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Volume 21 No. 1

People and Pop Culture

The Cleveland Indians promoted Bob DiBiasio to senior vice president of public affairs and Curtis Danburg to senior director of communications. The team also hired Alex King as director of brand management.

The St. Louis Cardinals promoted Chris Bush to coordinator of special events and hired Julie Row as manager of special events.

The Cleveland Cavaliers named Wes Wilcox general manager of their new Development League team in Canton, Ohio. Wilcox will also remain in his position of director of player personnel for the Cavaliers.

The Golden State Warriors hired Marty Glick as chief financial officer. Glick is a minority owner of the team.

The Sacramento Kings promoted Chris Clark to director of public relations.

The NBA D-League’s Texas Legends promoted Nancy Lieberman to assistant general manager.

Arizona State University hired Steve Patterson as chief operating officer and managing director of Sun Devil Sports Group. Patterson was president of Pro Sports Consulting.

The Big 12 Conference promoted Laura Rasmussen to assistant director of communications and hired Bret Ayers as video services manager.

The North Coast Athletic Conference hired Keri Luchowski as executive director and Bret Billhardt as assistant executive director.

Ellen Ryan, associate athletic director and senior women’s administrator for St. Joseph’s University, will retire in August.

Towson University hired Devin Crosby as deputy athletic director. Crosby was associate athletic director and director of university advancement at Northeastern University.

Utah State University promoted Jana Doggett to executive associate athletic director.

The Western Athletic Conference hired Amanda Benzine as director of marketing. Benzine was director of marketing at Northern Illinois University.

Centerplate promoted Bob Pascal to chief marketing officer.

Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, hired Geoff Moore as chief marketing and sales officer.

Front Row Marketing Services and the Greenville Road Warriors hired Walter Cordiner as director of corporate partnerships and Megan Dotson as client services and marketing manager.

Wasserman Media Group hired Stephanie Rudnick as vice president of marketing and communications.

Stratus Media Group hired Lloyd Bryan Adams as senior vice president and executiveproducer for its entertainment vertical. Adams was executive producer and senior executive in charge of programming and production for the Outdoor Channel.

Shamrock Sports and Entertainment hired Dan Gacetta as executive vice president to head its new entertainment division. Gacetta was with Octagon in their corporate sales and athlete marketing division.

Comcast SportsNet Bay Area hired John Henry Smith III as anchor and reporter for “SportsNet Central.” Smith wasa sports director, anchor and reporter WVUE, a Fox station in New Orleans.

Bleacher Report hired Drew Atherton as chief financial officer. Atherton was chief operating and financial officer at eNom.


NHRA hired Alex Baca as media relations manager.

Multiteam Companies

Maloof Sports & Entertainment promoted Chris Clark to director of public relations.

People news
To have your personnel announcements included in the People section, please send information and photos to Brandon McClung at 120 W. Morehead St., Suite 310, Charlotte, NC 28202, or email them to Electronic photos must be a jpg or tiff file for Macintosh, 2.25 inches wide at 300 dpi. Color only, please. News items may also be sent via fax to (704) 973-1401. If you have questions, call (704) 973-1425.

Greg Luckman, CEO of GroupM Entertainment & Sports Partnerships North America, is jumping ship to CAA Sports, a strong indication that the five-year-old sports division of the Hollywood talent agency is making a run at the corporate consulting market.

Luckman helped build GroupM ESP over the past five years into a powerful sports marketing practice within one of the world’s largest media-buying networks. Recent deals include the naming rights deal for Farmers Field and Citi’s U.S. Olympic Committee sponsorship.

“We knew that he was a guy we should target to grow our consulting business,” said CAA Sports co-head Howie Nuchow.

Luckman will leave his current post Aug. 19 and start at CAA in New York after Labor Day. His mission is clear: to create a corporate consulting practice that can rival the sales capabilities of CAA Sports.

“This is about creating and building something,” Luckman said. “That’s sometime I’ve done already and something I look forward to doing again.”

Bryce Townsend, who has worked with Luckman for 13 years at both GroupM and Momentum, will take over as CEO at GroupM ESP NA.

As summer heats up we ask industry executives:
What’s the most memorable summertime job you had during your high school and college years, and why?

Responses edited for clarity and brevity

Charles Besser
President and CEO

“The summer job I remember most was as a box car loader at a paper mill in Wisconsin, between my junior and senior years of college. Here is why: I was exposed to a summer of huge contrasts that taught similar lessons. At the mill, I worked with good and talented men, many of whom were trapped in their jobs by their circumstances. Nevertheless, they performed their duties each day with great skill, grace and humility. They taught me the honor and beauty of a job done well.

“At the end of each day, I headed to the home of Darwin and Lois Smith, with whom my parents had arranged for me to live that summer. Darwin is profiled in Jim Collins’ book “Good to Great” as one of America’s rare Level 5 leaders. Darwin was just like the men at the paper mill except he wasn’t trapped; he was free! Nevertheless, he performed his work and led his company with great skill, grace and, most of all, humility.

“That summer I learned that good men are simply good men, regardless of their station in life; that any job well done is a beautiful thing; that humility is a sign of strength; and that if you are blessed with the opportunity to follow your dreams, you do it with all of your energy.”

