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Volume 24 No. 178

People and Pop Culture

The Hawks have hired MICHAEL DRAKE as Senior VP/Corporate Partnerships & Premium Sales. Drake will report to Exec VP & CRO ANDREW SALTZMAN. Prior to joining the Hawks, Drake worked as CRO for AMB Sports & Entertainment, which serves as the holding company for the Falcons, Atlanta United and Mercedes-Benz Stadium. He was in that role from March '16 to November '17. He started his new job Dec. 4 and will oversee sponsorship and premium sales efforts for the Hawks as the team renovates Philips Arena. Drake also had a previous stint as Legends Global Sales VP and worked on PSL sales efforts for the Cowboys and the 49ers (John Lombardo, Staff Writer).

EXECS: Nike named Brooklyn-based marketing and ad firm Red Antler Head of Marketing LAUREN SHERMAN Senior Dir of Digital Marketing (WSJ.com, 12/8)....The Braves named Dodgers Dir of Baseball Operations ALEX TAMIN Dir of Major League Operations (AJC.com, 12/10)....Georgetown promoted head field hockey coach SHANNON SOARES to the newly created position of Associate AD/Administration & Varsity Sports. Soares will step down from her coaching role and begin her new position on Jan.1 (Georgetown)....Van Wagner Sports & Entertainment named SCOTT JANESS Senior VP/Sales. Janess will be responsible for selling across the company's assets and will be based in Chicago (THE DAILY)....Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Commissioner KARL STRESSMAN is "stepping down" from his position. The pool of prospects to replace Stressman is "down to six." An announcement is "expected" after the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo closes, "possibly in January" (REVIEWJOURNAL.com, 12/10).

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In N.Y., Scott Cacciola profiled Warriors Dir of Team Operations ERIC HOUSEN, who "juggles no fewer than a gazillion jobs." Housen "packs the players’ uniforms" and "transports their bags." He also "books their hotel rooms" and "washes their practice gear." Housen "plans the players’ meals and manages their schedules and troubleshoots their problems." He is a "behind-the-scenes force for the Warriors, who have employed him -- with the exception of one season" -- since '85, when he "started as a ball boy" in seventh grade. Housen said that he has "not missed a game since becoming a full-time staffer" in '99. For three of those seasons, working as equipment manager, he "lived in the team’s practice facility and slept on a cot" (N.Y. TIMES, 12/9).

BOOK SHELF: Philadelphia-based sportswriter ANDY JASNER’s new book, “PHIL JASNER ‘ON THE CASE,’” is a “collection of stories written by his dad during key moments of a career that landed him a spot in six different halls of fame.” Published by Temple University Press, the book is “more than a tribute by a son” to his late father. Jasner said, “In 2012, I started to think of how I could keep my dad’s legacy shining, not that it needed it. It can stand on its own just fine. I started kicking ideas around and said why not do a collection of his work? It’s his work and it will tell the story” (PHILLY.com, 12/8).

TOP OF THE HEAP: PRESIDENT TRUMP tops SBJ/SBD's list of the most influential in sports business for '17 (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 12/11 issue). Meanwhile, the N.Y. TIMES notes Trump, in private, "takes shots" at Mavericks Owner MARK CUBAN and has expressed "disappointment" that Patriots QB TOM BRADY has "distanced himself" from the President (N.Y. TIMES, 12/10)

NAMES: Former PGA of America President M.G. ORENDER was named the organization's "PGA Legend" for '17 (JACKSONVILLE.com, 12/8)....Astros P DALLAS KEUCHEL has hired SCOTT BORAS as his agent (TWITTER.com, 12/10)....The Philadelphia Orchestra has “recorded ‘Fly, Eagles, Fly’ in a specially orchestrated version by Nashville-based composer/orchestrator JIM GRAY.” The entire ensemble “turns to the camera for ‘E-A-G-L-E-S -- Eagles!’ with a flourish and bows in the air” (PHILLY.com, 12/10)....NASCAR driver AUSTIN DILLON and WHITNEY WARD were “married this weekend” at Childress Vineyards in Lexington, N.C. (NASCAR.com, 12/10)....Basketball HOFer HAKEEM OLAJUWON yesterday served as the Texans’ “homefield advantage captain” for the team’s game against the 49ers (CHRON.com, 12/10).

IN MEMORY: Pocono Raceway Managing Dir of Marketing Communications RYAN YANOSHAK died Friday after a "prolonged battle with cancer" at the age of 42. Yanoshak worked at Pocono "for two years" (POCONORECORD.com, 12/10).