Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 24 No. 157

People and Pop Culture

Under the header, “Twelve Months of Reading,” the WALL STREET JOURNAL “asked 50 of our friends to tell us what books they enjoyed in 2012.” Among the sports execs featured was former MLB manager TONY LA RUSSA, who states, “Beginning in July, I attacked my reading with a vengeance." The "posse of fiction friends who I read during my ‘off season'" included JOHN GRISHAM ("The Racketeer"), LEE CHILD ("A Wanted Man"), VINCE FLYNN ("The Last Man"), DANIEL SILVA ("The Fallen Angel"), NELSON DEMILLE ("The Panther"), DAVID BALDACCI ("The Forgotten"), TED BELL ("Phantom") and JOHN SANFORD ("Buried Prey"). Capitals and Wizards Owner TED LEONSIS said, “I found DAVID AGUS's ‘The End of Illness’ to be a smart look at how to extend a life of vigor by playing offense with life. ‘An Economist Gets Lunch,’ by TYLER COWEN, is a fun and provocative book that takes on what the author believes are snobby, elitist ‘foodie’ views of the world by showing how anyone can get a good, fresh meal without spending a bundle. ... VIVEK RANADIVE and KEVIN MANEY's 'The Two-Second Advantage’ shows how, as the pace of data and business transactions accelerates each year, the strategic advantage of a head start in receiving and acting on information becomes even more significant.” Rays manager JOE MADDON: “A few years ago, someone recommended KEN FOLLETT's ‘Pillars of the Earth’ to me, and at the time I thought it was the best book I had ever read. Over the past year I have read the first two volumes of his Century Trilogy: ‘Fall of Giants’ and ‘Winter of the World.’ It is historical fiction at its best” (, 12/14).

ROAMING THE SIDELINE: The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Gregg Easterbrook reviews "Coaching Confidential," by the N.Y. Daily News' GARY MYERS. The book has "many engaging story lines," and is the "perfect stocking stuffer for the NFL addict." But the "shortcoming of 'Coaching Confidential' is that, though it provides copious information about coaches' personality quirks and NFL organizational structures, the book is short on insight," such as "why do some men succeed as NFL coaches and others do not?" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 12/15).

NBA Senior VP/Marketing Communications MIKE BASS has been promoted to Exec VP/Communications. In his new position, Bass will be responsible for all PR for both basketball and business communications for the NBA, the WNBA and the NBA D-League. He will continue to report to NBA Deputy Commissioner & COO ADAM SILVER. NBA Senior VP/Basketball Communications TIM FRANK will continue to lead basketball communications and will report to Bass. Bass has worked for the NBA since '97 (John Lombardo, SportsBusiness Journal).

EXECS: Sears Holdings Corp. named Mets VP/Player Development & Amateur Scouting PAUL DEPODESTA to its BOD. Sears Chair EDWARD LAMPERT said that the company was “excited about adding DePodesta’s ‘strong analytical skills and talent assessment acumen’ to its board” (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 12/16)….Leverage Agency Sports & Athlete Marketing Dir KEITH WAN is "joining WWE’s integrated sales and marketing group." Meanwhile, Private Jet Services named PETE ARRICHIELLO Business Development Dir as the company “seeks to increase its share of the sports market” (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 12/17 issue).

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

The BBC yesterday held its '12 Sports Personality of the Year Awards, naming Tour de France winner and Olympic Gold Medalist BRADLEY WIGGINS the overall Sports Personality of the Year. Soccer player DAVID BECKHAM presented the Lifetime Achievement award to former LOCOG Chair SEBASTIAN COE. The Team of the Year award was given to Team Great Britain and Paralympics Great Britain (London INDEPENDENT, 12/17). The Duchess of Cambridge KATE MIDDLETON attended the event and presented awards (AP, 12/17).

EXPANDING EMPIRE: In N.Y., Lois Weiss notes DONALD TRUMP is "snatching up golf courses across the country." Trump last Friday night "invited 320 members of the former Ritz-Carlton Golf Club & Spa in Jupiter, Fla., to a ritzy dinner at Trump International in Palm Beach." The Jupiter club is to be "renamed Trump National Golf Club at Jupiter after the developer bought it last month." The Jupiter purchase "brings to 12 the number of Trump National golf courses in the continental U.S." (N.Y. POST, 12/17).

WEDDING BELLS: Ravens LB TERRELL SUGGS on Saturday married CANDACE WILLIAMS (, 12/15)....Reds 3B TODD FRAZIER on Friday married JACKIE VERDON, a "former Rutgers gymnast who grew up 20 miles away from Frazier in Freehold, New Jersey" (, 12/15)

NAMES: The new Perot Museum of Nature & Science yesterday "announced a partnership" with the Cowboys after Owner JERRY JONES and his wife, GENE, donated $5M to the museum (, 12/16)....T'Wolves F KEVIN LOVE and Cardinals WR LARRY FITZGERALD were recognized prior to Saturday's Mavericks-T'Wolves game for the $86,000 they raised for breast cancer awareness (, 12/15)....Rams Owner STAN KROENKE has purchased the Manchester Highlands shopping center in St. Louis (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 12/15)....ESPN NFL analyst MIKE DITKA was at Binny's Beverage Depot in Niles, Ill., last Tuesday "promoting his new line of wines with names like 'The Player' and 'The Hall of Famer'" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 12/14)....Bevilacqua Helfant Ventures Partner ADAM HELFANT is the uncle of one of the victims in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, GRACE AUDREY MCDONNELL (, 12/16).