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Volume 10 No. 22

People and Pop Culture

South Korean Olympic figure skater Kim Yu-na and "America’s most-decorated skater" Michelle Kwan stood together Thursday to promote the 2013 PyeongChang Special Olympics World Winter Games. The Games will be held at Korea’s "winter sports hub," PyeongChang, and will feature seven sports and 59 sub-events. With the motto, “Together we can,” 3,300 athletes and coaches from 113 countries are expected to participate (KOREA TIMES, 6/21). Kim said, "Nothing is determined yet on an ice show (for the closing ceremony) featuring Kwan and me, but I am positive about it." She added, "If I am with Michelle Kwan (in an ice show) for other Olympians, it will be an unforgettable experience." Kwan said, "I have enjoyed performing with Yuna. I hope to do it again. I have to be honest, I have not skated since the last ice show with Kim. My blade is rusty" (KOREA HERALD, 6/21).

F1 has hired MICHAEL PAYNE, "one of the world's most accomplished sports marketers," to fill a top marketing position in a move that  is "part of a restructuring at the top, as F1 continues to make new executive appointments" in preparation for the eventual departure of CEO BERNIE ECCLESTONE. The London-based group also recruited CHRISTIAN VOGT, who had managed broadcasting rights for FIFA, as new Marketing Dir (AUTO WEEK, 6/19). Payne is a personal friend of Ecclestone and has served as an advisor to F1 for years. He also served at the IOC for many years, during which time he has been largely responsible for their marketing and broadcast deals (SBD Global).

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LOCOG Chair SEBASTIAN COE received Beyond Sport's Leadership in Sport Award, supported by P&G, on behalf of International Inspiration, the official int'l sports legacy programme of London 2012. II Foundation Chair KEITH MILLS and Coe were presented with the first Beyond Sport Award of '12 at the Beyond Sport London Reception (Beyond Sport). ... Former NBA All-Stars including SCOTTIE PIPPEN, DENNIS RODMAN, HORACE GRANT, JASON WILLIAMS, MITCH RICHMOND and CLIFFORD ROBINSON will take part in an exhibition game featuring NBA All-Stars and Hall of Fame players at the newly opened Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines on July 18th (Integrated Sports & Entertainment). ... Barcelona and Real Madrid foundations kicked off a fund raising campaign to help alleviate the humanitarian crisis in the Horn of Africa, La Caixa's Social Project, that raised €154,333 ($194,228). The funds will be distributed equally between UNICEF, ACNUR and FAO. La Caixa's Social Project Exec Dir, JAIME LANASPA, FC Barcelona Foundation Dir General JOSEP CORTADA, Real Madrid Foundation Exec VP ENRIQUE SANCHEZ, UNICEF Spain Exec Dir PALOMA ESCUDERO, ACNUR Spanish Committee General Dir MARIA ANGELES SIEMENS and FAO spokesperson BEATRIZ BEECKMAN signed the three-way agreement that establishes the management of donations and equal allocation to the three non-governmental organizations (Barcelona FC). ... After the German banker he has been accused of paying €28M ($43.8M) in bribes admitted his guilt in a Munich court room, F1 boss BERNIE ECCLESTONE's position became the subject of "renewed speculation." Ecclestone remained "defiant" stating that the banker was "trying to save himself" and that he has "nothing to hide" (TELEGRAPH, 6/20). ... Uzbek billionaire ALISHER USMANOV is not planning to join the Arsenal board but he does want to increase his stake in the club. Usmanov: "As much as possible, every time, I'm open to increase my shares." Along with Chelsea owner ROMAN ABRAMOVICH and Reading FC owner ANTON ZINGAREVICH, Usmanov is one of a "handful of Eastern European tycoons" in the EPL (DAILY MAIL, 6/21).