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Volume 24 No. 155

People and Pop Culture

Under Armour President, Chair & CEO KEVIN PLANK was profiled on Friday's episode of NBC’s “Rock Center," with host Brian Williams saying UA's "logo and the reach of the brand has grown steadily over the years." Williams: "It’s now all over the place and … the founder seems to understand this is clothing we’re talking about here, not rocket science." NBC correspondent Harry Smith noted Plank "is the guy who can proudly say, 'If you build a better T-shirt, the world will beat a path to your door.'" While not yet "as ubiquitous as the swoosh, season by season you see the Under Armour logo more and more.” UA’s success “did not exactly happen overnight," as it took 10 years "for the company to reach $300 million in sales." But "scrappy little Under Armour wanted to play in the big leagues against the likes of Nike and its creator, PHIL KNIGHT." Smith: "At Under Armour no one ever says Nike or Knight by name." Plank said, "I'm not going to lie to you. I read their book and when I was reading that book I was thinking, ‘I'm probably the one guy they don't want reading this book.’ But did we learn lessons from there? Yeah." Smith noted women's products at UA now "make up more than 30% of sales." UA Senior VP/Brand STEVE BATTISTA said Plank is "a driven visionary who can drive you crazy." Battista: "You’re going to go some days and you’re really going to want to punch him in the face, just to be brutally honest. But then you get home and you think about it and you’re like, ‘Hey, he was probably right'" ("Rock Center," NBC, 3/8).

The Mets promoted DICK SCOTT to Dir of Player Development, ADAM FISHER to Dir of Baseball Operations, JON MILLER to Dir of Minor League Operations, T.J. BARRA to Manager of Minor League Operations/Baseball Information and IAN LEVIN to Manager of Baseball Analytics (, 3/8)....S.C. Johnson named PepsiCo Global CMO SALMAN AMIN COO for North America. His successor at Pepsi is "expected to be named shortly." Amin was named to the position at Pepsi last May and had "been responsible for global marketing strategies" (, 3/8)....Grand Canyon Univ. named USA Basketball Chair JERRY COLANGELO Special Assistant to President BRIAN MUELLER. Colangelo will assist GCU in its transition to D-I athletics (GCU)....Learfield Sports named IMG College Miami (OH) Properties GM SCOTT GOLDBERG Xavier Sports Properties Associate GM, Rhycom Sports President & Managing Partner MIKE BEHYMER Kansas State Sports Properties Associate GM and KP Sports & Entertainment Regional Sales Dir KYLE JAMES Red Raider Sports Properties Associate GM (Learfield)....Bowdoin College named Interim AD TIM RYAN AD (Bowdoin).

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In L.A., David Wharton noted former U.S. speedskater NIKKI MEYER "came forward with allegations" that former U.S. Speedskating President ANDY GABEL "raped her when she was 15 and he was in his mid-20s." USOC Chair LARRY PROBST and CEO SCOTT BLACKMUN said that they had "been in discussions with U.S. Speedskating over charting that organization's future." Blackmun said, "On the sexual abuse thing, that's an issue not just in speedskating, but in sport, and not just in sport but in society in general" (, 3/8).

HONORS & AWARDS: ESPN NFL analyst BILL POLIAN on Saturday at the '13 Touchdown Club of New Orleans awards banquet received the Pete Rozelle Award (, 3/10)....Around 1,800 people turned out at the CenturyLink Center Omaha to honor former Nebraska AD TOM OSBORNE. The event was "a fundraiser for two projects dear to Osborne: his TeamMates mentoring program and a new research facility that is part of Nebraska's East Stadium expansion" (OMAHA WORLD-HERALD, 3/10)....The Bruins honored 12-year-old fan NICK CLAUDIO with the first Cam Neely Award for Courage at the Tufts Working Wonders Benefit (BOSTON HERALD, 3/10).

REAL ESTATE REPORT: Former NFLer RAY LEWIS "put his West Palm Beach property on the market," asking $5M for the seven-bedroom, 6,700-square-foot estate (, 3/8)....Golfer BUBBA WATSON bought a house in Orlando's Isleworth community that was formerly owned by TIGER WOODS. Watson said, "We closed last summer and we're moving in next Thursday or Friday." He will "join several Orlando-based Tour pros, including GRAEME MCDOWELL, IAN POULTER and JUSTIN ROSE" (, 3/8)....Dodgers P JOSH BECKETT sold his condo at the Boston Ritz Carlton for $2.8M -- "much less" than the $3.2M the property "was listed for when it hit the market last August" (BOSTON GLOBE, 3/9).

NAMES: Rock band the GOO GOO DOLLS will headline a concert the day before the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course (, 3/8)....Heat coach ERIK SPOELSTRA is dating former Heat dancer NIKKI SAPP (, 3/10)....Fox NFL analyst MICHAEL STRAHAN and rapper 50 CENT on Saturday "passed through the private Calvin Klein Courtside Club VIP at Barclays Center before watching boxer BERNARD HOPKINS beat TAVORIS CLOUD." Meanwhile, tennis player VENUS WILLIAMS and a "mini entourage did some light shopping at the Dream Downtown Hotel's Safira Boutique" (, 3/11)....Bruins D ANDREW FERENCE was named one of the Boston Globe's "25 Most Stylish Bostonians" for '13 (BOSTON GLOBE, 3/9)....The China Golf Association appointed GREG NORMAN its advisory coach to the national team. Norman will "help develop a golf program and identify China's best players" for the '16 Rio Olympics (AP, 3/8)....The Red Sox Foundation announced a new license plate program in Connecticut. The vanity plates will feature the hanging socks logo and help fund a college scholarship program to be established by the Red Sox Foundation for Connecticut public high school students (Red Sox)....Charlotte-based broadcaster CHUCK HOWARD is helping market NASCAR driver ROBBY GORDON's "Stadium Super Truck Series," an NBC Sports project with off-road pickup trucks running in 12 NFL stadiums beginning April 6 (, 3/11).