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Volume 21 No. 2

People and Pop Culture

Ball State University hired Bill Scholl as athletic director. Scholl was deputy athletic director at the University of Notre Dame.

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi named Scott Lazenby athletic director.

The University of Memphis hired Tom Bowen as athletic director. Bowen was athletic director at San Jose State University.


Daytona International Speedway promoted Jerry Mugerditchian to senior manager of tram operations and logistics.

NFL Media named Manish Jha general manager of mobile. Jha was president and chief executive officer of SkyWeaver.

Horse Racing
Keeneland President and Chief Executive Officer Nick Nicholson will retire, effective Sept. 1. Nicholson will be succeeded by Bill Thomason, who is now vice president and chief financial officer.


Scout Sports and Entertainment promoted Dan Parise to associate managing director, Adam Friedman to senior account executive and Nick Hamilton to account executive. Sam Mogilner was hired as director and Eric Martin as account coordinator.

BeCore hired Emily Duban as executive vice president of strategy and growth.


Wasserman Media Group hired Barry Hyde as executive vice president in its golf division. Hyde was chief marketing officer at the U.S. Golf Association. Megan Morgan was hired as a senior director in the division. Morgan was director of tour communications for Titleist.

3 Point Productions, a Seattle-based sports and live entertainment company, was recently founded and launched by Patrick Walker, Todd Albright and Matt Heuer.

French/West/Vaughan hired Ann Spencer as an account supervisor in its sports and entertainment practice area. Spencer was director of the sports management and strategic alliances department for Turning Stone Resort & Casino.

Green Savoree Racing Promotions launched Green Savoree Sports and Entertainment and hired Terry Angstadt as executive vice president and general manager.

Multiteam Companies

Palace Sports & Entertainment hired Sarah DeCiantis as director of corporate partner activation and services. DeCiantis was as an account director for McCann Erickson.

Sports Commissions and Tourism Boards
The National Senior Games Association named Heather Kurstin manager of special events. Kurstin was interim executive director of the Miami-Dade Sports Commission.

Florida Sports, a division of Enterprise Florida, named John Webb president and Greg Ungru vice president of development. Webb replaces Larry Pendleton, who is retiring.

Sporting Goods and Apparel
Fanatics hired Jamie Davis as president. Davis was formerly president of Versus.

Quiksilver promoted Ryan Scanlon to senior vice president of marketing and Scott Richards to creative director, and hired Taylor Whisenand as senior vice president of marketing operations for Quiksilver Americas.

Awards and Boards
The 2014 New York/New Jersey Super Bowl Host Committee added Jeffrey Sica, Sica Wealth Management president and chief investment officer, to the committee.

The CFL Winnipeg Blue Bombers named Liam Martin and Ossama AbouZeid to its board of directors.

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.

Winners at NYU Sports Business Society Awards

At the fifth annual Sports Business Society Awards at New York University recently (from left): George Martin, Lauren Beam Philanthropy Award; Peter Honig of Van Wagner, an Ambassador of the Year winner; Steve Tisch of the New York Giants, Lalia Rach Profile in Excellence; Brian Smith of the New York Yankees, an Ambassador of the Year winner; and Ted Shaker, Graduate Sports Business Society Media Award.

Olympians ring true at Nasdaq

Olympic diving legend Greg Louganis, U.S. Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun, 2012 Olympic diving hopeful Brittany Viola and 1948 Olympic diver Sammy Lee join several staff members from the USOC, national governing bodies and Team USA sponsors after ringing the Nasdaq closing bell April 17 in New York City.

Jeep jumps aboard with USA Basketball

At the Annenberg Community Beach House in Santa Monica, Calif., on April 20, to announce the new partnership between the Jeep Brand and USA Basketball (from left): Jerry Colangelo, USA Basketball chairman; Kim Adams House, Jeep Brand head of advertising; and Jim Morrison, Jeep Brand director of product marketing.

NASCAR’s green scene

Miss Sprint Cup Jaclyn Roney, wearing her Earth Day firesuit, joins Mike Lynch (center), managing director of Green Innovation for NASCAR, and John Berwald of Paradise Nursery in Kansas City to celebrate NASCAR’s Earth Day efforts at Kansas Speedway with the NASCAR Green flag. NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway took place on Earth Day, April 22.

Net gains at U.N. Foundation event

At the United Nations Foundation’s Nothing But Nets Campaign Networking reception at the United Nations in New York City on April 23 (from left):NBA global ambassador Dikembe Mutombo, U.N. Foundation CEO Kathy Calvin, Princess Astrid of Belgium, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and his wife, Yoo Soon-taek, retired NBA star Shaquille O’Neal, U.N. Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Malaria Ray Chambers, Variety Publisher Brian Gott, and Herve Verhoosel of The Roll Back Malaria Partnership.

