How ‘Friday Night Lights’ came to life PGA Championship merch sales up 10% More NBA options on Thursday nights Softening the Tiger Effect Rio’s ticket resale is broadest yet Toyota, Long Beach keep rolling Packers’ Titletown to cost up to $130M Plugged In: Steve Keener ‘Madden NFL 16’ has a blockbuster Churchill taps Ticketmaster for Derby
SBJ/November 19-25, 2012/People and Pop CulturePrint All
The Houston Astros hired David Stearns as assistant general manager. Stearns was director of baseball operations for the Cleveland Indians.
The Pittsburgh Pirates hired Bill Livesey as senior adviser to general manager Neal Huntington.
The Golden State Warriors promoted Stevie Gray to senior director of ticket operations, Dan Martinez to senior director of communications, Kevin Cote to director of digital marketing, Abusheri Ohwofasa to director of community relations, Andy Fahey to manager of digital marketing, R.C. Davis to senior producer, Chris Gilbert to senior manager of ticket operations, Greg Uhrik to senior manager of suite sales, Jeanne McGrath to manager of suite services, Melissa Viceral Beach to manager of ticket services, Ron Cobb to manager of payroll, Marco Nicola to coordinator of game operations and Andrew Loomis to assistant general manager of the Santa Cruz Warriors.
The PGA of America named Sandy Cross director of women’s and new market initiatives.
The National Lacrosse League’s Washington Stealth hired Mike
Shamrock Sports & Entertainment hired Rob Coppola as vice president of partnerships and analytics.
Cartan Corp. promoted Daniel Gamba to executive vice president.
Home Team Sports promoted Nicole Labrow to manager of partnership development.
Legends hired John Ruzich as senior vice president and general counsel. Ruzich was senior vice president of business and legal affairs/general counsel for DreamWorks Classics.
Comcast SportsNet Houston hired Steve Bunin as an anchor and reporter. Bunin was an anchor for ESPN.
Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic hired Gary Williams as a college basketball analyst. Williams was men’s basketball coach at the University of Maryland.
Sporting Goods and Apparel
The National Sporting Goods Association named Dustin Dobrin director of research and information.
The Boys and Girls Clubs of America hired Bill Bright as director of government relations.
Horton Lees Brogden Lighting Design hired Jeffrey Miller as a design principal.
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Cutting the ribbon in Boston
The U.S. Business Group of Sun Life Financial and the Boston Celtics cut the ribbon on the rebranded Sun Life Courtside Club at the TD Garden before the Celtics’ home opener Nov. 2. From left: Sun Life Financial SVP/GM Mike Shunney, Sun Life Financial head of sponsorships Sally Bray, former Celtics player Walter McCarty and Celtics President Rich Gotham.
Photo by:BRIAN BABINEAU
Wild times in Tempe
Buffalo Wild Wings and Scout Sports and Entertainment scouted out Sun Devil Stadium during October’s Arizona State-Oregon game in preparation for Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, to be played Dec. 29 at the stadium. From left: Joy Seijas, Scout managing director; Dan Parise, Scout associate managing director; Doug Rea, Buffalo Wild Wings creative manager; Nick Hamilton, Scout account executive; Veronica Shore, Buffalo Wild Wings marketing brand manager; Michael Neuman, Scout managing partner; Bob Ruhland, Buffalo Wild Wings VP of marketing; and Jim Schmidt, Buffalo Wild Wings COO.
Photo by:ANTHONY AGUILAR
Honorary degree for Hall
Arizona Diamondbacks President and CEO Derrick Hall received an honorary doctorate in humane letters from the University of Phoenix. Hall was presented the doctorate Nov. 10 during the graduation ceremony at University of Phoenix, where Hall was the commencement speaker. With Hall (center) are Phoenix campus VP David Fitzgerald (left) and University of Phoenix President Bill Pepicello.
Photo by:ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS
On the fencing in Columbus
Announcing late last month that Columbus will host the 2013 USA Fencing National Championships next summer (from left): USA Fencing Board President Donald Anthony Jr., Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman, Greater Columbus Sports Commission Executive Director Linda Logan, USA Fencing CEO Val Belmonte and Gene Smith, Ohio State University associate vice president and athletic director.
