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/Aug. 26-Sept. 1, 2013/People and Pop CulturePrint All
The independent Atlantic League York Revolution named Nate Tile vice president of business development. Tile was director of sales for the Central Penn Business Journal.
The Golden State Warriors named Jennifer Cabalquinto chief financial officer. Cabalquinto was vice president and chief financial officer for Universal Studios Hollywood.
The Sacramento Kings named Darrin Gross senior director of partnership marketing and business development. Gross was senior director of corporate partnerships for the Oakland A’s.
The NBA D-League Sioux Falls (S.D.) Skyforce named Adam Simon general manager of basketball operations. Simon will remain director of player personnel for the Miami Heat.
Belmont University hired Lauren Eads as associate athletic director and senior woman administrator. Eads was assistant director of marketing at St. Leo University.
The Big Ten Conference promoted Brenda Hilton to director of building services and named Kimberly Smith director of human resources, Brandon Winbush director of information technology, Tony Buyniski and Brian Keidel video services staff, and Adam Augustine and Brett McWethy associate directors of communications.
Clemson University named Joe Galbraith assistant athletic director for communications. Galbraith was assistant athletic director for media relations at Mississippi State University.
Concordia University named Amy Dames Smith assistant athletic director for compliance and academic support.
Eastern Michigan University named Tony Orlando assistant director of marketing. Orlando was director of marketing and promotions at Eastern Illinois University.
Fresno State University hired Michael Boele as senior associate athletic director for administration and senior woman administrator. Boele was associate athletic director for business and finance at Florida Atlantic University.
Hofstra University named Jim Gibbons associate athletic director for NCAA education and compliance services and Dino Mattessich deputy athletic director. Gibbons was assistant athletic director for academics and compliance at Wagner College, and Mattessich was an athletics and recreation consultant to the University of Hartford.
Long Beach State University hired Lindsey Romine as assistant athletic director of development. Romine was executive director of the La Costa Canyon Foundation for La Costa Canyon High School.
Babson College hired Jeremy Viens as athletics communications director.
The Mountain West Conference hired Mike Waller as senior associate commissioner and chief financial officer.
Ohio University named Tanner Smith assistant athletic director for multimedia marketing. Smith was new media director for 20/20 Visual Media.
SMG promoted Chris Kibler to assistant general manager and director of finance.
Billy Casper Golf promoted Mike Cutler and Joel Gohlmann to senior vice president.
The Columbus Blue Jackets named retired NHL player Jody Shelley broadcast associate and team ambassador.
The Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation named Sarah Dwyer coordinator of healthy living programs.
The Florida Panthers named Tom Grace director of team services.
The NHL named Stephen Walkom senior vice president and director of officiating. Walkom replaces Terry Gregson, who is retiring but will stay on as a consultant.
The St. Louis Blues promoted Chris Pinkert to director of digital media, Andrew Abrams to video production manager, Alex Jones to mascot coordinator and Kevin Casey to guest services manager, and named Jay Roberts senior vice president of operations and booking. Roberts was senior vice president of operations and booking for the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Great British Racing International named Carter Carnegie international executive. Carnegie was the senior vice president of sales for the Breeders’ Cup.
The Aspire Group hired James Shaver as a sales consultant at Tulane University.
Octagon promoted Aldo Kafie to group director of the access unit of its North American marketing and events division.
TBWA/Chiat/Day Los Angeles named Peter Ravailhe managing director of the agency’s Gatorade account.
JMI named Chris Long vice president of client services international, effective in early September. Long was head of sponsorship in the U.K. retail division for RBS.
Phizzle hired Michael Falato as vice president of sales and business development. Falato was senior vice president of sales and business development for Mobivity.
Red Bull North America named Sean Eggert head of sports marketing.
Al-Jazeera America hired Neal Scarbrough as senior executive producer for sports programming and Jeff Green as executive producer for sports programming. Scarbrough was vice president of digital media for Comcast’s Versus, and Green was supervising producer of special events for Current TV.
Associated Press Sports Editor Terry Taylor will retire, effective Nov. 15.
CBS Radio promoted Chris Oliviero to executive vice president of programming.
Universal Sports named Edward Derse senior vice president of digital media and strategic partnerships. Derse was general manager of media and mobile for GameFly.
Richard Childress Racing named Mark McArdle director of racing operations. McArdle was executive director of competition for Furniture Row Racing.
Canucks Sports and Entertainment hired Pat Conacher as the director of hockey operations for the American Hockey League’s Utica (N.Y.) Comets. Conacher was coach of the Regina Pats.
Sunrise Sports & Entertainment named Kevin Grove vice president of event programming for the BB&T Center. Grove was vice president of event booking and marketing and assistant general manger for the Cedar Park Center.
The New York Cosmos hired Bob Kuperman as creative consultant.
