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Volume 24 No. 160

People and Pop Culture

In our continuing series, SportsBusiness Daily/SportsBusiness Journal asks top sports personalities for their thoughts, ideas, aspirations and likes. Today, WTA CMO ANDREW WALKER.

What I like in an insight: Relationships are critical to success. (You can never have enough business friends!)

An influential person in my career: LARRY SCOTT.

An out-of-the-box idea: An idea doesn't need to be "out of the box" to be great.

A timeless idea: It's all about the money.

A business deal: Island of Manhattan for $24 of beads.

A sports facility: Beijing Olympic Park National Tennis Center.

A sports event: U.S. Open tennis.

A strategy: Be more prepared and work harder than everyone around you.

A hire: "Doers," not "talkers."

A brand: Red Bull.

A trend: Mobile consumption.

An innovation: Cameras in tennis balls.

A pro league or team business initiative: Liberal athlete social media policies to drive share of voice.

A story that bears watching: Instability in global financial systems; also anything related to PARIS HILTON.

An invention I wish I had thought of: The Clapper, along with Chia Pet and the Fish Tie, and that knife that can cut through tomatoes and stainless steel.

A fantasy job: Commissioner of professional tennis.

What I like about my job: Marketing the best female athletes on the planet.

Sports: Always unpredictable and usually fun.

Sports business: So much opportunity to innovate and create.

Sports media: Hard working and underappreciated.

Sports technology: Ability to enhance the fan experience.

Competing: Brings out your true character, and helps fight obesity.

The future of sports business: Convergence with entertainment.

Sports fans: Irresistibly optimistic, and strange liking for overprocessed, cheap meat products.

What I would like to change: Earth's temperature -- slightly cooler so we aren't all living underwater.

Change in what I do: Improve distance on Aerobie throw.

See: A talking platypus slapping a stuffed hedgehog with a steaming sack of hot nickels.

See more of in sports: Bitter rivalries.

See more of in sports business: Sales and marketing collaboration within and across sports.

See less of in sports: Canned interviews.

See less of in sports business: Splitting the difference.

See different: Less e-mail, more old-fashioned talking.

Eliminate: Fudge.

What I don't like in general: Successful ventriloquists and their "dolls."

Pet peeve: Broadway show tune whistlers.

In sports: Cheating.

In business: Lack of integrity.

About sports fans: Megaphone voices.

That would surprise those who know me: Yes, I do love rosé wine, even out of season.

Above all else: Gold.

About myself: My own jokes.


Players: All women's professional tennis players.

Team: Knicks.

Cities: New York City and London.

Possessions: Family photos, and gold.

Mementoes: Anything that someone in my family has made I hoard.

Time of year: Spring, because everything is possible!

Music: French rap.

Books: Someone reading this column, please send me a good book as I stopped reading years ago.

Magazine: The New Yorker.

Web sites:, of course! Also

Gadget: Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc.

IPad app: I only use Sony Ericsson and Sony.

Chore: Washing dishes.

Hobby: Drying dishes.

Trips: Anywhere in Lithuania, and anywhere in California.

Movie: "The 400 Blows."

TV: "Curb Your Enthusiasm."

Concerts: U2.


Food: Toro.

Dessert: Molten lava cake (never out of style).

Drink: Double espresso, thrice daily.

Vacation spots: Mayan Riviera and Big Sur.

Car: Porsche 911. There is no substitute.

Singer: MC SOLAAR.

Quote: "The very purpose of our life is to seek happiness" -- DALAI LAMA.

THE DAILY each Friday offers our take on the performances over the past week of people and entities in sports business. Here are this week's newsmakers:

WINTIM FINCHEM -- The PGA Tour Commissioner inks new nine-year agreements with CBS and NBC, ensuring wide visibility on broadcast TV through ’21. The deals line up with the conclusion of the Tour's agreement with Golf Channel, potentially leaving the organization poised for a big payday when the time comes to re-up. With TIGER WOODS slated to return for the Open and TV rights deals secured for the next decade, momentum again seems to be turning in the Tour's favor.

LOSE: DOLPHINS -- The team comes under fire for its decision to honor the ’08 Univ. of Florida national championship team during a home game against the Broncos next month, instead of the nearby Miami Hurricanes. Faced with the possibility of not selling out their first regular-season game in 13 years, some call the Dolphins' promotion a misguided marketing ploy to fill Sun Life Stadium. Others go as far as to say it encourages fans to root for the opposing team with former UF QB TIM TEBOW now suiting up for the Broncos.

