Paralyzed former Rutgers football player ERIC LEGRAND tops the fourth annual "Juice List" of the 25 most influential people in New Jersey sports, according to Steve Politi of the Newark STAR-LEDGER. Since its creation, the list “has been topped by two governors and the co-owner of the Super Bowl champion Giants.” Politi wrote, “Juice is about more than having an important title or a big office. It’s about having an impact on people when you meet them. It’s about leaving a legacy on sports in New Jersey and beyond. It’s about touching lives. Few have done that better than Eric LeGrand, which is why he has earned the No. 1 spot for 2012.” Twelve of the 25 names on the list are “different from last year, a byproduct of our ever-shifting sports landscape” (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 8/26).
MOST INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE IN NEW JERSEY SPORTS
Paralyzed former Rutgers football player
Giants President & CEO
Devils President, CEO & GM
Rutgers football coach
TNT NBA analyst
Bob Hurley Sr.
St. Anthony High School boys basketball coach
College of New Jersey VP/Student Affairs
Don Bosco Prep football coach
Seton Hall men's basketball coach
New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Assoc. Exec Dir
NBC Sports Group VP/Communications MEIER RAIVICH is leaving his position to become VP/Communications & Corporate Branding for online sports retailer Fanatics. His last day at NBC is Friday. Raivich has been with the company since '07, when he was hired to run communications for Versus, which became NBC Sports Network. Most recently, he oversaw communications for the company's 14 RSNs, reporting to NBC Sports Group President JON LITNER. In his new role, Raivich is reuniting with former Versus President JAMIE DAVIS, who was named Fanatics President in April (John Ourand, THE DAILY).
EXECS: Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia promoted Senior Advertising Sales Dir BO KOELLE to VP/Advertising Sales (Comcast)....World Triathlon Corporation named Buccaneers Chief Legal Officer STEVE JOHNSTON to the same position (THE DAILY)....The USFL added Pro Football HOFer CHRIS DOLEMAN to the league's BOD (USFL).
Nike Founder & Chair PHIL KNIGHT next week will be inducted into the Basketball HOF and will be introduced by Bobcats Owner & HOFer MICHAEL JORDAN and former Georgetown Univ. men's coach JOHN THOMPSON. Jordan's partnership with Nike "revolutionized how the sport was marketed and helped raise the game's profile globally." Thompson has had a seat on Nike's BOD since '91 (BIZJOURNALS.com, 8/28). Former NBAer REGGIE MILLER will also be inducted and will be presented by Dodgers investor & HOFer MAGIC JOHNSON, TNT analyst & HOFer CHARLES BARKLEY and Miller's sister, TNT analyst & HOFer CHERYL MILLER. Also being inducted next week is former NBAer MEL DANIELS, who will be presented by WAYNE EMBRY and ARTIS GILMORE (INDYSTAR.com, 8/28).
READY FOR THE BIG SCREEN: DAILY VARIETY's Jeff Sneider reports the NFL is teaming with TONY KRANTZ's Flame Ventures to produce "Week 14," a "drama that Krantz will produce and direct from a script by RON SHELTON." CAA is "shopping the package, which studios are expected to bid on in the coming weeks." The plan is "to head into production after the Feb. 3 Super Bowl." Aimed to be "a four-quadrant movie in the vein of 'Crash,' [the] pic will chronicle the last three weeks of the NFL's regular season as seen through the eyes of fictional players, coaches and their significant others" (VARIETY.com, 8/28).
AGENTS OF CHANGE: Octagon has signed ESPN's CHRIS FOWLER for representation in broadcasting, marketing, speaking, literary and other endeavors. Octagon President PHIL DE PICCIOTTO will represent him. He was formerly represented by PERRY ROGERS (Liz Mullen, SportsBusiness Journal)....Rockies CF DEXTER FOWLER has “changed agents” from SCOTT BORAS to Excel Sports Management’s CASEY CLOSE (ESPN.com, 8/28)....NFL free agent TE CHRIS COOLEY has retained agent DAVID DUNN (PROFOOTBALLTALK.com, 8/28).
NAMES: Big Ten Commissioner JIM DELANY and nine others on Aug. 3 "began the trek up Mt. Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa." The group "reached the summit" at 6:20am local time on Aug. 8. Tournament of Roses Exec VP SCOTT JENKINS "organized the trip, which also included" Conference USA Commissioner BRITTON BANOWSKY and Rose Bowl Chief Administrative Officer KEVIN ASH (ESPN.com, 8/28)....Indiana State Univ. is "moving ahead with plans for a 15-foot-tall bronze statue" to honor Basketball HOFer LARRY BIRD. School officials "expect to dedicate it in the fall of 2013" (AP, 8/28)....PGA Waste Management Phoenix Open Tournament Chair ALEX CLARK announced that Thunderbirds, the group that organizes the event, "will distribute $5,552,416 to local charities through proceeds raised from the 2012 tournament" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 8/29)....Univ. of Tennessee women's basketball head coach emeritus PAT SUMMITT will receive the USTA's Billie Jean King Legacy Award (AP, 8/28)....The NFL has selected West Virginia Univ. AD OLIVER LUCK to join the league's player safety advisory panel (AP, 8/28)....Bruins LW MILAN LUCIC and his wife BRITTANY “threw a party in the Bahamas to celebrate their recent marriage” (BOSTON GLOBE, 8/29).