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Volume 26 No. 201

People and Pop Culture

Under Montgomery's tenure, the Phillies won five division titles, two pennants and the '08 World Series
Photo: GETTY IMAGES
Under Montgomery's tenure, the Phillies won five division titles, two pennants and the '08 World Series
Photo: GETTY IMAGES
Under Montgomery's tenure, the Phillies won five division titles, two pennants and the '08 World Series
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Phillies Chair DAVID MONTGOMERY died this morning at 72 after having been "diagnosed with jaw-bone cancer" in '14, according to Frank Fitzpatrick of the PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER. Montgomery, employed by the Phillies for 47 years, was hired by the team as a sales apprentice in '71, and "ascended rapidly through the Phillies front office" before becoming president and general partner in '97. He led the organization until January '15, when Managing Partner JOHN MIDDLETON "became the face of the group that has owned the club" since '81. Montgomery was "criticized early on as a buttoned-down tightwad, but his reputation improved when the Phillies did." Montgomery's tenure with the Phillies "brought five division titles, two pennants" and the '08 World Series, plus the construction of Citizens Bank Park and a $2.5B TV deal. Montgomery "preferred the background to the spotlight." Even as he "became a powerful advocate for such landmark changes in baseball as wild-card playoffs and revenue-sharing, he did so behind the scenes." Montgomery’s roots as a Philadelphian and a "lifelong Phillies fan were evident" in Citizens Bank Park’s design. He "insisted on a Hall of Fame level that showcased the city’s baseball history and on various homages to former Phillies greats" (PHILLY.com, 5/8).

PHILLIE FOR LIFE: In Philadelphia, John George notes Montgomery "remained active" in his role with the Phillies "until his passing." He attended many of the team’s '19 Spring Training games in Clearwater, "as well as this year’s home opener." When MLB announced the Phillies would host the '26 All-Star Game, the "early disclosure was done as a favor to Montgomery, whose health was failing" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 5/8). Also in Philadelphia, Emily Rolen notes Montgomery was “known for his fierce loyalty” to the Phillies’ fans, front office staff and players (PHILLYVOICE.com, 5/8). Montgomery was “always thinking about someone else and that showed in the way he ran” the Phillies. He “believed that the organization’s responsibility transcended what happened on the field" (NBCSPORTSPHILADELPHIA.com, 5/8).

FOND FAREWELL: Tributes quickly poured in on social media as news of Montgomery's death broke this morning. The Athletic's Jayson Stark: "Baseball has never had a classier, more dignified, more respected, more upbeat ambassador." Twins President Dave St. Peter: "David was a true statesman while always displaying class and an unmatched love for the City of Philadelphia. ... He made @MLB better." The N.Y. Times' Tyler Kepner: "Nobody in baseball was more respected and beloved by so many different constituencies." USA Today's Bob Nightengale: "He will forever be remembered as a Philadelphia civic treasure." Former Marlins President David Samson: "David Montgomery always put the sport and the fan ahead of everything else. In an industry replete with ego and narcissism, David had none. RIP. And thank you."

ESPN's JAY WILLIAMS has his plate full when it comes to appearing across the nets' various platforms. Whether its hanging with MIKE GREENBERG on "Get Up," or discussing the business of sports with KEVIN DURANT on "The Boardroom," Williams is always on the move. "The beautiful part about my job and in the position I’m in, there’s never a day that’s the same," said Williams. "Thank god for that because it keeps me engaged at all times." Williams took some time out of his day to walk THE DAILY through his routine.

4:15-5:30am: My days usually start early in the morning. I stay up the night before to watch all the games, but I still like to get up early to rewatch them. I read a couple articles on the games and get my opinion and then try to validate my opinion. I literally go through this discovery phase for about an hour. 

5:30am: I go upstairs to shave, take a shower and I put on my "superman suit" as I like to call my suit. I give my wife, NIKKI, a kiss, she is usually getting up to work out, then I hug my dog, kiss my baby on the cheek and leave the house.

