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The American Hockey League named Jim Sarosy, vice president of communications and hockey relations for the Syracuse (N.Y.) Crunch, the winner of the 2001-02 Ken McKenzie Award as the league's outstanding executive who has accomplished the most to promote his or her AHL team in the fields of public relations or marketing.
Rick Walker of the Lowell (Mass.) Spinners was selected to receive the 2002 New York-Penn League Sports Turf Manager of the Year Award.
The East Coast Hockey League named Brian McKenna president and CEO. His hiring was approved in a vote of the ECHL board of directors, and he will assume his duties Oct. 7.
McKenna comes to the position from the ECHL's Trenton (N.J.) Titans, where he had been president and general manager since the team's inception. He was named ECHL Executive of the Year after Trenton's inaugural season in 1999-2000, a season that saw the Titans average more than 7,000 fans a game in the regular season and advance to the Northern Conference Finals.
Before the Titans, McKenna was the executive vice president and general manager of the Carolina Monarchs in the American Hockey League. The Monarchs, who played in Greensboro, N.C., set an AHL single-game attendance record with 20,672 fans in 1997.
McKenna has been active in hockey since 1980 as both a coach and scout for numerous teams at all levels. He was awarded a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of New Brunswick.
The Chicago Bulls promoted Marianne Caponi to manager of corporate communications and hired Brandon Faber as assistant, public and media relations. Brooks Boyer was promoted to senior director of corporate partnerships, Jeff Wohlschlaeger to director of game operations, Sebrina Brewster to senior manager, public and media relations, Matt Lloyd to manager, public and media relations, and Tony Rokita to manager of community events.
Karin Buchholz was named vice president, community and fan development for the New York Knicks.
Spurs Sports and Entertainment named Russ Bookbinder executive vice president of business operations and Rick Pych executive vice president of finance and corporate development/SBC Center chief development officer.Leach
Harold Ellis was named NBA advance scout for the Atlanta Hawks.
Eric Leach was named ticket sales manager of the Roanoke (Va.) Dazzle of the National Basketball Development League.
Tom Bruya was named director of marketing and corporate partnerships for Santa Clara (Calif.) University.Hardisky
Ryan Barnhart was hired as director of sales and development at the University of North Texas in Denton.
Mike Hardisky was named assistant director of athletics for marketing and promotions at Mount St. Mary's College in Emmitsburg, Md.
The FleetCenter in Boston promoted Amy Latimer to assistant vice president of ticket sales, Robyn Sullivan to VIP ticketing director, Cindy Cucinotta to ticket sales director and James JJ Smith to group sales manager. Anthony Rodrigues was hired as human resources manager.
The National Association of Concessionaires board of directors added four new members: Gina Troutman DiSanto, Randy Martin, Michael Thompson and Chris Verros.
Jacqueline Lunsford was hired as associate developer in the Jacksonville office of ScheerGame Sports Development LLC.
The SBC Center in San Antonio named Jeffery Smith engineering supervisor, Rose Ann Martinez event services manager and Brian Shantz and Bob Byxbee event services coordinators.
Callaway Golf Co.'s Richard Helmstetter, senior executive vice president, chief of new products, has accepted leadership of product management. Patrice Hutin was promoted to executive vice president of global sales and advertising.
John Beckman was named president and chief operating officer of ClubCorp, a Dallas operator of golf courses and country clubs.
Ian Rowden, executive vice president at Callaway Golf Co. in Carlsbad, Calif., was appointed to a new role on the senior management team.
Jim Norquay was hired as director of officials and compliance for the West Coast Hockey League in Ontario, Calif.Williams
Brian Williams was named president/COO of the Portland (Maine) Pirates and will continue to serve as alternate governor to the American Hockey League. Brian Petrovek will retain the title of CEO.
The Seattle Thunderbirds of the Western Hockey League named Jason Thomsen director of ticketing and sales, Glenn Neumann business manager and controller, Danae Kokenos and Sean Runnels sales account executives, Ian Henry assistant director of media relations and Timothy Holmstrom athletic trainer.
Jim Brady was named coach and general manager for the New Jersey Storm of the National Lacrosse League.
