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Volume 24 No. 156

People and Pop Culture

Name: Court Jeske

Position: Soccer United Marketing Senior Dir of Int'l Business

Age: 35

Where I'm from: Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

Where I call home: Manhattan

Focusing on right now: The May 29-June 7 "Road to Brazil" series, featuring World Cup sendoff games at MLS venues.

Originally from Oklahoma, Jeske has taken a liking
to exploring all that Manhattan has to offer
Best advice: Learn from every experience. I believe in that there’s ups and downs in your career and you can experience some fantastic successes as well as failures. The result isn’t as important as trying not to repeat the pitfalls that you’ve had in the past. I think that’s what I try to do daily. I think I’ve kind of picked that up along the way from a lot of different experiences.

A must for a new hire: Their attitude and willingness to take on a task regardless of if it’s in their immediate job scope or not. The willingness to learn and figure out their problems.

Exec I admire most: My first boss was KIRBY HOCUTT, who is the athletic director of Texas Tech University now. He hired me at the University of Oklahoma and gave me my first chance in the sports business market. I learned a tremendous amount from him.

Best book I've read this year: "An Army at Dawn" by RICK ATKINSON. It’s a great book about the World War II campaign in North Africa, but the important part is he really gives you an incredible sense of what it was like to be on the ground there and some of the factors. We all know about the D-Days and Pearl Harbors, but you really dive into the day-to-day trials and tribulations that the soldiers faced, which is incredibly eye-opening.

First thing in the morning: I watch the news to find out the weather then I’ll read the global sports headlines. I love Twitter as a news gathering source because it can aggregate all the different things that are applicable to my daily business.

Talking tech: One of my favorite apps is Fotmob. It’s scores, news and information from around the globe. It’s an aggregator but they present it in a really clean, easy-to-use fashion.

Must have music: I have an eclectic taste, but sometimes it’s good to listen to music from back home -- Oklahoma country music.

Food for thought: Because there are so many great restaurants in New York City, our goal is to try new places and new foods. Once a week, my wife and I try to explore a new place we haven’t been.

How I unwind: My wife and I like to go on walks around the city. Or, if I get the chance, I still love a competitive game of basketball.

Day in the life: Many of our Soccer United Marketing events have been proving grounds for expansions, and a prime example is Atlanta. We’ve had multiple events there over the last five years, including in March, when we had a sold-out venue with the Mexican national team and Nigerian national team. So it helped show that there’s a tremendous opportunity and appetite for soccer in those markets.

The NFL named Pro Football HOFer MIKE SINGLETARY Senior Adviser to NFL Exec VP/Football Operations TROY VINCENT. Singletary is "one of three new senior advisors for Vincent, joining former NFL assistant coach JIMMY RAYE and former GM MIKE REINFELDT in that role" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 5/21).

EXECS: The Browns promoted consultant BILL KUHARICH to Exec Chief of Staff (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 5/21). The Browns also "are in the process of adding" Redskins Dir of Pro Personnel MOROCCO BROWN to their front office. Brown has been with the Redskins since '08. It "wasn’t immediately clear what title Brown would hold with Cleveland, but it is believed that it will be a high-ranking position in the front office" (, 5/20)....The Dolphins promoted Assistant Dir of College Scouting JOE SCHOEN to Dir of Player Personnel (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 5/20)....Former Fiesta Bowl Dirs of PR ANDY BAGNATO and KRISTEN PFLIPSEN are "launching their own Phoenix-based communications and consulting firm" (, 5/20)....The D-Backs named Arizona State Univ. Dir of Sales & Associate GM BRETT WALLERSTEDT SR. Account Exec (D-Backs)....Bucknell AD JOHN HARDT will become an NCAA D-I men's lacrosse committee member for four years starting in September (Bucknell)....UMass Lowell named ASHLEY ROBBINS Associate Dir of Communications (UMass Lowell)....Catawba College named Citadel AD LARRY LECKONBY to the same position (Catawba).

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

The NACDA recently announced the 28 winners of the Under Armour AD of the Year Award, At the FBS level, winners included Utah State's SCOTT BARNES, Fresno State's THOMAS BOEH, UCLA's DAN GUERRERO and Virginia Tech's JIM WEAVER. Winners at the FCS level were Nicholls State's ROB BERNARDI, Northern Iowa's TROY DANNEN, Drake's SANDY HATFIELD CLUBB and Coastal Carolina's HUNTER YURACHEK (NACDA).

