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Volume 24 No. 157

People and Pop Culture

Incoming Fiesta Bowl Exec Dir ROBERT SHELTON yesterday “vowed to restore the image of the troubled organization and improve its charitable giving,” according to Craig Harris of the ARIZONA REPUBLIC. But Fiesta Bowl Chair DUANE WOODS said that “no major overhauls were planned when the departing University of Arizona president officially takes the bowl's helm Aug. 1.” Shelton is being “brought in to rehabilitate an organization rocked by an internal investigation that found widespread corruption and mismanagement of funds.” He will receive “a $455,000 base salary plus about $30,000 for his retirement account.” He has the “potential to earn another $135,000 in incentives, bringing his total annual compensation to $620,000.” If Shelton reaches incentives he could “become the highest-paid executive among the four major” BCS games. Shelton said that he is “open to finding a new outside auditor to have ‘new eyes take new looks at things.’” He “declined to speculate on the future of ALAN YOUNG, the bowl's former chairman who was hired earlier this year as chief of staff when" former Fiesta Bowl President & CEO JOHN JUNKER was placed on administrative leave (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 6/15).

FINDING THE RIGHT FIT: FS ARIZONA’s Craig Morgan wrote Woods in hiring Shelton “may have made another in a recent series of sage moves that help distance the Fiesta Bowl from the recently revealed details of its sordid past.” Shelton is “not really an outsider, as some have characterized him.” He “already sat on the BCS presidential oversight committee, a body that approves BCS-related governing decisions.” Woods “knew the hire would fall under scrutiny, no matter the person’s background.” Morgan: “Choosing a university president for this position is certainly a departure from the past” (, 6/14). Woods said that Shelton “seemed like a perfect fit.” Woods: “You think about everything we were looking for. And he’s from here. And he has a passion for it” (ARIZONA DAILY STAR, 6/15).

CLAUDE RUIBAL has a knack for start-ups. From his time at Ask Jeeves, to being Founder, Chair & CEO of Universal Sports, the self-proclaimed entrepreneurial spirit finds himself as the new Global Head of Sports Content for YouTube. After six months in the position, Ruibal has defined the site’s mission as a distribution platform, extending partnerships with cricket’s Indian Premier League and ESPN's "Your Highlight," one of the most popular engagement programs on YouTube. Ruibal recently spoke with Staff Writer Theresa Manahan.

All-time favorite YouTube video: An Anthropological Introduction to YouTube.
Gadget you couldn’t live without: My bicycle.
Current book you’re reading: “Born to Run,” by CHRISTOPHER MCDOUGALL.
First sports jersey you owned: I was six years old living in a town called Mendoza, Argentina, and we went and bought an Argentinean football jersey.
How many videos do you view in a given day? I would say not enough because I spend a lot of my time in a given day in a meeting or managing e-mail. I would guess on any given day in terms of number of videos maybe five, and that’s probably on a good day if I’m lucky.

Q: What is the top business goal you've set for YouTube Sports but haven't been able to accomplish yet?
Ruibal: We’re definitely looking to provide users on our platform more long-form sports content, live sports content. We have achieved that to a certain extent with a few things that we’ve done more recently. We did something called the Indian Premier League cricket competition, which was a 51-day, 74-match tournament (airing) about 250 hours of long-form content. It did really well on our platform and had a lot of views and showed us that it really was a set of content that allowed us to extend viewing time on the YouTube platform. … The sports team objective both domestically and globally is to go out and work with existing broadcasters and rights holders to see how we could potentially partner with them as a platform to allow them to have enhanced opportunities to reach more users and consumers globally through YouTube.

Q: How did the collaboration work with the IPL?
Ruibal: We always look at ourselves as a platform distribution opportunity. We are not a content creator nor a content curator. We’re not producing content, we are not a host broadcaster. We’re not doing the production, we’re not doing the commentary. We’re really taking feeds of content that are already produced by either a host broadcaster, by a rights holder, by another television broadcaster who may be taking the feed and adding their commentary to it. We try and partner with broadcasters, rights holders, event organizers to really become their main distribution platform or one of their distribution platforms to supplement what they may be doing on their own websites or with other broadcasters in their market or multiple markets.

