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Volume 24 No. 215

People and Pop Culture

The '14 NFL season marks the 20th anniversary of ROBERT KRAFT buying the Patriots, and throughout the "various philanthropic endeavors and Super Bowl titles, Kraft’s impact has been felt on players past and present, as well as the community," according to Mark Daniels of the PROVIDENCE JOURNAL. As much as "that stability has been seen on the field, Kraft has also made a consistent impact on the community through the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation." Last month, he was "on hand at Igo Elementary School in Foxboro to give the school a $60,000 grant for a new playground." The foundation on Monday "donated $200,000 to 26 different local nonprofit organizations during the 2014 Myra Kraft Community MVP Awards." Kraft and his family also have "helped during some of the more turbulent times in New England." After the Boston Marathon bombings in '13, Kraft and his family "donated around $100,000 to the One Fund." In the wake of the '12 tragedy in Newtown, Conn., the Kraft family "made a donation of $25,000." During the team's Week 15 game against the 49ers, the Patriots "wore special decals on their helmets to honor the Newtown victims." Pro Football HOFer ANDRE TIPPETT said of the Krafts, “They’re a very philanthropic, caring family. They’ve been that way for a long time.” Pro Football HOFer CURTIS MARTIN added, "Mr. Kraft is a man who cares, period. He doesn’t just care about football and winning games, he cares about people" (PROVIDENCE JOURNAL, 6/11).

Name: Jeff Cravens

Position: GM of Golf Channel Digital

Age: 51

Where I’m from: Emporia, Kan.

Where I call home: Atlanta, Ga.

Focusing on right now: Growing our audience, figuring out how to monetize mobile.

Cravens spends his down time watching his
children compete in a variety of youth sports
Best advice: This probably pertains more to today than ever, given my age, but never getting caught up in the way things used to be or the way they had been done.

A must for a new hire: Willing to work hard and learn, and the ability to listen. There are a lot of qualified people in the workforce, and if you can find somebody that has that work ethic and the ability to learn, they’re going to go far.

Exec I admire the most: One of my early mentors, he had a lot of influence on me early in my career, was HARVEY SCHILLER. He always made you think innovatively and forwardly to come up with a better way.

Best book I’ve read: I’m reading "Creativity Inc," which is the story of Pixar. I think the path of that business is really fascinating. They really remade themselves as a business.

First thing in the morning: I catch up on e-mail. I'm also a big reader of the Wall Street Journal.

Talking tech: I’m an active follower on Twitter, but don’t tweet myself. It’s fascinating how that has become such an impactful way to get your news -- that’s how I like to utilize it. I typically follow some of the tech blogs and all the top golf influencers and information sources.

Must have music: I’ve got two teenage girls and another boy who’s almost a teenager, so I rarely have control of the music that’s on around me. It actually keeps me current -- I’ve learned to enjoy a wide variety. But I can’t say I’m down with rap or electronic.

Food for thought: The best food, or at least the most fun for me, is to grill myself. I’m more into cooking beef and barbecue. I do steaks on the gas grill, and all my smoke cooking on a Big Green Egg.

How I unwind: I love to watch my kids compete in sports and really watch them learn the valuable lessons of teamwork, work ethic and problem solving that happens in high school sports. I find it fascinating. Probably the place where I’m able to unwind the most is Lake Burton here in the North Georgia mountains. But I’m pretty boring. I love sports, I love watching sports.

Day in the life: The golf industry needs to figure out ways to grow participation and interest in the game by the younger sect. I think that’s a problem -- industry wide -- that everyone is focused on. It certainly is something that at Golf Channel, we’re focused on. I think pace of play is critical, making golf accessible and a better experience. For a lot of people, things like golf courses with childcare would improve participation.

The Seahawks promoted Dir of Business Strategy & Analytics JEFF DUNN to VP/Business Strategy & Analytics (Seahawks)....Manulife Financial LPGA Classic Tournament Dir RICHARD KUYPERS “handed in his resignation” this week after a three-year run in the position (WATERLOO REGION RECORD, 6/11)....Arizona State Univ. named NFLPA Dir of Player Engagement SCOTTIE GRAHAM Senior Associate AD (ASU)....The Atlantic 10 named IMG College Dir of Digital Assets & University Partnerships MIKE VEST Associate Commissioner/External Affairs. Vest also worked for the Big Ten Network from ’07-13 (A-10)....The Coyotes promoted Assistant Dir of Amateur Scouting TIM BERNHARDT to Dir of Amateur Scouting, replacing RICK KNICKLE. The club also named OHL Oshawa Generals GM JEFF TWOHEY Assistant Dir of Amateur Scouting (, 6/10)....Delaware North Cos. Boston named Live Nation Regional Dir of Ticket Operations RICKY CASADY Dir of Box Office & Ticket Operations for the Bruins, TD Garden, and the venue's The Premium Club (TD Garden)....Loudmouth Golf promoted Exec VP and GM of Sales & Marketing DENNIS GREEN to President. Green also had previous stints at Hurley, Nike and Disney Consumer Products (Loudmouth)....Varsity Brands elected CEO JEFF WEBB to BOD Chair, succeeding JOE SLAUGHTER, who will retire on June 30 (Varsity Brands).

