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Volume 24 No. 115

People and Pop Culture

Feffer helped launch the Nationals'
"Natitude" campaign last year
Nationals COO ANDY FEFFER is leaving the club at season's end to start an as-yet-undisclosed sports venture. Feffer, a former NFLPA, Bobcats, Orioles and DirecTV exec, joined the Nationals in early '10 and played a large role in elevating the club's brand, implementing a series of upgrades at Nationals Park and introducing a ticketing system based on radio frequency identification (RFID) technology. Feffer declined to specify the nature of his forthcoming venture, but said he was eager for the "chance to work on my own creation." Feffer said of his tenure with the Nationals, "The last four seasons here have been great, and we literally turned around the business and built a brand of meaning and relevance. I'm really grateful to be part of a special story here. There is a foundation here for long, continued success." A replacement has not yet been named (Eric Fisher Staff Writer). Feffer: “I knew I had accomplished what I came here to do, and like anything else, it’s time. I wanted to do something different. It’s something I’ve thought about for a long time. Going forward, I’ll certainly help with their transition, and anything they need in the offseason, I’m here to assist and help,” In DC, Dan Steinberg noted Feffer “focused on improving the Nationals brand, wanting it to connote both innovation and loyalty, through initiatives like the Red Carpet Rewards program for season ticket holders.” He “helped launch the Natitude campaign” before the ’12 season that “came to be something of a catch-all term to describe the Nats’ run to the NL East title.” Feffer also “helped lead the Nats’ new 2013 season-ticketing system.” The program, which was "modeled after European soccer clubs, used access cards to attempt to increase fan loyalty while integrating ticketing with other ballpark systems" (, 9/13).

SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL's Eric Fisher reports Sporting News Media President JEFF PRICE “is departing the company after leading the brand through a significant transition to a digital-first outfit.” Price, “whose departure is effective immediately, will pursue entrepreneurial projects under this own company name, Acorn Sports Ventures, with an early focus on youth sports.” He will “continue to be based” in N.Y. Price was named Sporting News President & Publisher in February ’10. Sporting News Media is owned by American City Business Journals, parent company of SportsBusiness Journal and SportsBusiness Daily (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 9/16 issue).

EXECS: IMG Golf North America named LPGA Dir of Media Communications MIKE SCANLAN Dir of PR & Communications (IMG)....NESN named HOWARD ZALKOWITZ Dir of Production & Senior Coordinating Producer, JIM DADDONA Coordinating Producer/Red Sox Baseball and DENNY IOTT Coordinating Producer/News (NESN)....The 76ers named NBA Associate VP/Basketball Operations BRANDON WILLIAMS GM for the NBA D-League Delaware 87ers. Williams “will also serve in the Sixers’ front office” (, 9/13).

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Heat F LEBRON JAMES on Saturday married SAVANNAH BRINSON at a "posh resort in San Diego." Guests had their phones "taken away for the ceremony and reception in an effort to ensure that no photos or details leaked out." Many members of the Heat organization were there, including G DWYANE WADE, F CHRIS BOSH, Owner MICKY ARISON, coach ERIK SPOELSTRA and James' manager MAVERICK CARTER. TV stations in San Diego showed "aerial images of the hotel, including large tents set up for both the reception and to shroud the arrival of guests." In some cases, "umbrellas were even used to protect the identity of wedding-arrivers from prying eyes in the sky" (AP, 9/15). US WEEKLY's Stephanie Webber cited sources as saying that JAY Z and BEYONCE performed "Crazy In Love" (, 9/14).

PEACH PIT: A new law "taking effect next year bans lobbyists from giving Georgia's politicians free college football tickets." Disclosure reports show that lobbyists have given Georgia politicians "nearly $1,400 in college football tickets and related entertainment since the start of the season in late August." Last year, registered lobbyists "shelled out more than $14,000 in tickets and perks at college football games." Common Cause Georgia Exec Dir WILLIAM PERRY described the tickets as "just one part of the unchecked lobbyist spending that distorted Georgia politics" (AP, 9/14).

COURT REPORT: Former NBA coach GEORGE KARL is "being sued by his long-time agent, Columbus attorney BRET ADAMS, in a payment dispute." Adams filed suit in U.S. District Court in Columbus last Wednesday, claiming Karl "has refused to pay him since January, allegedly breaching a contract between the two." The suit says that the contract "calls for Adams to receive $10,000 a month from Karl." He is "asking for compensatory damages in excess of $75,000, attorney fees and other costs" (, 9/13).

NAMES: Pro Football HOFer STEVE YOUNG on Saturday in Salt Lake City spoke to a group "of about 400 attending the New Frontiers conference of the group Affirmation: Gay and Lesbian Mormons." Young described himself "as a Mormon who wants to 'build bridges' with the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community" (DESERET NEWS, 9/15)....LAUREN LA CANFORA, the wife of CBS' JASON LA CANFORA, was "released from a second trip to the hospital" yesterday after being hit by a car while running Friday. Jason La Canfora said she remains in "a lot of pain," with a concussion but no internal injuries (, 9/15)....The Baton Rouge Advocate compiled a list of the richest Louisiana celebrities, and it included U.S. Olympian LOLO JONES, TNT NBA analyst SHAQUILLE O'NEAL, Saints and Hornets Owner TOM BENSON and Saints QB DREW BREES (, 9/15)....Tennis player SLOANE STEPHENS “walked the runway Thursday night at the Just Dance With Boy Meets Girl fashion show” at STYLE360 at the Metropolitan Pavilion in N.Y., modeling designs from STACY IGEL (, 9/13)….Baseball HOFer JOE MORGAN is “partnering with California-based Steelhead Vineyards to bring premium wine in single-serve packages to Great American Ball Park and other venues” (CINCINNATI ENQURIER, 9/15)….Ravens QB JOE FLACCO’s wife, DANA, gave birth yesterday to their second child, DANIEL (Baltimore SUN, 9/16)

IN MEMORY: Former Syracuse Senior Associate AD/Administration & CFO ROB EDSON “died suddenly this weekend” at the age of 45 (Syracuse POST-STANDARD, 9/16).