Sherwin-Williams signs with IndyCar MLS, SNHU sign new partnership The Lefton Report: Playing it Safelite Going out on top Precourt thoughtful in remaking Crew Challenging schools on cheating DraftKings closes on $300M funding round NBC readies year-out efforts for Games Best opportunities outside of teams Fanatics' new era of racetrack retail
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The Baseball Factory hired Tyler Twilley as an Under Armour national tryout and premium video program representative.
The Cleveland Indians promoted Sara Lehrke to vice president of human resources and chief diversity officer.
The Class A New York-Penn League Lowell (Mass.) Spinners promoted Tim Bawmann to president and general manager, Priscilla Harbour to vice president and controller, Jon Healy to vice president of group ticketing, Dan Beaulieu to vice president of facilities and Jon Boswell to director of media relations. The team hired Jarrod FitzGerald as director of creative services.
The San Diego Padres named John Abbamondi vice president of strategy and business analysis and Erik Greupner senior vice president and general counsel. Abbamondi was assistant general manager for the St. Louis Cardinals. Greupner was a corporate and transactional attorney for the law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher.
The Cleveland Cavaliers promoted Randy Domain to vice president of corporate sales and services; Nicholas Frasco to senior director of business development, suites and premium sales; A.J. Bondi to senior director of premium and suite experiences; Nic Barlage to director of suite and premium sales; Brea Schmidt to director of client experiences; and Jeff Kadlub to senior corporate sales executive.
The New Jersey Nets promoted Leo Ehrline to executive vice president and chief administrative and relationship officer; Charlie Mierswa to executive vice president of business operations and chief financial officer; Jeff Gewirtz to executive vice president and chief legal officer; Fred Mangione to senior vice president and chief marketing officer; Petra Pope to senior vice president of event marketing and community relations; Chris Brahe to senior vice president of partnership sales and marketing; and Barry Baum to senior vice president of business and entertainment communications. The team hired Marie Chindamo as vice president of human resources; Elisa Padilla as director of marketing; Randy Lewis as director of database and research marketing; Joe Grande as an account manager for group sales; Christopher Santoro as an account manager for ticket sales; Travis Lee as creative manager; Ciji Mani as payroll coordinator; Illiana Blackshear as a corporate sales assistant; and Jim Richardi as interactive marketing coordinator.
The NBA hired Philip Grieco as director of sponsorships for its team marketing and business operations group. Grieco was senior marketing manager of sponsorships and sports marketing for Mars Chocolate North America.
Barton College hired Kevin Buczek as director of athletics media relations. Buczek was sports information director at St. Andrews Presbyterian College.
Flagler College hired Ryan Erlacher as assistant athletic director of compliance. Erlacher was associate athletic director and compliance director at Newman University.
Florida Gulf Coast University hired Shelana Poindexter as director of compliance. Poindexter was associate athletic director for compliance and student-athlete welfare at Georgian Court University.
The University of Kansas named Sheahon Zenger athletic director. Zenger was athletic director at Illinois State University.
La Salle University promoted Michelle Serabian to assistant director of athletic communications.
Northwest Missouri State University named Wren Baker athletic director. Baker was athletic director at Rogers State University.
Savannah State University named Marilynn Stacey-Suggs athletic director. Stacey-Suggs was serving as interim athletic director.
The Skyline Conference named Linda Bruno commissioner. Bruno formerly served as commissioner for the Atlantic 10 Conference.
Stanford University named Joe Karlgaard associate athletic director for development. Karlgaard was athletic director at Oberlin College.
The West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference named Brent Hager associate commissioner. Hager was sports information director at Presbyterian College.
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee named Rick Costello athletic director. Costello was deputy athletic director at Rutgers.
SMG hired Mary Klida as marketing and communications manager for the Cobo Center, Angela Clark as guest services manager and Nathaniel Porter as event coordinator for the Intrust Bank Arena and Tina Suca general manager of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Klida was marketing manager for Smart City Networks.
