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
SBJ/April 18-24, 2011/People and Pop CulturePrint All
The Cincinnati Reds hired Adam Lane as director of entertainment and productions. Lane was game operations senior producer for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Cleveland State University named John Parry athletic director. Parry had served as interim athletic director since May 2010.
Kennesaw State University named Vaughn Williams athletic director. Williams was associate athletic director for facilities, management and planning at the University of Connecticut.
Utah State University hired Rob Rusnack as an associate athletic director for business affairs. Rusnack was associate athletic director for budget and planning and chief financial officer at Columbia University.
Williams College named Lisa Melendy chair and director of physical education, athletics and recreation. Melendy was women’s soccer coach and interim athletic director.
Nicholls State University named women’s basketball coach Dobee Plaisance senior woman administrator.
The San Francisco 49ers named former NFL player Eric Davis color analyst for the U.S. Bank 49ers Radio Network.
The United Football League’s Omaha (Neb.) Nighthawks named Matt Boockmeier director of football operations and George Glenn chief of staff.
The NHL hired Ivan Gottesfeld as vice president of broadcasting. Gottesfeld was executive producer of remote productions for Tupelo Honey Productions and event presentation producer and director at New Meadowlands Stadium.
Beverly Hills Sports Council hired Mika Marquart as director of athlete marketing.
Jen Wenk formed her own public relations company, StarPR Las Vegas. Wenk was public relations director for the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
The Specialized Marketing Group hired Tom Crawford as vice president and general manager. Crawford was sports and entertainment marketing manager for MillerCoors.
Comcast SportsNet hired Jim Kozimor as full-time anchor of “SportsNet Central.” Kozimor will continue as play-by-play announcer for the San Jose Earthquakes on Comcast SportsNet.
The Big Ten Network promoted Quentin Carter to senior coordinating producer.
Turner Sports hired Tom Caraccioli as public relations manager. Caraccioli owned and managed his own public relations agency.
Delaware North Cos.-Boston hired Rob Matthews as control room producer and the Boston Bruins hired Matt Hunter as digital marketing designer.
Sporting Goods and Apparel
Mark Dowley is stepping aside as Under Armour executive vice president of global brand and president of international, and will become an adviser to the company, effective May 1.
Awards and Boards
The Kentucky Equine Education Project elected Corey Johnsen chairman of the board. Johnsen is president of Kentucky Downs.
The Stadium Managers Association named Barbara Casey director at large, Mark Burk college director, Joe Abernathy president, David Scott vice president and director at large, and Steve Maki treasurer.
The Sports Business Institute at the USC Marshall School of Business named to its board of advisers Pat Haden, University of Southern California athletic director; Peter Moore, EA Sports president; and Jeffrey Pollack, Professional Bull Riders executive chairman.
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Under Armour announced that Mark Dowley is stepping aside as president of its international business, just two months after he joined the company.
Dowley will become an adviser to the Baltimore sportswear company and report to CEO Kevin Plank, effective May 1. An exact reason for the transition was not given, but Dowley said in a statement he was “thrilled” that Plank agreed to his “request to serve in a role that we all feel will be the most productive use of my skill sets.”
In the advisory role, “Mark will be able to better utilize his unique ability to bring together the best minds in the world working for our brand,” Plank said in a statement.
Dowley joined Under Armour on Feb. 1 as executive vice president of global brand and president of international. The role was a major task for Dowley as Under Armour continues to seek more market share outside of the U.S.
He was previously CEO of William Morris Endeavor Marketing.
Wayne Marino, chief operating officer of Under Armour, will assume leadership of the company’s international business, and Plank will oversee brand and sports marketing.
Ryan Sharrow works for the Baltimore Business Journal, an affiliated publication.
Sports Business Society Awards at NYU
The 4th annual Sports Business Society Awards were held April 12 at New York University. Attending were (left to right): Shannon Shae Spalten; Boomer Esiason, winner of the Media Award; Tyler Tumminia, Executive of the Year award winner; Ashley Schwartz; Jared Merrell, Alumnus of the Year award winner; Bjorn Hanson; Steve Cohen; Wayne McDonnell; Theodora Berenson; Mark Sawicki; Ross Bratin; Kristin-Marie Pernicano; and Sean Galvis.
LeBron dons Audemars Piguet at Miami bash
SETH BROWARNIK / WORLDREDEYE.COM
Watchmaker Audemars Piguet held an invitation-only event April 9 at the Soho Beach House in Miami to celebrate LeBron James as its new global ambassador. From left: Audemars Piguet CEO Philippe Merk, Miami Heat forward LeBron James, and AP North America President Francois-Henry Bennahmias.
