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Volume 7 No. 128

People and Pop Culture

Sterling.VC appointed BEN NICHOL as its head of events & business development. Nichol has worked in the esports division for Red Bull Media House since Jan. '14, with his most recent position being the company's senior program manager for events. Sterling.VC is the sports, media, and real estate venture capital fund of Sterling Equities, a company group co-founded by FRED WILPON -- the principal owner of the MLB N.Y. Mets and Overwatch League team N.Y. Excelsior (THE ESPORTS OBSERVER, 3/12). ... ONE Championship announced investment firm Mission Holdings Founder & Chair SAURABH MITTAL joined the MMA promotion as vice-chair and will be responsible for some of ONE's most important strategic initiatives. Mittal previously served as a partner at Farallon Capital Partners and also co-founded Indian conglomerate Indiabulls Group (ONE Championship). ... NBA VP Global Marketing Partnerships & Emerging Markets MARC ARMSTRONG will join Paris St. Germain in April as its director of sponsoring. Armstrong will be tasked with finding new sponsors for PSG (L’ÉQUIPE, 3/9). ... La Liga side Sevilla named MICHAEL HIGHAM its director of sponsorships. He joins Sevilla after working for Arsenal since '14 as partner services manager. Prior to that, Higham worked for ManU for two years (LA JUGADA FINANCIERA, 3/12).

COACHES/MANAGERS: League One side Walsall sacked Manager JON WHITNEY "after two years in charge." Whitney, who arrived at Walsall as physiotherapist in '03, "ends a 15-year association with the club" (BBC, 3/12). ... League Two side Swindon Town appointed PHIL BROWN as manager "until the end of the season." The 58-year-old has been without a job since leaving League One club Southend United in January (BBC, 3/12). ... The German FA named former Germany int'l HORST HRUBESCH interim coach for the women's national team after the sacking of STEFFI JONES. Hrubesch, a European champion and World Cup runner-up as a player with Germany, "has been a successful youth coach," leading the men's U21 team to the European title in '09. This is his first appointment in women's football (REUTERS, 3/13).

TIGER WOODS and ERNIE ELS will be "unveiled as opposing team captains" for the 2019 Presidents Cup in Melbourne. Woods "could become the first playing captain in the history of the biennial teams event," which will be held at Royal Melbourne Golf Club next year (AAP, 3/14). ... Australian NFL player ADAM GOTSIS will "fight for his innocence" against "shocking accusations" he raped a woman five years ago while he was a student-athlete at Georgia Tech. Melbourne-born Gotsis, 25, turned himself in to the Fulton Country Jail in Atlanta last week "on a charge of strong-arm rape." He was released on a $50,000 bond (AAP, 3/13). ... DAVE CALLAGHAN, the man "widely regarded" as the voice of Yorkshire County Cricket Club, died, aged 63, following a heart attack. Callaghan worked for BBC Radio Leeds and Look North (BBC, 3/13). ... TV and radio presenters from the BBC and ITV will be joined by two Olympic Gold Medalists in a "special rowing race for Sport Relief." JAMES CRACKNELL will captain the BBC team against an ITV crew led by his fellow two-time Olympic champion HELEN GLOVER (BBC, 3/13).

'AUDACIOUS BID': Alibaba Exec Vice-Chair JOE TSAI is part of an "audacious bid" being put together by Fanatics Founder & Exec Chair MICHAEL RUBIN to buy the NFL Carolina Panthers. Tsai is on board to "join an impressive ownership consortium, which they hope could yet include sports figures" such as NBA player STEPHEN CURRY and music mogul DIDDY (N.Y. POST, 3/12).