ECHL to take digital rights to market In The Office: MKTG NFL to review primary ticketing options Lower ratings? NFL pulls election lever Toronto FC president sees upticks BDA gets into NBA game Licensees prep for campaigns Big 12 stands pat; will see new money League Pass keeps mobile in mind ESPN starts anew on ‘Countdown’
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The Class AA Southern League’s Mobile BayBears hired Chris Morgan as general manager. Morgan was director of game operations and corporate sponsorships for the Senior Bowl.
The Memphis Grizzlies promoted Jason Wexler to president of business operations, named Chris Wallace general manager and hired Ed Stefanski as executive vice president of player personnel.
The Philadelphia 76ers promoted Ryan Bevilacqua and Colby Brown to client experience account managers and Angelina Gasparo and Josh Arney to group event specialists.
The Sacramento Kings hired Juan Rodriguez as senior vice president of arena operations and general manager. Rodriguez was assistant general manager for the NRG Park Complex in Houston.
The Milwaukee Bucks promoted John Steinmiller to executive vice president of community affairs and social responsibility, and hired Patrick McDonough as chief financial officer and Bob Cook as vice president of business affairs.
The Women’s Basketball Coaches Association hired Danielle Donehew as executive director. Donehew was associate commissioner of women’s basketball for the American Athletic Conference.
Black Hills State University promoted Colleen Mischke to assistant athletic director and senior woman administrator.
East Carolina University hired Paul Dodson as director of marketing. Dodson was director of marketing and event management at the University of Evansville.
The University of Illinois named Warren Hood senior associate athletic director for capital projects and facility operations.
High Point University hired Mark LaFrance as assistant athletic director for communications. LaFrance was assistant director of media relations at Ohio University.
Georgia Tech hired Chris Yandle as assistant athletic director for communications and public relations. Yandle was assistant athletic director for communications at the University of Miami.
Metropolitan State University of Denver hired Jim Gillen as associate athletic director for facilities and community engagement. Gillen will also oversee the athletic training program. He was athletic trainer and travel coordinator for the Denver Nuggets.
Marian University named Jason Bartelt athletic director.
The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay hired Craig Sandlin as assistant athletic director for external relations. Sandlin was assistant athletic director for marketing and promotions at Bowling Green State University.
The American Athletic Conference promoted Barbara Jacobs to associate commissioner for women’s basketball.
The Horizon League hired Tom Crowley as assistant commissioner for basketball and competition and Cam Fuller as assistant director of competition.
Bradley University hired Grant Escue as assistant athletic director for compliance. Escue was assistant athletic director for compliance at Lincoln University.
Eastern Michigan University hired Christian Spears as deputy athletic director. Spears was deputy athletic director at Northern Illinois University.
Hampton University named Donovan Rose assistant athletic director for athletic fundraising and director of the HOPE Program.
Hofstra University hired Dino Megaloudis as associate athletic director for development. Megaloudis was major gifts director in the office of student affairs at the University of North Carolina.
Virginia Military Institute hired Jamie Severns as associate athletic director for external relations and Ashley Usera as assistant athletic director for tickets and marketing. Severns was assistant commissioner for multimedia services for the Southern Conference.
Southern Connecticut State University hired Jay Moran as athletic director. Moran was athletic director at the University of Bridgeport.
Loyola University New Orleans promoted Brett Simpson to director of athletics and wellness, replacing Dr. Michael Giorlando, who retired.
Niagara University hired Bill Morris as assistant athletic director for compliance. Morris was athletic director at Daemen College.
Troy University promoted Sandy Atkins to senior associate athletic director for internal relations, in addition to her role as senior woman administrator; Tony Ferrante to associate athletic director for operations and facilities; Kit Alewine to assistant athletic director for compliance; and Adam Prendergast to assistant athletic director for media relations. Mike Frigge was hired as assistant athletic director for operations.
The University of Connecticut promoted Mike Enright to senior associate athletic director for communications, Dan Glinski to assistant athletic director for equipment services, Bob Howard to assistant athletic director for athletic training, David Kaplan to assistant athletic director for video services and Kyle Kravchuk to associate athletic director for ticket operations.
The University of North Carolina hired Zac Selmon as associate athletic director and special assistant to the athletic director. Selmon was associate director of athletics development at the University of Oklahoma.
Kennesaw State University promoted Katie Egloff to associate athletic director and senior woman administrator, Cari West to business services manager and Brent Jenn to director of events and facilities. Matt Griffin was hired as assistant athletic director for internal operations.
The Minnesota Vikings promoted Lester Bagley to executive vice president of public affairs and stadium development, Rob Brzezinski to executive vice president of football operations, Steve Lacroix to executive vice president and chief marketing officer, Steve Poppen to executive vice president and chief financial officer, Rick Spielman to executive vice president and general manager, Kevin Warren to executive vice president of legal affairs and chief administrative officer and Jonathan Wilf to executive vice president of strategic planning and business initiatives.