• • • • • • • •

Rob Butcher
Executive Director
U.S. Masters Swimming

“My freshman year in college at Georgia Southern, I walked into my swim coach Scott Farmer’s office. Scott was also our AD for operations. I told him I wanted to work in sports. He smiled and said, ‘I have just the job for you.’ I was elated, thinking he wanted me to be the PA announcer or some other glamorous position. We drove to our 17,000-seat stadium, and he says, ‘You see our stadium? This weekend, it will be full. Fans will be cheering, they’ll have a great time, and hopefully we’ll win. When the game is over, you will be cleaning the stadium.’ For the next two years, I worked every home game on our stadium clean-up crew. It’s amazing what fans can smuggle into a stadium!

“By my junior and senior years, I’d earned their trust, and they let me up into the press box to help with other game operations. As I was graduating and trying to figure out how I could get any kind of job in sports, our AD offered me a paid internship in our sports marketing department and a scholarship to graduate school. My primary job was selling magazine advertising in our game programs. We set a record for advertising sales that year. Twenty years later, still working in sports, I cherish the struggle, the mentors who believe in me, and perseverance.”

• • • • • • • •

Kevin Rochlitz
VP, national sales and partnerships
Baltimore Ravens

“The most memorable summertime job I had was working in the University of Wyoming athletic department during the summer, and I worked a ton of concerts such as the Beach Boys and Garth Brooks. I was hands-on and worked every detail on both of these events and will always have fond memories of the experience I gained from working these two events.”

— Compiled by Molly Hogan


Chief Marketing Officer
Audi of America

Where I’m from: I live in McLean, Va.

Where I went to school: I have a bachelor of arts from Hobart and William Smith Colleges in upstate New York.

What was my first job: My first job after college was at the public relations company Burson-Marsteller working in crisis management.


What I Like …

An insight: Small minds, small times.

An influential person in my career: My mother and father.

An out-of-the-box idea: Audi turning to Intersport and NFL Films to make a Le Mans documentary.

A timeless idea: Brands can create their own content as well.

A business deal: Steve Jobs purchasing the Graphics Group, later renamed Pixar, for $10 million.

A sports facility: Yankee Stadium.

A sports event: Pacquiao vs. Mayweather 2012 at Madison Square Garden.

An innovation: Audi being the first brand to race with diesel in Le Mans.

A pro league or team business initiative: Green Bay Packers community ownership.

A story that bears watching: The future of CO2 and fuel emission requirements in the auto industry.

An idea or invention I wish I had thought of: Netflix streaming video.

A fantasy job: Quarterback of the New York Giants.

What I Like About …

My job: Everyone is an expert and has an opinion.

Sports: They can teach you life lessons at a very early age.

Sports business: It’s loaded with characters.

Sports media: It’s where America gathers.

Sports technology: It never supersedes the athlete.

Competing: There is generally no gray area or room for debate; there is usually a clear winner and loser.

The future (or direction) of sports business: It is becoming more about individuals and less about giant corporations.

Sports fans: Eternal optimism.

What I’d Like To …

Change: Airplane travel; where do I begin?

Change in what I do: Spend less time on planes and more time thinking.

See: Smarter roads with sequenced traffic lights.

See more of in sports: More behind the scenes.

See more of in sports business: The creation of a proper boxing league with clear rankings.

See less of in sports: Athletes sticking around too long.

See less of in sports business: Over-commercialization.

What I Don’t Like ...

In general: Small ideas.

Pet peeve: Noise makers: They are full of sound and fury, usually signifying very little.

In sports: Education often takes a back seat.

In business: Bureaucracy.

About sports fans: Those who aren’t Yankees and Giants fans.  


What I Like …

People: The ones who always push you to do something really great.

That would surprise those who know me: I used to box when I was younger.

Above all else: Putting my son to sleep.

About myself: I care.

Heroes: My grandparents, who came across the ocean from Ireland with nothing but a suitcase.

Player: Roberto Clemente. He was a great player, a great person and he died helping those in need in Nicaragua.

Team: The Oakland Raiders, 1970s.

City: Hands down, New York City.

Possession: 1950s Danish furniture from my parents.

Memento: My baptism photo with my godparents.

Time of year: The fall: It means the World Series and the return of football.

Music: Arcade Fire, The Velvet Underground, Band of Horses, Belle and Sebastian

Books: “One Hundred Years of Solitude” and “The Corrections.”

Authors: Gabriel García Márquez, Jonathan Franzen, José María Arguedas and Miguel Angel Asturias.

Magazines: Dwell, Monocle and The Ring.

Website: Jalopnik.

Gadget: Ultimate Ears.

iPad app: Cool Hunting.

Hobbies: Skiing and gardening.

Trip: Le Mans in June.

Movies: “Midnight Cowboy,” “Goodfellas,” “Blade Runner.”

TV: “Boardwalk Empire” and “Breaking Bad.”

Concerts: Any Radiohead, or Jane’s Addiction circa 1990.

Artist: Egon Schiele.

Thom Yorke
Food: Anything my wife cooks.

Dessert: Rice pudding.

Drink: Proper Cabernet Sauvignon.

Vacation spots: The Pacific coast of Nicaragua, and anywhere in the Andes.

Singer: Thom Yorke.

Quote: Anything by W.B. Yeats.