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Volume 24 No. 158

People and Pop Culture

NBA Int'l President HEIDI UEBERROTH announced today that she will leave her job at the end of the year after nearly two decades with the league. Ueberroth, who has held her current position since '09, said she began to seriously consider leaving the league after the NBA Finals ended in June. “Looking around the table as we were doing business planning and knowing that the business was in terrific shape combined with some approaches to me and having a chance to explore those fully, it seemed the right time,” Ueberroth said. “It felt like the right time to take on a more entrepreneurial role and ownership type role.” Ueberroth said she does not yet have any specific future plans. After her departure, she will continue to consult with the league. “The fun part for me is to have the luxury to have some time to take the next step,” she said. “We have hugely talented team and it is the perfect time to look at new opportunities” (John Lombardo, Staff Writer). The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Sara Germano notes Ueberroth was "instrumental" in developing NBA China, recently valued at $2.3B, and "oversees 150 employees in four offices across greater China." She also "formed partnerships with overseas social networks, including Sina and Tencent Weibo, as part of her grass roots growth strategy." Her departure "raises questions about whether a glass ceiling exists for executive women in sports." Ueberroth, who is based in N.Y., said that she "spent about 50% of her time on the road, but that the travel wasn't nearly as arduous as managing the 12-hour-plus time difference with colleagues and clients in Asia" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 8/21).

UFC President DANA WHITE, along with co-Owner, Chair & CEO LORENZO FERTITTA and co-Owner FRANK FERTITTA were tied at the top of's inaugural list of the 25 Most Powerful People in MMA. Fox Sports co-Presidents & co-COOs ERIC SHANKS and RANDY FREER were tied for fourth on the list. Listed below are select execs who made the top 25 (MMA Junkie).

Dana White UFC President
Lorenzo Fertitta UFC co-Owner, Chair & CEO
Frank Fertitta UFC co-Owner
Joe Silva UFC matchmaker
Sean Shelby UFC matchmaker
Eric Shanks Fox Sports co-President & co-COO
Randy Freer Fox Sports co-President & co-COO
Bjorn Rebney Bellator Chair & CEO
Marc Ratner UFC VP/Regulatory Affairs
Kevin Kay Spike President
Jon Slusser Spike Senior VP/Sports & Multi-Platform Programming
Craig Piligian "The Ultimate Fighter" Exec Producer
Mark Cuban AXS TV Chair, CEO & President
Andrew Simon AXS TV Fights CEO
Keith Kizer Nevada State Athletic Commission Exec Dir
Ike Lawrence Epstein UFC Exec VP & COO
Michael Mersch UFC VP/Business & Legal Affairs
Ed Soares RFA President
Sam Caplan Bellator VP/Talent Relations
Shannon Knapp Invicta Fighting Championships Owner & President
Malki Kawa First Round Management President & CEO
Victor Cui ONE Fighting Championship Owner & CEO
Mike Mossholder UFC Senior VP/Global Marketing Partnerships

With more than 30 years of experience in the entertainment industry, Legends Hospitality President Of Attractions DAVE KERSCHNER has plenty of big projects under his belt. In addition to currently overseeing the design, development and operation of the One World Observatory in N.Y., the former MSG exec took the lead on the development, design and construction of $110M Rio Tinto Stadium in Salt Lake City in '08. Kerschner said integrity has played a significant role in putting him in position to take on such projects. "That’s very important to me," Kerschner said. "You always want people that want to play very cooperatively with others, knowing that in the end, it doesn’t matter who gets the credit. It just matters that we get it done." The Toledo grad recently discussed his interest in Apple products, what can throw a business negotiation off-track and his love for cigars.

What I’m working on…
For me at the moment our focus is building the Legends Attractions business, the cornerstone of that is the One World Observatory. We place so much emphasis on getting this right that I’m spending a lot of time on One World Observatory. We’re at a critical period where we’re going from concept design to schematic design. That’s when a lot of the technical aspects of design get worked out. We’re going to focus on iconic brands like the One World Observatory and other brands that may be out there. We’re trying to find opportunities to provide incredible, new experiences to guests in those markets. One World is just the beginning.

Looking for in a job candidate...
First, you look for enthusiasm. A friend of mine once said, “You admire people that subscribe to the TGIM (Thank God It’s Monday) philosophy.” They’re very interested in what they do and are enthusiastic about their work. They just love the thought of getting back to their work. So I look for folks that are enthusiastic and want to do the job that needs to get done.

Negotiations going awry…
The only difficulty I personally have is if I sense that somebody isn’t being honest and truthful with me. When that happens, I think things can really go a little bit off-balance.

Advice I’ve gotten…
The best piece of advice I ever got was probably from my dad (KARL). He was just about the most optimistic guy I ever met in my life. He would always say, “You want to remember, If you get up in the morning and can roll out of bed, put two feet on the ground and walk, it’s a good day.” I think that’s true. It‘s important to remember that.

Daily media consumption…
I (take the) train to work every day into New York, about an hour. So I always have my iPad with me. I generally read the (N.Y.) Times every morning. That’s also the perfect opportunity to catch up with e-mails. The other thing I’m pretty disciplined about is -- I almost never miss an episode of the Sunday political shows -- NBC's "MEET THE PRESS" and ABC's "THIS WEEK".

iPhone or BlackBerry…
I was a very early adopter of the BlackBerry many years ago when they first came out. About two years ago when I got an iPad for Christmas, I just decided that it was the right time to be an Apple household. What I like about the Apple products is the seamless way in which they all connect to one another. I like the idea that everything’s on my iPad. Everything that’s on my iPad is on my iPhone, and everything that’s on my iPhone is on my Mac upstairs.

