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/May 9-15, 2011/People and Pop CulturePrint All
Paine College hired Tim Duncan as athletic director. Duncan was director of the Seahawk Club and major gifts at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.
Larra Overton was hired as web editor for the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center. Overton was a reporter for the Big Ten Network.
Pace University hired Mark Brown as athletic director. Brown was associate athletic director of business and finance at Old Dominion University.
John Connolly will become a partner in Sports Investment Partners. Connolly is senior partner and chief executive of Deloitte in the U.K. and global chairman.
The Houston Texans hired Zach Schulte as senior accountant. Schulte was an assurance services senior accountant with Ernst & Young.
The Miami Dolphins promoted Brian Gaine to director of player personnel.
US Lacrosse hired Billy Hook as director of programs. Hook was director of coaching and development for the Triad Youth Lacrosse Association in Greensboro, N.C.
Fenway Sports Management promoted Frank Huckabone to executive vice president of sales.
GroupM ESP promoted Lindsey O’Neil to account manager, Marissa Weseloh to account director and Autumn Nazarian to vice president and hired Stephanie Casper as account executive and Erica Diesel, Stacey Grobe and Melinda Michaud as account managers.
Scout Sports and Entertainment hired Adam Friedman as account executive. Friedman was sales executive at Amplify Sports and Entertainment.
CSE hired Matt Clement as senior producer of media services, Bobby Height as marketing director of client representation and Stefan Manford as senior manager of experiential marketing.
NASCAR hired Jon Schwartz as director of business communications. Schwartz was vice president of global media relations at Bank of America.
Watkins Glen International hired Elizabeth Mayer as public relations manager. Mayer was an athletic communications assistant at the University of Connecticut.
The North American Soccer League named Michael Hitchcock president of the San Antonio Scorpions. Hitchcock is founding partner of Playbook Management International and was general manager for FC Dallas.
Sporting Goods and Apparel
Ecco USA’s golf division hired Jackie Kirkwood as sales manager. Kirkwood was a sales manager for Isis footwear.
Bill Clark was named president of Louisville Slugger, replacing Marty Archer, who will become president emeritus.
Awards and Boards
Florida Panthers general partner Cliff Viner received the Tiffany Biggest Heart Award from the Florence Fuller Child Development Centers.
Nike has appointed Elizabeth Comstock to its board of directors. Comstock is the senior vice president and chief marketing officer for General Electric.
Melvin Benn was named chairman of the board at Wembley Stadium. Benn has been a non-executive director of the board and director of Festival Republic.
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Atlanta teams’ execs gather for panel
Executives from Atlanta’s major league teams made up the “Franchise Factor” panel at the Business of Sports Summit in Atlanta on April 29. From left: the Braves’ Derek Schiller and John Schuerholz, the Dream’s Kathy Betty and Toby Wyman, Jim Smith and Rich McKay of the Atlanta Falcons, and Tracy White and Bob Williams from the Hawks and Thrashers.
NYC Marathon’s Opening Day off and running
NEW YORK ROAD RUNNERS
Attending Opening Day for the ING New York City Marathon in New York City’s Columbus Circle on April 27 (from left): New York Road Runners President and CEO Mary Wittenberg, “Survivor: Africa” winner Ethan Zohn, three-time U.S. Olympian Jen Rhines, eight-time Olympic speed skating medalist Apolo Anton Ohno, television personality Al Roker and 2009 champion Meb Keflezighi. As part of the festivities, Keflezighi, Ohno and Rhines announced their plans to participate in this year’s race, to be run Nov. 6.
Television’s best honored at Sports Emmy Awards
MARC-BRYAN BROWN PHOTOGRAPHY (2)
NBC “Sunday Night Football” booth mates Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth both received awards at the 32nd annual Sports Emmy Awards on May 2 in New York City. Michaels was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award, and Collinsworth received the award for Outstanding Sports Event Analyst. From left: NBC Sports & Olympics Chairman Dick Ebersol and wife Susan Saint James, Michaels and wife Linda Michaels, and wife Holly Collinsworth and Collinsworth.
Moses Tau of South Africa (left) and Jed Drake of ABC accept the award for Outstanding Live Sports Special for ABC’s coverage of the 2010 World Cup Final between Spain and the Netherlands in Johannesburg.
DON MURET / STAFF
UNC Charlotte took another step toward establishing a football program when it broke ground on its football stadium April 28. The stadium will seat 15,000 and can be expanded to 40,000. From left: Kim Whitestone, senior associate AD for internal affairs and senior women’s administrator; Dan Van Dyke, senior associate, Jenkins Peer Architects; UNCC AD Judy Rose; and DLR Group principal Don Barnum.
New England Patriots quarterback and Under Armour endorser Tom Brady (center) met contest winners at the Under Armour Tom Brady Draft Chat on April 29 at Chelsea Piers in New York City. Broadcaster Boomer Esiason moderated the fans’ Q&A with Brady.
BARRY GOSSAGE / PHOENIX SUNS
Musician Huey Lewis (left) and Phoenix Suns point guard Steve Nash (right) joined Kathy Pidgeon, executive director of Phoenix Suns Charities, at the 2011 Suns and Stars gala. Huey Lewis and the News performed at the event March 11 at the Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale, Ariz. It raised more than $1.1 million for Phoenix Suns Charities.
