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
Bradley University named Dave Snell assistant director of athletic communications.
The American Hockey League’s Milwaukee Admirals named Aaron Sims manager of broadcasting and outreach.
The American Hockey League’s Worcester (Mass.) Sharks hired Jason Jones as director of ticket sales. Jones was director of ticket sales for the Lowell (Mass.) Devils.
The ECHL’s Kalamazoo (Mich.) Wings named Jim Burlew general manager and alternate governor.
The ECHL’s Las Vegas Wranglers named Matthew Smith vice president of sales and service.
The ECHL’s South Carolina Stingrays named Valerie Mirelman client services coordinator.
The United States Hockey League’s Dubuque (Iowa) Fighting Saints named Matt Strelo president. Strelo was director of operations for Simmons Sports Media, Team 1380 and Fox Sports 1490 Radio.
The American Hockey League’s Chicago Wolves promoted Mike Gordon to president.
Churchill Downs Entertainment named Dennis Scanlon contractor suite sales executive.
The National Lacrosse League’s Rochester (N.Y.) Knighthawks promoted Paul Gait to vice president of lacrosse.
K&L Gates hired Chad Warpula as a partner in the firm’s corporate practice. Warpula was executive vice president and general counsel for Dale Earnhardt Inc. and Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, and general counsel for Chip Ganassi racing teams in the Izod IndyCar Series and Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series.
Home Team Marketing hired Greg Bloedorn as vice president of sales and Patrick Flynn as a sales assistant in its Cleveland office.
The Aspire Group promoted Preston Shytle and Kenny Stevens to team leaders and named Lena Dubensky, Dan McCloud, Tracey Croner and Tony Econ ticket sales consultants at the Georgia Tech Fan Relationship Management Center.
Buffalo Communications named Janeen Driscoll public relations manager. Driscoll was communications manager for Pinehurst Resort.
GAGA Sports and Entertainment named Eric Fischer senior vice president of marketing and sales. Fischer was vice president of global media solutions for the NBA.
RPMC named Vanessa Aiello client services director. Aiello was manager of partnership marketing for the International Olympic Committee.
CSE promoted Keith Grunewald to senior vice president of baseball operations, Mark Carmony to senior vice president of coaches and broadcasters, Doug Manning to senior vice president of marketing services and Amy Gilliam to vice president of marketing.
The DiFebo Co. named David Orr and Emily Krombach account executives for the Temple University Fan Relationship and Revenue Center.
Property Consulting Group hired Denise Samulis as vice president of business development.
Broadcasting & Cable named Jon Lafayette business editor.
Comcast Sports Group named Randy Houston senior counsel, Zi Wang art director and Amie Santoleri manager of digital partnerships.
ESPN named Gus Seebeck commercial director for Australia and New Zealand. Seebeck was program manager for sports at Australia’s Network Ten.
MSG Media named Marc Forest vice president of programming and development. Forest was vice president and general manager for IMG Media.
ISP Sports named Drew Branyon radio network manager for the ISP Sports Network, and Samuel Wood sponsor contract clerk in the company’s headquarters office.
CTV named Alon Marcovici vice president of digital media. Marcovici will continue his role as vice president of digital media for Canada’s Olympic Broadcast Media Consortium.
ISP Sports promoted Ryan Sullivan to account executive for the Auburn ISP Sports Network and Jennifer Sutton to travel, trade and ticket manager for ISP Sports. The company hired Jane DeWitt as a marketing assistant for the Vanderbilt ISP Sports Network, Courtney Ioane as a marketing assistant for the Washington State ISP Sports Network and Austin Rhodes as an account executive for Georgia Tech Sports Properties.
British Broadcasting Corp. named Herb Scannell president of BBC Worldwide America. Scannell was chief executive officer for Next New Networks.
Spanish Broadcasting System named Rene Rodriguez director of sports marketing for Mega TV. Rodriguez was vice president of sales and marketing for Inter-Forever Sports.
Sports Illustrated hired Kim Kelleher as vice president of global sales. Kelleher was vice president and publisher of Self Magazine.
Athlon Sports Communications named Anthony Flaccavento publisher and Michael O’Donnell advertising director for Athlon Sports magazine. Flaccavento was associate publisher for integrated sales for the Alpha Media Group, and O’Donnell was director of spirits and consumer electronics, integrated sales for Maxim.
Canada’s Olympic Broadcast Media Consortium named Gavin Roth vice president of sales and Christos Nikitopoulos as vice president of programming and revenue planning for its coverage of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
XOS Digital hired Barry Loudis as vice president of its digital sports networks. Loudis was director of university relations for CBS Interactive.
FlagMag.com hired Kurt Klier as tournament director.
Sportsman Channel hired Gavin Harvey as chief executive officer. Harvey was general manager for Fuse.
