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Volume 24 No. 156

People and Pop Culture

In conjunction with ADAM SILVER taking over as NBA Commissioner on Feb. 1, the league has had several other key management changes put into place in recent weeks. Principal among those has been MARK TATUM being appointed Deputy Commissioner, but the changes have occurred across the league’s business areas, and with the promotions have come several new direct-reports. Below is a look at some of the new executive structure at the NBA, according to the league office.

NBA CHINA: NBA China CEO DAVID SHOEMAKER now reports to Silver, the first time the CEO reports to the commissioner’s office. Shoemaker previously reported to HEIDI UEBERROTH, former President of NBA Int'l, who left the league in January.

GLOBAL MEDIA: Former Exec VP/Business Affairs & General Counsel BILL KOENIG is now President of Global Media Distribution, responsible for the league’s domestic and int'l media businesses. Reporting to Koenig will be Senior VP/Global Media DAN ROSSOMONDO, who previously oversaw global media sales, int'l business development, and domestic media sales relationships with Turner Sports and ESPN in the NBA’s global marketing partnerships group. He now will manage ad sales with media licensees globally and work on digital content distribution. Senior VP/Global Media Distribution & Business Operations MATT BRABANTS, who previously reported to Ueberroth in a similar role overseeing int'l television and digital partnerships for the league. Also, Senior VP/Global Media Distribution & Business Affairs DAVID DENENBERG and Senior VP/Global Media Distribution SHIRIN MALKANI.

INTERNATIONAL OPERATIONS: Former Exec VP/Global Merchandising SAL LAROCCA is now President of Global Operations & Merchandising. In addition to managing the NBA's merchandising businesses, LaRocca now oversees all of the NBA’s int'l offices outside of China. His responsibilities include the work previously done by Ueberroth.

DIGITAL MEDIA & MARKETING: Former Exec VP & Exec Producer DANNY MEISELES has been promoted to President & Exec Producer of Content. Now reporting to Meiseles will be Senior VP/Digital Media MELISSA BRENNER, who continues to manage the NBA’s social media operations and adds oversight of the league’s global digital portfolio. Also, Senior VP/Marketing KELLY FLATOW, who will now direct the marketing and brand development for the NBA, WNBA and NBA D-League.

GLOBAL MARKETING PARTNERSHIPS: Senior VP/Global Marketing Partnerships EMILIO COLLINS will now lead the global marketing partnerships department in the role previously held by Tatum. Collins’ title remains the same as before the restructuring. Reporting to Collins will be Senior VP/Global Marketing Partnerships KERRY TATLOCK, who assumes Collins’ previous role in managing current partners across all three leagues. Also, Senior VPs/Global Marketing Partnerships RACHEL JACOBSON and AARON RYAN, as well as VP/Global Marketing Partnerships BRANDON SNOW.

COMMUNICATIONS: Exec VP/Communications MIKE BASS now reports to Tatum. He previously reported to Silver when he served as Deputy Commissioner.

Red Sox Owner JOHN HENRY since officially taking over the Boston Globe in October has "plunged into his new role," according to Jason Schwartz of BOSTON MAGAZINE. Schwartz: "The question is, what will Henry’s experiments be? And in the face of historic challenges, will they be enough to save the Globe?" Globe Editor BRIAN MCGRORY said that he "hears from Henry regularly." One Monday after a Patriots game "early in Henry’s reign, the new owner walked into McGrory’s office, sat down, and started thumbing through the Sports section" before asking why there were not more ads. McGrory and his fellow editors soon after "launched a new Patriots recap section called 'Score' -- with more space for big, eye-catching photos, and hopefully greater appeal to advertisers." Henry said that his only conflict of interest as owner of the Globe "resides 'in the sports pages.'" But Schwartz notes Henry's Fenway Sports Group has "broad business dealings that bear attention." Henry and McGrory have "promised unbiased coverage, though proof of that can only come with time." One Globe reporter said, "Judge us when something really explosive happens in the Red Sox clubhouse."