RBI World Series set for Target Field in 2011, ’12
BRUCE KLUCKHOHN / MINNESOTA TWINS
The Minnesota Twins, Target Field and the Twins Community Fund will host the baseball finale of the 19th and 20th RBI World Series. The previous two were played at the Roger Dean Stadium complex in Jupiter, Fla. RBI is Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities, which aims to provide free year-round baseball and softball opportunities to kids growing up in rough environments. Attending the announcement last week at Target Field were (left to right): Paul Williams, Martin Sabo and Dan Kenney, all with Minnesota Ballpark Authority; Mike Hahm, St. Paul Parks Department; Cordell Wiseman, Minneapolis Parks; Tom Brasuell, MLB; Denard Span, Tony Oliva and Dave St. Peter, all with the Twins; David James, MLB; Kevin Merkle, Minnesota Twins Community Fund; Mike Opat, Hennepin County; and Anthony LaPanta, Fox Sports North.
Amway Center earns LEED gold status
The Amway Center in Orlando was awarded LEED gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. Attending a recent garden planting at the arena to commemorate the honor were (left to right): Orlando Magic President Alex Martins; U.S. Green Building Council President, CEO and founding chairman Rick Fedrizzi; and Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. Martins and Dyer were presented with plaques to commemorate the LEED certification.
Upfront spotlight shines on truTV and Maroon 5
MICHAEL LOCCISANO FOR WIREIMAGE
TruTV staged its 2011 upfront presentation on April 12 at the Best Buy Theater in New York, including a special performance by Maroon 5. Before the presentation, Adam Levine of Maroon 5 (left) joined Marc Juris, executive vice president and general manager, truTV; Linda Yaccarino, executive vice president and chief operating officer, Turner Entertainment Ad Sales/Marketing and Acquisitions; Steve Koonin, president, Turner Entertainment Networks; and David Levy, president of sales, distribution and sports, Turner Broadcasting System.
Leonsis honored with Wharton award
At the inaugural Wharton Sports Business Innovation Conference held April 8 at The Wharton School in Philadelphia, Ted Leonsis received the inaugural Wharton Sports Business Innovation Award. From left: Zachary Leonsis, University of Pennsylvania student; Ted Leonsis; and Ken Shropshire and Derrick Heggans of Wharton.
Jim Steeg, the former NFL executive best known for running the Super Bowl during its enormous growth in the 1980s and ’90s, is going to work for the Pac-10 Conference as the director of its inaugural football championship game.
The Pac-10, which will be renamed the Pac-12 on July 1, plays its first conference championship football game Dec. 3 at the campus site of the team with the best league record. Steeg, who worked at the NFL for 35 years and spent 26 of them in charge of the Super Bowl and other special events, will plan and execute the Pac-12’s championship game.
The conference is hiring Steeg as a consultant but he’ll carry the director’s title.
“The unique concept of playing the championship game at a host school will provide a chance to work with all 12 conference members and put their stamp on the event,” Steeg said in a statement from the conference.
Larry Scott, the Pac-10’s commissioner, called Steeg “the pre-eminent expert in building and managing big football championship events.”
During his years with the NFL, Steeg focused on growing the Super Bowl from a big game into a weeklong celebration. The league created signature fan festivals, such as the NFL Experience, under his watch and he turned the pregame and halftime shows into highly anticipated events.
From 2004 to 2010, Steeg served as the San Diego Chargers’ COO.
He’ll hit the ground running for the Pac-10 this month and plans to tour each of the 12 campuses and stadiums in preparation for the championship game.
“Our focus is to create the most exciting and entertaining championship environment in college football,” Scott said.
Former NASCAR and International Speedway Corp. executive Roger VanDerSnick is joining IMG College in a high-ranking role to be determined.
Roger VanDerSnick joins some fellow NASCAR alums.
These former NASCAR executives at IMG also will welcome another old co-worker, Andrew Giangola, who is leaving the stock car racing sanctioning body to join IMG College as vice president of strategic communications later this month. Giangola joined NASCAR in 2003 and has served as director of business communications in the New York office before accepting an offer to lead communications for IMG College last week.
The moves continue to bolster Sutton’s front office, which has been a work in progress since IMG College’s acquisition of ISP Sports last year.
“I told Roger a long time ago that he needed to come work for IMG College one day,” Sutton said. “He’s going to bring great value to the company through his wisdom and experience. We’re still working on exactly what his responsibilities and title will be, but he’s going to be able to help us in a lot of ways.”
VanDerSnick was released last August by ISC, where he was executive vice president and COO, as the company went through a management restructuring and downsizing. He’s been working part-time with Sutton the last few months as a consultant in licensing, sales and branding, most of which will factor into his new role.
IMG College, the largest division within IMG, outlined several areas that VanDerSnick likely will touch when he comes on board full time:
• He’ll help IMG College interface with other units within parent IMG, such as talent, academies, consulting and events, which will come into play if the college division moves into running or owning bowl games and basketball tournaments;
• Sutton said IMG College needs someone to serve as a brand manager. VanDerSnick, who spent 15 years at Procter & Gamble and once served as brand manager for Bounty paper towels, was vital in building NASCAR’s brand. He’ll work on a long-term branding strategy for IMG College;
• VanDerSnick will continue to work with Sutton and founder Bill Battle on a reorganization of IMG’s Collegiate Licensing Co. With the departure of former CEO Pat Battle and former COO Derek Eiler, CLC is going through a resetting of its leadership;
• There also will be a role for VanDerSnick as IMG College develops its new national sales platform under the direction of Lawton Logan, senior vice president.
