Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 25 No. 131

People and Pop Culture

Naegele (r) won the NHL's Lester Patrick Award for service to hockey in the U.S. back in '08
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Former Wild Owner BOB NAEGELE JR., the "hometown kid who played the most pivotal role in bringing the NHL back to the Twin Cities two decades ago, died on Wednesday night due to complications from cancer" at the age of 78, according to Dane Mizutani of the ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS. Naegele's Minnesota Sports & Entertainment group bought an expansion franchise for $80M in June '97 and contributed $45M "toward building the Xcel Energy Center." To honor Naegele, the Wild "will wear a patch with the initials 'BN' on their jerseys for the remainder of the season." Naegele was the Wild’s majority owner "until he sold the team" to CRAIG LEIPOLD in January '08 for a "deal believed to be worth" $250M (TWINCITIES.com, 11/8). NHL Commissioner GARY BETTMAN in a statement said, "More than 20 years ago, Bob had a vision -- to return NHL hockey to the Twin Cities and to ensure that the great fans in the State of Hockey would have a state-of-the-art arena in which to cheer for their beloved Wild." In Minneapolis, John Reinan noted Naegele "won the NHL's Lester Patrick Award for service to hockey in the U.S." in '08 (STARTRIBUNE.com, 11/8).

CALL OF THE WILD: THE ATHLETIC's Michael Russo wrote hockey fans owe Naegele a "debt of gratitude." He is the "man who brought NHL hockey back to hockey-loving, hockey-rich Minnesota after hockey fans had, as Naegele often said, their hearts ripped out when the North Stars left town." BOB NAEGELE III said his father "loved the role he played to bring the NHL back to the State of Hockey." Naegele III: "He was the perfect guy at the perfect time because it was never about him. It was all about his love and passion for the game." He added, “He treated everyone the same. And he’s done that his whole life.” Russo noted when Naegele sold the team to Leipold, every Wild employee "received a check in the mail from Naegele" (THEATHLETIC.com, 11/8).

Tough Mudder co-Founder & CEO WILL DEAN intends to step down from a day-to-day management position of the company for a Chair-style role in the coming months. Dean acknowledged '18 has seen a “choppy couple of months” for the company, which burst onto the scene in the early '10s as the obstacle course racing fad peaked. Tough Mudder and Spartan Race both survived the ensuing contraction to continue on as national brands, but they have been forced to diversify their revenue streams as participation stagnates domestically. Tough Mudder this year has downsized, and one race winner, MARK JONES, said last month he had yet to be paid prize money from a third-place finish in June. Dean was a member of the SBJ/SBD Forty Under 40 class of '17. Meanwhile, the company has sold 60 franchises for its Tough Mudder-themed fitness bootcamps it launched in '17 and is looking to spin off its line of boutique gym franchises and seek a major investor or buyer for the new company.

Golfer LEE TREVINO has dropped the asking price for his Dallas mansion to $7.5M. The house was originally put on the market for $13M back in '14. The 10,000-square-foot mansion features a "main house with four bedrooms, a game room, sunroom, music room, and study, as well as a separate guest suite with its own entrance." The outdoor space on the property includes a "private creek with a picturesque stone bridge, a pool, a tennis court, putting greens, and a cabana with kitchen and fireplace for entertaining" (GOLFWEEK.com, 11/1).

BALLPARK FIGURES: Former MLBer JAKE PEAVY is selling his San Diego home for $2.9M. The nearly 7,000 square feet of living space include a total of "six bedrooms and seven bathrooms, a game room featuring wine storage and a wet bar." An attached extra room can "serve as a guesthouse, office, maid's quarters or den." The more than 1.5-acre site includes a "sport court, a putting green and a swimming pool with a spa" (LATIMES.com, 11/5)....Free agent P OLIVER PEREZ is selling his home in Paradise Valley, Ariz., for $2.75M. The 7,379-square-foot Tuscan-style home has "six bedrooms and seven bathrooms" and holds a "movie theater, stylish wine cellar and wood-paneled office." The backyard "centers on a lagoon-style swimming pool and spa" (LATIMES.com, 11/1).

PICK & POP: Bucks F GIANNIS ANTETOKOUNMPO purchased a home in River Hills, Wisc., from former NBAer MIRZA TELETOVIC for $1.8M. The "5 bedroom, 7.5 bath" custom home features an "in-ground pool, pool/guest house, home theater, game room, wine cellar, heated garage and workshop" (JSONLINE.com, 11/2)....Spurs F LAMARCUS ALDRIDGE sold his home in the Southlake suburb of Dallas for an "undisclosed price." The red brick, three-story townhouse spans 3,918 square feet and features "wide-plank wood floors under 10-foot ceilings." The home has "three bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms" and an "expansive game room fills the top level" (LATIMES.com, 11/4).

