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Volume 25 No. 177

People and Pop Culture

A reorganization at MLB sees MLB Exec VP/Product & Marketing and Senior VP/Growth Strategy & Int'l CHRIS PARK imminently exiting the league and Deputy Commissioner TONY PETITTI gaining broader content responsibilities, while losing responsibilities for some key business areas. Petitti, appointed deputy commissioner of Business & Media a year ago, will no longer have MLB’s ticketing, sponsorship, and legal gambling businesses reporting in to him. MLB Exec VP/Commerce NOAH GARDEN will continue to have responsibilities in those areas, but will now report directly to Commissioner ROB MANFRED in those areas, along with broad business development responsibilities. Manfred said the reorganization was prompted by Park's imminent departure, as he also had content responsibilities. “My view is that Tony’s principal function was in the product and content areas. ... So he will assume responsibilities Chris was handling for him without (MLB) replacing Chris.” Petitti retains consumer product and licensing responsibilities. Esports and licensing will remain under Petitti’s control. Park is departing MLB at year's end to become CEO at the Gen.G esports outfit.


BSE Global CEO BRETT YORMARK will lead the newly established Advisory Board for Haymon Sports, the creator of Premier Boxing Champions. The Haymon Sports Advisory Board will help to fuel the direction for Haymon Sports by advising its leadership team on branding strategy, cross-licensing opportunities, commercialization and future growth initiatives for PBC. Yormark will identify leaders in the sports, entertainment and brand space, and a complete list of members will be announced in early '19 (Haymon Sports).

EXECS: Formula E CEO ALEJANDRO AGAG will transition to the Chair role while the electric racing series prepares to name a new CEO (Adam Stern, THE DAILY)....USA Cycling named ERICA CLEVENGER, BOB SAFFELL and JULIA VIOLICH to its BOD. They will begin their terms immediately (USA Cycling)....Ironman promoted the following: KIM AQABLI to Senior VP/Finance; DIANA BERTSCH to Senior VP/World Championship Events; BROOKS COWAN to Senior VP/Legal; and ELIZABETH O'BRIEN to Senior VP/Financial Planning & Strategy (Ironman)....The Triple-A PCL Omaha Storm Chasers hired the following: ZACH ZILER as Group Sales Manager; STEPHEN MAYES as Group Ticket Sales Exec; MICHAEL MCCOY as Ticket Operations Assistant; LAURA WARNOCK as HR Manager; MITCH CUNNINGHAM as Retail Operations Coordinator; and LAUREN KIRK as Creative Services Manager. The Storm Chasers also promoted the following: ANDREW ASBURY to Marketing & Promotions Manager; SCOTT POPP to Video & Multimedia Coordinator; NICK SANDBERG to Promotions & Game Operations Manager; and COREY LIVINGSTON to Client Services Manager (Storm Chasers).

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Chao, a former Chargers team doctor, has become a go-to expert for fans and fantasy players

In N.Y., Zach Schonbrun profiled DR. DAVID J. CHAO, who uses the Twitter handle @ProFootballDoc, and over the last five years has "amassed more than 112,000 followers on Twitter with a knack for immediately assessing NFL injuries from his couch" in San Diego. Chao, a former Chargers team doctor, has "become a go-to expert for fans and fantasy players who want all the gory details of the game as quickly as they can get them." He "may also have become an asset for NFL gamblers" (N.Y. TIMES, 12/15).

NAMES: The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Rich Cohen profiled Maple Leafs LW ZACH HYMAN in the paper's "Weekend Confidential" section, as Hyman is the "author of three children’s books, most about sports." After Hyman self-published "HOCKEY HERO," Tundra Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House Canada, in '14 "signed him to a four-book deal." His first book under the deal was “THE BAMBINO IN ME,” about a "rabid Yankees fan who meets his idol, BABE RUTH" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 12/15)....Free agent C BRUCE MAXWELL, the "only MLB player to kneel during the national anthem," has fired his agent, MATT SOSNICK (, 12/14)....The Mariners pledged $3M toward a partnership with nonprofit Home Base in a “new effort to prevent low-income renters facing eviction from falling into homelessness” (SEATTLE TIMES, 12/15).

IN MEMORY: Yankees Vice Chair JOAN STEINBRENNER, wife of late Owner GEORGE STEINBRENNER, died Friday at 83 (Yankees).