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SBD/January 20, 2014/People and Pop CulturePrint All
Sports have been a "constant presence through the remarkable life" of Seahawks Owner PAUL ALLEN, who became a "software prodigy, a player in the dawn of personal computing and eventually an eclectic tycoon, real-estate baron and philanthropist," according to a front-page profile by Brier Dudley of the SEATTLE TIMES. The Seahawks' CenturyLink Field was "designed in part to re-create the aura" of Univ. of Washington games Allen "enjoyed with his late father, KENNETH." Allen said, "It’s just so much more real, a compelling Northwest experience to be out there in the elements. You didn’t care if it was cold or the wind was whipping around or you were getting rained on. You were still completely into the game.” Allen "engages particularly when a business question arises or he’s concerned about a player’s health." Allen, who also owns the Trail Blazers, said, "In football and basketball I like to think of myself as more of a sounding board, somebody that, especially with the general manager, will talk through some things, different options.” Allen "isn’t reclusive." He "likes engaging with fans and freely shares his thoughts on games via Twitter," but he "doesn’t want to be a sideshow." Allen: "I never want to be a distraction. ... From my perspective it’s so much about finding the right people -- both to coach the team and help find the talent, the general manager. That is your most important job as owner, is those two positions" (SEATTLE TIMES, 1/19).
THE 12TH MAN: The AP noted Allen "raised the '12th Man' flag" prior to the Seahawks' win over the 49ers last night. It was the second time he raised the flag "since the team started the tradition." The "only other time" was before the '05 NFC championship game when the Seahawks beat the Panthers for their only other Super Bowl trip. As he "did the previous time he raised the flag, Allen walked to the railing and waved a towel exciting the fans before kickoff" (AP, 1/19). In N.Y., Ken Belson notes the Seahawks since '03 have "asked celebrities and famous athletes from the Northwest, as well as longtime Seahawks supporters," to raise the flag "before each home game." The Seahawks’ "embrace of the slogan, though, prompted Texas A&M to sue the team, claiming infringement on the university’s trademark of the 12th Man name." The two sides in '06 "settled and the Seahawks agreed to pay the university a licensing fee." When Allen bought the team, he "vowed to keep it in Seattle, built CenturyLink Field and recruited MIKE HOLMGREN as coach." CenturyLink Field, with its "high-arcing roofs covering most of the main grandstands, is often credited with amplifying the 12th Man." But it was "not designed with noise in mind." Allen, a Seattle native, "asked only that the new stadium look and feel like the Huskies’ football stadium across town" (N.Y. TIMES, 1/20).
Rays Senior VP/Development & Business Affairs MICHAEL KALT is "leaving for a new job" in his native N.Y. after helping lead the team's search for a new stadium, according to Stephen Nohlgren of the TAMPA BAY TIMES. Kalt joined the team in '06 as Exec VP/Development & Business Affairs after working with former N.Y. Mayor MICHAEL BLOOMBERG "on stadium issues." Neither the Rays nor Kalt "gave any indication that the move relates to the stadium stalemate between the Rays and the city of St. Petersburg." Instead, lesser-known general partners in the Rays organization "have opened an investment office in Manhattan and want Kalt to run it." Kalt having a 14-month-old son "also played a part." Rays President MATT SILVERMAN said that other team execs involved in stadium issues "will now take on expanded roles." Silverman: "It's a process that requires cooperative planning and execution by a number of interested parties" (TAMPABAY.com, 1/17).
MLS awarded Timbers COO MIKE GOLUB with the Doug Hamilton Exec of the Year award for '13 as part of the league’s year-end honors, recognizing individuals and clubs for outstanding contributions off the field. Golub also received the honor after the club's inaugural MLS season in '11 (Timbers).'13 MLS AWARD WINNERS
AWARD RECIPIENT Doug Hamilton Exec Of The Year Timbers COO Mike Golub Ticketing Exec Of The Year Sounders Dir of Ticket Operations Chris Lawrence Ticket Sales Team Of The Year Sporting KC Ticketing Sales Innovation Award presented by the National Sales Center FC Dallas Marketing Exec Of The Year Whitecaps Dir of Marketing & Digital Mikkel Strojer Corporate Partnerships Exec Of The Year FC Dallas VP/Business Development & Partnership Marketing Matt McInnis Corporate Partnerships Team Of The Year Real Salt Lake Partnership Marketing Team Of The Year Toronto FC Local Digital Editor Of The Year Impact Digital Content Manager Yvan Delia-Lavictoire Social Media Activation Of The Year Whitecaps for #fishcam Article Of The Year Rapids for "Sudden Death Of Daughter Elysa Has Rojas Family On A Mission To Help Others" Video Of The Year Whitecaps for "Y.P. Lee's Last Match" Public Relations Team Of The Year Sporting KC Club Broadcast Staff Of The Year Sounders Merchandiser Of The Year Rapids Senior Dir of Retail Operations Jon Waldron Community Relations Department Of The Year Presented By MLS WORKS Timbers Operations Staff Of The Year Timbers Match Presentation Staff Of The Year Sounders Supporter Liaison Of The Year Timbers Dir of Ticket Services Chris Wilson Best Game Day Experience For Visiting Supporters Red Bulls Security Staff Of The Year Timbers MLS Team Administrator Of The Year Presented By Sportscorp Travel Revolution Soccer Operations Coordinator Jason Gove MLS Athletic Training Staff Of The Year Presented By Mueller Sports Medicine Real Salt Lake Equipment Manager Of The Year Sounders Head Equipment Manager Nolan Myer
ESPN tapped CHARLY CLASSEN to lead the company's operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Classen was promoted to VP & GM of the division, replacing ROSS HAIR, who told employees he is stepping down from the position following a restructuring that saw ESPN close down its European channel. Hair is leaving at the end of the month. In his new role, Classen will oversee ESPN's online, mobile and broadband, including ESPNCricInfo and ESPN FC. He will report to ESPN Int’l Exec VP & Managing Dir RUSSELL WOLFF (John Ourand, Staff Writer).
