Pistons challenge fans to virtual game USA Swimming appeals to listmakers People: Executive transactions From the Field of Management Earnhardt open to career in broadcasting Yormark, Cooper form naming-rights venture Faces and Places Cartoon: The real winner The Sit-Down: Felix Palau, Tecate Skipper: There’s no liberal bias at ESPN
SBJ/January 9-15, 2012/People and Pop CulturePrint All
The Class A California League’s Stockton (Calif.) Ports promoted Luke Reiff to general manager.
Syracuse University named Terry Donovan executive senior associate athletic director and chief financial officer. Donovan was assistant athletic director for finance and human relations at Arizona State.
West Virginia University promoted Matt Borman to assistant athletic director and executive director of the Mountaineer Athletic Club.
Daytona International Speedway promoted Pete D’Agresta to senior director of facility operations and John Power to senior director of security.
Cincinnati Bengals director of football operations Jim Lippincott is retiring but will continue to help the team prepare for the NFL draft.
The Phoenix Coyotes named Jen Videtta new media manager for the team and Jobing.com Arena.
The American Hockey League’s Albany (N.Y.) Devils named Ronald Johnson account executive.
The Central Hockey League’s Tulsa (Okla.) Oilers named Steve McCall media relations director and broadcaster. McCall was vice president of communications for the Southern Professional Hockey League’s Mississippi Surge.
Thompson Coburn named Robert Wallace Jr. partner, leading the firm’s sports law group. Wallace was executive vice president and general counsel for the St. Louis Rams.
GroupM ESP hired Cheryl Mark as an account director and Erin Thompson and Naomi Hall as account managers.
IMG Worldwide named Gary Double vice president of corporate communications in Europe. Double ran Gary Double PR. IMG College named Russ Dean director of partner management within the ticketing solutions unit, and Jim Pyne, IMG College’s vice president of national sales, left the company.
Learfield Sports named Josh Ostermann account executive for University of Wyoming Sports Properties, Hunter Boerner account executive for Bulldog Sports Properties, Katie Dillon account executive for Xavier Sports Properties and Stuart Heifetz senior director of new business development for the Northeast Region.
Monumental Sports & Entertainment hired Zack Bolno as Washington Wizards director of basketball communications.
ESPN hired Don Van Natta Jr. as senior writer for ESPN digital and print media, named Heather Burns and Joy Russo espnW.com deputy editors, and promoted Paul Grant to deputy editor for NHL, tennis, horse racing, cricket and lacrosse coverage on ESPN.com.
Turner Sports started Turner Live Events and named Shea Guinn senior vice president, Rachel Downie director and André Plaisance manager.
USA Today Sports Media Group named Mark Kortekaas senior vice president of digital. Kortekaas was general manager of the BBC’s online technology group.
Green Savoree Mid-Ohio named Brett Roubinek vice president of sales and marketing.
Lucas Oil hired Alex Striler as director of sales and marketing for Lucas Oil Off Road. Striler was president and chief executive officer of Osiris Shoes.
Earnhardt Ganassi Racing named Max Jones team manager. Jones was president and general manager for Richard Petty Motorsports.
Sunrise Sports & Entertainment brought back Brett Stefansson as senior vice president and general manager of the BankAtlantic Center and the Saveology.com Iceplex. Stefansson was vice president of Castle Guard Security.
The Colorado Rapids promoted Tim Hinchey to president.
English Premier League club Sunderland named Gary Hutchinson commercial director.
Sporting Goods and Apparel
Ecco named MaryBeth Cobia territory manager for its U.S. golf division. Cobia was the Sky Golf eastern regional sales manager.
Sports Commissions and Tourism Boards
The Detroit Sports Commission named Marty Dobek marketing and communication specialist.
Florida Citrus Sports named Michael Caldwell PA announcer.
Ludus Tours hired Ray Leonard Jr. as vice president of sales. Leonard was chief executive officer of Leonard Sports & Entertainment.
STR Marketplace promoted Preston Hill to president.
ICR hired Kellie Baldyga to head a new consumer PR division. Baldyga was a publicist with WWE.
The Kay Yow Cancer Fund hired Sue Donohoe as executive director. Donohoe was vice president of championships and alliances for women’s basketball with the NCAA.
UNICEF named Chris Weiller senior director of sports partnerships for the U.S. Fund. Weiller was vice president of My Sports Dreams.
