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Volume 24 No. 160

People and Pop Culture

NHLPA Exec Dir DONALD FEHR tops the Globe and Mail’s Power 50 for '12 list "because of the significance accorded negotiations on a new" CBA with the NHL and because his reputation suggests NHL Commissioner GARY BETTMAN “might not want to assume any more that he is the brightest guy in the room,” according to Jeff Blair of the GLOBE & MAIL. Fehr, who led the MLBPA for 23 years, has “made the link between baseball’s labour peace and the absence of a salary cap, suggesting to many that he will push for an overhauled system of revenue sharing and a luxury tax in the NHL.” Blair noted that “will be a tough sell to owners.” But what “might be an easier sell … is the notion of a World Cup of hockey, modelled on the joint partnership that resulted in the World Baseball Classic.” Below is Globe & Mail’s Power 50 List, which “ranks players with the influence, and the desire, to affect sport in Canada" during '12 (GLOBE & MAIL, 2/7).

RANK
EXEC
1
NHLPA Exec Dir Don Fehr
2
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman
3
Concussion Experts
4
Hockey HOFer Ken Dryden
5
COC President Marcel Aubut
6
WTA Chair & CEO Stacey Allaster
7
NHL VP/Player Safety & Hockey Operations Brendan Shanahan
8
CTV President of Sports & Exec VP/Programming Phil King/
Bell Canada President & CEO George Cope
9
Rogers Media President Keith Pelley/
Rogers Communications President & CEO Nadir Mohamed
10
Quebecor Media President & CEO Pierre-Karl Péladeau
11
Flames co-Owner Murray Edwards
12
Penguins C Sidney Crosby
13
Dir of Doping Control Laboratory Christiane Ayotte
14
Canadiens Owner Geoff Molson
15
Canucks Owner Francesco Aquilini
16
CFL B.C. Lions and Toronto Argonauts Owner David Braley
17
CFL Commissioner Mark Cohon
18
Canadian athletic nonprofit organization B2ten
19
Canadian Olympic Gold Medal-winning Speedskater Clara Hughes
20
Golf Canada Exec Dir & CEO Scott Simmons
21
Bruins Owner Jeremy Jacobs/NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly
22
Tennis Canada CEO Michael Downey
23
Blue Jays President & CEO Paul Beeston/Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos
24
IIHF Ambassador and Mentor Program Coordinator Hayley Wickenheiser
25
Oilers Owner Daryl Katz
26
Own the Podium CEO Anne Merklinger
27
'12 Canadian Olympic Team Chef de Mission Mark Tewksbury
28
CBC Exec Dir of Sports Properties Jeff Orridge
29
CBC hockey analyst Don Cherry
30
RBC Chief Brand & Communications Officer Jim Little
31
Flames RW Jarome Iginla
32
Maple Leafs President & GM Brian Burke
33
F1 Canadian Grand Prix Promoter and
Octane Motorsports Events President & CEO Francois Dumontier
34
MLS Impact President Joey Saputo/MLS Whitecap's co-Owner Jeff Mallett
35
NHL Jets co-Owner Mark Chipman
36
Univ. of Ottawa Vice Dean & Professor Blaine Hoshizaki
37
Woodbine Entertainment Group CEO Nick Eaves
38
Orthopaedic Surgeon Dr. Brian Day/'10 Vancouver Olympic Games Chief Medical
Officer Dr. Jack Taunton/Raptors Dir of Sports Science Alex McKechnie
39
CFL Montreal Alouettes QB Anthony Cavillo
40
Hockey Canada President & CEO Bob Nicholson
41
Ontario Hockey League Commissioner &
Canada Hockey League President David Branch
42
Raptors President & GM Bryan Colangelo
43
UFC fighter Georges St-Pierre
44
Border Ladner Gervais attorney and former CFL Commissioner Doug Mitchell
45
Canadian Olympic boxer Mary Spencer
46
Canadian Senator (B.C.) and former Gold Medal-winning skier Nancy Greene-Raine
47
Former Canadian men's national basketball team coach Ken Shields
48
Suns G and MLS Whitecaps investor Steve Nash
49
MLSE Chair Larry Tanenbaum
50
Former NHLer Theo Fleury

ALAN ROTHENBERG, the '94 FIFA World Cup Chair, today was named Chair for Grand Prix Sports, an L.A.-based sports agency that owns the exclusive rights to Rugby Sevens in the U.S. Rothenberg’s agency, Premier Partnerships, which he founded with RANDY BERNSTEIN, will handle Grand Prix’s sponsorship sales for future rugby ventures. Grand Prix has an agreement with USA Rugby that makes it the exclusive sanctioning, licensing and broadcast rightsholder for Rugby Sevens in the U.S. The IOC will add Rugby Sevens to the Olympic Program in '16. Other members of Grand Prix’ advisory board are former CBS Sports President NEAL PILSON, Olympic attorney and senior partner of the int'l law firm of Sheppard & Mullin KELLY CRABB, former Caesars World Sports President RICH ROSE and former MGM Worldwide Television President GARY MARENZI.

The Circuit of the Americas named BEN CAHALANE Chief Sales Officer, DANIELLE ELDRIDGE VP/Corporate Partnerships and TOM SCHNEIDER VP/Guest Services (COTA)….Front Row Motorsports recently hired former Roush Fenway exec ROBIN JOHNSON as VP/Marketing & Business Development. He helped lead a sales pitch that resulted in Maximum Human Performance signing on as a multi-race, multiyear team partner with Front Row’s Sprint Cup team (Tripp Mickle, SportsBusiness Journal)....Speedway Motorsports Inc. promoted Senior Manager of Business Development BRAUN SMITH to Dir of Business Development (SMI).

