MLBPA Dir of Communications GREG BOURIS yesterday resigned after almost 19 years on the job. MLBPA Exec Dir TONY CLARK in a statement said, "He is a consummate communications professional, who handled his duties with the utmost professionalism, dedication and commitment." In a Twitter post, Bouris wrote it was "an honor" to work at the union for almost two decades and said trying to find the "right" time to do anything is nearly impossible. "Now is the 'time' for me to leave the MLBPA and put my varied and unique experiences in the sports industry to use in helping a greater number of individual athletes and organizations by serving as a consultant in the areas of communications, digital marketing, social responsibility and social impact," Bouris wrote. Bouris' resignation comes at at time when the relationship between the union and the league has soured over a large number of unsigned free agents heading into Spring Training.
People and Pop Culture
NASCAR yesterday internally announced a host of exec transactions and promotions, led by NASCAR Exec VP and Chief Global Sales & Marketing Officer STEVE PHELPS expanding his sphere of influence to the sanctioning body’s media divisions. Phelps will add oversight of NASCAR’s broadcast and production arms and as a result will have the changed title of Exec VP and Chief Global Marketing, Media & Sales Officer. NASCAR Senior VP/Broadcasting & Production STEVE HERBST will now report to Phelps. NASCAR promoted NASCAR Digital Media Managing Dir TIM CLARK to VP and Chief Security Officer CHRIS DAVIS to VP & Chief Security Officer. Clark assumes the title previously held by COLIN SMITH, who spearheaded the build of NASCAR’s digital media network over several years before departing last year to become CEO of Motorsport Network. NASCAR moved NASCAR Digital Media CRO JON TUCK to the role of VP & CRO for NASCAR and NDM, helping fill the role vacated by CHAD SEIGLER, who recently became VP/International Business Development. NDM Ad Sales Dir JOHN TRIPP assumes Tuck’s former role and title of NDM Managing Dir of Business Development. Meanwhile, NASCAR is moving VP/Licensing & Consumer Products BLAKE DAVIDSON to the newly created role of VP/Consumer Innovation, with a focus on esports, gaming and AR/VR. NASCAR teams, tracks and the league itself are making increasing inroads in the esports space, including eyeing the creation of a new pro iRacing league, and the move by NASCAR to have an exec focus on the space reflects that. NASCAR Team Properties Managing Dir PAUL SPARROW assumes leadership of licensing, filling Davidson’s former role.
Name: Alex Lasry
Position: Bucks Senior VP
Where I’m from: N.Y.
Where I call home: Milwaukee
Focusing on right now: Getting tenants for the entertainment block that will be adjacent to the new Bucks arena. We hope to finalize those sometime soon. We also just put out a great JABARI PARKER video on his comeback and are working on putting out our first half of the season digital content. My dad, Bucks co-Owner MARC, is playing in the All-Star Celebrity Game this weekend too, so I told him if he needs a sub just let me know.
Best advice: The best advice that I’ve ever gotten was from my dad, which is to be courteous and respectful of everyone you meet. Being nice to everyone on the way up makes the fall a lot easier.
People I admire: One obviously is my former boss, PRESIDENT OBAMA. Barack Obama Foundation VP/Civic Engagement MIKE STRAUTMANIS also has been a constant mentor and someone who I have learned a lot from in terms of dealing with difficult situations and how to handle them professionally. In sports, Palace Sports & Entertainment Vice Chair ARN TELLEM and Bulls President & COO MICHAEL REINSDORF have been two guys I’ve gotten to know and have really gone to for advice and thoughts about the industry as a whole.
Must have for a new hire: Creativity, a willingness to think outside the box and being passionate about your work. Being able to challenge traditional thinking can only be done with those qualities, so those are probably what I look for most.
Book shelf: A lot of political biographies. The last book I read was “WASHINGTON: A LIFE” by ROB CHERNOW. One of my favorite books is “STEVE JOBS” by WALTER ISAACSON. I think that book presents Jobs as an interesting leader and creator of our time. He had an extreme passion for his product, and passion for what you’re doing is one of the most important things you can have. “THINKING, FAST AND SLOW” by DANIEL KAHNEMAN is another favorite.
Must-have music: For me -- 90’s R&B. But I do also listen to a lot of country music as well. I also have to have my Broadway musicals, so right now “DEAR EVAN HANSEN” and “HAMILTON” are in the rotation.
First thing in the morning: I’ll generally put on MSNBC’s “MORNING JOE," then I’ll check Twitter just to make sure the world hasn’t burned down. After that, I’ll either try to get a workout in or head to the office early and catch up on local and national news before my day gets started.
Talking tech: I can’t live without my iPhone. It’s how I can get information, stay in touch and keep up to date with everything that’s going on, especially with running a digital marketing team you need to be aware of what’s happening in the social media atmosphere.
Food for thought: My mom is going to hate me for saying this, but my favorite foods are pizza and french fries. I don’t like them together, but those are always my go-to foods. It has to be New York-style pizza though. A good thing about Milwaukee also is that I can always get a good burger or steak whenever I'm craving it.
