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/October 1-7, 2012/People and Pop CulturePrint All
The Class A short-season Northwest League’s Eugene Emeralds hired Danny Cowley as director of graphic design and Ed Silling as director of mascot operations.
The Class AAA Pacific Coast League’s Sacramento River Cats named Chip Maxson senior vice president of business operations. Maxson was vice president of ticket sales for the Tacoma Rainiers.
The Stockton Ports hired Bailey West as community relations manager. West was a member of the premium services team for the Oakland Raiders and Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Atlanta Hawks named Garin Narain vice president of public relations. Narain was director of basketball communications for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Northwest Nazarene University hired Bill Rapp as athletic director. Rapp was SAP Open tournament director and tournament adviser for Sharks Sports & Entertainment.
Troy University hired John Hartwell as athletic director. Hartwell was senior executive associate athletic director at the University of Mississippi.
Wayne State University promoted Jason Clark to senior associate director of athletics and Lisa Seymour to assistant athletic director.
The University of Wisconsin hired Jay Vickers as senior assistant athletic director for advancement. Vickers was associate athletic director of development at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
The Columbus Blue Jackets hired Jaime Palmer as corporate development sales coordinator, Michael Fullen as accounts payable coordinator and Brian Thompson as hockey group event specialist.
Penn National Racing Course hired Dan Silver as director of racing operations effective Oct. 22. Silver is director of communications at the New York Racing Association.
Excel Sports Management named David Oxfeld senior director of client sales.
Breaking Limits hired Ken Cohn as senior vice president and chief operating officer. Cohn was senior vice president for Cagnazzi Racing.
MainGate hired Mark Higdon as director of marketing. Higdon was senior marketing manager and director of media at Three Sixty Group.
AFP named Enno Müller managing director for Germany.
Comcast SportsNet Houston named Tiffany Blackmon, Marius Payton and Leila Rahimi to its broadcast team.
Fox Sports Media Group hired David Neal as executive producer of FIFA World Cup on Fox.
NBCUniversal promoted Linda Yaccarino to president of advertising sales.
Time Warner named Todd Larsen executive vice president and group president of its news and sports group.
Turner Broadcasting System named Ed Wise senior vice president of Turner Branded Entertainment. Wise was vice president of Funny or Die.
Univision Interactive hired William Davis as director of sales and sports. Davis was account executive for the NFL and Univision partnership.
Palace Sports & Entertainment hired Lauren Shourd as media coordinator.
Sporting Goods and Apparel
City Sports named Edward Albertian president and chief executive officer. Albertian was president and chief operating officer of the Trans National Group.
Daktronics named Sheila Anderson chief financial officer and treasurer.
On named Christian Ward national dealer support manager.
The Topps Co. hired Chris Vaccaro as sports editor. Vaccaro was a sports editor at AOL’s Patch.com.
Sports Commissions and Tourism Boards
The WTA hired John Learing as vice president of broadcast. Learing was creative director for the PGA Tour.
Britton Gallagher hired Jim Convertino as director and Jani Memorich, Rob Russ, Vanessa Aquino and Patricia Minnich as client consultants for its professional athletes and entertainers practice.
Microsoft hired Nancy Tellem as entertainment and digital media president.
The Kay Yow Cancer Fund named Robin Pate director of community development. Pate was director of compliance at North Carolina State University.
The World Anti-Doping Agency named Beckie Scott to its executive committee. Scott is a two-time Olympic medalist in cross-country skiing.
Awards and Boards
Grand Canyon Education, which operates Grand Canyon University, named Kevin Warren to its board. Warren is vice president of legal affairs and chief administrative officer for the Minnesota Vikings.
The International Tennis Hall of Fame and Museum named Jim Citrin, Marianne Gaige, Jim Goldman, David Haggerty, Bob Jeffrey, Stephen Lewinstein, Betsy Nagelsen-McCormack and Mark Panarese to its board of directors.
Oregon Sports Authority named Scott Leykam and K.L. Wombacher to its board of directors. Leykam is athletic director at the University of Portland, and Wombacher is vice president and general manager of the new Hillsboro, Ore., franchise in the Class A short-season Northwest League.
Own the Podium named Chris Overholt and Patrick Jarvis to its board of directors. Overholt is chief executive officer and secretary general of the Canadian Olympic Committee.
