Callaway Golf appointed CHIP BREWER as President & CEO, effective March 5. Brewer previously served in the same role for Adams Golf. He replaces TONY THORNLEY, who had served as interim President & CEO for Callaway since June. Thornley and Callaway's BOD used a search committee comprised of independent directors and global exec search firm Spencer Stuart to indentify candidates (Callaway). GOLFWEEK.com’s Gene Yasuda noted the hire puts to an end the “eight-month search.” Thornley will “continue to serve on the board of directors upon his resignation March 5” (GOLFWEEK.com, 2/27). In San Diego, Mike Freeman noted Brewer is the “permanent replacement for GEORGE FELLOWS, a former Revlon executive who became Callaway’s chief executive in 2005 and resigned last June after lackluster financial and sales performance by Callaway.” The company said that its search committee “reviewed more than 50 candidates before selecting Brewer” (UTSANDIEGO.com, 2/27).
People and Pop Culture
The Kentucky State Fair Board "has fired" KFC Yum Center GM TED NICHOLSON. Fair Board VP/Media & PR AMANDA STORMENT said that Nicholson, who was hired in '10, "was let go Monday." She "declined to give the reason for the termination, saying it was a personnel matter." Storment said that other members of the fair board staff are "assuming Nicholson's duties for now" (Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL, 2/28).
EXECS: Minneapolis-based SportsData LLC has aligned with sports consultancy Full Moon Sports Solutions, and named Full Moon Founder RICK WOLF as VP/Strategic Partnerships. Wolf, most recently with NBC Sports and Olympics Digital before starting Full Moon, will lead sales and business development efforts for SportsData, particularly targeting fantasy sports outfits (Eric Fisher, SportsBusiness Journal)....JP Morgan Chase named Wells Fargo Senior VP/Sponsorships FRANCIE GOTTSEGEN Senior VP/Sports & Entertainment Marketing (THE DAILY)....The MLS Dynamo named SMG-Reliant Park Dir of Sports Marketing & Sponsorships DAVID TAGLIARINO Senior VP (Dynamo).....Circuit of the Americas named Churchill Downs Inc. VP/Corporate Communications JULIE KOENIG LOIGNON VP/PR & Community Relations, TracyLocke Advertising Chief Creative Officer REGAN HOLLEY VP/Marketing, Dell VP/HR & Consumer Brand Innovation FENORRIS PEARSON VP/HR and SMU Dir of Ticketing JASON ASCI Dir of Ticketing (Circuit of the Americas).
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The Browns revealed that GM TOM HECKERT "recently underwent heart surgery at the Cleveland Clinic to address blocked arteries." The procedure "was believed to be a bypass." Browns President MIKE HOLMGREN said that Heckert is "recovering well and should be back to work full-time in time to help prepare for and run" the NFL Draft April 26-28. Holmgren also said that surgery "was not preceded by a heart attack" and that Heckert "initially wanted to keep the surgery private" (CLEVELAND.com, 2/27). Holmgren added Heckert "would return to the Browns facility" today (ESPN.com, 2/27).
CONTINENTAL DRIFT: Bulls F LUOL DENG wore a "black shirt emblazoned with an outline of Africa on it before being introduced" at the NBA All-Star Game Sunday night. Deng decided to wear the shirt "in order to inspire young kids from his native land." He said, "I'm not advertising anything. I just felt like being where I'm from and where I came from, it's something that I always wanted to see as a kid." He added that he "wasn't sure if he would be fined for the gesture." Deng: "I really don't know. If I get fined, I'm OK. To me, what I did is worth it for me" (ESPNCHICAGO.com, 2/26). SB Nation's Bomani Jones said of Deng, "He’ll probably get fined for not wearing the atrocious uniforms, but you have to give him credit for being willing to ... spend money on a fine in order to make a point and ... go beyond what we think about globalization in the NBA" (“Around The Horn,” ESPN, 2/27).
LET'S DANCE: Packers WR DONALD DRIVER and former tennis player MARTINA NAVRATILOVA will be part of the latest season of ABC's "Dancing With The Stars." ABC’s Robin Roberts said to Navratilova, “Athletes seem to have a little bit of an advantage. Is it just because of your attitude or is it the physical training that you’re used to?” Navratilova: “Once you get to know the muscles and the way they work then you can transfer it into another (discipline). But tennis is all closed up and (dancing) is all open. My hands are totally doing the wrong things. It’s a learning a experience, but it’s a challenge” (“GMA,” ABC, 2/28).
NAMES: In Baltimore, Ryan Sharrow noted Under Armour paid MARK DOWLEY "$500,000 for his work as an eight-month consultant to CEO KEVIN PLANK, a role Dowley entered into after exiting the Baltimore sportswear maker two months into his job as president of the company's international business." Dowley also received a "$250,000 lump sum as part of his exit agreement" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 2/27)....The Orioles and Pirates joined in the dedication of the first Miracle League Field in the Sarasota-Bradenton area on Saturday afternoon." The two teams "donated a total of $150,000 toward the construction of the baseball field designed specifically for children and adults with special needs" (MLB.com, 2/25)....The 24th annual Comcast SportsNet Awards "raised more than $720,000 for the March of Dimes -- a new record for the sports soiree" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 2/28)....Churchill Downs VP/Business Development LEEA NASH BRIDGEMAN, ESPNU and ESPNHS VP ROSALYN DURANT, PepsiCo Inc. Amp Energy Brand Manager KIMBERLY HOGG and Heat & American Airlines Arena VP & Associate General Counsel EVA WRIGHT TAYLOR were named to Black Enterprise magazine's “40 Rising Stars, 40 and Under” list (THE DAILY)….MIKE TYSON’s one-man show, “MIKE TYSON: UNDISPUTED TRUTH -- LIVE ON STAGE,” is running from April 13-18 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas (INSIDESOCAL.com, 2/27).
IN MEMORY: Former Sonics President & GM GARY VOLCHOK, 95, passed away Sunday. Volchok was part of the Sonics team that won the ’79 NBA title (SEATTLE TIMES, 2/28).