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Volume 24 No. 116

People and Pop Culture

The Pac-12 yesterday announced that it has named veteran media exec BILL CELLA Chief Revenue Officer for Pac-12 Enterprises. Cella will be based in N.Y., but will spend considerable time in S.F. as the company prepares for the launch of its TV and digital networks in late summer. Cella will design and implement long-term strategies and oversee all revenue generation for Pac-12 Enterprises. Cella spearheaded MAGNA Global before founding his own media sales representation company, The Cella Group, in '08 (Pac-12). In N.Y., Stuart Elliott noted Cella is “well known in the world of media.” Pac-12 Enterprises President GARY STEVENSON said, “For what we are trying to accomplish, he is a perfect choice for us." He added, "Bill is one of those guys in the advertising industry, in the media industry, everyone knows.” Cella “is closing” The Cella Group upon starting his new position. He said the Pac-12 “got my attention” and added all of the conference's schools "have great brands" (, 1/11). Stevenson said, “Bill has sold a heck of a lot of college football and he has bought a heck of a lot of it” (, 1/11).

Patriots Owner ROBERT KRAFT and Jets Owner WOODY JOHNSON, two of the more prominent NFL team owners, made separate appearances this morning on non-sports shows. Kraft was on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” via satellite, talking about his role in ending the lockout last summer. He said, “We're privileged that we were able to work as a group to get a 10-year labor deal. It's unheard of, and we promised the leader of the union (NFLPA Exec Dir DEMAURICE SMITH), who worked so closely with Commissioner (ROGER) GOODELL, that if we could get a 10-year deal with no opt-outs we would go out and make sure we created an environment where the players would be the biggest beneficiaries. We were able to consummate television deals for nine years with all the major networks.” Kraft added, “It's really a lesson for America that we were able to sit down and have a dialogue and mutual respect. I just relate it to what's going on in Washington now, where you know it's too much about the red team or the blue team and not enough about the red, white and blue team. We're living in an environment where the vitriol and the personal attacks, we're not putting America first and the country is getting hurt, and it's very disturbing to me to see that. The NFL is a good example of when you have cooperation on both sides what can happen. I think it's so important to America and we know for the next decade we have labor peace, we have a strong business model and all sides benefit and we have to see that happen in Washington” (“Squawk Box,” CNBC, 1/12).

BREAKING IN A NEW MITT: Johnson was introduced on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” by co-host Mika Brzezinski first as a “MITT ROMNEY supporter,” then the owner of the Jets. Johnson said of Romney winning the New Hampshire primary Tuesday night, “That’s kind of unprecedented for a non-incumbent to do what he did and especially kind of going away from the pack, it’s very impressive.” Johnson said he likes Romney’s “demeanor” and is “increasingly impressed by the way he handles himself and his staff.” Meanwhile, Johnson said he has “never heard” Jets QB MARK SANCHEZ described as “lazy” and that he has “regressed,” as several anonymous teammates have said recently. Johnson: “He’s the first guy in the building every morning and the last guy to leave. … He’s an NFL quarterback. I mean, that’s what you expect from an NFL quarterback.” Johnson emphatically stated that he is not rooting for the Giants this weekend in their playoff game against the Packers, stating, “We’re rooting for ourselves. We got a lot of work to do” (“Morning Joe,” MSNBC, 1/12).

In our continuing series, SportsBusiness Daily/SportsBusiness Journal asks top sports personalities for their thoughts, ideas, aspirations and likes. Today, Daktronics National Sales Manager JAY PARKER.

What I Like...

An insight: You can't provide the best solution to a customer's challenge without first truly understanding their needs.

An influential person in my career: Dr. AL KURTENBACH, co-founder of Daktronics. He had the vision, saw the need and created an industry leader around serving customers.

An out-of-the-box idea: Need-based solutions created by Apple with their family of products. Staying connected for business and personal needs via social communications.

A timeless idea: Take nothing and no one for granted.

A sports facility: Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Daktronics' first indoor "Super System" installation with a uniquely designed center-hung display that has been replicated throughout our industry.

A sports event: March Madness captures the country and dominates the sports pages. There are always David vs. Goliath matchups, buzzer-beater games and Cinderella stories.

A strategy: Relationships sell.

A hire
: The recent hire of URBAN MEYER. Can this move be a game-changer for the Ohio State University football program and the rest of the Big Ten Conference?

A brand: Nike and Under Armour.

A trend: Information on demand, at our fingertips. Fans want scores, statistics and video on demand. Mobile devices, LED, IPTV and control technologies make that possible.

