SBJ/April 25 - May 1, 2011/People and Pop Culture

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  • People: Learfield Sports hires new GM

    York College in Pennsylvania hired Paul Saikia as assistant dean for athletics and recreation.

    Park Lane hired Carlos Silva as managing director/entrepreneur-in-residence. Silva was president and chief operating officer of Universal Sports.

    The Columbus Blue Jackets hired Bob Sivik as vice president of ticket sales and services.

    Richard Childress Racing hired Lauren Hoffmann and Michael Humlan as partnership marketing managers and Shane Miller as manager of business development.

    Daytona International Speedway promoted Julie Giese to senior director of marketing, Kari Gritton to senior director of ticketing and Lenny Santiago to senior director of public relations.


    Home Team Marketing hired Russ Wilson as account executive for network sales in Dallas and Michael Akers for the same position at its Chicago office.

    Competitor Group hired Alex Baxter as chief digital officer. Baxter was general manager of digital media for Parade Publications.

    Learfield Sports hired Bob Welch as general manager, Amy
    and Steve McNelley as business development managers and Ryan Connors as account executive for Northwestern Sports Properties at Northwestern University.

    PrestoSports hired Britney Wright as site development specialist.

    ESPN The Magazine
    promoted Chad Millman to editor-in-chief.

    Fox Sports Media Group hired Monica Rigali as Fox Soccer public relations and communications manager and Emily Parker as publicist for NASCAR, MLB, the NFL and

    NBC Universal executive vice president and chief diversity officer Paula Madison has stepped down.

    Telemundo Communications Group President Don Browne will retire in June.

    Outdoor Channel promoted Denise Conroy-Galley to executive vice president of marketing and research.

    Wasserman Media Group hired Scott Bushman as senior vice president of consulting for digital properties and media in Los Angeles, Thomas Garson as senior vice president of consulting for properties and media in New York City and Randy Satterburg as vice president of consulting in Los Angeles.

    The Columbus Crew hired Keiana Mitchell as development and program assistant for the Crew Soccer Foundation.

    Sporting Goods and Apparel
    Nike hired Jim Calhoun as vice president and chief executive officer of Hurley International. Calhoun was executive vice president at Levi Strauss and president of the Dockers brand.

    The Topps Co. hired Doug Kruep as vice president and general manager of U.S. sports and entertainment. Kruep was vice president and general manager of games, arts and crafts at Jarden Corp.

    Awards and Boards
    Michael Serino was elected to the Little League International board of directors to represent the Eastern Region.

    Jerry Steinberg, senior vice president of field operations for Fox Sports, was honored with Broadcasting & Cable’s 2011 Technology Leadership Award.

    People news
    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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  • Faces and Places: Brooklyn's in the house

    Checking out Nets' future home

    New Jersey Nets CEO Brett Yormark on April 4 gave player Kris Humphries a tour of the Barclays Center, where the Nets will begin play in the 2012-13 NBA season. From left: Forest City Ratner Cos. deputy director of construction Linda Chiarelli, Humphries, Yormark, Nets Basketball Chief Administrative and Relationship Officer Leo Ehrline and Petra Pope, Nets Basketball SVP of event marketing and community relations.

    Joe Favorito named 'Lombardi' MVP

    Fran Kirmser (left) and Tony Ponturo (right), producers of the Broadway show “Lombardi,” presented associate producer and sports media consultant Joe Favorito with the MVP Award for his dedication and tireless efforts on behalf of the show. Favorito accepted the award on stage at a special 200th performance celebration last week.

    Baseball's back in D.C.

    The Greater Washington Board of Trade celebrated the return of baseball at the Welcome Back Washington Nationals Team Luncheon on April 14. The event featured the entire Nationals team, all of whom dined among more than 300 business leaders from across the region. From left: Board of Trade Chairman Gary Tabach, Nationals manager Jim Riggleman, Nationals owner Mark Lerner, Nationals EVP of baseball operations and general manager Mike Rizzo and Board of Trade president and CEO Jim Dinegar.

    Jets' Higgins honored as NYC schools grad

    Matt Higgins, New York Jets EVP of business operations, was honored with the New York City Public School Alumni Award by education nonprofit Pencil at its annual spring gala April 13 at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City. With Higgins (center) are Pencil President Michael Haberman (left) and former Jets star Curtis Martin, who presented the award.