DRIVING FOR DOLLARS: In Charlotte, Steve Lyttle noted while "much of the focus during Race Weeks is on the racing and entertainment activities at Charlotte Motor Speedway, this is also a big time for the philanthropic arm of NASCAR." The charity, founded by SMI Chair & CEO BRUTON SMITH "more than three decades ago, has given tens of millions of dollars to organizations in need." The Jimmie Johnson Foundation "recently awarded five $25,000 grants to education organizations." Tonight is the Speedway Children's Charities Gala and on Monday night was a "fundraising golf tournament for the foundation" launched by NASCAR HOFer RUSTY WALLACE. Several NASCAR drivers on Monday also "took part in a fundraising kart race" to benefit Racing4Vets, a nationwide organization that "helps wounded U.S. veterans" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 5/21).

Djokovic gave all of his prize money from a recent
tournament to help relief efforts in Serbia
CHARITY STRIPE: Tennis player NOVAK DJOKOVIC has donated his entire prize money for winning the Int'l BNL d'Italia title in Rome to his foundation to help the flood relief efforts in Serbia. ANA IVANOVIC on Monday visited the UNICEF offices in Belgrade, where she donated around $12,000 to the relief fund for the flooding and also discussed support plans for the children and families affected by the disaster (THE DAILY)....Saints P THOMAS MORSTEAD is "launching Sprout 6 powered by B NOLA, a clothing line with all profits benefiting his foundation, What You Give Will Grow." Morstead will "host a lunch party for Sprout 6 powered by B NOLA" on Friday (, 5/19)....Red Sox DH DAVID ORTIZ and team mascot Wally the Green Monster spent yesterday "visiting kids at Boston Children's Hospital" (BOSTON HERALD, 5/21)....Red Sox 3B WILL MIDDLEBROOKS and his girlfriend, NESN anchor JENNY DELL, joined former Boston Mayor TOM MENINO on Monday at Good Sports' annual Legends of the Ball fundraiser at Fenway (BOSTON GLOBE, 5/21).

HOUSE HUNTERS: Warriors G STEPHEN CURRY "sold his loft penthouse in Oakland" for $1.5M (, 5/20)....Former MLBer GARY MATTHEWS JR. has listed his 3,000-square-foot home in Carona del Mar, Calif., for sale at $3.55M. He paid $3.05M for the property in February '07 (, 5/20)....Former Dodgers Owner FRANK MCCOURT's ex-wife, JAMIE MCCOURT, has sold her Westside estate for $45M. The compound was "built in 1931 and sits on 2.6 acres behind gates at the end of a several-hundred-foot-long driveway." There are "five bedrooms and six bathrooms in 20,637 square feet of living space" (, 5/19).

NAMES: Former MLB Rangers CEO TOM SCHIEFFER, whose tenure was highlighted by his role in building Globe Life Park in Arlington, has been selected as the 17th member of the team's HOF. He will be inducted during pregame ceremonies on Aug. 23 (Rangers)....Late Bills Owner RALPH WILSON JR. was posthumously awarded the Univ. at Buffalo's Chancellor Charles P. Norton Medal for contributions to the city. MARY WILSON accepted the award on her late husband's behalf. Bruins Owner JEREMY JACOBS was among the presenters (Bills)....Rutgers women's basketball coach C. VIVIAN STRINGER has "agreed to a new four-year contract." A source said that the deal will pay Stringer "a base salary of between $700,000 and $800,000 per season and she can earn up to $1M a year with incentives" (Newark STAR LEDGER, 5/21)....Actors CHANNING TATUM and JONAH HILL, who are starring in the upcoming film “22 JUMP STREET,” have “been named grand marshals” for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pocono 400 on June 8 (, 5/20)....NASCAR driver DALE EARNHARDT JR.’s head-to-head race against TNT's CHARLES BARKLEY will air on TNT's Summer Series before the June 8 race at Pocono (AP, 5/17)....The Breast Cancer Foundation last night held its annual Boston Hot Pink Party, and attendees included JON BON JOVI, Notre Dame football coach BRIAN KELLY, Patriots coach BILL BELICHICK and team Owner BOB KRAFT (, 5/20)....Golfer RORY MCILROY “has broken off his engagement with tennis player CAROLINE WOZNIACKI” (, 5/21).