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/February 18-24, 2013/People and Pop CulturePrint All
The Baltimore Orioles promoted Brian Graham to director of player development, and director of player personnel John Stockstill now will also oversee international and domestic professional scouting. The Orioles hired Kent Qualls as director of minor league operations. Qualls was director of the Dan Duquette Sports Academy.
The Chicago Cubs promoted Alex Sugarman to senior vice president of strategy and development.
The Boston Red Sox promoted Pam Kenn to senior director of public affairs and hired Kevin Gregg as director of media relations.
Penn State named Julie Del Giorno athletics integrity officer. Del Giorno is chief of staff at Moravian College and Moravian Theological Seminary.
Ball State University hired Brian Hardin as deputy athletic director. Hardin was director of football media relations at Notre Dame.
Old Dominion University hired B.J. Burton as director of Olympic sports marketing and baseball operations.
The University of North Carolina Wilmington named Adam Keen associate director of athletics for major gifts.
Arkansas State University hired Joel Weems as associate athletic director for compliance. Weems was assistant athletic director of compliance at Mercer University.
The Detroit Lions hired Brian Xanders as senior personnel executive. Xanders was general manager for the Denver Broncos.
The Cleveland Browns named Fred Nance senior adviser and special counsel. Nance was general counsel for the Browns.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers promoted Brian Ford to chief operating officer. Ford was vice president of business administration.
Bob O’Billovich retired as vice president of football operations for the Canadian Football League’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
Billy Casper Golf promoted Jesse Seguin to regional director of agronomy.
Octagon promoted Anne Sullivan to senior vice president of its events and hospitality group.
Michael Waltrip Racing named Chad Walter director of race engineering. Walter was crew chief for Penske Racing.
The UFC named Matt Hughes vice president of athlete development and government relations. Hughes is a two-time welterweight champion and UFC hall of famer.
Athletes’ Performance named Trevor Moawad vice president of mindset programs.
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Cardinals, Cordish dig in at Village
Executives from the St. Louis Cardinals and The Cordish Cos. broke ground Feb. 8 on the Ballpark Village project next to Busch Stadium in downtown St. Louis. From left: Cordish development director Chase Martin, Cardinals VP and general counsel Mike Whittle, Cardinals Chairman and CEO Bill DeWitt Jr., Cardinals President Bill DeWitt III, attorney David Richardson, Cordish VP of development Blake Cordish, city Comptroller Darlene Green, Mayor Francis Slay and Alderwoman Phyllis Young.
Photo by:BILL GREENBLATT / UPI FOR ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
Liberty Mutual salutes Team USA
Liberty Mutual Insurance President and CEO David Long (fourth from left) and Chief Communications Officer Paul Alexander (fourth from right) are joined by (from left) Team USA curler Tracy Sachtjen, two-time Olympic medalist Michelle Kwan, Team USA curler John Benton, two-time gold medal gymnast Aly Raisman, three-time World Cup adaptive snowboarding medalist Amy Purdy, and two-time U.S. Paralympics alpine skiing medalist Heath Calhoun at Liberty Mutual’s “Team USA One Year Out Celebration.” The event was Feb. 7 in Boston.
Photo by:BIZUAYEHU TESFAYE / INVISION FOR LIBERTY MUTUAL INSURANCE / AP IMAGES
First run for Diamondbacks
Arizona Diamondbacks President and CEO Derrick Hall (right) welcomes David Fitzgerald, Phoenix campus VP for the University of Phoenix, as he crosses the finish line at the first D-backs Race Against Cancer. The event Feb. 9 finished in front of Chase Field.
Photo by:DENNIS MURPHY / ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS
Oakley backs Paddock
Oakley launched a line of Bonner Paddock signature sunglasses at an event Feb. 9 at Oakley headquarters in Foothill Ranch, Calif. Oakley’s Dane Howell (left) joins Paddock, who last year became the first person with cerebral palsy to complete the Ironman World Championship. Oakley supports Paddock’s OM Foundation, which benefits children with disabilities.