Apps I’m using…
I use lots of different apps but interestingly the one I use the most probably is Pandora. I use it to listen to music in the car and at home and wherever. What I like about Pandora is you can discover so many new artists. You can plug in an artist and you discover folks that you’ve never heard before. I like jazz, but I like rock, I like ‘60s, I like ‘70s, I really like most music. There’s not really one genre I listen to all the time -- I like the idea of being able to listen to a bunch of different things.

Technology that’s changed my life...
I’m old enough to remember when there weren’t laptop computers, but maybe in the last five years I’d say it’s the iPad. With the bigger screen and the multiple applications, it just makes it so easy to do all the things you can’t do with a laptop.

Guilty pleasures…
I love sweets. I absolutely love great ice cream, but really anything sweet I’m attracted to unfortunately. I’ve always loved them. My dad had a great sweet tooth and I guess that’s where I got it from. I also love a good cigar. There’s an old saying I subscribe to which says, "There isn’t a problem in the world that can’t be solved with a good cigar and a dog to walk." I think that’s true.

TV shows…
We always have to watch HBO's "THE NEWSROOM". I love ABC's "MODERN FAMILY." I think it’s a hilarious show.

The WTA named MELISSA PINE Championships Tournament Dir. She will oversee the WTA's strategic planning and execution of the Championships in Singapore. Pine for the last two years has worked out of the WTA's London office, where she led all aspects of the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships-Istanbul, coupled with the planning and operations of the annual WTA Pre-Wimbledon Party (WTA).

EXECS: Learfield Sports named former Illinois State Univ. AD GARY FRIEDMAN GM for its KFC Yum! Center Properties (Learfied)....The Single-A Carolina League Salem Red Sox promoted VP/Ticketing RYAN SHELTON to GM, as well as Assistant GM ALLEN LAWRENCE and Dir of Food and Beverage TIM ANDERSON each to VP (Red Sox)....Grambling State Univ. named interim AD AARON JAMES to the position permanently, pending approval by the Univ. of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors (GSU)....Rugby Canada named former Maple Leafs President & GM BRIAN BURKE to its BOD (AP)....Anti-homophobia campaign You Can Play Exec Dir PATRICK BURKE is leaving as the face of the organization and will be replaced by former NFLer WADE DAVIS (NATIONAL POST, 8/20)....DC Media named former MSG, Bobcats and NBA exec GREG ECONOMOU Exec VP & Chief Revenue Officer for Dick Clark Productions. Economou in April left his position as MSG Exec VP/Revenue Performance (THE DAILY)....The Bruins promoted KEITH GRETZKY to Dir of Amateur Scouting. In addition, the team named P.J. AXELSSON European Amateur Scout and KEITH SULLIVAN Amateur Scout (, 8/20).

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MCCLATCHY's Erika Bolstad reports 31 players from the ’72 Super Bowl champion Dolphins -- “nearly every living member of the team -- attended the White House ceremony” yesterday, including Pro Football HOFer DON SHULA and former assistant coach HOWARD SCHNELLENBERGER. PRESIDENT OBAMA said, "These Dolphins made history back before Super Bowl champs started visiting the White House. And let’s face it, this is also just a fun thing to do. I like doing it as president." Bolstad notes it “wasn’t a common practice in the 1970s to invite championship teams, although NIXON might have been unusually distracted during the Dolphins’ historic game,” which took place on Jan. 14, 1973, as he was facing the Watergate scandal. Toward the end of the ceremony, Shula gave Obama a "team jersey signed by the remaining team members. It’s numbered 72. There’s no name on the back, just one word: ‘Undefeated’” (MCCLATCHY, 8/21).

COURT REPORT: KIMBERLY CHARTIER, whose husband, JEFFREY, “died of cardiac arrest in the stands” of Gillette Stadium in ’10, has filed a civil suit in Hampden Superior Court against the Patriots and the NFL. Some reports at the time had indicated that Jeffrey’s death was “immediately preceded by an altercation with a security guard.” One of those named in the suit is ARTHUR SHERMAN of Cumberland, R.I., who it “identifies as that security guard.” The suit indicated that two NFL game officials invited the Chartiers’ son, TEDY, “onto the field before the game started but Sherman confronted Jeffrey Chartier about Tedy’s presence.” The suit charges that the confrontation “lasted more than 15 minutes and Chartier had a heart attack because of the stress” emanating from the altercation (, 8/20).

BOOK SHELF: A book from ESPN's COLIN COWHERD, titled "YOU HERD ME," is set for release on Nov. 19 through Random House publishing (Adam Harris, Assistant Editor)....Former Univ. of Michigan basketball player JOSH BARTELSTEIN is working on an e-book “that will include all of his blog writing at U-M, along with submissions from other former players, including TREY BURKE, TIM HARDAWAY JR. and ZACK NOVAK.” The e-book will be released “near Labor Day” on Amazon, iTunes and Kindle (, 8/20).

NAMES: A live auction during FS Southwest's telecast last night of Astros-Rangers raised $164,261. The funds will support victims of the tornadoes that hit Oklahoma and North Texas in May (FS Southwest)….Tennis player ANDY MURRAY on Monday “donned a hard hat and a yellow neon vest” for a tour of the still-under-construction Madison Square Garden (, 8/20)….Lakers G KOBE BRYANT and his wife, VANESSA, “have put a house on the market” in Newport Coast, Calif., for $8.599M. The property last sold for $1.7M in ’97 (, 8/20).