NFLPA president: Agents will get say A bad year, and a good one, for MLB Plugged In: Corrine Vitolo MLS All-Star notebook WNBA Turnstile Tracker Melt acquires Ninja Multimedia firm Sports Media: The man in Moscow Spectra clients will list on SeatGeek From The Executive Editor: Fast '15 ESPN bids French Open adieu
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The Edmonton Oilers and Rexall Sports Corp. named Tim Shipton vice president of communications. Shipton was president of the Alberta Enterprise Group.
The Ottawa Senators hired Paul Beirne as executive vice president of ticketing and promoted Geoff Publow to vice president of strategic development. Beirne was vice president of business operations for MLS’s Toronto FC.
Communications agency The Brand Amp hired Jerry Archambeault. Archambeault was vice president of PR and communications for the NHRA.
Team Epic promoted Sakiya Daniel to vice president.
The Outdoor Channel named Steve Smith executive vice president of affiliate sales and marketing; Bill Osborn senior vice president of marketing; Scott Long vice president of finance, media; and James Alexander vice president of consumer insights and analytics.
Team Finland named Jarmo Kekalainen assistant general manager for the 2014 Sochi Games hockey team. Kekalainen is general manager of the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Major League Soccer named Ray Whitworth vice president of operations and security. Whitworth was head of team and corporate security for the English FA.
Sporting Goods and Apparel
Lululemon named Tara Poseley chief product officer. Poseley was senior vice president of Kmart apparel for Sears Holdings.
East Management Services named Joe Battista vice president of hockey-related businesses. Battista was associate athletic director of ice arena and hockey development at Penn State University.
The UFC promoted Tara Connell to vice president of research and analytics and hired Megan Olivi as on-camera host and correspondent and David Shaw as vice president of commercial pay-per-view development.
Nielsen promoted Mitch Barns to chief executive officer, effective Jan. 1. Barns will replace David Calhoun, who will become executive chairman of the board, and James Kilts will step down as chairman but remain a board member.
The United States Bowling Congress named Jennifer Salazar chief financial officer. Salazar was director of accounting for American Consolidated Media.
Awards and Boards
The L.A. Sports Council named Vincent Malcolm, Brandon Martin, Tracey Russell and Rob Thun to its board of directors. Malcolm is president of the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks, Martin is athletic director for California State University, Northridge, Russell is chief executive officer of the Asics L.A. Marathon, and Thun is senior vice president for DirecTV.
The NCAA Division I women’s basketball committee named Dru Hancock chair. Hancock is senior associate commissioner for the Big 12.
The National High School Basketball Association named Cindy Mercer to its governing board.
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Purple party in Orlando for MLS
State and local officials, including Florida Gov. Rick Scott (right) and Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer (second from right, front) applauded MLS Commissioner Don Garber (center) during an announcement Nov. 19 that Orlando City SC would begin play in MLS in 2015.
Photo by:MARK THOR
Astros to play host to Civil Rights Game
The Houston Astros and MLB announced Nov. 19 that the team will play host to the annual Civil Rights Game in 2014: Astros greats Jose Cruz and Jimmy Wynn, Astros owner Jim Crane, MLB EVP of baseball development Frank Robinson, Houston Mayor Annise Parker, Astros manager Bo Porter, Texas State Rep. Sylvester Turner, investor and Astros Foundation board member Shawn Taylor, and Reid Ryan, president of business operations.
Photo by:HOUSTON ASTROS
The PlayMaker’s Club, a new premium hospitality service from IMG College, made its debut in Jacksonville the weekend of Nov. 2 for the Florida-Georgia game. On hand were David Campbell, CEO of Boxman Studios, which handles transportation and assembly of the units, and Kelli Hilliard, IMG College SVP of events, entertainment and development.
Broncos dig it
Denver Broncos owner and CEO Pat Bowlen digs the first shovelful of earth for the team’s new fieldhouse construction with Chip Conway, VP of operations, at the Broncos’ Dove Valley facility in Englewood, Colo., on Nov. 19.
Photo by:ERIC LARS BAKKE
Pelicans, Sprint ready to rock All-Star vote
The NBA, Sprint and the New Orleans Pelicans tipped off NBA All-Star balloting presented by Sprint on Nov. 15 in New Orleans: the Pelicans’ Dell Demps, Rita Benson LeBlanc, Tyreke Evans, Jrue Holiday, Ryan Anderson, Anthony Davis, Eric Gordon and Monty Williams, and Sprint’s Tim Considine.
Photo by:LAYNE MURDOCH, GETTY IMAGES / NBAE
Tipping off basketball in Baltimore
The Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation hosted its third annual College Basketball Season Tip-Off fundraiser Nov. 1 at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront: Siena men’s coach Jimmy Patsos, retired coach Bobby Cremins, ESPN analyst Jay Bilas, retired coach Gary Williams, and foundation co-founder and baseball hall of famer Cal Ripken Jr.
