SBJ/Dec. 9-15, 2013/People and Pop Culture

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  • People: Executive transactions

    Baseball
    The Class AA Eastern League’s Akron RubberDucks named Brent DeCoster director of corporate sales and Brian Manning director of food and beverage.

    SATTERWHITE
    O’CONNELL
    EISEL
    The Cincinnati Reds named Aaron Eisel vice president of ticketing and business development, Tim O’Connell vice president of ballpark operations and Cameron Satterwhite assistant director of the P&G Cincinnati MLB Urban Youth Academy. Eisel was associate marketing director at Procter & Gamble, O’Connell was assistant vice president of athletics and executive director at the University of Dayton Arena, and Satterwhite was president of ENE Bat Co.

    The Class A California League’s Stockton Ports promoted Tim Pollack to director of tickets.

    The Texas Rangers promoted Paige Farragut to senior vice president of ticket sales and service.

    Basketball
    CARTER
    JOHNSON
    FORREST
    The NBA D-League’s Idaho Stampede named Travis Forrest and Sam Johnson account executives and Ty Carter media and public relations coordinator.

    The NBA named Jeff Ianello vice president of team marketing and business operations. Ianello was senior vice president of sales and service for the Phoenix Suns, Phoenix Mercury and US Airways Center.

    Colleges
    The American Athletic Conference hired Chevonne Mansfield as director of communications. Mansfield was assistant director of media relations at the Southeastern Conference.

    Northern Virginia Community College named Steve Mrowka athletic director. Mrowka was baseball coach at George Washington University.

    Facilities
    HarborCenter named Dominic Verni general manager of its restaurant and sports bar. Verni was general manager of the Hard Rock Café restaurant, retail and live music venue in Niagara Falls.

    Hockey
    The Anaheim Ducks named Steve Tambellini part-time professional scout. Tambellini was general manager of the Edmonton Oilers.

    The Columbus Blue Jackets promoted Zachary Kramer to staff accountant and named Kevin O’Malley ticket operations manager and Kaely Bistrek accounts payable coordinator.

    Marketing
    IMG named Matthew Sganga and David Randell vice presidents of U.S. business development. Sganga was Los Angeles franchise director at Sports Illustrated, and Randell had a senior advertising sales role at Rural Media Group.

    Team One named Lauren Mihalov assistant account executive for experiential marketing and Courtney Loomis account coordinator for experiential marketing.

    Learfield Sports named Branden Miller to the newly created position of senior director of digital sales, Adam Froidl account executive for the University of Wisconsin, Josh Pell account executive for the University of Missouri and Jon Ihrig account executive for Southern Illinois University.

    Advantage International hired Jamie Lee as account director. Lee was an advertising account executive for Publicis.

    The Marketing Arm named Roger Payne research analyst. Payne was brand marketing director at Killerspin.

    The Aspire Group promoted David Foster and Maggie Gordon to ticket service consultants for Arizona State University and named Bryan Moore ticket service consultant for Arizona State University, Kelvin Long and Jill Davis sales consultants for Middle Tennessee University, Phenicia Taylor and Lauren McGee sales consultants for Honda Battle of the Bands, Shaunice Smith sales consultant for Fordham University, Suki Hayer business to business team leader for London Irish Rugby Club and Alex Milnes sales consultant for London Irish Rugby Club.

    U/S Sports Advisors promoted Megan McCarty to manager of program development, Rashelle Stearns to manager of event marketing and Teri Toler to vice president of administration.

    Dynasty Sports and Entertainment named Ryan Bertschman senior consultant. Bertschman was executive director of sales and service with the Florida Panthers.

    IMG College named Gerri Brommer director of partnership marketing, Suzanne Hamm general manager of the American Athletic Conference, Phil McCarn director of sales for IMG College events, entertainment and development, Darren Meyer general manager of the Atlantic 10 Conference, William Bennett general manager of ticket sales at the University of Arkansas and Corey Schwartz general manager of ticket sales at Boston College, and promoted Liz McMillan to executive director of the Gamecock IMG Sports Network.

    Lammi Sports Management promoted Ryan Brunlieb to director of partnership development.

    HUPFELD
    Learfield Communications named Matt Hupfeld chief financial officer. Hupfeld was chief financial officer and vice president of finance for London Broadcasting Co.

    Media
    ESPN promoted Stephanie Druley to vice president of production for college networks and head of production for the SEC Network.