    Learfield Sports hosts digital media summit

    Learfield Sports hosted its first College Sports Digital Media Summit on April 5 at its Dallas headquarters, welcoming representatives from partner schools and conferences. From left: Corey Wagner of AT&T, Kirk Berridge of Learfield Sports, Mike Vest of the Big Ten Network and Paul Broft of Vitrue.

    Baseball talk raises funds for foundation

    Baseball figures joined members of Boston’s business community to share their insights during the Foundation to be Named Later’s Business of Baseball Lunch on April 14. The event raised more than $85,000 for the foundation. From left: Red Sox relief pitcher and player representative Daniel Bard, MLB Network and NESN commentator Peter Gammons, Red Sox SVP of public affairs and marketing Susan Goodenow and Red Sox GM and EVP Theo Epstein.

    Please submit photos for review of industry conferences, parties, product launches and openings showcasing the people and personalities at the event. Include the event date, location, names/titles of those featured along with credit information. The photo specifications are as follows: 300dpi, tiff, jpeg or eps color images. Submit digital photos for review at: or send color prints to: Faces & Places, c/o Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal, 120 W. Morehead St., Suite 310, Charlotte, NC 28202.

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  • Orridge takes international experience to CBC

    Jeffrey Orridge has just started his job as executive director of CBC Sports Properties. Orridge has been surrounded by sports his entire life, from keeping score in summer league basketball as a child to becoming the head of business and legal affairs for the first U.S. Olympic basketball “Dream Team.” Before joining the CBC, he was the chief operating officer and head of global business development for the nonprofit group Right to Play. He spoke with staff writer Molly Hogan about his new position.

    New title: Executive director, CBC Sports Properties
    Previous title: Chief operating officer and head of global business development, Right to Play
    First job: Scorekeeper for summer league basketball
    College education: Amherst College, ’82, psychology; Harvard Law School, ’86
    Resides: Downtown Toronto, with wife and two sons ages 6 and 1
    Grew up: New York City
    Executive most admired: Harvey Schiller, David Stern
    Favorite vacation spot: Anywhere I am with family
    Last book read: “Awakening Loving Kindness,” by Pema Chodron
    Last movie seen: “Black Swan”
    Favorite movie: “To Kill a Mockingbird”
    Favorite musician/band: Earth, Wind and Fire, John Coltrane, Stevie Wonder

    What will be the biggest challenge in your new position?
    Being able to figure out innovative and creative ways to best service the Canadian marketplace for CBC Sports. We’re going to continue to build on our leadership position. We’re an iconic brand but we can’t discount the fact that there’s competition in the marketplace.

    What is the biggest risk you’ve taken in your career?
    It was both a risk and a reward where I left the private sector and went to the not-for-profit sector four years ago in joining … Right to Play. I had never worked in that industry before, the development industry. I was responsible for over 20 countries worldwide and having to develop relationships and to build confidence among people with me, people who I was working with both internally and externally in just about every different area of the world.

    What is your biggest professional accomplishment?
    [It] had to be being involved with the “Dream Team,” the first Dream Team. Because it was the first time anything like that had ever been done. So it was entirely innovative, it was fraught with risk at the inception, not knowing what players would be involved, not knowing how the owners of the franchises would react to allowing their players to participate. My biggest accomplishment was being able to learn from some of the best people in the business at NBA Properties in terms of the science and art of marketing and licensing and sponsorship.

    What career advice do you have for people wanting into the sports industry?
    Follow your passion. Be dedicated and committed to staying the course. If you have determined that your path should be in sports, be committed to that. Be focused. Learn from others, and be able to leverage other people’s knowledge, expertise and experience through developing those relationships.

    What is one story you are continuing to watch in the sports world today?
    I’m particularly interested in the Canadian landscape where Bell Canada has acquired CTV and TSN. And there has been talk about Rogers acquiring Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment. Those acquisitions, how they are going to potentially change the landscape of sport globally, and not just in Canada.

    What is the one element you would like to see changed about the sports industry?
    I would like there to be more collaboration among partnerships in order to provide the sports community, the audience, with the best possible sports experience. I think the biggest thing is being able to provide greater access and opportunity for audiences, sports fans and enthusiasts whether it be through lowering ticket prices or putting more sports on the air.

    Print | Tags: People and Pop Culture
  • What I Like: Brian Diamond, SVP of Sports and Specials, Spike TV

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