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/March 4-10, 2013/People and Pop CulturePrint All
The Baltimore Orioles promoted Brady Anderson to vice president of baseball operations, Ned Rice to director of major league administration, Mike Snyder to assistant director of player personnel and Bill Wilkes to manager of baseball operations.
The Class A Midwest League’s Quad Cities River Bandits hired Harold Craw as general manager. Craw was assistant general manager for the Charleston (S.C.) RiverDogs.
The NBA named Yannick Colaco managing director of NBA India. Colaco was chief operating officer for Nimbus Sport.
The Atlantic 10 Conference hired Chris Kilcoyne as associate director of communications. Kilcoyne was assistant athletic director and sports information director at Randolph Macon College.
Columbia University hired Jennifer White as assistant athletic director for compliance. White was assistant athletic director for compliance and student services at Temple University.
The University of Arkansas promoted Zack Higbee to assistant athletic director for media relations and Sean Rochelle to executive director of the Razorback Foundation. Rochelle replaces Chris Wyrick, who was named vice chancellor for university advancement.
The University of Minnesota hired Beth Goetz as a senior associate athletic director and senior woman administrator. Goetz was an associate athletic director for administration and senior woman administrator at Butler University.
International Speedway Corp. hired Russell Branham as director of public relations for Talladega Superspeedway and executive director for the International Motorsports Hall of Fame.
Rossetti hired Jonathan Disbrow as an architectural lead.
The NFL hired Alberto Riveron, a former NFL referee, as senior director of officiating.
The Philadelphia Eagles hired Tom Gamble as vice president of player personnel. Gamble was director of player personnel for the San Francisco 49ers.
The Detroit Lions promoted Ben Manges to director of corporate communications and hired Jennifer Cadicamo as vice president of marketing and partnership activation and Wade Martin as vice president of corporate partnerships. Cadicamo was senior director for ePrize, and Martin was assistant director of corporate sales, marketing and broadcasting for the Cincinnati Bengals.
The Boston Bruins promoted Matthew Chmura to vice president of communications and content and Caryn Switaj to digital content specialist, and hired Brandon McNelis as content specialist, Erika Wentzell as communications specialist and Ben Papapietro as a fan relations representative.
The National Lacrosse League’s Charlotte Hounds hired David Huson as a ticket sales associate. Huson was an inside sales consultant for the Charlotte Bobcats.
Evolution Media Capital hired Andrew Walter as managing director. Walter was with investment bank Houlihan Lokey.
IMG College hired David Shoemaker as general manager for Razorback Sports Properties at the University of Arkansas.
Sportfive hired Ben Taverner as sales director. Taverner was stadium head of commercial for Juventus Football Club.
Repucom hired Glenn Lovett as president of global strategy. Lovett was managing director for Europe, the Middle East and India at Octagon.
NBC Sports Group named Lou Koskovolis senior vice president of sales for golf media and Steven Justman vice president of sales for NBC Sports Ventures. Koskovolis was MLB senior vice president of corporate sales and marketing, and Justman was president of entertainment, sales and marketing for IndoorDirect.
Major League Soccer and Soccer United Marketing promoted Jesse Perl to manager of brand and integrated marketing and Megan Cameron to manager of player relations and competition, and named Rachel Leber vice president of consumer products marketing, Emily Unruh vice president of retail development, Alfonso Alanis-Cue senior director of partnership marketing, Todd Hinckley analyst of MLS strategic planning and research for MLS digital, Erik Licea account executive of MLS digital properties, Sean Ream director of sales for MLS’s National Sales Center, Louis Jimenez junior Web developer, Ian Rolfe and Erin Hamil coordinators of digital club services and Megan Daly executive assistant.
The Fairfax 2015 World Police and Fire Games named Bill Knight president and chief executive officer.
The Professional Athletes & Entertainers division of insurance firm Britton Gallagher hired Laura Johnson as a client consultant.
Krossover hired Eric Perugini as vice president of corporate development.
Awards and Boards
The Laureus Sport for Good Foundation named Marcus Allen and Cathy Griffin to its board of directors.
The Professional Hockey Players’ Association will award Claude Julien the Curt Leichner Distinguished Member Award.
