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Volume 10 No. 24

People and Pop Culture

MINDY COPPIN was named Octagon’s head of Asia Pacific business development and strategic initiatives in January. She joined Octagon after almost 17 years with IMG Artists Asia Pacific, where she most recently served as senior VP and managing director. Coppin is based in Octagon’s new Singapore office.

On the biggest challenge of her job …
: Octagon is a leading agency in the region, with vast opportunities across sports and entertainment event management, insights and strategies, consulting and athlete representation. The challenge is to leverage our experience and expertise across all of those opportunities across such an expansive region.

On her choice of a career in event management …
: I’ve always loved the process of creation that happens in event management, and seeing the power that live events have to connect brands and athletes and personalities to sports fans. It’s incredibly rewarding to see a successful event or project from inception to completion.

On the differences between managing arts/culture events vs. sporting events …
: There aren’t as many differences as you might think. The thought process and the management and operational structures you have to put in place, the planning, contract negotiations and final implementation -- and of course sponsorship and fundraising -- are all very similar. It comes down to passion, which is the common thread across them all.

On what sport she thinks has the greatest potential for growth in the Asian market …
Coppin: The region is a combination of a diverse set of cultures, religions and traditions and passions. When we look at Asia, it’s challenging to identify one sport. One of Octagon’s areas of focus is tennis and golf. There’s a significant amount of interest and passion for both of those sports and we continue to find opportunities for growth in both. [With] the blurring of borders in the digital age, and the increasing penetration of sports into non-traditional and developing markets, we may start to see more crossover opportunities between countries.

On the completion of the Singapore Sports Hub and its impact on the sports culture in Singapore …
Coppin: The Sports Hub, with its amazing facilities, will help encourage the big names in sport and entertainment to come to Singapore across more disciplines and genres. The facility will allow us, as marketers, more opportunities to showcase sports and entertainment on a grand stage and provide fans the content they’re craving.

On the venue’s effect on Octagon’s presence in Singapore and Asia …
Coppin: Every new venue brings with it opportunity. I don’t see Sports Hub being any different. It gives us the opportunity to discuss and explore new ideas and projects with our clients and partners. I see the next 10 years being a period of remarkable growth for sports and entertainment in the region and continued growth for Octagon.

Hangin' With is a weekly feature that runs Fridays in SBD Global.

Bayern Munich President ULI HOENEß "has been sentenced to three-and-a-half years in jail for tax evasion," according to Althoff, Grothmann & Völkerling of BILD. However, the sentence, which was announced on Thursday, "is not yet legally binding." Hoeneß's defense "has already announced that it will appeal the verdict." Hoeneß's defense lawyer HANNS W. FEIGEN said, "We certainly will fight the verdict through an appeal." The appeal has to be filed within a week and substantiated within a month. In that instance, the case "would be heard by the German Supreme Court." If the prosecution also files an appeal, it "will be announced on Friday" (BILD, 3/13). REUTERS' Jens Hack reported Judge RUPERT HEINDL ruled that Hoeneß's "voluntary disclosure that he had failed to pay taxes had been incomplete and thus did not meet a vital requirement needed for amnesty under laws designed to encourage tax evaders to come clean." Hoeneß has admitted evading €27.2M ($37.9M) in taxes on income earned in secret Swiss bank accounts, but the football club exec "was hoping for leniency in one of the most closely watched tax evasion cases in German history." The judge said, "The voluntary disclosure is not valid with the documents that were presented alone." The judge added that the confession "was riddled with mistakes" and that Hoeneß "had failed to submit other documents requested by tax inspectors on time." Hoeneß "bowed his head and stared at the floor when the verdict was delivered, his face turning red as he struggled to retain his composure." He "left the court in silence, avoiding reporters." The case hinged on the question of whether Hoeneß "cooperated fully with his voluntary disclosure." His case "shocked the nation and prompted thousands of tax dodgers to turn themselves in" (REUTERS, 3/13). In London, Josh Burrows reported Hoeneß's "trial captivated football-mad Germany and headlined the news all this week." The 62-year-old said, "I deeply regret my wrongdoing. I will do everything necessary to ensure that this depressing chapter for me is closed." He also noted that he "had donated millions to charities." Hoeneß: "I’m no social parasite" (LONDON TIMES, 3/13).