Photo by:JARED WILLIAMSON
Sponsor summit convenes
More than 100 Waste Management Phoenix Open sponsors gathered at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix on Nov. 1 for a half-day interactive forum. From left: Steve Neff, Waste Management VP of business development and sports marketing; Tom Altieri, tournament chairman; David Pillsbury, PGA Tour Golf Course Properties and Championship Management president and keynote speaker; and Dave Aardsma, Waste Management chief sales and marketing officer.
A Palace of renovations
Palace Sports & Entertainment CEO Dennis Mannion conducts a tour of renovations at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Stops on the tour of the Detroit Pistons’ home, shown to the media Nov. 13, included the West Atrium Entrance, the new Club 300 and a new Courtside Club studio.
Photo by:TIM TRUMBLE
Beyond Sport talk
NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France (left) joined NBA Commissioner David Stern on a panel at Yankee Stadium on Nov. 13 titled “Beyond Sport United: Sports Teams for Social Change.” The conversation centered on how teams and leagues can use their resources to engage with their communities in a more sustained and effective way.
Gymnasts bounce into Fieldhouse
Members of the 2012 U.S. Olympic team, including the gold-medal-winning women’s gymnastics team, were among the cast for the Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastics Champions that performed at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Nov. 2. Welcoming Steve Penny (left), president and CEO of USA Gymnastics, were Pacers mascot Boomer along with Rick Fuson (right) and Jim Morris (far right) of Pacers Sports & Entertainment.
Photo by:PACERS SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Ravens, PGA hit a three-bagger
Showing off PGA of America President Ted Bishop’s Ravens jersey and some new golf bags at the 96th PGA Annual Meeting at the Hyatt Regency Baltimore on Nov. 10 are (from left) Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh, Bishop, Ravens offensive coordinator Cam Cameron and Ravens quarterback coach Jim Caldwell.
Photo by:MONTANA PRITCHARD / THE PGA OF AMERICA
Revs celebrate at Game On!
The New England Revolution held its annual End of the Year Party Nov. 1 at Game On! outside Fenway Park. The entire team gathered with front-office staff members, partners and season-ticket holders, thanking them for their support this season. From left to right: New England Revolution President Brian Bilello; Craig Tornberg, vice president of business development; head coach Jay Heaps; midfielder Benny Feilhaber; goalie Matt Reis; midfielder Ryan Guy; Brad Feldman, supervising broadcast producer and play-by-play; and Cathal Conlon, director of marketing.
Photo by:NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
NBA All-Star voting begins
The NBA held its tipoff event in Houston last week for NBA All-Star Balloting presented by Sprint. Front row, from left: Houston Rockets owner Leslie Alexander; Rockets CEO Tad Brown; and Tim Considine, director of sports marketing for Sprint. Back row, from left: Rockets players James Harden, Jeremy Lin, Omer Asik and Chandler Parsons.
Photo by:BILL BAPTIST / NBAE
Foundation, Go Daddy donate
Go Daddy and the Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation on Nov. 8 announced a $2 million donation to the Semper Fi Fund. From left to right: Rick Romley, Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame Society president; Danica Patrick, Go Daddy spokeswoman and NASCAR driver; Bob Parsons, Go Daddy executive chairman and founder; Renee Parsons, co-founder of the Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation; and Tony Stewart, three-time Sprint Cup champion and NASCAR team owner.
UMass alums outfitted
The Mark H. McCormack Department of Sport Management at Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts Amherst hosted “Covering the Bases: An Evening with our GMs” on Nov. 13. After a Q&A session, student leaders presented alums and panelists with personalized UMass baseball jerseys. From left to right: Wes LaValley, student leader; Neal Huntington (SVP and GM, Pittsburgh Pirates, M.S., ’92), Ben Cherington (EVP & GM, Boston Red Sox, M.S. ’97), Chris Antonetti (EVP & GM, Cleveland Indians, M.S. ’97), moderator Mike Reiss from ESPNBoston.com (B.S. ’97 ); and Scott Savran, vice president of Jewish Leaders in Business.
Photo by:BEN BARNHART / BBIMAGES.COM
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Michael Robichaud, vice president of global sponsorships for MasterCard Worldwide, talks about spending on sports in today’s marketplace (and what that does to an overall budget), and shares his thoughts on how to capitalize on the passion of fans.