The Stadium Managers Association elected David Scott president, Mark Burk vice president, Tony Pereira secretary/treasurer and named Jim Minish and Troy Brown directors.
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Ripken Foundation honors Under Armour
MLB veteran Bill Ripken (left) and hall of famer Cal Ripken Jr. (right) joined Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank (second from left) and two youth participants in the Badges for Baseball program at the ninth annual Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation Aspire Gala on Feb. 22 at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront. Plank accepted the Aspire Award on behalf of Under Armour. The event raised more than $2 million, which will support Ripken Foundation programming that benefits at-risk youths across the United States.
Photo by:SHARON REDMOND
Helton introduces Chevrolet SS
NASCAR President Mike Helton speaks during the unveiling of the new Chevrolet SS production car at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 16.
Photo by:GETTY IMAGES FOR NASCAR
LPGA tees off in Singapore
Before the HSBC Women’s Champions at the Sentosa Golf Club on Feb. 26 in Singapore (from left): LPGA players Paula Creamer and Yani Tseng; Alex Hungate, HSBC Singapore group general manager and CEO; LPGA players Suzann Pettersen and Angela Stanford; and Giles Morgan, HSBC global head of sponsorship and events.
Photo by:SCOTT HALLERAN / GETTY IMAGES
Lerner speaks at SINC Conference
Mark Lerner, vice chairman and principal owner of the Washington Nationals, was a keynote speaker at the Sports Industry Networking and Career Conference Feb. 8 at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Lerner (center) was welcomed by SINC Conference co-founders Lisa Delpy Neirotti and Jeremy Silkowitz.
Photo by:JOE CEREGHINO / SINC CONFERENCE
Geist at annual MLB upfront
Willie Geist, co-host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” speaks during MLB Advanced Media’s second annual fan upfront Feb. 26 in New York City. MLBAM announced its suite of products for the coming season, including a new seat upgrade initiative as part of its At The Ballpark app.
Photo by:EVE KILSHEIMER / MLB.COM
Honda Center President and CEO Tim Ryan (left) and Anaheim Ducks right wing Corey Perry (right) present UFC President Dana White with a custom poster before the sold-out UFC 157 at Honda Center on Feb. 23.
Photo by:MORA PHOTOGRAPHY
Shine on, Niners
SunPower Corp., the Santa Clara Stadium Authority and the San Francisco 49ers announced on Feb. 26 that SunPower is the official and exclusive solar technology partner of the 49ers and the new Santa Clara Stadium. SunPower CEO Tom Werner (center) delivers the first high-efficiency SunPower solar panel to 49ers CEO Jed York (right) and President Gideon Yu.
Photo by:SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
The duck and the trucks
Previewing the traveling exhibitions for CSE’s activation of Aflac’s Heisman Trophy, NASCAR and PGA Tour sponsorship programs in Atlanta on Feb. 21 (from left): Aflac’s William Morgan, Chuck Flannagan, Sean Kelly, Michele McMullin and Danny Fleishman, CSE’s Doug Manning and Rachel Oja, and Aflac’s Shonda Marshall.
Photo by:CSE / ERIC BRAY
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What I Like …
Bilello, whose Revolution kicks off its regular season this weekend, has a ball with daughters Samantha (top), 8, and Madison, 6.
Photo:COURTESY OF BRIAN BILLELO
■ An insight: Treat every interaction as if you will be gaining or losing equity with that person based on your performance.
■ An influential person in my career: Robert Kraft.
■ An out-of-the-box idea: Twitter.
■ A timeless idea: Networking.
■ A business deal: Fox grabbing World Cup rights for ’18 and ’22.
■ A sports facility: Sporting Park.
■ A sports event: World Cup.
■ A strategy: Low ticket pricing.
■ A brand: Harley-Davidson.
■ A trend: Use of sports analytics.
■ An innovation: Adidas miCoach.
■ A pro league or team business initiative: MLS Youth Academies, where our kids don’t have to pay to play.
■ A story that bears watching: The continued growth of soccer and MLS.
■ An idea or invention I wish I had thought of: Facebook.
■ A fantasy job: Astronaut.