DRAWWILPONS -- Did the Mets cut ties with DAVID EINHORN just in time? Despite losses that could reach $70M this season, Mets ownership decided it wasn't willing to accept the many conditions that the hedge fund manager sought in exchange for his $200M investment. In the near future, not having Einhorn's pockets could prevent the Wilpons from keeping JOSE REYES at Citi Field. But their bold decision does indicate that the Mets feel safe (enough) in their current financial state to weather the storm for a little longer and wait for less-intrusive minority investment.

The Falcons Thursday announced that RICH MCKAY has been promoted to President & CEO. McKay, who was previously President, joined the team in '03 (, 9/1)....The Indiana State Univ. Foundation has hired NATE GREEN as Exec Dir of the Sycamore Athletic Foundation and DARRIN BARTON as Dir of Development for Athletics (ISU)....The Univ. of Illinois-Chicago athletic department has hired KATIE KOZAK as Assistant Dir of Development & Special Events and CASIE SULLIVAN as Assistant Dir of Marketing & Game Operations (UIC)....TVG host and racing analyst KEN RUDOLPH is leaving the horse racing network to join CBS affiliates KMAX and KOBR in Sacramento (, 9/1)....The Islanders named JEREMY KAISER Sales Exec (THE DAILY).

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

YAHOO SPORTS’ Maggie Hendricks reported Las Vegas-based Culinary Union's Local 226 “sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission, urging them to investigate” UFC Owner Zuffa LLC “for anti-trust violations.” The letter said that Zuffa “has risen to the top of the MMA marketplace by buying up entities like PRIDE, World Extreme Cagefighting and Strikeforce.” Union officials estimate that Zuffa “controls 80-90 percent of the MMA market, and because of that power, they can wield power over their fighters.” The letter “is concluded by urging the FTC to look into Zuffa's practices” (, 9/1).

ON COURSE: Excel Sports Management has signed 18-year-old golfer DANIELLE KANG, the first new golf client MARK STEINBERG has inked since joining the firm as a full partner several weeks ago. Steinberg, who also serves as TIGER WOODS’ agent, said, “Danielle is a tremendous talent whose maturity is underscored by her impressive work ethic and unwavering focus. She is without question an up and comer in professional golf, and we are thrilled to welcome her to Excel’s growing family.” Kang won the U.S. Amateur in '10 and '11, the first woman to win back-to-back championships in 15 years (Liz Mullen, SportsBusiness Journal).

SHARING HIS THOUGHTS: Patriots Owner ROBERT KRAFT discussed “a wide range of topics" with the BOSTON GLOBE's Greg Bedard, including his role in the NFL labor talks while his wife, MYRA, was dying from cancer. Kraft said, "I spent 95 percent of my time for 4 1/2 months (with Myra). In some ways, it got me out because I was really ... I’ve never been through something [like] that. But there were times I was sitting and listening to stuff and I did say, ‘This is ridiculous. I’m moving on.’ But I went home a lot. I used to fly back.” Bedard asks, “Now that she’s been gone and you’ve had a lot of time to think, are there any moments where you regret leaving her to take part in the talks?” Kraft: “No. Because I always ... got her permission.” He added, “I think that she would be very happy -- and I actually had a chance to tell her, even though she passed before -- that a deal would be done. And that made her happy. Because we had planned on her enjoying the season” (BOSTON GLOBE, 9/2).

NAMES: In St. Louis, Rick Hummel reports the MLB Cardinals organization has “turned its attention to getting longtime" radio announcer MIKE SHANNON into the Baseball HOF. The "Like Mike" campaign, which celebrates Shannon's 40 years in the booth, "is centered on including Shannon's name on the ballot as one of the 10 nominees for the Frick award, the winner of which will be announced in December at baseball's winter meetings in Dallas.” The HOF is “conducting fan balloting on its Facebook page to select three of the 10 nominees for the 2012 award" (, 9/1)....Late Univ. of Miami booster MARY HECHT has donated $4.2M to the school’s athletic program. The donation comes 30 years after Hecht passed away (Univ. of Miami)....The soon-to-be-released “MONEYBALL” will be shown at the Tokyo International Film Festival on Oct. 30 (, 9/2)....NHL Rangers C BRAD RICHARDS “will attend the Tommy Hilfiger show on Sept. 11” at Lincoln Center during N.Y. Fashion Week (N.Y. POST, 9/2)....Jets RB LADAINIAN TOMLINSON placed his 5 ½ bath, 9,564-square-foot home in San Diego on the market for $5.2M (, 8/31).