An innovation: Smartphones. The power in the hand-held device is amazing and the future is unlimited. How will these devices influence the industry in the next 10 years?

A story that bears watching: The NBA (post-lockout).

An idea or invention I wish I had thought of: Performance-enhancing clothing (Under Armour/Nike).

A fantasy job
: A successful football coach.

What I Like About...

My job: I am a true sports fan. I enjoy all levels of sport. My job allows me to stay very connected to the sports industry and the sports page.

Sports: It's a reflection of real life: hard work, dedication, teamwork, discipline, accountability.

Sports business: It's always changing. Great companies continue to adapt and deliver new products and services to the market.

Sports media: The ability to stay in touch. Getting industry news almost immediately. Staying on top of specific developments that are important to our customers.

Sports technology: The integration of LED video, digital signage, scoring, stats, IPTV and control technologies in a truly integrated system, and the ability to paint or brand an entire facility with the touch of a button.

Competing: Makes you wake up and stay motivated.

Sports fans: Their passion and loyalty to their teams.

What I Would Like To...

Change in what I do: Ability to get away for some good quality quiet time.

See: The economy getting out of the slump it is in. We need people to get back to work and the economy growing again.

See more of in sports: Fans getting more access to the athletes and the ability of the family of four to afford attending events on a regular basis.

See more of in sports business: Another Olympic Games on U.S. soil.

See less of in sports: Tattoos, long hair and trash talking. Athletes are role models for the youth of today and need to set good examples.

See less of in sports business: Colleges in the headlines for rules violations. Let's all play by the rules ... no one is above the rules.

See different: Purchase decisions based on price alone.

What I Don't Like....

In general: I believe in the Golden Rule, but too many people believe it means "He who has the gold makes the rules."
Pet peeve: Excessive touchdown celebrations. Act like you've been there before.

In sports: Free agency. I grew up where players stayed with the same team for many years. I miss player and fan loyalty. I like fantasy sports, but where did the loyalty to the team go?

In business: Politics. There is too much of it in the world today. It often gets in the way of making sound business decisions.

About sports fans
: I love team loyalty, but all need to be respectful of visiting teams and their fans. Everyone should have fun at sporting events.

What I Like...

People: People who are class acts. People who are humble, reliable and dependable.

That would surprise those who know me: I am an "American Idol" fan. I cannot sing, but I really like professional karaoke.

Above all else: Family and friends are most important.

About myself: I strive for work-life balance and work hard to juggle the busy business world and still have time for my family.

Heroes: BEAR BRYANT, BUD GRANT, TOM LANDRY: Quality coaches who survived the test of time.


Teams: South Dakota State University Jackrabbits, and all teams and properties that have Daktronics equipment.

Cities: Denver, San Diego, Phoenix and Miami.

Possession: My boat. I love to be on the water on a hot sunny summer day.

Memento: Framed photo from opening night for the Minnesota Wild given to me by a couple very special friends.

Time of year: Fall, because the weather gets cooler and football season kicks off.

Music: '80s music and country.

Books: "Control Your Destiny or Someone Else Will" and "How to Be Like Coach Wooden."

Authors: I follow JEFFREY GITOMER. He writes great selling books and articles.

: Sports Illustrated, SportsBusiness Journal.


Gadgets: iPad and iPhone, amazing technology.

iPad apps: Documents To Go, Keynote, TripIt.

Chores: Yardwork. Nice to get outside and enjoy the day.

: Boating, watching my children's events

Trips: Trips with family and friends watching my son play college football.

Movies: "The Bourne Identity."

TV: "SportsCenter" and "Suits."



Food: A great hamburger.

Dessert: Flaming bananas Foster. Wow, if done right, [it] is to die for!

Drink: A cold beer, especially at a great game or on a hot summer day.

Scent: The smell of great food.

Vacation spots: Hawaii and Huntington Beach, Calif.

Cars: Chevy Suburban, the all-purpose machine for living in the upper Midwest.

Singers: Garth Brooks and Tim McGraw.

: "Hard work beats talent if talent doesn't work hard," and "You can't expect change if you keep doing the same thing."

