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Volume 24 No. 159

People and Pop Culture

It’s time to make your opinion known as the 9th annual SportsBusiness Journal/SportsBusiness Daily Reader Survey is underway. The survey features more than 100 questions across leagues, teams, facilities, sponsorship, media, and more.

*What grade would you give the overall sports facility industry for the wireless connectivity it provides to fans?
*Where you would most like to sit?
*What is your favorite sports-related mobile app?
*What is your favorite major league website?
*Which TV network has been the most innovative in the deployment of its live content on digital platforms?
*Which network does the best job covering the NFL?
*Which sports network consistently has the highest production values?
*Which family of networks is best positioned to help leagues and sponsors reach Hispanic males?

Those are some of the questions you'll find in this year’s survey. Cast your votes and then see highlights of the results the week of Dec. 2. We want to hear from you.

Vote now!

Late Titans' Owner BUD ADAMS' son-in-law TOMMY SMITH yesterday announced that he would be the team's new President & CEO, according to Jim Wyatt of the Nashville TENNESSEAN. Adams' daughters, SUSIE ADAMS SMITH and AMY ADAMS HUNT, "will serve as co-chairwomen," while Adams' grandson KENNETH ADAMS IV will "join the board as a director." Smith's announcement "was expected." Prior to Adams' death, Smith "had been more involved in the organization through communication" with Exec VP & GM RUSTON WEBSTER, Exec VP/Administration & Facilities DON MCLACHLAN and coach MIKE MUNCHAK. Smith also "has a long history with the franchise." He "oversaw the franchise's relocation" from Houston to Nashville in the late '90s, and "worked with the Kansas City-based architecture and engineering firm then known as HOK Sport in the planning and developing of the downtown stadium." Munchak during his weekly radio show last night on WGFX-FM said that Smith's "emergence was a positive during a transition period for the franchise." Munchak: "It is not something that is going to be a very difficult transition for him in any way. ... He wants a winner as much as Mr. Adams did, the same way." Smith "isn't expected to move to Nashville as part of the structure change" (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 10/30).

After eight years with the Knicks and MSG Sports, ALYSON FURCH joined BDA Sports Management in July as Dir of Corporate & Client Communications. The new gig allowed her to stay in N.Y., but shifting roles from a pro sports franchise environment to BILL DUFFY's agency has Furch focused more on individual relationships. Furch: "We really get involved in their day-to-day everything. Coming from a place where you look at the athletes as more of cogs in this bigger wheel, where I am now, I care about all the guys, and I care about their families. The personal connection is probably one of the biggest surprises for me coming from such a corporate environment." The former Seton Hall volleyball player spoke to THE DAILY this week about successful PR pitches, the importance of one's personal network, and tips on spotting celebrities in Manhattan. 

Keys to a good PR pitch...
Picking the correct outlet. Selecting the correct editor, or reporter or producer, and personalizing the pitch to that particular person. The biggest misconception about PR is that it's easy. It's a lot more selling and convincing than people think, especially because what I do is not as sports driven and more entertainment, lifestyle and business driven. A lot of those outlets don't know about an athlete's stats, or whether or not he's an All-Star. When it comes to sponsorships, defining the individual athlete's brand, and communicating to the corporation the difference between the athlete they want versus the athlete that we think fits best. You might want the All-Star, but the storyline you're trying to tell really fits better for this other person.

Looking for in a job candidate...
What does their Rolodex look like, what does their network look like? Who do you know, how are your relationships and how quickly can you turn that into something tangible? I'm looking for your connections with producers, editors, TV, corporate connections. Do you have relationships with Facebook? With Google? Are you walking in with at least some bit of savvy in that way? Also, what are your celebrity relationships?

Mandatory morning media...
I get up, I go get my coffee from Starbucks. Right next to Starbucks, I'll grab the Post, the Times, the Daily News, the Wall Street Journal and the Record -- all the local New York papers. The first one I crack open is the Post, and the first place I go is Page Six. The Post's KIRSTEN FLEMING is one of the first people I met when I came to New York. Usually, Kirsten will e-mail or text me a heads up on what STEPHANIE SMITH has in Page Six. Once I get home, the first thing I put on the TV is MSNBC's "MORNING JOE." I love it when WILLIE GEIST is on there.

Tech tools and apps...
My Macbook Pro, iPhone and iPad go with me everywhere. The apps I use the most are Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. Around Me is a great tool for the city. And I actually use a lot of relaxation apps. I have DEEPAK CHOPRA's 21-Day Meditation, I keep that app going.

Big Apple bites...
If it's a need-to-impress business meal, I like to go to Catch -- a seafood place in the meatpacking district. It's a great place to see people and it has this really great vibe. The owners there are phenomenal. The EMM Group has a ton of places in the city. It's the "see-me" place. You're going to see actors, actresses, athletes -- all of the above. If it's a place I need to go and get work done, but still with a great ambiance, my spot is ABC Kitchen in the Union Square area. They have awesome salads and really great wood-fired pizzas. It's quiet enough and it's in a cool area. 

In my free time...
I started taking tennis lessons this summer. I have a court at my home office, and I'll go out there if I need to take a quick 30 minutes and go hit the ball. I like it because I can just go out there by myself and hit the ball, I don't have to gather up a big group of folks to play.

Guilty pleasure...
Reality TV. I'm a big Bravo person, basically anything on Bravo. All of the "REAL HOUSEWIVES" shows, and I really like "MILLION DOLLAR LISTING."