Photo by:SHANE REICHARDT
Grizzlies' Randolph honored
Memphis Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph on Feb. 8 was awarded the Kia Community Assist Award for January in recognition of his efforts in the community and his philanthropic and charitable work. From left: Roy Dodson, district sales manager, Kia Motors; NBA Cares Ambassador Bob Lanier; Randolph; and Greg Campbell, Grizzlies president of business operations.
Photos:JOE MURPHY / NBAE
Honoring NFL Films' Sabol
NFL Films hosted “The Guts and Glory of Football,” an event honoring late NFL Films President Steve Sabol at Kimmel Center in Philadelphia on Feb. 12. From left: ESPN NFL analyst Ron Jaworski, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Philadelphia Eagles coach Chip Kelly, and Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie.
Photo by:DEREK BOYKO / PHILADELPHIA EAGLES
Golf Digest at PGA Merchandise Show
Golf Digest debuted the launch of its new video initiative, Golf Digest TV, at the PGA Merchandise Show last month in Orlando. From left: Peter King Hunsinger, Golf Digest Cos. president; Stina Sternberg, Golf Digest Cos. global golf director; Benoit Vincent, TaylorMade Golf chief technical officer; Sean Toulon, TaylorMade EVP of product creation; Tim Rosaforte, Golf World senior writer; Mark King, TaylorMade CEO and president; and Dan Robertson, Golf Digest publisher.
Photo by: PRESTON MACK
NASCAR road show hits Atlanta …
At the Road to Daytona Fueled By Sunoco Tour stop at CNN Center in Atlanta on Feb. 11 (from left): NASCAR President Mike Helton; Robin Meade of CNN Headline News; Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 15 5-hour Energy Toyota; and Miss Sprint Cup Jaclyn Roney.
Photo by:SCOTT CUNNINGHAM / GETTY IMAGES FOR NASCAR
… and Jacksonville, too
Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown (center) speaks to the media during the Road to Daytona Fueled By Sunoco Tour stop at City Hall in Jacksonville. Joining him Feb. 12 were Marcus Jadotte (left), NASCAR VP of public affairs and multicultural development, and Joie Chitwood III, Daytona International Speedway president.
Photos by:GETTY IMAGES
New car for American LeMans
At the unveiling of the BMW Z4 GTE race car Feb. 12 at Daytona International Speedway (from left): Jay O’Connell, Bobby Rahal, Jens Marquardt, Gordon McDonnell, Scott Atherton, Ludwig Willisch, Jim France, Mike Helton and Ed Bennett. The car will compete this year in American Le Mans Series and next year in the merged Grand-Am/ALMS series.
Silver on hand for Mount Union event
The ninth annual Mount Union Sport Sales Workshop & Job Fair drew students from 24 colleges in 10 states Feb. 8 at Quicken Loans Arena and Progressive Field in Cleveland. Ticket sales managers from more than 80 teams were sales trainers for the event. From left: Len Komoroski, Cleveland Cavaliers president; NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver; Jim Kadlecek, director of the event; and Brad Sims, Cavaliers chief revenue officer and EVP.
Photo by:UNIVERSITY OF MOUNT UNION
Sleeves make comeback in NBA
The Golden State Warriors and Adidas unveiled the Warriors’ new short-sleeve uniforms, a first for the modern NBA, at a press conference Feb. 11 at Oracle Arena. From left: Warriors coach Mark Jackson; Rick Welts, Warriors president and COO; Lawrence Norman, Adidas global basketball VP; and Warriors forward Harrison Barnes.
Photo by:GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS
Greensboro honors Bobcats' Whitfield
Greensboro, N.C., native and Bobcats Sports & Entertainment President and COO Fred Whitfield received the key to the city Feb. 12, when he was the guest speaker at Jones Elementary School. From left: District 3 City Councilman Zack Matheny; Whitfield’s father, Fred Whitfield Sr.; Whitfield; Whitfield’s mother, Janol Whitfield; and Greensboro Mayor Pro Tem Yvonne Johnson.
Photo by:CHARLOTTE BOBCATS
Making a point in Charlotte
Bellator MMA Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney discussed Bellator and the business of mixed martial arts with staff members of SportsBusiness Journal, SportsBusiness Daily and SBD Global at their offices in Charlotte on Feb. 13.