Man City announced that it has hired RODOLFO BORRELL as its int'l technical director. Borrell will "be in charge of implementing Man City's model" at Man City-owned Major League Soccer side NYC FC and A-League side Melbourne Heart. Borrell is a former academy chief with Liverpool and also spent 14 seasons with Barcelona (SPORT, 3/13). ... The seven members of the IAAF Ethics Commission, Chair MICHAEL BELOFF, KEVAN GOSPER, AKIRA KAWAMIRA, THOMAS MURRAY, TAFSIR MALICK NDIAYE, CARLOS NUZMAN and LAURI TARASTI, have been appointed by the IAAF Council for a four-year term. The IAAF Ethics Commission is an independent judicial body established by the Congress (IAAF). ... Former U.K. Department for Culture, Media & Sport special adviser VICTORIA O'BYRNE "is leaving the body responsible for the Olympic Park" to join RICHARD BRANSON's Virgin Group as director of corporate affairs next month. O'Byrne's remit "will cover communications, government affairs and policy for Virgin Group, which brings together the brand's various ventures into airlines, holidays, gyms, banking, entertainment and philanthropy" (PR WEEK, 3/12). ... EPL side Sunderland has appointed former Chelsea chief scout LEE CONGERTON as its sporting director. Welshman Congerton, "who spent six years at Stamford Bridge before joining Bundesliga side Hamburg SV as technical director" in '11, will work alongside head coach GUS POYET in the newly-created role. Congerton "will oversee player recruitment as well as the club's domestic and international scouting operation" (REUTERS, 3/12).

DIVERSITY OFFICERS: CONCACAF has appointed a team of  diversity officers who will ensure that the "Protocol for Racist Incidents During Matches" is implemented. The diversity officers "are pulled from senior positions in CONCACAF federations across the region." The first CONCACAF diversity officers are: Bermuda FA General Secretary DAVID SABIR, Canadian Soccer Association General Secretary PETER MONTOPOLI, Caribbean Football Union General Secretary DAMIEN HUGHES, El Salvador Football Federation President CARLOS MENDEZ, Dallas Cup Exec Dir ANDY SWIFT, CONCACAF Statutes Committee Member MARGARITA ECHEVERRIA, St. Kitts & Nevis FA President ANTHONY JOHNSON, Curaçao Football Federation President RIGNAAL FRANCISCA, Liga MX President DECIO DE MARIA, ARIEL ALVARADO, Trinidad & Tobago FA General Secretary SHELDON PHILLIPS (INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL, 3/13).

Spanish skeleton pilot ANDER MIRAMBELL was scheduled to present his biography, "Breaking the Ice," on Friday in Madrid. Mirambell is one of the beneficiaries of a recent social-working agreement between the Spanish Superior Sports Council (CSD) and the Spanish Football League (LFP). CSD President MIGUEL CARDENAL and LFP President JAVIER TEBAS will also attend the presentation (LFP). ... JERZY HAUSLEBER, "the father of Mexican racewalking," died on Thursday at the age of 82. Hausleber earned the title after "coaching several Mexican athletes to win Olympic Medals in racewalking" (EXCELSIOR, 3/13). ... Sky News reported former ManU and French football player ERIC CANTONA "had been arrested in north London after reports of an assault." The Metropolitan Police said earlier that "a man had been arrested at an address close to Chalk Farm Tube station" on Thursday (THE AUSTRALIAN, 3/14). ... Paris St. Germain President NASSER AL KHELAIFI "had nothing but praise for" PSG Manager LAURENT BLANC, who was seen as a short-term appointment by many when he took over last June. In response to a question from Canal+ about where Blanc's future lay, Al Khelaifi said, "Yes, he'll be with us next season. I say the same thing all the time: we're talking with the coach. Laurent Blanc is the PSG coach. He's going to stay with us next season" (ESPN, 3/13).

Reuters' ALAN BALDWIN: "Is outcome of Oz GP really that unpredictable? William Hill say one punter has bet £200 on Marcus Ericsson to win on Sunday at 1000/1." ... "So they've cut him to 500/1. Same odds as Gutierrez, Kvyat and Vergne."

Bloomberg's TARIQ PANJA: "Rio's plan to ensure smooth running of World Cup: Three new public holidays during midweek games. Cost to business likely to be high"

Former footballer PELE: "Today in Tokyo, we raised money to help the families still suffering from the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami of three years ago."

London Times' GEORGE CAULKIN: "Pardew got tone right in TV presser just now. Has written to Steve Bruce reiterating apology to Hull and Meyler. Relief at #NUFC support."

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