What I Like about …
■ My job: Helping grow the sport that I love.
■ Sports: The win-or-lose ultimatum.
■ Sports business: Fans (instead of customers).
■ Sports media: Independent journalists.
Photo by:GETTY IMAGES
■ Sports technology: On-field analytics.
■ Competing: Pushes you to be your best.
■ The future of sports business: Enhancing the live experience in and out of the stadium.
■ Sports fans: Their passion
What I Would Like To …
■ Change: Respect for soccer from some traditional media.
■ Change in what I do: Spend more time enhancing the workplace for my staff.
■ See more of in sports: Players connecting with fans.
Photo by:GETTY IMAGES
■ See more of in sports business: Teams working collectively to grow their sport.
■ See less of in sports: Elimination of school sports. Some of the most important things we learn aren’t from books, not to mention the long-term health impacts from not being active.
What I Don’t Like …
■ In general: People you can’t trust.
■ Pet peeve: Those who reach out to multiple people in the same organization.
■ In sports: Losing.
■ In business: Losing.
What I Like …
■ People: Friends that span time and distance.
■ That would surprise those who know me: My MIT tattoo.
■ Above all else: Family time.
■ About myself: Work ethic.
■ Heroes: All those who serve.
■ Player: Taylor Twellman. Great career cut short by concussions, started a concussion awareness organization, ThinkTaylor.org.
■ Teams: New England Revolution (of course), New England Patriots, Liverpool FC.
■ Memento: 2007 U.S. Open Cup championship medal, 2003 Super Bowl ring.
■ Time of year: Fall. Great New England weather and MLS playoffs.
■ Music: Anything not picked by my two daughters. (Sorry, One Direction!)
■ Magazine: MIT Technology Review.
■ Website: newsmap.jp.
■ Gadgets: iPad/iPhone.
■ IPad app: “MLS Matchday” — can watch all our matches live.
■ Chores: Fixing things.
■ Hobbies: Watching/coaching my girls.
■ Trip: World Cup 2002 with my wife (Korea/Japan).
■ Movies: “Goodfellas,” “Star Wars.”
■ Concerts: Daughters’ piano.
■ Artist: Monet.
■ Food: Ribeye steak.
■ Vacation spots: Hawaii, Disney.
■ Aftershave: Gillette Fusion ProSeries.
■ Quote: “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” — Neil Armstrong.
Before leaving the property side of the business to start his own agency, Cenergy, in 2002, John Cimperman led the marketing for two NBA franchises and two NHL clubs: the Cavaliers (1992-95) and 76ers (1995-96) in the NBA, and the Kings (1996-99) and Sabres (1999-2002) in the NHL. Based in East Aurora, N.Y., Cenergy has grown to more than 30 employees, serving a roster of clients that includes ESPN, TBS, NHL, MLB Network and AT&T.
The diversity of the agency side and having the opportunity to work with clubs, networks and brands is very exciting.”
The importance of agencies: While on the team side, I noticed too many sponsors were signing the contract, placing their signs, distributing their tickets and filing away the contract. Three years later, they’d come back to us and say the sponsorship didn’t drive their business. Always having the itch to start an agency, I saw a niche for a shop that could manage and activate sponsorships and build integrated programs to leverage the assets and deliver an ROI. In other words, activate it.
On missing the team side: Sure, especially when I see my friends at the Kings raising the Stanley Cup. But it’s rewarding to develop a program and deliver results for our clients. It’s great to apply our key lessons on the brand side to our sports clients, as well as best practices from our team experience to our brand and network clients.
On the evolution of activation: Activation is on the rise. Brands have seen that the power of sports, entertainment and cause-marketing programs can drive consumer behavior and brand preference. The advent of social media and digital platforms has only increased the opportunity to extend the experience and reinforce the association. From the Cenergy side, no activation programs are developed without a social media or digital extension.
One key rule: It’s critical to budget and build your activation plan before a sponsorship is secured. Too often we see clients invest in the sponsorship and leave little budget to actually leverage the sponsorship. Both the property and the brand lose in these situations. The sponsor loses a great opportunity to build their business and, more often than not, the property loses a renewal.