Puma CEO FRANZ KOCH is leaving the company "as owner PPR, the French retail group, implements a turnaround strategy at the German sports goods maker," according to Wilson & Daneshkhu of the FINANCIAL TIMES. Puma yesterday said Koch will depart in March "by mutual agreement." PPR Managing Dir and Puma Chair JEAN-FRANCOIS PALUS said that he "hoped to find a new chief executive by next spring." The departure comes as Puma "has struggled to keep pace with arch-rival Adidas, based in the same German town." The 34-year-old Koch "joined Puma in 2007 and after being named as strategy head in 2008 took over as chief executive in July last year from JOCHEN ZEITZ, who oversaw the brand’s revival." Zeitz himself "stood down as Puma’s chairman at the beginning of this month." Puma COO KLAUS BAUER and CMO ANTONIO BERTONE had "already said in July they would leave at the end of the year." Puma’s "rapid expansion over the past decade, principally under Mr Zeitz, has come at the expense of profitability, as support functions, such as marketing and IT systems have failed to keep up with its growth" (FINANCIAL TIMES, 12/13). REUTERS' Sheahan & Bryan noted PPR said that Puma "was not spending enough on products, which has seen it lag rivals in bringing out new high-tech running and soccer shoes." One sector analyst said, "This is the closing chapter on Zeitz's legacy. They are starting all over" (REUTERS, 12/12). BLOOMBERG NEWS' Cruz & Roberts cited German publication Manager Magazin as reporting Puma named former adidas Manager ANDY KOEHLER COO. adidas Corporate Communications Dir KATJA SCHREIBER "confirmed" the hire (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 12/13).
People and Pop Culture
The Denver Sports Commission will “join forces with Visit Denver's sports division in marketing efforts beginning in 2013 -- a merger that is intended to give the city added strength in attracting world-class sporting events,” according to Howard Pankratz of the DENVER POST. Denver Sports will “move to Visit Denver's offices Jan. 1 and merge with Visit Denver's sports division,” and it will ultimately become “a department of Visit Denver, which has 60 employees.” Denver Sports for the past 11 years has “led efforts to position Denver for a possible Olympic bid.” The commission has been “instrumental in bringing numerous sporting events to Denver,” including the “NCAA Women's Final Four, the Rocky Mountain Showdown football game between Colorado State and Colorado, and the Big Air international ski and snowboard event” (DENVER POST, 12/13).
Board members for the newly created National Football League Foundation include Bills Exec VP/Strategic Planning MARY OWEN, Cowboys Exec VP/Brand Management CHARLOTTE JONES ANDERSON, Cardinals President MICHAEL BIDWILL, Jaguars Owner SHAHID KHAN, Titans Senior Exec VP & COO MIKE REINFELDT, Steelers President ART ROONEY II and Vikings Vice Chair LEONARD WILF (NFL). The foundation will "focus on youth football, health and safety and community programs." Anderson, who was named Chair of the board, is the "first woman to serve in this capacity for an NFL charitable institution" (ESPN.com, 12/12).
EXECS: YES Network promoted VP/Finance & Controller PATRICK CAVANAUGH to Senior VP/Finance. Cavanaugh replaces ALLAN GAHERTY, who is retiring at the end of the year, and will report to COO RAY HOPKINS (YES Network)....Learfield Sports' Univ. of Wisconsin sports properties named Tigers Senior Dir/Corporate Partnerships ZACH WAGNER GM. BSP also named DAN KAUFMANN and TYLER NORMAN Business Development Managers, and named MARK MEISNER Business Development Manager for BSP's first Milwaukee office (Learfield Sports)....Talladega Superspeedway named Americrown Service Corporation's JOHN FADOOL Food, Beverage & Merchandise Manager (Talladega Superspeedway)....The Norfolk Virginian-Pilot named its Chesapeake Bureau Team Leader TOM WHITE Sports Editor (THE DAILY).
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Yesterday was Aaron Rodgers Day in Wisconsin, honoring Packers QB AARON RODGERS, who "seemed genuinely appreciative of the gesture." Rodgers said, "I want to thank all of the kids out there wearing my jersey to school today." What "pleased Rodgers most was his special day helped raise money for the MACC Fund, his favorite charity that aids children with cancer" (GREEN BAY PRESS-GAZETTE, 12/13).