Photo by:ROB SMITH / CAL RIPKEN SR. FOUNDATION
Ripken Foundation completes park work
The Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation completed a multipurpose Youth Development Park in the Park Heights community of Baltimore on Nov. 12: Baltimore Ravens President Dick Cass, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, foundation co-founder and baseball hall of famer Cal Ripken Jr., foundation board member and former state senator Frank Kelly, foundation President Steve Salem and Frank Kelly III, Kelly & Associates Insurance Group CEO.
Photo by:ROB SMITH / CAL RIPKEN SR. FOUNDATION
‘NHL Revealed’ luncheon
At a media luncheon Nov. 18 in New York City to discuss the “NHL Revealed: A Season Like No Other” program: Jon Miller of NBC Sports and NBCSN; “NHL Revealed’s” Steve Mayer, Julie Bristow and Ross Greenburg; and the NHL’s John Collins
Photo by:GETTY IMAGES
Penn State salutes military
More than 2,500 active and retired members of the U.S. military received free tickets to the Penn State football game Nov. 16 vs. Purdue through Seats for Soldiers, which relies on donations from ticket holders. U.S. Army Maj. Steve Widnick-Vazquez is shown with Anthony Di Fino, GM for IMG Learfield Ticket Solutions at Penn State.
Photo by:NICOLE LORD / PENN STATE MARKETING
New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft took a ride with Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson before the Patriots-Panthers game at Bank of America Stadium on Nov. 18.
Photo by:GETTY IMAGES
Ready to watch NBC’s Ironman screening
Coach and former Ironman world champion Paula Newby-Fraser, Ironman participant and former NFLer Hines Ward, Ironman CEO Andrew Messick, 2013 world champion Mirinda Carfrae and top American competitor Tim O’Donnell arrive at the Nov. 12 New York City screening of NBC Sports’ 2013 GoPro Ironman World Championship broadcast special.
Photo by:DIANE BONDAREFF / AP IMAGES FOR IRONMAN
Sunrise shop talk in San Diego
6 Degrees San Diego’s “Business of Sports” Breakfast Series panel Nov. 14 at the San Diego Hall of Champions: Farmers Insurance Open’s Peter Ripa, San Diego Padres owner Tom Seidler, Fox Sports San Diego’s Henry Ford, San Diego Chargers’ A.G. Spanos, San Diego AD Ky Snyder and San Diego State AD Jim Sterk.
Photo by:JESSE ARROYO / JESSE ARROYO PHOTOGRAPHY
NACWAA convention panel
Panelists for “Leading the Digital Age: Race to Relevance” at the recent National Association of Collegiate Women Athletics Administrators Convention in San Diego included Crowley Sullivan, Campus Insiders; Jamie Zaninovich, West Coast Conference; moderator Amy Huchthausen, America East Conference; Diana Sabau, Ohio State University; and Chris Wagner, NeuLion.
Photo:COURTESY OF NEULION
G’day to the Diamondbacks
Arizona Diamondbacks President and CEO Derrick Hall (right) was in Sydney, Australia, recently with New Zealand Baseball Chief Executive Ryan Flynn (far left) and the U.S. consul general in Auckland, Jim Donegan, promoting the Opening Series in Sydney, Australia, on March 22 and 23, when the Diamondbacks will play the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Photo by:NEW ZEALAND BASEBALL
Davis Cup’s Petco Park date
The U.S. Tennis Association announced Nov. 5 that Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres, would play host to first-round U.S. Davis Cup matches vs. Great Britain Jan. 31-Feb. 2: Jack McGrory and Bill Kellogg of the local bid committee, the USTA’s Jeff Ryan and the Padres’ Mike Dee.
Photo by:ANDY HAYT / SAN DIEGO PADRES
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JoAn Scott spent 17 years “learning from some of the most creative people in the business” at Nike. She brings those lessons to her new role at the NCAA.
■ New title: Managing director of the Men’s NCAA Division I Basketball Championship.
■ Previous title: Director of governing body relations, Nike Sports Marketing.
■ First job: Swim instructor and lifeguard.
■ College education: University of Nebraska Kearney undergraduate and Butler University MBA.
■ Resides: Indianapolis.
■ Grew up: Ansley, Neb.
■ Executives you most admire: Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany, Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby and Tom Jernstedt, senior adviser to the Big East.
■ Favorite vacation spot: Ansley, Neb. (Population 555), and Lanai, Hawaii (Population 3,000-plus). I will always be a small-town girl.
■ Last book read: “Gone Girl,” by Gillian Flynn.
■ Last movie seen: “Gravity” in 3-D.
■ Favorite movie: “Argo.”
■ Favorite musician/band: Raised on country music, but my “go to” is James Taylor..
■ What is the biggest challenge in your new position?
The most immediate challenge will be meeting and understanding the roles of the various folks involved with the tournament, including the NCAA staff, basketball committee members, television executives, local organizing committees, hosts and volunteers.
■ What’s the biggest risk you’ve taken professionally?
Working with my team to sign Gabby Douglas, Shawn Johnson and Misty May-Treanor as Nike athletes even though none of them wore footwear during their competitions. All three were great for our brand, were incredible athletes and even better human beings.