    Fox International Channels named Simon Thomas executive vice president of global sports and content sales, effective in January. Thomas was the chief executive officer of Team Marketing.

    NJ.com named Jordan Raanan and A.J. Perez reporters on the New York Giants beat, Dan Duggan reporter for Rutgers University football and basketball, and Brendan Kuty reporter for the New York Yankees beat.

    beIN Sport promoted Antonio Briceno to North America deputy managing director.

    Motorsports
    Richard Childress Racing named Mike Coughlan technical director.

    IHRA Motorsports named John Donaldson senior director of corporate partnerships.

    Multiteam Companies
    Pacers Sports & Entertainment named Bill Benner vice president of corporate, community, and public relations. Benner was senior associate commissioner of operations and communications for the Horizon League.

    Olympics
    USA Basketball named Jay Demings youth program director. Demings was director of operations for the Boston Amateur Basketball Club.

    USA Gymnastics named Anne Heffernon women’s Junior Olympic program director. Heffernon is owner and coach at Kansas Gymnastics and Dance Center.

    The IOC named Kit McConnell sports director. McConnell was head of Rugby World Cup.

    Sporting Goods and Apparel
    Fanatics Inc. named Raphael Peck president of Fanatics Apparel. Peck was chief merchandising officer at Oakley.

    Nike promoted Scott LeClair to vice president of action sports and Gavin Lindberg to vice president and chief financial officer for the Jordan Brand and named Gregory Fowler director of investigations. Fowler was special agent in charge for the FBI Portland field office.

    Other
    Britton Gallagher named Nick Robinson client associate in the professional athletes and entertainers insurance division.

    MainGate named Terry Angstadt chief strategy and sales officer, effective Jan. 6. Angstadt was president of Green Savoree Racing Promotions.

    The WWE named Matthew Singerman to the newly created position of executive vice president of programming and Stefan Kastenmüller to the newly created position of general manager for Germany, Switzerland and Austria.

    Huddle promoted Evan Perzel to assistant director of affiliates and hired Tom Loizzo as affiliate territory manager.
     
    Awards and Boards
    David Evans was named to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Evans is a partner at Murphy & King.

    The L.A. Sports Council named Jack Caress to its board of directors. Caress is president and chief executive officer of Pacific Sports.

    People news
    To have your personnel announcements included in the People section, please send information and photos to Brandon McClung at 120 W. Morehead St., Suite 310, Charlotte, NC 28202, or email them to careers@sportsbusinessjournal.com. Electronic photos must be a jpg or tiff file for Macintosh, 2.25 inches wide at 300 dpi. Color only, please. News items may also be sent via fax to (704) 973-1401. If you have questions, call (704) 973-1425.


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  • Faces and Places: Las Vegas



    The motorsports industry gathered at the 14th annual

    event in Las Vegas to discuss current events and future

    plans on and off the track.


    Photos by Kristina Paumen / Limelight Photography

    Sprint Cup champ Jimmie Johnson: “The brand is important, but the brand to me that’s most important is hoisting those trophies.”





















    ISC Chairperson and CEO Lesa France Kennedy on the Daytona Rising  project: “I liken it to a house. Sometimes you continue to renovate and it’s all working good. But at some point it’s time to tear down and start anew.”
































    NBC Sports’ Sam Flood engaged in a rapid-fire Q&A session at the forum.

















    Eastman & Beaudine CEO and author Bob Beaudine gave a featured presentation on driving sales and reaching revenue goals.

























    Telemundo Chief Operating Officer Jackie Hernandez was a featured speaker on the issue of marketing to Hispanic audiences.
















    Hulman & Co. CEO (and former ATP CEO) Mark Miles: “I wouldn’t trade the personalities in the IndyCar paddock for the tennis world, period. These are very attractive athletes.”


















    NASCAR K&N Pro Series East driver Dylan Kwasniewski said he had “a lot of creative control” in the AOL documentary series “Flat Out.”
























    Rob Keith of Richard Petty Motorsports and Kirk Gillette of Hewlett-Packard Co.





















