England Rugby 2015 has appointed LOCOG Head of Public Relations and Media JOANNA MANNING-COOPER to the new role of communications & marketing director. The position will be part of the ER 2015 leadership team and will be responsible for ticketing and volunteering campaigns, promoting the tournament, managing the ER 2015 brand, implementation of the Rugby World Cup brand, media relations, running the press office and coordinating press operations (ER 2015). ... League Championship club Wolverhampton Wanderers "have agreed terms" with League One club Doncaster Manager DEAN SAUNDERS to become their new manager. The move follows the club's sacking of Manager STALE SOLBAKKEN after just six months on the job. He was dismissed just hours after Saturday's "shock FA Cup defeat by Luton" (BBC,1/6). ... WWE appointed MAYURI PITALE as consumer and promotions licensing manager and CARL SEQUEIRA as marketing manager in its India office. Both employees are based in Mumbai and will report to WWE India GM RUKN KIZILBASH (WWE). ... Marketing guru THOMAS DIECKHOFF has been appointed the World Triathlon Corp. president for Europe, Middle East and South Africa. Dieckhoff previously held management positions at Japan's Kao Corp. and Procter & Gamble. Dieckhoff will manage all of WTC's activities with WTC Managing Dir KAI WALTER at the new WTC headquarters in Hanau, Germany (WTC).
CHANGE-UPS IN CHINA: Chinese Basketball Association Shanghai Sharks American head coach DAN PANAGGIO "has been relieved of his position." He will be replaced by assistant coach WANG QUN, "who is the only Chinese member" of Shanghai's otherwise American coaching staff (NIUBBALL, 1/6). Further changes were made in the league with Guangdong Southern Tigers head coach LI CHUNJIANG announcing that he "is taking an indefinite leave away from basketball." Longtime Southern Tigers forward DU FENG, who has been on the bench as an assistant for both club and country the last two years, "will be promoted to interim head coach." Former China national team head coach JONAS KAZLAUSKAS "will return to China to join the team as an assistant coach." Citing "undisclosed health reasons, Li will not rejoin the club at any point this season" (NIUBBALL, 1/6).
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