49ers, guests have their eyes on the future

The San Francisco 49ers held the official groundbreaking for their new stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., on April 19. From left: Former Santa Clara Mayor Patricia Mahan, 49ers CEO Jed York, Santa Clara Mayor Jamie Matthews and 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh.

Atlanta summit draws team, college officials

Atlanta Business Chronicle and the Atlanta Sports Council held the second annual Business of Sports Summit on April 13 at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta. Above (from left:) Derek Schiller and John Schuerholz of the Atlanta Braves; Pete Canalichio and Marynell Meadors of the Atlanta Dream; Jim Smith and Rich McKay of the Atlanta Falcons; and Bob Williams and David Lee of the Atlanta Hawks and Philips Arena. Below (from left): Canalichio, Cheryl Levick of Georgia State University and Vaughn Williams of Kennesaw State University.

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Running a law firm is not what motivates me. The sports deal world is what motivates me.

It is very different being the chairman. I do far more public speaking. I do more traveling. I spend more time on administration.

Leccese is the youngest elected chairman in Proskauer’s history, dating to 1875. He was 49 when selected for the post in October 2010.
The sports industry is at the cutting edge of most of the things I find interesting: media, social media, public facilities, the entertainment of people, the internationalization of sports.

Brazil is an amazingly beautiful place. São Paulo, it’s like Shanghai. There are just cranes everywhere.

It’s an intellectual feast to be involved in sports. Magic Johnson with HIV. Free-speech issues contested about athletes and teams. Technology and innovations.

The first time I was anybody’s boss I was 20 years old. I became the head of the campus bar at Georgetown University. The people I was “managing” were my peers.

A professional service firm is very different from a corporate structure. You need to achieve strategic goals by inspiring people and persuading people.

It’s much more effective to communicate in groups. It’s very easy in a one-on-one conversation to take an extreme position. In a group, people can hear other people’s points of view, come to some accommodation, and that’s incredibly important.

I break the partners into nine groups. Every quarter I have a dinner with each of those nine groups. We spend anywhere from 60 to 90 minutes on a topic.

Any business that precedes along the path where they decide to do for the next five years exactly what they’ve done for the past five years is doomed to colossal failure.

The notion of the one-size-fits-all interview probably leads to 90 percent bad interviews. You have to look at somebody’s background and CV and say, What is it about this person that we can discuss that gives me a better sense of that person?

We have our best success with [hiring] what one might call the renaissance man or renaissance woman. That’s something that used to be very valued in academic admissions but is a little bit less valued. They look for the best mathematician or the best soccer player. As a collective those classes are well-rounded but the individuals may not be.

Work ethic is one of the hardest things to predict. Someone who had a very high level of achievement in university or law school presumably had to apply himself with some measure of intensity. You can look at their personal interests: someone who did that while holding a job, being a competitive athlete, discharging family responsibilities.

We’re trying to put more emphasis on language skills. It’s exceedingly important. Languages like Mandarin, Portuguese, have taken on an importance in the business world that they didn’t have a decade ago.

The postwar era of relatively steady growth in American business generally and in professional service firms in particular is over. Volatility is the new normal.

It used to be that if there was a problem, it took a while for that problem to work its way through the system. When there is a problem now, activity stops almost immediately. If there’s a debt crisis, within a day or two, clients are saying let’s slow down the deal, let’s renegotiate price, let’s put it on hold. It’s instantaneous.

You don’t sense unqualified optimism anywhere. People sense opportunities, but it’s always with a comma and a caveat.

The presidential election process has contributed to this apprehension you’re seeing. When I sit in CEO-type meetings, people are terrified about the budget deficit. Because it’s an American election season, people know it’s not going to get addressed for at least one more election season.

Nothing can induce self-loathing more than a round of golf. But it’s the experience. You’re out walking with a bunch of your pals for four hours and if you don’t take the game terribly seriously you can actually enjoy it even when you make an ass of yourself.

I’m still a sports fan. I love hearing about what’s going on: Who they’re going to draft. Who’s really developing as a player. What the offense or defense strategy will be.

In dollars, the NFL has the most potential for growth. In percentage, it’s probably Major League Soccer.

One of the most profound changes in the next three years will be the changing composition of ownership of the major U.S. professional sports leagues. We have [Mikhail] Prokhorov, but I expect other high-net-worth individuals from other parts of the world, including China, Russia, the Middle East, will want to own NBA teams.

Professionally, the hardest thing to learn is to accept the fact that you made a mistake and move on. If you get caught in that second-guessing, then you won’t make the good move the next time around. All of us are perfectionists.