Photo by:TIFFIN WARNOCK / STAFF
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Jim Foss has been through most of the ups and downs tied to the Phoenix Coyotes’ shaky tenure at Jobing.com Arena. He’s now in his seventh year with the Coyotes as the arena’s senior vice president and general manager. Prior to joining the Coyotes, he spent 16 years working at arenas in Worcester, Mass., Bakersfield, Calif., and points in between. He graduated from UMass with a degree in sports management after serving in the U.S. Navy from 1983 to 1986.
Photo by:NORM HALL / PHOENIX COYOTES
On dealing with the Coyotes’ uncertainty: It’s not as distracting as one would think. When you’re on the outside, it may appear distracting. When you’re focused on the things you can control, you have no other choice but to do your job. That’s been our energy, really: You get up, you book the building and maintain it, whether it’s chillers or light bulbs, refrigeration units, the ice. You hire good people, let them do their job, get out of their way and provide good customer service.
Balancing the team’s situation and fans’ needs: We can provide superior customer service; it’s more or less the culture. We have the best part-time staff since I’ve been in this business. There are so many former military here that are retired and just looking for something to do. A lot of husband-and-wife teams; a great group of people that care.
How military experience helps: Military people have a great appreciation for chain of command, for doing the right thing. We are also blessed that we have a lot of former police officers and firefighters that work here.
About Westgate Center, the development surrounding the arena: Tanger Outlets just opened 80 stores across the street [in November]. When we had the Super Bowl [at adjacent University of Phoenix Stadium in 2008], it’s like someone came along and sprinkled Miracle-Gro all over Westgate. All these hotels and restaurants were popping up. Now we have all these outlet stores. It’s amazing, like when you see all the Canadian visitors come down from Edmonton when the Oilers were in town [in late January]. They can go golfing, shopping, stay at the Renaissance hotel, catch the game and then go out to dinner at Fleming’s. It’s all within a block and a half.
Media company BermanBraun recently named Jeff Berman president. Berman, who is no relation to BermanBraun co-founder Gail Berman, comes to the firm after serving as general manager of NFL Digital Media. Berman began his career practicing law in Washington, D.C., before joining Myspace in 2006. He rose to president of sales and marketing before leaving in 2008.
■ New title: President, BermanBraun.
■ Previous title: General manager of NFL Digital Media.
■ First job: Booth operator at an office parking garage.
■ Education: Bachelor of arts, government, Connecticut College (1993); doctor of law, Yale Law School (1996).
■ Resides: Los Angeles.
■ Grew up: Chevy Chase, Md.
■ Executive most admired: Jeff Weiner, chief executive officer, LinkedIn. “Smart, talented, generous and a first-rate leader. More importantly, he lives his compelling personal values across family, friends and work.”
■ Brand most admired: Do Something. “If you’re a young person trying to kick apathy’s butt, you know why.”
■ Favorite vacation spot: Big Sur, Calif.
■ Last book read: “2030: The Real Story of What Happens to America,” by Albert Brooks.
■ Last movie seen: The Queen of Versailles.”
■ How did you make the career switch from practicing law to working with social media?
News Corp. purchased Myspace. They were looking for someone to come in and manage policy and communications, particularly around safety and security. … There aren’t a lot of people in L.A. who have my background. If you’re from New York or D.C. you could throw a rock and hit someone who looks like me, but not so much out here.
■ What will be the biggest challenge in your new position?
Whether you’re talking about Hulu, Netflix, Amazon, YouTube or Microsoft or any of the other folks out there who are going to be creating original content and distributing it … or you’re talking about the way to directly integrate commerce with content or you’re talking about the way for fans to socialize content and recreate it, it’s the Wild West.
■ What is the biggest risk you’ve taken in your career?
It’s been less about taking risks for me than it’s been about following my heart and looking for opportunities that are exciting and challenging, where there’s a chance to learn and hopefully do great things
■ What is your biggest professional accomplishment?
I’ve been able to build teams of extraordinary people who work the right way and work together to do amazing things. … We get it 80 percent or 90 percent right and we go, and the fans tell us more about the last 10 or 20 percent than we’ll ever figure out on a white board.