■ What is your biggest professional accomplishment?
Definitely the experience and learning while working for the 1992 Olympic men’s Dream Team and USA Basketball. Imagine traveling/working for the basketball version of the Beatles. It was surreal.
■ What is your biggest professional disappointment?
Any time we didn’t win the gold medal in ANY men’s or women’s competition while at USA Basketball.
■ What career advice would you give people who want to get into sports business?
Your success will be heavily based on the authentic relationships you build, internally and externally.
■ What is one story you’re watching in sports?
With years of preparation at Nike and the Sochi Olympic and Paralympic Games in February and my new responsibilities with the NCAA Division I Basketball Championship in March/April, I will be watching both and proud to be a part of both.
■ What is one element of the sports industry you’d like to see changed?
More positive storytelling on athletes, coaches and sports in general.
As tournament director of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London, Andre Silva oversees a smashing economic success that sells out the O2 Dome annually for eight days. This year’s total attendance of 261,247 made for the second consecutive year with more than 260,000 fans. Still, some players wish to see the event move around; the tournament has been in London since 2009 and will be there for at least two more years. Silva, a Brazilian, recently became a U.S. citizen, a long-held dream of his since coming to the country 21 years ago to play tennis. He talked here before the Finals, which concluded earlier this month.
“I came to the U.S. from Brazil at 19 to play tennis professionally, and to be honest, I probably was not good enough. But I always had a dream of living in the U.S. and thought tennis would give me an education. After three years, I got a scholarship.”
But will the event stay?: I believe London is the right marketplace for us.
The Finals trophy is named after the late Brad Drewett, the former ATP leader who died in May. Talk about that: He is the guy who worked on the event for so long. He took it to China; he saved the event. … It is hard not to think about him and everything he did in a short period of time and the passion he had for sport. … For me in particular, he gave me this opportunity because we had a chance to work together. It is hard for me knowing this year he will not be there and be able to help me when I am confronted with some challenges.
Hardest question on the U.S. citizenship test?: The hardest question? They give you 100 questions; I felt all of them were pretty easy.
— By Daniel Kaplan
T he epidemic of inactivity in the U.S. is our biggest issue. It’s the big elephant in our room.
A lot of our members are doing well now as far as sales, but this could all be upside for us. We’ve come a long way as an industry in identifying this as our biggest issue; now it has to be about focus, because there are so many different ways to attack this.
Photo:COURTESY OF MIZUNO USA
There’s just a lot more talk, not just about football and concussions, but about safety in sports in general. Sports are about competition, so there’s always going to be risk and reward. Of course, safety has to be a big part of everything we do, but the values you derive from sports have to be weighed against the risk of injury.
We need to make sure our equipment is up to date and challenge ourselves on that constantly, but we shouldn’t walk away from the benefit of sports by looking only at the downside.
The driving factors on getting people involved in sports are coaches and parents — especially at early ages.
The most impactful person in my life outside of my family was my high school baseball coach.
Clearly, there are more female consumers in our category, but our biggest issue is how varied the distribution channels have become. The path to purchase is changing dramatically.
We all talk about “omnichannel” and omnipresence for brands wherever consumers are. Consumers are looking at goods and considering purchase at brick and mortar and buying them online and vice versa in so many categories. We need to understand this, but it’s changing as we study it, so that’s not easy. Channel preferences are just incredibly dynamic.
Remember to listen to your customer and have insatiable curiosity.
Mizuno is known for being a great inspirational and performance name. People are buying our products, [but] we need them to join our brand and we’ve been talking with them a lot about that. If we can make consumers aware of our values, sales should follow.
It shouldn’t be just what and how in marketing, but why.
We try to stay on top of every retail trend, but it has been all over the place, and I don’t suspect the change is going to stop.
Brick-and-mortar stores morphing into more e-commerce, big-box stores are morphing into more specialty stores, specialty retailers are morphing into big box, on their own or by acquisitions. It’s all changing as every retailer looks for a sustainable point of difference.
We have been about function and innovation. … We have great loyalty among users. We need to build awareness and consideration. We’ve been a lot about the why and how, [but] we need to build an emotional connection to the brand, and we’ll do that early next year.
Structure follows strategy. So we try to hire based on the kind of culture we need. I want the person I’m hiring to be grounded, centered, have requisite skill sets and street smarts.
We’re not walking away from traditional media, but we have a big push in digital. One is driving the other right now and, like it always has been with media and advertising, you strive to find that effective mix. It’s just more complex and more of a moving target now than it has been.
So many schools are without phys-ed requirements and our research says if you have that requirement you’ll be twice as likely to be involved in fitness activities after school. Theoretically, that could double business for some of us.
Certainly, there are lots of initiatives out there encouraging physical activity. So we have to determine the one everybody can rally behind and get some resources behind it.
With all these different initiatives, how do we coalesce? That’s the role of the SFIA now. Pick one and get everyone behind it.