Photo by:MARC BRYAN-BROWN
Global golf: It doesn’t matter if it’s the PGA Tour, the European Tour, the Ryder Cup … I certainly believe with the events and the amount of money being put into the sport, I definitely consider that a global property. So that’s probably the one [where] we’re the most active. We can send players over to different events. We can do stuff with our banks. We can do stuff with different geographies that matter to us, different cities that we’re trying to grow.
Working with players: What we like about players is they’re very reasonably flexible. You can kind of move them around. We sent Graeme McDowell over to Northern Ireland to do an unbelievably great event for one of our big banks over in the U.K. We can create and customize that event for them. You see our brand on different players. AmEx is a big sponsor to the U.S. Open, so I can’t do anything there, but we’ve got our players in the U.S. Open, so you’re at least still involved in some ways. We can go across all the different tiers.
Where content comes from: You don’t want to necessarily drive it by the brand. You want the users to do it; they create their own conversations. It’s not like the Jets or Denver were out creating the Tebow tweets. They just happened because that’s what fans were talking about.
The fuel: For us, we just talk about passion. We’re all in this business for the passion.
Why that’s important: As brands, we just want to intercept that and be wherever that point of passion is and then do the best you can to be relevant somehow so that when they’re there absorbing it, you’re relevant. You don’t want to distract from it or get in the way, but you want to be a part of it.
What I Like …
Page and son Jack get in a skate at Fenway Park the day before the 2010 NHL Winter Classic in Boston.
■ Timeless idea: Hard work. You can’t take away that work ethic.
■ New sports facility: University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.; PPL Park in Chester, Pa.; and Livestrong Park in Kansas City, Kan.
■ Old sports facility: Los Angeles Coliseum.
■ New sporting event: Rugby 7s. It’s a fantastic up-and-coming event.
■ Brand: Under Armour.
■ Trend: Instant access to information.
■ Innovation: iPad.
■ Pro league business initiative: NHL Winter Classic. We’ve been fortunate to be a part of two of the Winter Classics. An ingenious idea!
■ A story that bears watching: EDM (Electronic Dance Music). Watch this evolve into the big arenas.
■ An invention I wish I had thought of: The zipper.
■ A fantasy job: Rock star in a band.
What I Like about …
■ My job: Every day is different.
■ Sports: There’s always a winner.
■ Sports business: Winning conquers all!
■ Sports media: Personalizes the sport.
■ Competing: Good for the soul.
■ The future of sports business: We know where we are. We just don’t know where we’re going to be.
■ Sports fans: They’re passionate. Especially Philadelphia Flyers fans.
What I Would Like To …
■ Change: Everyone is always in such a rush. I’d like to slow it down and allow for some reflection.
■ Change in me: Develop more personal relationships.
■ See more of: Player and fan interaction.
■ See less of in sports business: Oversaturation of events.
■ See eliminated: Scalping.
What I don't like …
■ In general: Whining.
■ In sports: The push for kids to specialize in one sport.
■ In business: Things I can’t control.
What I Like …
Photo by:GETTY IMAGES
■ People: Innate nature to have fun.
■ Above all else: My family.
■ Heroes: My dad.
■ Player: Johnny Bench.
■ Team: Philadelphia Flyers and USC Trojans.
■ City: San Diego.
Photo by:GETTY IMAGES
■ Memento: My USC football helmet. (Page was an offensive lineman for the Trojans.)
■ In the morning: Ice hockey. I play as part of the 7:15ers on the ice at Wells Fargo Center as long as ice is available to us.
■ Season: Fall.
■ Music: Rock ’n’ roll.
■ Magazine: SportsBusiness Journal.
■ Gadget: iPad.
■ Chore: Yardwork.
■ Hobby: Kids sports.
■ Trip: Costa Rica.
■ Movie: “Used Cars.”
■ TV Show: “The Three Stooges.”
Page with Cheap Trick, the first band he ever saw live.
■ Food: Mexican.
■ Food at the arena: Nachos.
■ Dessert: Key lime pie.
■ Drink: Red wine.
■ Scent: Cinnamon.
■ Car: Mustang.
■ Singer: Jimmy Buffett.
■ Quote: “Luck is when preparation meets opportunity.”