Andy Clark was hired as senior consultant, supervising consumer products and services and sponsorship marketing practices, for Dome Communications Inc. in Chicago.
JL Sports named Sondra Baseggio director of marketing and client services and Tom Kleine director of operations.
Heather McLaughlin was named account coordinator for ANC Sports Enterprises. Darren Gladieux was promoted to national technical services manager, Anthony Simeone to project manager and regional technical service manager, Anthony Rizzo to facilities manager, Chris McClave to client service account executive, Nyasha Gibbs to office administrator and accounting associate, and Lindsay Drury to sales and marketing associate.
Rick Rizzuto Jr. formed a new company, RPR Sports & Entertainment, a celebrity-marketing firm in New Jersey.
Dave Mishkin is the new radio play-by-play broadcaster for the NHL's Tampa Bay Lightning.
Peter Ferraro was hired as vice president of sales for TransWorld Media in New York.Erdlen
Brian Erdlen was hired as local sales manager for the New England Sports Network in Boston.
Lee Patterson was hired as an account executive for Brener Zwikel & Associates Inc. in Reseda, Calif.
Ken Wolfe was hired as executive producer for Varsity Entertainment in New York.
Matthew Alexander was promoted to vice president/general manager of Raceway Associates.
Clear Channel Entertainment's motorsports division appointed Dave Prater assistant director of supercross for the 2002-03 FIM World Supercross GP.
Kansas Speedway named Summer Talbert corporate account manager, Darin Fuhrman superintendent of grounds, Randy Connor public relations coordinator and Lisa Joyce manager for the Kansas Speedway Travel Information Center.
Chris Branscome was hired as the director of marketing for the US Youth Soccer organization in Richardson, Texas.
David Grimaldi was named director of soccer operations for the Major Indoor Soccer League in Westport, Conn.
SPORTS COMMISSIONS AND VISITORS BUREAUS
Andre Goodrich was hired as sales manager for the San Bernardino (Calif.) Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Angela Pratt was hired as sports sales manager for the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Lynn Sprangers was named the first female chair of the 40-member board of directors for the Greater Milwaukee Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The U.S. Tennis Association nominated Alan Schwartz as chairman of the board, president and CEO; Franklin Johnson as first vice president; Lucy Garvin and Michael Kohlhoff as vice presidents; Jane Brown as secretary-treasurer; and James Chaffin, David Dinkins, Zina Garrison, Jim Baugh, Martin Blackman, Kurt Kamperman, Jack Moter, Joaquim Rasgado Jr. and David Wheaton as directors at large of the USTA board of directors.
Michael Miller was named vice president of sales for the ski/outdoor, marine, golf and sporting goods divisions at Aloe Up Suncare Products in Minneapolis.
Software company Smart Button Associates named Aileen Stacy marketing director and promoted Bruce Trommelen to product manager of the Streamline product.
The Salesmanship Club of Dallas, which sponsors the PGA Tour's EDS Byron Nelson Championship, elected Bruce Sifford 2002-03 president, Samuel Swanson III first vice president, Guy Kerr second vice president, Jerry Grable secretary, and Michael Massad Jr. treasurer; additional directors include Thomas Bain Jr., Paul Bass Jr., George Bramblett Jr., Mark Connell, Jack Davis, Michael DeGrazier, John Bob Ferguson Jr., Todd Meier, Steven Meyer, Jeffrey Porter, F. Patrick Schultz, Charles Solomon and Lawrence Mac Wesson Jr.
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Scott Hennessy plays tennis. He's an enthusiastic runner. But he wasn't a golfer. In fact, he was kidded by his colleagues for avoiding the game during off-site meetings. So, how did he get hired as the president of the world's No. 1 manufacturer of golf shafts?
Nearly seven years into the job, Hennessy says it happened because he kept his eye on learning to "tee up" fundamentals of product development, brand marketing and distribution across many product categories. The golf opportunity came along following 14 years of sales experience at the Black & Decker Corp., where Hennessy had worked since graduating from the University of Delaware in 1980.
Today, the company he runs, True Temper Sports, is no longer a subsidiary of Black & Decker. It was spun off in 1998. But Hennessy, 43, credits Black & Decker's culture of mentoring young executives and "zigzagging" them through the company's various divisions with giving him the credentials to become a senior executive.
