SBJ/Jan. 31-Feb. 6, 2011/People and Pop Culture

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  • Faces and Places

    Dignitaries attend youth hockey tournament

    New York Islanders owner Charles Wang hosted the fourth annual Lighthouse International Youth Hockey Tournament with teams from China, Finland, Japan and the U.S. competing. He also hosted a number of Chinese dignitaries during the tournament. From left: Naiwei Wang, Harbin Pingfang District Sports School chief; Chunhui Shi, Harbin Da Tong Primary School chief; Jinyu Wang, NYI Harbin Rep. Office chief; Tianbo Zhang, Harbin Sports Bureau; Charles Wang; Zaizhou Charles Yu, China Hockey Association; Yaowen Fang, Harbin Sports Bureau administrative office; Min Song, Heilongjiang Provincial Sports Bureau; and Clara Yang, KyLinTV PR manager.

    National Lacrosse League uncovers all-star details

    From left, National Lacrosse League Commissioner George Daniel, Buffalo Bandits player Brett Bucktooth, Percy Abrams of the Iroquois Nationals Lacrosse Team and Ray Halbritter, CEO of Oneida National Enterprises unveil the logo for the 2011 NLL All-Star Game, to be played at Turning Stone Casino Arena in Verona, N.Y., on Feb. 27. The Oneida Indian Nation is the presenting sponsor of the All-Star Game, which will air live on Versus.

    Curley plaque headed to Penn State’s journalism department

    Penn State donor, adjunct faculty member and volunteer John Curley talks with football coach Joe Paterno during Curley’s retirement reception on Jan. 18. The plaque in honor of John Curley and his wife, Ann, will be displayed in Penn State’s journalism department to honor the many contributions the Curleys have made to Penn State’s College of Communications. Curley was a founding co-director of the college’s Center for Sports Journalism, which is now named in his honor.

    Tartikoff Legacy Award

    NBC Universal Sports & Olympics Chairman Dick Ebersol received the 8th annual Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Award on Jan. 25 during the NATPE 2011 Market & Conference in Miami. Others receiving the award were Mary Hart, Regis Philbin and Gerhard Zeiler. The award recognizes television professionals who exhibit extraordinary passion, leadership, independence and vision in the process of creating television programming.

    IU marketing students tour New York

    The Indiana University Sport Marketing Alliance student group visited New York and Boston on a networking trip, stopping in at several professional teams, sports networks and sports marketing firms. In New York, the group met with Ben Sturner (front row, third from left), founder and CEO of Leverage Agency.

    Snider honored for charitable work

    Comcast-Spectacor Chairman Ed Snider (right) receives the first Lifetime Achievement Award from Dan Finnerty, chairman of the Comcast SportsNet Shining Star Awards, during the March of Dimes benefit at the Westin Philadelphia Hotel on Jan. 21. Snider received the award for his charitable work and impact on the Philadelphia sports landscape.

    Ryder Cup reception

    U.S. Ryder Cup team captain Davis Love III (left) and Joe Steranka, CEO of the PGA of America, attend a welcome reception for Love at Spiagga in Chicago on Jan. 20. The 39th Ryder Cup will be played at Medinah Country Club in suburban Chicago Sept. 25-30, 2012.

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  • People: Indians name Hargrove adviser

    The Class AAA Pacific Coast League’s Nashville Sounds promoted Doug Scopel to assistant general manager and Darren Feller to director of corporate sales. The team hired Cliff McArdle as marketing and advertising manager; Janell Bullock as merchandise manager; Michael Bigley as community outreach coordinator; Mike Simonson as stadium operations coordinator; and C.J. Recher, Kevin Samborski and

    Amanda Zuzik
    as account executives.

    The Cleveland Indians named former Indians player and manager Mike Hargrove a special adviser for the 2011 season.

    The Los Angeles Dodgers promoted Amy Summers to public relations manager,
    Manny Rodriguez to human
    coordinator and Hisayo Yoshiike to technology operations manager.

    The San Diego Padres hired Ray Chan as network administrator, Yi Zhuang as business analyst, Matt Webb as manager of partnership services and Kathlene Gusel as help desk administrator.