McHugh called working with Collinsworth and Michaels a highlight of being on the NBC football crew
Photo: NBC Sports

NBC Sports' LIAM MCHUGH will be pulling double duty this weekend with Florida State-Notre Dame on Saturday followed by a quick turnaround for Cowboys-Eagles on "SNF," and the veteran host has dutifully prepared for each game despite having to balance the joys (and challenges) of fatherhood throughout the week. McHugh earlier this week said, "We have a soon-to-be 4-year-old, a 5-and-a-half-year old and a 5 month old. Plus my wife has been a little under the weather ... so it’s like Thunderdome in here right now." McHugh still found time to take THE DAILY through his hectic weekend, from hoping ND coach BRIAN KELLY is amiable enough in Saturday's postgame interview, to chewing the fat with AL MICHAELS and CRIS COLLINSWORTH in the makeup chair. McHugh: "I can tell you right now, both those guys without makeup? Not bad. They’re taking care of themselves. Then again, neither one of them is chasing around a 5-year old at home." 

EARLY START: Friday around 4:30am the alarm goes off, and I’ll quickly head from our Long Island home to the airport and fly to South Bend. Then as soon as I get there I’ll drop my bags and head over to the football offices. Our production crew, including MIKE TIRICO, DOUG FLUTIE and CHRIS SIMMS, we’ll sit in on a meeting with coach Kelly and his coordinators to pick their brains. Then we’ll talk to a group of players. For myself and Chris, it’s a big moment where we can get some real information, because during our pregame show we really want to brings fans something they didn’t hear on the radio or read online that week. We'll catch the team walk-throughs. Then that night, because it is our final game in South Bend this year, we’ll have a dinner with everyone who works with us on these broadcasts. It’s a really cool night where we get to talk about everything other than work.

COUNTDOWN TO KICKOFF: The next morning we’ll start with breakfast and a production meeting, then there’s a lot of time until the night game, which is nice. I’ll watch “COLLEGE GAMEDAY,” catch some afternoon games, then around 4:30 or 5:00pm, Simms and I head over to the stadium. We’ll sit in the greenroom that has a direct feed for our game but also has all the other games on there as well. It’s a laid back atmosphere, Chris and I are good friends. Then we do a rehearsal, get warm and then we’re on at 7:00 for the pregame show. We’ll do a little fist-bump, I’ll remind Chris not to curse on air and we’re off and running. Postgame is loose, we really don’t want to format too much, more just react to what we’ve seen out on the field. If Notre Dame wins, we get Kelly on set. The nice thing is, they’ve been winning this year, and he’s been in a good mood.

SUNDAY FUNDAY: We'll finish on Saturday night at about 11:30. My producer and I will hop in a car and drive straight to Chicago right after the game. We’ll get there about 3 hours later, check into the airport hotel, get about 3 -and-a-half hours of sleep, then fly to Philly to just catch the end of our production meeting for "FOOTBALL NIGHT IN AMERICA" and “SNF.” The meeting is mainly about the game itself, but I tend to get a ton out of it. It’s fun to be a fly on the wall listening to Collinsworth and Michaels get ready for a broadcast. Then I’ll get back to my room, maybe get a quick workout in, watch the pregame shows, watch the first half of the 1:00pm game then get over to the stadium and sit with our researcher to make sure we’re on the same page.

SPRINT TO THE FINISH: I’ll usually do a few walk-in interviews with the coaches. It’ll be interesting to hear what JASON GARRETT has to say after this week. Then after that we do affiliate hits, then it’s up to the booth where I get the treat of watching Michaels and Collinsworth get makeup before I do. Then we go back to the set and get off and running. One thing I really like about “FNIA” is we’re only on that set for one segment. After that, we move around the stadium. We want to show you what’s unique about the atmosphere. If I’m going to be in the stadium, there’s no reason for me to just be tethered to this desk. Then after my postgame hits I change out of my suit, go down to the car, drive back to New York, sleep for two hours and then take my boys to kindergarten and pre-school. 

Know of someone who should be featured in Weekend Plans? Shoot a note over to tleary@sportsbusinessdaily.com.

Jordan Brand named Nickelodeon Senior VP/Sports Marketing & Development ANTHONY DICOSMO Global Head of Sports Marketing. DiCosmo, who will be based out of Nike's Beaverton HQ, will report to NICO HARRISON, who oversees Nike's sports marketing for basketball and Jordan Brand. DiCosmo, an SBJ/SBD "Forty Under 40" honoree in '16, wrote in an e-mail, "I will ensure Jordan Brand has the right athletes to authenticate the brand and inspire our fearless consumer across all sports" (Adam Stern, THE DAILY).