ESPN has consolidated its digital and print media operations under John Kosner, previously the sports media giant’s lead digital executive.
Senior Vice President John Kosner has been ESPN’s lead digital executive.
The shift was designed to more closely align the company’s overall digital and traditional print operations. ESPN The Magazine this summer is relocating from New York City to the company’s Bristol, Conn., headquarters, a move helping bring about the larger consolidation.
“I think [ESPN executive vice president of content] John Skipper took a look at the collection of these assets and felt they were better off being all managed together,” Kosner said. “We have a big opportunity to achieve some meaningful integration, not only among ourselves, but with the TV operations as well and enhance the whole experience for the fan. We’re programming for every screen, as we have been, but now in a more unified fashion.”
Under Kosner, Gary Hoenig will continue to serve as general manager for ESPN The Magazine and ESPN Insider. Rob King, previously vice president and editor-in-chief of ESPN.com, will expand his role to include editorial oversight for all of the company’s digital and print initiatives with a new title of vice president of editorial, digital and print media.
Patrick Stiegman, formerly
ESPN.com executive editor, was promoted to ESPN.com editor-in-chief and will report to King. Also reporting to King will be Chad Millman, recently named the new editor-in-chief of ESPN The Magazine.
Kosner in the expanded role will be splitting his time between offices in New York City and Bristol, as he has done for the past several years.
What I Like …
■ AN INFLUENTIAL PERSON IN MY CAREER: My grandfather, who owned and ran the largest appliance dealership in central Missouri until he was 92.
■ AN OUT-OF-THE-BOX IDEA: Cut most meetings short and make a decision.
■ A TIMELESS IDEA: Listen to the customers, which, in our case, would be the fans.
■ A BUSINESS DEAL: I worked with a consortium of banks in Thailand to help bring foreign currency into China.
■ A STRATEGY: Hire people who are passionate about their jobs.
■ A HIRE: People with charisma, but it’s important to make sure they know how to listen, too.
■ A BRAND: The iconic image of the cowboy has withstood the test of time. It’s an iconography that represents integrity and toughness.
■ A TREND: People want to be inspired.
■ AN INNOVATION: iPad, iTunes.
■ A PRO LEAGUE OR TEAM BUSINESS INITIATIVE: You need to maintain the competition, but it’s also important to understand that it’s about entertainment.
■ A STORY THAT BEARS WATCHING: The growth of the Chinese economy.
What I Like About …
■ MY JOB: I’ve loved the western lifestyle since I was a boy.
■ SPORTS: Seeing an athlete accomplish great things in the face of adversity.
■ SPORTS MEDIA AND TECHNOLOGY: It has truly become a global environment, where we have access to any story that interests us from anywhere in the world. For example, one living in China can watch the Premier League being broadcast in the U.K., which is being beamed through a station in South Africa and back to China.
■ COMPETING: I like to win!
■ THE FUTURE (OR DIRECTION) OF SPORTS BUSINESS: As technology continues to evolve, sports properties will have the ability to capture more and more of consumers’ behaviors, such as purchasing habits, interests, Web searches, etc.
What I Would Like To …
■ SEE: PBR in every home.
■ SEE MORE OF IN SPORTS: Sportsmanship.
■ SEE MORE OF IN SPORTS BUSINESS: Listening to the fans.
■ SEE LESS OF IN SPORTS BUSINESS: You have to make a profit, but keep the greater good of the sport in mind.
■ CHANGE IN WHAT I DO: I am very structured in my thought process and I would like to be more abstract.
■ CHANGE: Have a world without boundaries.
What I Don't Like …
■ IN GENERAL: People who say something but don’t mean it.
■ PET PEEVE: Inconsistent speed limits.
■ IN SPORTS: Athletes who don’t support one another.
■ IN BUSINESS: People who are afraid to fail.
What I Like …
■ THAT WOULD SURPRISE THOSE WHO KNOW ME: The Wicked Witch from “The Wizard of Oz” scares me.
■ ABOVE ALL ELSE: Remember family, friends and faith.
■ HEROES: My mother, father and grandfather.
■ TEAM: University of Central Missouri Jennies.
■ CITY: Shanghai.
■ POSSESSION: Don’t hold things too tight — they’re not that important.
■ MEMENTO: Family memories of the life we’ve lived.
■ TIME OF YEAR (BECAUSE): Fall. I love watching the trees and leaves change in the Ozarks.
■ AUTHOR: Joe Posnanski.
■ MAGAZINES: Men’s Fitness, Robb Report, Cowboys & Indians, Forbes.
■ CHORES: Washing car, grilling, feeding horses.
■ HOBBIES: Hunting, working out, horses and family.
■ TRIP: St. Lucia.
■ TV: CNBC, RFD-TV, Versus.
■ CONCERT: A private Toby Keith concert with 500 of my closest friends.
■ ARTISTS: Thomas Moran and Tim Cox.
■ DESSERT: Sweet potato casserole with a scoop of ice cream from Ruth’s Chris.
■ VACATION SPOT: My ranch in Oklahoma.
■ CAR: F-350 Dually.
■ SINGERS: Jason Aldean and George Strait.
■ QUOTE: Sam Walton, founder of Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club: “We need mavericks to balance out the common point of view. Swim upstream … challenge the assumption that the usual is the best.”