    Leslie Withoft and Jared Melzer of Farmers Insurance, Marc Stein of Turner Sports Digital and Ryan Schumacher of Sprint


















    Ben Reiling of Coca-Cola North America Group and Rick Perko of Immersion Media























    Kristen Wentzell and Glen Cromwell of the NHRA and Matt Petersen of IEG



















    Please submit photos for review of industry conferences, parties, product launches and openings showcasing the people and personalities at the event. Include the event date, location, names/titles of those featured along with credit information. The photo specifications are as follows: 300dpi, tiff, jpeg or eps color images. Submit digital photos for review at: photo@sportsbusinessjournal.com or send color prints to: Faces & Places, c/o Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal, 120 W. Morehead St., Suite 310, Charlotte, NC 28202.

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  • The art of the party, from happy hour to happening

    At the Arizona Diamondbacks’ holiday party last December, the wife of the team’s chief financial officer was seen chasing after cocktail napkins she was convinced were $100 bills.

    OK, we should explain. She was under hypnosis.

    The Arizona Diamondbacks, who brought in a hypnotist to entertain last year, will offer karaoke with a live band at this year’s party.
    Photo: COURTESY OF ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS
    Always looking to shake things up at their annual holiday fetes, the Diamondbacks bring in entertainers. For the 2013 party this Friday, the staff will have the chance to sing with a local cover band called The Instant Classics. In 2011, it was comedian Mark Eddie. Last year, the star of the show was hypnotist Ricky Kalmon.

    “One of the funniest things I’ve ever seen,” said Diamondbacks President and CEO Derrick Hall, still laughing as he recounted the tale a year later.

    Kalmon asked for volunteers and got the willing participants to come up on stage. Several turned out to be prime subjects, falling into a deep hypnosis. A public relations staffer, known for being a bit shy around the office, was hypnotized into thinking he was the lead singer of Van Halen. But the real show-stopper was when the hypnotist focused on the wife of team CFO Tom Harris and informed her that every cocktail napkin at the party was a $100 bill.

    Mrs. Harris collected every napkin that she could find in the ballroom of the party site, the Westin Kierland Resort and Spa in Scottsdale. No one there will ever forget it.

    “She was an incredible sport about it,” Hall said. “That’s the spirit of our holiday parties: Everyone works so hard during the baseball season, it’s nice to take a day to close the office early, unwind, have a few laughs, and celebrate the holidays with our loved ones.”

    The Diamondbacks, of course, aren’t alone. Teams, leagues and companies across sports mark the holidays with events for their employees, but the Diamondbacks go as all-out as any group. Staffers — about 200, with each one also bringing a spouse or guest — have a chance to win prizes through raffles and casino games. Last year, two ticket sales staffers won a trip to the MLB All-Star Game in New York. This year, the grand prize is a trip to see the Diamondbacks when they open the 2014 season in late March with two games against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Sydney, Australia. Other past prizes have been TVs and iPods.

    Although December is in the offseason for baseball, Diamondbacks players are invited to join the staff for the party as well. First baseman Paul Goldschmidt attended last year with his wife. At that party, a takeoff of the TV show “The Office” (with Hall playing the Steve Carell role as he spoke with members of the staff) was shown on large video screens to big laughs. At the conclusion of each party, which starts in the early evening and can last past 2 a.m., complimentary taxi service is provided. And every employee goes home with a gift, usually a high-end piece of apparel like a team jersey.

    “The holiday party is an important part of a culture of inclusion and involvement that we instill in the office,” Hall said. “It’s a spectacular night.”

                                                     

    A peek at sports properties’ approaches to holiday parties reveals many variations. A common refrain from team and league offices is that their get-togethers are merely a merry round of drinks after-hours in the office or at local pub, with maybe a meal or a Secret Santa included. “Definitely nothing worth writing about,” was the refrain of executives at a few NBA teams (though to be clear, no one was complaining).

    Some team and league officials politely declined to divulge details of their gatherings, saying their preference is to keep the spirit of their events private. One NHL executive said it’s a policy of his team not to post photos or videos of the event on the team website.

    There’s an additional consideration for NFL clubs. For them, the end-of-the-year holidays fall in the final stretch of their teams’ seasons, a time too busy and intense for many clubs to schedule a day of franchise-wide celebrating. “It’s just a quick toast and then back to work,” emailed one NFL team public relations official. “The offseason is long enough to have social events.”

    NASCAR headquarters in Charlotte does not hold a major staff event for a different reason: The holiday season is the only quiet time in the calendar year for employees to take an extended vacation.

    On the other hand, the staffs of Dan Gilbert’s sports properties celebrate as one big family. More than 1,000 employees of the Cleveland Cavaliers, the AHL Lake Erie Monsters, the NBA D-League’s Canton Charge and Quicken Loans Arena gather at the arena or at a local establishment like the House of Blues for a party that starts with happy hour and continues into the night.