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Barclays Center breakthrough
The new Barclays Center in Brooklyn held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Sept. 21. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (center) watches Bruce Ratner, Barclays Center developer and majority owner, cut the ribbon, while Mikhail Prokhorov, Brooklyn Nets principal owner (between Bloomberg and Ratner), looks on.
Photo by:DAVID DOW / NBAE VIA GETTY IMAGES
GNC gets Marked in Pittsburgh
GNC and Mark Wahlberg hosted a benefit concert featuring 3 Doors Down in celebration of Marked, a new line of performance nutrition products that GNC and Wahlberg jointly developed. A portion of all ticket sales will be donated to support the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation and the Pressley Ridge Foundation. From left: Joe Fortunato, GNC chairman and CEO; Tom Dowd, GNC EVP and GM; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger; and actor/producer Mark Wahlberg. The concert took place at Stage AE in Pittsburgh on Sept. 20.
Photo:COURTESY OF GNC
D1A Texas reception
Learfield Sports held a cocktail and dessert reception Sept. 24 following the D1A dinner at Hilton DFW Lakes in Grapevine, Texas. Above, left to right: University of Cincinnati Athletic Director Whit Babcock, Learfield executive vice president Roger Gardner, and Mario Moccia, Southern Illinois University athletic director. Below: UNC Athletic Director Bubba Cunningham and Greg Brown, Learfield president and CEO.
Photos by:ANN MARIE WAGONER / LEARFIELD SPORTS
World Baseball Classic details announced
At the World Baseball Classic press conference Sept. 25 in San Francisco, from left: Felipe Alou, former San Francisco Giants manager and former Team Dominican Republic manager; Riccardo Fraccari, International Baseball Federation president; San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee; Larry Baer, Giants president and CEO; Paul Archey, World Baseball Classic president; Tim Slavin, member of the WBCI board of directors; Miguel Montero, Arizona Diamondbacks catcher; and Giants pitcher Ryan Vogelsong.
Photo by:2012 SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS
Community event in Queens
ESPN Deportes, Team ESPN and Time Warner Cable held a community event Sept. 21 to rebuild the Jerome Hardman Day Care Center in Queens, N.Y., in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. From left: Hamed Nasseri, director of affiliate field sales and marketing for ESPN; John Fitzgerald, VP of multimedia sales of ESPN Deportes; Michelle Bella, VP of consumer and ad sales marketing of ESPN Deportes; Gail Nayowith, executive director of SCO Family of Services; Alessandra Otero-Reiss, VP of multicultural marketing for Time Warner Cable; and Alvaro Martin, ESPN Deportes’ NFL and NBA commentator.
Kastles win WTT title
Venus Williams led the Washington Kastles to their second consecutive World TeamTennis title on Sept. 16, with a 20-19 victory over the Sacramento Capitals at the Family Circle Tennis Center in Charleston, S.C. Front row, from left, coach Murphy Jensen, Anastasia Rodionova, Williams, Bobby Reynolds, Leander Paes and Arina Rodionova. Back row, from left: Bill Brower, Geico director of advertising; Mark Ein, Washington Kastles owner; WTT co-founder Billie Jean King; and Ilana Kloss, WTT commissioner and CEO.
Photo by:SUSAN MULLANE / CAMERAWORK USA
ESPN, StubHub induct fans
ESPN and StubHub’s Hall of Fans inaugural induction ceremony took place Sept. 19 at ESPN’s campus in Bristol, Conn. From left: Captain Dee-Fense; Sully, of The Green Men; Michael Lattig, StubHub head of brand and creative; Emily Pitek; John Skipper, ESPN president; and Force, the other half of The Green Men.
Photo by:ROBYN TWOMEY
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When leading boxing promoters Golden Boy and Top Rank scheduled competing fight cards on the Las Vegas Strip on the same September night, many predicted supply would KO demand. Instead, both fights were sellouts, and both beat expectations on the television front. Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer, promoter of Canelo Alvarez’s fight at the MGM Grand, talks about why it worked, and what that and other indicators say about boxing.