Oxford City Football Club named Diana Lovera chief operating officer. Lovera will continue to serve as senior adviser to the chief executive officer.
Awards and Boards
The International Tennis Hall of Fame awarded the Chairman’s Award to former chairman of the board Alan Hassenfeld.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association named Chris Kay to the board of directors. Kay is chief executive officer and president of the NYRA.
John Affleck was named Knight Chair in Sports Journalism and Society at Penn State University. Affleck was Associated Press deputy sports editor.
Ensequence named Gary Perrelli senior vice president of interactive sales-content providers. Perrelli was vice president of national accounts and affiliate advertising sales for the Disney and ESPN Media Networks.
NeuLion named Tom Miller sales director.
Getty Images named Lee Martin senior vice president of sports. Martin will continue in his role as senior vice president of sales for Europe and Japan.
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Undefeated ’72 Dolphins visit White House
Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross presents President Barack Obama with a jersey as members of the 1972 Miami Dolphins, including coach Don Shula, quarterback Bob Griese and running back Larry Csonka, look on at the White House on Aug. 20. The undefeated Dolphins won the Super Bowl at a time when championship teams weren’t uniformly invited to meet the president.
Photo by:GETTY IMAGES
NFL meets UFC
New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and UFC owner Lorenzo Fertitta talk during the UFC on Fox Sports 1 event at TD Garden on Aug. 17 in Boston.
Photos by:GETTY IMAGES
After The Lap logo gets green flag
NASCAR’s Mike Kozak; drivers Brad Keselowski, Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards; and Ford’s Jamie Allison unveil the 2013 NASCAR After The Lap logo. The event, sponsored by Ford and Coca-Cola, will be Dec. 5 at the Palms Casino Hotel in Las Vegas, and the Ford 150 Tremor shown will be a sweepstakes prize.
Photo by:GETTY IMAGES FOR NASCAR
New look for Nassau
At a news conference Aug. 16 to discuss the winning proposal to renovate Nassau Coliseum: Rob Walker, Nassau County; Jim Lester, Forest City Ratner Cos.; Jason Iley, Roc Nation Records; David Blumenfeld, Blumenfeld Development Group; Jason Kidd, Brooklyn Nets; Edward Mangano, Nassau County; Bruce Ratner, Forest City Ratner Cos.; Chris Charlier, Onexim Group and Brooklyn Nets; boxing champion Bernard Hopkins; Brett Yormark, Barclays Center and the Nets; Matt Martin, New York Islanders; Chris Sharples, ShoP Architects; Alan Ostfield, Live Nation; and Kate Murray, town of Hempstead.
Photo by:BRUCE BENNETT / GETTY IMAGES
Lean into it
Disney Sports Attractions recently took its interns for a daylong visit at Daytona International Speedway, where they gathered for a photo at the finish line, and NASCAR headquarters.
Photo by:TONY HUDSON
Happy birthday to gymnastics
Global Spectrum XL Center execs Chris Lawrence (left) and Casey Heverling (right) presented USA Gymnastics’ Ron Galimore (second from left) and Steve Penny with a cake celebrating the 50th anniversary of the sport before the P&G Gymnastics Championships at the XL Center recently.
Photo by:JERRY MARGOLIS
In Manhattan on Aug. 19 to announce the seventh BNP Paribas Showdown on March 3 at Madison Square Garden featuring Andy Murray vs. Novak Djokovic: StarGames President Jerry Solomon, Murray, New York Ranger Henrik Lundqvist, and MSG Sports President Dave Howard and SVP Joel Fisher.
Photo by:ANGELA CRANFORD / MSG PHOTOS
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What I Like …
Photo by:TOM HUSSEY PHOTOGRAPHY
■ An insight: Take your competition seriously, but not yourself.
■ An influential person in my career: I’ve been fortunate to work at several companies with a number of wonderful mentors, but none have been more impactful than Ray Clark at The Marketing Arm.
■ An out-of-the-box idea: Custom crowds in crowdsourcing models.
■ A business deal: Jake Peavy to the Red Sox.
■ A sports facility: AT&T Park in San Francisco.
■ A strategy: The fan experience, the sport, the event, the team, the league is better because your brand is involved.
■ A hire: Our new Jesuit Pope.
■ A trend: Social media ownership at program strategy level versus social media delivery through a social media AOR.
■ An innovation: Golf technology that keeps adding a few more yards to your drive.
■ A pro league or team business initiative: From every angle and at every level, soccer is working hard to become more relevant in the U.S. And it’s working.
■ A story that bears watching: Two come to mind: (1) Ed O’Bannon v. the NCAA and (2) Yasiel Puig. I don’t think we’ve seen anything yet.
■ An idea or invention I wish I thought of: I actually did think of it first: The Pancake Sandwich at McDonald’s. Not sure how I let this one go!