RICHES THROUGH NICHES? Schwartz notes even before Henry hired Exec VP ANDREW PERLMUTTER, the Globe was "heading toward a strategy of creating niche sites," and under Henry the "push has been accelerated." The Globe's "next move is more ambitious, and draws more on Boston’s natural resources." It is a "standalone tech site, internally being called BetaBoston," which McGrory "expects to launch soon." BetaBoston will "exist as a separate entity from the Globe and" The Globe also hopes to "launch a standalone Catholic news site," headlined by newly hired Associate Editor JOHN ALLEN and "covering local, national, and international churches." Allen said, "It’s in a very conceptual stage." He added that although the project has "been floated publicly only as a possibility ... it’s what sold him on leaving the National Catholic Reporter," where he had worked since '97. Henry "believes there’s no reason that Boston’s paper of record can’t be as influential as the city itself." He has "approved the expansion of the Globe’s highly regarded Ideas section, hoping to draw more smart voices from the city’s vast intellectual plant into the paper." Newsnomics analyst KEN DOCTOR "believes that the Globe’s niche strategy is a smart and creative play" (BOSTON MAGAZINE, 3/'14 issue).

For employees of Daytona Int’l Speedway, the first three months of every year are always the most hectic, as the track goes from racing sports cars to trucks to stock cars to motorcycles. And in ’14, DIS President JOIE CHITWOOD III decided to throw the $400M Daytona Rising renovation project into the mix as well. With the Daytona 500 right around the corner, Chitwood and his team are working hard to turn the property back from a construction zone to an operational, fan-friendly venue. Chitwood typically splits his time between the office and the track, but with back-to-back-to-back events this weekend, he will forgo his home in Lake Mary, Fla., to join the likes of athletes, team owners and fans sleeping in motor coaches on the property.

EARLY BIRD GETS THE WORM: I’m usually up around 4:00-4:30am and I’m at the gym when it opens at 5:00am to get my workout in. I like to lift weights, do some cardio, and have been pretty good about keeping that schedule. If I work out, I’m usually at work by 7:30am. If I don’t work out, meaning I rotate days, I’m usually in earlier than that. Friday is a fairly busy day for us. I have my first live TV interview at 7:00am, so that’s how my day starts off. I have a press conference with the Florida Department of Transportation and at 11:00am I have a Daytona Rising press conference. I’ve got a meeting later that afternoon with GameDay, and some politicians will be visiting us from the Florida House of Representatives. Then I need to meet the NextEra representatives in their suite before the start of the truck race. So I’ll check in with those folks and say hello, go to the driver-crew chief meeting, and later that day I will do a welcome to the crowd as part of pre-race. In the middle of all that I just kind of walk around the property and see if there are any fires to put out, or any issues that we’re dealing with.

HERE, THERE AND EVERYWHERE: I tend to move around a lot (during races). Once we’ve gone through pre-race, I’ll typically cross over the racetrack and go up into the grandstands and head to race control. I like to be in race control for the start of the race just to make sure everything goes smoothly. After that, I’ll typically make the rounds on a couple other suites. I’ll check in with the family and with LESA FRANCE KENNEDY. And then I like to walk the concourse under the grandstands to see how we’re doing from a trash pickup and concession stand point, and I’ll actually walk around the grandstands a little bit and just kind of see how everybody’s doing. I tend to not watch the race. With about 20 or 30 laps to go I’ll make my way back inside the racetrack toward Victory Lane where we have all the sponsors and where NextEra will get to hand out their trophy.

SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER: The first official activity I have (on Saturday) is an update with the travel and tourism board, then I have an interview with Telemundo scheduled at 9:00am. We’ve got the driver-crew chief meeting around 9:30am and I’ve got a get together with ZAK BROWN, who is the owner and founder of Just Marketing, one of our motorsports agencies. I’ve known Zak for a real long time, so it’s as much a friendship as it is business. Then we’ve got the Nationwide race that day, in which I’ll follow basically the same routine as for Friday’s truck race. But there’s a number of social activities I’ll need to do after the Nationwide race on Saturday night. BETTY JANE FRANCE has a dinner at her house, and I’ll go for the cocktail reception where I’ll do a welcome speech, and then I’ll usually head on my way to the next activity. I want to go and check in on Fox Bash at the Beach, which is Fox’ big party. They’ve got some musical talent, tents set up, so I want to check in with the Fox guys and make sure that’s going well. I want to try and come back to the property and check in with the Budweiser folks who will be having their own party in their 1876 Club. Those are a couple of the social things I’ll try and catch. I’ve got one other, which is another activity in which some politicians are in town Saturday night depending on if I can fit that in as well.
RUNNING ON EMPTY: Of course our biggest event is our last one, and you’re running on adrenaline by the time Sunday comes around. I’ve got a Thunderbirds photo shoot at 8:00am and I have to give a welcome to a number of executives from Kroger, so we’ll do that at 8:30 in their hospitality area. I’ll present a guitar to (country singer) LUKE BRYAN for being here and I’ll welcome some of the other pre-race honorees and VIPs. And then we really get into Daytona 500 pre-race, which is really significant because of how much we try and jam in there. During this event, I tend to stay in race control for a fair amount of the race just because it’s such a big event and we’ve been known to blow up jet dryers and have pot holes and things of that nature. I’ll make my rounds but I’ll probably go back to race control a couple times during the event. I do go to Victory Lane to present the winner the trophy.

LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON: Breakfast is a big deal at my house. My son JOIE -- who just turned 13 (on Monday) -- and I, we’ve kind of been on an IHOP kick lately. So usually pancakes are a good way to start one of the weekend days. Then he and I will try and figure out what kind of shoot ‘em up, sci-fi movie is playing and that’s kind of the guy thing we like to do is catch a movie and then usually it’s cheeseburgers after that. So we kind of have a couple guy routines and then we’ll connect with my wife and we’ll run through the typical errands, in terms of hitting the home improvement store, grocery store, stuff like that. And then we’ll try and have fun with dinner. There’s a couple cool casual joints we like. There’s a New Orleans-style restaurant called Tibby’s that we like to go to. And then at some point during the day we’ll go out in the backyard with our dog, we have a mini golden doodle, and we love to just throw a tennis ball around and he runs around the yard and goes crazy.

MAN'S BEST FRIEND: The dog’s name is Tebow. The irony in that is, we were living in Carmel, Indiana, and we decide finally to get a dog and we’re going to drive to Tipton, Indiana where the kennel is, which is an hour north of Carmel. So my son wants to name the dog Rocky, I think my wife wanted to name him Ace or Indy and I want to name him Tebow because I’m a big fan of the Gators. So we get up to this farm, all dirt roads in the middle of nowhere. We pull down this long driveway and there’s a pickup truck there next to the big garage and wouldn’t you know there’s a Florida Gator decal on the truck. Then we get out, we go knock on the door and the guy answers the door in a Florida Gators T-shirt. We go in the house to see the new litter and I said to the guy, “So you’re a Gator fan?” And the guy takes me to his den, which is wall-to-wall orange and blue for the Gators. At that point, I’m like, "Okay this is destiny or something." Even my wife and son said, "Okay dad, you’re right." If we buy a dog we’re going to have to name him Tebow because this is too weird that a guy in Tipton, Indiana is a Gator fan and that’s who we’re buying our dog from.

The NFL Panthers promoted Dir of Ticket Sales & Operations PHIL YOUTSEY to the newly created position of Chief Revenue Officer. Youtsey will be responsible for both ticket and sponsorship sales. The team also named Marketing & Hospitality Manager CHRYSTAL ROWE Dir of Ticketing. Dir of Sponsor Sales & Services JOHN BERGER will remain in his position (, 2/20).

EXECS: Learfield Sports named six new account execs, including JEFF BLOOMER at Kansas State Univ.'s K-State Sports Properties, BEN FLORA at the Univ. of South Dakota's Coyotes Sports Properties, JUSTIN GLOVER to the Univ. of Colorado's Buffalo Sports Properties, CHRIS KRAINIK to Texas Tech Univ.'s Red Raider Sports Properties, MATT SIERT to San Jose State Univ.'s Spartan Sports Properties and ANNA YOUNG to Xavier Univ.'s Xavier Sports Properties (Learfield)....Coastal Carolina Univ. AD HUNTER YURACHEK will join the Univ. of Houston as Associate VP & COO in mid March (, 2/20)....Northwestern State Univ. named Louisiana Tech Univ. Multimedia Services Manager JOSH MCDANIEL Marketing & Promotions Dir (NSU)....Creative agency Roundhouse named Wieden+Kennedy Strategic Planning Dir DAVE BURG Head of Strategy (, 2/20)....The Back9Network named CNN Int'l producer TODD SCHWARZSCHILD VP/Programming & Production (Back9Network).

