ATP Exec Chair & President BRAD DREWETT, who announced in January he suffered from ALS, has died, according to the tennis organization. "Sadly, the news is true,” an ATP spokesperson said, confirming a post RAFAEL NADAL had put on his Facebook page Friday morning. The 54-year-old Drewett, a former player and longtime administrator, became a compromise candidate to take the reins of the ATP in January '12. He immediately embarked on a goal of dramatically increasing the percentage of pay players got from the four Grand Slam tournaments, which paid levels far below that of other team sports. He lived long enough to see the fruits of that success, with all four now committed to dramatic increases. The ATP is in the midst of replacing him, with two internal candidates -- LAURENT DELANNEY and MARK YOUNG -- the only candidates at this time. Drewett was instrumental in spearheading the ATP’s efforts in Asia, and in running the successful season-ending championships in London. Following Drewett's ALS revelation, he kept busy with the ATP, even spending two weeks at the Sony Open in March.
People and Pop Culture
Active Network “shook up its top ranks late Wednesday, announcing the resignation" of President & CEO MATT LANDA and Exec Chair DAVID ALBERGA, "both long-time executives with the firm,” according to Mike Freeman of the SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE. Active said that the resignations are “not related to disputes with the board or issues regarding the company’s accounting practices.” Still, Freeman writes the resignations “appear unexpected,” as Landa was named CEO “just seven months ago.” Alberga worked as “chief executive of the company since it was founded in 1999” and stepped into the Exec Chair role last October. The company’s share price has “dipped 50 percent since last fall -- in part because of concerns about the pace of a technology upgrade, as well as sluggish revenue from its hunting and fishing license business.” Active’s BOD named JON BELMONTE interim CEO (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 5/3). At presstime, Active Network was trading at $5.12, up 1% from Thursday's close of $5.07 (THE DAILY).
Although Golden Boy Promotions CEO RICHARD SCHAEFER is a Switzerland native, Cinco de Mayo is one of his favorite holidays -- no doubt helped by the fact that his wife hails from Mexico. But it also is one of his busiest days of the year, as the company views it as the “Super Bowl of Boxing.” After a long career in finance, Schaefer joined Golden Boy in '00. He now makes at least 10 trips annually from his L.A. home to Las Vegas, leading Schaefer to call Sin City his “home away from home.” He will be there once again for Saturday night's highly-anticipated FLOYD MAYWEATHER JR.-ROBERT GUERRERO fight slated for the MGM Grand.
STRIP-TASTIC: Friday being the day before the big fight, it’s extremely hectic. It starts in the morning with a meeting with Showtime executives to discuss our full schedule of fights and lock in dates. From there, we are going to the traditional weigh in at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. We expect about 10,000 people just to be at the weigh in and it’s always a very festive environment. We somewhat make a show out of it. There’s music. Mariachis will play. From there, I’m going to have meetings right after. We are discussing locking in our big fight for the AT&T Center in San Antonio for July 27. From there -- not much time -- I’m going to have to rush over to the Cosmopolitan Hotel where at 6:30 we will have a Fox Sports boxing event. So I’ll be sitting ringside there, then rushing back to the MGM because by now my family will be arriving.
FIRESIDE CHAT: My wife and my three boys will arrive and I’ll be able to shut off my phone and have a nice dinner Friday night and relax a bit. They like Shibuya, which is a Japanese restaurant. They have two sections where they have the sushi section then they have the teppanyaki section where they cook in front of you. We like the teppanyaki section where we can all sit there, we can talk, I can tell them how crazy of a week it has been and they can tell me how school was. We haven’t seen each other for a week or so and it’s always a nice time to catch up on everything.
CIGAR AFICIONADO: One of my ways to relax is I love to smoke cigars. Whenever I can, I try to sneak in a little cigar. So staying at the MGM Garden, they provide me with a room which actually has an outdoor balcony. So I can go outside from my room and I can sit there and just smoke a cigar. No question about it, after dinner I'm going to be right there on the balcony smoking my cigar and maybe have a glass of champagne with my wife.
BUSY DAY: Saturday morning we will have a press conference for a lot of our upcoming fights. Before that, I’m going to have a quick breakfast in the room and read the Saturday papers. I get N.Y. papers, I get Texas, Vegas, the L.A. paper, USA Today and I’m always looking at the kind of exposure the fight gets. I’ll read up on the papers, have my coffee and host the press conference at 11:30am. That will probably be over around 1:00pm. Then I’ll have something to eat, usually down at the MGM at the Wolfgang Puck restaurant. It’s going to be a long day and I won’t be able to have something to eat again until probably 1:00am or so. Then I go and smoke my pre-fight cigar.
MONKEY SEE, MONKEY DO: I always wear my lucky cuff links. Most of the time they work, but not always. When OSCAR DE LA HOYA fought FERNANDO VARGAS -- that was his big rival -- my wife gave me these cuff links, which look like a monkey. I like to wear animal cuff links. She gave me those cuff links for good luck. Oscar knocked out Vargas out and ever since, they’ve been my lucky cuff links. They’re like a little monkey head, silver -- really cute.
AWAY FROM SIN (CITY): Sunday I really like to get back home as soon as possible, because now I’ve been in Las Vegas for a week. So usually we have an early wake-up call. Usually me, my wife and my boys leave Las Vegas early morning so that we arrive back in L.A. somewhere around 10:00am or 11:00am. We go home and then have a relaxing weekend in my home and just unwind because I know on Monday, I’ll be back in the office and work starts all over again!
