Nielsen appointed TransAfrica Media Group Managing Dir KELVIN WATT to the role of regional managing director of Nielsen Sports in Africa and the Middle East. Watt has more than 20 years of experience in the South African and African sports and sponsorship industry (Nielsen). ... Anthem Wrestling Exhibitions, the parent company of IMPACT Wrestling, announced DON CALLIS and SCOTT D'AMORE joined the company as exec VPs. Reporting to company President ED NORDHOLM, they will form a three-member exec committee responsible for developing the creative direction for the company and managing the execution of its business plan (IMPACT Wrestling). ... NBA China CEO DAVID SHOEMAKER will step down following the '17-18 season. He will continue to lead NBA China through the season and play an active role in recruiting his successor. Shoemaker played a pivotal role in expanded partnerships with Chinese broadcasters, as well as the five-year expansion of the Tencent partnership. Prior to joining the NBA, he had more than 10 years' experience in the sports industry, including a stint as WTA President (NBA). ... The Olympic Channel named ESPN Digital & Print Media Senior Deputy Editor MARY BYRNE editor-in-chief. Byrne will be based in Madrid and report to GM MARK PARKMAN (Olympic Channel).
COACHES/MANAGERS: J.League side Shimizu S-Pulse terminated the contract of Manager SHINJI KOBAYASHI, the club announced on Tuesday, "just days after it narrowly avoided relegation to the second division." The club has "yet to decide on a successor" (JAPAN TIMES, 12/5). ... J.League side Sanfrecce Hiroshima parted ways with Manager JAN JONSSON, who was appointed as HAJIME MORIYASU's replacement in July (JAPAN TIMES, 12/4). ... PEDRO CAIXINHA was announced as the new manager of Liga MX side Cruz Azul. The Portuguese has been without a club since he was axed by Scottish side Rangers in October (SCOTTISH SUN, 12/5). ... Spanish second division side Córdoba sacked coach JUAN MERINO following the team's loss to Huesca on Saturday. Merino led the team to "just three points in seven games, without a victory" (MARCA, 12/4).