First Look podcast: World Congress 2017 PBC plots path to maximize distribution NBA Turnstile Tracker Baseball returns to Kinston, N.C. David Stern investing in tech startups NBA regular season sees ratings drop Faces and Places at World Congress Are sponsors wary of outspoken athletes? On Deck With: Mike Unger, USA Swimming Coast to Coast
SBJ/October 31-November 6, 2011/People and Pop CulturePrint All
The Kansas City Royals named Tim Conroy and Jim Fregosi Jr. as special assistants to the general manager.
The Jacksonville Suns, Class AA affiliate of the Florida Marlins, promoted Chris Peters to general manager and Casey Nichols to assistant general manager.
The Big East named Jeff Hathaway consultant to the commissioner of men’s basketball. Hathaway was athletic director at the University of Connecticut.
The University of Rhode Island named Marnie Dacko coordinator for marketing, development and special projects for women’s athletics.
The University of Alabama hired Shane Lyons as deputy athletic director. Lyons was an associate commissioner at the Atlantic Coast Conference.
The Canadian Football League named Sara Moore vice president of marketing. Moore was vice president of marketing at Mobilicity.
The Fore!Kids Foundation named Steve Worthy chief executive officer and tournament director of the Zurich Classic. Worthy was the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am Tournament director at the Monterey Peninsula Foundation.
The Buffalo Sabres named Cliff Benson chief development officer.
The AHL Chicago Wolves promoted Stefanie Starck to director of program development.
Matter, Edelman Sports & Entertainment Marketing hired Brian Walker as vice president of communications.
MKTG Inc. promoted Lindsay Rowe to director of sales and marketing and hired Bryan Duffy as executive vice president of sales and marketing.
The Aspire Group named Melissa Altmix ticket sales consultant.
Wasserman Media Group hired Amy Krauss as the North American lead for the company’s PepsiCo consulting business. Krauss was an account director at GroupM ESP.
Spike TV named Jon Slusser senior vice president of sports and multiplatform programming.
ESPN promoted Freddy Rolón to vice president of programming and business initiatives for ESPN Deportes and hired David Cho as director of business development for Grantland.com and Jennifer Vescio as vice president of business development.
Fox Sports Detroit named Lauren Pober director of marketing. Pober was strategic marketing manager for the Florida Panthers.
CONCACAF General Secretary Chuck Blazer will step down from his position, effective Dec. 31.
Major League Soccer and Soccer United Marketing hired Vicki Lopez as an account executive for business development.
The Columbus Crew hired Megan Kingston as advertising and promotions manager, Tara Herold as fan retention coordinator, Meghan McInnes as accounting clerk and Desiree Perez as partnership marketing coordinator.
Sporting Goods and Apparel
SKLZ established a separate position for chief financial officer and hired Stefan Karnavas. Karnavas was chief financial officer at Semtek Corp. Jeff Slovak, formerly CFO and chief operating officer, remains COO.
Li Ning named Lu Ning chief operating officer.
Junior Sports Corp. named Raymond Roessel executive director of Asia. He most recently was the vice president of golf East Asia for World Sport Group.
Discover promoted Jennifer Murillo to vice president of brand communications.
Cedar Fair Entertainment Co. named Bob Wagner corporate vice president of strategic alliances and Scott Tanner corporate vice president of sales. Wagner was senior vice president and chief marketing officer for the Anaheim Ducks and the Honda Center, and Tanner was director of sport development for USA Water Polo.
Awards and Boards
Garboden Dion Allford
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After working in the Defense Department, serving as the chief of staff at the USO, and traveling frequently to Afghanistan and Iraq, Sarah Farnsworth has moved to the San Diego Padres as senior vice president of public affairs. “I am responsible for our community relations and our military program and our communications overall,” Farnsworth said. She spoke with staff writer Kristen Heimstead.
■ New title: Senior vice president of public affairs, San Diego Padres
■ Previous job: Deputy assistant secretary of defense for community and public outreach, U.S. Department of Defense
■ First job: Worked on crew on a sailboat in the Virgin Islands
■ Education: B.S., political science and journalism, California State University, Sacramento
■ Resides: San Diego with 10-year-old daughter
■ Executive most admired: Melanne Verveer of the State Department and Evelyn Lieberman of the Smithsonian Institution
■ Last book read: “The House at Sugar Beach: In Search of a Lost African Childhood,” by Helene Cooper, New York Times reporter and friend
■ Favorite musician/band: Toby Keith because of the time I spent with him in Afghanistan and Iraq. He is so incredibly selfless.
■ What is the biggest challenge in your new position?
