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
MLB Advanced Media hired Jeff Volk as vice president of business development. Volk was president of digital media for Athletes’ Performance.
The Houston Astros hired Carl Grider Jr. as manager of ticket sales and service. Grider was outbound sales manager for Turnstyles Ticketing.
The New Jersey Nets promoted Bobby Marks to assistant general manager.
The Oklahoma City Thunder promoted Matt Bowman to director of ticket sales, Wayne Guymon to director of business development and Dave Podoll to director of ticket operations. The club hired Carmen Butler as Thunder Girls manager; Nick Colburn as an account executive for business development; Nicole Doyle as a marketing assistant; Whitney Emde as an account services representative; Kade Hanes as ticket operations coordinator; Sean Heusel as a senior account executive for business development; Scott Loft as vice president of ticket sales, retention and database operations; and Emily Frosaker, Mollie Mailman, Ryan Hock and Chas Sheffield as sales representatives.
The Orlando Magic promoted Alex Martins to team president and Otis Smith to president of basketball operations.
The NBA Development League’s Tulsa (Okla.) 66ers named Theodore Williams vice president of sales, Bryce Daub minor league athletic coordinator, Tony Katzenmeier minor league athletic trainer, Mitch Heckart public relations manager and Michelle Matthews an account executive.
Global Spectrum named Chris Bird assistant general manager for the Liacouras Center at Temple University, Claudio Oliveira assistant general manager for the Sun National Bank Center in Trenton (N.J.) and Curtis Webb general manager for the Wolstein Center at Cleveland State University.
Orlando Venues hired Charles Leone Jr. as division manager of operations for the company’s facilities, including the new Amway Center. Leone was director of operations for the Prudential Center.
Centerplate named Sean Kavanaugh executive chef for the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville.
SMG promoted Jon Petrunak to vice president of SMG sports and entertainment-arenas/stadiums and Bob Papke to vice president of sports and entertainment-theaters.
Texas Motor Speedway hired Bruce Guthrie as director of marketing. Guthrie was previously vice president of marketing for Spurs Sports & Entertainment.
The NFL hired Robert Gulliver as executive vice president of human resources and chief diversity officer and Paul Hicks as executive vice president of communications and government affairs. Gulliver was executive vice president and head of human resources for one of Wells Fargo’s divisions in Charlotte, and Hicks was regional chief executive officer of the Americas for Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide.
The NFL Players Association hired Nolan Harrison III as senior director of former player services.
The Green Bay Packers promoted Aaron Popkey to assistant director of public relations and corporate communications, and named Ricky Zeller assistant director of public relations and Jonathan Butnick public relations coordinator.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers named Michael Patty a public relations assistant.
TPC Sawgrass named Jennifer Belisario sales and marketing manager.
Sunrise Sports & Entertainment named Cliff Viner general partner, chairman and chief executive officer of the Florida Panthers and the BankAtlantic Center. Viner had served as chairman and co-general partner with Stu Siegel. Siegel will now serve as limited partner, chairman of the Florida Panthers Foundation and NHL alternate governor. The organization hired Rachel Brooke as executive director of the Florida Panthers Foundation and Lynsie Estes as director of fan development and grassroots marketing.
Cenergy Marketing & Communications hired Sarah Neundorfer as a senior copywriter and Jonathan Goldberg as an account manager. Neundorfer was co-founder of the boutique interactive shop Sheer Motive, and Goldberg was a field marketing specialist for Red Bull.
The Aspire Group promoted Scott Dolson to corporate sales consultant at the Ottawa 67’s fan relationship management center.
Home Team Marketing promoted Danny Chalhoub to senior designated school representative.
Synergy Events hired Tim Heath as vice president of brand experience. Heath was president of English Sportswear.
rEvolution named Bob Lachky to its senior advisory team. Lachky was executive vice president of global industry development and chief creative officer for Anheuser-Busch.
Buffalo Communications hired Tammy Portnoy as a public relations specialist.
Comcast SportsNet hired John Vecchione as director of mobile for Comcast Sports Group.
ESPN hired Richard Vivian as director of sports distribution in Europe. Vivian was commercial director for Box Television.
ISP Sports promoted the following: Chad Cleveland to assistant vice president of network operations for the ISP Sports Network, Adam Witten to conference network manager for the Atlantic Coast Conference, Robert Smith to conference network manager for the Big East, Matt Chazanow to conference network manager for the Pac-10, David Shumate to conference network manager for the SEC, Taylor Durham to conference network manager for the Mid-American Conference and Appalachian State, Sarah Beck to assistant manager of audio administration for the ACC and Appalachian State, Brock Bowling to broadcast associate and lead announcer for the Big East, Dave Bouteiller to general manager of the UCF ISP Sports Network at the University of Central Florida, and Matt Almond to assistant general manager of the Washington State ISP Sports Network. ISP Sports hired Mike Tingle as conference network manager for the ISP Sports Network, George Smalley as assistant general manager for the Thundering Herd ISP Sports Network at Marshall University, Dustin England as a senior account executive for the Sun Devil ISP Sports Network at Arizona State University, Julie Harris as an account executive for the Miner ISP Sports Network at the University of Texas at El Paso, and Lijah Galas as video production manager for Georgia Sports Properties at the University of Georgia.
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