How ‘Friday Night Lights’ came to life PGA Championship merch sales up 10% More NBA options on Thursday nights Softening the Tiger Effect Rio’s ticket resale is broadest yet Toyota, Long Beach keep rolling Packers’ Titletown to cost up to $130M Plugged In: Steve Keener ‘Madden NFL 16’ has a blockbuster Churchill taps Ticketmaster for Derby
The National Lacrosse League’s Colorado Mammoth named Josh Gross director of business operations in addition to his role as TV play-by-play announcer.
Blue Sky Sports and Entertainment named Erin Perron director of events and marketing.
HorsePower Sports Marketing hired Jack Heilig as a public relations consultant.
IMG College named Andrew Kossoff general manager of the company’s sports marketing property at Ohio State University.
Fuse named Gavin Harvey executive vice president and general manager. Harvey was formerly president of Versus.
Emmis Communications named Charlie Morgan vice president and general manager. Morgan was president and chief operating officer of IMS Productions, the broadcasting arm of Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The World Fishing Network named Joe Higgins sales director. Higgins was founder and publisher of Florida Fishing Weekly.
Barclays Premier League club Arsenal named Svenja Geissmar general counsel and Trevor Saving head of people and operations.
Scottish Premier League club Rangers FC named Alastair Johnston chair, replacing David Murray who stepped down.
Sporting Goods and Apparel
Aetrex Worldwide named John Popham and Michel Racine market managers for Aetrex Canada. Popham was director of national sales and national account manager for Kodiak Group, and Racine was regional sales manager for central and eastern Canada for Rockport Canada.
The Finish Line promoted Donald Courtney to president of e-commerce in its new e-commerce division.
Sports Commissions and Tourism Boards
The Greensboro Sports Commission named Kim Strable president. Strable was athletic director at Greensboro College.
The International Tennis Hall of Fame named Anne Marie McLaughlin marketing communications manager. McLaughlin was media and marketing manager for the PGA Tour’s Travelers Championship.
Turnkey Sports and Entertainment promoted Emily Huddell to vice president and named Michael Koch and Michael Sullivan application developers.
GoVision hired Alex Bethke to join its LED mobile video display team.
The National Alliance of Youth Sport named Pysha Simmons marketing coordinator.
PepsiCo North America named Peter Land senior vice president of communications. Land was chief marketing officer for the Breeders’ Cup.
The Coca-Cola Co. named Michael Stewart sales development manager for its south business unit. Stewart was director of regional partnerships for the Arena Football League.
To have your personnel announcements included in the People section, please send information and photos to Brandon McClung at 120 W. Morehead St., Suite 310, Charlotte, NC 28202, or e-mail them to email@example.com. Electronic photos must be a jpg or tiff file for Macintosh, 2.25 inches wide at 300 dpi. Color only, please. News items may also be sent via fax to (704) 973-1401. If you have questions, call (704) 973-1425.
Less than three weeks into Kevin Flanery’s new role as Churchill Downs president, heavy rain flooded the Louisville racetrack, museum and offices in early August. But Flanery took the reins, helping the track make a speedy recovery and getting things back to business as usual. Staff writer Theresa Manahan caught up with Flanery.
New title: President, Churchill Downs Racetrack, and senior vice president, Churchill Downs Inc.
Previous title: Senior vice president of national public affairs and communications, Churchill Downs Inc.
First job: Cutting grass for the grade school
College education: B.A. in psychology, Bellarmine College (1987) and a J.D., University of Kentucky College of Law (1990)
Resides: Louisville, Ky.
Grew up: Louisville, Ky.
Executive most admired: Abraham Lincoln
Brand most admired: NFL
Last book read: “Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln,” by Doris Kearns Goodwin
Last movie seen: “(500) Days of Summer”
Favorite movie: “To Kill a Mockingbird”
Favorite musician/band: Lyle Lovett
How is the flooding situation and has it set you back a bit in terms of the money needed for repairs and labor?
We had employees whose cars were completely underwater. The track was back up for training 48 hours later. Any time you have an event like this, it costs money.
The track tested night racing with Downs After Dark and brought in almost 90,000 fans over three dates.
Our intent with night racing was to create something new and exciting for the Louisville community outside of the [Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby races] that they could look forward to year-round, and we think we have found something that fits that bill. We are absolutely looking forward to duplicating that effort in the future.
In 2008, you headed the campaign to permit Florida’s Calder Race Course to operate slot machines. Recently the proposals to boost purses with video lottery terminals failed in the Kentucky Legislature. What is the next step?
In Kentucky, we will continue to educate legislators and the public about the fact that racing is a national business. In order to be competitive we have to have the same types of offerings for our customers that other tracks around the nation have.
What career advice do you have for people wanting into the sports industry?
If it is your passion, pursue it. Think about what the sport can be, not what it has been. We need creative thinkers to present the sport to the next generation.
What is one story you are continuing to watch in the sports world today?
The PGA Tour, with how they are reacting to the economy and reinvigorating their product with both the World Golf Championships and their season-ending tour championship.