The New York Giants promoted Deandre Phillips to director of communications and named Corry Rush director of public relations. Rush was director of AFC communications for the NFL.
The Carolina Hurricanes promoted Darren Yorke to assistant to the general manager/video scout, Mike Sundheim to vice president of communications and team services and Kyle Hanlin to senior director of communications and team services.
The Pittsburgh Penguins named Jacques Martin senior adviser of hockey operations.
The Toronto Maple Leafs hired Kyle Dubas as assistant general manager.
The American Hockey League’s Albany (N.Y.) Devils promoted Stephanie Schuyler to marketing and game presentation manager.
The American Hockey League’s Worcester (Mass.) Sharks promoted Kristyn Galante to ticket sales manager, and hired Carly Grimaudo as an account executive and Emily Quinn as a marketing and operations coordinator.
Learfield Sports named Jerry Harbin manager of business development for its Indiana University Sports Properties. Harbin was director of team partnerships for the Indianapolis Colts.
Wunderman hired Jamie Gallo as president of its New York office. Gallo was executive vice president of global marketing for the NBA.
Octagon promoted Josh Green to creative director for Europe, the Middle East and India.
Lammi Sports Management hired Keith Harmon as vice president of partnership development. Harmon was a sports account manager for Journal Radio Networks.
Learfield Sports named David McGrew general manager at Marquette University, Mike Shayotovich general manager at Indiana State University, Augusto “Cookie” Rojas general manager at Brown University, Disston Vanderslice general manager at Temple University and Kyle Droppers general manager at Providence College.
rEvolution hired Dan Lobring as managing director of communications. Lobring was senior director of communications for MLS’s Chicago Fire.
Million Dollar Media named Bill Saurer chief executive officer. Saurer will remain in his positions as president and chief executive officer of Principle Broadcasting Network/Universal Media Access.
Pac-12 Networks hired John Oliverius as vice president of business affairs and distribution. Oliverius was vice president, distribution counsel for A&E Networks.
Detroit Sports 105.1 hired Jake Chapman as executive producer and air talent for The Pistons Radio Network. Chapman was executive producer for The Orlando Magic Radio Network.
Rodale promoted Paul Collins to associate publisher for Runner’s World and Running Times.
Serie A club Inter Milan hired Dan Chard as director of global partnerships. Chard was director of partnerships sales for AEG Live.
Sporting Goods and Apparel
Rawlings Sporting Goods named Jeff Fiorini chief operating officer. Fiorini was senior vice president and general manager for Eaton Aerospace Group’s fluid and electrical division.
Keen hired Michael Minter as vice president of creative. Minter was global creative director and global marketing director for Sanuk Footwear.
Nike Golf promoted Simon Parkhill to general manager of Nike Golf Japan and Brian Karl to commercial sales director of Nike Golf EMEA.
Puma promoted Lars Radoor Soerensen to chief operating officer, replacing Andy Koehler, who stepped down from the position.
Win Now Video Analytics/The Checkerboard Coaching Technique named David Lukow partner and agent.
Tough Mudder hired Dan Weinberg as vice president of global partnerships. Weinberg was director of sales for NBC Sports Ventures.
SportAccord Convention named John Hewitt director of communications. Hewitt succeeds Jay Stuart, who stepped down as head of press and media.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship hired Nancy Gay as vice president and editor-in-chief of UFC.com. Gay was senior managing editor for Comcast SportsNet Bay Area.
Triple Crown Sports named Keri King chief operating officer, Akram Morghem senior tech lead, Andy Hansen senior media and marketing lead, Renee Carlson basketball director, Sean Hardy volleyball director, Elliott Finkelstein fastpitch director, Joe Santilli baseball director and Jason Nowak controller and merchandise director.
Spotlight Ticket Management hired Alvin Chang as an account director.
WWE hired Barry McMullin as senior vice president of sales and partnership marketing. McMullin was senior vice president of partnerships for Professional Bull Riders.
The Women’s Sports Foundation named Deborah Slaner Larkin chief executive officer.
Awards and Boards
Larry Blocker, Miami Marlins senior director of game presentation and events, was named the recipient of the 2014 InStadium Experience Innovation Award for game presentation.
The Children’s Healthcare Charity, the charitable arm of the PGA Tour Honda Classic, named Joe Steranka president of the board of directors and a member of the executive committee. Also named to the board: Takuji Yamada, American Honda president and chief executive officer, and Cressman Bronson, PNC Bank regional president.
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Big Ten for the win at BTN Big 10K
At the third annual BTN Big 10K race in Chicago on July 26: Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany, Archie Griffin, Stephen Bardo, Gerry DiNardo, Shon Morris, Dave Revsine, BTN President Mark Silverman and Ron Guenther.
