Fenway Sports Group Thursday tapped one of its own execs to handle all the business aspects of its EPL club Liverpool, naming BILLY HOGAN Chief Commercial Officer. Working closely with Liverpool Managing Dir IAN AYRE, Hogan will be responsible for all club revenue and business development, including sponsorships, ticketing and hospitality, retail and merchandise, club memberships, tours, exhibitions and soccer schools. Hogan has been Fenway Sports Management co-Managing Dir since April ‘10 (THE DAILY). In Boston, Donna Goodison noted Hogan’s role with Liverpool “is a newly created position, which expands the role of the preexisting job of commercial director formerly held by GRAHAM BARTLETT who left a few months ago.” Hogan is credited with “conceiving and executing Football at Fenway,” an exhibition that featured Scottish club Celtic and Portuguese club Sporting Lisbon. He also played a key role in the $39M deal that "made Boston-based New Balance’s Warrior Sports division the kit maker for Liverpool earlier this year.” Hogan is “helping to coordinate Liverpool’s upcoming North America summer tour,” which includes an exhibition match again Serie A club Roma at Fenway Park on July 25 (BOSTON HERALD, 5/25). Liverpool Thursday also named JEN CHANG Corporate Relations & Communications Dir. He previously served as SI.com Senior Editor for soccer content (THE DAILY).
People and Pop Culture
Former MLBer CURT SCHILLING's 38 Studios laid off all its nearly 400 employees Thursday and Rhode Island Gov. LINCOLN CHAFEE and other state officials said that they “are trying to minimize the taxpayers' cost of the apparent implosion,” according to Grimaldi, Smith & Gregg of the PROVIDENCE JOURNAL. The governor asserted that his "priority is protecting Rhode Island taxpayers," who are on the hook for paying off $75M in bonds issued by the Rhode Island Economic Development Corp. to fund the Providence-based video game developer. With interest payments, the bill "could go up" to $102M over eight years (PROVIDENCE JOURNAL, 5/25). The AP's Niedowski & Klepper noted the company was “more than two weeks late this month" on a $1.1M payment to the state (AP, 5/24). Rhode Island officials said that payments on the $75M loan are "covered by funds still in escrow" until the end of '13. In Boston, Gary Remal notes unless the company “somehow makes good on the debt, taxpayers could be on the hook" for nearly $90M in principal and interest payments, "minus whatever collateral the state can collect” (BOSTON HERALD, 5/25). Also in Boston, Wallack, Arsenault & Bray note 38 Studios “did not inform” Chafee about the layoffs. Chafee said that the state “has not been able to confirm how many workers were let go and has struggled to get other critical details." Chafee added that he is “open to working with the company to help find ways for it to survive.” Chafee: "I have not given up. But I am also a realist. What we’ve learned from (industry) experts is grim news. Very, very grim.’’ Chafee believes that company execs have “tried hard to find additional investors, such as venture capitalists, but have not had any luck so far” (BOSTON GLOBE, 5/25).
TREATMENT IN BRISTOL: ESPN reps said that Schilling, who works as an MLB analyst for the net, asked for time off and the net granted his request. Yesterday was the first time he was scheduled to work since the story broke. The net expects Schilling to return soon. ESPN.com posted the AP version of the 38 Studios story (THE DAILY).
USFL President & CEO JAIME CUADRA has resided in San Diego for well over 40 years, and plans to enjoy the holiday weekend the only way he knows how: jamming out at a Beach Boys concert, cruising on a bike ride to visit a veterans’ cemetery on Memorial Day and hitting the links.
CALIFORNIA DREAMIN’: Friday, I’m going to start my weekend off very early and I’m going to spend the day with my daughter who is 21. She lives here in San Diego as well and we are going to go see the Beach Boys concert. It’s going to be a blast. Poor girl had to grow up listening to the Beach Boys because that’s all I used to play on Saturday mornings. … It’s what runs though the fabric of my life. I actually saw the originals back when they came to play for the Padres during a summer game. But the exciting part about this one is that it’s the reunion of the remaining Beach Boys who have not played together for many many years. So I’m excited for her to get to see the original ones that are left.
WIPE OUT: My next favorite thing to do is to go to my favorite Mexican food place and have a great dinner and probably go to a movie. The Mexican spot is called Marrietta’s and I have gone there for probably a good 15, 20 years. I have had the same waiter every time I go. The very cool thing is that I don’t even have to order. He knows exactly what I want, how I want it and will serve me my margaritas. If he looks at me and says, “You look like you need a margarita tonight.” I will say, “You’re right. And since I’m not driving, I’ll take two.”
GOOD VIBRATIONS: If I’m laying by the pool I’m listening to OTTMAR LIEBERT, classical flamenco guitar and I love that. It’s very, very relaxing when you’re sitting by the pool with palm trees around you. The other times -- I’m going to make a shameless plug -- I’m actually listening to my son who is a rock and roller. His band is called Goodnight Caulfield, like in Holden Caulfield from “The Catcher in the Rye.” He’s a phenomenal singer, guitar player and song writer. When I’m cycling I plug in and listen to bands like Switchfoot, I’ll listen to a little bit of KATY PERRY and The All-American Rejects. Because of my son’s music career, I’m pretty plugged into the more current musicians.