Do you foresee YouTube’s role in sports content ever becoming a rights holder?
Ruibal: Our vision for YouTube is not to be a rights holder, not to compete with existing broadcasters or other distributors of content, but to really be a platform.

Q: Your channels are created by users and listed by views, so an NBA game highlight can be next to a parkour video. Will the site go through any kind of organization among channels that categorize them?
Ruibal: Discoverability throughout the YouTube site I think in general could be better, and I think that we’re looking at a variety of options on how to make it more user-friendly to find things and to have relevant structure around the things you’re watching.

Q: Do you have a soft spot for start-ups?
Ruibal: I definitely am entrepreneurial in nature and while YouTube is a big organization, I do think that it has the mentality and the energy and the bias for action of a start-up. … It allows me to kind of replicate what I did with Universal Sports domestically and sort of provide a whole new set of content to an underserved audience and aggregate that content on a platform that allows us to see it now on YouTube and on a global scale.

Q: What do you feel like you've had to learn that wasn't part of your skill set when you started your position?
Ruibal: Understanding the intricacies and the complexities involved in creating digital products. I’d done some of that at Universal Sports, but in a lot of cases we had third party providers. Major League Baseball Advanced Media’s BOB BOWMAN and his team provided our initial website at Universal Sports. Then we went and did some work with NeuLion, then finally with Microsoft and Silverlight was the last iteration before I left. Those were sort of all rental models or leased solutions. In this case at YouTube, we build it ourselves, so having the opportunity to work with this team and build the interface is super exciting. But you realize it is really hard work.

Oregon State Univ. President ED RAY will take over as Chair of the Pac-12 CEO Exec Group on July 1 (, 6/14)....NESN named marketing consultant PAUL BERMEL VP/Marketing. His 25 years of experience in the media and entertainment industry includes stints at Turner Broadcasting/CNN and Comcast (NESN)....MSG Media named Fox Cable Networks VP ANDREW BIGGERS Senior VP/Content Distribution and promoted ALISON HELLMAN to VP/Affiliate Marketing. They will both report to Exec VP ANDREA GREENBERG (MSG Media)....Atlantic 10 Conference Dir of Communications JASON LETURMY has resigned to accept a job at Florida State Univ. (THE DAILY)....The Big South promoted Dir of Marketing CHAD COOK to Assistant Commissioner, and Compliance & Administrative Assistant SHERIKA MONTGOMERY to Assistant Dir of Compliance (Big South)....St. Louis-based ESPN radio affiliate WXOS-FM named KENT STERLING Program Dir, effective June 20. He previously served as Program Dir for Indianapolis' WFNI-AM and WIBC-FM (, 6/14)....Downstream promoted Account Manager TODD SPEAR to Dir of Strategic Accounts for Sports....TrinityOne Sports named JOE NIGRO Business Development Exec....Lammi Sports Management named BRETT CONNERS Account Coordinator (THE DAILY).     

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The PA's Martyn Ziegler reports officials "at the centre of a FIFA investigation have made a complaint against" FIFA Exec Committee member CHUCK BLAZER, the "whistleblower who sparked the bribery scandal that has rocked football's world governing body." The "heads of 11 Caribbean associations have written to FIFA's ethics committee calling on them to investigate Blazer over remarks he was alleged to have made in a meeting in Zurich on May 31." However, Blazer said that he has "no concerns about the complaint and will be responding to the ethics committee." Ziegler notes Blazer "set in train the investigation that led to the suspension of fellow FIFA members JACK WARNER and MOHAMED BIN HAMMAM on bribery charges" (PA, 6/15).

