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/Dec. 16-22, 2013/People and Pop CulturePrint All
The Atlanta Braves hired John Hart as senior adviser. Hart was a senior adviser for the Texas Rangers.
The Los Angeles Angels promoted Jeremy Zoll to coordinator of advance scouting and named Nick Francona coordinator of major league player information.
The Washington Nationals promoted Doug Harris to assistant general manager and vice president of player development, Kris Kline to assistant general manager and vice president of scouting operations, Mark Scialabba to director of player development, Mark Baca to national supervisor, Jeff Zona to special assistant to the general manager and Fred Costello to national crosschecker.
Little League promoted Sergio Guzman to Southwestern region director.
The San Diego Padres promoted Jason Green to director of membership sales, Sindi Schug to director of membership services and Nick Maranda to director of Petco Park events, and named Wayne Partello senior vice president and chief marketing officer and Steve Ziff senior vice president of sales. Partello was in marketing and media for the Miami Dolphins, and Ziff was senior vice president of marketing and brand activation for the Florida Panthers.
The Class A California League’s Stockton Ports named Taylor McCarthy director of marketing. McCarthy was general manager of the Old Orchard Beach Raging Tide.
The Philadelphia 76ers named Ravi Shah vice president of strategy.
The American Athletic Conference hired John Griffin as associate commissioner for communications and brand marketing.
Augustana College Athletic Director Bill Gross stepped down from the position. He will serve as senior gifts officer in the school’s advancement office.
Henderson State University named Shawn Jones athletic director, effective in January. Jones was senior associate athletic director for external operations at the University of Central Missouri.
Mississippi Valley State University named Dianthia Ford-Kee athletic director. Ford-Kee was athletic director at Lincoln University of Pennsylvania.
Mount Holyoke College named Christine Hutchins vice president of marketing and communications. Hutchins was senior associate athletic director for external affairs at Stanford University.
University of Pennsylvania Athletic Director Steve Bilsky will retire June 30.
Eastern Florida State College named Ryan Kiel assistant athletic director. Kiel was general manager of the Pulaski Mariners.
Northern Illinois University named John Cheney senior associate athletic director for facilities and event operations. Cheney was associate athletic director for facilities and operations at Oregon State University.
The University of Missouri-Kansas City promoted Carla Wilson to athletic director.
Santa Anita Park named Dennis Moore track superintendent.
The Green Bay Packers’ vice president of sales and marketing, Tim Connolly, will step down from the position Feb. 1 to form a sports industry consulting practice.
The Minnesota Vikings promoted Jeff Anderson to executive director of communications, Tanya Dreesen to manager of new stadium partnerships, J.P. Paul to director of new stadium corporate development and John Penhollow to director of new stadium partnerships.
The Canadian Football League’s Montreal Alouettes promoted Mark Weightman to president and chief executive officer.
The Canadian Football League’s Winnipeg Blue Bombers promoted Kyle Walters to general manager and named Danny McManus assistant general manager and director of U.S. scouting and Ted Goveia assistant general manager and director of player personnel. McManus was head U.S. scout for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Goveia was director of player personnel for the Toronto Argonauts.
Learfield Sports promoted Greg Gilmer to general manager at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Brittany Oligschlaeger to general manager at South Dakota State University and Todd Antonopoulos to general manager at the University of Idaho, and named Jim McIver general manager of MVC Sports Properties for the Missouri Valley Conference. McIver was associate general manager of Hurricane Sports Properties at the University of Miami.
3fold Communications named Craig Amazeen creative director. Amazeen was senior vice president of broadcasting, brand development and new media for the Sacramento Kings.
IMG College named Kristin Rose general manager at Georgia Tech University. Rose was president of the Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees.
Forward Sports Marketing named Brian Skurdal director of national sponsorships.
Raycom Media Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Wayne Daugherty will retire, effective Dec. 31.
Time Warner Cable Sports Channels hired Andrew Fegyveresi as head of the PR department. Fegyveresi was vice president of communications at SportsNet New York.
One World Sports named Gary Herman executive vice president of advertising sales and sponsorships. Herman was senior vice president of advertising for Tennis Channel.
Pac-12 Networks named Neil Davis executive vice president of sales. Davis was general sales manager for Fox Sports Florida/Sun Sports.
Phoenix Racing named Steve Addington competition director and crew chief of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series No. 51 Chevy. Addington was crew chief for Tony Stewart’s Sprint Cup car.
The International Olympic Committee named Lindsay Glassco international cooperation and development director and Lana Haddad chief finance officer. Glassco is president and chief executive officer of Special Olympics Canada, and Haddad is associate director of finance analysis and capability building for Europe, Middle East and Africa for Procter & Gamble.
EPL club Arsenal promoted Vinai Venkatesham to the newly created position of marketing and sales director.
The Columbus Crew hired Asher Mendelsohn as director of soccer operations.
Serie A club Inter Milan elected Erick Thohir president. Thohir is majority owner of the club.