Global Spectrum named Josh Ingle director of operations for the Wells Fargo Center. Ingle was director of operations for the Wells Fargo Arena.
ANC Sports Enterprises promoted Mark Stross to chief technology officer, and named Bill Andreozzi senior vice president of software development.
Brooklyn Sports and Entertainment hired for the Barclays Center: Craig Seyffer as vice president of suite sales, Jeffrey Petracca as senior director of suite sales, Gary Kane as director of marketing and Erin Leach as suite sales coordinator and sales associate.
Heartland Park Topeka named Joe Douthitt vice president of business development. Douthitt was vice president of Supercar Life and Drive Digital Media.
The National Hot Rod Association named Nathaniel Cross sales and marketing manager for Gainesville Raceway. Cross was a client development executive for the Philadelphia Flyers.
SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment hired Barbara Emener Karasek as vice president of strategic alliances. Karasek was director of corporate marketing for the PGA Tour.
U.S. Golf Association Executive Director David Fay retired after 21 years in that position. Mike Butz, USGA deputy executive director, was named interim acting executive director.
The American Hockey League Lake Erie (Ohio) Monsters promoted Mike Ostrowski to senior vice president and chief operating officer; Scott Woodruff to vice president of sales and services; Jeff Bowler to director of ticket sales; Pam Frasco to director of marketing and services; and Joe Hamlin to manager of corporate partnerships. Corporate Sales Executive Greg Prymicz will add the role of performance analyst to his sales responsibilities.
The Major League Lacrosse Toronto Nationals named Jody Gage general manager. Gage also serves as vice president of player personnel for the National Lacrosse League Rochester Knighthawks and director of player personnel for the American Hockey League Rochester Americans. All three teams are owned by Curt Styres.
Catalyst hired Shripal Shah as senior vice president of digital. Shah was senior vice president of digital strategy for the Washington Redskins.
Craig Umland launched his own marketing and consulting firm, The Landum Group, and hired Stacey Jackson as business development and account manager. Umland was chief operating officer for Brad Friedel’s Premier Soccer Academies.
Home Team Marketing opened a new office in New York City, and hired Tom Hapgood as vice president of sales.
Eident Sports Marketing promoted Brewer Rowe to executive vice president, Matt Gray to vice president of sales, Deb Weinreich to vice president of public relations and marketing and Jon White to race director of the 2011 Cox Providence Rhode Races and Turning Stone Races.
CBS Sports promoted Jennifer Sabatelle to vice president of communications and Gerard Caraccioli to executive director of communications.
MASN hired Pete Kerzel as managing editor of MASNsports.com.
Turner/SI Digital named Ken Shapiro and Larry Gelfand senior vice presidents of ad sales. Shapiro will lead teams in New York and Los Angeles and Gelfand will lead teams in New York, Atlanta, Detroit and Chicago. Shapiro was vice president of ad sales for Turner/SI Digital and Gelfand was senior vice president of ad sales and business development for the National Hockey League.
Turner Sports hired Will Blair as senior vice president of sponsorships and sales. Blair was vice president of brand activation and media partnerships for Cartoon Network and Adult Swim.
Universal Sports Properties President Carlos Silva stepped down.
The NHRA hired Leonard Edwards as director of sales. Edwards was manager of partnership sales for International Speedway Corp.
Comcast-Spectacor promoted Lou Scheinfeld to vice president of development.
Awards and Boards
The Association of Media and Entertainment Counsel named Bobby Sharma, IMG senior vice president of global business development for basketball, the recipient of the 2010 Sports Counsel of the Year Award.
A diverse mix of league, media and labor executives makes up the 2011 class of The Champions: Pioneers & Innovators in Sports Business, an award from SportsBusiness Journal/Daily recognizing the architects and builders of sports. Each of these individuals will be honored during a special ceremony at the IMG World Congress of Sports, March 30-31 in Miami.
This year’s recipients are women’s basketball trailblazer Val Ackerman, former PGA Tour Commissioner Deane Beman, IMG Media’s Barry Frank, influential baseball labor leader Marvin Miller, ESPN founder Bill Rasmussen and longtime sports executive Alan Rothenberg.
