NFL Network President & CEO STEVE BORNSTEIN will "step down ... when his contract expires in the spring of 2014," according to James Andrew Miller of the N.Y. TIMES. He will be succeeded by NFL Media COO BRIAN ROLAPP. Bornstein joined the NFL in '02 and "laid the groundwork for the growth of the league’s media operations, in part by establishing the NFL Network, which made its debut" in '03. Much of Bornstein’s time was "spent securing full distribution for the new network on cable systems throughout the country." Known throughout the industry "as aggressive, Bornstein engaged in sometimes contentious negotiations with cable operators." NFL Commissioner ROGER GOODELL yesterday said, "Steve was great making sure we understood it was not going to be an easy road." In looking ahead to Rolapp, he said, "Technology is a great opportunity for the NFL, and Brian understands that. He’s been at the center of what we’ve been doing in technology, and that’s going to be his focus now that we have our broadcasting agreements in place." Miller notes Bornstein joined ESPN in '80, and in '90 at the age of 38 "became the network’s president." He stayed through '97, when "he was named chairman of ESPN and president of ABC." Bornstein said that he "had not decided what he would do next." Bornstein: "If you want to talk about what’s on my tombstone, which I hope is far away, both the NFL Network and ESPN would have to be mentioned. The difference is, the NFL was going to thrive with or without me. At ESPN, we were faced with a touch-and-go situation. There were no guarantees that business was going to survive" (N.Y. TIMES, 7/31).
People and Pop Culture
CBSSports.com Senior VP & GM JASON KINT announced this morning on his Twitter feed that he is leaving the post after more than six years. Kint played a key role in many important events in digital sports media including the rise of March Madness On Demand before it was taken over and rebranded by Turner Sports, the record-setting live streaming of Super Bowl XLVII in February, regular streaming efforts for SEC football and basketball and The Masters, the opening of CBS Sports' fantasy platform to third-party developers, and the creation of a broad content and distribution deal with 247Sports.com. "I depart feeling extremely fortunate to have worked with such talented people and great content," Kint wrote on his feed. He was unavailable this morning for further comment. Prior to joining CBSSports.com in '07, Kint was SportingNews.com VP & GM.
AFL Arizona Rattlers CEO & Majority Owner RON SHURTS has been loyal to the team for more than two decades, but the vast majority of that time has not been in the front office. A rabid fan and season-ticket holder since the team's inception in '92, he took over as majority owner in '11. While the Rattlers have found on-field success under Shurts, claiming their third ArenaBowl title last season, the team is hardly his only business interest. He also co-founded The Annexus Group, a Scottsdale financial firm that holds several partnerships with the Suns and U.S. Airways Center. Shurts spoke with THE DAILY ahead of the Rattlers' Sunday home game against the San Jose SaberCats in Week 1 of the AFL Playoffs.
From fan to owner...
I've been self-employed my whole life -- I never had a job -- so being in control is not new territory for me. I just go there like I would to a football game with my buddies. I see Coach before the game and I go to the locker room after and that’s pretty much it. I’m really there as a fan.
Rebuilding the AFL brand...
Right now they’re just scrapping and trying to build marketing partnerships at the league level that will alleviate some of those costs that the individual teams have to pay. At some point in time you’re supposed to start getting checks back. I think the (CBS Sports Network) deal is a step in the right direction.
Most of my time at work is spent thinking about...
I probably only spend two percent of my time thinking (about the Rattlers). If I spent five percent of my time, I’d be really surprised. I've got multiple businesses that are profitable, and that is not a profitable entity. Even if it was in the black, it's not going to be significant enough to move the needle for me. I know if I did spend more time, we'd definitely be able to put the thing on a different scale, but it just doesn't make economic sense to do that.
What I look for in a job candidate...
People that want to come in and be able to take a risk with you. I get people that are like-minded. I refer to these guys as "intrepreneurs," where they have an entrepreneurial environment but they’re inside the walls of a company, and to let people be creative and let them go and make decisions and make mistakes, within reason.
The sports industry needs more of...
We've probably gotten away from the intimacy and making sure we remember the fan. There's no question that the NFL and NBA have consistency as far as being out in the community. But with athletes making so much money, I think maybe they've lost the touch of the common people.
Daily media diet...
Fox News in the morning. I watch three channels: Fox News, ESPN and the Golf Channel. That’s 90% of what I watch. I'll also dig into the USA Today about every day.
How I unwind...
I’m a big golfer, and belong to a few places. As busy as I am, sometimes I can slip out, go to the course at four o'clock and hit some balls, have a cocktail, and go play three or four holes. I go by myself. As much as I like to play, it’s difficult to go and play for six and seven hours.
My kind of music...
I don't own anything country -- boots, hats, belts or shirts -- but I've been a country music fan for over 30 years. That's all I listen to. When some of the big acts come out in the pop world, I have no idea who they are. I grew up in Nebraska, so that's where I got a little bit of that.
Orioles Exec VP/Business Operations DOUG DUENNES, who "oversaw all aspects of Camden Yards and the business side of the Orioles in his two-plus years" in the position, "has been relieved of his duties." Duennes said, "There really wasn't an explanation ... It was said a 'change in direction,' that kind of language." He "had more than 30 years of experience" working in MLB, including previous stints with the Padres and Dodgers (BALTIMORESUN.com, 7/30).