    “Dan makes a point of being inclusive,” said Tad Carper, Cavaliers senior vice president of communications. “Many of the Aramark [concessionaire] staff and team and arena part-timers are there, too, and everyone goes home with gifts — everything from apparel to gift cards and honey-baked hams. Dan participates, as do [vice chairmen] Jeff Cohen and Nate Forbes, and we all love being together as one big group.”

    For GMR Marketing, multiple locations means multiple parties, like this one in Charlotte.
    Photo: COURTESY OF GMR
    At GMR Marketing, the agency that works with the NFL, NASCAR and other sports properties, separate holiday parties are hosted at restaurants and clubs for each of the company’s branches, a span that includes Milwaukee, Chicago, Charlotte, San Francisco, New York, Toronto, London, Brazil, Singapore and Madrid. The largest crew, the more than 600 full-time employees at central headquarters in Milwaukee, are having their event on Thursday at the Grain Exchange. Each party features dinner, a live band or DJ, and fun activities like interactive games and a photo booth for staffers and their guests to get pictures. Top clients, including MillerCoors (a partner of GMR’s since 1979), are also invited.

    “It’s quite an undertaking to have all those events, but we ask a lot of our folks — a lot of time and a lot of travel away from family,” said Tyson Webber, GMR’s executive vice president of client management. “It’s an opportunity to not only thank our associates for their dedication, but also their loved ones for their sacrifices and understanding. Everyone deserves a memorable night.”

                                                      

    As you might expect, sports marketing executives can be particularly creative with their holiday events. Staffers from JHE Production Group, for example, sang, played guitars and banged drums on stage with Dee Snider of Twister Sister at the Fillmore in Charlotte for their company’s holiday bash last year.

    JHE Production Group’s party has awards for employees and a surprise musical guest. Last year Dee Snider belted out tunes while President Jay Howard played the drums.
    Photos: COURTESY OF JHE
    “I guess you can call it karaoke, with a pretty cool twist,” said Jay Howard, president of the Charlotte-based experiential activation and production company. JHE works with NASCAR and the Professional Bull Riders, among other sports properties.

    Howard, a drummer in his spare time, produces an awards show as part of the agency’s party — which welcomes his 100-person staff and their families along with some top vendors. Awards are given to executives in categories such as the Goose-bump Moment of the Year and the Best Save. According to Howard, the latter goes to “the person who saved our bacon when it looked like something was going horribly wrong.”

    Each year, the evening culminates with the
    appearance of a surprise musical guest, who comes on stage and jams with anyone at JHE who plays an instrument — or anyone who thinks they can. In 2011, the star was Foreigner lead singer Kelly Hansen, who led the band in “Cold as Ice,” “Hot Blooded” and other tunes. Last year, Snider took over, getting the audience out of its seats to sing “I Wanna Rock” and, of course, “We’re Not Gonna Take It.”

    “Then we scored on the cute-meter,” Howard said. “Our receptionist has a 12-year-old daughter who can really sing, and Dee had a recent holiday album out — so we put them together for a duet on ‘I’ll Be Home for Christmas.’ It was beautiful.”

    This year’s party, called The 6th Annual Dog & Pony Show, is Dec. 19, back at the Fillmore. As usual, the guest artist will be a surprise to everybody at JHE, except for Howard.

                                                      

    For NHL clubs, creating an idyllic “Winter Wonderland” setting for a holiday party can be as easy as looking at the teams’ frozen playing surfaces. The Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Islanders are among the clubs that set up a Christmas tree at center ice, pump festive songs through the arena speakers, and host an organization-wide skating session for staff, players, coaches and their families.

    The Chicago Blackhawks’ party has a family flavor — Marián Hossa and family pose with Santa — and brief speeches from team execs like John McDonough (below).
    Photos: COURTESY OF CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS
    “It’s such a great time, when you see the players and their children skating with all of our employees and their kids,” said David Peart, senior vice president of sales and service at the Penguins, who hold their event at Consol Energy Center. “It reinforces the notion that the Penguins are one big family.”

    The event does not end with the skating. There’s a buffet dinner afterward, with an appearance by Santa. Everyone goes home with a gift card acquired by the team from top sponsors like Dick’s Sporting Goods and American Eagle.