How I unwind: Play basketball. I try to play two or three times a week and that’s really my way of de-stressing. It allows me to kind of just put everything aside for a bit and get some competitive energy going.
Day in the life: I’ve been in plenty of situations where you try to have a regular day and then by mid-morning that plan is completely blown up. So, for me, it’s just making sure I have a regular routine in the morning before work and a routine for when the work day is over.
MGM has hired CHRIS BREARTON as the studio’s COO. He will join the company at the end of the month, reporting to MGM Chair & CEO GARY BARBER and working with him to oversee MGM’s business operations. Brearton comes to MGM from Latham & Watkins’ Entertainment, Sports & Media Practice, where he served as Managing Partner of the firm’s Century City office. For nearly 20 years, Brearton has represented MGM in several critical capacities (MGM). Brearton was featured last year in "Power Players," SBJ's look at the top lawyers in sports business (THE DAILY).
EXECS: Veteran marketing exec LIZ GRAY has returned to CAA to lead and build out the cultural insights practice within CAA Brand Consulting. Gray, who was most recently Chief Mindset Officer at The Female Quotient, will report to JEFF ECCLESTON, who oversees the CAA Brand Consulting insight & analytics team. Gray has more than two decades of experience in consumer insights, cultural analysis and strategic marketing. She also has previous stints with Trendera, ESPN and Condé Nast (Liz Mullen, Staff Writer)....Former XTERRA/TEAM Unlimited co-Founder & CEO TOM KIELY has formed a new business called Tourism Sports Marketing Int'l. Kiely sold his firm back in December (TSMI)....Chicago-based sports marketing and event operations firm KemperLesnik named DAVID GOUGH VP/Sports & Events. Gough has had stints with, Switzerland-based Boxing Marketing Arm, IMG Live and Coca-Cola (KemperLesnik).
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Golfer BILL HAAS last night was "injured in a car accident in Pacific Palisades, Calif.," that "left the driver of the vehicle Haas was riding in dead and the driver of the other car involved injured." The accident took place at 6:30pm PT "just a few miles from Riviera Country Club," where Haas was scheduled to play in this week’s PGA Tour Genesis Open. LAPD Detective JEFF FISCHER said Haas was “doing OK" and the golfer has since been released from a local hospital. A third vehicle involved in the crash "was being driven by actor LUKE WILSON." He "did not sustain serious injury" (GOLFDIGEST.com, 2/14).
NASSAR FALLOUT: USA Gymnastics has "told Congress it has not used non-disclosure agreements in investigations except in the case of Olympic gold medalist MCKAYLA MARONEY, one of more than 200 women and girls who have said now-imprisoned sports doctor LARRY NASSAR sexually abused them." But attorney JOHN MANLY, who represents several women who were abused by Nassar, said the statement "is a lie." Manly said he has "spoken to USAG athletes bound by NDAs" (AP, 2/13)....The Michigan State faculty senate yesterday "erupted in applause after nearly all of its voting members" cast a "vote of no-confidence" in the BOT in the wake of the Nassar scandal. The vote "has no legal weight but is aimed at taking a stance on the issues facing MSU" (DETROIT NEWS, 2/14).
NAMES: Patriots TE ROB GRONKOWSKI and several family members yesterday "made their charitable rounds visiting children’s hospitals in Boston, Rhode Island and Maine to hand-deliver $25,000 checks." The money was "raised by the Gronk Nation Youth Foundation, through AFC Championship and Super Bowl ticket raffles" (BOSTON HERALD, 2/14)....Texans CB JOHNATHAN JOSEPH yesterday morning "donated new weight room equipment to Willowridge High School" in Houston. The donation was "made in conjunction through a $10,000 grant from UnitedHealthcare to Joseph's Dreambuilders program" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 2/14)....Late former UNLV basketball player ARMEN GILLIAM "will be inducted posthumously May 11" into the Southern Nevada Sports HOF. Gilliam died in '11 at age 47 (LAS VEGAS SUN, 2/14)....LEBRON JAMES' production company SpringHill Entertainment is considering remaking the "early 1990s hit 'HOUSE PARTY'" (ESPN.com, 2/13)....MICHAEL PHELPS and wife NICOLE on Monday "welcomed their second baby" (NYPOST.com, 2/13).
AXS Sports Facilities & Franchises/Ticketing Symposium presented by SportsBusiness Journal/Daily
June 19-21. Detroit, MI
The 2018 AXS Sports Facilities & Franchises/Ticketing Symposium is set for June 19-21 at the Westin Book Cadillac Detroit in downtown Detroit. The Ticketing Symposium will kick off on Tuesday, June 19 followed by the Sports Facilities & Franchises portion of the program which will include a day and half full of content and venue tours on Wednesday, June 20 and Thursday, June 21. Attendees will have an opportunity to tour the new Little Caesars Arena.
For more information or to register, visit www.SportsFacilitiesandFranchises.com.