MLB MOVES: Nationals Media Relations Manager BILL GLUVNA resigned “in order to take a job working for Boras Corporation, where he’ll serve in a variety of roles, including marketing and public relations” (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 2/7)….The MLB Rangers hired former Royals Strength coach SHAYNE KELLEY to serve as the “key person” in LF JOSH HAMILTON’s support system (MLB.com, 2/7)….The Brewers named Royals Manager of Groundskeeping JUSTIN SCOTT Dir of Grounds. Scott will handle the role previously held by GARY VANDEN BERG, who passed away last October after more than 30 years with the club (Brewers).

EXECS: The Baku 2020 Bid Committee named Azerbaijani Football Association General Secretary ELKHAN MAMMADOV Head of Communications. Mammadov will also be in charge of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, which takes place in Baku in September, and will continue in his role as UEFA VP/Social Responsibility & Fair Play (Baku 2020)….Horizon Media promoted GM ZACH ROSENBERG to Exec VP & Chief Growth Officer. The firm also promoted Managing Partner SERENA DUFF to GM/Western Region. Both will report to CEO BILL KOENIGSBERG (MEDIAPOST.com, 2/7)….London-based marketing and communications agency Influence named BEN NICHOLS Head of Sports PR (Influence).

Do you have an executive announcement? If so, please send to editorial@sportsbusinessdaily.com.

In Ft. Lauderdale, Larry Barszewski notes the Dan Marino Foundation has plans to open a "downtown college for the developmentally disabled." The Dan Marino Foundation Florida Vocational College "would help those with developmental disabilities move into adulthood," and the school's goal is to "get students jobs or to prepare them to be successful in a traditional college program." The school would be for students "ages 18 to 28 who have been diagnosed with autism, Asperger's syndrome, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy and other disabilities." The goal is to "open campus in the fall of 2013," and officials said that the college "will probably start off with no more than 60 students" (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 2/8).

ON THE CATWALK
: ESPNW's Adena Andrews profiled stylist RACHEL JOHNSON, who is "using the corridors of NBA arenas as her catwalk and the league's biggest stars are her models." Johnson is the league's "fashion fairy godmother, improving the style of the league, one superstar at a time." Her choices for the NBA's "elite have been influenced by street styles, art trends and classic Hollywood style." Before dressing NBAers, Johnson had a "booming career styling music industry notables, such as PHARRELL WILLIAMS, KEYSHIA COLE and JAMIE FOXX." Her NBA "fashion reign" began in '05 when rapper JAY-Z introduced her to Heat F LEBRON JAMES' manager, MAVERICK CARTER (ESPNW.com, 2/7).

PARENT TRAP: Former tennis player ARANTXA SANCHEZ-VICARIO said that her parents "have drained her" of her $59.5M "wealth and left her struggling to pay off her debts." Sanchez-Vicario in her new memoir, "ARANTXA, VAMOS! MEMOIRS OF A STRUGGLE, A LIFE AND A WOMAN," wrote that her parents "made her 'suffer a lot.'" She wrote, "My parents left me with nothing and now I am indebted to the (tax authorities) and I will not be quiet." Her mother "slammed her daughter's claims" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 2/8).

SUPER BOWL AFTER GLOW: Each Giants team member was given “a custom engraved 750 milliliter bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue whiskey, a gift from” DE JUSTIN TUCK. Each bottle had the “player’s name and Super Bowl XLVI champions engraved on it.” The total tally for “80 bottles was $17,600” (N.Y. POST, 2/8).…Patriots Owner ROBERT KRAFT was seen “taking some post-Super Bowl comfort with two friends at the Met Bar in Chestnut Hill” (BOSTON HERALD, 2/8)….Giants WR HAKEEM NICKS and LBs MARK HERZLICH and SPENCER PAYSINGER “held court at Avenue on Monday night," while RB BRANDON JACOBS dined with DE DAVID TOLLEFSON at Abe & Arthur’s (N.Y. POST, 2/8).

NAMES: The Twins are auctioning off a baseball signed by KIM KARDASHIAN and Nets F KRIS HUMPHRIES. The former couple signed the ball before Humphries threw out the ceremonial first pitch for the Twins' July 1 game against the Brewers at Target Field (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 2/8)....The Canadian Baseball HOF's class of '12 includes Brewers GM DOUG MELVIN (GLOBE & MAIL, 2/8)....Chinese artist and activist AI WEIWEI will partner with Swiss architecture firm Herzog and de Meuron, with whom he created Beijing's Bird Nest Stadium for the '08 Olympics, to design a pavilion for the Serpentine Gallery in London's Kensington Gardens for the '12 Games (RAWSTORY.com, 2/8)....Toronto lawyer JAMES KLOTZ has been named to a panel set up to recommend fixes for FIFA. Klotz is one of several int'l experts brought onto FIFA's new independent governance committee (GLOBE & MAIL, 2/8)....The Cancer Wellness Foundation of Central Alabama announced that Broncos QB TIM TEBOW will be the featured speaker at an event in March (AL.com, 2/7)....An official, unsigned Patriots jersey worn by QB TOM BRADY during his team's victory over the Cowboys last year brought in $46,000 at auction (BOSTON HERALD, 2/5)....Broadway producers FRAN KIRMSER and TONY PONTURO, along with Dir THOMAS KAIL and actors TUG COKER and PETER SCOLARI "will be among the 'MAGIC/BIRD' group taking in the Celtic-Lakers tilt at TD Gardens tomorrow night." Ponturo said that the game is "research"(BOSTON HERALD, 2/8)....Magna Int'l Honorary Chair & Dir FRANK STRONACH in the last two years has increased his Marion County (Fla.) land holdings "nearly sixfold, making him the largest private property owner in the county with 29,000 acres" (OCALA.com, 2/4).