SBD/June 3, 2014/People and Pop Culture

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  • Richard Schaefer Resigns As Golden Boy CEO, Unclear On Future Plans

    Schaefer (i) and De La Hoya (r) were reportedly at odds over deals with Top Rank

    Golden Boy Promotions CEO RICHARD SCHAEFER yesterday announced he is leaving the company, and said that while he can see himself working "inside and outside the sport ... it's time to move on," according to Lance Pugmire of the L.A. TIMES. Schaefer in a statement said, “This decision has required a great deal of personal reflection, but ultimately I concluded that I have no choice but to leave.” Golden Boy co-Founder & President OSCAR DE LA HOYA has "been at odds with Schaefer" since his most recent return from rehab over Schaefer’s "insistence not to conduct co-promotions" with Top Rank and company Chair BOB ARUM. There has "been speculation that Schaefer’s increasingly close relationship" with FLOYD MAYWEATHER JR.'s manager AL HAYMON will "lead to a new promotional company that could ultimately lead current Golden Boy fighters managed by Haymon, including welterweight ADRIEN BRONER, unbeaten Los Angeles super-bantamweight LEO SANTA CRUZ and many others, to leave Golden Boy." Schaefer was "mum about his future career plans, but he noted he remains a shareholder in Golden Boy" (L.A. TIMES, 6/3). ESPN.com's Dan Rafael reported Mayweather "dumped the company" just hours after Schaefer's resignation. Mayweather, "whose fights generate the biggest pay-per-view numbers in the sport, has worked with Golden Boy on a fight-by-fight basis for all of his nine bouts since his 2007 blockbuster against De La Hoya, which set the all-time pay-per-view buy record at nearly 2.5 million subscriptions." But Mayweather "only worked with Golden Boy because of Schaefer, with whom he has grown close over the years" (ESPN.com, 6/2).

    WHAT'S THE IMPACT? ESPN.com's Rafael wrote Schaefer's exit "figures to dramatically alter the landscape of the boxing business." It was "not unexpected," but the "timing was a bit surprising -- a few days before De La Hoya's induction" on Sunday into the Int'l Boxing HOF. Golden Boy under Schaefer's guidance "became a powerhouse." Schaefer was the "point person in multiple record-breaking promotions, developed close relationships with HBO and later Showtime, closed an output deal for a boxing television series on Fox Sports 1, worked with numerous mainstream sponsors and made a deal to serve as the exclusive promoter of fights at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, while also maintaining a close relationship with the MGM Grand in Las Vegas." Schaefer said, "I wish it didn't end like this. I spent a lot of time with this company and I'm very proud of what I have accomplished. There's nothing to be ashamed about" (ESPN.com, 6/2). YAHOO SPORTS' Kevin Iole noted many "were quick to hail" Schaefer's resignation as "the end to boxing's ugly and counter-productive 'Cold War.'" Perhaps Schaefer's departure after a feud with De La Hoya "will signify blue skies ahead for fans." But it is more likely that Schaefer's resignation is "going to spark many more legal battles." Things may "get worse well before they get better" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 6/2).

    Check out of the Resource Guide Live listing for Golden Boy Promotions.

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  • Chuck Wielgus Withdrawn From Swimming HOF Consideration Amid Pressure

    Wielgus has long been seen as a divisive figure within the swimming industry

    USA Swimming Exec Dir CHUCK WIELGUS' name yesterday "was withdrawn as an inductee" into the Int'l Swimming HOF, according to Scott Reid of the ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER. The move came as Wielgus, USA Swimming and the HOF "came under mounting pressure from sexual abuse victims, Olympic champions and women’s sports and rights groups who charged that Wielgus’ induction would have been a 'slap in the face' to the swimmers who have been sexually abused by their coaches during his watch." However, the withdrawal of Wielgus’ name "isn’t likely to diminish the level or intensity of criticism of how he and USA Swimming have handled sexual abuse cases." The HOF's BOD and top officials in selecting Wielgus for induction "waived normal selection standards and procedures." Wielgus has "long been seen as a divisive figure." BOD member TERRY CARLISLE said, “I told them why we shouldn’t be inducting (Wielgus). I told them it would bring shame to the Hall of Fame if he was inducted. ... But it all fell on deaf ears." Reid notes Wielgus "was nominated by" former USA Swimming President DALE NEUBURGER. Neuburger also has been "frequently criticized for ignoring the sexual abuse issue" (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 6/3). USA TODAY's Kelly Whiteside notes the group of 19 women that started a petition for the ISHOF to rescind Wielgus' induction included long distance swimmer DIANA NYAD, along with "other current or former swimmers, coaches, family member and advocates." They also "reached out to the Women's Sports Foundation to protest Wielgus' induction." The group argued that Wielgus in 17 years as Exec Dir has "not effectively combated sexual abuse in the sport during most of his tenure" (USA TODAY, 6/3).

