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Volume 24 No. 135

People and Pop Culture

It’s time to make your opinion known as the 8th annual SportsBusiness Journal/SportsBusiness Daily Reader Survey is underway. The survey features more than 100 questions across leagues, teams, facilities, sponsorship, media, and more.

* Who is the most influential sports executive?
* Who is the most marketable athlete?
* What’s the biggest sports business story of the year?
* What’s the most powerful brand in sports?
* What’s the best sports event to attend?
* Who are the best play-by-play personalities and game analysts on TV?
* Who are the most admired sponsors?

Those are some of the questions you'll find in this year’s survey. Cast your votes and then see highlights of the results the week of Nov. 26. We want to hear from you. Vote now!

Churchill Downs Inc. named JAMES "TED" GAY President of Churchill Downs Interactive, which will consist of the company's online initiatives, including, and Bluff Media. Gay will relocate from Louisville to Mountain View, Calif. in early '13. He assumes his new duties immediately and will report to President & COO WILLIAM CARSTANJEN (CDI).

EXECS: Stats LLC named ANDREW OPATKIEWICZ Dir of Int'l Football within its Sports Solutions Group. Opatkiewicz was formerly with soccer analytics outfit ProZone (Eric Fisher, SportsBusiness Journal)....Nike appointed former Northern Europe Marketing Dir NICOLE HUBBARD to lead its brand building activity in the U.K. "with a brief to increase the company's focus on sports categories" (, 10/9)....Barclays Center Security Dir BOB SENA has left his position (THE DAILY)....Front Row Marketing Services named veteran marketer SERGIO DEL PRADO Regional VP (Comcast-Spectacor)....CONCACAF named MLS Red Bulls VP/Communications & Community Relations JURGEN MAINKA Dir of Communications & Marketing (THE DAILY).

Do you have an executive announcement? If so, please send to

In Chicago, Fran Spielman notes Illinois Gov. PAT QUINN yesterday accused Chicago Mayor RAHM EMANUEL of "blocking the governor's choice" to lead the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority to "pave the way for a 'backroom deal' to renovate 98-year-old Wrigley Field." Quinn alleged that Emanuel is "blocking" the appointment of KELLY KRAFT, Quinn's "former assistant budget director-turned-communications chief." Blocking Kraft's appointment would "pave the way to use the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority to help the Cubs -- either by issuing tax-exempt bonds to renovate Wrigley or by reviving a failed plan to have the stadium authority acquire and renovate the landmark ballpark" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 10/9).

PITCH PERFECT: In New Jersey, Richard Cowen notes yesterday marked 56 years to the day that Baseball HOFer DON LARSEN pitched the only perfect game in World Series history, and the reunion "marked the start of a 56-day online auction of the Yankees pinstripe uniform that Larsen wore on the afternoon of Oct. 8, 1956." Larsen said that he "wants to auction off the uniform and give the money to his two grandchildren for college." The auction is being conducted by Steiner Sports, and estimates are that the uniform "could fetch as much as $1 million" (Bergen RECORD, 10/9).

SABER-MAGICIAN? Loyola Univ. of Maryland economics professor STEPHEN WALTERS "is once again working with" Orioles Exec VP/Baseball Operations DAN DUQUETTE as a consultant. What "separates Walters from the usual sabermetrician taking an objective, numbers-based look at baseball is an added set of calculations -- much of his method is proprietary -- to determine a player's value to a particular team." Walters said, "I know I'm just a small, small part" (Baltimore SUN, 10/7).

NAMES: IOC President JACQUES ROGGE yesterday returned to work "for the first time" since having hip replacement surgery in early September (AP, 10/8)....The World Golf HOF & Museum will enshrine former golfer and TV broadcaster KEN VENTURI in the class of '13. Venturi, who won the '64 U.S. Open, was selected through the Lifetime Achievement Category (World Golf HOF)....Comedians KEVIN JAMES and LARRY THE CABLE GUY each attended Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500 (, 10/7).