SBJ/December 3-9, 2012/People and Pop Culture

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  • People: Executive transactions

    Colleges
    Ohio State University named Dan Cloran executive associate athletic director of development. Cloran was senior director of development and alumni relations at OSU.

    The University of Maryland named Marvin Lewis associate athletic director for business. Lewis was senior associate athletic director for finance and administration at Georgia State University.

    Rick Mazzuto stepped down as athletic director of Cal State Northridge.

    Hockey
    The ECHL hired Todd Merton as director of marketing and licensing. Merton was director of corporate sales, merchandise and game operations for the South Carolina Stingrays.

    Horse Racing
    The National Steeplechase Association named Guy Torsilieri, Dwight Hall, R. Reynolds Cowles Jr., Bill Gallo Jr., R. Barry Watson, Kate Dalton, Sean Clancy and Richard Valentine to the Steeplechase Safety Task Force.

    Marketing
    Front Row Marketing Services hired Lee Stacey as senior vice president of sales and marketing. Stacey was executive vice president at General Sports and Entertainment.

    Media

    Brown
    One World Sports named Sandy Brown president and chief executive officer. Brown was president of Univision Sports.

    NBC Universal promoted Dan Lovinger to executive vice president of cable ad sales, Mark Miller to executive vice president of ad sales for the NBC Universal News Group and Peter Naylor to executive vice president of ad sales for NBC News Digital, and hired Alison Tarrant as executive vice president of client solutions and Trish Frohman to lead an ad sales strategy group.

    Soccer
    The North American Soccer League’s San Antonio Scorpions named Howard Cornfield general manager. Cornfield was managing director of Beacon Sports Properties International.

    People news
    To have your personnel announcements included in the People section, please send information and photos to Brandon McClung at 120 W. Morehead St., Suite 310, Charlotte, NC 28202, or email them to careers@sportsbusinessjournal.com. Electronic photos must be a jpg or tiff file for Macintosh, 2.25 inches wide at 300 dpi. Color only, please. News items may also be sent via fax to (704) 973-1401. If you have questions, call (704) 973-1425.


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  • Faces and Places



    Las Vegas was again the site for the Motorsports Marketing Forum, bringing together executives from across motorsports and bringing in some voices from outside the sport for panels, presentations and networking.
    All photos by Kristina Paumen / Limelight Photography


    Katherine Flee of FedEx, Paul Bamundo of Subway and Dave Grant of Team Epic

















    Luke Gilbert of Dover International Speedway and Ty Norris of Michael Waltrip Racing at an event reception





















    Jon Miller of NBC Sports was among the media executives discussing motorsports and its place in the larger sports TV rights marketplace.


















    Patrick Sandusky gave some insight on how the U.S. Olympic Committee responds to controversial situations.




















    Newly crowned Sprint Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski led off the proceedings with a One-on-One interview. Of his future in motorsports, Keselowski said, “I want to be a leader in the sport. I think you can be a leader in the sport without being a car owner.”



















    John Seifert, chairman and CEO of Ogilvy & Mather North America, discussed “Maneuvering Your Brand in an Ever-Changing Marketplace.”


















    Bruce Mosley of Retail Sports Marketing and Steve Harrison of Grand-Am Road Racing


















    Courtney Boggs, Shannon Branson and Lisa Pfeiffer of JMI










































    March of Dimes honorees

    The 29th annual March of Dimes Sports Luncheon was held on Nov. 28 the Waldorf Astoria in New York and raised $850,000 for the nonprofit organization. Joining luncheon committee chairman and CBS Sports President Sean McManus (far right) are, from left: honorees Curtis Martin, Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee; Mary Wittenberg, New York Road Runners CEO; and Tony Petitti, president and CEO of MLB Network.
    Photo by: HECHLER PHOTOGRAPHY
























    Maui's 'board' members

    At the EA Sports Maui Invitational on Nov. 20 (from left): EA Sports’ Carolyn Feinstein; tournament chairman Dave Odom; former Virginia star Ralph Sampson, who now works for the Phoenix Suns; Josh Lesnik and Steve Skinner of KemperLesnik; and Brother Bernie Ploeger, Chaminade University president. The tourney marked the 30th anniversary of Chaminade’s upset of Sampson’s No. 1 Virginia team.
    Photo by: EA SPORTS MAUI INVITATIONAL
























    Celtics on Demand

    Comcast announced a new season of programs available as part of Celtics on Demand on Nov. 14. From left: the Celtics’ Rich Gotham, Comcast’s Steve Hackley, Celtics hall of famer Bob Cousy, the Celtics’ Wyc Grousbeck, Comcast’s Bill Bridgen and the Celtics’ Ted Dalton.
    Photo by: BRIAN BABINEAU























