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Volume 24 No. 156

People and Pop Culture

Hirshland will oversee marketing,
broadcasting at USGA
SARAH HIRSHLAND is leaving her L.A. post at Wasserman Media Group to run business affairs for the USGA. As USGA Senior Managing Dir of Business Affairs, Hirshland will oversee accounting, broadcasting, human resources, IT, marketing and membership departments. She will begin her new job in early October. Hirshland was Senior VP/Strategic Business Development at WMG, where she had also worked in the agency’s consulting division and led sponsorship strategy on the AmEx, Nationwide, Nokia, Wachovia and Scotts accounts. Hirshland came aboard at Wasserman in June ‘07 when WMG acquired OnSport, where Hirshland had worked in consulting since ‘97. Hirshland’s hiring, along with last week’s news that JOE GOODE is leaving Bank of America to join the USGA as Managing Dir of Communications, represents a front office restructuring by Exec Dir MIKE DAVIS. His leadership team of Senior Managing Dirs now includes Hirshland, JOHN BODENHAMER (rules, competition), MIKE BUTZ (Open championships and association relations) and RAND JERRIS (public services). Davis took over as Exec Dir in March, replacing DAVID FAY.

The Pistons yesterday formally announced that DENNIS MANNION has accepted the position of Pistons and Palace Sports & Entertainment President. Mannion "takes the reins this week as head of sales, marketing and finance operations" for the team, Palace of Auburn Hills and DTE Energy Music Theatre, along with the Meadow Brook Music Festival (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 9/6). Mannion's sports career has spanned "29 seasons working in four major professional sports," most recently as Dodgers President from '07-10. He also worked for the Ravens from '99-'07, Ascent Sports -- which owned the Nuggets and Avalanche -- from '97-99 and the Phillies from '82-97 (AP, 9/6).

SHUFFLING THE LINEUP: Under Armour has realigned its senior exec team with the news that WAYNE MARINO is retiring as COO. Marino will transition his responsibilities over the next six months, and will remain on the Under Armour exec team. Under Armour has promoted Exec VP/Product KIP FULKS to succeed Marino as COO. In addition, Under Armour named BOD member CHIP ADAMS to the newly created role of Chief Performance Officer and promoted ADAM PEAKE to Senior VP/U.S. Sales (Under Armour).

TALKING BASEBALL: Phillies Assistant GM CHUCK LAMAR, who oversaw the operation of the minor league system, has "tendered his resignation." The Phillies "plan to fill LaMar's role," though GM RUBEN AMARO JR. said that he "has yet to decide on whether to keep the current structure of the front office in place" (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 9/7)....The Marlins have hired MARTY SCOTT as VP/Player Development and promoted Scouting Dir STAN MEEK to VP/Scouting. The Marlins have shifted VP/Scouting & Player Development JIM FLEMING to Special Assistant to President of Baseball Operations LARRY BEINFEST, who said that the moves "were not an indictment of Fleming's work" (, 9/6).

EXECS: Disney Consumer Products Chair ANDREW MOONEY yesterday revealed that he "will resign as head of Disney's small but fast-growing consumer products business to pursue a leadership role with another organization and on corporate boards." Mooney joined Walt Disney Co. in '99 "after a couple of decades with Nike" (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 9/7)....The Lightning named Wild VP/Customer Sales & Service JAMIE SPENCER Exec VP/Sales (Lightning)....T'Wolves Assistant GM & Dir of Player Personnel TONY RONZONE "has left the organization after one season" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 9/3)....CVC has appointed co-Founder DONALD MACKENZIE as Chair of F1 holding company Delta Topco (London TELEGRAPH, 9/5)....Wyndham Vacation Ownership named former ESPN/ABC Sports Senior Dir of Communications GEORGE MCNEILLY Dir of Corporate Communications, effective immediately (Wyndham)....Former Redskins General Counsel & COO DAVID DONOVAN has rejoined law firm WilmerHale's DC office (WilmerHale).

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In DC, Mark Giannotto reports Virginia Tech football coach FRANK BEAMER's new four-year contract extension calls for him to serve as a special assistant to the AD "for eight years after retiring as coach, at an annual salary of $250,000." His duties "will involve fundraising and public appearances." The extension, effective Jan. 1, 2013, calls for Beamer "to earn a base salary of about $285,000, a figure that will increase" by 5% every season. There also is a “yearly retention incentive of $2,020,672 that will increase by $100,000 following the conclusion of each year of the contract.” That puts Beamer’s “guaranteed income at just more than $2.3 million for 2013, not including postseason bonuses and various other incentives tied to the athletic department’s contract with Nike” (WASHINGTON POST, 9/7).

