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/December 19-25, 2011/People and Pop CulturePrint All
The Texas Rangers named former major leaguer Greg Maddux special assistant to the general manager.
The Baltimore Orioles hired Lee Thomas as special assistant to the executive vice president of baseball operations and Fred Ferreira as executive director of international recruiting.
The Houston Astros named Jeff Luhnow general manager. Luhnow was vice president of scouting and player development with the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Portland Trail Blazers named Dan Dickau player development assistant.
Colorado State University named Jack Graham athletic director, replacing Paul Kowalczyk.
Marquette University named Larry Williams vice president and athletic director. Williams was athletic director at the University of Portland.
The Missouri Valley Conference named Greg Walter assistant commissioner for compliance. Walter was assistant commissioner for compliance with the Summit League.
Global Spectrum named Brian Hixenbaugh general manager of the University of Central Florida Arena. Hixenbaugh was assistant general manager for the Colonial Life Arena in Columbia, S.C.
Prudential Center named Jarrod Jordan director of premium seating sales. Jordan was director of business development for Chelsea Piers.
The International Federation of American Football named Adam Provost managing director.
The Columbus Blue Jackets named Craig Patrick senior adviser of hockey operations.
Team One named Damian Areyan director of experiential and relationship marketing. Areyan was manager of sports marketing and alliances at Deutsch, Los Angeles.
CBS Sports Network named Dan Weinberg senior vice president of programming. Weinberg was vice president of licensing at MLB.
Comcast named Neil Smit Comcast Cable Communications chief executive officer in addition to his title of Comcast Cable president.
Colorado Rapids managing director Jeff Plush is leaving the organization.
Sports Commissions and Tourism Boards
The Central Florida Sports Commission named David Zsembik Seminole County marketing and event manager.
America’s Cup named Richard Worth chief executive officer, replacing Craig Thompson.
TriColumbia promoted Kari Ebeling to chief operating officer.
The Ragnar Relay Series hired Dave Klewan as vice president of corporate partnerships. Klewan most recently oversaw corporate partnerships for the Los Angeles Marathon.
Awards and Boards
iSportconnect named Lou Imbriano, TrinityOne president and chief executive officer, to its advisory board.
XOS Digital named Tom Stultz, former IMG College senior vice president and managing director, to its board of directors.
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My husband is getting clothes … because he needs help. I’m asking for spa gift certificates because I’m going to go anyway and it makes it easy on them.
SVP/GM of sports operations
I’d like to receive the smallest, fastest, most reliable hotspot device possible, so I can stay connected 25 hours a day on the road and because I still don’t like typing on an iPad. Would also like to receive the commemorative DVD of N.C. State’s surprising run to the 2012 Final Four … would settle for the book if needed.
Lone Star Sports & Entertainment
Chief marketing officer
Giving: Clothes, jewelry and iGadgets for the 4 women in my life (wife and three daughters). We’re also planning on a ski trip over the holidays to The Canyons in Park City, Utah.
Executive producer/head of programming
Madison Avenue Sports and Entertainment
As for giving, after I read the book, I’ll “re-gift it” to MadAve partner Joe Tacopina and give my old putter to Ed Horne, another MadAve partner, because it could only help his golf game.
Deep Alliance Marketing
Book: “Steve Jobs,” by Walter Isaacson. Such a critical figure in both tech and marketing.
CD: “Lioness: Hidden Treasures,” by Amy Winehouse. A tremendous talent that left us too soon.
DVD: ESPN Films’ “30 for 30” series. Great documentaries, just need to get through them all.
Gadget: Stylus for my iPad (can’t write with my finger).
Give? Books and apps (iTunes cards).
DVD: “The Help.”
CD: New Rihanna CD.
Founder and managing director
VP of marketing
The Kindle Touch (above) and Jawbone Jambox (below) are on lists this year.
