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Volume 24 No. 178

People and Pop Culture

HBO’s “Ballers” for the eighth episode of Season 3 brought viewers to a fictional IMG South Florida office for a scene involving the sale of a fictional agency on the show --  ASM Financial. The character Spencer Strasmore, played by DWAYNE JOHNSON, walks the ground floor of the office alongside his business partner Joe, played by ROB CORDDRY, and IMG branding is shown throughout the scene. Johnson's character likes the sale, saying, "This whole place is impressive.” But Corddry's character expresses some reluctance to sell the agency to IMG, saying, "“I’m just hoping our staff is going to fit with IMG culture." Later in the episode, Coddry's chracter is still hesitant to sell the agency to finance the stadium deal, but Strasmore is confident and says, "We’re really doing this. ... IMG came in with an amazing offer." Strasmore said of the work he and Joe have been doing to get an NFL team to Las Vegas: "This Vegas deal gives us a greater stake in the league. It makes us legit. We become more powerful. We can help out the players, we can f***ing influence the game.” Later in the episode, their business partner, casino magnate Wayne Hastings, played by STEVE GUTTENBERG, sent them a promotional video of the stadium site in Las Vegas. Hastings said in the video while sitting on a horse in an empty, lot, “Why settle for great when we can make America spectacular. Welcome to your new home Raider Nation! Welcome to Wayneville!”

TO RUN OR PASS? The Dolphins are also prominently featured on the show again, this time involving the search for a new head coach. A white board in the GM's office lists Illinois head coach LOVIE SMITH, Lions offensive coordinator JIM BOB COOTER and Jaguars Exec VP/Football Operations TOM COUGHLIN as candidates, but Assistant GM Charles Greane, played by OMAR BENSON MILLER, pushes for Pro Football HOFer LARRY CSONKA. However, the Dolphins GM wants an air attack, which sells more tickets. Greane then goes to push for Csonka and a running game on his own with the team president, who says, "Ticket sales have never been a part of our decision making." Greane says, "Then we need to hire the man who laid the bricks for Miami's success." The team president responds, "(DON) SHULA is retired. (BOB) GRIESE has a radio gig and (DAN) MARINO has no interest in coaching." Csonka later in the show appeared as himself after getting the coaching job.

MIXED MESSAGES: Another story arc features free agent WR Ricky Jerret, played by JOHN DAVID WASHINGTON, dealing with post-concussion symptoms, which Jerret has been playing off as bipolar disorder. His agent says of signing a long-term deal and the bipolar diagnosis, "It’s a good thing that they diagnosed you. It earns us another chance with the Pats."


  • An ASM exec named Phil, played by JEFF WILLIAMS, upon being told the agency is being sold to IMG, “As soon as the papers are signed those corporate whores will clip us.” 
  • Strasmore sees a doctor about his low sperm count, and the doctor in giving the results says, "You do have functioning swimmers. They're just more RYAN LOCHTE than MICHAEL PHELPS."
  • Joe said to Strasmore about the deals involving IMG and the Vegas stadium, “I’m afraid that somewhere in this wild pursuit of a mega-stadium deal, you’ve become just as aloof and just as greedy as those asshole one-percenters we used to despise.” 

GlideSlope co-Founder ERIC GUTHOFF announced that he will pursue some new opportunities later this year with the company's integration into CSM Sports & Entertainment complete. Guthoff was an SBJ/SBD "Forty Under 40" honoree in '15 (THE DAILY).