: In London, Heidi Blake reports MUHAMMAD GADDAFI, the eldest son of Libya leader MUAMMAR GADDAFI, "has been officially allocated hundreds of Olympic tickets to" the '12 London Games. The Libyan regime has "successfully requested close to 1,000 tickets to events at the London Olympics and the country's attendance at the Games is being co-ordinated by the Gaddafi family." The Libyan Olympic Committee is "headed by Muhammad Gaddafi and the Government now fears a major diplomatic embarrassment over the attendance of regime figures." LOCOG is "obliged to sell Libya tickets," but officials are "understood to be preparing to make representations to the IOC to ban the dictator if he has not been deposed by next year" (London TELEGRAPH, 6/15).

HEAT BEAT: MICHAEL ROSENBERG, Exec Producer of the forthcoming sports comedy film "BALLERS" featuring Heat F LEBRON JAMES, said the film is "not shooting this summer." He added that the script is "still being developed ... in the wake of Miami's NBA Finals loss." James has been attached to the film since September '09, and after an "initial yearlong delay to accommodate his summer 2010 free agency," production had been "pushed to next month." The film "follows five guys who attend the LeBron James Adult Basketball Camp in Las Vegas, but end up dragging the phenom into their myriad life issues" (, 6/14)....ALLISON MATHIS, Heat F CHRIS BOSH's ex-girlfriend and mother of his child, Monday filed a lawsuit against Bosh, alleging that he "prevented her from appearing on the reality show 'BASKETBALL WIVES.'" The lawsuit filed in Orange County (Fla.) Circuit Court claims Bosh "'intentionally, knowingly, maliciously and without justification interfered' in her employment, prompting the television show's production company to fire her." In early May, Bosh "sued Mathis and Shed Media, the show's production company, alleging they were trying to exploit her relationship with Bosh for 'commercial gain'" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 6/15)....Heat G DWYANE WADE penned a piece for NEWSWEEK as part of the magazine's "My Turn" feature. Wade writes under the subheader, "Recently Awarded Full Custody Of My Kids, I Now Know What Winning Really Means" (NEWSWEEK, 6/13 & 6/20 issue).

CHARITY STRIPE: MLB players yesterday presented $150,000 in grants from the MLB Players Trust to five Volunteers of America programs, which received grants ranging in size from $20,000-50,000 (MLBPA)...Jaguars C BRAD MEESTER, DE AARON KAMPMAN and LB RUSSELL ALLEN all "saw poverty-stricken conditions during visits to Third World Countries" this offseason. Meester "recently went to Haiti with a group sponsored by the KORE Foundation." Kampman and Allen "went to El Salvador in February under the auspices of Compassion International" (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 6/15)....This morning’s edition of NBC’s “Today” featured co-host AL ROKER in Houston donating merchandise to Casa de Esperanza, which for 29 years has provided a safe place for more than 3,000 infants and young children in crisis. Rockets G KYLE LOWRY donated 200 pairs of sneakers and 1,000 Rockets tickets for next season, with Lowry noting Rockets Owner LES ALEXANDER “has been giving back to this charity since 1995.” Astros manager BRAD MILLS, P MARK MELANCON and C J.R. TOWLES donated $5,000 and 1,000 Astros tickets (“Today,” NBC, 6/15).

: THE STREET’s Dan Freed reported Dolphins Owner STEPHEN ROSS is “running out of time in his bid to invest in struggling banks and may soon have to return $1.1 billion he raised for the purpose via an investment vehicle called SJB Escrow Corp.” Ross and other top execs at his Related Cos. “attracted the money from big name hedge fund investors” in February ’10, and a company official said that SJB Escrow “must return the money in August if it doesn’t make an investment” (, 6/14)....Former President GEORGE W. BUSH will throw out the first pitch before the opening game of the College World Series on Saturday, the event’s first year in TD Ameritrade Park (Omaha WORLD-HERALD, 6/14)….The Univ. of South Florida’s new soccer stadium, opening in August, “will carry the name” of former Tampa Bay Rowdies Owner CORNELIA CORBETT, who along with her husband, RICHARD, donated $1.5M to the USF athletics department (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 6/14)….Wizards G JOHN WALL was spotted Monday night having dinner with team Owner TED LEONSIS and President ERNIE GRUNFELD at Cava Mezze near DC (WASHINGTON POST, 6/15).