• TV Timeout: Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

    Red Sox DH David Ortiz after having his beard shaved this morning said, "I feel free now" ("Today," NBC, 11/4).

    WORLD VIEW: Golf Channel’s Charlie Reimer said that the global growth of the LPGA tour, “I don’t see anything but all positive for the LPGA following this high growth global model” (“Morning Drive,” Golf Channel, 11/4).

    BEARDED WARRIORS: SNL cast member Cecily Strong said, “The World Series ended on Wednesday when the St. Louis Cardinals were defeated by Mumford and Sons.” ("SNL," NBC, 11/2).

    GLOBAL EXPANSION: GOLFCHANNEL.com's Rex Hoggard, on PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem’s announcement of a PGA Tour China for the '14 season: “This is really part of a systematic approach by the PGA Tour … (and) they have been very structured in how they do this. If you look at Canada, if you look at Latin America, and now Asia, it really speaks to how the Tour’s brand has grown globally just over the last three years”  (“Morning Drive,” Golf Channel, 11/3).

  • SBJ/SBD Podcast: Lombardo on NBA-Disney

    SBJ Podcast:
    John Lombardo & Abraham Madkour discuss
    the NBA's deal with the Disney Institute.

    NBA reporter John Lombardo and Executive Editor Abraham Madkour talk about the NBA's new partnership with the Disney Institute, which is featured on the front page of this week's SportsBusiness Journal. Among the highlights:

    "What's going to be interesting is to see how many teams buy into the program."

    "It's really detailed. You're talking about Disney looking at how ushers stand when they're talking to people, we're talking how they address customers — very specific, very detailed behavior."

    Tags: NBA, GE, ING, Ally, SBJSBD Podcast
  • SBJ/SBD Podcast: Michael Smith on John Swofford

    SBJ Podcast:
    Michael Smith & Tom Stinson
    talk about John Swofford and the ACC

    College writer Michael Smith discusses his front-page piece on ACC Commissioner John Swofford, who has been a steady leader for the conference through a decade of change and, in particular, a stretch of uncertainty that saw Notre Dame and eventually Louisville come into its ranks and longtime member Maryland exit. Smith talks about Swofford's calm, measured style and how that worked to the ACC's advantage over the last year.

    Tags: Ford, ACC, GE, Ally, SBJSBD Podcast
  • SBJ/SBD Podcast: Don Muret describes MSG

    SBJ Podcast:
    Facilities reporter Don Muret describes the renovated Madison Square Garden.

    Facilities reporter Don Muret and Executive Editor Abraham Madkour discuss the newly renovated Madison Square Garden, which is featured on the front page of this week's SportsBusiness Journal. Among the topics are the Garden's unique bridge seats, its enhanced entrance and how the facility still blends in some of its history.

    Tags: Facilities, Madison Square Garden, GE, NTRA, SBJSBD Podcast
  • TV Timeout: League Of Their Own

    With Fox Sports acquiring TV rights for Germany's Bundesliga, FS1's Diego Gutierrez said the league could be regarded as the best soccer league in the world because they have "sound financial principles." They have been "very organized in the way they set up the league." Gutierrez: "The game experience is fantastic, they have one of the cheapest tickets in European soccer, which makes it affordable for people ... and I think they're second only to the NFL in attendance in any sport worldwide. They count on a tremendously balanced business model with marketing, game revenue experience and (teams receive about 25% each from) their media package. So it's very, very balanced. They don’t depend on just one thing" ("Fox Soccer Daily," FS1, 10/30).

    "DUBBYA" FOR COMMISH? FS1’s Trevor Pryce, on George W. Bush succeeding Bud Selig: “He’s the best guy for the job because when he owned the Texas Rangers, he put a very little investment in it and by the time he left it was a very big payout. He knows how to grow a franchise. I think this is a fantastic idea" (“Crowd Goes Wild,” FS1, 10/30).

    GOTTA BE THE SHOES: Fox’ AJ Pierzynski, on Red Sox OF Shane Victorino’s red, white and blue shoes: “I got to give Shane and the people at Nike credit, he had the coolest shoes. I was admiring those things before the game in the clubhouse. He had the coolest shoes on tonight I’ve ever seen” (“Fox Sports Live,” FS1, 10/30). Fox' Ken Rosenthal said the shoes "actually were designed by a friend of Victorino's in Philadelphia and Shane encouraged me to tweet out a photo of the shoes before the game and I was happy to oblige. And I must say, the fashionistas on Twitter approved" ("Cardinals-Red Sox," Fox, 10/30).