    The Penguins host a separate holiday party for team sponsors and their families, as well — a dinner at the arena for more than 200 people. All children go home with presents.

    “Our corporate partners are an invaluable part of our success as a franchise,” Peart said. “They deserve a great night on us around the holidays.”

    In addition to a skate at TD Garden, the Boston Bruins hold a lunch for the 220 full-time employees of the team, the arena and concessionaire Sportservice — all companies under the Delaware North umbrella. There is a cook-off between Garden chefs, with employees voting on their favorite items. The lunch is over by midafternoon, and everyone is free from work for the rest of the day — a built-in opportunity for staff to finish their holiday shopping.

    Similarly, in Chicago, after the team’s players, staff and their families enjoy a skate on the United Center ice, Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz hosts a luncheon in one of the arena’s banquet rooms. There is a station for family photos, and Wirtz and team President and CEO John McDonough give brief speeches to the group.

    Los Angeles Kings front-office members will be treated this year to an afternoon staff party at a restaurant in Manhattan Beach, Calif.

    “Every season is such a grind, so it’s important that we take time to get away and just enjoy our colleagues and celebrate the holiday season as a work family,” said Luc Robitaille, Kings president of business operations.

    This year, besides a skate with their families at Toyota Sports Center, the team’s training facility, Kings players are getting an added treat for the holidays: The players and their wives are attending a private screening of “Anchorman 2,” which will be preceded by a recorded message to the Kings from Will Ferrell as Ron Burgundy.

                                                      

    Despite the differences in their party plans and approaches, there is one thread that runs through most sports organizations at holiday time: a charitable consideration.

    GMR offers Casual for a Cause, where employees can pay $5 per day to wear casual clothing to work. At the end of the month, all of the money raised is donated to a local charity. “The donations are really stepped up around the holidays,” Webber said. “We’ve raised tens of thousands of dollars.”

    Like JHE, the Oklahoma City Thunder incorporates an awards show into its staff party. One week before the event, employees complete a survey and nominate their peers in categories such as MVP, most improved and most digitally capable. The winners receive prizes at the party. But there also is a charitable element to the proceedings. Starting in late November, employees decorate their work spaces in Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas and New Year’s themes. A panel of Thunder players, basketball operations staffers and executives judge the artwork, and the top three winners get a $1,000 donation made to the charity of their choice.

    The New York Mets changed last year’s party to a cleanup effort after Superstorm Sandy.
    Photos by: MARC S. LEVINE / NEW YORK METS
    The Orlando Magic offers its employees a holiday luncheon with raffle prizes at a local country club, but employees also donate time around the holidays by serving meals at the Coalition for the Homeless. They sponsor Orlando families in need of holiday gifts through an “angel tree,” as well.

    After Superstorm Sandy damaged the East Coast last year, front-office executives of the New York Mets decided to change their holiday plans. They dedicated the day usually reserved for their staff holiday party to assisting with the clean-up around a section of the Rockaways, a region in New York particularly devastated by the storm. The entire staff traveled in buses arranged by the team and spent an entire December day helping out.

    From that effort, the Mets have decided to make volunteerism a December staple. Prior to a late-afternoon gathering in the Delta Club at Citi Field to celebrate the holidays this year, team staffers will spend a day making “surgi-dolls” for children in medical facilities through a charitable program called Project Sunshine. The dolls are used by doctors to explain surgical procedures to young patients, who can play with the dolls.

    “After the unimaginable happened with Sandy, senior management thought the best way to be together for the holidays was to volunteer in the community,” said David Newman, senior vice president of marketing and communications for the Mets.

    The effort, he added, speaks to something beyond the office, particularly at this time of year: “It’s the true spirit of the holidays.”

    What is your company planning as a holiday event this year? If you would like to share your story, please email Christopher Botta at cbotta@sportsbusinessjournal.com.

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  • Luukko sees surprise departure from Comcast-Spectacor as chance to ‘make one more run at something new’

    Peter Luukko’s resignation last week as president and CEO of Comcast-Spectacor surprised many in the industry, but Luukko said it was a mutual decision made with Comcast-Spectacor Chairman Ed Snider and that they parted on good terms.

    “I’m actually very happy,” said Luukko, who was also president of the Philadelphia Flyers. “It’s a good opportunity for me to cash out of some of the businesses I started along with others.”

    Luukko, whose relationship with the 80-year-old Snider dates to 1985, was widely considered to be in line to succeed him. Snider said the decision “came as a surprise.”

