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Volume 26 No. 5

People and Pop Culture

The Red Wings named former Lightning Assistant GM & Dir of Player Personnel PAT VERBEEK Assistant GM. Verbeek, a former Red Wings player and scout, is "rejoining the organization" after working with new GM STEVE YZERMAN during his tenure in Tampa Bay (FREEP.com. 5/6)....The Lightning announced several front office moves, naming AL MURRAY Assistant GM & Dir of Amateur Scouting, while promoting JAMIE PUSHOR to Assistant GM & Dir of Player Personnel and STACY ROEST to Assistant GM & Dir of Player Development. Roest also will serve as AHL Syracuse Crunch GM. The Lightning also named former NHLer MATHIEU DARCHE Dir of Hockey Operations (Lightning).

EXECS: Fox Sports named JAMES SHAPIRO Exec Producer for four RSNs: FS South, Southeast, Carolinas and Tennessee. Shapiro will oversee live event and studio production as well as original content for the Braves, Hawks, Atlanta United, Hurricanes, Hornets, Grizzlies, Predators and ACC telecasts. Shapiro previously served as Coordinating Producer for FS Florida and FS Sun (Fox Sports)....The Raiders named DWAYNE JOSEPH Dir of Pro Scouting after "four years in a similar role" with the Eagles. The team also named Cowboys scout JIM ABRAMS Dir of College Scouting (PROFOOTBALLTALK.com, 5/7)....Staples Center and Microsoft Theater named MANNY JACOBO VP/Premium Sales & Service. Jacobo most recently worked for the Islanders at AEG sister property Barclays Center (Staples Center)....Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas named Greater Richmond Convention Center Dir of Operations ANDREW SIMS to the same position (THE DAILY)....Special Olympics Chief Brand & Communications Officer KIRSTEN SECKLER is leaving the organization after 21 years to become Chief Marketing & Communications Officer of Shatterproof, a new addiction crisis nonprofit. Her last day with Special Olympics is Thursday (THE DAILY).

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Former Univ. of Minnesota Ticket Operations Dir BRENT HOLCK was sentenced to 21 months in prison for "stealing $361,336" from the school over five years. From April '12 through January '17, Holck would "cancel ticket sales to games after they'd taken place and deposit the refunded money into his own accounts." He also "issued game tickets and parking passes to acquaintances, who then sold them and kicked back most of the proceeds to Holck" (TWINCITIES.com, 5/6).

NAMES: Esports organization Immortals raised $30M in Series B funding, with investors including AEG, Lionsgate, the MILKEN Family, DC United co-Chair STEVE KAPLAN, former eBay and HP CEO MEG WHITMAN and March Capital Partners (FORTUNE.com, 5/6)....ALBA TULL, wife of Steelers investor THOMAS TULL, developed the "innovative fitness studio" Ramp 'N' Rize, which "opened its doors" in Sewickley, Pa., on May 4. For the ribbon-cutting, Tull was joined by Steelers LB and Ramp 'N' Rize shareholder RYAN SHAZIER (TRIBLIVE.com, 5/4)....RICHIE KEEN has been "tapped to direct an esports comedy at Legendary Pictures that has WILL FERRELL attached to star" (DEADLINE.com, 5/3)....LINDSEY VONN and her boyfriend, Predators D P.K. SUBBAN, were “spotted partying together and showing some PDA at Miami megaclub E11even over the weekend" (NYPOST.com, 5/6)....CANELO ALVAREZ “celebrated his victory over DANIEL JACOBS Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena with a Hennessy toast at KAOS, a sold-out post-fight party headlined by Puerto Rican reggaeton superstar OZUNA.” Golden Knights RW ALEX TUCH also was in attendance (LASVEGASSUN.com, 5/6).