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Volume 24 No. 159

People and Pop Culture

SportsBusiness Journal this week announced its annual Forty Under 40 class. Members of this year's class will be honored April 4 at the Ritz-Carlton in Naples, Fla., during the 12th annual IMG World Congress of Sports. The names of those selected are listed below.

EXEC TITLE
Jay Adya Evolution Media Capital Exec
Derek Aframe Octagon Senior VP
Renie Anderson NFL VP/Business Development, Sponsorship & Media Sales
Nick Arison Heat CEO
Christopher Brumm MLB Senior Counsel
Rob Candelino Unilever VP/Marketing
Alexander Chang American Express VP/Sports & Entertainment Marketing
Woodie Dixon Pac-12 Conference General Counsel & VP/Business Affairs
Steve Dupee GMR Marketing Senior VP/Client Management
Ray Elias StubHub CMO
Amy Gleeson Visa Senior Business Leader/Global
Chris Granico adidas Global Sports Marketing & Basketball Head
Robb Heineman MLS Sporting KC President, CEO & co-Owner
Karen Hoffman Lent Skadden Arps Partner
Matt Kamienski World Golf Championships Senior Dir and Presidents Cup Exec Dir
Alex Kaplan DirecTV VP/Revenue & Product Marketing
Craig Karmazin Good Karma Broadcasting President & CEO
Dan Keats Allstate Integrated Marketing Communications Dir
Sam Kennedy Red Sox COO and Fenway Sports Management President
Greg Luckman CAA Sports Global Consulting Head
Doug Manning CSE Senior VP/Marketing
Mike McCarley NBC Golf Media President
Scott Milleisen JPMorgan Chase Managing Dir
Carl Mittleman Aramark Sports & Entertainment Regional VP
Brett O’Brien Gatorade Senior VP & GM
Mike Ondrejko Legends Sales & Marketing COO
John Papa ESPN VP/Program Planning & Acquisitions
Merritt Paulson MLS Timbers Owner & President
Drew Russell Intersport VP/Sports Properties
Martha Saucedo AEG Exec VP/External Affairs
Hans Schroeder Senior VP/Media Strategy & Development
Dan Spillane NBA VP & Assistant General Counsel
Brent Stehlik Browns Exec VP & Chief Revenue Officer
Alex Sugarman Cubs Senior VP/Strategy & Development
Bryce Townsend GroupM Entertainment & Sports Partnerships CEO/North America
Brent Trager Fanatics COO
Lenah Ueltzen Wasserman Media Group Senior VP/Int’l Consulting
Lisa Valentino ESPN Senior VP/Multimedia Sales
Jed York 49ers CEO
Justin Zambuto IMG VP

 

 

K.C. will be the "host site for the only advance public screenings" of "42," the upcoming film "chronicling the rise" of Baseball HOFer JACKIE ROBINSON, according to Bill Draper of the AP. Actors HARRISON FORD, who portrays late Dodgers GM BRANCH RICKEY, and ANDRE HOLLAND, who portrays late sportswriter WENDELL SMITH, "planned to attend the screenings on April 11." Negro Leagues Baseball Museum President BOB KENDRICK said that proceeds will "benefit" the museum. Other than the official premiere in L.A., the movie will "be shown only in Kansas City prior to its nationwide opening April 12." Kendrick said that the exposure the movie brings to the museum will "be as important as the financial windfall from the advance screenings." Asset management firm Waddell & Reed Exec President THOMAS BUTCH, whose company is one of two primary sponsors of the screenings along with AMC Theatres, said that the $42 tickets "include unlimited concessions, two adult drink tickets and a souvenir bag and has a total value of $70." He added that the movie "is the only movie that will be shown at the BarryWoods 24 complex on the night of the screenings" (AP, 3/21). Butch described the event as "a real coup" for the K.C. market. In K.C., James Fussell reports tickets to the special screenings are "available at 42kansascity.com through April 9 at varying price levels." A $72 ticket includes "VIP seating and a Q&A after the show" led by NBCSports.com columnist JOE POSNANSKI. VIP packages are going from $1,000-25,000 and "include a reception with Ford." Ford will "introduce the film in some, perhaps all, of the theater auditoriums" (K.C. STAR, 3/20).