ACROSS THE ATLANTIC: The Atlantic 10 announced that Senior Associate Commissioner ED PASQUE will be handling the league's external brand management and marketing endeavors while continuing his oversight of the A-10 media partner contract relationships. The conference also promoted LUCAS FELLER to Assistant Commissioner for Championships and TOM WATERMAN to Operations Assistant for Championships & Media Relations, and named HENRY ARCHULETA to the newly created position of Compliance Dir (A-10).
EXECS: The Int'l Association of Venue Managers named BOK Center GM JOHN BOLTON Chair, with a one-year term (TULSA WORLD, 7/30)....NASCAR named CHRIS WRIGHT K&N Pro Series East Dir and transitioned KIP CHILDRESS to K&N Pro Series West Dir. The series also named TONY GLOVER NASCAR Touring Series Technical Dir. K&N Pro Series West interim Dir LES WESTERFIELD will resume his role as NASCAR Touring Series Technical Coordinator and K&N Pro Series East race Dir (NASCAR)....Hendrick Motorsports named VP/Development DOUG DUCHARDT to the newly created position of Exec VP & GM. He will be in charge of all racing operations, and will report to team Owner RICK HENDRICK and President MARSHALL CARLSON (Hendrick).
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Nike in a proxy statement filed with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission yesterday said that CEO MARK PARKER earned $15.4M in FY '13, which is below the $35.2M he earned in FY '12 "when Nike's board awarded him a one-time stock windfall" valued at $23.5M. Parker this year "earned a comparatively smaller" $3.5M in stock options. Nike VP & CFO DONALD BLAIR in FY '13 "earned compensation valued at nearly" $7.8M, a roughly 78% increase over the previous year. Five of the 10 "highest-paid public company executives in Oregon last year worked for Nike" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 7/30). Meanwhile, Nike co-Founder & Chair PHIL KNIGHT "headlines a long list of financial and political heavy-hitters" nominated by the Univ. of Oregon, Portland State Univ. and Oregon State Univ. to "form the inaugural independent boards that will run the three universities starting next summer" (Portland OREGONIAN, 7/31).
THIS IS YOUR LIFE: 20th Century Fox has "acquired the life rights to develop a feature based on the life" of former NFLer KURT WARNER. The film will be "produced by Temple Hill partners MARTY BOWEN and WYCK GODFREY, and part of the rights package will include Warner's autobiography, 'ALL THINGS POSSIBLE: MY STORY OF FAITH, FOOTBALL AND THE MIRACLE SEASON'" (DEADLINE.com, 7/29)....DAVID BECKHAM will "release a picture book" on Oct. 31 "featuring images from his playing career in a deal" with Lagardère's UK-based Headline Publishing Group (REUTERS, 7/30).
IT'S WHAT'S FOR DINNER: Packers coach MIKE MCCARTHY and Packers players including AARON RODGERS, CLAY MATTHEWS, and JORDY NELSON have "individually crafted a menu of specialty burgers" for Curly's Pub at Lambeau Field. The players' burgers will be "featured on the menu weekly, one at a time, through Sept. 7." McCarthy's "Mac Attack Burger" is on sale now (GREEN BAY PRESS-GAZETTE, 7/31).
NAMES: Lagardère Unlimited has signed 49ers CB TARELL BROWN, according to Entertainers & Athletes Group CEO DENISE WHITE, Brown's publicist. Agent JOEL SEGEL will represent Brown. He was formerly represented by BRIAN OVERSTREET. Brown fired Overstreet last week after he failed to collect a $2M contract bonus (Liz Mullen, Staff Writer)....Former Penn State Univ. President GRAHAM SPANIER, former VP/Finance & Business GARY SCHULTZ and former AD TIM CURLEY yesterday were ordered to "stand trial on charges that they were part of a cover-up related to the child sexual abuse scandal" involving former assistant football coach JERRY SANDUSKY. The trial "could start later this year" (N.Y. TIMES, 7/31)....Former FIFA President JACK WARNER "easily won back a seat" in the Trinidad & Tobago Parliament "just over three months after he was forced to resign from the Trinidadian government because of corruption allegations" (AP, 7/30)....Saints LB JONATHAN VILMA is a "partner in BarEye, a mobile startup that produces software for bar owners and their patrons." BarEye began with a "pilot program in Tallahassee," but is "about to expand" into the Atlanta, Austin, L.A., N.Y., and Miami markets (USATODAY.com, 7/25)....Quiksilver surf-team manager CHAD WELLS has “abruptly left the Huntington Beach company in the wake of derogatory comments made on his personal Facebook page in defense of a controversial video ad by women's surf outfitter Roxy, one of Quiksilver's sister companies" (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 7/31)....UFC fighter RONDA ROUSEY will be featured in Maxim magazine's September cover story (FOXSPORTS.com, 7/30)....In USA TODAY’s "Talking Your Tech" feature, comedian JEFF GARLIN notes one of his favorite apps is MLB At Bat: "I love baseball. To watch games or listen to them on my iPhone or iPad mini is fantastic" (USATODAY.com, 7/30).
IN MEMORY: Former Honolulu Advertiser Sports Editor and Exec Sports Editor RON DELACY died Monday at the age of 69 after a bout with cancer. He was retired and residing in Columbia, Calif., "after nearly a half-century in journalism" (STARADVERTISER.com, 7/30)....Former NBAer OSSIE SCHECTMAN died yesterday at the age of 94. He was "remembered as a central figure" in the NBA's formation, as he scored the first two points in the league’s history (N.Y. TIMES, 7/31).