Earning the trust of others in the baseball industry since I am new. One of the greatest pieces of advice I’ve ever received was from a former mentor, “Always be very transparent and communicate, and don’t try to be any different than who you really are.”
■ What is the biggest professional risk you've taken?
I don’t consider anything ever being a risk, but maybe this one, moving to a new city in a new industry.
■ What is your biggest professional accomplishment?
My work with the USO, especially in the early days of the Iraq war and being a small part of developing programs to support our troops. It was a wonderful gift to meet soldiers and Marines in Iraq and then often see their families in Germany, and be able to bring messages to their family and say, “He’s doing really well, you’d be proud of him!”
■ What is your biggest professional disappointment?
Maybe not being able to thank everyone enough. I don’t think you can ever really say thank you enough.
■ What career advice do you have for people wanting into this industry?
Follow your basic principles of life: work hard, maintain a sense of humor, always stay open-minded, don’t limit yourself and learn as much as you can everywhere you go.
■ What is one element that you would like to change about the sports industry?
Not necessarily changing, but I think those in the sports industry … are such leaders in the community and are role models for young children here and all around the world, and I think we need to be aware of that incredible honor and responsibility.
■ An insight: The journey of raising your self-awareness!
■ An influential person in my career: Frank Beck, my personal mentor since I was 18.
■ An out-of-the-box idea: Breaking all the branding rules and introducing a pink professional sailing team!
■ A timeless idea: Highlight the legacy and history of what you are doing. Legends and history never go out of fashion!
■ A business deal: Closing my first main sponsor for the Whitbread race [former name of the Volvo race]: $8 million from the Kvaerner Group.
■ A sports facility: The Abu Dhabi Yas Marina Circuit for Formula One. Stunning!
■ A sports event: The Lillehammer Winter Games in ’92. Made for and by the people!
■ A strategy: Us against the rest of the world — building a tribe! (Apple’s Steve Jobs)
■ A hire: My whole team at Volvo Ocean Race is the best you can get!
■ A brand: Apple.
■ A trend: Fitness — can only be positive!
■ An innovation: Social media.
■ A pro league or team business initiative: McLaren’s video promos building the relationship between Hamilton and Button.
■ An idea or invention I wish I had thought of: The 3-D animation by Pixar: Cars! Could be done with boats! Brilliant idea and execution!
■ A fantasy job: Movie director.
What I Like About …
■ My job: A global challenge, to make it work with 10 countries and cultures and at the same time manage an event where Mother Nature still rules.
■ Sports fans: Passion and enthusiasm regardless of background, nationality and culture!
■ Sports: It unites the world across any borders and reminds us that the world is still a great place to be! Sport can also move and make impact beyond the athletes and their race.
■ Sports business: Passion, passion, passion and lots of people with it!
■ Sports media: Helping build the reputation of sports to become a more professional industry.
■ Sports technology: When you add a real competitive element to R&D there are no limits how far athletes and teams will go — and the boats will just become faster and faster!
■ Competing: The best way to receive feedback!
■ The future of sports business: It’s bright.
What I’d Like To …
■ Change: How we preserve the ocean.
■ Change in what I do: Build our event into something much bigger and double the audience in 12 months!
■ See: Nepal.
■ See more of in sports: Passion and true personalities.
■ See more of in sports business: Real statistics showing the reality.
■ See less of in sports: Talks about money and salaries.
■ See less of in sports business: Boring advertising and branding with just logos and no creativity.
■ See different: People — can always see others differently.
■ Eliminate: Technical barriers stopping the fans.
What I Don’t Like …
■ In general: Anyone who talks more than he walks.
■ Pet peeve: When things are not straight and symmetric (when they are supposed to be).
■ In business: Someone not delivering what was agreed.
What I Like …
■ That would surprise those who know me: I would have loved to be a saxophonist!
■ Above all else: My family.
■ About myself: Never ever give up …
■ Hero: Steve Jobs.
■ Player: Lionel Messi.
■ City: London.
■ Possession: Pictures from the past.
■ Memory: First day across the ocean in Whitbread 1993-94.
■ Time of year (because): Autumn — more wind!
■ Music: Jazz.
■ Books: Not a big reader.
■ Gadgets: The Mac and great loudspeakers!
■ Hobby: Windsurfing.
■ Trip: The Amazon.
■ Concert: The Wall — many years ago …
■ Artist: Jamie Cullum.
■ Dessert: Ice cream.
■ Drink: Water.
■ Vacation spots: Maui, Perth, Sardinia.
■ Car: Volvo XC60.
■ Singer: Radka Toneff.
■ Quote: “Be the change you want to see in the world.” — Gandhi