EXECS: The Jazz promoted DEREK GARDUNO to VP/Communications. The team also named Adidas Sports Marketing Manager LINDSAY TWISS Dir of Communications and Hornets Communications Coordinator DANNY FRANKS Communications Manager (Jazz)....The Chiefs named Cubs Senior Dir of Event Operations MATT KENNY VP/Stadium Services & Events (Chiefs)....The NHL Kings promoted Manager of Business Analytics & Project Management PETE LISOWSKI to Dir of Business Operations (THE DAILY)....USL club Las Vegas Lights named A's Senior Dir of Corporate Partnerships STEVE PASTORINO VP/Corporate Partnerships. Pastorino was the first GM for Real Salt Lake (Las Vegas Lights) Int'l named NFL Films Footage Acquisitions Coordinator SARAH BEESON Producer. Beeson will work out of NHL HQ in N.Y. (, 9/11)....Van Wagner Sports & Entertainment named EMILY MARTIN Account Manager for its Media & Properties Division (THE DAILY). 

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PRESIDENT OBAMA and his wife, MICHELLE, will "not be honorary Michigan football captains this season." However, coach JIM HARBAUGH said it will "happen someday." Harbaugh said that the Obamas had "tried hard to work a game into their schedules but could not make that happen this fall" (DETROIT NEWS, 9/12). UM has "pulled out the stops in recent years to bring big-name celebrity athletes to campus for football games." MICHAEL JORDAN and TOM BRADY both served as honorary captains in '16. ESPN's ADAM SCHEFTER served as captain last Saturday and former NFLer CHARLES WOODSON  is "on the docket" for later this season (, 9/12).

HITTING AN ACE: Tennis HOFer STAN SMITH on Saturday presented Cantor Fitzgerald Chair & CEO HOWARD LUTNICK with the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's David A Benjamin Achievement Award during a Tennis HOF BOD meeting. Smith "recognized Lutnick for his rebuilding of Cantor and invited him to reflect on his days playing varsity tennis in college." Tennis HOF Chair JOHN ARNHOLD, Tennis HOFer MONICA SELES and investment bank AGM Partners Owner ALAN MNUCHIN were all in attendance (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 9/12).

NAMES: The GLAZER family, which owns the Buccanners, announced that it will donate $1M to Hurricane Irma "relief efforts through the American Red Cross" (, 9/11)....Sources said that former NBAer CHARLES OAKLEY is "preparing to file a civil suit" in response to a February run-in with MSG security. Oakley's suit is "expected to be filed shortly" (, 9/11)....Former NHLer SHANE DOAN has been "named the 47th Annual National Bank of Arizona Fiesta Bowl Parade Grand Marshal" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 9/12)....Missouri Gov. ERIC GREITENS “made a spectacular entrance” at the PBR PFI Western Invitational on Saturday. The former Navy Seal “rappelled from the rafters" into JQH Arena in Springfield, Mo. (, 9/10)....It looked like N.Y. City Council candidate RONNIE CHO yesterday was “about to hit a home run with an endorsement from DEREK JETER -- but he wound up striking out.” A spokesperson for Jeter said that he “didn’t endorse the candidate after all” (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 9/12)....Performance-based crowdfunding platform Pledge It and CBS Sports Digital property MaxPreps have launched the second annual “Touchdowns Against Cancer” program. Every touchdown scored by participating high schools between Sept. 14-30 will directly benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (Pledge It).

IN MEMORY: Former MLB Rangers exec MEL DIDIER died yesterday at the age of 90. Didier served as a special assistant to Rangers President of Baseball Operations & GM JON DANIELS from ’02-09. Didier also worked in front office positions with the D-backs, Orioles, Dodgers and Blue Jays, his most recent team (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 9/12).

NeuLion Sports Media & Technology: November 7-8, Marriott Marina del Rey, Calif.

 Here’s a few of the items we have on tap:
• A look inside the Amazon and NFL streaming deal
• A fireside chat with Disney’s Jimmy Pitaro: Extending A Story Through Experiences and Emerging Technologies
• Legendary Entertainment founder and Steelers minority owner Thomas Tull will weigh in on technology trends he’s keeping an eye on and the nexus of sports and entertainment
• Formula 1’s Managing Director Sean Bratches will share his global vision for the series moving forward
• Stay tuned, we’ll be announcing the complete agenda in the days ahead.

 For more INFORMATION or to REGISTRATION, please go to