SBJ/20081215/Holiday Gifts

Your holiday forecast: Strong chance of BlackBerry Storm

What books, CDs, DVDs or gadgets do you hope to receive for the holidays, and what will you be buying as gifts?

David Levy
Turner Broadcasting Sales Inc. and Turner Sports

Hopes to get: I’d like to see my 201(k) go back to being a 401(k).

Giving to wife and kids: I want to get the iPhone 3G with the tracking system. I’d love to know where my children are.

Neil Mulcahy
Executive Vice President of Sports Sales
Fox Sports

I would like to receive the Amazon Kindle to download books, The Wall Street Journal, etc. I could use a new iPod with a wider screen to better see what I’m looking at.

Buying for my wife a BlackBerry so she doesn’t get mad at me when I’m constantly on mine.

Donna Orender

I love to read and will definitely look for “Team of Rivals,” by Doris Kearns Goodwin, and anything new by David Baldacci, Nelson DeMille and Clive Cussler. Love all those authors.

I just ordered the new Steve Berry book [“The Charlemagne Pursuit”] for a friend.

My kids are getting the new EA games “NBA Live 09” and Madden.

Len Komoroski
Cleveland Cavaliers

The books I’ll be giving and hoping to receive as well are:
 “The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life,” by Alice Schroeder. I’m looking forward to gaining more insight on how Warren Buffett approaches the world.

“Hot, Flat, and Crowded,” by Thomas Friedman. I think we’re at the dawn of a new age with the focus on alternative energy and green initiatives.

I’d look forward to getting the “Iron Man” DVD. I saw it on a flight for a business trip, and Robert Downey Jr. was great. I’m sure it’s even better on something more than an 8-inch screen.

BlackBerry Storm is the gadget I’d like to receive. I’m continually amazed by the evolution of these devices.

Peter Moore
EA Sports

Looking forward to receiving a new Flip Mino video recorder (the coolest gadget of 2008) and, of course, sending plentiful EA Sports games to friends, particularly Raiders and Niners fans in the Bay Area. Playing them in Madden is the best shot either team has of salvaging this season.

Steve Astephen
Executive Vice President
Wasserman Media Group

I will be buying lots of toys and Hannah Montana for my daughter and skateboards, shoes and clothes for my son. My wife wants everything, so who knows. 

Jennifer Storms
Senior Vice President
Turner Sports Marketing & Programming

Gifts I hope to receive:
Gadget: I am really hoping to receive the new BlackBerry Storm. Hopefully BlackBerry will split the profits with me for sharing my name. 

Book: Ted Turner’s new book, “Call Me Ted.” Even though he is no longer part of the company, Turner is a visionary. I’m looking forward to reading his memoir.

CD: Darius Rucker’s (aka Hootie) country crossover [“Learn to Live”] is supposed to be great.

What I am giving:
Most of the people I work with, as well as my friends, are active, so I’m giving them personalized Trion:Z bracelets, which are supposed to help with physical stress.

Richard Peddie
President & CEO
Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment

I’m hoping to receive “Growing Up Digital,” by Don Tapscott. I think this book will be a helpful read because Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment recognizes that we have to deliver our content digitally when, where and how our fans want it. 

Chris Tsakalakis

For friends, David Sedaris’ book “When You Are Engulfed in Flames,” because we all need a laugh in this economy. Also, David is fun to see live. I saw him earlier this year. Guess where I got the tickets?

The Soil and Sun Probe
goes from the ground
to your computer.

For me, I am fascinated by a gadget called the Soil and Sun Probe. No, it’s not a medical device used by curious aliens but a computer gadget that looks (sort of) like a flower that gathers information on sun and soil conditions which you can then download to your computer to find plants that would thrive in your garden. It’s an interesting mix of geek and gardening. I saw it in the Sky Mall magazine on the plane. And to think I would have missed it if my laptop battery hadn’t run out.

Michael Lynch
Senior Vice President of Global Partnership Marketing
Visa Inc.

Visa gift cards, what else? No sizes, no returns, no re-gifting. Use everywhere Visa is accepted. Major convenience. Everybody’s happy.

Derrick Hall
Arizona Diamondbacks

I hope to receive “Rock Band 2” and “Wii Music” so my three children and I can have a “battle of the bands.” It would also be a way for them to buy something for me with their mother that is actually for their own enjoyment. I plan on buying the new BlackBerry Storm that I have for the other members of my family, and will be sending the book “Dugout Wisdom: Life Lessons From Baseball,” by Dan Migala, to friends and family as well.

Pam Gardner
President of Business Operations
Houston Astros

Of all things, I enjoy giving and receiving books the most. The week before Christmas, I’ll spend a few hours in the bookstore selecting different works for everyone on my list. I don’t go in with specifics in mind; I find what moves me at the time, and what I think might match the interests of each person I’m buying for.

Bob Basche

As my recreational passion is a restored 34-foot Maine lobster boat, I am always excited when my wife/family finds a new gadget or accessory for it. After 14 years, this is getting tough, though. However, I just dropped a hint on something I saw in a local boating mag: professional photos of my boat under way, shot by helicopter. Here’s hoping Santa comes through!

As for giving, this will be a lean year for sure, but our company has developed cause partnership with the Web site, which allows individuals to set up their own favorite charity cause page to leverage fundraising for their charity via the Internet. Many of my gifts will be to introduce this unique opportunity to friends and family. Also, Vermont maple syrup harvested from my wife’s family farm in Vermont and packaged in custom tins.

Rafe Anderson
President & CEO,
TruMedia Networks

I am hoping to receive the Squeezebox so that I can listen to in my living room. I will be buying the Ooma ( as a gift for my family and friends so that they never need to pay another phone bill.

Sam Kennedy
Executive Vice President
Fenway Sports Group

I am hoping to receive Seasons 1-4 of “Entourage” on DVD.  Somehow I missed them, and Season 5 has me totally hooked.

This is the second installment in a series on what gifts top sports executives are asking for and giving for the holidays. Responses were compiled by New York bureau chief Jerry Kavanagh.
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