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  • Comcast-Spectacor's David Scott On His Brief Retirement, Perception Of "Comcastizing"

    Scott says working in sports and entertainment was too good to pass up

    When former Comcast-Spectacor President & COO PETER LUUKO stepped down in December, recently retired Comcast Cable Exec VP & CFO DAVID SCOTT was brought in to “fill the slot,” and he discussed his “plans for growing the business” in a Q&A with John George of the PHILADELPHIA BUSINESS JOURNAL. Below are excerpts from the interview:

    Q: How did you get the job?
    Scott: I was retired, but still working on some consulting projects. I got a call from [Comcast Chair & CEO BRIAN ROBERTS] and ultimately came up and met with [Comcast-Spectacor Chair ED SNIDER]. This all came together pretty quickly.

    Q: Why end such a brief retirement?
    Scott: It was the opportunity to do something completely different. I’d been in cable television 25, 30 years. I was in newspaper publishing before that. … I decided to be back running a company in an all new business -- sports and entertainment -- sounded exciting, and too good to pass up.

    Q: So when people say Comcast people are taking over Comcast-Spectacor ...
    Scott: I’m probably overly sensitive to that. People use the phrase ‘Comcastizing Comcast-Spectacor,’ I want to make sure I’m not perceived as doing that. This partnership with Ed and Brian Roberts has being going on for 18 years and it’s working well.

    Q: Are you planning any changes at the Wells Fargo Center?
    Scott: We’re looking at improving the digital signage and at the suites. We’re doing pretty well with our suites, but Philadelphia doesn’t have the corporate base it once had. We are seeing companies pooling together to share suites, so maybe we don’t need as many long term. We’re looking at is there way we can open some of them up and create some bigger suites for fans where they are not really suites, but more areas for fans to gather that have some food service. We are at the early stages of this. We have just started taking with some consultants (PHILADELPHIA BUSINESS JOURNAL, 5/30 issue).

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  • Executive Transactions

    MSG yesterday announced internally that MSG Sports President DAVE HOWARD is "exiting the company." Howard was viewed "as a contender for the top MSG CEO position that went to TAD SMITH" after HANK RATNER stepped down in February. Howard had been in his position at MSG for one year and previously served as Mets Exec VP/Business Operations (NYPOST.com, 6/2).

    MOVIN' ON UP: Nike promoted VP & GM/Global Basketball CRAIG ZANON to VP & GM/Men's Training. Zanon held his previous position since '07, when he replaced LARRY MILLER. Nike VP & GM/North America Basketball MICHAEL JACKSON will assume the role of VP & GM/Global Basketball. Nike also moved VP & GM/U.K. & Ireland MARC VAN PAPPELENDAM to VP & GM/Central & Eastern Europe and VP & GM/Russia JIM REYNOLDS to VP & GM/Japan (OREGONLIVE.com, 6/2).

