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Volume 24 No. 115

People and Pop Culture

MLB Rangers CF JOSH HAMILTON has "entrusted his rights to producer BASIL IWANYK and Thunder Road Pictures to be shopped for a feature that will be written and directed by CASEY AFFLECK," according to Mike Fleming of DEADLINE HOLLYWOOD. Iwanyk has "partnered with KEVIN WALSH and The Walsh Company on the film, which he and Affleck will pitch to [Hollywood] shortly." Thunder Road's KENT KUBENA will be executive producer. Hamilton and his wife KATIE will "co-produce along with Hamilton's business manager STEVE REED." Iwanyk said, "I truly think this guy's story is one of the most inspiring stories I've ever read. It's also tailor-made for a movie: it has the mythic quality of 'The Natural,' the faith-based angle of 'The Blind Side,' and faith is a major part of our story, and the romance of 'Walk the Line'" (, 6/21). In Dallas, Christopher Kelly noted the film will "tell the story of Hamilton's descent into addiction, and subsequent recovery and triumph on the baseball field." There is "no word on how closely Hamilton will be involved in the film, or the financial terms of the deal" (, 6/21).

BILLS GO HOLLYWOOD: DEADLINE HOLLYWOOD's Fleming noted Paramount Pictures has "acquired 'Draft Day,' a comic script by RAJIV JOSEPH and SCOTT ROTHMAN that has IVAN REITMAN attached to direct." The script "revolves around the general manager of the Buffalo Bills as he spends the day of the National Football League draft frantically trying to get the number one pick for his struggling team" (, 6/20).

The Warriors have beefed up their front office by hiring industry veteran CHIP BOWERS as CMO, a new position for the franchise. Bowers comes to the Warriors from the Magic, where he worked as Senior VP/Corporate Partnerships & Marketing. He began working for the Magic in '08. Previously, he worked for the SuperSonics for eight years. Bowers will run all marketing and corporate partnership sales for the Warriors. He will report to team President RICK WELTS. He will begin his new job in mid-July (John Lombardo, SportsBusiness Journal).

F1 has hired MICHAEL PAYNE, "one of the world's most accomplished sports marketers," to fill a top marketing position in a move that is "part of a restructuring at the top, as F1 continues to make new executive appointments in preparation for the eventual departure" of F1 Management Chair BERNIE ECCLESTONE. The London-based group also recruited CHRISTIAN VOGT as Marketing Dir. He had previously managed broadcasting rights for FIFA (, 6/19). Payne is a personal friend of Ecclestone and has served as an advisor to F1 for years. He also served at the IOC for many years, during which time he has been largely responsible for its marketing and broadcast deals (THE DAILY).

EXECS: Motorsports marketing agency JMI has named RBS Head of Group Brand & Marketing DAVID WEBB President/Int'l, reporting to Founder & CEO ZAK BROWN. Webb will be based at the agency's London offices and will join JMI in September (JMI)....Palace Sports & Entertainment has hired MEAGAN TESSLER as Manager of Advertising & Promotion. Tessler served as WJLB-FM Promotions Dir from '05-07 (PS&E)....Churchill Downs announced Wednesday that Chair MICHAEL BRODSKY resigned from the company's BOD on June 14 (Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL, 6/21)....Comcast SportsNet New England’s NICOLE ZALOUMIS after less than two years at the network “is leaving for a high-profile gig as an anchor on the NFL Network” (BOSTON GLOBE, 6/22).....Dalton State College has named Stetson Univ. Senior Associate AD RICHARD SKEEL to the same position, effective July 1. Skeel's annual salary will be $79,000 (Dalton DAILY CITIZEN, 6/21)....The Univ. of Wisconsin has named Southern Illinois Univ. Senior Associate AD JASON KING Associate AD for Capital Projects & Operations (UW)....The Univ. of Nebraska has named Kansas State Univ. Associate AD for Compliance JAMIE VAUGHN to the same position (NU)....The Univ. of Miami has named Ohio State Univ. Assistant Dir for Compliance -- Monitoring KHADIAN KELLY to the same position (UM)....Chowan Univ. has hired ALLIE KOLEZYNSKI as Assistant Director of Athletic Communications & Head Cross Country Coach (Chowan).