    The Phoenix Suns hired Rebecca Clark as public relations and community relations coordinator. Clark was events preview writer for The Arizona Republic and assistant editor for Gannett Magazine Group.

    The Liberty University department of sport management named Jim Reese director of the new graduate sport management program.

    The Chicago Bulls/White Sox Training Academy promoted Xan Pearson to vice president of marketing and Pete Kelly to director of marketing and sales.

    Homestead-Miami Speedway named Shawn McGee vice president of sales and marketing. McGee was general manager and chief operating officer of Women’s Professional Soccer’s Atlanta Beat.

    TigerSports Americas put a new management team in place for TigerTurf Americas, naming Dave Powell president, Greg Roscoe vice president of sales and marketing and John “Doug” DeMasie vice president of operations.

    Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton appointed Ted Mondale to lead the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission.

    Pinnacle Entertainment named Kevin Kaufman general manager for River Downs Racetrack. Kaufman was general manager for Pinnacle’s Belterra Casino Resort.

    SMG hired Sharon Schuster as controller and director of finance for the Cobo Center. Schuster was controller for the city of St. Clair Shores, Mich.

    The Miami Dolphins hired Marcus Bach-Armas as manager of corporate affairs. Bach-Armas was an associate with law firm Holland & Knight.

    College Hockey Inc. hired Nate Ewell as director of communications. Ewell was vice president of communications for the Washington Capitals.

    Avocado Motorsports Marketing hired Monica Hilton as director of public relations.

    Maroon PR hired Chartese Burnett as director of nonprofit public relations. Burnett was vice president of communications and community relations for the Washington Nationals.

    Team Epic promoted Michelle Berg to be the agency’s first executive vice president.

    CBS Sports has promoted Christopher Carter to vice president of finance.

    Ludus Sports hired Corby Fisher as director of sales and marketing.

    People news
    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 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.

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  • Wendling looks to keep momentum at USA Triathlon

    Age: 58
    New title: President, board of directors, USA Triathlon
    Previous title: Treasurer and Mid-Atlantic representative, USA Triathlon board
    First job: Washington Post paperboy
    College education: B.A., economics, Indiana University (1973); M.A., economics, George Washington University (1976)
    Resides: Springfield, Va.
    Executive most admired: Jack Welch,
    former General Electric chairman and
    chief executive officer
    Brand most admired: Asics
    Favorite vacation spot: British Virgin
    Last book read: My own, “The Impending World Energy Mess”
    Last movie seen: “The Girl Who Played With Fire” (Swedish version)
    Favorite musician/band: UB40, Jimmy
    Buffett, or anything reggae

    Bob Wendling started participating in triathlons in 1986 and by 1989 had become a certified official. In 1992, he helped form the USA Triathlon Mid-Atlantic Regional Council and in 2008 joined the USAT board of directors, where he has recently become president. Outside the sport, Wendling serves as vice president of Management Information Services, an economic consulting company he co-founded in 1986. He spoke with staff writer Brandon McClung.

    What will be the biggest challenge in your new position?
    We’ve had such tremendous growth over the last couple of years. The sport has been growing at over 15 percent every year over the last 10 years. It is going to be a matter of keeping that momentum up.

    What career advice do you have for people wanting into the sports industry?
    There are a lot of IT opportunities in the industry and there is also already an entrepreneurial spirit. We have a lot of small companies that have married IT products with useful sports equipment, so there is a lot of opportunity there. The advice I would give is to spend a couple of years working with someone within the industry and then possibly branch out and make a contribution.

    What is your biggest professional accomplishment?
    Co-founding my economic and energy consulting firm. … To be able to keep a company up and running, start hiring employees and grow a business, it’s a real accomplishment.

    What is one story you are continuing to watch in the sports world today?
    Drugs, drugs, drugs. Triathlon is an endurance sport and there are drugs that will help competitors improve their performance. Just last year we started an educational program for our members, and at our national championship we had our first drug testing for competitors.

    What is the one element you would like to see changed about the sports industry?
    We wrestle with the issue of pushing our kids too quickly into competition and putting too much pressure on them. It creates a stressful environment. We are trying to take a step back, let the kids have fun, make the races fun and provide medals to everyone.