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Predators and U.S. men's hockey GM DAVID POILE on Thursday, in his first public comments since an errant puck struck him in the face earlier this month, revealed that he "currently can't see out of his right eye." His eye "was covered with a patch as he spoke to reporters," and his doctors "are unsure if he will regain sight in that eye." Poile said, "I fractured my nose in three different places. The orbital bone was broken above and below the eye." He has "not given up any of his day-to-day duties even though Thursday marked his first time back in the office." Poile "did not indicate any significant limitations other than skipping the first road tip after the Olympic break" (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 2/21). Poile: "I'm not trying to be a hero or anything else. This is not a good situation. It is difficult but I have to, and want to, move on" (AP, 2/20).

GETTING VLAD'S BACK? F1 CEO BERNIE ECCLESTONE during an interview with CNN said Russia President VLADIMIR PUTIN "hasn't said he doesn't agree (with homosexuality) just that he doesn't want these things publicised to an audience under the age of 18." Ecclestone added, "I completely agree with those sentiments and if you took a world census you'd find 90% of the world agree with it as well. I've great admiration for him and his courage to say what he says" (London INDEPENDENT, 2/21).

AWARDS & HONORS: NLL Vancouver Stealth GM DOUG LOCKER on Thursday received the '13 NLL GM of the Year Award from Commissioner GEORGE DANIEL (, 2/20)....Former Detroit News golf writer VARTAN KUPELIAN is "among four elected" to the Michigan Golf HOF (, 2/20)....Univ. of Akron Dir of Basketball Operations DAN PETERS has been named "one of three recipients" of the U.S. Basketball Writers Associations' Most Courageous Award. Peters shares this year's award with Univ. of Pennsylvania G DAU JOK, while Westmont College women's basketball coach KRISTEN MOORE is the recipient of the Pat Summitt Most Courageous Award. Peters was "diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in December and is currently on a leave of absence while receiving chemotherapy." He will receive his award during Akron's season finale against Kent State on Friday, March 7 (, 2/20).

POLITICKING: Former NFLer CLINT DIDIER, a member of "the tea party, has announced his candidacy for the U.S. House seat being vacated" by DOC HASTINGS (R-Wash.). Didier's past attempts at political positions "include a failed Senate campaign in 2010 and a losing race for Washington state land commissioner in 2012" (, 2/20)....JAY PATERNO, the son of late Penn State football coach JOE PATERNO, is "running for Pennsylvania lieutenant governor." Paterno will "seek the Democratic nomination in the primary election" (CENTRE DAILY TIMES, 2/20).

NAMES: NFL Giants WR HAKEEM NICKS, who will be a free agent March 11, "signed with JAY Z's sports agency Roc Nation" (, 2/20)....Colts coach CHUCK PAGANO has reached a book deal with Zondervan for the acquisition of "SIDELINED: OVERCOMING ODDS THROUGH UNITY, PASSION AND PERSEVERANCE" (Zondervan)....MLB Giants P TIM LINCECUM and his former landlord "agreed to the court's entry of a judgement in Lincecum's favor in the amount of $100,000, ending a legal dispute stemming from allegations of property damage to a townhouse" in S.F. that he rented in '10 (, 2/20)....News Corp. Chair & CEO RUPERT MURDOCH has paid more than $57M for the "top four floors of One Madison, a steel and glass luxury condominium tower in downtown Manhattan." Other owners at One Madison include Patriots QB TOM BRADY (N.Y. TIMES, 2/21)....Ravens S MATT ELAM has "gotten a job at the Gainesville, Fla., Finish Line while he completes his anthropology degree" at the Univ. of Florida (, 2/20)....Gold Medal-winning U.S. skier JOSS CHRISTENSEN, Silver Medal-winning U.S. snowboarder DEVIN LOGAN and Bronze Medal-winning U.S. skier NICK GOEPPER on Thursday “celebrated their strong performances in Sochi at Soho restaurant Charlie Bird” (N.Y. POST, 2/21)....Nationals P DOUG FISTER and girlfriend ASHLEY PHELPS got engaged in January (, 2/20).

IN MEMORY: Angler DICK CABELA, co-founder of the Cabela's sporting goods chain, died Monday at his home in Sidney, Neb., at the age of 77. The company declined to disclose a cause (L.A. TIMES, 2/21)....Former MLB Rangers TV and radio producer ROY PARKS died Sunday at the age of 93 (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 2/21).