The Sabres named Harlem Globetrotters VP/Marketing BRENT ROSSI VP/Brand Strategy & Marketing (Sabres)....Comcast SportsNet Chicago promoted National Sales Manager WALTER CADE to General Sales Manager, replacing PHIL BEDELLA, who was recently promoted to VP & GM (CSN Chicago)....Learfield Sports named ANN BRETT GILLESPIE STRICKLAND GM for Idaho Vandals Sports Properties, GREG HILT Business Development Manager for Northwestern Sports Properties, PATRICK PURCELL-JONES Account Exec for San Jose State's Spartan Sports Properties and RONNIE CHERRY Account Exec for Texas Tech's Red Raider Sports Properties (Learfield)....The D'Backs promoted SEAN MAGUIRE to Senior Dir of Security, GREG GREEN to Senior Manager of Security and TREVOR HARVEY to Season Tickets Account Exec (THE DAILY)....USGA Exec Dir MIKE DAVIS has been named Chair of the World Golf Foundation's BOD for '12, succeeding European Tour CEO GEORGE O'GRADY (PGA Tour)....Infineon Raceway promoted DIANA BRENNAN to Dir of Media & Community Relations (, 1/10).....NewTek named CARTER HOLLAND Exec VP/Worldwide Marketing. He previously worked for Avid Technology (NewTek).

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

The AP's Howard Fendrich cited a source as saying that KELLY CLARKSON will "sing the national anthem before" Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis on Feb. 5. MIRANDA LAMBERT and BLAKE SHELTON are slated to sing "America the Beautiful" as part of the pregame festivities (AP, 1/11).

SHARING IS CARING: Bruins C MARC SAVARD, who is "out for the season with post-concussion syndrome, is showing a good time to pediatric patients who are also suffering from head trauma." He "purchased a luxe suite at the TD Garden for every Bruins home game from now through the end of the 2012-14 season and will turn it over to patients from Children's Hospital Boston." Each suite will be "stocked with treats and will get a visit from mascot Blades and the Bruins Ice Girls" (BOSTON HERALD, 1/12).

LASTING HONOR: The Fritz Pollard Alliance has "created the PAUL J. TAGLIABUE Award of Excellence in honor of the former NFL commissioner." The award "goes to a league or team executive who demonstrates the integrity and leadership Tagliabue exhibited in career development opportunities for minority candidates and advocacy for diversity on the league and club level." The award will be presented during Super Bowl week next month (AP, 1/11).

GET WELL SOON: Former Penn State AD TIM CURLEY, who has been "charged with perjury in connection with the" JERRY SANDUSKY scandal, had a "malignant cancerous tumor removed from one of his lungs, but did not want to disclose his health issues while he battled his legal problems." His wife, MELINDA, released a statement yesterday "thanking her husband's supporters." She said in part, "A malignant cancerous tumor was discovered, and one-half of Tim's lung was removed. He has not required chemotherapy or radiation. However, doctors continue to monitor his condition" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 1/12).

NAMES: A $1M gift to Kent State Univ.'s basketball and golf programs, which "was to result in naming the basketball court for donor JASON COPE, was withdrawn after the student newspaper began questioning Cope's activities as a broker 12 years ago" (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 1/11)....NEAL AURICCHIO, a Rangers fan who was "jumped and beaten by Philadelphia Flyers fans" after the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic will be the guest of honor at an upcoming Rangers game. The team "reached out to Auricchio," who will be given tickets to the Rangers' home game against the Devils on Feb. 27. He will also meet the team in the locker room following the game (, 1/12)....Marlins LF LOGAN MORRISON appeared yesterday at the Riveria Beach, Fla., Parent Child Center and gave out 10 scholarships for local children to attend his baseball camp this weekend. Morrison hosted a charity camp last January to raise money for the American Lung Association, and his second annual camp will be held this weekend at the Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter. CurrentTV's KEITH OLBERMANN made a $2,500 donation to the kids (, 1/11)....Actors MORGAN FREEMAN and DON CHEADLE, along with singer SMOKEY ROBINSON will “tee it up” next week at the $5.6M Humana Challenge Pro-Am PGA Tournament in La Quinta, Calif. Other participants include actors CRAIG NELSON, BILLY CRUDUP and LUCAS BLACK, musicians MICHAEL BOLTON and ALICE COOPER, and Basketball HOFer JULIUS ERVING (, 1/12).

Have you weighed in on the SPORTS BUSINESS AWARDS yet?
Only 2 days remain and we still want to hear from you.
Submit your entry today. The deadline is tomorrow.
This year’s honorees will come from the categories of:

  • Sports Team
  • Sports League
  • Sports Event
  • Sports Executive
  • Athletic Director
  • Sports Media
  • Sports Television
  • Digital Sports Media
  • Talent Representation and Management
  • Corporate Consulting, Marketing and Client Services
  • Property Consulting, Sales and Client Services
  • Sports Event and Experiential Marketing
  • Sports Sponsor
  • Sports Facility
  • Sports Technology

To submit an entry, go to