HOOP DREAMS: Hornets coach MONTY WILLIAMS spent the past week “building houses and conducting youth basketball camps in South Africa” as part of the NBA's Basketball Without Borders program. Williams said, “I just came to serve. The NBA does a pretty good job of putting you in a position where you can help other people. ... We don’t have nothing going on right now because of our work situation, so to me it was an easy decision to make to participate in the Basketball Without Borders program” (New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE, 9/6).

LEADING LADY: In Jacksonville, Laura Jane Pittman profiles Orender Unlimited LLC CEO DONNA ORENDER, whose past experiences as WNBA President and PGA Tour Senior VP/Strategic Development, among others, "allow her to convey the importance of life lessons that can be transferred through team play and competition, with a special focus on women and girls.” PGA Tour Golf Course Properties President and Exec VP/Championship Management DAVID PILLSBURY said, “Donna is incredibly experience and a capable visionary leader who truly understands women in sports. She has been able to extrapolate her own experience across multiple platforms for their overall benefit” (JACKSONVILLE BUSINESS JOURNAL, 9/2 issue).

HONOR ROLL: The Central Florida Sports Commission has named Magic Director of Brand Management STEPHANIE MELLENBERNDT one of three finalists for the Employee of the Year award, to be announced during the PNC Bank Sportys awards on Sept. 24 (, 9/6)....Former Notre Dame football coach and current ESPN analyst LOU HOLTZ and his wife, BETH, will serve as ND’s first “ambassadors for research.” The school said that the Holtzes "will bring awareness to the university’s mission to pursue research that aims to heal and otherwise improve the world” (South Bend TRIBUNE, 9/7)....The USPS announced Baseball HOFer TED WILLIAMS as the fourth and final former baseball player to appear on a new set of stamps issued next summer, joining WILLIE STARGELL, JOE DIMAGGIO and LARRY DOBY (THE DAILY).

NAMES: Falcons Owner ARTHUR BLANK and his wife, STEPHANIE, are "separating after 16 years of marriage." Blank's foundation said the separation will have "no impact” on his business interests (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 9/3)....Sacramento Mayor KEVIN JOHNSON and former DC schools Chancellor MICHELLE RHEE “were married over the weekend in a private ceremony in Tennessee (AP, 9/6)....Deutsche Bank Americas CEO SETH WAUGH threw out the first pitch last Friday at Fenway Park before the Rangers-Red Sox game (THE DAILY)....PETRA ECCLESTONE, daughter of F1 Management Chair BERNIE ECCLESTONE, was featured on the cover of the N.Y. Times' Sunday Styles section. She “paid a reported $85 million in cash" for a mansion in the Holmby Hills neighborhood of L.A. With a listing price of $150M, it was "one of the most expensive homes in the country” (N.Y. TIMES, 9/4)....Heat F LEBRON JAMES and Lakers G KOBE BRYANT last week in Manhattan ate lunch “fit for an athlete at Serafina on 61st and Madison.” James dined with his girlfriend, SAVANNAH BRINSON, while Bryant dined separately with his wife, VANESSA, and their kids (N.Y. POST, 9/5)....LINDA PIZZUTI HENRY, wife of Red Sox Owner JOHN HENRY, is teaming with model LINDSAY BUCHHOLZ at Saks Fifth Avenue for the annual “From Fenway to the Runway” fashion show, which takes place Sept. 15 (BOSTON GLOBE, 9/7).

IN MEMORY: MLS FC Dallas announced that play-by-play announcer BOBBY RHINE “died Monday night of an apparent heart attack while vacationing with his family in Florida.”’s Buzz Carrick wrote there is “no person who has done more as a player and front-office employee” for FC Dallas than Rhine. After retiring as a player in '08, Rhine moved into the club's front office as Manager of Community Development, as well as the analyst for FC Dallas matches. This season he “moved into the play-by-play roll” (, 9/6)….Former Pirates President MALCOLM “MAC” PRINE died in hospice yesterday morning at the age of 83 (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 9/7).