  • TV Timeout: Seeking Corporate Introspection

    The Wall Street Journal's Vanessa O'Connell, co-author of “Wheelmen,” said it is "very important to remember how many people were actively defending" Lance Armstrong." O'Connell: "We looked at this as a business and the sponsors were very integral to the rise of American cycling. There is no way that they were not aware of all the allegations that Armstrong faced. ... It's their responsibility to sort of raise this with the athlete they're sponsoring and throwing millions and millions and millions of dollars at and that's one of the lessons from our book is that it's kind of sad to see how few people ask questions" ("Squawk Box," CNBC, 10/30).

    FENWAY, FRANKLY: MLB Network Insider Richard Justice, on the significance of the Red Sox potentially winning the World Series at Fenway Park tonight: “When John Henry and his group ... bought the club in 2001, the first thing they told the fans were, ‘We’re going to preserve this, protect it and upgrade it,’ and everything they've done, they're motto is, ‘No harm done,’ they want to preserve the dignity. They understand the history here” (“MLB Tonight,” MLB Network, 10/29). 

    KNEEL TO KING JAMES? ESPN.com's Brian Windhorst said of LeBron James’ relationship with NBA rookies: “It seems like if you, especially if you’re sponsored by Nike, come into the league you go meet with LeBron and have your meeting with the godfather" ("OTL," ESPN, 10/29). CBSSN’s Allie LaForce, on the Heat’s gold numbered uniforms for the NBA season opener: “It’s the era of the jersey changes. If you don’t have a sweet new jersey for every event, then you're out of the loop” (“Lead Off,” CBSSN, 10/29).

    SAGE ADVICE: ESPN's Sage Steele said of her new role on the net's "NBA Countdown" pregame show: "I ain't an analyst. I love this sport, I know a lot about this sport, but I'm the host. In many ways it's not different from 'SportsCenter,' except it is more of a conversation" ("The Dan Patrick Show," 10/30).

    MADE IN THE U.S.A.: Polo Ralph Lauren Exec VP David Lauren said the outcry surrounding the foreign manufacturing of the company's U.S. Olympic apparel for the '12 London Games "really gave us at Ralph Lauren an opportunity to lead the charge to help bring the apparel industry back to America." The North Face President Todd Spaletto: "This won't end after the Olympics. We'll look at, 'How do leverage this space on other new creative projects that we can do for our brand going forward?'" ("Today," NBC, 10/29).

    OFF THE FAIRWAY: CBSSN’s Jim Rome, on EA Sports discontinuing the Tiger Woods video game sponsorship: “The reason people bought that game was so they could pretend to be Tiger and win The Masters but nobody cares about him winning The Tavistock Cup or finishing 40th at the PGA. Make no mistake, Woods was the player of the year in the PGA but nobody cares on PS4” (“Rome,” CBSSN, 10/29).

  • Suns' McDonough Discusses Time With Celtics, Management Philosophy

    New Suns GM Ryan McDonough participated in a Q&A with THE DAILY recently, most of which can be read here. However, McDonough had plenty more to say on topics not touched on in the original story.

    Q: You mentioned Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge as one of your most significant mentors in your introductory press conference with the Suns. What makes him such a special person?

    McDonough: The thing that makes Danny so special is just how open he is and how secure he is. Danny Ainge isn’t a guy with a big ego. He’s not a guy who follows really a hierarchy, if that makes any sense. He just wants good information and he doesn’t really care where it comes from as long as he knows that the source is competent and has put in the work. A lot of guys in his position -- former all-star in the NBA, he had a terrific career, he was a very successful coach actually here in Phoenix with the Suns then broadcaster with TNT -- you know they wouldn’t listen to a 23-year-old kid with no college basketball-playing experience, I don’t think that would’ve crossed a lot of guys’ minds. But Danny realized I put the time in and would come to me and get my thoughts on players. He’d ask me to look for some things and the first couple times he asked for things I didn’t know the answers. So I made notes and made sure that if he asked me that question again about another player, that I’d know the answer. So he kind of gave me little things to look for and then once he thought I did a good job of that, I asked him if I could go out and scout some local college games and I’d just drive to Boston College or Providence or UConn after working in the office all day, just drive down there at night and start typing up reports and would send them to him, and we’d talk about players in the office the next day. Then it kind of expanded to all over the country. Then in 2007, Chris Wallace got the GM job in Memphis, he was working with us in Boston prior to that and I got put in charge of international scouting. That’s kind of when my responsibilities really jumped up, and I got put in charge of our worldwide scouting at the time, you know I became more valuable to Danny once he gave me that responsibility.

    Q: How did your time in the Celtics organization shape the philosophy of how you conduct yourself and business that you’ve brought with you to Phoenix?