Since taking over True Temper's sports business, Hennessy has guided steady growth from a $65 million operation to one that accounted for $110 million in revenue last year.
Not only was Hennessy never a golfer, he wasn't exactly a sports guy in his professional life, either. By the early 1990s, he carried the lengthy title of vice president of sales and marketing for worldwide accessories and fastening products. His was a world of hot glue guns, electric saw blades and the Power Shot, an award-winning electric stapler. It also was a profitable part of Black & Decker's world, generating about $300 million in sales.
It was Hennessy's performance at this stage of his career that made him a candidate and, eventually, the choice for a division presidency. He was appointed vice president of worldwide sales and marketing with True Temper in 1994, reporting to CEO Nolan Archibald, and promoted to president and general manager in January 1996.
The road there was long. Hennessey moved constantly in the early years at Black & Decker, from Philadelphia to Baltimore to Chicago to Houston, back to Baltimore and, finally, to Memphis, home of True Temper.
When he was not awaiting the arrival of another moving van, Hennessy was launching and building brands, or coordinating regional sales efforts through a team of managers that dealt directly with the major retailers, such as Ace Hardware, Home Depot and Tru-Value Hardware. This was practical sales and marketing experience within the framework of a company that forced its successful sales people to touch a variety of products and businesses.
Hennessy's message to young professionals attracted to careers in the sports manufacturing or sports marketing fields is, essentially: Forget about sports. The proving grounds are likely to be found elsewhere.
Whether it is golf or tennis or a professional franchise marketing a team to potential ticket buyers, "it's still a business, and you need business skills," Hennessy said. "I would recommend that ... entry level [age groups] go with companies that have good, robust training programs. Look for [companies] that will give you good business discipline."
Hennessy said his industry often lacks homegrown talent and looks to outsiders for branding and marketing expertise.
The reality is that sporting goods sales are driven much more by intangibles than are the sales of everyday consumer staple products. People probably can be convinced they need paper towels, but a new set of golf clubs is a different story.
"You need to be able tap into that consumer psyche and be able to differentiate your product and your brand, and sometimes those nuances are quite subtle," Hennessy said. "You'll see that a lot of big [sports] companies are starting to intersperse people from [outside]. Callaway brought someone into product development that had a background at Disney. TaylorMade has brought people in who have backgrounds at Coca-Cola."
Whether it's sports, theme parks or carbonated beverages, Hennessy said, innovation is sometimes the only catalyst for true growth in a business that can be healthy one year and stagnant the next. He noted that True Temper is more than 100 years old and pleased with its command of market share (specifics of which it wouldn't release). Yet, in the sports manufacturing business, nostalgia doesn't play well.
"Last year, 35 percent of our sales came from products that were less than two years old," Hennessy said. "So it is definitely a new-products business, even though it seems to be built on a much more traditional sales base."
For example, in 2002 True Temper developed the BiMatrix Rocket, which features a specially designed high-launch tip section to optimize launch angles for maximum distance and carry, and the TX-90, considered one of the lightest steel shafts in the industry. The TX-90 is manufactured from a revolutionary new steel alloy developed by True Temper's R&D department.
Hennessy became a firsthand user of True Temper's shafts. When he took the job seven years ago, he signed himself up for a series of intensive golf lessons, hoping to eliminate perceptions that he knew nothing about the game.
"Not that I'm a great golfer now, but I certainly can play recreational golf," Hennessy said. "I can regularly break 100."
Not bad for a tennis guy.
Title: President and CEO
Company: True Temper Sports
Education: University of Delaware, B.S., business administration, 1980
Career path: Black & Decker: sales, 1980; sales manager, 1981; national accounts manager, 1984; regional sales manager, 1985; director of national accounts, 1986; marketing manager, 1988; vice president of sales, marketing and product development, 1990; True Temper Sports (former Black & Decker subsidiary): vice president of worldwide sales and marketing, 1994; president and CEO, 1996
Jed Hughes (firstname.lastname@example.org) is managing director of Spencer Stuart Sports Leadership Practices.