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Volume 24 No. 157

People and Pop Culture

In this week's SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, Terry Lefton reports the Association of Surfing Professionals named former Visa Head of Global Sponsorship Marketing MICHAEL LYNCH Chief Marketing & Revenue Officer. Lynch will begin his new role April 15. Lynch “would not say whether he is receiving equity as part of his package.” He “described his job functions as running communications, marketing, sponsorship and other revenue lines, and building the profile of the ASP” (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 4/8 issue).

EXECS: Univ. of Wisconsin AD BARRY ALVAREZ has signed a new contract through ’18 that “calls for a raise of $25,000, which will put his compensation package” for ’13-14 at $1.05M and keeps him "among the highest-paid" college ADs. Of his salary, $500,000 “comes from UW Athletics and the rest from gift funds at the UW Foundation” (WISCONSIN STATE JOURNAL, 4/6)....The Univ. of Minnesota-Duluth named Univ. of Notre Dame Senior Assistant AD/Guest Relations & Event Marketing JOSH BERLO AD (UMD)….Northern Illinois Univ. promoted Deputy AD CHRISTIAN SPEARS to Acting AD (NIU)….East Carolina Univ. named Univ. of Maryland Associate AD & Terrapins Club Exec Dir J. BATT Senior Associate AD and Pirate Club Exec Dir (ECU).

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During the first round of the NFL Draft on April 25 at Radio City Music Hall, a "major motion picture starring KEVIN COSTNER will begin filming." The film "Draft Day" is about the Browns "dealing for the first pick in the draft, and the frenzied hours around the trade and the pick." The IVAN REITMAN-directed film will "include action filmed at Radio City in the midst of the real action" of the first round. There will be a "series of meetings beginning this week between the movie people and the NFL people to figure out how the whole thing is going to work on draft night" (, 4/8)....Ravens QB JOE FLACCO has "agreed to portray" late Pro Football HOFer JOHNNY UNITAS in the upcoming film "Unitas We Stand." Flacco will play Unitas in scenes "depicting" the Baltimore Colts' '58 NFL Championship game victory. The film is being planned so it "doesn't interfere" with Flacco's schedule with the Ravens. Filming is "scheduled to begin" July 15 and last between 9-12 weeks. Unitas' son, JOE, would "like to release the movie timing it to the Super Bowl next year." The movie's projected budget is $12.8M (, 4/6).

ONE MOMENT IN TIME: Rockets G JEREMY LIN was profiled on last night's edition of CBS’ “60 Minutes,” and he talked about travelling to Asia for a summer tour last year following the outbreak of Linsanity. Lin said he “knew it was going to be intense, but it was probably like five times crazier than I thought it was going to be.” CBS' Charlie Rose noted, “When Jeremy Lin arrived for a series of appearances in China and Taiwan last summer, he was greeted as if he were all four BEATLES on a reunion tour.” Lin said of the reason of his popularity in Asia, “I'm Asian, just like they are. That's the biggest thing. I’m also their size … in terms of height and weight and position.” Rose noted that Lin's popularity in Asia "could not have come at a better time” NBA Commissioner DAVID STERN, who "has hopes of turning his league into a global brand” (“60 Minutes,” CBS, 4/7).

CHARITY STRIPE: In L.A., Steve Dilbeck wrote the Dodgers have "revamped their charity wing, largely divorcing themselves from the foundations associated with ex-owner FRANK MCCOURT." The Dodgers Dream Foundation is "no more, at least in name." Now the Dodgers "simply call it the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation." All "but gone" is ThinkCure, the charity established by McCourt that he "once dreamed of rivaling the Jimmy Fund." There is "no profile of ThinkCure in the Dodgers’ 2013 media guide, which has 11 pages covering the Dodger organization's work in the community" (L.A. TIMES, 4/7)....Broncos QB PEYTON MANNING and wife ASHLEY "plan to donate" $500,000 to the Pat Summitt Foundation (, 4/6)

FURTHER REVIEW: Former Northern Kentucky Univ. AD SCOTT EATON had been "having affairs with employees ... and one relationship with at least one student, 'for many years' before NKU President GEOFF MEARNS found out." NKU had hired Dinsmore & Shohl for the "initial investigation and now has hired the accounting firm of Clark Schaefer Hackett to review the athletics department's finances." Mearns said that the review will "take about a month" (, 4/6).

NAMES: Comcast CEO BRIAN ROBERTS received $29M in compensation last year, an "increase" of 8% over '11. NBCUniversal President & CEO STEVE BURKE received $26.3M in compensation in '12, an 11.3% increase from '11 (, 4/5)....Fox Sports is being "sued by a former executive who alleges he was denied a promotion and later fired because he is black." JERRY DAVIS, in a lawsuit filed Friday in L.A. Superior Court, claims that he "worked at Fox Sports for more than 15 years as a director in the music department." Fox "declined to comment" (, 4/5)....Wichita State Univ. men's basketball coach GREGG MARSHALL "took out a full-page ad" in yesterday's Wichita Eagle thanking fans for their support during the NCAA Tournament (, 4/7)....USC AD PAT HADEN on Thursday debuted in the school's musical production of "The Most Happy Fella." Haden: "I keep talking to our kids about getting out ... and experiencing everything they can on a college campus, even if it's uncomfortable and outside the box" (L.A. TIMES, 4/6)....Former NFLer TROY BROWN on Friday shot a PSA for Comcast's Internet Essentials program which "offers free digital literacy training and discounted computers and Internet service to low-income kids" (BOSTON HERALD, 4/7)....Univ. of Louisville men's basketball coach RICK PITINO's horse Goldencents "won the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby" on Saturday (AP, 4/7)....Dodgers P HYUN-JIN RYU has "bought a unit" at the Ritz-Carlton Residences at L.A. Live. The sale price was not disclosed (, 4/5)....IndyCar team owner JAY PENSKE and wife ELAINE IRWIN are "expecting their first child this summer" (, 4/7)....NFLPA Exec Dir DEMAURICE SMITH on Thursday received a "Drum Major for Justice" award from the SCLC/Women's Organizational Movement for Equality Now, Inc. (ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, 4/6)....49ers QB COLIN KAEPERNICK last night co-presented the Academy of Country Music Award for “Vocal Duo of the Year” (CBS, 4/7).

IN MEMORY: Former NBA scout MARTY BLAKE, known as the "Godfather of NBA Scouting," died yesterday in Georgia at the age of 86. Blake was a Hawks GM and worked for more than 35 years as the NBA's Dir of Scouting (NBA)....Longtime CFL broadcaster JOHNNY ESAW died Saturday at the age of 87 after “respiratory complications.” Esaw was one of the “engaging pioneers of sports television in North America, a man who changed the very landscape of the business.” He is considered “one of the most significant figures in the history of Canadian sports broadcasting.” Esaw was the “first to make” the CFL mainstream, and the “first to understand the true value of Olympic sports as a television product in Canada” (TORONTO SUN, 4/8)….BILL HAIG, a “major figure in Milwaukee broadcasting who bolstered WTMJ radio’s reputation for sports coverage and later ran the Milwaukee Brewers’ broadcast operations for almost two decades,” died Saturday at the age of 78. Haig in ’80 became the Brewers VP/Broadcast, overseeing “production, advertising sales and networking for the club’s broadcast networks until his retirement” (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 4/7).