FILM MAKES IMPRESSION: White Sox Owner JERRY REINSDORF viewed an advanced screening of  the film and said it was “powerful.” He added that Ford has Rickey “down cold.” Reinsdorf: “It just brought back incidents that I remember like it was yesterday.” Reinsdorf was 11 years old when Robinson broke the color barrier, and he said he “absolutely” did not recognize the impact Robinson was making on the game and society. Reinsdorf: “Half my friends were negroes. It wasn’t a big deal. I just wasn’t that aware” (CHICAGOTRIBUNE.com, 3/20).

The Islanders yesterday promoted MIKE BOSSY to VP/Corporate Sponsorship & Partnership Marketing, beginning the third phase of a career that already has seen him go from Stanley Cup champion to sales exec. "The Islanders have always been my passion, from my years as a player to my post-playing days in a suit and tie," he said. The Hockey HOFer spoke with THE DAILY after the announcement to discuss his increased responsibilities and thoughts on the Islanders' upcoming move to Brooklyn.

Q: How do your role and your responsibilities expand under this title?
Bossy: I worked very closely with (former VP/Sponsorships) DAVE DECINA, so I guess there is a certain percentage of what I’m doing now that I was doing already. My responsibilities, like any head of a department, is putting out fires, making sure people are happy, finding creative ideas for existing partnerships and new partners and just trying to grow our revenue and our partnerships as much as possible. I’m not a real big title guy. It certainly adds to the responsibilities, but in general not very much will change about the way I’ve been doing business for the last six years or so.

Q: How has your familiarity with the Islanders and the community benefited your post-playing career?
Bossy: Let’s just be completely honest -- I am who I am and I did what I did. That will always stay with me. From that perspective, of course it’s helped me in the last six years. Although, as I tell a lot of people who think that everybody answers my phone calls and takes meetings with me, that’s absolutely false. I always say just because of who I am and what I did doesn’t mean that people who know why I’m calling now will take a message, because people who know why I’m calling now know I want them to spend money and sometimes people don’t want to spend money. But I don’t use my name in that way. I prefer to have meetings with people who don’t know who I am. It really challenges me to not go in to a meeting and have someone be sitting across from Mike Bossy the hockey player, but they are sitting across from Mike Bossy who is in partnership marketing and sponsorship.

Q: What are your thoughts about the Islanders moving to the Barclays Center in ’15?
Bossy: I’m excited about it. There’s no doubt that it’s a big move, in the sense that, as I tell people, we’re moving 20 miles from Nassau Coliseum. But I think it’s a world of difference. As far as I’m concerned in my role, it’s going to open up a lot of new and different opportunities for the Islanders. There’s a whole bunch of different corporate sponsors that we will be able to approach, not only because of our location, but I think because of the beautiful building that we’re moving to. In the back of my mind of course I’m a bit nostalgic and feel for the Long Island fans who are disappointed that their team is moving to Brooklyn. There’s no doubt that I made my name, I am who I am today, because of this building and the team that I played on in this building and the four Stanley Cups that we won.

Q: What are the challenges of entering a new market like Brooklyn?
Bossy: Right now Brooklyn is still building a basketball history. They have a baseball history. They do not have a hockey history. That will definitely be a challenge that I know that people from Brooklyn and myself are looking forward to. One of the things I’m looking forward to is introducing Brooklyn to hockey on a deeper level. We’ve always been extremely close with the community here on Long Island and I’m looking forward to introducing the Islanders into the community in Brooklyn and having them love the team for everything we can do and help with in the community.

The NBA named KIKI VANDEWEGHE VP/Basketball Operations, effective April 1. VanDeWeghe will be involved in the development of playing rules and interpretations; game analytics; disciplinary matters; and policies and procedures relating to the operation of NBA games. He previously was Nuggets GM from '01-06, Nets GM from '07-10 (NBA).