On how the TV landscape has swung for fights: If you look at what has happened with rights fees across sports, boxing has been left behind. So when you see these kind of weekends where you have, less than a mile apart, 35,000 paying customers going to a boxing event, and you had a very successful pay-per-view, and on the same night the highest-rated boxing event in the history of Showtime, I think TV networks can no longer ignore the sport of boxing. It’s a very vibrant live-content play.
On what it’s like to be a TV free agent coming off a three-year output deal with HBO: The beauty of having an output deal is that you could build content on a regular basis because you had the dates locked in. The beauty of not having an output deal is that it’s a free market, and whoever offers us the best deal is who we would go with.
On the increased emphasis brands are placing on reaching Hispanics: Until now, Corona never activated around a boxing event. They ran commercials: the sun and the beach and the girls. But now they’re starting to use boxing to activate, and the results they saw around Canelo really energized them. … Brands are going to realize that boxing is the way to get into the Hispanic home.
I’m very serious about work and I love my job. But I don’t let it overwhelm my entire life.
I don’t have an office. I sit amongst everybody. None of us have offices. The meetings are very collaborative. I really ask people — and expect them — to challenge me in meetings. My word is not God. That’s important and something that I learned from leaders that I worked with that I didn’t respect as much.
Photo by:PATRICK E. MCCARTHY
You have to continue to do the work occasionally because you have to prove to people that you’ve got it. You have to prove to yourself you’ve still got it. I think it keeps you closer to the ground. When you stop creating in this business, you’re done. Even though I’m president of this company, I will always be writing ads.
So much of managing is simply motivating people. People are much more motivated to work with and for somebody that they know will be there in the battle. When things are going bad, you’re there. When things are going good, you’re there.
When I first got into management I was very impatient. I wanted things to happen very quickly, blow everything up, rebuild it and do it my way. … Now, creating a long-term vision, letting that play out and understanding that it doesn’t all have to happen today is the biggest change in my management style.
Compared to most presidents that I’ve worked with at companies, I’m friends with a lot of people here. I’m a little bit closer to them on a personal level. Now, you can say that’s a good thing or a bad thing. I think it’s a good thing. I call it radical transparency. I try to be as transparent as I possibly can with everybody.
I learned a lot from the TED conference. Eighteen minutes. A lot of the meetings I do I give people 18 minutes. Eighteen minutes, it’s over. If those guys can give a TED talk in 18 minutes about some of the most complicated ideas and issues in the world, you can come to me and tell me a marketing idea in 18 minutes.
I don’t ever hire negativity. I don’t care how bad your last job was. Don’t come into your job interview carrying a bunch of baggage. It’s a complete turn-off to me, and that’s not the kind of people I want working at this company.
We’ve become a very successful agency, so one thing that happens here is our people get poached all the time. Oftentimes people are leaving for money. I tell them the same thing: Money is only going to go so far. If you love it here, let’s work this out.
When campaigns have struck a chord with pop culture, I guarantee you they’re attracting business. And that’s what we’re judged by.
Most of the ads I’ve done that have really hit, I was surprised. The E-Trade baby? I mean, come on. There’s been a million talking babies. The voice we brought to it was the key. It just hit. And it hit so big.
Don’t ever buy a Super Bowl spot if you don’t understand that this is entertainment. Just forget it. You’re wasting your money.
Other than sports, I don’t have to watch your ad anymore. All marketers have to realize that, which means I have to make advertising and communications that are worth watching.
I love to travel, because I love “new.” When you’re traveling, everything’s new. I like to meet new people, see new things, hear new languages and eat new food.
Cambodia and Vietnam are two of my favorite places to travel to. The people are the most wonderful people I’ve ever met. They just love life and are happy.
I live two blocks away from my office, right over in Chelsea. I’m very anti-commute. It just never works for me.
For five years I’ve been stuck in this indie rock thing. The National is a band that I just love. We may actually do their next music video. I’m trying to get them to agree to have us.
It’s a combination of New York City, advertising, and the digital revolution, but I cannot read a full book. Again, my own ADD issues, but I just can’t get through it. It’s really sad. I used to read all the time. So I read short stories. I just finished a book by Richard Brautigan. He writes the best short stories.
The book “The 4-Hour Workweek” was a life-changer for me. It’s like a bible for me. Check emails twice a day. That’s it.