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 7-13, 2012/People and Pop CulturePrint All
The independent Atlantic League’s Lancaster (Pa.) Barnstormers promoted Kristen Simon to general manager and hired Lisa Riggs as president. Riggs was president of the James Street Improvement District in Lancaster.
The Golden State Warriors promoted Bob Myers to general manager, replacing Larry Riley, who will remain with the organization as director of scouting.
The New York Knicks named Glen Grunwald executive vice president and general manager. Grunwald was interim general manager.
Pac-12 Enterprises named Kristin Bredes director of talent and development. Bredes was director of talent for CBS Sports Network.
Hamline University promoted director of compliance and baseball coach Jason Verdugo to athletic director.
Southeast Missouri State University hired Mark Alnutt as athletic director. Alnutt was senior associate athletic director for administration at the University of Missouri.
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Athletic Director Rick Costello stepped down from his position.
Marshall University hired Jack Bogaczyk as director of publications and editor of the Herd Insider. Bogaczyk was sports editor for the Charleston (W.Va.) Daily Mail newspaper.
Millikin University hired Craig White as athletic director. White was an associate athletic director at the University of Georgia.
Temple University’s School of Tourism and Hospitality Management named Andrew Lovell associate director of industry relations. Lovell was with the Adventure Aquarium and Currents Ballroom.
The University of California, Berkeley, hired Joe Shapero as CRM manager. Shapero was marketing coordinator for the National Sports Forum.
The University of Minnesota hired Norwood Teague as athletic director. Teague was athletic director at Virginia Commonwealth University.
NFL Players Inc. hired Kathy Vu as vice president of licensing and business development. Vu was a consultant for DeMatteo Monness and formerly vice president of corporate partnerships for the LPGA.
The Jacksonville Jaguars hired J.P. Shadrick as communications coordinator. Shadrick was director of media relations and broadcasting for the Class AAA Pacific Coast League Oklahoma City RedHawks.
The Columbus Blue Jackets named Marcus Stephenson digital marketing manager, Carson Barnes premium sales account executive and Alex Vitanye corporate development account executive.
CAA Sports promoted Tess O’Sullivan to agent status and Marissa Edler to executive status in the baseball division.
Brian Connolly launched Victus Advisors, a market research and financial advisory consultancy. Connolly was a consultant for CSL International.
Dial Global hired Michael Schreck as senior vice president and director of corporate sports.
Former NFL player Jean Fugett Jr. formed Fugett Sports Group.
Opening Day Partners named Tal Smith a special adviser. Smith was formerly president of baseball operations for the Houston Astros.
iSportconnect appointed Michael Cunnah chairman.
The National Sports Forum named Chantelle Neep marketing coordinator.
Sporting Goods and Apparel
Adidas named André Maestrini managing director for Adidas Group Spanish Latin America, effective June 1, and Alain Pourcelot managing director for Adidas Group France.
Modell’s Sporting Goods hired Daniel Sheehan as chief operating officer. Sheehan was senior vice president and chief information officer for Dunkin’ Brands Inc.
Awards and Boards
The Miller Park stadium district board named Don Smiley chairman.
The NFLPA Former Players Department named Reggie Berry, Ron Davis and Derrick Frost to the board of directors.
The World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry named Christina Li Wei to its board of directors.
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ING New York City Marathon Opening Day
At the ING New York City Marathon Opening Day Presented by Asics on April 25 (from left): New York Giants and ING New York City Marathon alum Amani Toomer, actress Amy Yasbeck, Olympian and New Zealand record holder Kim Smith, Olympian and American record holder Ryan Hall, tennis star James Blake, recent Internet sensation “Ridiculously Photogenic Guy” Zeddie Little, and New York Road Runners President and CEO Mary Wittenberg. Smith and Hall announced their plans to participate in this year’s race Nov. 4.
Photo by:NEW YORK ROAD RUNNERS
Steranka honored at UJA-Federation luncheon
UJA-Federation of New York honored Joe Steranka, chief executive officer of The PGA of America, at UJA-Federation’s Sports for Youth Luncheon on May 1 at the Grand Hyatt New York. From left: NBC Sports commentator and author Jimmy Roberts, the event’s emcee; Donna Orender, Sports for Youth co-chair and CEO of Orender Unlimited; Steranka; Junior Bridgeman, restaurateur and former member of The PGA of America Board of Directors; and Russell Wolff, Sports for Youth co-chair and executive vice president and managing director of ESPN International.
