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Volume 24 No. 179

People and Pop Culture

Name: Evan Parker

Position: NASCAR Managing Dir of Content Strategy

Where I’m from: L.A.

Where I call home: Charlotte

Focusing on right now: Trying to bring together a couple of groups that have been doing great work in their own silos. The one larger content group will do everything from our social media, to all the editorial on nascar.com to brand new content with our partners.

Best advice: I was home last week for my grandfather’s 100th birthday. He always tells me, "Be happy, work hard and get plenty of exercise." I know it’s simple advice, but if it’s got him to 100 years, I can’t argue with it.

Must have for a new hire: The biggest thing for me is somebody who is really a team player and easy to work with. At NASCAR and in the sports industry, you get a lot more done if people want to work with you and if you have respect. It doesn’t matter how talented or smart you are. If people don’t like working with you, you’re not going to be successful.

Execs I admire: STEVE PHELPS and JILL GREGORY at NASCAR have been huge mentors to me, and they’ve been able to put me in great positions and teach me a lot. KENNY MITCHELL, who’s now with Gatorade but used to be at NASCAR, taught me to really think outside the box and push boundaries. DAVID FREEMAN, who’s now at CAA, is the first person who really taught me how to sell.

Book shelf: I just finished, “RIVER OF DOUBT.” It was about TEDDY ROOSEVELT mapping a river through the Amazon after he was out of the White House. And I just finished “MAN’S SEARCH FOR MEANING” by VIKTOR FRANKL. I don’t read business books, but I like to read a lot of nonfiction and history books about impressive people.

Talking tech: It’s a daily challenge to stay on top of all the different ways we can give people content about NASCAR, whether it’s in 140 characters or a video or a long-form article or mobile alert. It seems like every day, it’s changing, with Amazon getting into the space a little more, and as phones evolve.

Must-have music: I’m probably single-handedly lowering the age demo for STEELY DAN. But I’m all over the place. A lot of indie rock, like ST. PAUL & THE BROKEN BONES or TENNIS. I grew up on rap and hip hop, so BLACK STAR and PEOPLE UNDER THE STAIRS, PETE ROCK. Since I’ve moved to Charlotte, I’ve had to listen to country, and I can stomach MARSHALL TUCKER BANDCHRIS STAPLETON and YARN.

Food for thought: When I moved to Charlotte, I quickly gained 40 pounds eating barbecue at Midwood Smokehouse and drinking a lot of IPAs. So I’ve had to get a little smarter, switching from heavy IPAs back to Coors Light. The only thing I refuse to eat is coconut. I’m pretty much a garbage disposal, but I think that coconut is probably the worst thing on Earth.

First thing in the morning: I try to get some exercise, clear my mind and think about the day. Then as soon as I get to the office, it’s consuming as much content as I can, not just about NASCAR. It’s SBD, Ad Age, Variety, getting an idea of what’s happening in the marketplace.

How I unwind: On the weekends, I love nothing more than a solitary breakfast, sitting alone with a book or whatever I’m reading. My girlfriend works in sports as well, for the Hornets. So we don’t have that many weekends where we’re both away from our respective sports. But when we do, it’s taking the dogs to the dog park. I collect vintage watches, so I spend a good amount of time indulging that, researching them or going to shops and checking out watches.

Day in the life
: This is a new role and a new team. The biggest challenge is combining all these different groups that have always operated separately into one. There’s not a real road map now. News breaks 100 times a day in the NASCAR world. As much as you plan, something can pop up that you have to adapt for.

Hendrick Motorsports promoted VP & CFO SCOTT LAMPE to Exec VP, making him the company's third-ranking officer behind President & COO MARSHALL CARLSON and Owner RICK HENDRICK. HMS also promoted VP/Competition KEN HOWES to VP & Chief of Staff; Dir of Engine Operations JEFF ANDREWS to VP/Competition and Team Manager BRAIN WHITESELL to the newly created position of VP/Operations (HMS). 