“A lot of it will be organizational design and how we need to be structured as a company,” VanDerSnick said.
Currently, VanDerSnick doesn’t have any IMG College employees reporting to him. He still lives in Lake Mary, Fla., and it remains to be seen if he’ll relocate to IMG College headquarters in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Eiler, meanwhile, is back with IMG College after taking a three-month leave. He formerly ran the day-to-day operations as the COO at CLC before leaving the licensing group in January. In his new role reporting to Sutton, Eiler will focus on projects such as IMG College’s digital strategy.
Eiler is working with TV and media strategy firm Len DeLuca & Associates on an initiative to identify TV and digital programming opportunities for IMG College.
What I Like …
Longtime marketer David Grant continues to be haunted by the Tyree helmet catch.
■ An influential person in my career: Joe Weiss: my first boss and a Holocaust survivor. No such thing as a bad day in the office.
■ An out-of-the-box idea: NASCAR’s move to an American ethanol fuel blend.
■ A timeless idea: Staggering the Summer and Winter Olympic Games.
■ A sports facility: Fenway Park.
■ A sports event: The Olympics.
■ A strategy: Just do great work. Everything else will follow.
■ A hire: The PGA Tour bringing in the next generation of leadership: Ty Votaw, Jay Monahan, David Pillsbury et al.
■ A trend: Dynamic pricing.
■ An innovation: The Hawk-Eye system of line calls in tennis. Instant and enhancing; fans see it the same time the umpire does.
■ A pro league or team business initiative: NHL Winter Classic: an annual meeting place for casual fans that’s more meaningful than an All-Star Game.
■ A story that bears watching: Sponsor reaction (or inaction) to labor uncertainty.
■ An idea or invention I wish I had thought of: EZ Pass. What took so long?
■ A fantasy job: Architect at Vandelay Industries.
What I Like About …
■ My job: Being able to bring others onto the field or to once-in-a-lifetime experiences is truly awesome.
■ Sports: Unscripted.
■ Sports business: My kids think I have a really cool job.
■ Sports media: Never a problem getting the score — anytime, anywhere.
■ Sports technology: Great when it enhances (first-down line, in-car cameras, K-zone), irritating when it’s technology for technology’s sake.
■ Competing: Telling our agency story and showing off our mad skills.
■ The future (or direction of) sports business: Always positive. Fan passion knows no offseason.
■ Sports fans: They don’t question what’s actually in a Monster Dog.
What I Would Like To …
■ Change in what I do: The usual: Eat better, get outside more, sit up straight — all the things my mother said.
■ See: The return of Clear lanes to airport security.
■ See more of in sports: Relegation. The Premier League got that right. If you suck, you get kicked out.
■ See more of in sports business: Agencies getting paid for value, not just time.
■ See less of in sports: Labor disputes. With all the world’s problems, can’t we find a way to play the games?
■ See less of in sports business: “Official Sponsor of XYZ.” Don’t you think sponsors can be more creative?
■ See different: A more affordable day at the game for American families.
What I Don't Like …
■ In general: Lines — in the airport, in traffic or on hold.
■ Pet peeve: The misuse of “literally.” Few people have been literally blown away, and fewer still have literally had their socks knocked off!
■ In sports: Having to leave early to beat the traffic we just spoke about.
■ In business: Over-complicating the challenge. Most of the time, it’s not that hard.
■ About sports fans: Sit down already!
What I Like …
■ People: Some.
■ That would surprise those who know me: I just found out pints of Ben & Jerry’s aren’t supposed to be single serve. Who knew?
■ Above all else: Family. Has anyone ever given a different answer?
■ About myself: I laugh at work every day. The day I don’t, I’m done.
■ Players: Jackie Robinson.
■ Teams: Mt. Kisco Elks (my son’s Little League team).
■ City: Sydney.
■ Possession: The remote.
■ Time of year: Summer. Everyone just chills a bit.
■ Music: Put on Classic Vinyl or Coffee House on SiriusXM and I’m good.
■ Books: My kids’ text books: algebra, global history, living environments.
■ Authors: The guys who wrote the text books. Without them, couldn’t help with homework.
■ Gadgets: My Peter Griffin bottle opener and Homer Simpson pizza cutter.
■ Hobbies: Hiking with my dog, golf, skiing, firing up the Weber grill (another great brand, by the way).
■ Movies: CaddySuperbadGodfatherShrekBueller’sHouse, part deux. Seen it?
■ TV: “Family Guy,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Glee.” Yeah, I said, it. “Glee.”
■ Concerts: Fox Lane High School Guitar Ensemble. Need tickets?
■ Dessert: Yes, please.
■ Drink: Guinness.
■ Vacation spots: Great Barrier Reef. Pebble Beach. Looking forward to Lake Como and Tuscany this summer.
■ Cars: Toyota. By the way, how strong a brand must you be to withstand what they’ve been through? Fantastic.
■ Aftershave: Lucky I shave at all!
■ Singer: My daughter. Want to see a video?
■ Quote: “It is our choices … that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” — Albus Dumbledore, to Harry Potter.