    Cycling for dollars

    The Dolphins Cycling Challenge gave $2.2M to the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center on Nov. 25. University of Miami President Donna Shalala shakes hands with Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross as event CEO Michael Mandich looks on.
    Photo by: MIAMI DOLPHINS





















    Travelers Championship raises $1.15M

    At the Travelers Championship Charity Celebration on Nov. 13 at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Conn. (from left): Frank Longobardi, CohnReznick managing partner; Nathan Grube, Travelers Championship tournament director; Andy Bessette, Travelers EVP and chief administrative officer; Jim Calhoun, former UConn men’s basketball coach; and Ray Lamontagne, The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp chairman of the board. The 2012 tournament generated $1,154,000 for more than 100 charities throughout the region, the PGA Tour event announced.
    Photo by: TRAVELERS CHAMPIONSHIP



























    Globalization panel at Columbia

    Discussing globalization of sports at the seventh annual Ivy Sports Symposium at Columbia University in New York City on Nov. 16 were (from left) Peter Luukko, Comcast-Spectacor president; Simon Cummins, managing partner of global sports practice for Odgers Berndtson; Peter Moore, Electronic Arts COO; David Falk, founder and CEO of Falk Associates Management Enterprises; Heidi Ueberroth, president of NBA International; and Bob Bowman, president and CEO of MLB Advanced Media.
    Photo by: COMCAST-SPECTACOR


























    LPGA dinner guests

    Before the LPGA Tournament Owners Association Year-End Partnership Dinner last month in Naples, Fla. (from left): the LPGA’s Jon Podany and Natalie Gulbis, Rolex’s Peter Nicholson, RR Donnelley’s Rick Ryan, Alexandra Gasser of Rolex Geneva and the LPGA’s Michael Whan.
    Photo by: LPGA





















    Please submit photos for review of industry conferences, parties, product launches and openings showcasing the people and personalities at the event. Include the event date, location, names/titles of those featured along with credit information. The photo specifications are as follows: 300dpi, tiff, jpeg or eps color images. Submit digital photos for review at: photo@sportsbusinessjournal.com or send color prints to: Faces & Places, c/o Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal, 120 W. Morehead St., Suite 310, Charlotte, NC 28202.


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  • Plugged In: Spencer Richardson, FanBridge

    Richardson is co-founder and CEO of FanBridge, a marketing platform for fan audiences that touts 650 million unique fans managed. Through social media management techniques, tools for landing pages, and mobile extensions, FanBridge and Richardson look at how organizations can build stronger fan relationships — today and going forward.

    Photo by: MARC BRYAN-BROWN
    The periphery of the fan experience is increasingly moving toward digital content. I think we wanted to build technology that helped create more authentic, deeper, more valuable relationships between the audiences and the content that they’re engaging with.


    What’s the goal:
    Part of what a lot of our platforms are looking to do, and I think what organizations are doing, is trying to understand a better sense of the lifetime value of a fan and then reverse engineer from that the methods to essentially maximize that function.

    What’s new:
    An increasing proliferation of content creation. And a lot of times the sources of that content are increasingly direct to the influencers themselves: to the athletes, to the teams. … It’s really coming from the voice of the players.

    What that means for content:
    That proliferation is coming with greater investment into higher quality content and having that content be more compatible for more devices.

    What about revenue?:
    As people increase that investment, we’re really seeing massive opportunities in terms of a new question, which is, “How am I monetizing and developing lifetime value models for my fans across this content over time?” And so the technology that is building around that is very successful.

    The challenges with teams: When push comes to shove, the way a lot of these organizations are still built is, marketing lives in silos, so you have social media teams and then you have separate kinds of email management teams. When we first started in 2006, that was a real issue in terms of penetrating sports: the idea of bringing these worlds together to create a unified fan profile and market the experience around them.

    Is it changing?: What we’ve done is notice that awareness and kind of them wanting to learn and test, [to] turn into this understanding of, “Maybe we need to build a smarter marketing team within our organization.”

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  • Marvin Miller: 1917-2012

    When Marvin Miller, who led the MLB Players Association from its inception in 1966 until 1982, died Nov. 27 at the age of 95, sports labor lost a legendary figure. His successor at the MLBPA, Don Fehr, now the head of the NHL Players’ Association, eloquently summed up Miller’s importance to sports business when he accepted the Champion of Sports Business honor on Miller’s behalf at a March 2011 ceremony. Some of Fehr’s remarks on that day are presented here.

