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Volume 24 No. 114

People and Pop Culture

Bruin Sports Capital-owned media company Deltatre has hired former MLBAM and BAMTech exec JEFF VOLK as Senior VP and Head of Business & Revenue, Americas. He will focus heavily on business development and report to Deltatre Exec VP ANDREA MARINI. Volk is also the co-Founder of NYVC Sports, a N.Y.-based industry group linking teams, leagues, digital media, technology startups and investment sectors. “It is an energizing time in the media space. The pace of change has never been faster, and it’s inspiring to join the amazing Deltatre team to help expand our robust business to the Americas,” Volk said.

Name: Jeff Sanders

Position: Lagardère Sports Exec VP/Golf Events (CareerBuilder Challenge Exec Dir)

Age: 60

Where I call home: Portland, Ore.

Focusing on right now: Our tournament this week. Last year we were the consultant on this tournament and this year we’re the operator. Trying to get everything settled away. 

Best advice: You’ve got to be willing to take some risks to make change a positive. At the point of change, there’s a one-time opportunity to improve. You only get one swing. JACK NICKLAUS once said the only thing more important than winning is preparing to win. We believe in that. We’re prepared.

Person I admire: My father was my mentor and best friend, he encouraged me and supported me to get started in this business when I left the PGA Tour in ’85. He encouraged me to stay in golf.

Best book I’ve read: I live by a book called “Selling To VITO (The Very Important Top Officer)” by ANTHONY PARINELLO. I’ve read it 10 times. It talks about how to take care of the customer at the highest level. In our business, we are absolutely quite frankly, concierge, host and hostesses, waiters and waitresses. That’s the business we’re in. You have to be able to sell, and not just sell, but over-deliver to highly successful people. I’m also writing a book called “Pick Up The Phone.” Nothing’s ever happened in business without picking up the phone. Every relationship that we have, everything starts with the phone.

Must-have music: I’m a classic rock guy, all day long. I’m 60, so that’s my ideal. I like some contemporary music, too. I'll listen to bands like the X AMBASSADORS or GAVIN DEGRAW. But I live and die by classic rock. I love HUEY LEWIS, THE EAGLES, JOE WALSH, DOOBIE BROTHERS, THE ROLLING STONES.

First thing in the morning: I get up early, usually by 4:00, and get right to my emails. I’ll make a pot of coffee. I write down what I need to do that day. If I don’t do that, it doesn’t work.

Talking tech: The apps available to us these days make our jobs much easier. We’ve got all of our communication that we do with our sponsors. We used to send envelopes full of paper to them, now it’s all on an app. That’s been a big deal for us, a really nice customer service benefit. We want to communicate highly and effectively and take all the questions away. 

Food for thought: I eat really healthy. I’m a big fish guy, we love salmon. We eat out a fair amount on the road, but when we’re at home in Portland we try to eat clean. I like to have a drink or two now and then. I’m a big red wine, Cabernet guy. But we try to eat really well. It’s important. It keeps the energy high and the weight down. This business requires a lot of energy.

How I unwind: Because I played so much competitive golf, it’s very challenging for me to play social golf, I don’t really enjoy it. The reason is because I’m not prepared, and I always want to play well. I love to work out and I’ll go on some pretty long walks up in the hills around Portland. I went on a 10-mile walk this morning here in La Quinta. I also have season tickets to Oregon football.

Day in the life: This tournament has the identical model of the Safeway Open, which we've also operated. We call it our golf festival entertainment model. We eliminated all of the cover charges. We went to one $30 daily ticket, or a four-day, $75 dollar weekly ticket. That ticket includes getting onto the golf course, it includes getting into a green-side hospitality location on 16, 17 and 18. At 4:30pm on Friday right after golf, on the driving range Huey Lewis is going to do a concert. On Saturday, same thing with the GOO GOO DOLLS. We believe in enhancing the fan experience, which leads to more and more hospitality from a corporate sponsor standpoint. 

FanDuel named Amazon Head of Marketing MIKE RAFFENSPERGER CMO (FanDuel)....NFL Media named ESPN Coordinating Producer GALEN GORDON VP/Talent Management (THE DAILY)....Intersport named Stadium Dir of Revenue MICHAEL KRAFT VP/Strategic Partnerships (Intersport)....Octagon named marketing and technology agency DigitasLBi Managing Dir LIZA DURGE Client Services Dir (Octagon).


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

Create your own Executive Transaction

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.

Washington Post sports columnist THOMAS BOSWELL, former Univ. of North Carolina football and men's basketball radio announcer WOODY DURHAM, HBO's BRYANT GUMBEL and former N.Y. Daily News sports writer DICK WEISS will be inducted to the National Sports Media Association HOF in June. CBS' KEVIN HARLAN was voted the '17 National Sportscaster of the Year, and ESPN's ADRIAN WOJNAROWSKI the Sportswriter of the Year (NSMA)....Longtime golf writer LORNE RUBENSTEIN will receive the '18 PGA Lifetime Achievement Award in Journalism on April 4 in Augusta at the Golf Writers Association of America Annual Awards (PGA of America). 

THE GOOD STUFF: Bruins President CAM NEELY  has helped open the new Marlene Neely Center for Digestive Health, named in memory of his mother, who died of colon cancer in '87. The new facility, located at Tufts Medical Center, was partially funded by a $1.5M donation from the Cam Neely Foundation for Cancer Care (BOSTON HERALD, 1/17)....Thunder Exec VP & GM SAM PRESTI has “made a record donation to fund a new youth-police initiative in Oklahoma City.” Presti and his wife SHANNON “provided $140,000 -- the largest donation” in OKC Police Athletic League history -- to launch the initiative (NEWSOK.com, 1/15)....About 50 staff members from both the NHL Panthers and Lightning yesterday participated in “efforts with Habitat for Humanity of Collier County to build affordable housing for those whose homes were destroyed” by Hurricane Irma (South Florida SUN SENTINEL, 1/17).


NAMES: The proposed contract for new Arizona football coach KEVIN SUMLIN will be worth $14.5M in “base salary over five years.” Sumlin will get $2M per year for his first two years at Arizona, increasing to $3.5M a year in “years three through five” (AZCENTRAL.com, 1/16)....The Lakers will “unveil a statue" honoring Basketball HOFer ELGIN BAYLOR outside Staples Center on April 6 (OCREGISTER.com, 1/16)....Alabama football coach NICK SABAN has “joined the ownership group of the Waterfall Club, an exclusive golf club near his lake home in the mountains of northeast Georgia.” Saban is “one of five new owners,” a group that includes Chargers offensive coordinator KEN WHISENHUNT (AL.com, 1/16).

IN MEMORY: Sportswriter BOBBY MYERS, who “chronicled motorsports in award-winning fashion for the Charlotte News and Charlotte Observer for nearly three decades,” died at the age of 84 over the weekend. Myers won the National Motorsports Association Press’ Henry McLemore Award in ’70 (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 1/17).