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Volume 24 No. 179

People and Pop Culture

Atlanta-based mobile commerce company Experience has promoted JUNIOR GASPARD to President & CEO. Gaspard, previously Chief Revenue Officer and the company’s eighth employee when he joined in ’13, succeeds GREG FOSTER, who will retire Dec. 31 and join the company’s Board of Advisors. Experience, a subsidiary of Cox Enterprises, is best known for powering a variety of ticket and experiential upgrades for more than 350 sports and entertainment partners. The company is also developing a subscription-based ticket product called Inwego that pools together live events in a given market for a flat monthly rate. Inwego has debuted in Atlanta and Phoenix, with more markets planned for '18. Gaspard said that in addition to expanding Inwego and pass-based ticket products for dozens of teams, Experience also plans next year to work more closely with corporate sponsors to power exclusive benefits for consumers around live events.

Oilers Owner DARYL KATZ has purchased the "most expensive home ever" sold in L.A. or Malibu. Katz paid $120M for a six-acre, 20,000-square-foot Malibu mansion. The transaction is "broken into two increments." The first is $85M for the house itself and $35M for "all the contents contained in the house." Katz has reportedly been "leasing the property and home for ... $750,000 per month" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 12/3)....Pistons Owner TOM GORES has purchased his former home in the Beverly Park neighborhood of L.A. for $38M in a deal "completed off-market." The Tuscan-style mansion, built in '00, was among the "chips used by Gores to purchase a newly built estate in Bel-Air last year" for $100M. The property has 24,000 square feet of interior space with "seven bedrooms and 14 bathrooms" (LATIMES.com, 12/4).

HOOP HOMES: Cavaliers F LEBRON JAMES has "made a play for another high-end home" in the Brentwood neighborhood of L.A. A limited liability company linked to James has paid $23M for a "newly built spec mansion in the Westside community." The 15,846-square-foot home has "city-to-ocean views" and is "furnished with an elevator, a home theater and a custom kitchen with a La Cornue range." There are "eight bedrooms and 9.5 bathrooms" (LATIMES.com, 12/7)....T'Wolves F JIMMY BUTLER "took a loss" on his six-bedroom, 10,000-square-foot mansion in the River North neighborhood of Chicago, selling it for $4.2M. In '15, Butler paid $4.3M for the property. The mansion has 5.5 baths, "three fireplaces, an elevator, electric shades, a custom staircase, a 750-bottle wine cellar, a landscaped roof deck, a home theater, a workout room, two other outdoor spaces and an attached three-car garage" (CHICAGOTRIBUNE.com, 12/1)....Former NBAer JARED SULLINGER purchased a home in Hilliard, Ohio, for $660,000. The 6,700-square-foot home has five bedrooms, "five-and-a-half bathrooms, a two-story great room, a lower-level kitchen and a bar, and a three-car garage" (DISPATCH.com, 11/30).

SWINGING AWAY: Former MLBer KERRY WOOD sold his Lake Geneva, Wis., home in September for $4.75M. Originally the asking price was just under $5M. The "five bedroom, eight bathroom" home has a "pier with a jet ski and two boat lifts." The 9,000-square-foot home has a "kids' bunkroom that sleeps six" (CHICAGO.SUNTIMES.com, 12/4)....Former MLBer RAY DURHAM has listed his Charlotte area home for $4.8M. The 7,140-square-foot home on Lake Norman sits on 148 acres and has "5 beds, 5 full baths" (CHARLOTTEAGENDA.com, 12/5)....Former MLBer GARRET ANDERSON has sold his home in Irvine for $9.644M. There are "six bedrooms and 8.5 bathrooms -- including a guest suite with a second kitchen -- in 9,500 square feet of living space" (LATIMES.com, 12/1).

GRIDIRON REALTY: Bengals TE TYLER EIFERT has purchased a home in a rural area just outside of Cincinnati for $625,000. The 5,000-plus-square-foot home has "three bedrooms and four bathrooms." The "biggest draw for Eifert was the property's 15 acres." It is his "main residence but also serves as a getaway for hunting" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 12/6)....Packers LB AHMAD BROOKS sold his home in San Jose for $2.18M, a $185,000 "bump up from the price tag he set in September." Built in '99, the 4,029-square-foot, five bedroom home "sits on roughly an acre." Brooks purchased the Mediterranean-style home for $1.57M in '12 (LATIMES.com, 12/5).