■ What cais your biggest professional disappointment?
If we figured out a few things differently at Myspace, I’d still be working there.
■ What is one story you are continuing to watch in the sports world today?
I’m excited to see what my friends and former colleagues at the NFL do. In particular, when it comes to mobile and international.
■ What’s one thing you would like to see changed in the industry?
I think that what the NFL was doing to lead the way on player health and safety is as important an initiative as is happening in sport.
What I Like …
Mangione and Barclays Center welcomed the arena’s 1 millionth visitor on Feb. 1.
Photo by:ADAM PANTOZZI / BROOKLYN NETS
■ An insight: It’s all about relationship building, both personally and professionally. The world is too small.
■ An influential person in my career: My mom, who let me turn down a pharmaceutical job making $35,000, plus commission, for a ticket sales job paying $12,000, plus commission (and no benefits), to live out my dream of working in sports.
■ A timeless idea: Handwritten thank-you notes. Email is an easy way out.
■ A business deal: Disney buying the “Star Wars” franchise.
■ A sports event: The Super Bowl. It’s a national holiday and turns non-sports fans into sports fans for a day.
■ A strategy: Good process equals good results. This has been ingrained in me by Brett Yormark.
■ A hire: Adam Silver as NBA commissioner.
■ A brand: American Express is always thinking of ways to take care of its consumers like no other. You feel empowered about being a member.
■ An innovation: Paperless ticketing.
■ A pro league or team business initiative: The NBA considering selling jersey sponsorship.
■ A story that bears watching: AEG sale.
■ An idea or invention I wish I had thought of: StubHub.
What I Like about …
■ My job: Working with the top people in the industry. In life, it all starts with good people.
■ Sports: Competition and team effort needed to hit a common goal.
■ Sports business: The passion you need to survive it.
■ Sports technology: Cisco StadiumVision Mobile. Live video in-arena is the next wave.
■ Sports fans: The time they give coming to our arenas. Nothing is more precious than people’s time.
NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver
Photo by:GETTY IMAGES
■ Competing: Brings out the best in all of us and keeps us fresh.
■ The future of sports business: Analytics … analytics …
What I’d Like To …
■ Change: Electronic Christmas cards.
■ Change in what I do: Listen more.
■ See: Harder work from entry-level hires.
■ See more of in sports business: Loyalty.
■ See less of in sports: Short cuts.
■ See less of in sports business: Short cuts.
■ See different: Treating people the way you wish to be treated. Old proverb that still stands the test of time.
What I Like …
Photo by:NBAE / GETTY IMAGES
■ That would surprise those who know me: I want to teach sports management in my next endeavor.
■ Players: Don Mattingly, Michael Jordan, Jason Kidd.
■ City: Las Vegas.
■ Possession: My mom’s high school ring. She passed away as a young woman of breast cancer, and I use it as an inspiration before a big meeting or before important events with my family.
■ Memento: Chairback from the recently torn-down Yankee Stadium.
■ Music: U2, Coldplay, Pearl Jam, Jay-Z.
■ Book: “Steve Jobs,” by Walter Isaacson.
Photo by:GETTY IMAGES
■ Author: Michael Lewis.
■ Websites: LinkedIn, CBS Sports, HoopsHype.
■ iPad apps: “Temple Run” (my kids love it), StubHub.
■ Chores: Recycling center and fold laundry.
■ Hobbies: Softball, fantasy sports.
■ Trip: Bahamas with family over All-Star Weekend.
■ Movies: “Star Wars,” “It’s Complicated,” “Casino.”
■ TV: “Two and a Half Men,” “Seinfeld,” “The Sopranos” (I still watch whenever it’s on).
■ Artist: My 9-year-old daughter. She has more artistic talent in her pinky than I have overall.
■ Food: Anything my wife cooks. She is an amazing chef.
■ Dessert: Cookie dough ice cream.
■ Drink: Amstel Light.
■ Scent: Michelle Perfume (my wife’s scent).
■ Vacation spots: Jersey Shore; Rehobeth Beach, Del.
■ Quote: “If winning isn’t everything, why do they keep score?” Vince Lombardi.