Each was selected for having an accomplished body of work throughout their careers.
A pioneer of women’s sports, Ackerman was a special assistant to David Stern when she was named the inaugural president of the WNBA in 1996, and she led the league’s growth over her eight-year term. An attorney with a love of basketball, she was a four-year starter at the University of Virginia, helped create the USA Basketball women’s national team that won gold in Atlanta in 1996 and was the first female president of USA Basketball.
A visionary who improved the financial health and television presentation of golf, Beman was commissioner of the PGA Tour for 20 years and was clearly the most influential and powerful executive in the game. He created such benchmarks as the Champions and Nationwide tours, The Players Championship, TPC Sawgrass and its Stadium Course. His tenure forever changed the financial landscape of the tour, and he is credited with spearheading the tour’s emphasis on charitable giving.
As a rights negotiator, event creator and talent agent, Frank has devoted more than 40 years of his life to sports television. Outspoken but known as a fair negotiator and top dealmaker, Frank has seen the ever-changing media landscape from the perch of ABC Sports, CBS Sports and IMG. He has negotiated rights fees for multiple Olympic Games, created popular programming ranging from “Superstars” to “The Skins Game,” and has helped nurture the careers of such television talent as Jim Nantz, Greg Gumbel and Mike Tirico.
Miller single-handedly changed the relationship between players and management during his 16-year leadership of the MLB Players Association, turning baseball players into one of the country’s strongest unions with uncanny solidarity among its members. During his tenure, Miller fought for the end of the reserve clause, the start of free agency and salary arbitration, and guided the players through strikes in 1972, 1980 and 1981, as well as lockouts in 1973 and 1976.
When you have a championship trophy named after you, chances are you’ve left a legacy. Rothenberg is largely known for developing soccer in the United States, which includes leading the 1994 World Cup and 1999 Women’s World Cup, both in the U.S. He was the founding chairman of Major League Soccer, which named its title trophy after him. Outside of soccer, he was a key executive in Jack Kent Cooke’s sports business with the Los Angles Lakers and Kings and the Los Angeles Forum, as well as serving as CEO of the NBA’s San Diego/Los Angeles Clippers. He currently is chairman of the sports and entertainment firm Premier Partnerships.
The entreprenurial Rasmussen was the man behind one of the most significant innovations in sports. Fired by the AHL’s New England Whalers in 1978, he followed his dream by leading a group of investors toward his vision of an all-sports network. He incorporated the idea in 1978, and 14 months later, on Sept. 7, 1979, he successfully launched ESPN. From “SportsCenter” to a deal with Anheuser-Busch that marked the largest cable TV ad contract, Rasmussen’s creativity forever changed sports and pop culture.
These six Champions will be honored at the World Congress of Sports during a luncheon and subsequent panel discussion, where they will discuss their careers and their views on the business of sports, including how it has changed over the years.
Joie Chitwood III
Daytona International Speedway
• My resolution for 2011 is to not use the word “pothole.”
Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer
• I’d really like to get more involved in a charitable interest, personally and professionally, in 2011.
Senior Vice President, Corporate Sales and Marketing
New York Islanders
• [This] year’s sports business resolution is to break the mold on transactional selling and increasingly open the lines of business solutions-oriented marketing. Being a chameleon of the trade has become a standard of excellence that everyone must live by.
• Personal resolutions: 1) Read more and watch less reality TV; 2) Lose this tire that resides squarely around my midsection.
Senior Vice President, Sports
• I would love to see a playoff in college football. Thus, replacing the current broken BCS bowl system (as achievable as me making a resolution I have absolutely no hope of keeping).
President & CEO
• To work even harder at maintaining and building relationships. While it is rewarding professionally, it is way more rewarding personally.
• To take more chances in 2011. It is the only way to live!
2012 Ryder Cup
• While the economy seems to be improving, don’t take it for granted. Continue to cater to the clients and foster relationships that will be there when times get tough.