    Luukko gave no details on what prompted his abrupt departure.

    Comcast-Spectacor appointed two finance officials from Comcast Corp., Snider’s business partner in Comcast-Spectacor, to help lead the firm in Luukko’s absence. Dave Scott, a retired Comcast Cable chief financial officer, is now acting president of the company. Gary Rostick is now Comcast-Spectacor chief financial officer, moving over from Comcast Business Services, where he held the same position.

    Bringing in executives from outside Comcast-Spectacor to head the firm raised questions among some observers. “It’s so unusual because Ed would never appoint a finance guy from outside the Spectacor family to lead the company,” said one source familiar with company. It also comes about a month after the departure of former Comcast-Spectacor Chief Financial Officer Russ Chandler.

    Luukko said there was no connection between his resignation and Chandler’s exit.

    Asked why Chandler left Comcast-Spectacor, Snider said, “It’s not something I want to talk about.”

    Luukko’s resignation comes at an awkward time for Global Spectrum, considering that the Minnesota Vikings, breaking ground last week on their $975 million stadium project, plan to issue a request for proposal next month to manage the facility. Global Spectrum, along with AEG and SMG, its two main competitors in that space, is expected to compete for the assignment.

    Luukko said there are opportunities elsewhere to make his mark. At age 54, he said, “I have a nest egg and can make one more run at something new and exciting.”

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  • Michael Neuman, Scout Sports and Entertainment

    Scout Sports and Entertainment Managing Partner Michael Neuman has been leveraging brands with sports and entertainment properties for more than 20 years. He’s now learning to do so within the framework of technology that has changed everyone’s life.


    How sports, brands and media engage consumers and help them make choices relative to them pursuing a healthier life is a vital area of growing importance.


    Photo: MARC BRYAN-BROWN / ROXXE IRELAND
    On development of mobile activation: Smartphones have gone from third screen to first screen quickly, so mobile activation is a space to watch. I’ve seen a live TV show in development that will allow viewers to use smartphones and be incorporated not only into the voting process but literally incorporated into the show itself. That kind of integration is really astounding.

    Thoughts on this year’s NYC Super Bowl:
    I’m both optimistic and pessimistic. It’s a great honor for the city, but there are challenges. Within MetLife Stadium, it will be “A Tale of Two Cities”: Those who spent $450,000 for a suite, and those sitting outside in the stadium. Activation plans from longtime NFL business partners, like DirecTV and Anheuser-Busch, sound exciting, but I’m not certain how fans will respond. Clients are still trying to figure whether enough noise can be made or if it’s a better marketing investment elsewhere. Only a few brands will be able to spend the significant money it will take to make a dent in the chaos New York will be that week.

    State of NASCAR, from a marketing perspective: NASCAR is going through a recalibration, but this has always been an industry of cycles. Brands are starting to understand that to really stand out in NASCAR, you need to spend at levels that far exceed other pro sports. The other thing is how different some NASCAR race markets are. One locale might be extremely interested in an upcoming race, but just 100 miles north, it can be totally different. I like the ability to own one car or race that fits perfectly with my client’s targets.

    Stories to watch in 2014: I will be looking at whether Sochi can successfully host a Winter Olympics free of infrastructure problems and tragedy; how the U.S. competes in Brazil’s World Cup; how weather will affect the New York Super Bowl; how the A-Rod situation plays out; and how all the changes in college conferences affect college bowl sponsors.

    — By Terry Lefton

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  • Holiday Gifts: Fitness and fun












    DAN BELMONT

    President
    The Marketing Arm

    I’m a gadget guy, so there aren’t many devices that I really need right now. That said, I have my eye on some other toys: A new 9-weight fly rod, maybe a new bike. Plus, I have a shoe problem, so a new pair of shoes is always good. Giving is a lot more fun, especially now that I have a granddaughter. And though she’s too young to know what she wants right now, when she’s old enough, I want to give her whatever it is she wants.


    BRUCE BINKOW

    Chief operating officer and chief marketing officer
    Golden Boy Enterprises

    I’ve tried to condition the family to exchange “experiential” gifts where we can spend more time together. We usually give each other tickets to concerts, sporting events, plays, etc. The only caveat is you have to bring the gift giver as your “plus one.” Luckily, we all have similar tastes so it usually works out. I’m looking forward to some great concerts (Sting and Paul Simon), hockey and basketball games at Staples Center, and I know my wife wants to see “Book of Mormon” again. Of course, all of them will get great seats to Golden Boy fights!

