Under Armour Founder, Chair & CEO KEVIN PLANK resigned from PRESIDENT TRUMP's American Manufacturing Council yesterday after the president was "widely criticized for not quickly denouncing groups that marched at a white nationalist rally" in Charlottesville over the weekend, according to a front-page piece by Jeff Barker of the Baltimore SUN. Plank issued a statement last night that made "no mention of the president or the weekend events in Charlottesville." Plank: "I am appreciative of the opportunity to have served, but have decided to step down from the council." The statement also said UA “engages in innovation and sports, not politics.” Plank said that he joined the panel in January "because he believed it was important for Under Armour to 'have an active seat at the table and represent our industry.'" Barker notes Plank’s move "risks alienating many Under Armour consumers, some of whom took to Twitter on Monday night to voice their displeasure with his latest decision." However, many also "praised the company." Baker Street Advertising Exec Creative Dir BOB DORFMAN said that Plank’s statement "may have been an attempt to preserve the relationship" he has with Trump. Dorfman: "He doesn’t want to burn that bridge entirely and doesn’t want to make it about Trump per se. I think he’s trying to walk a fine line" (Baltimore SUN, 8/15). In Baltimore, Holden Wilen noted Plank's relationship with the president "has been rocky." He was criticized in February by several endorsers, including Warriors G STEPHEN CURRY, after "praising Trump as 'a real asset for the country.'" Plank "wrote an open letter addressing the issue days later" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 8/14). Curry this morning "took to Twitter to praise Plank's move" (CHARLOTTEOBSERVER.com, 8/15). ADWEEK's Kristina Monllos noted that along with Plank, Intel CEO BRIAN KRZANICH and Merck CEO KENNETH FRAZIER have "stepped down" from the council (ADWEEK.com, 8/15).
CAN'T MAKE EVERYONE HAPPY
: CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin wonders if there are people "who this morning are going to run out and buy Under Armour as a result" of Plank leaving the panel. Sorkin: "I actually think there probably are some, literally just to support what he’s done. On the other hand, there's a huge number of consumers on all sides of this … that may have a different view and very well may not buy the product” (“Squawk on the Street,” CNBC, 8/15).
FRANK BROYLES, the "most prominent figure in Arkansas sports history," died yesterday at 92 from complications of Alzheimer's disease, according to a front-page piece by Bill Bowden of the ARKANSAS DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE. Broyles spent more than 50 years at the Univ. of Arkansas, where he became "one of the most familiar and powerful figures in college sports." He served as UA's football coach from '58-76, winning the school's only national championship in '64. He also was the school's AD from '73-'07, "steering the Hogs from the Southwest Conference to the Southeastern Conference in 1991 in a move that has helped ensure the program's long-term financial stability." Former SEC Commissioner ROY KRAMER said that the move to the conference has "made a significant difference in television royalties" for UA. Broyles since retiring as AD "worked as a fundraiser for the Razorback Foundation until '14 while also assisting caregivers and family members of those who have Alzheimer's disease" through his foundation (ARKANSAS DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE, 8/15). In Little Rock, Bob Holt notes Broyles "built an all-sports program and first-class facilities" while AD, as UA spent more than $230M on facilities during his tenure. The athletic department's "annual budget grew" from $900,000 to $44.8M during his 34 years as AD. Broyles additionally "earned acclaim after his retirement from coaching as ABC's top college football analyst" from '77-85, when he was "teamed with play-by-play man KEITH JACKSON" (ARKANSAS DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE, 8/15). Broyles as a student-athlete also "won 10 letters in three sports at Georgia Tech," including being named All-SEC QB in '44 and '46 (AJC.com, 8/14).
INCREDIBLE HIRING RECORD: In Austin, Brian Davis noted that Broyles was "known for his ability to identify top coaches, both head coaches and assistants." He was "responsible for the hiring of basketball coaches EDDIE SUTTON and NOLAN RICHARDSON as well as LOU HOLTZ and KEN HATFIELD in football." Broyles also hired track coach JOHN MCDONNELL, who "won 40 national championships with the Razorbacks." Richardson led UA to the '94 men's basketball title (AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN, 8/15). In N.Y., Frank Litsky notes Broyles' acumen in "choosing assistant coaches was renowned." At least 30 became "head coaches of college or professional teams." JIMMY JOHNSON, BARRY SWITZER and JOHNNY MAJORS "went on to win national college championships," while Johnson, Switzer and JOE GIBBS won Super Bowls. The National College Football Awards Association in '96 "created the Frank Broyles Award, given to outstanding assistant coaches" (N.Y. TIMES, 8/15).