IMG Media Senior VP/Programming & Distribution HILLARY MANDEL has assumed responsibilities for U.S.-based acquisitions and distribution. She also co-manages IMG Media in Canada (IMG)....ESPN formally announced Senior VP/Programming JUSTIN CONOLLY will oversee the newly formed SEC Network (THE DAILY).....Speedo USA named Brown Athletic VP/Footwear Product Marketing BRAD LITTLE VP/Sales for Footwear, Bags & Packs (Speedo)....The Jaguars named KYLE O'BRIEN Dir of College Scouting, PAUL ROELL Assistant Dir of College Scouting, MARK ELLENZ Eastern Regional Scout. The club also promoted Assistant Dir of Player Personnel ANDY DENGLER to Dir of College Personnel (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 5/3)....The U.S. Travel Association named Buccaneers Communications Dir JONATHAN GRELLA Senior VP/Public Affairs (POLITICO.com, 5/2)....The Association of Racing Commissioners' Int'l BOD named JOHN WARD Exec Dir (BLOODHORSE.com, 5/1)....Wheaton College named SHAWN MEDEIROS SID, effective May 1 (Wheaton)....The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation named IMG College President BEN SUTTON to its BOT (RRPF).
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Wisconsin-based Edis Trucking on Wednesday filed a federal lawsuit against Pilot Flying J which "specifically names" Browns Owner and Pilot CEO JIMMY HASLAM III as a defendant "accused of defrauding the trucking business and others like it." The class action lawsuit is the "first of five lawsuits filed in the case to name Haslam and other top company officials as individual defendants." The suit says Haslam "exercised control, authority, responsibility and/or supervision" of the company's employees and officers. According to the suit, Haslam "also engaged in and/or caused" Pilot Flying J to take part in the scheme (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 5/3).
THE MAN BEHIND MARIA: CNN's Gary Morley profiled tennis agent MAX EISENBUD, who reps LI NA and MARIA SHARAPOVA, among others. Sharapova "has been able to count on" Eisenbud, who has "masterminded her rise to becoming the world's highest-paid female athlete." Eisenbud "made a fortune not only for Sharapova," but also for Na. Eisenbud: "As an agent you just get lucky sometimes, and I'm just a really lucky guy." Morley notes Eisenbud "may work with other players," but he says that Sharapova "will always be his focus" (CNN.com, 5/1).
GYM CLASS: Heat F LEBRON JAMES donated $1M for a "state-of-the-art gym at his alma mater," St. Vincent-St. Mary High School in Akron. The project should be completed this fall, and basketball coach DRU JOYCE II said that "everything will be run by James." It will be "named the LeBron James Arena" (AKRON BEACON JOURNAL, 5/3).
BUCK STOPS HERE: Orioles manager BUCK SHOWALTER is featured in the Baltimore SUN's "Celebrity Traveler" series, and the former Rangers manager provided "some tips for visiting Dallas." Asked which airline he preferred, Showalter said, "American. Dallas is a hub, and I'm a big nonstop fan." Showalter said, "Because this job is seven days a week and often on the road, when my wife and I are together, we eat at home. I couldn't tell you more than two or three restaurants in Dallas or Baltimore!" (Baltimore SUN, 5/3).
NAMES: The MLS Timbers and Make-A-Wish Oregon "treated" 8-year-old fan ATTICUS LANE-DUPRE and his team the Green Machine to a game Wednesday. Atticus "scored the game-winning goal" in a 10-9 win (AP, 5/1)....Lakers G KOBE BRYANT on Thursday filed a lawsuit to "put the brakes" on an auction by his mother PAMELA, of some of his memorabilia. Bryant sent a "cease-and-deist letter to the auctioneer, Goldin Auctions LLC of West Berlin." The 43 items were to go "up for auction in June" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 5/3)....Colts Owner JIM IRSAY on Twitter announced that he is “going to help" Colts-themed Indianapolis restaurant Blue Crew Sports Grill from being shut down “because of a $75,000 rent debt” (INDYSTAR.com, 5/2)....Golf HOFer NANCY LOPEZ will host a fundraiser for Henry Ford Macomb Hospitals on June 10 at the Detroit Golf Club (FREEP.com, 5/1)....MLB and the MLBPA announced a combined $100,000 donation to the POINTWEST Bank Fund to assist victims of the fertilizer plant fire and explosion in West, Texas (MLB)....Lions DT NDAMUKONG SUH on Thursday "presented a check" for $250,000 from the Ndamukong Suh Family Foundation to install a synthetic turf field at Grant High School in Portland (OREGONLIVE.com, 5/2)....Singer BRYAN EVANS is writing a book "The Green Monsters -- A Fan's Perspective of Red Sox Management" about the making of his music video "At Fenway." The book will detail "what it was like dealing with Red Sox management" (BOSTON GLOBE, 5/3)....The Annika Intercollegiate, a new college golf tournament co-founded by the Annika Foundation and Golfweek, will be held Sept. 27-30 next year at the Reunion Resort near Orlando (GOLFWEEK.com, 5/2).
IN MEMORY: REUBEN PORRAS, an Atlanta-based cameraman, suffered a heart attack in an off-field media room at Turner Field on Wednesday and passed away later in the evening. Nationals head trainer LEE KUNTZ and assistant strength and conditioning coach JOHN HSU “were able to initially revive him” (MLB.com, 5/1).