    HEATHER BROOKS KARATZ
    Vice president of legal
    Relativity Sports

    Up wristband by Jawbone
    I just bought my husband an Up by Jawbone and now want one for myself! I love buying Dana’s Bakery gift sets. Dana is a close friend, and she makes the most delicious, creative and fun macaroons!



    DEREK EILER
    Partner
    Fermata Partners

    Giving: Our family decided this year that time connecting with each other was more important than more stuff. So we drew names among adults and we will spend a quality two hours with that family member just connecting about life goals, challenges and the year ahead.
    Receiving: I have one item on my wish list each year — a 30-year-old bottle of balsamic vinegar from Zingerman’s Deli in Ann Arbor, Mich. It’s only about 3 ounces, but it’s the greatest liquid on earth. A bottle lasts me a year!

    BENITA FITZGERALD MOSELY
    Chief of organizational excellence
    U.S. Olympic Committee

    For me, anything in a tiny robin’s-egg-blue box with a white ribbon is always welcome under the tree! However, with the hectic pace of starting a new job, some uninterrupted family time would be the best gift of all.
    As for gift giving, my husband recently lost a Colorado Golden Bear necklace that I gave him for Christmas 18 years ago when we got engaged, and I’d like to replace it. We met in Colorado, our first child was born here, we’ve just moved back to the state, and we now have bears in the park behind our new house, so it’s very fitting!

    CHARLIE STILLITANO
    CEO
    Relevant Sports
    The whole team is getting Sir Alex Ferguson’s new book, “My Autobiography.” In addition to being one of my best friends, Sir Alex is a wonderful mentor, leader and in my opinion the best manager in the world.





    BETSY GRIDER

    Senior director of strategic development
    NASCAR

    Giving: My husband wants a new Sprint Samsung Galaxy Tab 3. He’s also receiving a full-size replica Leg Lamp from “A Christmas Story” as he deserves a “Major Award” for taking night shift with our little guy!
    Receive: A Qualcomm Toq wristwatch smartphone to put Twitter on my wrist or an Xbox One for Xbox Live game nights with my family around the country.

    LESA FRANCE KENNEDY

    CEO and vice chairperson of the board
    International Speedway Corp.

    For me, sunglasses, earphones and iPhone chargers … you can never have too many.
    I will be purchasing car accessories for Ben, my son. He also wants a PlayStation 4 … we will see.



    DANIEL NEAR

    Director of consumer products licensing
    NHL

    Giving: Skis (and helmets!) to our son (3) and twin daughters (2). Some of the best family time I can remember growing up in Toronto was on the ski slopes, and we’re anxious to spend a few weekends this winter on tow ropes and chairlifts.
    Getting: With all the outdoor hockey coming this season, I’m hoping Santa brings warm winter boots that will fit in my carry-on and aren’t so goofy and clunky that I’ll be waddling around the stadiums like an astronaut.

    BILL SQUADRON
    Head of Bloomberg Sports
    I’m going to give Kindles and “NBA 2K” to my three teenage sons, and give to friends a great book about Teddy Roosevelt’s New York City years, “Island of Vice,” written by a high school buddy of mine, Richard Zacks.
    I hope I get a new paddle tennis racket, since I’ve just started playing the sport and can’t keep borrowing equipment.



    DAVID SCHWAB

    Managing director
    Octagon First Call

    Book: “Perfect Pitch: The Art of Selling Ideas and Winning New Business,” by Jon Steel. I have heard excellent reviews and will purchase for colleagues.
    Gadget: Motorola P4000 Universal Portable Power Pack. With upcoming events like the Super Bowl and entertainment awards season, having an everlasting battery is key.

    DALE KOGER
    Vice president and general manager
    Turner Construction

    New golf clubs — the kind that will consistently shoot sub-85!







    CHRIS MCGOWAN
    President and CEO
    Portland Trail Blazers

    Giving: For my 11-year-old, Ryan: new clothes and iTunes gift cards. For my 9-year-old, Kyle: new Nike Mercurial Cristiano Ronaldo CR7 soccer cleats. For my wife, Susan: It’s a surprise! (I know she reads SBJ.)
    Receiving: Anything from Filson (my new favorite store).


    Print | Tags: People and Pop Culture
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