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Volume 24 No. 156

People and Pop Culture

SportsBusiness Journal this week announced its annual Forty Under 40 class. Members of this year's class will be honored March 31 at the JW Marriott Marquis Miami during the 10th annual IMG World Congress of Sports. The names of those selected are listed below.

NFL VP/Legal & Business Affairs Jay Bauman
Just Marketing Int'l Founder & CEO Zak Brown
Univ. of Arizona AD Greg Byrne
Nike Brand CFO Andrew Campion
Disney and ESPN Senior VP/National Accounts Justin Connolly
Kansas State Univ. AD John Currie
CAA Sports Marketing Exec Paul Danforth
Richards Sports & Entertainment Principal Kern Egan
Octagon Exec VP & Head of Marketing Solutions Group Jeff Ehrenkranz
Legends Premium Sales President and Cowboys Senior VP/Sales & Booking Chad Estis
Fox Broadcasting Co. VP/Fox Sports Sales Mark Evans
Red Sox Exec VP/Business Affairs Jonathan Gilula
NBA Europe Senior VP Sophie Goldschmidt
AEG Global Partnerships President Todd Goldstein
Comcast Sports Group Exec VP & Chief Digital Officer Eric Grilly
Jets Exec VP/Business Operations Matt Higgins
Qcue CEO Barry Kahn Founder & CEO David Katz Senior VP & GM Jason Kint
Saints co-Owner & Exec VP Rita Benson LeBlanc
ESPN VP/Programming & Acquisitions Leah Buhl LaPlaca
GMR Marketing VP & GM Adam Lippard
IMG College Senior VP/U.S. Business Development Lawton Logan
GroupM Entertainment & Sports Partnerships CEO Greg Luckman
JPMorgan Chase & Co. Managing Dir Scott Milleisen
WMG Managing Exec for Basketball Management Bob Myers
NASCAR VP/Strategic Development Eric Nyquist
Gatorade North America President Sarah Robb O'Hagan
MLS Timbers Owner & President Merritt Paulson
Foley & Lardner LLP Partner & Vice Chair Irwin Raij
AEG Facilities CFO Rob Reed
Helios Partners COO Chris Sanders
USOC Chief Communications Officer Patrick Sandusky
Coca-Cola Co. Group Dir for Worldwide Sports & Entertainment Marketing Emmanuel Seuge
MSG Sports Senior VP/Sales Ron Skotarczak
MLBPA Dir of Business Affairs & Licensing and Senior Counsel for Business Timothy Slavin
MetLife Dir of Sports Marketing Kim Taylor
MLB Rangers Exec VP/Ticket Sales & Marketing Todd Taylor
WTA Senior VP/Global Marketing & Communications Andrew Walker
NBA Digital VP/Content Albert Vertino

EPL club Liverpool has promoted Commercial Dir IAN AYRE to Managing Dir and Dir of Football Strategy DAMIEN COMOLLI to Dir of Football (Liverpool). Ayre replaces CHRISTIAN PURSLOW, who "left the position in October." Comolli joined Liverpool in November from French club Saint-Etienne (, 3/22).

CHANGE AT THE USGA: USGA Chief Business Officer PETE BEVACQUA resigned yesterday, effective immediately. Bevacqua "was a candidate for the association's executive director post, which was filled March 2 by MIKE DAVIS." USGA Dir of Communications RAND JERRIS in an e-mail indicated that Davis "would conduct an analysis of the organization before declaring on how the role of chief business officer might be filled" (, 3/22).

EXECS: The NCAA has hired Indiana Univ. Associate VP & Exec Dir of Financial Management Services KATHLEEN MCNEELY as VP/Administration & CFO. McNeely will join the NCAA on April 29 (NCAA)....Learfield Sports has promoted Hurricane Sports Properties Associate GM JIM MCIVER to GM. Learfield also has hired Sunrise Sports & Entertainment Exec Dir of Corporate Marketing ROBERT "DUFFY" HOUSE as Associate GM for Hurricane Sports Properties (Learfield)....Sportsman Channel has hired MARY JEANNE CAVANAGH as Exec VP/Advertising Sales, reporting to CEO GAVIN HARVEY. Cavanagh will be based in N.Y. and will lead non-endemic national ad sales and all direct response sales for the network (Sportsman Channel)....The AHL Charlotte Checkers have hired ERIC BRIDENSTINE as Dir of Creative Services & Production (THE DAILY)....GMR Marketing has promoted DAVE MULLINS to Dir of Client Development (THE DAILY)....Home Team Marketing has hired RANDY NEWELL as Account Exec in the company's Cleveland office. The company also hired ETHAN GUINE as Account Exec for network sales in the L.A. office (THE DAILY).

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In L.A., Lisa Dillman notes former Clippers VP/Basketball Operations ELGIN BAYLOR took the stand again yesterday in his wrongful-termination lawsuit against the team, and cross-examination from Clippers General Counsel ROBERT PLATT revealed discrepancies between Baylor's "previous testimony and his current assertions." Baylor had testified that Clippers Owner DONALD STERLING and team President ANDY ROESER "frequently asked him how much longer he intended to stay on." But Platt yesterday "showed video testimony from Baylor in a pretrial deposition in 2009 in which he said he had been asked that question once back in the days when the team played at the Sports Arena" (L.A. TIMES, 3/23).

BRISTOL UNIVERSITY: ESPN yesterday announced that "its Connecticut payroll will soon surpass 4,100 people, which amounts to about 300 additional jobs since last fall." ESPN Exec VP/Administration ED DURSO said that the company is "consolidating publishing jobs" from its N.Y. offices to Bristol. That includes 75 from ESPN The Magazine and 50 "from other areas there, including digital operations and corporate communications." Durso noted that "about 100 jobs have been added throughout the company" since October (BRISTOL PRESS, 3/23).

NAMES: A baseball field named for Angels P DAN HAREN for "children with special needs" opened yesterday in Scottsdale, Ariz. The facility includes a "grandstand, scoreboard and rubberized field to accommodate wheelchairs and walkers" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 3/23)....Attorneys for Bulls F CARLOS BOOZER have filed suit in Miami, alleging that businessman CLAUDIO OSORIO "'maliciously' squandered a $1 million investment by Boozer in Osorio's company, InnoVida Holdings" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 3/23)....U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge JEFFERY DELLER "lifted an automatic stay on Friday, giving Primerock Real Estate Fund LP the choice to collect on its $820,000 claim against" Steelers QB CHARLIE BATCH "by seizing property he put up as collateral to secure the debt" (Pittsburgh TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 3/23)....UEFA President MICHEL PLATINI yesterday was "re-elected unopposed for a second four-year term" (, 3/22)....AHL President DAVE ANDREWS has been named by the Ace Bailey Children's Foundation as the '11 recipient of its Ace Bailey Good Guy Award, "presented annually to individuals who have supported and advanced the game of hockey on the professional, school or youth level" (, 3/22)....Former U.S. Secretary of State CONDOLEEZZA RICE has accepted an invitation to serve as Honorary Chair for the May 6-8 Champions Tour Regions Tradition (Champions Tour)....Magic C DWIGHT HOWARD will guest star in an episode of Disney XD's "KICK BUTTOWSKI -- SUBURBAN DAREDEVIL" on April 30. Skateboarder TONY HAWK also will guest star on the series this season (Disney).