DON’T WORRY BABY: Saturday I probably will go visit my mom and spend some time with her. My mom is 83-years-old and she is the angel in my life. She’s the one person, besides my wife, that I absolutely adore. I usually bring her -- I know this doesn’t sound healthy but it’s what she asks for and at 83, it just doesn’t really matter -- so I bring her a box of donuts. She loves to have her donuts with her coffee every morning so I try to bring her a dozen donuts to last her through the week.
WOULDN’T IT BE NICE: I think Sunday my son and I will go play some golf. It’s almost a weekly standing date that we go out and play early in the morning. Sometimes we’ll play the long course, sometimes we’ll play to short course depending on what kind of time we have available. He and I are very competitive and we’re within a couple strokes of each other most of the time. We’re pretty cut-throat when we’re on there, no mulligans.
I GET AROUND: Monday morning I’ll get up very early, and I’m an avid cyclist so I will ride about 40 to 50 miles out to this spot called Point Loma. It’s where the Veterans cemetery is, and I will go there and pay my respects and get some exercise at the same time.
HELP ME, RHONDA: I love shopping. I love going to the mall and shopping for clothes. That’s like one of those things men aren’t supposed to really love but I do. I love going out shopping. I think sometimes my wife has to actually hide my wallet so I don’t go. … I’m a very non-traditional 52-year-old guy when it comes to how I dress. I don’t dress age inappropriate, but what I try to do is combine things that I like. I love wearing True Religion jeans and T-shirts, that’s my favorite thing to do. I hate being too formal, but I can dress formally if I have to.
CBS Sports Network promoted Account Exec RYAN BRIGANTI to VP/Ad Sales. Briganti will manage the net's Ad Sales group. He will report to CBS Sports Exec VP and CBS Sports Network President DAVID BERSON, as well as CBS Exec VP/Sports Sales & Marketing JOHN BOGUSZ (CBS Sports)....San Jose State Univ. named former Boise State Univ. AD GENE BLEYMAIER AD. Bleymaier replaces TOM BOWEN, effective June 30. Bowen left SJSU to take over as Univ. of Memphis AD (SJSU)....Fordham Univ. promoted AD FRANK MCLAUGHLIN to Associate VP/Student Affairs. The school said that it would "conduct a national search for McLaughlin's replacement" (CBSSPORTS.com, 5/24)....The Eagles named former Bills and Steelers GM TOM DONAHOE Senior Football Advisor. The team also named ED MARYNOWITZ Assistant Dir of Pro Scouting, JAKE HALLUM Senior Scout, JOHN MIDDLEKAUFF West Coast Area Scout, DAN HATMAN Pro Scout, ALEC HALABY Special Assistant to the GM and JAKE ROSENBERG Manager of Football Administration (PROFOOTBALLWEEKLY.com, 5/24)....The American Football Coaches Association named GARY DARNELL Associate Exec Dir, effective June 18 (AFCA).
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In Boston, Callum Borchers notes only "one of 188 players listed on the rosters of the Red Sox, Patriots, Bruins, and Celtics has made a political donation during the current presidential election cycle." Patriots S JOSH BARRETT "has given $1,000" to President BARACK OBAMA's re-election campaign. Meanwhile, owners of all four major league clubs in Boston "have given generously to federal candidates and committees." Red Sox President & CEO LARRY LUCCHINO and Celtics Managing Partner STEPHEN PAGLIUCA "have donated the maximum allowed to Obama." Patriots Owner ROBERT KRAFT "has, too, while giving $500 to presumptive Republican nominee MITT ROMNEY." Bruins Owner JEREMY JACOBS contributed $3,500 to Romney (BOSTON GLOBE, 5/25).
ON THE RECORD: ESPN Exec Chair GEORGE BODENHEIMER Wednesday said of his new role with the company, "I like to think of it as I'm enjoying the view of the company from the bridge instead of the engine room. That's how I'm thinking about it. I am able to step back from the day-to-day operations. It was 13 years running the company and we had a 24/7 job. So it was time for a change. ... I have a little more time to control my own schedule and just take a view of the company from a step back" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 5/24).
POOL SHARKS: Thursday morning’s edition of NBC’s “TODAY” featured co-host Natalie Morales in a pool set-up outside of the show’s studio with U.S. Olympic swimmers BRENDAN HANSEN and ELIZABETH BEISEL. Hansen said, “We have a very strong team going to London.” Later in the broadcast, Morales sat poolside with Silver Medal-winning U.S. swimmer MARITZA CORREIA, who is the spokesperson for USA Swimming's Swim Today program. Correia said the goals of the Swim Today program are “to provide resources and information and educate parents and kids about being safe around the water” (“Today,” NBC, 5/24).
NAMES: Giants QB ELI MANNING Wednesday presented the Coca-Cola Sports Personality of the Year award at the 63rd Rochester Press-Radio Club Day of Champions Dinner (ROCHESTER DEMOCRAT & CHRONICLE, 5/24)....Cubs BOD member LAURA RICKETTS and partner HEIDI GRATHOUSE have “filed plans with the Village of Wilmette for a new mansion to be built on the 1.2-acre lakefront site.” Ricketts paid $6.5M for the site in June ’10 (CHICAGOMAG.com, 5/23).