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

Prim Capital Corp. Founder JOSEPH LOMBARDO, whose firm managed the finances of the NBPA, yesterday was sentenced to "1-1/2 years in prison" for forging a $3M contract and "then lying about it to a grand jury." Prim Capital once was the "primary outside investment adviser" for the NBPA managing up to $250M of union assets. The U.S. Dept. of Labor in '11 "began investigating the union" and former Exec Dir BILLY HUNTER. The union "subsequently ordered its own outside audit, which found Hunter had mismanaged the union's finances but stopped short of accusing him of criminality" (REUTERS, 6/10).

Pelé hopes protests about Brazil's spending
on the World Cup do not disrupt the games
COMINGS & GOINGS IN BRAZIL: USA TODAY's Kelly Whiteside writes if there is a face of the '14 FIFA World Cup, it is PELÉ, the "patron saint of football." But Pelé is "concerned that protests about Brazil's spending" on the World Cup "may disrupt the games." He "supports those protesting the excessive spending and corruption, saying that he wants better schools, hospitals and opportunities as well, but he hopes politics don't take over the pitch." Pelé: "This is not the moment to lose the big opportunity that we have ... It's not a football foul" (USA TODAY, 6/11). Meanwhile, JENNIFER LOPEZ will perform during the World Cup Opening Ceremony despite speculation to the contrary. She said, "People get nervous and I think it was a little bit premature to announce anything. But we are definitely going" (AP, 6/10).

BACK TO SCHOOL: Syracuse Univ. for the seventh consecutive year is hosting Sportscaster U., a "three-day program for current and former NBA players to learn about the broadcasting industry." This year's "group of students" includes nine players, such as Bulls G RICHARD HAMILTON and Celtics F KRIS HUMPHRIES. SU play-by-play announcer MATT PARK "developed the program" along with the NBPA (, 6/10).

AWARDS & HONORS: Former NHLer MIKE RICHTER will be inducted to the Philadelphia Sports HOF, along with including former NFLers ERIC ALLEN and MARVIN HARRISON, and former MLBers CHARLES BENDER and CURT SCHILLING (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 6/11)....Duke Univ. AD KEVIN WHITE has been named the '14 recipient of the National Football Foundations John L. Toner Award. The annual award recognizes an AD who has demonstrated superior administrative abilities and shown outstanding dedication to college athletics and particularly college football (NFF)....Former MLBer and broadcaster JOE GARAGIOLA will accept his John Jordan "Buck" O'Neil Lifetime Achievement Award in absentia and will not attend HOF weekend (Baseball HOF).

NAMES: Celebrities in the crowd for Spurs-Heat NBA Finals Game 3 last night included boxers MIKE TYSON and FLOYD MAYWEATHER, actor JAMIE FOXX and musicians JIMMY BUFFETT, GLORIA ESTEFAN and LENNY KRAVITZ (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 6/11)....Rockies P LATROY HAWKINS presented $150,000 in grants from the MLB Players Trust to seven Volunteers of America programs that further the organization's mission to strengthen communities and build better lives for those in need. The players also contributed $15,250 to two local affiliates (MLBPA)....U.S. ice dancer CHARLIE WHITE and girlfriend TANITH BELBIN "are engaged." White yesterday posted a photo on Instagram of "himself and Belbin, with Tanith wearing a ring on her left ring finger" (, 6/10)....Seahawks CB RICHARD SHERMAN on Friday "completed the purchase of a 9,475-square-foot home in Maple Valley resting neatly on 4.96 acres." He bought the house from Clippers G JAMAL CRAWFORD for $2.31M (SEATTLE TIMES, 6/11)....Banned Clippers Owner DONALD STERLING has listed a Spanish-style home in Beverly Hills "for rent at $15,500 a month." The property is one of "more than 160 single and multifamily dwellings that constitute Sterling's real estate holding in Southern California." The home occupies "more than a third of an acre with a 3,315-square-foot main residence, a guesthouse, a pool and a spa" (, 6/10)....Wake Forest men's basketball coach DANNY MANNING has listed his house in Tulsa for sale at $725,000 (, 6/10).

IN MEMORY: Former NASCAR team owner JUNIE DONLAVEY died Monday night at the age of 90. Former NASCAR driver JODY RIDLEY "recorded Donlavey's only Cup win in a 1981 race in Dover, Delaware." He had "more than 860 starts as a car owner during his 50-plus years in the sport" (AP, 6/10).