Photo by:MICHAEL PRIEST PHOTOGRAPHY
Gorbachev gets a lift from Cardinals’ Bidwill
Former Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev (left) visits with Arizona Cardinals President Michael Bidwill on a recent trip to Arizona. After Gorbachev gave a speech at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa in Phoenix on April 28, Thunderbird School of Global Management Interim President Barbara Barrett, who helped arrange Gorbachev’s speech, learned that both Bidwell and Gorbachev were headed to New York City and asked Bidwill, an experienced private pilot, whether he would be willing to fly the Nobel Peace Prize winner. “I was honored to be able to do it,” Bidwill said.
Photo by:ARIZONA CARDINALS
Samson’s home run for charity
Samson (running, and at right, center) with fellow road warriors John Silverman (left), Marlins equipment manager, and Michael Hill, Marlins VP and GM.
Photos by:ROBERT VIGON / MIAMI MARLINS
Miami Marlins President David Samson completed a 52.4-mile, charity-driven run from Pompano Beach to Marlins Park on April 27. Samson has now raised more than $600,000 for 10 charities. He started the run at 7 a.m. and entered Marlins Park at roughly 6:42 p.m. Four days after the run, Samson said, “I feel great. It took me two days to recover, and today I ran for the first time since Friday. I took four days off.” Samson had done one training run of 30 miles and several 26-mile runs, but acknowledged he was “more sore than I anticipated” after the April 27 run. In looking back, Samson said, “Every five miles I picked up a new runner to join me, a runner from one of the charities. At mile 45, I had two IVs. I had four IV bags at the end of the run in the training room. I really don’t remember the entire final 20 minutes of the run. There was a check presentation and a pregame interview on the field and I don’t remember any of that. I was that dehydrated.” Asked what he ate and drank during the run, he said, “Water and Gatorade and I had some pizza and some GU gel. But after 30 miles, I couldn’t eat or drink anything. I burned between 8,000 to 9,000 calories for the day, and I didn’t replace it well.” What’s next on his endurance quest? He said he wasn’t exactly sure, “But there will be another something.”
Night out for Univision’s new network
Univision Deportes Network celebrated its launch with a party April 19 in New York City. From left: Jose Garriga, Univision VP of sports sales; Antonietta Collins, “Univision Deportes Extra” anchor; and Marco Liceaga, senior director of SUM international.
Photo by:ASSOCIATED PRESS
Backstage at the Sports Emmy Awards
NBC won nine awards, the most by any network, at the 33rd annual Sports Emmy Awards ceremony April 30 in New York City. With Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Jack Whitaker (from left) are Dan Patrick, Ernie Johnson Jr., Joe Buck, Jim Nantz, National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Chairman Malachy Wienges, Bob Costas, Mike Emrick and James Brown.
Photos by:MARC-BRYAN BROWN
Producer Pete Macheska (left) and executive producer Ed Goren collected the Outstanding Live Sports Special award for Fox, which won for the World Series.
Roger Goodell (left) was honored with the Chairman’s Award, representing the networks and their patriotic coverage of the 10-year anniversary of 9/11 last year. With him is National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Chairman Malachy Wienges.
Senator is Swarm’s special guest
Sen. Al Franken attended his first Minnesota Swarm game at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul on April 28. Franken is joined by National Lacrosse League Commissioner George Daniel (left) and Swarm co-owner Andy Arlotta.
Photo by:MARC KIMBALL
Energy Bowl winners
The Tampa Bay Rays’ Brad Schaefer (left), senior coordinator, conversion; Rick Nafe (center), VP of stadium operations; and Eric Kampfmann, systems manager, accept the Energy Bowl award from the Stadium Managers Association, for demonstrating best practices in reducing energy consumption with the greatest percentage decrease from 2010-11. The presentation was April 22 at Tropicana Field.
Photo by:SKIP MILOS / TAMPA BAY RAYS
Honor for Phoenix commission
Aaron Muth (left), Phoenix Regional Sports Commission director of events, and commission President Jon Schmieder accept the award for the 2012 Sports Commission of the Year. The presentation was made April 19 at the annual symposium of the National Association of Sports Commissions in Hartford, Conn.
Photo by:STEVE CRECELIUS
Travelers gears up for 2012 tournament
At the Travelers Championship media day May 1 at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Conn. (from left): Nathan Grube, tournament director; Chris Berman, ESPN broadcaster; Fredrik Jacobson, 2011 Travelers Championship champion; and Andy Bessette, Travelers EVP and chief administrative officer. This year’s event will take place June 18-24.