BUYERS & SELLERS: Former Nebraska AD SHAWN EICHORST is "close to selling" his Lincoln mansion. The $1.8M, five-bedroom, six-bathroom home is "currently in pending sales status." Eichorst purchased the home in '13 for $1.364M (REALTOR.com, 12/4)....ESPN tennis analyst BRAD GILBERT is selling his San Rafael, Calif., mansion for $5.2M. The 7,923-square-foot home was originally built in '04, but has "undergone extensive renovations." It features "five bedrooms, four-and-a-half baths." The home has "views from the bay to Mount Tamalpais" (MERCURYNEWS.com, 11/30).

Saturday's Army-Navy game at Lincoln Financial Field holds much storied tradition and honor within it, but there will be a notable change in the CBS Sports broadcast booth. Saturday will be BRAD NESSLER's first go-round at calling the event after taking over for VERNE LUNDQUIST, and he is already starting to get a real feel for the game's magnitude. Nessler: “You can think you’re America’s Team and all that stuff, but when you talk to the players, this really is that for them and they know that once they get done hammering away at each other for two and a half hours, they’re all on the same team again.” Nessler, who calls Atlanta home, took some time to speak with THE DAILY about how this week differs from the typical SEC week and how he plans to spend his landmark weekend in Philadelphia.

LET'S GET IT STARTED: I left home Tuesday morning because we came up to N.Y. for the National Football Foundation HOF dinner that night. We got together with all of our cohorts from the other networks, all the ADs, coaches and all the HOF honorees. Wednesday morning was getting up early and immediately going to West Point and spending the whole day there. So from my standpoint, I’d still be home if I was doing an SEC game, and I wouldn’t leave until Thursday and go to Thursday practice for the home team, spend Friday with the coaches and players of the home team and Friday night with the road team. A lot of my work is done on Monday-Wednesday at home so I feel like I'm way behind right now. Doing it for the first time is really different. I can tell that GARY DANIELSON has done it 11 times, and I can tell that our producer and director have done it more times than that. It’s a different type of football than we’re used to for the most part. 

IMPACT OF ARMY-NAVY: I’ve never been in the military, but I get it a little bit more after today, and I’ll get it a little bit more after tomorrow and after I see the game. To talk about them and what they’ve got coming up and the fact that they wanted to go to West Point because they wanted a great education and that it brought us some of the best leaders our country has ever had and they want to be leaders. It’s a whole different world for them. They’ve got bowl games coming up but for all the guys that we’ve talked to, I look at these guys and I think that the future of our country is in really good shape because they are so sharp, so intelligent, so well-spoken and they have a goal. Everybody talks about the Rose Bowl being “The Granddaddy of Them All.” You take that and times it by five, that’s what the March On is. I’ve done Army, Air Force, and Navy games before and I’ve even done Commander-in-Chief games, but never this one. This is America’s rivalry, this is the ultimate.

CATCHING UP WITH OLD FRIENDS: I usually just kind of follow people around and end up in cool places. I think I’m going to get together with MIKE MAYOCK while I’m there since he lives there -- we used to do NFL Network together so I’m sure he’ll drag me some place in the city. I tell everybody, I see the airport, I see the hotel, I see the stadium. Of course I do other stuff, but the fun part for me is doing the game. It’s not that I’m not social because I love to have a good time and when I’m well-prepared in a city that I know well, I go out and do stuff. 

Fox Networks Group promoted BRIAN SULLIVAN to President & COO. He assumes the role vacated by former COO RANDY FREER, who was "tapped to head" Hulu last month. Sullivan will "oversee revenue and distribution" for the Fox TV Group, FX, Fox Sports and NatGeo. He will also "continue to lead FNG's Digital Consumer Group which is responsible for its authenticated streaming apps." Sullivan will report to FNG Chair & CEO and Fox President PETER RICE (MULTICHANNEL.com, 12/7).