6:00-8:00am: I arrive at the office and have a production meeting with our team and continue to do some prep.

8:00-12:00pm: We are live on TV and "Get Up!" is moving. After that show wraps up, I wait 20 minutes then I go over to do "First Take" with STEPHEN A. SMITH and MAX KELLERMAN. I'm really bad at fitting in time to have a lunch because I have this mind that once I become engaged I start running. My wife yells at me. She’s like, 'you need to eat,' so I try to snack over at ESPN, have an apple or some kind of power bar. The challenge for me is that I have to eat better so I have to find those better options when I am on the move, which can be a little bit concerning at times.

Williams said "The Boardroom" features people within sports talking about the businesses they’ve built
Photo: THE BOARDROOM
Williams said "The Boardroom" features people within sports talking about the businesses they’ve built
Photo: THE BOARDROOM
Williams said "The Boardroom" features people within sports talking about the businesses they’ve built
Photo: THE BOARDROOM

12:30-4:30pm: I start filming content for “The Boardroom,” which is a show we launched with ESPN+. We are building out our own vertical on what we deem to be relevant in news about the culture of sports. We are trying to do things with the most relevant people within the sports community about the businesses that they’ve been able to build. Then from there it depends on the day. I can have conference calls around an analytics firm I recently invested in or I have some conference calls around “The Boardroom.” 

4:30pm: Depending upon if there are other things I have to do on TV -- it can get a little bit all over the place -- I try to get home around this time to see my wife, my kid and have dinner. Then I like to spend quality time with my child. The problem with my brain is that I don think it really turns off, its always on, so I like things I can learn from. The other night I found my wife and I watching BRENE BROWN’s TED Talk on the power of vulnerability on Netflix, which is incredible because for me I have experienced the most incredible growth opportunity of my life when I almost passed away at 21 years old in a motorcycle accident. I'm all about taking on information like that or reading the book "Outliers" by MALCOLM GLADWELL

9:00pm: At the end of my day after dinner, hang out with my family, spend time with my daughter, I get ready for bed. But depending on a game, it varies what time I'm falling asleep. I do also like to watch "Game of Thrones" or "Billions." Sometimes I will listen to a TIM FERRISS podcast or something that is informative where I feel like I can learn.

Know of someone who should be featured in "A Day in the Life"? Send a note to mchupita@sportsbusinessdaily.com.

Veteran sports marketer ROB STECKLOW is joining DAZN, where he will head domestic marketing as Senior VP/Marketing for North America. Stecklow, who has been head of sponsorship and event activation at Verizon since March '17,  will be based in N.Y. and report to DAZN Exec VP/North America JOE MARKOWSKI. Prior to Verizon, Stecklow was at DirecTV for five years as GM of Sports Products, Sponsorship & Original Content Marketing and at the NFL for eight years as VP/Advertising & Media (Terry Lefton, THE DAILY).

EXECS: MLL Chesapeake Bayhawks President MARK BURDETT has "left the team" to become MLL CRO. Burdett had been with the Bayhawks since January '17 (BIZJOURNALS.com, 5/7)....Robert Morris hired Univ. of Texas Rio Grande Valley AD CHRIS KING as AD & VP (TRIBLIVE.com, 5/6)....The N.Y. Times named TALYA MINSBERG Assistant Editor for Strategy on the paper's sports desk. She previously worked as an editor on the Times' social team for special projects (POLITICO.com, 5/7)....Austin FC named JHANNET SANCHEZ Senior Manager of Digital & Social Media. Sanchez previously worked on-air for FC Dallas, Dallas-based KXTX-Telemundo and Austin's KAKW-Univision (STATESMAN.com, 5/7)....NASCAR team Xtreme Concepts Racing named Comcast Cable VP/Procurement JENNIFER YOHE President & Chief Business Development Officer (Adam Stern, THE DAILY)....Former HOK VP & Marketing Principal CHRISTOPHER LAMBERTH has taken a new position with Atlanta-based tvsdesign to start a dedicated sports practice. He will be based in a new L.A. office, with plans to grow in the area and Atlanta (THE DAILY)....The NHL Kings named JOCELYN HERNANDEZ HR Coordinator (THE DAILY).