EXECS: Learfield Communications promoted AARON WORSHAM to Senior VP/Affiliate Relations & Operations, TOM BOMAN to VP/Broadcast Operations and JENNIFER HEIM to VP/Corporate Controller (Learfield)….Professional Bull Riders named strategic marketing firm Genuine Partners Principal BOB CHASSE VP/Partnership Marketing. Chasse also had previous stints with Int’l Speedway Corp. and HMS Worldwide (PBR)….The MLB Cardinals announced former MLBer CHRIS CARPENTER “will join the club’s front office in a role that is still in the process of being defined.” Cardinals GM JOHN MOZELIAK said that details and title of the job “are being written by him now” (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 1/19)….The Texans fired Dir of Pro Personnel BRIAN GARDNER (TWITTER.com, 1/17).
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In Denver, Mark Kiszla writes if there is "any justice," Broncos Owner PAT BOWLEN "has punched his ticket" to the Pro Football HOF. Bowlen "belongs in the Hall of Fame." His team is "going to the Super Bowl for the sixth time," and "no owner in NFL history has been a more frequent participant" in the game. Bowlen in '13 became the first owner in NFL history "to win 300 games during a 30-year span." In those three decades, fans have "suffered through only five losing seasons" (DENVER POST, 1/20).
AWARDS & HONORS: MLB Commissioner BUD SELIG on Saturday presented Baseball HOFer HANK AARON with the Executive Leadership Award at the 11th annual "In the Spirit of the Game" fundraiser for the Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation in L.A. In addition, HOFer JOHNNY BENCH presented the Lifetime Achievement Award to HOFer JOE MORGAN. Longtime scouts JACK MCKEON and RAY CRONE SR. were honored with the "George Genovese Lifetime Achievement Award in Scouting" (MLB.com, 1/19).
COURT REPORT: EPL club Manchester United Minority Owner GEORGE SOROS and Dell CEO & Founder MICHAEL DELL have been "dragged into a nasty lawsuit against" Basketball HOFer MAGIC JOHNSON "over his prepaid credit card, the Magic Card." Soros and Dell are principals of OneWest Bank, which entrepreneur REED WALLACE is "accusing, along with" Johnson, of "stealing his concept for a Magic-backed credit card" (N.Y. POST, 1/19).
PITCH PERFECT: In Buffalo, Tim O'Shei profiles DOUG ALLEN, who has sung national anthems for 20 years at hockey games, and "for the last nine seasons, he's been a fixture at First Niagara Center, singing at every Sabres game except those that conflict with his church obligations." Allen is "remarkably consistent: A video of him singing one night can be difficult to discern from the next." His voice "marches through the anthems, delivering them with a cadence and enthusiasm that energizes fans and players." There is "an added benefit for the game-presentation crew: He uses a two-minute, 30-second organ track that makes it easy to plan commercial breaks" (BUFFALO NEWS, 1/20).
BIG CAT ON CAMPUS: Clemson Univ. football coach DABO SWINNEY on Saturday agreed to "a new eight-year deal worth" $27.15M, "keeping him with the Tigers" through the '21 season. Swinney will make $3.15M in '14, up from the $2.2M he earned this past season (ESPN.com, 1/18). Swinney's compensation package is "expected to exceed" $8M, including $3.15M initially to Swinney "during his sixth full season as coach." The contract runs through Dec. 31, 2021 and includes a $5M buyout "should Swinney wish to leave Clemson during the first three seasons, then gradually less in subsequent years" (Columbia STATE, 1/19).
NAMES: Sabres Owner TERRY PEGULA has been selected as one of eight Penn State alumni to receive the Distinguished Alumni Award (CSTV.com, 1/17)....New York Gov. ANDREW CUOMO on Friday announced that Pro Football HOFer THURMAN THOMAS “has been tapped for a seat on the state’s Tourism Advisory Council.” Thomas “will serve a two-year, unpaid term on the 18-member board, which advises Cuomo on issues related to the state’s tourism industry.” Cuomo also recommended that Thomas serve as the panel’s Vice Chair (ROCHESTER DEMOCRAT & CHRONICLE, 1/18)….White Sox and Bulls Chair JERRY REINSDORF contributed $10,000 to the Yes for Independent Maps campaign, which is “pushing to get a constitutional amendment on the November 2014 ballot that would let an independent commission of private citizens shape” Illinois’ legislative districts (PANTAGRAPH.com, 1/18)….Former MLBer CHIPPER JONES, who “has made Atlanta his home for the past 22 years, is preparing to move to his ranch in southwest Texas and take over the commercial hunting operation that has been run by his parents, LARRY and LYNNE JONES” (AJC.com, 1/18)….U.S. skier JULIA MANCUSO is on the cover the February issue of Outside Magazine (NEWSDAY.com, 1/15)....Former Olympic figure skater and current State Department senior adviser MICHELLE KWAN attended First Lady MICHELLE OBAMA’s 50th birthday party at the White House on Saturday (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 1/19).
IN MEMORY: Yankees Radio Producer & Engineer CARLOS SILVA died yesterday at the age of 50 after a battle with cancer. He worked in baseball for 24 years, including 13 with the Yankees, with whom he helped produce the team’s radio broadcasts on WCBS-FM for eight seasons (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 1/20).