Photo by:TRAVELERS CHAMPIONSHIP
The scene at Stade de France
At the French Cup Championship Final in Paris on April 28 (from left): Dorsey & Whitney LLP partner Stuart Goldfarb, Global Spectrum regional VP Tim Murphy, Front Row Marketing Services President Chris Lencheski, soccer consultant Joe Fraga and Ligue de Football Professionals marketing director Sebastien Janodet.
National Jewish Sports HOF Class of 2012
The 2012 National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame honorees were inducted at a ceremony April 29 in Commack, N.Y. Front row (from left): Former NHL player Mike Hartman, StarGames President and CEO Jerry Solomon, former Topps Co. executive Sy Berger, motorsports driver Jon Dennis, New York Mets radio broadcaster Howie Rose, triathlete Joanna Zeiger. Back row (from left): Jeffrey Carus (representing boxing legend Al Davis), Martha Richman (representing MLB executive Arthur Richman), Hall of Fame board members Alan Freedman and Lynne Kramer, George Young Award winner Dick Hoyt and former U.S. soccer team member Debbie Belkin-Rademacher.
Photo by:GENE LESSERSON PHOTOGRAPHY
Magic executives reach out
The Orlando Magic held an executive luncheon April 24 for its courtside seat holders and chairman’s club members in an effort to connect and communicate with different groups of Magic season-ticket holders. The featured speakers at the luncheon were Magic CEO Alex Martins (pictured), Chairman Dan DeVos and Otis Smith, president of basketball operations.
Photo by:GARY BASSING
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What I Like …
■ Influential people in my career: Steve Lesnick, who owned KemperSports, which was my first real job. [Mets owners] Fred Wilpon, who’s been all about honesty, integrity and relationships, and Saul Katz, co-founder and president of Sterling Equities.
■ An out-of-the-box idea: Harrah’s hiring Gary Loveman, a career academic, in 1998 to
Photo by:GETTY IMAGES
■ A timeless idea: Maintaining a focus on customer service.
■ A business deal: The Pac-12 Network.
■ A sports facility: AT&T Park is built in just a stunning setting, but Wrigley Field is still my favorite ballpark of all time. And it is the star, not the team.
■ A sports event: Any truly big-time college football game, probably SEC.
■ A strategy: IBM transforming itself from mainframe obscurity into a software and service company.
■ A hire: Mark Lazarus by NBC.
■ A brand: Ironman Triathlon.
■ An ad campaign: I always thought “Where’s the Beef” from Wendy’s was brilliant.
■ A trend: Customization, which is just really hyper-segmentation.
■ An innovation: The yellow first-down line on televised football.
■ A pro league or team business initiative: Soccer United Marketing (SUM). Having a plan from the outset to branch beyond MLS and involve itself in soccer’s most important properties across North America.
Photo by:NBAE / GETTY IMAGES
■ A story that bears watching: TV Everywhere.
■ An idea or invention I wish I had thought of: StubHub and the whole movement that has made the secondary ticketing market so efficient.
■ A previous job: GM of the CBA Sioux Falls Skyforce team. I was 23.
■ A fantasy job: U.S. ambassador to a neutral country with a great climate.
What I Like About …
■ My job: The ability to manage an entire business every day.
■ Sports: The passion that it generates.
■ Sports business: A lot of days, it doesn’t really feel like a job.
■ Sports media: The fan base with an insatiable appetite.
■ Sports technology: The challenge to stay informed.
■ Competing: The chance to win.
What I’d Like To …
■ Change: Pricing, so that more consumers can participate.
■ See more of in sports: Sportsmanship.
■ See less of in sports business: The winning-is-everything attitude.
What I Don’t Like …
■ About sports fans: A winning-is-everything attitude.
What I Like …
■ Heroes: My father. My dad is a pediatric ophthalmologist, and so what he does is highly specialized and highly valued. That’s got to be very fulfilling.
■ Athletes: Thurman Munson, Bernard King, Bill Bradley.
■ City: San Francisco.
■ Possession: Does my family count? They are more important to me than any one thing.
■ Music: Springsteen.
■ TV shows: “The Office” and “60 Minutes.”
■ Movies: “Raising Arizona,” “The Shawshank Redemption,” “Brian’s Song.”
■ Books: “Ball Four,” by Jim Bouton.
■ Magazines: Sports Illustrated, Fortune.
■ Websites: Deadspin, SNY.TV.
■ Gadgets: BlackBerry.
■ Food: Italian.
■ Drink: A cold beer.
■ Vacation spot: Jackson Hole, Wyo.