Photo by:CHESTON BOGUE
Boras on Boras at Washington seminar
A seminar called “The Most Powerful Man in Baseball? An Evening With Superagent Scott Boras” featured who else but Scott Boras (left), shown alongside Phil Hochberg, who led the panel discussion. The event was Aug. 4 at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington.
Omega extends time with PGA of America
Omega announces the extension of its partnership with the PGA of America through 2022 during the PGA Championship in Louisville, Ky., on Aug. 5: PGA President Ted Bishop, Omega President Stephen Urquhart, golfer Rory McIlroy and PGA CEO Pete Bevacqua.
Photo by:MONTANA PRITCHARD / THE PGA OF AMERICA
Cubs help with park project
Chicago Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts and Mayor Rahm Emanuel address the Lakeview community during a ceremonial groundbreaking event at School Street Playlot on Aug. 3. The Cubs donated $1 million to the park project.
Photo by:STEVE GREEN
They’re in the running
New York Road Runners President and CEO Mary Wittenberg appears with
tennis’ Caroline Wozniacki and 2014 Boston Marathon winner Meb Keflezighi. It was announced July 31 that Wozniacki and Keflezighi will run as Team for Kids Ambassadors at the 2014 TCS New York City Marathon on Nov. 2.
Photo by:NEW YORK ROAD RUNNERS
Silver visits NBA Yao School
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver visits the NBA Yao School at the Wukesong Hi-Park in Beijing on July 31 during his first international trip since becoming commissioner.
Photo by:NBA ENTERTAINMENT
At IAVM’s VenueConnect 2014
The International Association of Venue Managers held its VenueConnect 2014 conference and trade show last month in Portland. Portland Trail Blazers President and CEO Chris McGowan (left), with Chris Oxley, Blazers general manager for Rose Quarter operations, participated in a Q&A session during the conference. Below: Attending the trade show: Populous’ Kurt Amundsen, Paula Yancey with PC Sports, and Populous’ Brad Clark and Adam Paulitsch.
Photos:DON MURET / STAFF
In town for Team Turnaround
In Washington, D.C., on July 21 for President Barack Obama’s announcement of the NBA’s commitment to Team Turnaround and other My Brother’s Keeper platforms: NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, NBA liaison Isaiah Austin, Team Turnaround founder Derrick Heggans and NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum.
Photo by:TEAM TURNAROUND
A gold jacket for Strahan
Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2014 enshrinee Michael Strahan and his presenter, fellow Fox Sports broadcaster Jay Glazer, take part in the presentation of Strahan’s Hall of Fame gold jacket by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Pro Football Hall of Fame President David Baker at the Enshrinees’ Gold Jacket Dinner on Aug. 1 in Canton, Ohio.
Photo by:BEN LIEBENBERG / NFL
AAC’s Summer Kickoff
American Athletic Conference Commissioner Mike Aresco welcomes Houston football coach Tony Levine (left) and Memphis coach Justin Fuente to the league’s Summer Kickoff and Media Day on July 29 in Newport, R.I.
Photo by:BEN SOLOMON / AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE
Entering: The Fray
Select Artists Associates, represented by President Charles Johnson, produced the halftime performance by The Fray during the Guinness International Champions Cup match between Manchester United and Real Madrid at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor on Aug. 2.
Photo by:SELECT ARTISTS ASSOCIATES
Bank of the West Classic
Women were well-represented at the Bank of the West Classic, the first women’s stop on the Emirates Airline U.S. Open Series, on an all-female TV production crew and the tournament staff: Gigi Longhini Stramm of the series; Kerry Callahan, Brigette Boginis, Chris Evert and Mary Joe Fernandez of ESPN; tournament director Kim Hall Uliasz; ESPN’s Pam Shriver; the WTA’s Pam Whytcross; tournament referee Donna Kelso; and the tournament’s Margaret Murray Turner.
Photo by:EZRA SHAW / GETTY IMAGES
Reds unveil next All-Star Game logo
MLB, the Cincinnati Reds and Cincinnati and Hamilton County officials unveil the official logo of the 2015 All-Star Game during a ceremony at Great American Ball Park on Aug. 6: Reds 2014 All-Star Todd Frazier, MLB’s Tim Brosnan, Hamilton County commissioners Todd Portune and Chris Monzel, Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley, and the Reds’ Bob Castellini, Walt Jocketty and Bryan Price.
Photo by:CINCINNATI REDS
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Triathlon’s Ironman series and its sister series (called 70.3) have added 24 events and attracted approximately 200,000 registrants in 2014. As CEO of the series’ parent company, World Triathlon Corp., Andrew Messick has overseen that growth. The former president of AEG Sports talks here about Ironman’s future.
