Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 24 No. 156

People and Pop Culture

The NBA has named WTA President DAVID SHOEMAKER as CEO of NBA China. Shoemaker, who has been president of the WTA since ‘09, begins his new job on June 1. He will be based in Beijing and replaces TIM CHEN, who resigned in September ‘10. Shoemaker reports to NBA Int’l President HEIDI UEBERROTH and to the NBA China BOD. STEVE RICHARD, who served as interim CEO of NBA China, will resume his job as CFO of NBA China. NBA China was launched in January ‘08 with a $253M investment from Walt Disney Co., Bank of China Group Investment, Legend Holdings Ltd, Li Ka Shing Foundation and China Merchants Investments for an 11% stake in the company. NBA China has a staff of more than 140 employees.

Yahoo has hired KEN FUCHS, former SI and Time Inc. digital executive, as head of its sports, games and entertainment properties, according to industry sources. The hiring was outlined in an internal company memo, the sources said. Yahoo execs were not available for comment, but Fuchs comes to the large portal following a four year-run at Time Inc., most of it as VP & GM for the SI Digital Group. Following last year's migration of SI's digital business operations to Turner Sports, Fuchs had a short stint in a more corporate role as VP/Emerging Platforms, Business Developments & Partnerships for Time Inc. Yahoo Sports had been under the co-management of DAVE MORGAN and CLIFTON MA following recent departures of JIMMY PITARO and KYLE LAUGHLIN to the Walt Disney Internet Group. Meanwhile, Yahoo Sports NBA columnist ADRIAN WOJNAROWSKI has agreed to a new four-year contract to stay with the company.

Green Savoree Mid-Ohio, LLC has named former Chicagoland Speedway President CRAIG RUST President of Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and the Mid-Ohio Driving School. He will oversee day-to-day operations of both the racetrack and the driving school. Rust also will assume the title VP & GM of Green Savoree Mid-Ohio, LLC (Green Savoree Mid-Ohio)....The Nets have promoted DAN LEFTON to Exec Dir of Ticket Sales (Nets)....FSN Rocky Mountain has promoted National Sales Manager JAMIE MCINTOSH to VP & General Sales Manager (FSN Rocky Mountain)....CRAIG DUNCAN, former Sales Manager of Sports Hospitality & Entertainment for software solutions provider SAS, has joined Kony Solutions Inc., a Bay Area-based mobile applications developer, as Sales Manager of Sports, Travel & Hospitality (Eric Fisher, SportsBusiness Journal)....The Canadian PGA Tour has hired SCOTT PRICHARD as Dir of Business Development. Prichard formerly served as Associate Dir of the Ontario PGA (THE DAILY)....VenuWorks has tabbed SCOTT SCHOENIKE to become Exec Dir of New Evansville Arena. GENE FELLING will assume Schoenike's former duties as Exec Dir of the U.S. Cellular Center/Paramount Theatre/Cedar Rapids Ice Arena while continuing his duties as VenuWorks Western Regional VP (VenuWorks)....Former Ernst & Young Audit Partner MARC SILVERMAN has started his own auditing practice, MH Silverman & Associates LLP, to provide oversight of athletes advisors (THE DAILY)....Global Entertainment Ticketing has named MIKE SAWYER and STEPHANIE POCINA Regional Sales Dirs (Global Entertainment Ticketing)....The Aspire Group has promoted Marketing Coordinator ABBEY CARTER to Marketing Manager (THE DAILY).    

Do you have an executive announcement? If so, please send to

In L.A., Lance Pugmire reports Clippers Owner DONALD STERLING yesterday testified "about his past deep loyalty and trust for" former Clippers VP/Basketball Operations ELGIN BAYLOR "despite an admission by the owner that he wasn't completely clear about" the Basketball HOFer, whom he hired in '86. As part of the trial over Baylor's wrongful termination civil lawsuit against the team, Baylor's attorney, CARL DOUGLAS, asked Sterling, "You didn't know about his basketball career?" Sterling: "No. ... I didn't know that. I hired him for $3,000 a month. I didn't really know what his role was." Pugmire writes Douglas' questions "revealed the significant distance Sterling kept from the team" (L.A. TIMES, 3/16).

PLAYING WITH A PURPOSE: Golfer RYO ISHIKAWA, in the wake of the earthquakes and tsunami that hit his native Japan last week, said that he "can do more for people in Japan," at this week's PGA Tour Transitions Championship -- "or at Bay Hill next week or Augusta in early April -- than he could by returning home early." Ishikawa: "I would love to win for the people of Japan, but that is a thought I have always carried with me when I represent the people of Japan when playing overseas. ... If I can produce a brilliant result, and if I can be in the news following all of the tragic events being reported and lead to news of encouragement or be a source of hope for people in Japan, I would be at my happiest" (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 3/16). Meanwhile, in N.Y., William Rhoden noted WNBA Liberty G CAPPIE PONDEXTER in response to the earthquakes and tsunami tweeted, "What if God was tired of the way they treated their own people in there own country! Idk guys he makes no mistakes. ... They did pearl harbor so u can’t expect anything less." Pondexter Monday "issued the obligatory apology ... apparently after being told that she had offended a nation and embarrassed herself, her league and her team." NBA Senior VP/Basketball Communications TIM FRANK: "Obviously, the tweet was inappropriate" (N.Y. TIMES, 3/16).

IDEA PARKED: In Orlando, Scott Maxwell noted Florida politician JOHN THRASHER "wanted to develop golf resorts inside at least five state parks," and he "wanted his friend JACK NICKLAUS to be the only one to design them." The legislation "specifically excluded other designers and PGA pros with a clause that said every course 'must be designed by Jack Nicklaus.'" But ARNOLD PALMER's design company in a statement Friday said that "although it likes the idea of using golf to promote tourism, 'there are alternative options than using our state parks for 'new' golf course development.'" Maxwell noted the proposal "was dead" by Friday afternoon (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 3/13).

LOOKING FINE: Hamilton County (Ohio) Municipal Court Judge BERNIE BOUCHARD yesterday signed an order for Bengals WR CHAD OCHOCINCO to pay Cincinnati-area clothing store Amm One $11,717.39 for “merchandise he bought but didn’t pay for.” Authorities “twice tried to serve Ochocinco with the lawsuit but failed.” He never appeared in the case and, “when he didn’t appear Tuesday, Bouchard ruled for the clothing company” (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 3/16).

NAMES: In Toronto, Dean McNulty ranks ISC Vice Chair & CEO LESA FRANCE KENNEDY No.1 on his list of the "top 10 NASCAR women of influence," as she is the "matriarch of the France family that controls NASCAR." JR Motorsports co-Owner & GM KELLEY EARNHARDT ranks No. 2, while ESPN VP/Programming & Acquisitions JULIE SOBIESKI ranks No. 3 (TORONTO SUN, 3/16)....The T.J. Martell Foundation on March 28 will award Titans Owner BUD ADAMS with the Lifetime Humanitarian Award for his support to Middle Tennessee through the Titans Foundation, the Community Foundation, American Red Cross, Baptist Hospital Foundation and the Boys & Girls Clubs (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 3/12)….Chicago-based marketing company rEvolution LLC “generated $20 million in 2010,” a 76% increase from ’09 as the firm nears its 10th year. rEvolution President & CEO JOHN ROWADY said that “consulting is projected to be” over 20% of the company’s business by the end of this year (, 3/8)….MLB has hired Scottsdale-based Martz Agency to handle PR and marketing for FanFest around this year’s All-Star Game at Chase Field (PHOENIX BUSINESS JOURNAL, 3/11 issue).