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Volume 24 No. 117

People and Pop Culture

Chip Ganassi Racing VP/Business Development DAN GRIFFIS has taken a new job at Target as Dir of Strategic Sponsorship & Events. His last day at Ganassi is Friday. The Target job will see Griffis working on the company's sponsorships with Chip Ganassi Racing, Target Field, Target Center, the Vikings and action sports athletes ranging from snowboarder SHAUN WHITE to freestyle motocross rider NATE ADAMS. Griffis said, "It's a little bittersweet. Nine years is a long time in one place, but I've been working with Target for that long, too. They're sharp from top to bottom and it couldn't be a better fit for me." Ganassi Racing plans to fill Griffis' vacated position (Tripp Mickle, SportsBusiness Journal).

EXECS: The Packers promoted Assistant Dir of Pro Personnel ELIOT WOLF to Assistant Dir of Player Personnel. Wolf is the son of former Packers GM RON WOLF (Packers)....Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities Founder JOHN YOUNG is leaving the day-to-day operations of the RBI program, effective immediately (MLB)....Artissimo Designs has launched a new sports and entertainment division headed by VP/Sports & Entertainment Marketing ADAM ZUCKER. Artissimo has secured licensing agreements with MLB, the NFL, NBA, NHL and the Collegiate Licensing Co. to create wall decor (THE DAILY).....Centenary College named Northwestern State Univ. Associate AD for External Relations WILLIAM BROUSSARD AD (Centenary College)....The Summit League named IUPUI Associate AD and Senior Woman Administrator ANGIE TORAIN Assistant Commissioner for Institutional Services and Championship Administration (Summit League).      

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TIGER WOODS revealed on Twitter this morning that he is staying with longtime agent MARK STEINBERG and will depart IMG. Woods wrote, "Staying with Mark Steinberg. Total confidence in him. Excited about the next stage in my professional life. Fond memories of MARK MCCORMACK." It is unknown if Steinberg will join another agency or open his own shop (THE DAILY).

: Acting CONCACAF President LISLE AUSTIN "has been suspended by the continental federation for allegedly violating rules." The "provisional ban applies to Austin's activities with CONCACAF and in his native Barbados." CONCACAF VP ALFREDO HAWIT now is the acting President. CONCACAF did not say what Austin "did to merit the suspension, which took effect Thursday," but he "tried to remove CHUCK BLAZER as secretary general in retaliation for Blazer's bribery allegations" against longtime CONCACAF President JACK WARNER and FIFA Exec Committee member MOHAMED BIN HAMMAM (AP, 6/4). Meanwhile, former U.S. Secretary of State HENRY KISSINGER said that he "has not yet made a firm commitment to become an adviser" to FIFA. Kissinger said, "If it can help the sport, I would be willing to participate. But I have to know who the other participants are and what the terms of reference are before I make a final commitment" (AP, 6/5).

GOVERNMENT MATTERS: In Chicago, Philip Hersh profiles former U.S. Olympic figure skater MICHELLE KWAN, who is “almost completely removed from the sport and off to Washington D.C. to try her hand at government work -- and possibly even politics -- with the master’s degree in law and diplomacy from Tufts University’s Fletcher School she received May 22.” Kwan “already is active in two State Department initiatives under two different administrations.” Former Secretary of State CONDOLEEZZA RICE made Kwan the “first American Public Diplomacy Envoy in 2007.” Current Secretary of State HILLARY CLINTON and Chinese State Councilor LIU YANDONG named Kwan an “ambassador to a new U.S.-China women’s leadership exchange, Women-LEAD, this April” (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 6/4).

NAMES: In a special to, Pedro Moura reported former USC assistant coach TODD MCNAIR “filed suit against the NCAA on Friday, alleging that the collegiate athletics governing body wrongfully caused him to lose his job with the Trojans because of punishment handed down last June in the REGGIE BUSH case.” The suit, filed in L.A. Superior Court, seeks “unspecified damages for libel, slander, breach of contract and four other alleged offenses.” McNair was “hit with a one-year show-cause penalty as part of the NCAA sanctions the school received last year” (, 6/5)....Oregon state Rep. EARL BLUMENAUER and Washington state Rep. DAVE REICHERT on Thursday "introduced a bill that would create a new classification for much of the high-tech outerwear for hiking, skiing, mountain climbing and other outdoor pursuits." The Optimal Use of Trade to Develop Outerwear & Outdoor Recreation Act "would create a new classification within the U.S. tariff schedule that would make qualifying imports duty free" (, 6/4)....Cowboys COO, Exec VP & Dir of Player Personnel STEPHEN JONES and his wife, KAREN, attended last night's Heat-Mavericks game at American Airlines Center, as did Fox NFL analyst TROY AIKMAN and Oklahoma State Univ. booster T. BOONE PICKENS (, 6/5).

IN MEMORY: Minneapolis attorney SHELDON KAPLAN, who in '60 was a "key player" in landing the Vikings in the NFL, passed away last week at the age of 96. Kaplan served as Vikings General Counsel "for decades" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 6/6)....Former Tampa Tribune Sports Editor and columnist TOM MCEWEN passed away yesterday at 88. McEwen, a 19-time Florida Sportswriter of the Year and member of the Florida Sports HOF, was a "maestro of human relations whose old-time political skills greased the tracks for professional football, soccer and hockey teams coming to the area," as well as the Yankees' Spring Training facility (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 6/6). NFL adviser Joe Browne tweeted, "Whether you were NFL Commish, owner or PR director... you started your visit to Tampa for decades by calling Tom McEwen. R.I.P." (, 6/5).