We spend the bulk of our time trying to convince sponsors and often their agencies that a smaller audience of more engaged people is more valuable. But when they are thinking about our space broadly — and by that I mean running and endurance — they are just thinking about 50,000 people at New York and 40,000 at Chicago [for those respective marathons]. Those numbers are easy for them. Our value proposition is a little more complex. You have a smaller group of people, but they are engaged for a longer period of time.”
Photo by:NILS NILSEN / IRONMAN
On Ironman borrowing $240 million earlier this summer to pay a dividend to its ownership group, Providence Equity Partners: Providence bought Ironman with cash in 2008, which is rare for private equity. They anticipated that we were going to need cash to make acquisitions, and over the last five years we’ve bought 27 different companies, 10 of which happened under my watch. You need cash to buy companies, and we’re grateful that Providence chose to keep us with cash, but [the dividend] has had no impact on how we run the company.
On plans for media development: We spend a fair amount of time with international broadcasters talking about live shows … but an eight-hour pro race is a tricky live TV product. There aren’t a lot of broadcasters who have the shelf space for an event like ours. So we’ve invested in a streaming product. It’s historically been a desktop product but we have a major initiative to create a better mobile product.
Where there’s the most potential for growth: L’Etape du Tour (the amateur Tour de France bike ride) gets 13,000 participants. The Paris Marathon gets 50,000. Today, there is a culture of mass participation endurance racing everywhere. That’s why we’re bullish on international growth right now.
— Fred Dreier
What I like …
Photo by: JUAN OCAMPO / AEG VIA BERNSTEIN ASSOCIATES
■ An insight: Tell the truth. In the end the truth always wins.
■ An influential person in my career: Jerry West.
■ An out-of-the-box idea: Joining Twitter as a way to connect with arena guests.
■ A timeless idea: Working together to achieve a common goal.
■ A business deal: The sale of the Los Angeles Clippers.
■ A sports event: Any Game 7 of the World Series, Stanley Cup Final or NBA Finals.
■ A strategy: Can’t always control what is on stage or playing surface, but you can control the quality of service offered.
Photo by:GETTY IMAGES
■ A hire: Byron Scott of the Los Angeles Lakers.
■ A brand: Tommy Bahama.
■ A trend: Oversharing … everything.
■ An innovation: Dynamic pricing.
■ A pro league or team business initiative: Sustainability for all leagues and teams.
■ An idea or invention I wish I had thought of: Uber.
■ A fantasy job: First mate on Kenny Chesney or Jimmy Buffett’s boat off the coast of somewhere.
What I like about …
■ My job: The men and women I get to work with on a daily basis.
■ Sports business: The impact a trade or free agent acquisition can make on a team or city.
■ Sports media: The passion and humor of sports columnists.
■ Competing: Keeps us young.
■ The future of sports business: Through technology it will continue to look for ways to connect with the fans.
What I would like to …
■ Change: The overuse of electronic devices in social settings.
■ Change in what I do: Vacation more.
■ See: More tropical islands.
■ See more of in sports: The postgame handshake between athletes and teams.
■ See more of in sports business: Increased charitable tie-ins.
■ See less of in sports: Arrogance.
■ See different: A lower cable bill.
■ Eliminate: Homelessness.
What I don’t like …
■ In general: People who are late for meetings.
■ Pet peeve: People who do not use turn signals or people who throw cigarette butts out the window. Where do they think they go?
■ In sports: PEDs.
■ In business: Politics.
What I like …
Photo by:NBAE / GETTY IMAGES
■ About myself: That I am direct, fair and to the point.
■ Heroes: Jerry West, Frank Robinson, Louis Zamperini, Joe Namath.
■ Players: Kobe Bryant, Jarret Stoll, Chris Paul.
■ Teams: Los Angeles Kings, Lakers and Clippers; San Diego Chargers; Detroit Tigers.
■ Possession: Six, soon to be seven, championship rings.
■ Memento: Customized canvas print of myself and the Rolling Stones prior to kicking off 2013 world tour at Staples Center given to me by my staff for my birthday.
■ Music: All genres, but mostly rock and country.
■ Author: James Patterson.
■ Magazines: Islands, Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness.
■ Gadget: Sonos.
■ Chore: Feeding the psycho cat.
■ Hobbies: Playing softball, fantasy baseball and football.
Photo by:GETTY IMAGES
■ Movies: “Saving Private Ryan.”
■ Concerts: Kenny Chesney, Jimmy Buffett.
■ Artist: Adrian Sandstrom, a SoCal ceramist.
■ Food: Mexican.
■ Dessert: Key lime pie.
■ Drink: Don Julio 1942.
■ Scent: Coconut.
■ Car: Jaguar.
■ Quote: “It always seems impossible until it’s done,” Nelson Mandela.