Photo by:GETTY IMAGES
■ My job: The people inside our company, at our clients and in the industry.
■ Sports: It’s still “appointment TV.” Sports remain the ultimate reality on television.
■ Sports business: When it’s done right, there are few channels that will give you a greater return.
■ Sports technology: The value and increased engagement your smartphone adds to viewing sports on TV and at the game.
■ Competing: Winning. In our industry, finishing second is the same as finishing last.
■ The future of sports business: Big data.
Photo by:GETTY IMAGES
■ Change: Violence among fans. Rivalry is fun. Being persecuted for rooting for your team isn’t.
■ Change in what I do: I’d like to be a single-digit handicap.
■ See more of in sports: Making sports more affordable.
■ See less of in sports business: Clutter.
■ See different: More diversity in the business.
■ Eliminate: The shootout. Let’s play until there’s a winner.
What I Don’t Like …
■ In general: Sea urchin and olives.
■ Pet peeve: When traveling, those people who sit in the aisle seat and stay seated after arriving at the gate until the door is open and the aisle is clear. If you have the aisle seat, and I’m in the window seat, you need to get up as soon as that bell goes off and grab us both some space.
■ In sports: Ticket prices.
■ About sports fans: When fans lose their perspective on the game.
What I Like …
■ People: Start with believing that people have the best intentions and work from there.
■ That would surprise those who know me: I come from a huge family. I have 46 first cousins.
■ Hero: My wife.
■ Player: My son Oscar. He’s a stud lacrosse player.
■ Teams: I’m a fan of the game, but when push comes to shove, I’m a Boston sports guy. Enough said.
■ Possession: My 1965 Mustang convertible.
■ Mementos: Fishing photos with my family.
■ Music: There’s a time for just about everything, but lately it’s been Albert King radio on Pandora. Give it a try, you won’t regret it!
■ Authors: John Steinbeck and more current versions of Steinbeck such as Cormac McCarthy and Philipp Meyer.
■ Website: The Nauset Beach tide times and tide chart website.
■ IPad app: The combination of my Kindle app and Audible is a game changer.
■ Trip: A second honeymoon with my wife through Turkey, Greece and Italy.
■ Movies: “The Godfather,” “Goodfellas,” “Casino,” “My Cousin Vinny” (see a theme here?).
■ TV: “Dexter,” “Breaking Bad,” “The Walking Dead,” “Homeland.”
■ Concerts: There are so many. Here are three: King Crimson, Yellowjackets (at the Blue Note) and Jeff Beck (at the old Paladium).
■ Dessert: S’mores or anything with marshmallow.
■ Scent: My wife’s sauce cooking on the stove. That’s what Sundays will always smell like to me.
■ To cook: My Asian dumplings are better than you’ll get at any restaurant.
After working as creative director for the NBA during his 13 years at the league, Tom O’Grady returned to his native Chicago in 2003 and formed Gameplan Creative, a sports and entertainment brand, marketing and video production agency. Today, Gameplan’s clients include the Chicago Cubs, Chicago Fire and Major League Baseball. The company also helped design the Charlotte Bobcats’ expansion identity and more recently was the brand architect of the nascent Elite Football League of India.
— Compiled by John Lombardo
We live in the world of emotional branding. Sports is not an on-the-shelf product. People are intimately connected to the teams and the players, and fans are passionate about the tribal colors of the clubs. That is the beauty of working in sports. You can make a real-time connection to your audience through all of the new media available.
On the Bobcats’ name change: If they have vetted their research properly, it suggests that the fans are more connected to the Hornets than the Bobcats, so it is a solid move. The history of the Bobcats has not been that rosy, so you are not deflating a brand with a lot of winning history nor value. To do it any later might be dangerous.
Any risks?: There is little downside, because there is just not enough tradition or brand value in the Bobcats. It is a reboot, and that is exceptionally rare. They are taking a branding mulligan. They are getting to hit another ball because they don’t have to reinvent themselves or educate the public on who the Hornets are.
Consistency vs. change: Once you set a course, you want to be consistent in that process and be your own brand police in making sure you guard it carefully. You see teams like the Boston Celtics and the New York Yankees that have never varied much. It is the anti-University of Oregon approach. That is over-stimulation for a brand design because it is never the same every week.
Branding trends in sports: On the professional level, there has been a complete shift to simple. Look at what the Brooklyn Nets have done. The NBA used to be the boldest and brashest in their color palettes and identities. Now they are the cleanest. It is the same thing in baseball. The Astros did something really simple, and you don’t see much experimentation. It’s the same thing in the NFL. On the flip side, it is completely different at the college ranks.
The industry’s growth areas: It’s in video production. There is such an acceptance of media on the Internet. The equipment has gotten much cheaper and more sophisticated that it gives you the ability to create your own productions. The demand for video content is exploding every day.