NBC named Sam Flood executive producer for NBC Sports.
Cavaliers Operating Co., parent company of the Cleveland Cavaliers, the American Hockey League’s Lake Erie Monsters and Quicken Loans Arena, hired Antony Bonavita as vice president of facility operations and Mozelle Jackson as chief financial officer. Bonavita was assistant general manager for Spurs Sports and Entertainment and the AT&T Center, and Jackson was chief financial officer for Elyria Foundry.
Sunrise Sports & Entertainment named Matt Bell vice president of event programming for the BankAtlantic Center. Bell was in the booking department for the Izod Center and Giants Stadium at the New Jersey Sports and Expositions Authority.
USA Cycling hired Jamie Staff to manage the organization’s track sprint program.
The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games named the following team to oversee the opening and closing ceremonies: Stephen Daldry, executive producer, creative; Mark Fisher, executive producer, design; Hamish Hamilton, executive producer, broadcast; Catherine Ugwu, executive producer, production; and Danny Boyle, artistic director for the opening ceremony.
Major League Soccer promoted Bryant Pfeiffer to vice president of club services.
United Soccer Leagues hired David Wagner as media relations manager and general counsel.
United Soccer Leagues W-League’s Rochester (N.Y.) Ravens FC named Devin DePoint director of team operations, public relations and marketing.
Sporting Goods and Apparel
Babolat hired Jérôme Pin as managing director of Babolat USA. Pin was director of the Americas for Innothera.
Ritchey Design hired Sean Coffey as U.S. director of marketing. Coffey was brand manager for the Easton and Blackburn brands at Easton Bell Sports.
Rod Carew launched Rod Carew Baseball. Carew is the founding partner and chairman, and Gil Vieira will serve as president.
Sports Commissions and Tourism Boards
The Atlanta Sports Council named Ken Chin vice president of business development and events.
The Greensboro (N.C.) Sports Commission promoted Demp Bradford to vice president of operations.
World Wrestling Entertainment hired Eddie Hill as senior vice president of marketing. Hill was vice president and head of U.S. advertising and global agency management for American Express. Executive vice president and general counsel Jared Bartie left the company.
International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame Executive Director Bill Supper will retire, effective June 15.
American Express named Shari Forman director of online communications and social media. Forman was vice president for PMK.
The Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America hired professional bowler Stefanie Nation as tournament coordinator. Nation was a project coordinator for U.S. Bowling Congress.
Awards and Boards
The Green Bay Packers will name Larry Weyers vice president and lead director to its board of directors and Mark McMullen treasurer and a member of the board’s executive committee.
The Finish Line named Glenn Lyon chairman of its board of directors, effective July 22, replacing co-founder Alan Cohen, who will retire.
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.
Eric Freeland recently joined Qcue, a three-year-old company specializing in dynamic ticket pricing that he thinks has a dynamic future. Freeland comes from StubHub, where his team was responsible for supporting sponsorships with pro sports teams and NCAA schools. He spoke with staff writer Theresa Manahan.
New title: Vice president of business development, Qcue
Previous title: Manager of business development, StubHub
First job: Tennis instructor
College education: B.S., organizational development, Vanderbilt (2000)
Resides: San Francisco
Grew up: St. Louis
Executive most admired: Steve Jobs
Brand most admired: Google
Favorite vacation spot:
Last book read: “The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living,” by the Dalai Lama and Howard Cutler
Last movie seen: “Avatar”
Favorite movie: “The Natural”
Favorite music genre: Bluegrass
Fantasy job outside of sports: National Geographic photographer
Break down the dynamic pricing that Qcue uses.
It’s the adjustment of ticket prices to ensure that prices accurately reflect the value of attending that event at all times.
The model was also developed for concerts and theater. Will Qcue seek to offer software outside of sports?
As of now, our clients are within the realm of sports. The model is scalable to multiple different genres, but as of now it is just sports.
What are your main initiatives as you begin this new position?
Becoming more fluent with the software itself. There is a very steep learning curve that I am excited about.
Your company has deals with the San Francisco Giants and Dallas Stars. Are there any new deals in the works?
We are in discussions with multiple teams in each of the major professional sports leagues and several NASCAR tracks. We’re expecting to have expanded our roster of partners to 20-25 by this time next year.
Qcue’s dynamic pricing allows teams and venues to adjust single-game ticket prices as late as the day of the game. Have you created a model for season-ticket sales?
No, to date we have not. … While season-ticket prices aren’t dynamic, we have helped our clients set package prices at the start of the season.
What is the biggest risk you’ve taken in your career?
Moving to Europe and teaching English.
What is the one element you would like to see changed about the sports industry?
Teams continuing to realize the importance of their fan base.