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.

"Jeopardy!" champion and professional gambler JAMES HOLZHAUER yesterday appeared on MLB Network's "MLB Now" wearing a Cubs jersey. Holzhauer said his newfound fame has led to "some interesting offers" that have been "floated my way." He said, "I can't really talk about them right now, but there (is) some potentially life-changing stuff out there if the opportunities are right. ... I have to make some hard decisions." Holzauer said of growing up a Cubs fan, "My whole life path was shaped when I cam home from school as a kid I had a couple hours at the TV while my dad was still at work. In Chicagoland, they had afternoon 'Jeopardy!' and afternoon Cubs games. ... It's what got me interested in 'Jeopardy!' and sports statistics at a young age" ("MLB Now," MLB Network, 5/7).

Agassi through his foundation will provide funding to UNLV that will help create a student-athlete center
Photo: GETTY IMAGES
Agassi through his foundation will provide funding to UNLV that will help create a student-athlete center
Photo: GETTY IMAGES
Agassi through his foundation will provide funding to UNLV that will help create a student-athlete center
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

THE GOOD STUFF: ANDRE AGASSI's Foundation for Education will "work with UNLV and invest in the effort by the athletic department to upgrade its academic support system." Funding from Agassi’s foundation will "help move along the creation of the Center for Student-Athlete Excellence inside Lied Athletic Complex" (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 5/8)....Panthers WR D.JMOORE and former NFLer JONATHAN STEWART separately visited with UNC Charlotte sportswriter DREW PESCARO at a Charlotte hospital following Pescaro's injuries in last week's school shooting. TIM TEBOW also "facetimed with him" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 5/8).

BEHIND THE WHEEL: Clippers G LANDRY SHAMET is profiled in the WALL STREET JOURNAL's "My Ride" feature. Shamet, 22, drives a '18 Jaguar XJL, a purchase he settled on after deciding he was "not going to buy 10 super expensive cars" after getting drafted last year. The ride features massage seats and "custom Savini wheels, which have black and silver metal that match the car’s paint and the silver accent that lines the windows" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 5/8).

NAMES: Bills and Sabres co-Owners TERRY and KIM PEGULA's bid to gain control of Rand Capital has "won the backing of a pair of influential investor advisory firms that reviewed the proposed deal" (BUFFALO NEWS, 5/8)....Former NBAer CHANNING FRYE is "teaming up with Sibling Revelry Brewing" in Westlake, Ohio, to "brew a special fruited IPA." Proceeds will benefit Athletes vs Crohn’s & Colitis, a charity co-founded by Cavaliers F LARRY NANCE JR. (OHIO.com, 5/6)....Blackhawks G COREY CRAWFORD has been "selected to drive the pace car" before Saturday's IndyCar Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 5/8)....A's DH KHRIS DAVIS distributed a Nintendo Switch to each of his teammates yesterday, with Nintendo mascots Mario and Luigi on hand in the team's clubhouse (A's).

--------- CBS' BERSON TO BE HONORED AT SPORTS FOR YOUTH LUNCHEON --------

CBS Sports President DAVID BERSON will be honored at UJA-Federation of New York’s Sports for Youth luncheon on Wednesday, May 22, at 11:30am ET at the Roosevelt Hotel in N.Y. CBS Sports announcer IAN EAGLE will emcee, and CBS Sports Chair SEAN MCMANUS will present Berson with the award. The luncheon raises funds for UJA's Sports for Youth initiative, which brings the life-changing impact of participating in sports to kids of every age, athletic ability and background. To purchase tickets or for more information: Kelly Grunther, 212-836-1423 or gruntherk@ujafedny.org

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