EXECS: Team Penske named Chip Ganassi Racing Media Relations Rep IAN MOYE to the same position. Moye will handle PR for Penske’s new No. 12 Ford driven by RYAN BLANEY in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (Adam Stern, Staff Writer)....The MLB Cardinals promoted the following: LUIS MORALES to Dir of Int'l Operations & Administration; MATT SLATER to Special Assistant to the GM for Player Procurement; MATT BAYER to Manager of Scouting Analytics; TYLER HADZINSKY to Amateur Scouting Coordinator/Analyst; and EMILY WIEBE to Baseball Operations Analyst (Cardinals)....Sports sponsorship outfit SMG Insight named former Nielsen Sports Senior VP SCOTT HOROWITZ Chief Revenue Officer for North America (SMG Insight).

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GRIGORY RODCHENKOV, the whistleblower at the heart of the IOC’s case against Russia, alleges in sworn testimony that Nets Owner MIKHAIL PROKHOROV "paid a Russian biathlete millions of rubles not to disclose the elaborate doping scheme that has resulted in the country’s ban from the upcoming Pyeongchang Games." Still, there is "no further evidence to support the accusation," and Prokhorov disputed the claim made by Rodchenkov, the former director of Russia's anti-doping agency (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 12/8).

MAJOR PLAYERS
: Sources said that the potential Disney-Fox deal would make Fox Exec Chair RUPERT MURDOCH and his sons major Disney shareholders with "outsize power over important decisions," including who would succeed Disney Chair & CEO BOB IGER. The deal under discussion "involves cash and Disney stock that would flow to Fox shareholders, and it could make the Murdochs Disney’s largest individual shareholders." Sources said that the Murdochs are "jockeying behind the scenes for as much power as they possibly can extract from Disney" (HOLLYWOODREPORTER.com, 12/7).

BODES WELL: Gold Medal-winning U.S. skier BODE MILLER recently became an equity partner and the Chief Innovation Officer at Aztech Mountain, an upstart company based in N.Y. and Aspen that "makes functional and ruggedly stylish ski wear." Miller said that he "initially came in contact with Aztech Mountain in the Andes, while working on a commercial photo shoot for Bomber, a ski and pole company of which he is also part owner." Started in '13, Aztech was "still very much in start-up mode, which appealed to Miller, who was looking for a role beyond the traditional celebrity spokesmodel." Meanwhile, Miller will serve as an analyst for NBC during the Pyeongchang Games (N.Y. TIMES, 12/7).

LOADS OF IT: Redskins LS NICK SUNDBERG and the team recently launched Loads of Love, which aims to fix "one potential excuse for absenteeism." With a $25,000 donation from Sundberg himself, they have "installed washers and dryers in three local schools and two local youth shelters." He has also "advertised the cause on his cleats, solicited donations from fans and teammates, and promoted the grant process that will allow other local schools to apply for similar help" (WASHINGTON POST, 12/8).

MAKING A PLEDGE: Devils D BEN LOVEJOY is the first active NHLer to "pledge his brain to the Concussion Legacy Foundation." Lovejoy said that while he has "never had a diagnosed concussion, he's pledging his brain because, 'I am a believer in science'" (TSN.ca, 12/7)....The Raiders have "pledged $10,000 to Las Vegas nonprofit Safe Nest," which assists survivors of domestic violence by "providing services such as shelter, advocacy and protection" (LAS VEGAS SUN, 12/8).

NAMES: Nike announced plans to expand its campus in Beaverton, Ore., with four new buildings. One will be named after SERENA WILLIAMS and another after IAAF President SEBASTIAN COE. A fitness center will be named after Duke men’s basketball coach MIKE KRZYZEWSKI. The fourth new building will be a parking garage (SI.com, 12/7)....Pelicans C DEMARCUS COUSINS on Thursday “hosted his seventh annual ‘Santa Cuz’ shopping spree for kids” at a Target in New Orleans (NOLA.com, 12/7)....IndyCar drivers CONOR DALY and ALEXANDER ROSSI on Thursday “officially announced they’ll compete” in CBS’ next season of “THE AMAZING RACE,” which premieres at 8:00pm ET on Jan. 3 (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 12/8)....LAVAR BALL said that his sons, LIANGELO and LAMELO, have “signed with agent HARRISON GAINES” of Ball Sports Group. The plan is now for “both to play on the same team overseas.” Gaines also represents their older brother, Lakers G LONZO BALL (ESPN.com, 12/7)....Former NBAer ANDREI KIRILENKO’s house in L.A. reportedly has “burned down in the wildfires that have engulfed southern California” (SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, 12/8).