Obviously I am an Apple fan and just recently got a new iPhone 4S and an iPad 2, so I am not asking my family for any gifts, though I am hoping for some wonderful handmade Christmas gifts from my kids. That said, Santa may be bringing our family the Wii game “WipeOut,” and I do look forward to some friendly competition in our house on Christmas Day.
JERRY JACOBS JR.
Delaware North Cos.
What I’d like to receive: I’m an avid reader, and “Matterhorn,” by Karl Marlantes, is on my list. For music, I’d love to receive the “Alligator Christmas Collection” or anything by Van Morrison or Al Green. For skiing, I’m interested in the Suunto Core Altimeter Watch from Backcountry.com.
SVP/general sales manager
Turner Sports Ad Sales
Scott Malaga was at Cornell University, a football player and business management major trying to figure out how to put the two together. (He, IMG Sports & Entertainment President George Pyne, and Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett were all captains of their respective Ivy League football teams the same year.) A couple of decades later, after an impressive series of employers and titles, Malaga will work in the sponsorship and events marketing division at Intersport and focus on client services. “My career hasn’t been specific in one field,” Malaga said. “And now, since Intersport offers so much, I can fall back on each experience and apply it in some small way.” He spoke with staff writer Kristen Heimstead.
■ New title: Senior vice president of strategic partnerships, Intersport
■ Previous job: Vice president of corporate partnerships, Chicago Fire
■ First job: I was a maintenance man at a swim club … so I swept tennis courts.
■ Education: Bachelor’s of business management, Cornell University (1989); master’s in sports administration, Ohio University (1990)
■ Resides: Elmhurst, Ill., a suburb west of Chicago, with wife Beth and 8-year-old twins Sydney and Luke
■ Grew up: Chappaqua, N.Y., since I was 12
■ Executive most admired: The gentleman that helped launch my career and was my mentor for a little while, Chuck Jarvie, former Host Communications and Dr Pepper executive
■ Brand most admired: Under Armour. The whole story fascinates me. They’ve done a great job. I’d love to meet the founder at some point.
■ Favorite vacation spot: Kiawah Island, S.C. Hopefully I’ll retire there someday.
■ Last book read: “Blue Ocean Strategy,” by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne
■ Last movie seen: “Happy Feet Two” with my kids
■ Favorite movie: “Secretariat”
■ First concert: The Police at Shea Stadium
■ What is the biggest challenge in your new position?
Educating the people I now meet with of all the things that Intersport does well. In some circles Intersport is known for TV production, or they’re known for sponsorship and event marketing, or they’re known for hospitality.
■ What is the biggest risk you've taken in your career?
Definitely quitting my first job, so I would highly recommend that people don’t do that. I was working for Champion and my girlfriend (who is now my wife) was living in Chicago, so I wanted to move to Chicago. I quit my job before I had one, and that was not a good decision. … It all turned out well, though.
■ What is your biggest professional accomplishment?
I would have to say helping to launch the national sales strategy for ISP Sports and then initiating the conference relationship manager position where I oversaw our West Coast schools.
■ What is the biggest professional disappointment in your career?
I guess it would be when my focus changed at ISP Sports away from the West Coast schools that I worked with. … I really liked dealing with them. … And also I would say not selling the jersey deal for the Chicago Fire before I left. That was my focus at the end.
■ What career advice do you have for people wanting into this industry?
The most important thing is your integrity and to maintain that throughout your career because that’s the thing that you’re going to fall back on the most. Make sure people trust you, because if people trust you, then they’ll ultimately do business with you. And for me personally it’s been keeping a work-family balance, a life balance.
■ What is one story you are continuing to watch in sports today?
Conference realignment and all the different movements that have gone on within college football. … It seems to me it’s going in the direction of being four major conferences, and the other schools are going to be struggling to get a foothold.
■ What is one element that you would like to change about the sports industry?
In college sports it does seem that the money seems to dominate. I’d like to be assured that the students are really student athletes, rather than sometimes the perception that they’re not. I love college sports. I love what it represents. They just have to fight to maintain that student-athlete reputation.