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Volume 24 No. 158

People and Pop Culture

The nominees for the 6th annual Sports Business Awards were revealed this morning, with the winners to be presented during a live ceremony May 22 at the N.Y. Marriott Marquis at Times Square. ESPN and NBC Sports Group garnered the most nominations, with four each, while CAA Sports, IMG, the NFL and Wasserman Media Group each were nominated for three awards. Overall, 74 nominees are up for awards across 15 categories. The awards recognize outstanding achievements in sports business from March 1, 2012, to Feb. 28, 2013.

SPORTS TEAM OF THE YEAR SPORTS EVENT OF THE YEAR
Oklahoma City Thunder 2012 Ryder Cup
San Francisco 49ers 2012 Stanley Cup Finals
Seattle Sounders 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials & Swimming
Washington Nationals 2012 United States Grand Prix
SPORTS LEAGUE OF THE YEAR BEST IN SPORTS MEDIA
Major League Baseball ESPN
National Basketball Association Fox Sports Media Group
National Football League National Football League
PGA Tour NBC Sports Group
United States Olympic Committee Turner Sports
SPORTS EXEC OF THE YEAR BEST IN SPORTS TELEVISION
Scott Blackmun, United States Olympic Committee CBS Sports
Mark Lazarus, NBC Sports Group ESPN
John Skipper, ESPN NBC Sports Group
Mark Walter, Los Angeles Dodgers/ Guggenheim Baseball Partners Pac-12 Networks
Melinda Witmer, Time Warner Cable Time Warner Cable Sports
ATHLETIC DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR BEST IN DIGITAL SPORTS MEDIA
Mike Holder, Oklahoma State University ESPN Digital Media
Tom Jurich, University of Louisville NBC Sports Group
Mal Moore, University of Alabama NFL Digital Media
Jim Phillips, Northwestern University
USA Today Sports Media Group

Yahoo! Sports
BEST IN TALENT REPRESENTATION & MANAGEMENT
CAA Sports
Excel Sports Management
IMG Worldwide
The Legacy Agency
Octagon
Wasserman Media Group

Easton-Bell Sports promoted MIKE ZLAKET to President, MATT ARNDT to Exec VP & GM/Hockey, BOB DIEBOLD to VP/Baseball, Softball & Lacrosse Sales and MARK KURYAK to Senior VP/Global Hockey Sales (Easton-Bell)….The MLS Fire named marketing and media agency rEvolution Senior Dir of PR DAN LOBRING Senior Dir of Communications (THE DAILY)….The Phoenix Regional Sports Commission promoted Secretary, General Counsel & Exec Board member KATIE BROWN to President & Exec Dir (PRSC).

Do you have an executive announcement? If so, please send to: editorial@sportsbusinessdaily.com.

ESPN’s DESMOND HOWARD “spoke extensively” on Friday about a lawsuit he is facing from the photographer of his noted Heisman Trophy pose during the ’91 Michigan-Ohio State game. Howard said, “It's a picture of me, on my website. I'm not selling it. I'm not making any money off it.” Howard said that in recent years, he and photographer BRIAN MASCK “have discussed the photo, and even considered going into business together, though it never happened.” He added, "I'm sympathetic to the rights of artists, but I'm also sympathetic to the rights of college athletes and their likeness" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 3/17).

THE CANDYMAN'S IN TOWN: Boston-based candy company Unreal has “launched a PR offensive” featuring Patriots QB TOM BRADY. He will be “among several A-list celebrities,” including fitness guru JILLIAN MICHAELS, singer JOHN LEGEND and actor LEONARDO DICAPRIO, “involved in the company’s so-called Easter Bunny Apology Tour.” Unreal “makes candy without corn syrup, hydrogenated oil, artificial flavors, GMO, or synthetic colors” (BOSTON GLOBE, 3/15).

NAMES: Broncos Owner PAT BOWLEN will be honored by the Mizel Institute, receiving the ’13 Community Enrichment Award at the institute’s May 22 Annual Gala Dinner (Broncos)….DR. FRANK JOBE, who developed the elbow procedure known as Tommy John surgery, will be honored during the Baseball HOF’s induction weekend on July 27 (AP, 3/15)….Dolphins equipment manager JOE CIMINO was named winner of the Whitey Zimmerman award as NFL Equipment Manager of the Year (Dolphins)….The Devils have been selected as a finalist in two categories for PR News’ inaugural Social Media Icon Awards. The franchise’s “Mission Control” digital communications center has a nominee in the Games category, with “New Jersey Devils Doodle Contest.” They are also nominated for Best Social Media Team (NORTHJERSEY.com, 3/15)….The town of Cairo, Ga., renamed its Boys & Girls Club the Jackie Robinson Boys & Girls Club (MLB.com, 3/16).