Senior Vice President
• The business resolution is easy: I simply must become more personally proficient with social media vehicles like Twitter and LinkedIn. There are efficiencies of contact for sure, but the key for athlete marketing is the appropriate idea-driven applications for the individual personalities we represent. The ideas can only come if one understands both the appeal and the functionality of these marketing tools.
• In 2011, I plan to attack my bucket list and check off two events I’ve never attended — the Kentucky Derby and the NBA All-Star Game. I’m a huge fan of the Triple Crown, and have been to the Preakness and Belmont, but never to Churchill Downs. I love all that surrounds a great horse race, including the build-up, and then it’s over in a mere two minutes. I’m a Lakers fanatic and the All-Star Game plays Staples this February — it is a must for me in 2011.
• As for the business of sports, in 2006 we created “Shoot Your Age” on CBS. It was probably the most gratifying sports production I’ve ever been a part of, as we brought together 75 men between the ages of 68 and 95 who played a one-day tournament to shoot their age on CBS. In the field was Arnold Palmer and Gary Player, but an 86-year-old, Leonard Lukin, won the event shooting six strokes under his age of 86. I just received a call from Leonard, now 90, who told me he had just shot his age for the 400th time. “Bob, do you think you can bring the tournament back,” Leonard asked. “Leonard, that will be my New Year’s resolution for 2011,” I responded.
• On the personal front, I’m going to try and stay off the range and work on the short game.
Creator & Host, ESPN’s “Sport Science”
Co-CEO, BASE Productions
• I’d love to break 11 hours in an Ironman Triathlon. I’m knocking on wood as we speak hoping for a healthy year!
President & CEO
• For rEvolution, in 2011, we want to continue to build the best sports marketing and media agency in the industry. As signs of recovery emerge, I hope to help corporations gain back confidence to invest in sponsorship and other business-building services through sport. Like many football fans, I also hope to see the NFL resolve their looming labor dispute. And, lastly, let’s agree that soccer is fast gaining popularity and becoming embraced by a wide variety of fans in the U.S., as it is around the world.
Managing Director, Senior Vice President
IMG Global Consulting
• Personal resolution: Defend my driveway basketball championship from my 10-year-old son and invent something to identify when it’s safe to talk to my teenage daughter.
n Sports business: Remind everyone to never forget the fans of sports and to strive to do the best that can be done for them because without them the business we all work in wouldn’t exist.
Senior Vice President
Turner Sports Strategy/ Marketing/ Programming & Cartoon Network Enterprises
• Sports business: Ensure everything we do increases and extends the sports fan experience in unexpected ways.
• Personal: Unpack the boxes.
Convergence Sports & Media
• Personal resolution: Get more involved in volunteer work.
• Business resolution: Get to know and hopefully help more young people in the business.
Senior Vice President, Consulting
Wasserman Media Group
• Business: Continue to work every day to fulfill the singular Wasserman mission: To exceed the expectations of our clients.
• Personal: Strive to live the example of the kind of person I want my son to grow up to be: Honest, hard-working, curious, kind, fulfilled.
CEO & Managing Director
Championship Group Inc.
• Would love to be able to resolve to get through 2011 without standing in front of a room clicking through another PowerPoint presentation while half the group texts and reads their BlackBerry. Perhaps we should all resolve to stop speaking and stand there in silence whenever someone ignores the content of the meeting and starts working on their handheld!
• And I’m hoping Danica Patrick resolves to win at Indy before saying adios to open-wheel racing; that the NFL “resolves” player issues prior to a lockout; and that the major networks resolve to keep people who constantly butcher the English language from working as on-air talent.
• With John Wooden’s passing this summer (one of the greatest coaches of all time), I think everyone in the sports business or any business should take a fresh look at his “Pyramid for Success” to reacquaint ourselves to how valuable and applicable his tenets are to what we do.
Colvin Sports Network
• I don’t make resolutions, but I would like to see loyalty return to the marketplace. If that happens, there will be a return to a more normal way of doing business.
Compiled by Assistant Managing Editor Tom Stinson