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Rodale's Runner's World Publisher MOLLY O'KEEFE took up a challenge the magazine put to its readers last year to run on consecutive days for several months. She is still going, having built her count up to 309 straight days as of a recent conversation. As any runner knows, running can be compulsive and can define who you are. That participatory passion fueled for Runner’s World a print ad revenue increase of 4% last year. With the Boston Marathon coming Monday, the first since last year’s bombings, the magazine has been busy putting together its Marathon issue and related digital effort. O’Keefe spoke recently with SportsBusiness Journal.
About the coming Marathon issue: We look back over this past year, how running has changed and impacted people. At the core, runners are people who want to help, want to be supportive. We find human-interest stories behind that.
Being in Boston: I was (there) the day before (last year) and had just left to head to a cycling event. ... Definitely (attending this year). ... I have my family coming in as well.
Ad interest in this year’s Marathon issue: Heightened interest for sure ... but we wouldn’t use Boston to sell into the magazine.
Monthly publications in a digital world: From a Runner’s World perspective and a brand, we want to be where everybody is and feel print is still a tool our readers want to be engaged in. ... For real-time news, we use digital and Facebook.
Prospects of going all-digital: No, because of what we do and the beauty of print to be really able to, through time and distance, allow us to reflect back and have what print does best, and that can be more useful finding human-interest stories of running.
Impact of increased event security: If you look back at New York (for last fall’s marathon there), I did notice more of a perimeter around the finish line; they didn’t allow a lot of extra people at the finish line. ... I find that comforting.
Women's Basketball Coaches Association CEO BETH BASS has resigned (WBCA)....CBS Sports promoted MARIEL BRADY to Communications Manager (THE DAILY)....The Univ. of Arkansas named Texas Tech Univ. Dir of Marketing & Fan Promotions ELVIS MOYA Associate AD/Marketing & Fan Development (Arkansas)....Texas A&M Univ.-Corpus Christi named Belmont Univ. Dir of Athletic Marketing & External Affairs JIMMY FRUSH Associate AD/Development (TAMU)....Major League Gaming named Machinima Head of Live & eSports RYAN WYATT VP/Programming (MLG)....The AutoZone Liberty Bowl Festival Association named Peabody Hotels & Resorts President DOUG BROWNE to the same position (COMMERCIALAPPEAL.com, 4/17)....Nike appointed online retailer Gilt CEO MICHELLE PELUSO to its BOD (Nike).
Do you have an executive announcement? If so, please send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sacramento Mayor KEVIN JOHNSON appeared on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Friday morning and discussed his role leading the committee looking for the next NBPA Exec Dir. Johnson said, "We're looking for somebody who wants to put the players first, that's really important. We have an opportunity when you think about the NBA and the Players Association, they have an opportunity to usher in this new growth in the NBA. We need somebody who understands we need to grow the pie and be a great partner with the NBA. ... We want somebody for the players' side who puts the players' interests first, but it's a partnership that will grow that business" ("Morning Joe," MSNBC, 4/18).
A DEEPER LOOK AT THE MAMBA: The upcoming Showtime documentary "KOBE BRYANT'S MUSE" will give an "intimate look behind the scenes" of Lakers G KOBE BRYANT's attempt to return from injury ahead of next season. The film, directed by GOTHAM CHOPRA, is "currently in production and is described as a 'deep-character portrait' of Bryant, exploring his life, inspirations and challenges." It "is expected to air this fall on Showtime," and will follow Bryant "through his daily experience and look at the mentors, allies and rivals he's encountered through his career, as well as explore what the star is looking to do when his NBA tenure comes to an end" (L.A. TIMES, 4/18).
DARK KNIGHTS? New Jersey state Sen. RICHARD CODEY "is calling" for Rutgers AD JULIE HERMANN's dismissal. Codey in a letter to Rutgers President DR. ROBERT BARCHI wrote that since Hermann was named to the post in May, there has "been hardly a moment without controversy." Codey "has never been a friend to Hermann." Codey last year said that Hermann "should never have been hired, and called on Barchi to resign" (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 4/18).
FROM THE OWNER'S SUITE: The anti-bullying bill introduced to the Florida legislature by Dolphins Owner STEPHEN ROSS "appears to have suffered the same fate" as last year's failed Sun Life Stadium renovation effort. But this time around, it appears that the issue with Ross' legislation is "more procedural than political." Dolphins lobbyist RON BOOK said, "There were some concerns that were raised to us about some aspects of the implementation. By the time we reworked it, time had just really run out." Ross' proposal "came on the heels of the Dolphins' embarrassing bullying scandal" (MIAMI HERALD, 4/18)....T'Wolves Owner GLEN TAYLOR "will reportedly pay" roughly $100M for the Minneapolis Star Tribune in a sale that is "expected to close in late May" (ST. PAUL PIONEER-PRESS, 4/18)....Blackhawks Chair ROCKY WIRTZ and his wife, MARILYN, "have made a multimillion dollar gift to the Northwestern University School of Communication to endow its Theatre and Interpretation Center." A school rep "could not confirm the exact amount of money" (CHICAGOTRIBUNE.com, 4/17).
NAMES: The Sports Lawyers Association on Thursday announced that Red Sox President & CEO LARRY LUCCHINO has been named the '14 SLA Award of Excellence winner. He will be presented with the award at the SLA Conference at the Fairmont Hotel in Chicago on May 16th. Lucchino will be introduced by Dodgers President & CEO STAN KASTEN, an SLA board member and '00 recipient of the award (SLA)....Boxer JEAN PASCAL "has re-signed with longtime promoter YVON MICHEL and also has brought on JEAN BEDARD of InterBox as his co-promoter" (ESPN.com, 4/17)....U.S. swimmer RYAN LOCHTE has "scored a stylish new gig that has him modeling summer styles from Calvin Klein." Lochte is featured alongside IRELAND BALDWIN as part of the Macy’s "American Icons" campaign (AGLAMSLAM.com, 4/17)....The USC Marshall School of Business' Sports Business Institute and USA Today Sports Media Group have teamed up to create Fields of Green and thefieldsofgreen.com, which will offer analysis of news and events going on in the sports industry (USC)....Former Northern Kentucky Univ. AD SCOTT EATON "accepted a 10-year prison sentence Thursday when he pleaded guilty to theft charges" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 4/18)....Tennis player LLEYTON HEWITT is selling his 4,305-square-foot home in Palm Beach, Aus. Hewitt bought the home in '05 for US$4.13M, but now offers of US$5.5M "are being sought" (N.Y. TIMES, 4/18)....Suspended Yankees 3B ALEX RODRIGUEZ sold his Miami Beach condo for $2.575M "roughly a year after buying it" for $2.1M (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 4/18).
BEST WISHES: TNT’s CRAIG SAGER has been "diagnosed with leukemia." His son "made the announcement Thursday on Twitter," suggesting Sager would "miss most if not all of the NBA playoffs" (VARIETY.com, 4/17)....FedEx St. Jude Classic Tournament Dir PHIL CANNON has been "diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer" and was scheduled to begin chemotherapy treatments on Thursday. Cannon said that the cancer has "spread to his liver, lymph nodes and stomach" (Memphis COMMERCIAL-APPEAL, 4/17).