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Volume 10 No. 25

People and Pop Culture

New Zealand Football CEO GRANT MCKAVANAGH "has resigned after two years in the role," according to 3 NEWS. McKavanagh, who will stand down on July 12, said that "he intends to take a short break from sports administration." He said, "Having also finalized the venue and structure for the intercontinental playoff in November, the time is right for me now to step aside" (3 NEWS, 7/5). In Auckland, Michael Burgess reported McKavanagh's "departure could provide the impetus for a 'musical chairs' scenario at New Zealand Football," with High Performance Dir FRED DE JONG stepping into McKavanagh's role and All Whites coach RICKI HERBERT moving upstairs into De Jong's job. McKavanagh "has been quick to refute suggestions that he was pressured into resigning by the national board, saying that the decision was made for purely personal and business reasons." He said, "I'm not in a position to commit for the next two, two-and-a-half years and that is the crux of it. This is an all-consuming role and it is time for someone else to run the next phase" (NEW ZEALAND HERALD, 7/7).

One question has hovered over Wasserman Media Group CEO CASEY WASSERMAN forever: "Would he ever be the power hitter" that his grandfather, studio boss LEW WASSERMAN, was in business, civic affairs and politics?, according to Brooks Barnes of the N.Y. TIMES. It is "no longer a question." Founded 11 years ago, Wasserman Media Group, a $150M business, is "now one of the largest sports agencies in the world," negotiating TV and endorsement deals and handling naming rights for billion-dollar complexes. Nike, Pepsi and Microsoft are corporate clients, and individual clients include NBA player DERRICK ROSE and NFL player ANDREW LUCK. Incoming NBA Commissioner ADAM SILVER said, "There’s a sense of permanence about Casey." Former L.A. Mayor ANTONIO VILLARAIGOSA said, "I only see him growing in stature, and he’s already one of the most civically active philanthropists in the city." NFL Commissioner ROGER GOODELL said, "His influence extends far beyond what you see on the surface." Sports "was a very specific choice" for Wasserman. He said that Hollywood "felt too incestuous." He said it was a place where he knew he could never “make a reputation” that was his own. Wasserman said, "I wasn’t the kid who cried if my team lost. I was the kid who wanted to know what was going on in the front office after the game." He started Wasserman Media in '02 and "began assembling a client base." He was "early to spot the potential of action sports," and that division of his firm has grown from an $800,000 annual business a decade ago to $16M now. Wasserman "also learned how to wield a checkbook." His company "has made at least 10 significant acquisitions over the last decade." Now, "a big decision looms" for Wasserman -- one that he will "surely be asked about at Allen & Company’s annual media and technology jamboree," which begins on Tuesday in Sun Valley, Idaho. IMG Worldwide "is on the block." Will "Wasserman bid?" Wasserman "declined to comment about IMG." He has "privately told confidants, however, that he may be interested in pieces of that company" (N.Y. TIMES, 7/6).

League Championship Reading FC has named BEN WELLS commercial director. Wells worked for Chelsea for six years years. Wells has also worked with major global brands such as Samsung, Philips and adidas, as well as FIFA, the WTA and Premiership Rugby and is a board director at the European Sponsorship Association (Reading). ... Network Ten announced that ADAM GILCHRIST is joining the Twenty20 Big Bash League commentary team. Gilchrist joins former teammate RICKY PONTING for the Twenty20 Big Bash League in December (Ten). ...  Former LOCOG BMX Operations Manager LEYANNE JENKINS has joined Limelight Sports in the newly created position of cycling business owner. Jenkins will lead the development of the U.K. sports experience agency's cycling offering, which includes Bike Week and the Palace to Palace for The Prince's Trust charity rides and Sky Ride (Limelight Sports).

COACHES: Spanish basketball coach FRANCISCO GARCIA "has been named the head coach of the Indian women's team" (TNN, 7/6). Kenyan club Gor Mahia has appointed former Uganda coach BOBBY WILLIAMSON to "guide the team after agreeing a one-year contract." The 51-year-old, sacked by Uganda in March, will fill the role vacated by Croatian ZDRAVKO LOGARUSIC, who was dismissed in June (BBC, 7/7). ... Former Real Madrid Manager BENITO FLORO "has been appointed manager of the Canada national team" and will be assisted by his son, ANTONIO FLORO ESTEVE. Floro becomes Canada’s "first permanent coach in more than nine months" after previous Manager STEPHEN HART resigned in October (INSIDE SPANISH FOOTBALL, 7/6).

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Real Madrid's CRISTIANO RONALDO has opened a football academy in Tbilisi, Georgia. Joining Ronaldo at the inauguration was former Ukrainian striker ANDRIY SHEVCHENKO (AS, 7/7). ... Professional FA Chair CLARKE CARLISLE "believes hundreds of players are dealing with depression." Carlisle, who called a halt to his playing career at the end of last season, is "presenting a television documentary this week about suicide and depression among footballers." Carlisle said, "I will categorically state there are hundreds of players suffering with this" (PA, 7/7). ... Former Rugby Football League CEO DAVID OXLEY has been elected president of the RFL. Oxley will take on the honorary position for the next 12 months, "a move which was announced at the Rugby League Council AGM in Warrington" (BBC, 7/4).

NOTABLE DEATHS: FIBA Europe President OLAFUR RAFNSSON was laid to rest in his native Iceland on Thursday. Approximately 1,000 guests, family and friends were in attendance, including basketball dignitaries from throughout the European basketball community. Included amongst the European basketball family representatives were FIBA Europe acting President CYRIEL COOMANS, FIBA Europe Secretary General KAMIL NOVAK; FIBA Europe Treasurer JAN BERTELING, FIBA President YVAN MAININI and FIBA COO MARKUS STUDER (FIBA). ... Argentine sports journalist ENRIQUE ESCANDE died at age 62 on Saturday. Escande began working for the EFE in '82 and later covered a number of World Cups and Olympic Games (CLARIN, 7/6).

Tennis player ANDY MURRAY: "Thanks for all the support! Who’s up for taking me on in person tomorrow? Follow @adidasuk for more information #hitthewinner"

ESPN's MIKE GREENBERG: "If you've never been to #Wimbledon when Andy Murray is playing, you can't fully understand how big today was. Good for him."

Daily Telegraph's PAUL HAYWARD: "Just bumped into Andy Murray and asked him whether it's correct he's donating his entire prize-money to Royal Marsden. Not correct."

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