MLS DC United yesterday made "more front office changes," as team CMO DOUG HICKS "was fired" along with Communications Manager SARAH LERNER and Dir of Community Relations APRILE PRITCHET. A source said that the moves "were not cost-cutting and each position will be filled" (, 10/29)....An MLS Fire team official has "confirmed" that team President of Soccer Operations JAVIER LEÓN "is out."  The source "did not indicate if more front office changes are planned" (, 10/30).

EXECS: The Bills named Xerox data analytics expert MICHAEL LYONS Dir of Analytics (, 10/30)....The Big East named former NCAA Exec VP TOM JERNSTEDT Senior Adviser (AP, 10/28). The conference also named former WNBA Mercury President & COO AMBER COX Associate Commissioner/Women's Basketball. Her duties "will include scheduling, officiating, television, branding and marketing," and she also will oversee the annual conference tournament (AP, 10/29)....The AP promoted Arizona and New Mexico Bureau Chief MICHAEL GIARRUSSO to Global Sports Editor (AP)....Lululemon named Sears Holdings Senior VP & President of Kmart Apparel TARA POSELEY Chief Product Officer. She succeeds SHEREE WATERSON, who left in April (, 10/30)....TERRY PEGULA-owned East Management Services named Penn State Univ. Associate AD/Ice Arena & Hockey Development JOE BATTISTA VP/Hockey-Related Businesses, effective Nov. 11 (, 10/29)....South Carolina State Univ. named Assistant SID KENDRICK LEWIS interim SID (SCSU).

Do you have an executive announcement? If so, please send to

Time Warner Cable Chair & CEO GLENN BRITT yesterday in a memo to company employees wrote that he "has had a recurrence of cancer but will continue to run" the company "through the end of the year." Britt wrote that he "recently underwent tests to determine the cause of an ongoing issue with his voice since mid-summer." He added doctors "determined that I have cancer" a few weeks ago. Britt is "a cancer survivor, having recovered from melanoma five years ago" (, 10/29).

SNEAKER WARS: Nike this month has signed lobbying firms Ogilvy Government Relations and Cornerstone Government Affairs "amid a trade dispute" with New Balance. Vietnam is "lobbying for the removal of a U.S. footwear tariff dating back to the 1960s, which would give Nike a boost" over New Balance. Nike shoes are "primarily made in Vietnam." Nike also is represented by Sidley Austin and Alpine Group (, 10/29).

FAMILY TREE: A's Exec VP & GM BILLY BEANE "learned over the weekend that he has the ingredients for the wackiest family reunion of all-time." His relatives include distant cousins MADONNA, CELINE DION, HILLARY CLINTON and CAMILLA PARKER-BOWLES. Another "distant but verifiable cousin" is ANGELINA JOLIE, a "revelation that prompted Beane to call" BRAD PITT to "alert him to a belated plot twist in 'MONEYBALL'" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 10/30).

CHARITY STRIPE: The charitable foundation bearing the names of Texans Owner BOB MCNAIR and his wife, JANICE, "will match a donation" to late Oilers coach & GM BUM PHILLIPS' charities "once donations reach $150,000" (, 10/29)....Pistons Owner TOM GORES is donating $250,000 to support the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy. The funding "aims to boost the growth and development of the public charter high school in Detroit" (AP, 10/29)....The Univ. of Oregon "helped raise more than $200,000" for the Kay Yow Cancer Fund by auctioning 25 pink helmets worn by its football team during a Oct. 19 game against Washington State Univ. (, 10/29)....Former NFLer and Ohio State Univ. alum ORLANDO PACE gave the school's football program $250,000 "to refurbish the recruiting room" (DAYTON DAILY NEWS, 10/28)....MLL Boston Cannons and NLL Philadelphia Wings MF PAUL RABIL yesterday visited a “group of dyslexic middle schoolers” at the Jemicy School in Owings Mills, Md. Jemicy is a “magnet for college-bound students with language-based learning differences” (, 10/29).

NAMES: New Jersey Gov. CHRIS CHRISTIE, NFL Commissioner ROGER GOODELL and NFL Jets Owner WOODY JOHNSON yesterday toured the state “on the one-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy.” Goodell and Johnson were there to “announce a second series of capital improvement projects to be completed by the Super Bowl Host Committee’s Snowflake Youth Foundation” (, 10/29)....Indiana State Univ. will unveil a 15-foot statue of Pacers President of Basketball Operations LARRY BIRD on Nov. 9 at Terre Haute's Hulman Center. Bird will be honored on Nov. 8 at an ISU scholarship-funding dinner (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 10/30)....NFL Giants Chair & Exec VP STEVE TISCH on Sunday flew to L.A. to “welcome Hollywood insiders to the annual NYU Tisch School of the Arts gala” (N.Y. POST, 10/30)....PRESIDENT OBAMA's official Twitter account last night posted about Bulls G DERRICK ROSE from injury prior to the Bulls-Heat game: “Welcome back, @DRose. #BullsNation” (, 10/29)....Former MLB manager JIM LEYLAND “will be the grand marshal of America’s Thanksgiving Parade in Detroit next month” (, 10/29)....Pacers F PAUL GEORGE "bought every ticket for alma mater" Fresno State Univ.'s Nov. 16 home opener against Cal State Univ.-Northridge. George purchased 15,596 tickets, and news about the "free seats traveled fast in social media" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 10/30)....Orioles CF ADAM JONES and girlfriend, AUDIE FUGETT, “have gotten engaged” (, 10/29).