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Volume 6 No. 212

People and Pop Culture

Longtime Helios Partners CEO CHRIS WELTON and President TERRENCE BURNS left the agency last month to join Teneo, a N.Y.-based firm that advises companies, non-profits and governments. Teneo is led by former U.S. Economic Envoy to Northern Ireland DECLAN KELLY, and Welton and Burns are the second and third sports execs to join in the last six months. Former Breeders Cup President GREG AVIOLI was named Teneo managing director last year. A Teneo exec declined to say whether or not the agency planned to launch a sports practice. Helios did not return calls seeking comment. Helios Partners’ CHRIS RENNER, who has led the agency’s European operation in Paris, has been named its CEO. Helios COO CHRIS SANDERS is still with the agency. The agency’s top clients are IOC TOP sponsor Dow and ESPN, which hired the agency to assist on its development of the Global X Games. With the departure of both Burns and Welton, Helios loses two of its most established and connected leaders. The duo had been working on the Olympics since the 1996 Atlanta Games and later led Meridian Management SA, which oversaw sponsorship sales for the IOC from '96-04. Burns left Meridian in '03 to create Helios. Welton and Renner joined the agency in '06. The Amaury Group, a French media company that organizes the Tour de France, took a controlling interest in Helios in the summer of '08. Around The Rings first reported Welton’s and Burns’ departures.

Championship side Nottingham Forest said former Manager BILLY DAVIES has been reappointed. Davies recently "turned down a move to Blackpool." Davies, who was sacked as Forest manager in June '11, replaces Manager ALEX MCLEISH, whose "40-day reign" at Nottingham came to an end Tuesday (REUTERS, 2/7).

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League One Ipswich Town striker MICHAEL CHOPRA has been "forced to quit Twitter" after posting a picture of a bag stuffed full of £20 notes. The bag contained "thousands of pounds" and an accompanying message read: "Keep tweeting me about being in debt haha love it #cash #skint #lol #lendmeafiver." The player suffered a "high-profile gambling addiction" and was loaned £250,000 by the club in '11 to help pay debts off (London TELEGRAPH, 2/7). ... Dallas-based SCA Promotions said that it will sue disgraced cyclist LANCE ARMSTRONG to recover more than $12M "it paid him in bonuses for winning the Tour de France seven times" (AP, 2/6). ... Guinea's government has "denied an opposition request" to hold a demonstration in the capital Conakry on Thursday, saying that the "protest would interfere with a visit" by FIFA President SEPP BLATTER (REUTERS, 2/7). ... Liverpool player JAMIE CARRAGHER has announced that "he is to retire at the end of the season." Carragher confirmed that he will continue until the end of the season and will "make no further comment on his future until then" (London GUARDIAN, 2/7).

WHAT A MESS: World Player of the Year LIONEL MESSI has signed a new contract with Barcelona that ties him until June 30, 2018. The Argentinian "penned a deal" agreed in December, which includes a two-year extension on his previous agreement and will keep him at the club until he is 31 (REUTERS, 2/7). Meanwhile, the spotted tuxedo Messi wore to the Ballon D'Or ceremony in January "drew praise and raised eyebrows in equal measure." Messi "seems to like the pattern though" because he was seen in another garment sporting it in the March issue of Esquire. MailOnline fashion editor Deborah Arthurs said that he was "bang on trend" (London DAILY MAIL, 2/6).

Korean-American rookie on the PGA Tour JAMES HAHN "has become a YouTube hit ahead of the Pebble Beach National Pro Am after his "Gangnam Style" celebration dance of a Sunday birdie." His "birdie dance at the 16th, a grandstand-surrounded hole where rowdy spectators cheer and boo the results of tee shots, stole the show" last week. Hahn said, "I can't believe that I did that" (AFP, 2/7). ... South Korean PGA Tour veteran CHOI KYOUNG-JU has been named as "a recipient of an award for his extensive charity work" off the course. He is the '13 winner of the Golf Writers Association of America's Charlie Bartlett Award (YONHAP, 2/7).

New Zealand journalist BEN STANLEY: "Astounding news coming out of Australia about drugs + organised crime links into pro sport. More will come, surely"

London Guardian’s AMY LAWRENCE: "Australia's sports investigation has drugs and organised crime in one package. 2 huge birds to take out with 1 stone"

London Times' ASHLING O'CONNOR: "So Pompey fans, as you were. 11th hour Malaysian bid dismissed by FL. See you in court on Feb 14. Let's hope not a Valentine's Day massacre"

NBC F1 reporter WILL BUXTON: "What does one wear to a press preview of a computer game? Sod it. Chunky knitted sweater. It's cold out."

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