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In London, Tom Cary cites reports as indicating that F1 Management Chair BERNIE ECCLESTONE is "considering taking legal action" against former BayernLB Chief Risk Officer GERHARD GRIBKOWSKY, and "continues to insist that he was blackmailed by Gribkowsky, who was threatening to expose him to HMRC." Ecclestone said, "I have always said that we gave him money but it was not for what he said. He was shaking me down a bit and saying I had control of a family trust which was not true. He was doing the best he could. I was a little bit stupid -- normally I would have told him to get lost" (London TELEGRAPH, 6/22).

GAME CHANGER: Former MLBer CURT SCHILLING Friday appeared on Boston’s WEEI-FM’s “The Dennis & Callahan Morning Show” to talk about the bankruptcy of his 38 Studios and the financial after effects. Schilling said of the audits ordered by Rhode Island state officials, "They were so unhappy at the results, they ordered a third independent audit and when the same one came back, there was a fourth one. It’s almost like they’re trying so hard to find something that they’re going to find something. There’s nothing to find. I never did anything illegal. I didn’t get rich from this company. I actually did the opposite of that. When those conversations started, it was an incredibly uncomfortable time” (“The Dennis & Callahan Morning Show,” WEEI-FM, 6/22).

TEAMING UP: In N.Y., Justin Terranova noted NFL Giants QB ELI MANNING, Knicks G JEREMY LIN, MLB Exec VP/Baseball Operations JOE TORRE, Rays 3B EVAN LONGORIA, Phillies SS JIMMY ROLLINS and MLS Galaxy MF DAVID BECKHAM this summer will "team up with the White House to produce a new public service announcement against dating violence." President BARACK OBAMA and VP JOE BIDEN "will also appear in the ads." The commercial will air this summer "on MLB Network, ESPN networks and Fox Sports cable networks, among others" (, 6/21).

WE SALUTE YOU: In Virginia, David Teel writes under the header, "A Salute To UVa's Retiring Sports Publicist, RICH MURRAY." Friday marks Murray's retirement "after 40 years in sports information, 11 at JMU and the last 29" at the Univ. of Virginia (Newport News DAILY PRESS, 6/22).

MOTHER KNOWS BEST: DEBBIE PHELPS, mother of U.S. Gold Medal-winning swimmer MICHAEL PHELPS, appeared on NBC's "Today" Thursday morning and said, "I do like Brazil and Michael told me he would send me there on vacation, but he will not swim there." Phelps said she was visiting N.Y. to promote her work with The Century Council and "meet with mommy bloggers about underage drinking and healthy lifestyle" ("Today," NBC, 6/21).

NAMES: Broadcom Corp. co-Founder & Chair and Ducks Owner HENRY SAMUELI has won the '12 Marconi Society Prize & Fellowship, given annually to one or more scientists who advance technologies that benefit social, economic and cultural development (, 6/19)....The Pro Football Writers of America selected Falcons GM THOMAS DIMITROFF as the winner of the '12 Jack Horrigan Award (, 6/21)....Hurricanes Owner PETER KARMANOS JR. Thursday received the Community Impact Award at the '12 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award gala (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 6/22)....Spurs G TONY PARKER is suing N.Y. club W.i.P and its operators for $20M over a scratched retina he says he suffered during a fight involving singer CHRIS BROWN and members of hip-hop artist DRAKE's entourage (, 6/21)....Raiders Assistant Athletic Trainer CHRIS CORTEZ recently "jumped into the Oakland estuary and swam to a sinking car to rescue the woman inside" (, 6/21).

: Senior U.S. District Court Judge and Tennis HOFer ROBERT KELLEHER has passed away at the age of 99. Kelleher was a former "tennis champion who captained the triumphant 1963 U.S. Davis Cup team." He and his late wife, GRACYN WHEELER KELLEHER, also won the mixed doubles championship in '47 (AP, 6/21).