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Volume 24 No. 113

People and Pop Culture

Anheuser-Busch VP/Media, Sports & Entertainment Marketing MARK WRIGHT is leaving for a top job at AT&T in Dallas, in which he will head the telecom giant’s $2B annual media budget. Sources said Wright had been mulling the offer through Heidrick & Struggles for some time and gave notice at A-B on Friday. Wright's resignation is effective July 15. He joined A-B in '91. According to an e-mail sent out yesterday within A-B by VP/Marketing PAUL CHIBE, Wright "played an integral role in the success of the in-house media and sponsorship division." No decision has been made on whether a successor would come from inside or outside the brewery. "We will be evaluating candidates to fill this role in leading one of the most-recognized media operations among all U.S. consumer product companies," the e-mail read. "We thank Mark for his many contributions and dedication to Anheuser-Busch over the years. We wish him and his family success and happiness in their new endeavor." Wright's new title at AT&T is unclear, as is how much direct influence he will have on AT&T's extensive sponsorship portfolio. However, AT&T Senior VP/Sponsorships & Internal Communications GAIL TORREANO recently announced her retirement. Wright’s resignation leaves Senior Dir of Sports Marketing BRAD BROWN as the top sports exec within A-B domestically, although, as always, A-B media and marketing execs will have plenty of sway over sports marketing decisions. Wright’s resignation is the latest in a series of departures by A-B marketing and sports marketing execs. KEITH LEVY, who headed U.S. marketing, left early this year.

Fox Networks Group promoted CLAUDIA TERAN to Exec VP/Business & Legal Affairs and Deputy General Counsel and ADAM REISS to Senior VP/Corporate Transactions & Distribution. The company also promoted ANNA TRAN REYNA to Fox Cable Networks Senior VP/Business & Legal Affairs for Digital Media and LEANNA EINBINDER to Fox Cable Networks Senior VP/Business & Legal Affairs (Fox Networks Group)....Sources said that the Warriors will hire PEAK Surgical co-Founder and Jennerex Biotherepeuticals Exec VP MARTY GLICK as CFO (, 6/27)....The Flames named Bruins Dir of Pro and Collegiate Scouting JOHN WEISBROD Assistant GM/Player Personnel (Flames)....The Thoroughbred Owners of California named LOU RAFFETTO President, effective July 1. Raffetto served as National Steeplechase Association CEO from '08-10 (, 6/26)....The MLL Ohio Machine named MATTHEW HASTINGS Dir of Ticket Sales (THE DAILY).

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Rangers LW SEAN AVERY last month recorded a video for the Marriage Equality Act, and he "would like the NHL to become involved in issues of social justice, beginning with this one." Avery said it "would be meaningful" for NHL Commissioner GARY BETTMAN and the BOG "to open themselves up for conversation about this issue." He added, "It would be great for the NHL to take the lead among professional sports leagues in terms of social equality and justice and be out front and progressive regarding issues like this" (N.Y. POST, 6/28).

FULL SPEED AHEAD: In Charlotte, Joe Marusak reports the "owners of a more than century-old farm have given up their legal fight" against NASCAR driver MICHAEL MCDOWELL's planned go-kart track in Mooresville, N.C., after McDowell's DryLake Entertainment "agreed to pay them $14,000 to settle the case." The Mooresville Board of Commissioners "voted unanimously on June 20 to agree to the settlement." Town attorney STEVE GAMBILL said that Mooresville "isn't paying anything as part of the agreement" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 6/28).

Rapids presented Obama with a No. 10 jersey
during a ceremony at the White House
PRESIDENTIAL SEAL: PRESIDENT OBAMA honored the Colorado Rapids yesterday at the White House for winning last year's MLS Cup. The Rapids, including team Owner STAN KROENKE, presented Obama with a No. 10 jersey, and after the ceremony the players "changed into team gear and led a clinic on the South Lawn for children from military families" (, 6/26).

NAMES: Univ. of Kentucky men's basketball coach JOHN CALIPARI has agreed to a contract extension worth at least $36.5M "over the next eight years." The new contract calls for Calipari to receive a "base salary of $400,000 for the next eight seasons and an additional $3.4 million a year in media obligations and endorsements." Calipari also can "earn retention bonuses" of up to $6.1M if he stays at UK through '19 (Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL, 6/28)....Patriots LB BRANDON SPIKES has left agent TERRY WATSON for Rosenhaus Sports (, 6/27)....ANTHONY CLIFF has filed a civil complaint in Clark County District Court alleging that boxer FLOYD MAYWEATHER "ordered three of his body guards to assault him." Cliff is asking for "more than $10,000 in damages" (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 6/28)....Baseball HOFer WADE BOGGS plays a role in "SWAMP SHARK," a Syfy original movie debuting Saturday night. In the film, Boggs' character "helps an evil sheriff cover up the accidental unleashing of a gigantic man-eating shark into the Louisiana bayou" (, 6/27)....The ECHL yesterday awarded its Excellence for Marketing award to the Cincinnati Cyclones. The league also announced Alaska Aces announcer JOSH BOGORAD as Broadcaster of the Year for '10-11 (THE DAILY).