Dir TONY CLARK (MLB.com, 12/5)....EPL club Arsenal named Nuggets and Avalanche President JOSH KROENKE a non-Exec Dir. He said the move would "reaffirm our family's long-term commitment to the club" (London DAILY MAIL, 12/5)....Baseball HOF Senior VP BILL HAASE is "retiring at the end of the year," wrapping up a career of "more than 30 years in baseball, including 13 as a top leader" at the HOF. Haase also spent 18 years with the Tigers, eventually ending as Exec VP & COO (AP, 12/5)....CFL Officiating Dir TOM HIGGINS has left his position (CFL)....Learfield Sports named GREG GILMER GM of its Mocs Sports Properties for the Univ. of Tennessee-Chattanooga, BRITTANY OLIGSCHLAEGER GM of its Jackrabbit Sports Properties for South Dakota State Univ., and TODD ANTONOPOULOS GM of its Vandals Sports Properties at the Univ. of Idaho (Learfield).
Do you have an executive announcement? If so, please send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
TD Ameritrade on Thursday in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission announced that members of Cubs Owner the Ricketts family "have agreed to relinquish their board seats" in '16, which "would end decades of close family involvement in one of Omaha's best-known companies." The company was founded by JOE RICKETTS in '75 (OMAHA WORLD-HERALD, 12/6)....Meanwhile, PRESIDENT OBAMA on Thursday announced that he "plans to nominate" Cubs BOD member LAURA RICKETTS to the Kennedy Center's Board of Trustees (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 12/6).
FOR SALE SIGNS: Hockey HOFer WAYNE GRETZKY has listed a 3,758-square-foot townhouse at the Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, Calif., for $1.899M (LATIMES.com, 12/5)....Golf HOFer LANNY WADKINS' 9,521-square-foot mansion in North Dallas is "being put on the auction block" after previously being offered on the market for nearly $2.3M (BIZJOURNALS.com, 12/5)....Former USC football coach LANE KIFFIN and his wife, LAYLA, have listed their 7,308-square-foot home in Manhattan Beach, Calif., for $6.995M after buying it for $5.5M last year (LATIMES.com, 12/5).
BUNDLES OF JOY: Nationals 3B RYAN ZIMMERMAN and his wife, HEATHER, had their first child on Nov. 20, a baby girl (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 12/5)....IndyCar driver RYAN BRISCOE and his wife, NICOLE, welcomed the birth of their first child on Thursday, a girl named FINLEY (INDYSTAR.com, 12/5).
ESPN will air portions of Ferrell's Ron Burgundy character with Peyton Manning
IN MEMORY: Longtime TV agent and former Marquee Group VP ART KAMINSKY died on Thursday at the age of 66 after a battle with cancer. Funeral services will be held this Sunday (N.Y. POST, 12/6).