The New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority named Wayne Hasenbalg president. Hasenbalg was chief of staff on policy issues to Gov. Chris Christie.
Awards and Boards
The Missouri Sports Hall of Fame named Clyde Lear, retired chairman and chief executive officer of Learfield Communications, as a member of its new class.
The U.S. Golf Association awarded turfgrass scientist Wayne Hanna the USGA Green Section Award.
SD Sport Innovators named Steve Astephen, founder of The Familie and principal of action sports management for Wasserman Media Group, to its advisory board.
USA Football named Jim Delany, commissioner of the Big Ten, to its board of directors.
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Photo by: DAKTRONICS
■ An influential person in my career: Dr. Al Kurtenbach, co-founder of Daktronics. He had the vision, saw the need, and created an industry leader around serving customers.
■ An out-of-the-box idea: Need-based solutions created by Apple with their family of products. Staying connected for business and personal needs via social communications.
■ A sports facility: Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Daktronics’ first indoor “Super System” installation with a uniquely designed center-hung display that has been replicated throughout our industry.
■ A sports event: March Madness captures the country and dominates the sports pages. There are always David vs. Goliath matchups, buzzer-beater games and Cinderella stories.
■ A trend: Information on demand, at our fingertips. Fans want scores, statistics and video on demand. Mobile devices, LED, IPTV and control technologies make that possible.
■ An innovation: Smartphones. The power in the hand-held device is amazing and the future is unlimited.
Xcel Energy Center
Photo by:BRUCE KLUCKHOHN
■ An idea or invention I wish I had thought of: Performance-enhancing clothing (Under Armour/Nike).
■ A fantasy job: A successful football coach.
What I Like About …
Photo by:GETTY IMAGES
■ Sports: It’s a reflection of real life: hard work, dedication, teamwork, discipline, accountability.
■ Sports technology: The integration of LED video, digital signage, scoring, stats, IPTV and control technologies in a truly integrated system … and the ability to paint or brand an entire facility with the touch of a button.
■ Competing: Makes you wake up and stay motivated.
What I’d Like To …
■ See: The economy getting out of the slump it is in.
■ See more of in sports: Fans getting more access to the athletes and the ability of the family of four to afford attending events on a regular basis.
■ See more of in sports business: Another Olympic Games on U.S. soil.
■ See less of in sports: Tattoos, long hair and trash talking. Athletes are role models for the youth of today and need to set good examples.
■ See less of in sports business: Colleges in the headlines for rules violations. Let’s all play by the rules … no one is above the rules.
■ See different: Purchase decisions based on price alone.
What I Don’t Like …
■ In general: I believe in the Golden Rule, but too many people believe it means “He who has the gold makes the rules.”
■ Pet peeve: Excessive touchdown celebrations. Act like you’ve been there before.
■ In sports: Free agency. I grew up where players stayed with the same team for many years. I miss player and fan loyalty. I like fantasy sports, but where did the loyalty to the team go?
■ In business: Politics. There is too much of it in the world today. It often gets in the way of making sound business decisions.
■ About sports fans: I love team loyalty, but all need to be respectful of visiting teams and their fans. Everyone should have fun at sporting events.
What I Like …
■ About myself: I strive for work-life balance and work hard to juggle the busy business world and still have time for my family.
■ Heroes: Bear Bryant, Bud Grant, Tom Landry: Quality coaches who survived the test of time.
■ Players: Walter Payton, Jerry Rice.
■ Possession: My boat. I love to be on the water on a hot sunny summer day.
■ Books: “Control Your Destiny or Someone Else Will” and “How to Be Like Coach Wooden.”
■ Authors: I follow Jeffrey Gitomer. He writes great selling books and articles.
■ Chores: Yardwork. Nice to get outside and enjoy the day.
■ Hobbies: Boating, watching my children’s events.
■ Trips: Trips with family and friends watching my son play college football.
Photo by:GETTY IMAGES
■ TV: “SportsCenter” and “Suits.”
■ Concerts: Tim McGraw, Garth Brooks.
■ Artist: Terry Redlin.
■ Dessert: Flaming bananas Foster. Wow, if done right, is to die for!
■ Drink: A cold beer, especially at a great game or on a hot summer day.
■ Vacation spots: Hawaii and Huntington Beach, Calif.
■ Cars: Chevy Suburban, the all-purpose machine for living in the upper Midwest.
■ Quote: “Hard work beats talent if talent doesn’t work hard,” and “You can’t expect change if you keep doing the same thing.”