    McDonough: The Celtics obviously have as great a tradition and history as any team in pro sports. That’s one of the main things we’re trying to establish here. By ‘we’ I mean coach (Jeff) Hornacek and I, trying to establish a professional atmosphere that’s conducive to winning, where you can build a winning culture that’s sustainable for the long-term. With the Celtics, Danny Ainge and (former coach) Doc Rivers did a great job of that, along with our ownership, the Celtics have one of the best business operations in the league. Even during the lean years in Boston when the team wasn’t very good, the guys on our business side did a great job of selling and allowed us to have money to spend and be positioned to spend when we got some good players, which we did in 2007 when we acquired Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett by trade. But more than anything it was just the professionalism. That starts from the top down with ownership, everything was run in a first-class manner, the players were treated very well, the head coach was a guy that the players liked and wanted to play for, organizationally the front office, at least I hope the players felt we were always fair with them and treated them respectfully. You know it’s one of those things that kind of grows over time, guys eventually get a reputation in this league either good or bad, and we had a good reputation there, especially once we started winning. So it becomes a place you can recruit, where free agent players, especially if they’re choosing between mid-level contracts and minimum contracts, where the contract is exactly the same with different teams you feel like you might have an advantage because of the organizational structure you have in place.

    Q: And now you’re right at the top of that organizational structure in Phoenix. Has that taken some getting used to, being the guy that everyone’s reporting to.

    McDonough: (laughs) It is a little bit of a change for sure. I was fortunate, again going back to Boston, Danny Ainge let me do a lot. (Celtics Assistant GM & Team Counsel) Mike Zarren and I were co-GMs there with the Celtics and each of us really did almost everything that a General Manager does. Mike and I made trade calls, we set up free agency, we did free agency planning, we were heavily involved in the scouting and draft process and the analytics. That’s another thing I give Danny credit for.  obviously there’s a learning curve any time you go from being an assistant coach to a head coach or an assistant GM to a GM, there’s gonna be changes. The spotlight’s more on you and there’s a lot more people looking to you for direction, but  Danny and the Celtics organization did a great job of giving me a little exposure to certain things, even I met with the media from time to time in Boston and had some press conferences and did interviews. So they prepared me very well for it, but it is different; it’s every day. Especially during our pre-draft process we had my introductory press conference in early May, then everybody was reaching out to me about our head coaching search. That took a few weeks through the interview process ‘til we locked in coach Hornacek and got him signed up. And then after that the transition went right to the draft and we had a bunch of draft workouts, we opened that up to the media. We had two first-round picks, including the fifth pick overall in the top half of the lottery, so there was a lot of interest in what we were doing and that flowed right into free agency a few days after the draft, and we made that trade for Eric Bledsoe and Caron Butler. We then made two more trades this summer. So it’s been a busy first few months, it is an adjustment that most things in the organization, including everything on the basketball side, runs through you. You have to be pretty strategic with your time because you’re not just scouting anymore. You have responsibilities in terms of dealing with staff internally you have a bunch of people, I guess, working for you, so to speak. You also have responsibilities with ownership and media and league office with the NBA that you don’t have either as Assistant GM or Director of Player Personnel or some lesser role.

    Q: Now having experienced that whirlwind that comes with taking the job, now you’re at the point where the season is about to get under way. Are you excited to finally see how all the moves you’ve made unfold on the court?

    McDonough: Absolutely. I’ve been here five months, it’s flown by. I was fortunate that the Suns acted pretty quickly, letting the previous GM go right after the regular season ended last year, so I felt like I had an advantage being able to get out here in early May and get started putting my scouting staff together and having a head coaching search and having coach Hornacek put his staff together. So it feels like we’ve done a lot, but at the same time the games haven’t started yet for real. We’ve had a good run in the summer league, and we’ve played well thus far in the preseason so far, but again the competition level changes in a few weeks here once the regular season gets going.  we’re all anxious to see how it will unfold.

  • TV Timeout: Lydia's Bridge

    Golf Channel's Randall Mell, on how 16-year-old phenom Lydia Ko has affected golf coverage in her native New Zealand: “They never watched LPGA golf until Lydia came along. There was so much demand and interest last year that SKY Sports in New Zealand set up a deal where now they watch the LPGA ... all because of Lydia” (“Morning Drive,” Golf Channel, 10/29).

    WINTER DOLDRUMS? Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn appeared on CBS’ “Late Show” last night, with David Letterman saying he "was looking through the sports pages the other day" and in "tiny, tiny little print they have World Cup ski results from Austria. One, I didn't know the season had begun and two, why does it have to be tiny, tiny, tiny little print?" Vonn: "I don’t know. Can you fix that?" (“Late Show,” CBS, 10/28).