JERRY JONES REFLECTS: Cowboys Owner JERRY JONES played on the '64 UA national championship team and said that Broyles was the "most influential man in his life outside of his father." Jones called the loss "immeasurable." Jones: "He was the singular most important man of sports in the history of the State of Arkansas, and his impact on the game of football across our country was just as significant." In Ft. Worth, Drew Davison notes Broyles was "mentioned prominently" in Jones’ Pro Football HOF speech earlier this month (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 8/15). Jones said that no one "taught him more about the game than Broyles did" (PROFOOTBALLTALK.com, 8/15).
UCF VP & AD DANNY WHITE has "signed a contract extension following a successful run by numerous coaches he hired and a surge in fundraising." White's deal "includes an option to renew annually and spans five years." He will make a "base salary of $525,000," with a new round of 5% pay increases for "each remaining year of the contract." White has made a "dramatic impact on the UCF athletics program since he was first hired" in December '15. White: "My family loves it here. I’m not pushing so hard to get things done here to politic nationally" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 8/15). White was an SBJ/SBD "Forty Under 40" honoree this year (THE DAILY).
EXECS: Pandora named Sling TV CEO ROGER LYNCH President & CEO, effective Sept. 18 (N.Y. TIMES, 8/15). The addition of Lynch "could signal Pandora is thinking about getting into video in the future" (TECHCRUNCH.com, 8/14)....Digital media outfit Whistle Sports named AwesomenessTV Chief Partnership Officer PAUL KELLY CRO, effective in "early September." Kelly will report to Whistle Sports President & co-Founder JEFF URBAN (VARIETY.com, 8/11)....The 49ers Foundation named Red Sox Foundation Assistant Dir of Marketing & Development JUSTIN PRETTYMAN Exec Dir (49ers).
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A pilot program from the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority to run daily commuter trains to Gillette Stadium has "sparked outrage from lawmakers and transit advocates," who claim the $1.2M plan is a "sweetheart deal" for Patriots Owner ROBERT KRAFT. The project yesterday was approved and a one-year pilot program is "slated to start" in spring '19 and cost MBTA $524,000. The Kraft Group is "contributing $217,000." Officials also "included a provision that the project’s sponsors share in any unforeseen cost overruns" (BOSTON HERALD, 8/15).
CUSTOM FIT: Augusta National has filed a federal lawsuit against Tampa-based Green Jacket Auctions "seeking to stop the company from selling a champion's green jacket and two member green jackets, as well as silverware and a belt buckle bearing Augusta National's map and flag logo." The suit states the jacket "may not be removed from the Augusta National grounds except during the first year after it is presented." Augusta National said that it "owns the jackets, and the champions have 'possessory rights' when they're on Augusta National grounds." Green Jacket Auctions co-Owner RYAN CAREY in an email wrote the club is "attempting to assert ownership claims to every green jacket ever produced" (AP, 8/14).
AWARDS & HONORS: Golfer STEWART CINK has been named the recipient of the '17 Payne Stewart Award. He will be honored on Sept. 19 (PGA Tour)....Cubs 3B KRIS BRYANT and President of Baseball Operations THEO EPSTEIN last night each received the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum's Legacy Award (Cubs).
NAMES: The BFI London Film Festival on Oct. 7 will host the European premiere of "BATTLE OF THE SEXES," starring EMMA STONE as BILLIE JEAN KING and STEVE CARRELL as BOBBY RIGGS (VARIETY.com, 8/15)....N Magazine Founder & Publisher BRUCE PERCELAY said that the recent issue featuring Patriots coach BILL BELICHICK on the cover was the “most successful” in the Nantucket-based publiction's 15-year history (BOSTON GLOBE, 8/15)....A farm on Sauvie Island, Ore., is honoring Trail Blazers G DAMIAN LILLARD with a “corn maze designed with his image” (OREGONLIVE.com, 8/14)....ESPN’s JESSE PALMER is "set to host ‘DailyMailTV,’” which will launch in syndication on Sept. 18 (BROADCASTINGCABLE.com, 8/14)....ALEX RODRIGUEZ has “debuted a new gym” in Kendall, Fla., called UFC Gym Kendall (SUN-SENTINEL.com, 8/14)....KENDALL JENNER “spent the weekend” with Clippers F BLAKE GRIFFIN, and the two were “spotted hanging out” on a daybed on the beach at Gurney’s Montauk in the Hamptons (NYPOST.com, 8/14)....Packers QB AARON RODGERS on Sunday was seen on a date with former Harvard soccer player MARIE MARGOLIUS (NYPOST.com, 8/14).
AXS Sports Facilities & Franchises and Ticketing Symposium – Oct. 11-13, Atlanta
On Thursday, Oct. 12, AMB Sports & Entertainment executives, Darren Eales, Scott Jenkins and Rich McKay will discuss aligning a culture in a multi-purpose organization.
To register or for more information, visit www.SportsFacilitiesandFranchises.com.