EXECS: The World Surf League named UFC Senior VP and Head of Int'l & Content JOSEPH CARR Chief Strategy Officer & Head of Int'l. He will start in September (THE DAILY)....Learfield named BILL GLENN VP & GM of its two Louisville-based properties, Univ. of Louisville athletics and the Louisville Arena Sports & Entertainment Properties, which manages the partner platform for KFC Yum! Center (Learfield)....The NHRA named JESSICA HATCHER Senior Dir of PR & Communications. She will report to Senior VP/Media & Marketing GLENN CROMWELL (NHRA)....Monumental Sports & Entertainment named GRANT PARANJAPE Dir of esports Team & Business Operations. Paranjape was previously with Rochester-based esports franchise Splyce, where he secured partner relationships and led strategic business initiatives (Prodigy)....Sources said that former NBAer TAYSHAUN PRINCE will "soon be named" Special Assistant to Grizzlies GM CHRIS WALLACE (COMMERCIALAPPEAL.com, 8/15). 

Do you have an executive announcement? If so, please send to editorial@sportsbusinessdaily.com.


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Ready to make your next great hire? Or take the next step in your career? Connect with the industry’s top employers and job seekers on the Sports Business Career Link. For more information, contact Megi Beqiraj at 212-500-0705, or mbeqiraj@sportsbusinessjournal.com.

LEBRON JAMES' SpringHill Entertainment is "adding the first scripted drama to its growing slate," and the project "boasts Oscar-winning talent: OCTAVIA SPENCER." Spencer is "attached to star in the limited series about entrepreneur and social activist MADAM C.J. WALKER's life, with James exec producing" along with LRMR Management Founder MAVERICK CARTER. Sources said that Netflix is the "likely destination." The series is based on the book, "ON HER OWN GROUND" (VARIETY.com, 8/15). Meanwhile, the LeBron James Family Foundation for the third straight year yesterday "hosted its summer get-together" at Cedar Point amusement park in Sandusky, Ohio. Musicians JORDIN SPARKS and USHER, as well as Cavs G J.R. SMITH, were "part of the event" (CLEVELAND.com, 8/16).

TACKLING FASHION: Eagles S MALCOLM JENKINS "decided to take a full plunge" into the fashion industry this spring with business partner JAY AMIN. In June, the duo "launched Damari Savile," and both Jenkins and Amin "had a hand in designing that line." The "ready-to-wear collection at Damari Savile runs between $599 and $749, while made-to-measure custom suits start at $899" (JERSEYMANMAGAZINE.com, 8/16).

AWARDS & HONORS: Orioles manager BUCK SHOWALTER yesterday was inducted into the Single-A New York-Penn League HOF as "part of that league's All-Star Game festivities" in Troy, N.Y. (Baltimore SUN, 8/16)....Cowboys TE JASON WITTEN's name will be "attached to the new 'Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year' award for college football leadership" (DALLASNEWS.com, 8/15).

NAMES: NESN analyst STEVE LYONS is "eager to resume his duties" on Red Sox telecasts after a California Superior Court judge "dismissed domestic battery charges ... stemming from an argument with his girlfriend" in January (BOSTON GLOBE, 8/16)....KENNY CHESNEY's new album, "LIVE IN NO SHOES NATION," includes a "prominent ode to Chiefs nation." The cover of the album is a "photograph taken inside Arrowhead Stadium," which shows Chesney in a Chiefs tanktop during his July '16 concert there. The album will be released Oct. 27 (K.C. STAR, 8/16)....Custom bat designer and manufacturer Warstic, co-owned by musician JACK WHITE and Tigers 2B IAN KINSLER, will open a storefront in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area that "includes a sporting goods shop, batting cage, and attached bar and restaurant" (GUIDELIVE.com, 8/15)....T'Wolves G JEFF TEAGUE's The Factory fitness and training facility, "aimed at serving athletes from children to professionals in a range of sports," opens Sunday (IBJ.com, 8/15).