    EXECS
    : SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL's Tripp Mickle reports Circuit of the Americas named Procter & Gamble's Duracell Marketing Dir DOMINIC IACONO CMO. COTA Chief Revenue Officer GEOFF MOORE, who previously oversaw the marketing division, "will oversee ticket, hospitality and sponsorship sales." Both execs will report to COTA CEO JASON DIAL (SPORTSBUISNESS JOURNAL, 6/2 issue)....Barclays Center named Nets Senior Dir of Premium Sales JOHN BAIER VP/Ticket Sales for the Islanders. Baier will oversee all ticket sales for the team's upcoming move to Barclays Center for the '15-16 NHL season (Barclays Center)....Lammi Sports Management named BECKY VALCQ General Counsel, effective June 16 (LSM).....The Redskins promoted Pro Personnel Assistant ALEX SANTOS to Dir of Pro Personnel, "filling the void" created when MOROCCO BROWN accepted a position with the Browns (WASHINGTON POST, 6/1)....The OHL Plymouth Whalers promoted MIKE VELLUCCI to Assistant GM & Dir of Hockey Operations, DENNIS MOORE to Whalers and Compuware Arena President & CFO, and MIKE HENRY to Compuware Arena VP & GM (DETROIT NEWS, 6/1)....USA Hockey named NBC Olympics Digital Producer RACHEL SCHWARTZ Social Media & Digital Content Coordinator (USA Hockey)....The CIAA named Fayetteville State Univ. Assistant AD/Media Relations and Game Operations Manager ADRIAN FERGUSON Associate Commissioner of Media Relations, effective July 1 (CIAA).

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

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  • Names In The News

    Sources said that NCAA COO JIM ISCH "will depart the association in the coming months." Sources added that Isch was "expected to step down at the end of June but is now in the process of negotiating a severance package that could push the date of his departure beyond the end of this month." Isch was "long considered the right-hand man" of NCAA President MARK EMMERT, and his departure marks "yet another top-tier NCAA position turning over under Emmert" since he took office in April '10 (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 6/3).

    ROCK OF AGES: In Milwaukee, Sean Ryan profiles MKE Sports & Entertainment Founder MIKE ZIMMERMAN, who "came out of nowhere in mid-2012 to become a prominent sports business developer and player." Zimmerman has built The Rock Sports Complex, a "baseball, biking and skiing complex," bought the MASL Milwaukee Wave and "began his high-profile effort to build a minor league baseball stadium." He is "brainstorming ways to extend the MKE Sports & Entertainment operations." Zimmerman said that those could "include concert series, lacrosse leagues and, more long-term, the possibility of franchising The Rock model to re-create it in other cities" (MILWAUKEE BUSINESS JOURNAL, 5/30 issue).

    WNBAers competed with "Bachelorette" Andi
    Dorfman (r) against her male suitors on the show
    SHE GOT GAME: ABC's "The Bachelorette" last night featured WNBA Sky F ELENA DELLE DONNE and "five other WNBAers" in a game against the reality show's contestants. The WNBAers played with "Bachelorette" ANDI DORFMAN "against 10 of the bachelors during a 'group date' at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Montville, Conn." The segment "lasted about 15 minutes" with Delle Donne, Dream F SWIN CASH, Fever F TAMIKA CATCHINGS, Sparks G LINDSEY HARDING and Sparks F NNEKA OGWUMIKE (DELAWAREONLINE.com, 6/3).

    NAMES: ESPN's SAGE STEELE today is featured in the WALL STREET JOURNAL's "What's Your Workout?" Steele "prefers group fitness classes to one-on-one solo workouts," and takes group fitness classes "about three days a week at the Zoo Health Club in Simsbury, Conn." Steele said that she is "addicted to BodyPump, an hourlong, weight-based class with music" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 6/3)....Oilers radio play-by-play announcer ROD PHILLIPS on Friday was inducted into the Alberta Sports HOF (Oilers)....Yankees 1B MARK TEIXEIRA yesterday announced that he is a “member of the board” that is putting together the first Greenwich Int’l Film Festival in ’15 (HOLLYWOODREPORTER.com, 6/2)....Patriots Owner ROBERT KRAFT on Sunday was a judge for the Massachusetts Boys & Girls Club's sixth annual “Science of Sports” fair at Gillette Stadium (BOSTON GLOBE, 6/3)....Boxer MANNY PACQUIAO listed his 4,273-square-foot home in the Hancock Park neighborhood of L.A. for sale at $2.7M (LATIMES.com, 6/2)....NASCAR driver JEFF GORDON’s former Highland Beach, Fla., mansion “traded hands last month” for $12.5M. Gordon bought the land for $2.4M in ’96 and “later built the house” (SUN-SENTINEL.com, 5/31)....Blackhawks LW BRANDON BOLLIG paid $810,000 for a three-bedroom, 2,300-square-foot loft condominium unit in River North, Ill. (CHICAGOTRIBUNE.com, 6/3).

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