    MANIFEST DESTINY: SI’s Lee Jenkins said of an NFL franchise in London, “It’ll happen. There’s a race, clearly, between the NBA and the NFL in who’s going to get international first” (“Rome,” CBSSN, 10/28). 

    STRIVE FOR DIVERSITY: Camping World Truck Series driver Darrell Wallace Jr., on what his achievement as the first African-American winner on a national NASCAR series since '63 can do for the sport: “Hopefully, it changes it for the better. It’s increasing every day, you are starting to see more minorities in the stands, behind the wheel of cars, working at the track, dealing with sponsors, so it’s all changing. That’s the main goal, that’s what the diversity program is for” (“NASCAR Race Hub,” FS1, 10/28).

  • TV Timeout: If A "MNF" Game Falls In The Woods...

    ESPN Radio’s "Mike & Mike" was on location in at Edward Jones Dome St. Louis today ahead of Red Sox-Cardinals World Series Game 5 and the Rams hosting the Seahawks on "MNF." Mike Golic wondered where local fans "will be leaning a little bit tonight as far as what they may be watching and hoping for the outcome." Mike Greenberg responded, "I walked around the city. ... I have not yet seen any visual evidence outside this building that the people are aware there is a football game here tonight" (“Mike & Mike,” ESPN Radio, 10/28).

    FOOTBALL'S NEW LABOR ISSUE? CBS’ Bill Cowher: "It's time we need to continue to talk about expanding the gameday roster, moving the game day roster to maybe 50. ... The quality of the game is going to suffer and when an injury happens there is a trickle-down affect where players are having to play more plays and more injuries can occur. It's a CBA issue, but it is something that has to be addressed" (“The NFL Today,” CBS, 10/27).

    IN GOOD HANDS: CBS’ Jason La Canfora, on the state of the Titans: "Bud Adams did make sure that franchise will stay in his family before he passed. He also has a lease in Nashville through 2028, so short-term and long-term they're secure there" (“The NFL Today,” CBS, 10/27).

    CLOTHES MAKE THE MAN: ESPN's Linda Cohn said we should not "feel sorry" for TNT's Craig Sager having to deal with Spurs coach Gregg Popovich during in-game interviews, because Sager "shows off his suits during that time, that's what's important to him" ("Numbers Never Lie," ESPN2, 10/25).

    UNION JACK OF ALL TRADES: ESPN’s Chris Berman, on nicknames for a potential NFL team in London: "We could call them the London Fog. We could call them the London Bridge. My thought would be the Broil, or the Werewolves of London" (“Sunday NFL Countdown,” ESPN, 10/27).

    THE BIG CHEESEHEAD: Packers QB Aaron Rodgers sat down with NBC's Bob Costas for a one-on-one interview, during which Costas asked about Rodgers' new State Farm ads, "How close are you now to George Wendt and Robert Smigel after sharing a unique flight?" Rodgers said, "It was fun being able to work with those two guys. ... I still got some slobber on my neck from George, but it was fun." Costas asked about the actor with the "cheesehead who always ends every commercial." Rodgers: "He has been to Lambeau and he was a big hit when he was there. ... He's a big deal" ("FNIA," NBC, 10/27).

    STILL A 'SKINS GAME? SI's Peter King said of the Redskins name controversy, "Any name that is going to make X-number people uncomfortable, which the Redskins name does, I think that's why this movement has happened. But I don't see it being close to a resolution or close to them changing the name. I think it could take a few years" ("Yahoo Sports Talk Live," Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, 10/25).

    MOMMY DEAREST: This morning's edition of the "Today" show featured four Olympic hopefuls and their mothers, including skier Lindsey Vonn, figure skater Evan Lysacek and paralympian Taylor Lipsett and women's hockey player Julie Chu. The Olympians and their mothers were on-set in partnership with Procter & Gamble's "Thank You, Mom" campaign. Chu said the P&G campaign "has been unbelievable. They're the stars, that's the bottom line, and we got a chance to do a 'Raising An Olympian' video and we got to talk about our Olympic journeys and stories" ("Today," NBC, 10/28).

  • SBJ/SBD Podcast: Daniel Kaplan talks Jerry’s World

    SBJ Podcast:
    Daniel Kaplan & Abraham Madkour
    discuss Jerry's World

    NFL writer Daniel Kaplan discusses his “Jerry’s World” piece — a package of stories that came out of a two-hour interview with Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones — with Executive Editor Abraham Madkour. Among the highlights:

    “Jerry was forthright and candid in the interview, as you would expect him to be. He likes to make waves.”

    “He expects there to be several relocations in the next couple of years.”

    Tags: NFL, GE, Dallas Cowboys, SBJSBD Podcast
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