50 Most Influential: Introduction 50 Most Influential: No. 34 Ditching ’burbs for Detroit NHL brings doughnuts, signs Dunkin’ deal 50 Most Influential: No. 16 ‘Suite’ gifts, and even a few ugly ones Group builds platform for hockey award 50 Most Influential: No. 38 Alabama scores some serious bling Sports Media: NFL steps into esports
The University of North Carolina at Charlotte promoted Chris Thomasson to associate athletic director for compliance and championships, and named Scott Byrd assistant director of compliance and Jesse Garber assistant ticket manager.
The University of Puget Sound named Steven Olveda sports information director and promotions specialist.
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga promoted Laura Herron to senior associate athletic director and senior woman administrator, Matt Pope to senior associate athletic director for administration and internal operations, and Jay Blackman to assistant athletic director for communications and media relations.
Global Spectrum promoted Shura Lindgren-Garnett to regional vice president and named Erin Bilton director of marketing for the Sears Centre Arena and Ron Rideout assistant general manager for the UCF Arena.
Kansas Speedway promoted Darren Cook to vice president of operations and hired Chris Schwartz as vice president of marketing and sales. Schwartz was vice president of marketing and communications for Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The San Francisco 49ers hired Ethan Casson as vice president of corporate sales. Casson was senior vice president of corporate sales and services and game presentation for the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The PGA of America named Corey Aurand senior director of PGA Golf Properties.
The Calgary Flames hired Jay Feaster as assistant general manager.
The Minnesota Wild promoted Blair Mackasey to director of player personnel.
The Montreal Canadiens hired Larry Carrière as assistant general manager for player personnel. Carrière was a pro scout for the Washington Capitals.
The American Hockey League’s Adirondack (N.Y.) Phantoms hired Brandon Croce as an account executive.
The American Hockey League’s Worcester (Mass.) Sharks hired Chris Curtis as an account executive. Curtis was a group accounts manager for the independent Atlantic League’s Camden (N.J.) Riversharks.
The North American Hockey League’s Amarillo (Texas) Bulls hired Denis Puska as director of broadcasting and communications and as an account manager.
The Beverly Hills Sports Council hired George Burns as executive director of athlete marketing, Paul Kuo as director of public relations, and Ellen McGlynn as associate counsel assisting in salary arbitration, contract endorsements and other legal matters.
Cosmos Sports promoted Scott Mosey to executive director, Mike Miele to director of marketing and Bryan McGahey to director of team services. Jordan Harding was hired as manager of corporate partnerships, and manager of corporate partnerships Jason Szames resigned to pursue an MBA.
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After six years as a property executive and nine years as a brand executive at Pepsi, John Stamatis recently decided to transition into the consulting business by joining Team Epic. The newly created agency, which resulted from Velocity Sports & Entertainment’s union with Vivid Marketing, specializes in strategy and campaign development, experiential marketing, digital marketing, and measurement/analytics. As the agency’s first executive hire, Stamatis is charged with helping find new clients and develop strategies that meet their business objectives. He recently spoke with staff writer Tripp Mickle.
New title: Vice president, director of account services, Team Epic
Previous job: Vice president, marketing and partnerships, Alliance of Action Sports
First job in sports: Internship at Western Kentucky University athletic department
College education: B.A. in English, Columbia University, 1988; M.S. in sports management, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 1993
Resides: Ridgefield, Conn.
Grew up: Bayside, Queens, N.Y.
Executive most admired: Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane
Favorite vacation spot: Watch Hill, R.I.
Brand most admired: Mountain Dew
Last two books read: “Outliers,” by Malcolm Gladwell, and “Yankee for Life,” by Bobby Murcer
Favorite Movie: “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”
Favorite Band: Bee Gees, “Saturday Night Fever”
What responsibilities will you have in this role that you haven’t had in previous jobs?
To help lead Team Epic’s new positioning in the marketplace and to help lead our clients into the convergence of online and offline experiences in sports, lifestyle and brand marketing. It’s not just one core offering any more. We’re trying to be responsible to the needs of clients in the future. It’s more than just consulting. It’s more than just digital. It’s more than just experiential marketing. It’s all of those things.
What’s the biggest change for you in this job?
Pitching business will be somewhat new. However, having sat across the table from Dale Jr. pitching him on why Mountain Dew and Amp [would work for him] in his post-Budweiser era or pitching from a property perspective on why Target should carry NBA merchandise or pitching Toyota to continue with the Dew Tour, I’ve done a lot of pitching.
You’ve tried every area of the sports business. What differentiates the brand, property and agency sides of the business?
It was always about brands for me. I’m not just a property guy or an agency guy or a brand guy. From the client side, it’s nice to hold the keys and having buying power, targeting investments that meet your goals. That’s exciting. Building the property portfolio with partner solutions in mind was always exciting. Now being able to be on the cutting edge on the agency side, helping or enabling brands to sift through their choices and make wise, strategic investments will be equally exciting and brings it full circle.