    Miller giving an interview in 2011.
    Photo by: PATRICK E. MCCARTHY
    When I think about Marvin and what he accomplished I don’t actually think about specific milestones — there was this dispute, or that agreement negotiated or this benefit accomplished on behalf of the players. It’s something both more and different than that. But I think it’s clear that in his case he is the second half of the question, who are the two people in baseball in the 20th century without whose presence the game might have been the most different? I think in the first half of the 20th century, even though he was only there for four years, it was pretty clearly Jackie Robinson. And I think in the second half of the 20th century it was pretty clear that it was Marvin Miller.

    Don Fehr spoke about Marvin Miller in 2011.
    Photo by: GORT PRODUCTIONS
    He is still held in enormous regard. When people talk about the individual who created the icon of sports unions or of unions generally, his name usually is the first one mentioned. And while he was at the MLBPA for a long time, 16 1/2 years, he also left there more than 29 years ago. He created the model of not only what athlete unions should be, but in my judgment, what a union should be. He established an institution, the Major League Baseball Players Association, which has persevered during the 29 years since he retired and remains as strong and as vibrant as one could wish, almost entirely, in my view, because of the lessons and the structure that Marvin put in place during his tenure.

    And the central point of the entire enterprise was to make sure that players understood — athletes much younger than he was, negotiating against individuals most often much older, much more experienced and much more well-educated in the traditional sense than they were — that the players could influence their own circumstances, they could have a large degree of control of their own future and that they could have confidence that they could accomplish that if they went about it in the right way.

    You have to be in constant communication with your membership. Obviously you always tell them the truth, but you tell it to them bluntly. And that’s something that a lot of athletes and a lot of celebrities are not used to hearing. Second thing is that you educate them. Understanding how the sports business operates, baseball business operates, is not all that difficult, but you don’t actually pick it up by playing the game or by reading the newspapers.
    You have to work at it a little bit. You have to make sure that the players are involved and that they participate in the activities of the organization. And most often that means being present and participating during the negotiations.

    And I’ll tell you just one story about that, which taught me how true it was. In 1981, in the spring — this is before the strike began that year — we’re having negotiations and something occurred in which it was suggested that
    what was being advanced by the players’ side was just something that a bunch of smart lawyers were talking about. Players didn’t really understand it, didn’t care about it and didn’t believe in it. And I’ll never forget this. Marvin stood up and he said, “Well, OK. If you think that’s true and you can get a better deal from the players, we will leave.” And with that, Marvin and I and one other young lawyer that was with us left, and left the negotiation to the players that were in the room.
    From top photo: Miller in 1966. With players, including Joe Torre (center), and Dick Moss (right) in 1972. Meeting with the Mets in 1980; strike press conference in 1981; and with MLBPA executive director Michael Weiner and Fehr in 2012.
    Photos by: AP IMAGES

    To have that level of confidence in your membership and to tell them that you have that level of confidence, I think tells you an awful lot about the organization that he built. As his remarks in the video suggested, solidarity does not come about by accident. Internal cohesion and consensus does not come about by accident. You have to work at it.

    The last thing I would say, in that regard, was that you need to make sure the players understand that when it comes to union-management relations, they approach the owners not as supplicants and not as disposable employees, but as equals. That’s what the bargaining table is about. And if you can do that, you can succeed. And the respect and admiration that I think Marvin enjoys 29 years after he retired is a pretty good testament to the accomplishments that he had.

    WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING

    “There are reasons why the sport has grown in the enormous way it has. But chief among them is the competition for players among franchises that has been fostered by free agency. Free agency is the greatest contribution to the success of baseball, far more than any other technique or invention, rule, discovery, whatever you want to call it. And Marvin is the man who understood that and dedicated his working life to achieving that.”
    Gene Orza
    Former MLBPA chief operating officer


    “Marvin was a groundbreaker. Players of my era and the player of today should appreciate the benefits that resulted from Marvin’s leadership. He had a great way of communicating and relating the issues to us. I was proud to be one of the players that sat alongside him.”
    Joe Torre
    MLB executive vice president of baseball

    operations and former MLB player


    You can’t really talk about the history of sports, the business of sports over the last 50 years without talking about the influence of Marvin.”
    Michael Weiner
    MLBPA executive director


    “Most of all I think of Marvin as being a great teacher. He could explain things to people to make them understand without insulting them. He was a terrific leader of men.”
    Dick Moss
    Former MLBPA general counsel

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