SBJ/December 17-23, 2012/Year End
Newsmakers from 2012
Published December 17, 2012, Page 18
Without the help of the former president’s foundation, the tournament formerly known as the Bob Hope Classic would have died a slow death in the California desert. Clinton was front and center during the new Humana Challenge in February, leading the discussion about health and wellness issues that gave the tournament a dual purpose.
The owner and chairman of the Boston Bruins has been at the center of the firestorm between the NHL and NHLPA during the lockout. Jacobs, who is also the chairman of the NHL’s board of governors, is regarded as the top labor hard-liner among the owners of the league’s 30 franchises.
Cleveland's new boss
Haslam may have wanted to buy his home state Tennessee Titans, but he had to “settle” for the Cleveland Browns. Haslam, who is selling his 12.5 percent interest in the Pittsburgh Steelers, bought the Browns from Randy Lerner, who had inherited the team from his father, the original owner of the new Browns. He’ll need to energize a fan base that has grown tired of losing.
The Jacksonville Jaguars may still struggle on the field, but off the field the club has an international, dynamic new owner in Khan. He has caught the attention of news magazines and even “60 Minutes,” and not only for his already acclaimed moustache. Khan has embraced the NFL’s London effort, making a four-year commitment to the league’s International Series.
For 13 long years, Bagley toiled to land a new stadium for the Minnesota Vikings. This year, his patience and persistence finally paid off. The team’s vice president of public affairs and stadium development played a key role in getting a deal done with state officials to build a $975 million stadium in Minneapolis, ensuring the team’s future in the Twin Cities.
The Olympic gold medalist’s stirring speech to the International Olympic Committee in 2005 was credited with clinching the votes that awarded London the 2012 Olympics. Coe followed that by leading an organizing committee that hosted a memorable Summer Games, unblemished by any major issues.
Nothing but nets
Brooklyn Nets owner Prokhorov and Nets chief executive Yormark orchestrated the team’s move from New Jersey into the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The move has revived interest in the rebranded Nets as the team competes with the New York Knicks for local basketball supremacy.
MLBPA chief Weiner already had a reputation for a tireless work ethic, and little has changed even following a shocking diagnosis in August of an inoperable brain tumor. While undergoing treatment, Weiner has kept a regular work schedule, traveled extensively during the postseason, and has been negotiating with MLB on changes to the sport’s drug policy.
Marketing ties for Procter & Gamble’s portfolio of 26 billion-dollar brands now reach across Major League Baseball and the NFL and into the Olympics. The company’s marketing efforts around the 2012 Summer Games, as directed by Pritchard, will generate $500 million in incremental sales for P&G. Now that’s ROI.
Loh was the driving force behind the University of Maryland’s secretive move to the Big Ten Conference. Faced with an athletic department that was broke, the university’s president spearheaded the decision to leave the ACC, a conference that Maryland helped start. In doing so, Loh expects the department to be in good financial hands for the foreseeable future.
Pera and his ownership group paid a reported $377 million to buy the Memphis Grizzlies from Michael Heisley. But Pera went beyond the typical deal by adding star-studded investors to his group, including entertainer Justin Timberlake, the NFL’s Peyton Manning and former NBA star Penny Hardaway.
After 40 years of competing in NASCAR, Penske won his first Sprint Cup championship. The achievement was celebrated by peers who were happy to see success come to a man who has done so much for the sport, from building a speedway in California to running a full-time race team for 22 years.