Sporting Goods and Apparel
Hi-Tec Sports named Brian Cyr product and design director for the U.S. division.
Puma named Solange Knowles art director and creative consultant.
Sports Commissions and Tourism Boards
UFC hired Clint Cox to the newly created position of director of content protection. Cox was director of operations for the global content protection department at NBC Universal.
The Southern Nevada Sports Hall of Fame named Rob Portaro executive director.
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Executives from across the college space gathered
for lively panel discussions, on-stage interviews and
networking at last week’s conference in New York City.
Photos by Marc Bryan-Brown
Clemson AD Dan Radakovich (foreground) and Tom Osborne, former Nebraska AD and football coach, gave insight into their roles on the College Football Playoff selection committee.
CBS Sports’ Tracy Wolfson answered 20 questions in a fast-paced interview session.
Armen Keteyian of CBS Sports, Drew Berst of AECOM and David Berst of the NCAA
IMG College’s Ben Sutton, Brian Shulman and Caryn Dolich of Living Social, and Andy Dolich of Dolich Consulting
Brent Swartz of Momentum Worldwide with J.W. Cannon and Betsy Wilson of UPS. Wilson spoke on “Fostering Community Engagement Through College Sponsorships.”
Molly Mazzolini of Infinite Scale, Beth Bass of the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association and Bob Williams of the NCAA
West Virginia AD Oliver Luck and others addressed “Athletics in Transition: The Realities of Conference Realignment.”
Tom Tingle of Skanska and Kevin White of Duke. White was among the ADs discussing “Today’s AD: Balancing Challenges and Opportunities.”
The Big Ten’s Jim Delany, the Mid-American Conference’s Jon Steinbrecher and the West Coast Conference’s Jamie Zaninovich all sat on commissioners panels.
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Bob Scanlon, who was the 35th person hired at ESPN in 1979, has built his career around network launches and rebrands. He stayed in Bristol through ESPN2’s launch; he helped launch Speedvision and Outdoor Life Network; and he spent a year helping Steve Bornstein launch NFL Network. Now, he’s at Discovery, where for the past six years he has been overseeing the switch of Discovery HD Theater to Velocity, a vehicle-themed network that increasingly is looking at sports content as a way to grow.
I’m closely watching over-the-top delivery services and the ways that people are consuming media and television and bypassing traditional service providers. We want to structure delivery of programming to consumers that considers traditional service providers and viewers both as customers.”
Can Velocity afford live sports rights?: You’re seeing tape-delayed motorsports events on our schedule thanks to Discovery’s acquisition of Eurosport. We tested the British Superbike Championship, the European Rally Championship, the Silk Way Rally and one other desert off-road race rally on tape delay. Those series will be available next year live if we opt to carry them live.
Are sports overvalued?: Every time one of these cycles has hit its apex, the reaction has been the same: “Those people are crazy to pay that kind of money for sports programming. They’ll never survive doing it.” Yet in every one of those cycles, the numbers have worked out, and the rights holders make money on these incredibly expensive investments in sports.
How has Velocity’s distribution doubled to 56 million homes over the past four years?: We’ve been able to ride this wave of technological innovation from the cable operators’ point of view. They have essentially eliminated the duplication of standard-def signals and high-definition signals in the cable box. The fact that the set-top box is technically an HD box now makes Velocity a basic service, based on the old affiliate covenants that still are in effect from Discovery HD Theater.
— John Ourand
EVERYONE should buy this, watch it and share it with a friend.
Receiving: It would either be an improved iTunes Match service or enough storage on each of my devices to house my music library of 20,000 songs.
President and owner
Shamrock Sports & Entertainment
President, global customer marketing and sales
Senior managing director of business affairs
U.S. Golf Association
Chief business officer
I’d love to receive a series of short-game lessons and the time to practice. I also hope Santa will surprise me with a gift-wrapped Symetra Tour event in the Southeast next August or September. That way I will have something I can regift to our players, since we already gave away the 10 LPGA membership cards they really wanted.
Vice president of sales and NFL contract adviser
JOHN STEPHENSON JR.
President and CEO
College Football Hall of Fame
Partner and toll collector
Family needs new TVs bad. Making fun of the square boxes still in use in their rooms/houses. “Dad, don’t you win any golf tournaments anymore?”
May need to surprise my daughter with iPhone upgrades for better FaceTime with my granddaughter.
If it were a gadget, I would say it would be a portable sound machine to create some white noise when I’m on the road traveling (which is frequently), to replicate my sleeping experience at home.
Google Chromecast. I use Google Chrome for our office server, so being able to view this information, as well as videos, photos and documents on a larger screen can be very helpful.
Crux360 iPad case. Counting on my iPad more, this case looks great for multifunction use and portability. I like the stand it becomes, too, for various ways to position the iPad.
WOWee One Slim Portable Speaker. Great for traveling, which I do often. To be able to use this slim, lightweight and super-sound portable speaker will make going to my hotel room that much more enjoyable.