Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 24 No. 114

People and Pop Culture

NASCAR VP & CIO/CTO ANDY SCHWALB has left the company. He joined the sanctioning body's office in '10 after 13 years at Walt Disney, where he led technology strategy for all theme parks worldwide (Tripp Mickle, SportsBusiness Journal).

EXECS: ESPN promoted Europe, Middle East & Asia (EMEA) Senior Dir of Programming SIMON POTTER to EMEA Senior Dir of Programming & Production. The company also promoted Senior Dir of U.K. Commercial & EMEA Business Development CHARLY CLASSEN to Senior Dir of Digital Media, Commercial & Marketing (ESPN)....The U.K. Venue Managers Association named Stadium Management Systems Dir NOEL JEFFS President. Jeffs also previously oversaw the transition from the old Wembley Stadium to the new venue (U.K. Venue Managers Association) named JESSIE MONTZ Sales Assistant (THE DAILY)....Arkansas Business named Editor CHRIS BAHN Northwest Arkansas Editor (THE DAILY).

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

In N.Y., Filip Bondy wrote former NHLer SEAN AVERY has been an “unexpected advocate for gay rights in recent years” as a board member of Athlete Ally, "a group of straight athletes devoted to eradicating homophobia in sports.” Avery, who was “once suspended himself for using derogatory language toward a woman,” has “lent his backing to the musical, ‘Bare,’ playing at New World Stages, which features the story of a gay jock in a bullying society.” Avery “even traveled to Albany to lobby Republican state officials on gay marriage rights.” More than 20 heterosexual current and former athletes “now have spoken up to support Athlete Ally, not all of them known as politically correct in the past.” TNT's CHARLES BARKLEY, Fox Sports' MICHAEL STRAHAN, NFL Network's MICHAEL IRVIN and La Liga club Real Madrid F CRISTIANO RONALDO “are among the backers” (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 12/9).

CHARITY STRIPE: The Jaguars, “despite missing the goal of generating 50,000 likes” on Facebook, will donate “the full $50,000 maximum donation to the Jacksonville Humane Society as part of the ‘Like Us, Love Them’” campaign. The Jaguars Foundation “made a promise to donate $1 for every new like the team received on their Facebook page in November” (, 12/7)....Tigers P ADAM WILK is “in the process of creating a charitable foundation that will help supply baseball equipment to children 6-13,” and he is “doing almost all of the legwork to get it created himself” (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 12/10)….Boxing HOFer MIKE TYSON launched his new charitable foundation, Mike Tyson Cares, with a reception Friday at the MGM Grand (N.Y. POST, 12/9).

HOUSE & HOME: Golfer RORY MCILROY has signed a contract to buy a 10,000-square-foot home in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., for “close to the $10.9 million-asking price” (, 12/7)....Singer BRITNEY SPEARS has bought the Thousand Oaks, Calif., home of former NHLer RUSS COURTNALL (L.A. TIMES, 12/10).

NAMES: In N.Y., Richard Sandomir reports that letters and other documents from the archives of late MLBPA Exec Dir MARVIN MILLER "offer private glimpses at a serious, purposeful trade unionist who led the union into the era of free agency and who demanded that he, and the players, be taken seriously by baseball’s leaders.” Miller's papers at the Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives at NYU include “files from his steelworker days to entries from years after he retired from the players union” (N.Y. TIMES, 12/10)....NHL Kings President of Business Operations LUC ROBITAILLE had a “prominent role on the season premiere” of Disney Channel’s “PHINEAS AND FERB” Friday night (, 12/7)….The Salvation Army honored Delaware North Sportservice President JOHN WENTZELL at its annual lunch in Boston (BOSTON HERALD, 12/9)….Former Presidential candidate MITT ROMNEY on Saturday was a guest ringside for the JUAN MANUEL MARQUEZ-MANNY PACQUIAO fight and he “also visited with Pacquiao in his dressing room before the fight” (AP, 12/9)….Red Sox Owner JOHN HENRY and his wife LINDA PIZZUTI HENRY welcomed a baby boy last week (BOSTON HERALD, 12/10).