EXECS: The Islanders promoted MIKE BOSSY to VP/Corporate Sponsorship & Partnership Marketing (Islanders)....Independent baseball team operator Salvi Sports named Double-A Texas League Arkansas Travelers GM PETE LAVEN President. Laven will oversee each of Salvi's four franchises (Salvi Sports)....Experiential marketing firm Engine Shop named Agassi Enterprises and Prism Sports Manaement Exec VP CHRIS HANDY Chief Business Officer (Engine Shop)....Keeneland Communications Dir JULIE BALOG will step down following the track's spring meet to become YMCA of Central Kentucky VP/Marketing & Communications. Balog has been with Keeneland since '99 (BLOODHORSE.com, 3/20)....The NASCAR Foundation elected ISC Vice Chair & CEO LESA FRANCE KENNEDY and Jon Hall Automotive Group/Ritchey Autos Southeast Automotive Management President & CEO GLENN RITCHEY to its BOD (NASCAR)....The U.S. Soccer Foundation named NBC Sports Ventures Senior VP ROB SIMMELKJAER to its BOD (USSF).

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

DAVID BECKHAM arrived yesterday in Beijing as the country's "first global football ambasssador." Beckham began his four-day tour of the country and "played down reports" that he was earning sums of money from this and two future visits to China. Beckham's acceptance as an ambassador "follows a trail of revelations exposing Chinese football as riddled with corruption" (THETIMES.co.uk, 3/20). 

THINKING GREEN: Orioles LF CHRIS DICKERSON co-founded Players for the Planet, a "coalition of nearly 90 professional athletes who partner to promote environmental awareness." The organization is "still grassroots -- there are just five people on staff." Dickerson said that he would "love to be behind a Major League Baseball 'Green Week'" (Baltimore SUN, 3/21)....Dodgers Chair MARK WALTER and wife KIMBRA have purchased the 7,400-acre White Oak Plantation and conservation center in Yulee, Fla., and "plan to continue operating it as a wildlife preserve" (JACKSONVILLE.com, 3/20).

REAL ESTATE: SERENA WILLIAMS has "sold her Westwood condo" for $1.76M (LATIMES.com, 3/20)....Baseball HOFer RYNE SANDBERG last week sold his 2,500-square-foot "vintage co-op unit" in the Streeterville area on the north side of Chicago for $580,000 (CHICAGOTRIBUNE.com, 3/21). 

BOOK SHELF: Hockey HOFer BOBBY ORR's famous "flying goal" in the '70 Stanley Cup Final is on the cover of his memoir, due out in October (BOSTONGLOBE.com, 3/20)....Author OLIVER HOROVITZ appeared on "CBS This Morning" on Tuesday to promote his new book, "An American Caddie in St. Andrews." Horovitz in the book "shares his adventures" of caddying at the course for seven summers. CBS' Gayle King said what was "fascinating" about the book is there is a "caddy structure, a hierarchy in being a caddy" ("CBS This Morning," 3/19)....Fox is developing a "tentpole event series" called "The Run of His Life: The People V. O.J. SIMPSON," based on the book of the same name by CNN's JEFFREY TOOBIN (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 3/20).

NAMES: NASCAR driver LANDON CASSILL is suing BK Racing over what he "alleges is $205,000 in unpaid winnings and other fees owed to him for racing for the team last year." Cassill also is "asking for an unspecified amount of money for not being told until mid-January that he would not drive for the team in 2013" (SPORTINGNEWS.com, 3/20)....NASCAR driver CLINT BOWYER bought Toyota dealer Davis-Moore Auto Group in his hometown of Emporia, Kan., a place where he "used to be employed" (SPORTINGNEWS.com, 3/20)....NFL Jets Owner WOODY JOHNSON will host a luncheon fundraiser for the Republican National Committee at the Harvard Club on April 8 (POLITICO.com, 3/20)….Late boxer JOHNNY KILBANE will be featured in a documentary titled “A Fighting Heart” during next month’s Cleveland Int’l Film Festival (CLEVELAND.com, 3/18)….Giants QB ELI MANNING yesterday revealed his wife, ABBY, is “expecting their second child” (NYDAILYNEWS.com, 3/20)....The funeral yesterday for late Archbishop Molloy (N.Y.) high school basketball coach JACK CURRAN was attended by former Georgia Tech men's coach BOBBY CREMINS, Basketball HOFer LOU CARNESECCA and several former NBAers, including KENNY SMITH, KENNY ANDERSON, KEVIN JOYCE and BRIAN WINTERS (N.Y. POST, 3/21).