HOOPS AMBASSADOR: The AP's Doug Feinberg writes WNBA Lynx F MAYA MOORE is "leaving her mark on the Chinese women's basketball league." Averaging 45 points per game for the Shanxi Flame, Moore has "helped bring new fans to the women's game in a basketball crazed nation." Moore said, "They show maybe five NBA games a week here. They get a good amount of coverage and people love it. We are starting to get a little more interest about our game." Moore, a "former UConn star," is earning in the "mid-six figures" (AP, 12/13).
BELOW THE BELT: During boxer MANNY PACQUIAO’s knockout loss to JUAN MANUEL MARQUEZ, Getty photographer AL BELLO was “standing ringside and immediately began snapping pictures when Pacquiao hit the canvas.” Bello was then “attacked by members of Pacquiao’s entourage.” Bello said that Pacquiao adviser MICHAEL KONCZ and assistant trainer BUBOY FERNANDEZ “kicked and punched him before he jumped off the apron” (SFGATE.com, 12/12).
COURT REPORT: Saints QB DREW BREES and his foundation are "suing one of the former organizers of his celebrity golf tournament in southern California." The lawsuit, filed yesterday against DAVID MILLER and Integrated Sports Marketing in San Diego Superior Court, said that Miller "negotiated a favorable hotel rate for celebrity guests at the La Costa Resort earlier this year, then collected higher room rates, keeping the difference" (AP, 12/12).
AWARDS & HONORS: Hockey HOFer MARK MESSIER is among the ’13 class of Distinguished Honorees of the Order of Hockey in Canada (NHL.com)….ESPN’s SCOTT VAN PELT will host the Jan. 24 Greater Cleveland Sports Awards (CLEVELAND.com, 12/12)....The DC Chamber of Commerce yesterday honored Nationals manager DAVEY JOHNSON with its Hometown Hero award for being “integral to the success of DC’s baseball franchise, (the impact of which) has been felt by the District residents, businesses and fans alike” (WASHINGTONTIMES.com, 12/12)….Univ. of Tennessee women's basketball head coach emeritus PAT SUMMITT received the ’13 Naismith Outstanding Contributor to Women’s College Basketball Award (THE DAILY)….Former Blue Jays GM PAT GILLICK is among the nominees for induction to the Ontario Sports HOF (TORONTO SUN, 12/13).
CHARITY STRIPE: Red Wings GM KEN HOLLAND and coach MIKE BABCOCK raised $13,462 “during two hours of bell ringing for the Salvation Army.” Club personnel raised $24,438.69 in total for the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 12/13)….NFL Jets G BRANDON MOORE on Tuesday held his third annual Moore Family Foundation Christmas Carnival at the Boys & Girls Club in Newark, hosting “about 150 children” (NYPOST.com, 12/12)….Celtics players AVERY BRADLEY, JARED SULLINGER and COURTNEY LEE served dinner “to about 150 guests at Rosie’s Place” in Boston, while teammate JASON COLLINS and former NBAer KEYON DOOLING read to kids at the Kenny School in Dorchester, Mass. (BOSTON HERALD, 12/13).
NAMES: Knicks F AMAR'E STOUDEMIRE and ALEXIS WELCH yesterday were married in a "super-private" ceremony on the rooftop of his apartment (N.Y. POST, 12/13)....Former NFLer FRANCO HARRIS and documentarian JOHN ZIEGLER yesterday attended an L.A. event to “ask NCAA President MARK EMMERT a question about the Penn State sanctions, and the police were called after Ziegler and others with him refused to stop recording with a handheld camera” (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 12/13)….Bobcats Owner MICHAEL JORDAN is “preparing to move into his new 28,000-square-foot home worth $12.4 million on Jupiter Island in Florida.” The three-acre home includes “11 bedrooms, a pool house, a basketball court and a two-story guard house” (CHICAGOTRIBUNE.com, 12/12)....Univision Radio announced that Heat players LEBRON JAMES, CHRIS BOSH and DWYANE WADE will be Three Kings Parade Grand Marshals for the Jan. 20 event in the Little Havana neighborhood of Miami (MIAMI HERALD, 12/13)….Basketball HOFer DAVID THOMPSON “netted about $164,000 recently by auctioning off a lot of basketball memorabilia he had collected over his hall of fame career” (CHARLOTTE.com, 12/12).