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  • What I Like: Chris Koch, CEO, New Era


    What I Like …

    An influential person in my career: My father, because he was also my boss and my mentor. He always asked a lot of hard questions and taught me the value of being evenhanded and maintaining good relationships.

    A business deal: Our recent NFL rights deal. We were talking for about a year and now we’ll be able to put product on a sideline where a lot of people can see it.

    A sports facility: Yankee Stadium for baseball; Cowboys Stadium for football.

    Sports event: The energy at a World Series stadium and around the cities that are involved is tough to match.

    A strategy: Diversification and taking the New Era brand around the globe.

    A hire: Pete Augustine (hired in 1990 as controller; became president in 2003). He was originally our (out-of-house) accountant who did our audits. He’s that rare commodity: a numbers guy who understands sales and marketing, and he is also an incredible people person.

    A brand: Nike is tough to beat in sports. In fashion, Louis Vuitton has more in common with Nike than you’d think. They’ve both built great product and stayed relevant to their customers for a long time. It’s all about staying fresh and reinventing.

    A trend: Authentic sports headwear crossing over into fashion.

    An innovation: Bringing technical fabrics into sports for better performance.

    A story that bears watching: What becomes of the whole college bowl system and the search for a real college football championship playoff system. That was one of the reasons we wanted to get in on the ground floor as (title) sponsor of the Pinstripe Bowl. If we do get to a college playoff system, they will need three or four more cities, and I have to believe New York will be one of them.

    An idea or invention I wish I had thought of: Facebook. Or maybe the Internet overall. Of course, that was Al Gore’s (laughs).

    Fantasy job: Professional golfer. I have a five handicap, which is good enough that I can make caps for a living!

    What I Like About …

    My job: It’s ever-changing. There’s always a new deal, a new country or a new product.

    Sports: Competition, whether it is sports or business.

    Sports business: I love seeing our products being worn by the best athletes in the world.

    Sports technology: The integration of technology with running apparel is really interesting. It allows more amateurs to enjoy the sport more.

    Sports fans: The passion they hold for their teams. Fortunately for us, buying team caps is a big part of that passion.

    What I’d Like To …

    Change in what I do: Spend less time at work and more time with my family, but that is probably everyone’s response.

    See more of in sports: Better sportsmanship. There’s just not enough.
    See more of in sports business: Collaboration. There’s room for the big brands to work together more.

    See less of in sports business: Competitors’ headwear and apparel (laughs).


    What I Like …

    Time of year: Summer in Buffalo.

    That would surprise those who know me: I am a closet chef. My favorite is Italian food, but my wife doesn’t like it, so whenever I am out of town that’s where I eat.

    Heroes: Babe Ruth. From my boyhood, it was Jack Nicklaus, and my favorite teams were the Yankees, Bills and Sabres.

    Favorite city: New York. You can’t turn it off.

    Favorite possession: My (2009) Yankees World Series ring.

    Favorite memento: A guitar signed by all of the Rolling Stones.

    Music: Stones, Beatles and anything new/alternative.

    Books: Anything by Jack Welch.

    Magazines: Anything about food and travel.

    Gadgets: I have an iPad, and it’s great for movies on long flights, among other things.

    App: Urbanspoon. It tells you all the good restaurants before you get to your destination city.

    Hobbies: I’m a huge wine collector. I probably have 4,000 bottles, mostly California wines. I started out with a lot of Cabs, but more recently it has been Pinots.

    Vacation spots: For warm weather, I love Grand Cayman. For cold weather and skiing, it is either Vail, or Snowbird and Alta in Utah.

    Movies: “Apocalypse Now” and “Scarface.”

    TV: “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” and “SportsCenter.” Someday I will find a way to combine my accumulated knowledge from both of those shows.

    Concert: Coldplay. I saw The Who when I was 16, so that might qualify also.

    Food: Anything that Bobby Flay has anything to do with.

    Dessert: A good port.

    Drink: Double Cross and soda.

    Car: Porsche Panamera Turbo.

    Singer: Harry Connick Jr.

    Quote: “Surround yourself with great people and learn how to listen.’’

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