EXECS: The Seahawks named Covington & Burling attorney ALEN CISIJA Associate Counsel. Cisija has previously worked for the NFL as a legal fellow (THE DAILY)....The Braves named Astros Dir of Research & Development MIKE FAST Special Assistant to the GM (AJC.com, 11/7)....Architectural firm Populous promoted the following to Associate: ROSARIO CHO (Brisbane); HENRY COATES (Brisbane); NICK FITZGERALD (Sydney); JACK KATO (Singapore); ALEXA LEE (Singapore); ASHISH SHRIVASTAV (Delhi); LUCAS BERGSTROM (K.C.); NICHOLAS CAPRARIO (K.C.); DANIEL COLEMAN (K.C.); CHRISTOPHER COLLINS (K.C.); BRIDGET GRAMLICH (K.C.); MICHAEL HOELSCHER (K.C.); AARON JONES (K.C.); MICHAEL KINARD (Denver); PATRICK KNIGHT (K.C.); NICHOLAS MALYON (K.C.); LEO MANGIMELLI (K.C.); ELIZABETH MARTINEZ (Denver); DANIEL MOLINA (K.C.); ANA PAZ (K.C.); MEGAN RAND (K.C.); ASHLEY SIMPSON (K.C.); DANIELLE WHITELAW (Denver); FABIANO D'AMATO (London); TAO JIANG (London); BETH MCCAREY (London); ANDREW RIEPER (London); SCOTT ROGERS (London); MARIA VLCAKOVA (London); and SIN JAE YOO (London) (Populous)....Singapore-based MMA outfit One Championship named former UFC fighter MIESHA TATE VP. Tate retired from the UFC in '16 (FORBES.com, 11/8)....The Professional Tennis Registry promoted Dir of Education BRIAN PARKKONEN to COO (PTR).

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.

Wichita State's men's hoops team visited the White House Wednesday and met President Trump
Photo: WICHITA STATE UNIV.

The Wichita State men's basketball team on Wednesday toured the White House and had a "surprise meeting" with PRESIDENT TRUMP, "courtesy of an invitation" extended by Secretary of State MIKE POMPEO. WSU was in DC ahead of a game in Annapolis. Trump shook hands with the team and "briefly chatted them up about their season before posing for a team picture." WSU coach GREGG MARSHALL said that the team was also "slated to take part in a special dinner" with Pompeo and his wife, SUSAN, who "worked diligently" with WSU Dir of Basketball Operations DOMINIC OKON to schedule Wednesday's events. WSU even "purchased suits with yellow ties for all of its players for the White House visit" (KANSASCITY.com, 11/8).

TECH SPECS: Georgia Tech recently wrapped up its inaugural GT Sports Innovation Challenge. The on-campus event invited innovators to accept challenges of transforming ideas for sports tech into reality. Twenty-four teams comprised of 130 total participants competed. A panel that included men’s basketball coach JOSH PASTNER and AMB Sports & Entertainment VP/Technology, Data & Analytics KARL PIERBURG judged the submissions (GT).

THE GOOD STUFF: Mets P STEVEN MATZ was at Bowlmor Lanes in Times Square on Thursday night, serving as the "star attraction at 'Strikes with Steven' for his Tru32 program, which is in honor of New York City first responders and the military." Matz drew 350 people for an event that "raised scholarship money for children of NYPD and FDNY members who died in the line of duty" (NEWSDAY.com, 11/8)....The Bears announced five recipients for the $813,850 that was donated primarily by players in the fight for social justice, with matching grants from the Bears, Bears Care and NFL Foundation. By the Hand Club for Kids, Kicks 4 the City, SAGA, YWCA Lake County and My Block, My Hood and My City will each receive separate donations out of the total allotment (Bears). 

NAMES: Former Islanders Owner HOWARD MILSTEIN has been named a Trustee for PGA Reach, the foundation of the PGA of America (PGA of America)....VENUS WILLIAMS “will be the guest speaker at the annual WIN for KC Women’s Sports Awards Celebration on Feb. 8” (K.C. STAR, 11/9)....KEVIN GARNETT recently “dropped a major hint that he’s working with” ADAM SANDLER on his "latest movie project, ‘UNCUT GEMS,’” from Netflix (BOSTON HERALD.com, 11/8)....DWYANE WADE and wife GABRIELLE UNION “announced the arrival of their daughter.” She was “born Wednesday via a surrogate” (MIAMI HERALD, 11/9).

SportsBusiness Daily seeks a full-time Staff Writer for our Charlotte office. The entry-level position will be responsible for compiling, writing and copy editing daily sports business news in a fast-paced, deadline environment. Candidate must have knowledge of -- and interest in -- sports, the business of sports, current events and pop culture. Ideal candidate is a collaborative team player, as well as energetic, creative, and a self-starter. To apply for this position, send resume and writing samples to jobs@sportsbusinessdaily.com

This is it! Your last chance to vote!

Friday is your last chance to participate in the 14th annual Sports Business Journal/Daily Reader Survey. Polls close at day’s end, so make your opinion count and be a part of this popular feature by sharing your opinion on a range of topics:

* The sports business story of the year
* The year’s most intriguing athlete and sports executive
* The most effective commissioner in sports
* Your ultimate sports bucket-list item

We will run results in SBJ and SBD the week of Nov. 26. Let your voice be heard!

Readers sound off on the issues of the day and the people who lead the industry as we present the 14th annual Sports Business Journal/Daily Reader Survey. With questions about team owners, facilities, media, sponsors, sports events and athletes, find out what our readers think of decision-makers, stars and locations that comprise the sports industry.

Publishing Date: November 26

Ad Close: November 12

Materials Due: November 14

For more information, contact Julie Tuttle, National Director of Advertising at (212) 500-0711 or jtuttle@sportsbusinessjournal.com