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Volume 20 No. 42

People and Pop Culture

The San Diego Padres promoted Jonathan Tillman to director of concessions and fan experience and Eric McKenzie to director of group tickets and hospitality, and hired Jeremy Walls as senior director of ticket sales and service. Walls was director of team marketing and business operations for the NBA.

George Washington University hired Shelli Anderson as director of ticket sales and revenue. Anderson was vice president of ticket sales and service for the WNBA’s Chicago Sky.

San Jose State University named Gene Bleymaier athletic director, effective June 30, and Tod Bannister senior associate athletic director for external relations. Bleymaier was formerly athletic director at Boise State University.

SUNY Geneseo hired Michelle Walsh as associate athletic director. Walsh was senior woman administrator and coordinator of compliance and student-athlete welfare at Fitchburg State University.

Western Illinois University hired Kelsey Homewood as director of marketing and promotions. Homewood was associate athletic director and senior woman administrator at Winona State University.

The University of Dayton named Adam Tschuor director of ticketing, replacing Gary McCans, who was named director of event services. Tschuor was director of ticket sales at Ball State University.

The Pac-12 Conference named Ed Rush coordinator of men’s basketball officiating. Rush is a recruiting and development director for officials for the NBA.

The University of Nebraska named Jamie Williams associate athletic director of diversity and leadership initiatives. Williams was athletic director at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco.

The University of New Orleans hired Derek Morel as athletic director. Morel was vice president and general manager for Wake Forest IMG Sports Marketing.


Delaware North Cos.-Boston promoted Shawn Renee Polk to senior manager of GuestPath and guest services.

Delaware North Cos. hired Todd Merry as chief marketing officer. Merry was vice president of global marketing strategy and integrated programs for Unisys Corp.

The Baltimore Ravens promoted Eric DeCosta to assistant general manager.

The Green Bay Packers promoted John Dorsey to director of football operations, Eliot Wolf to director of pro personnel, Brian Gutekunst to director of college scouting and Alonzo Highsmith to senior personnel executive.

The Tennessee Titans hired Jim Arts as director of security, replacing Steve Berk, who is retiring.

Bensussen Deutsch and Associates named Preston Akers director of product and supply chain integrity. Akers was senior manager of quality and social responsibility for Progressive International.

One World Sports hired Tom Oliver as senior adviser for market development and branding. Oliver is the founder and principal of Convergent Media Partners.

Liverpool FC named Billy Hogan chief commercial officer and Jen Chang corporate relations and communications director. Hogan was managing director for Fenway Sports Management, and Chang was senior editor for soccer content for

Sports Commissions and Tourism Boards
The Central Florida Sports Commission hired John Bisignano as president and chief executive officer. Bisignano was manager of business development for ESPN Wide World of Sports.

Awards and Boards
The National Athletic Trainers’ Association named Kathy Dieringer, Mary Beth Horodyski and Julie Rochester to its board of directors. The following were named to the organization’s Hall of Fame: Jeff Cooper, Chris Gillespie, Dennis Hart, Roger Kalisiak, Marjorie King, John Lopez, Sally Eaves Nogle, Nick Pappas, Bobby Patton, John Powell, Jay Shoop, Kip Smith, John Spiker, Jeff Stone, Bill Tessendorf, Arnold Thomas and Matt Weber.

The Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly named Keith Pabian of Hirsch Roberts Weinstein as one of its 2012 Up & Coming Lawyer Award recipients for his representation of professional hockey and soccer teams across North America in visa and immigration matters.

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.

About 450 people attended the first Intersport Activation Summit last week in Chicago. Highlights included touring Wrigley Field and seeing a Cubs game, and hearing from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts.

Attendees pose for a group picture on the grass at Wrigley Field after watching the Chicago Cubs play the San Diego Padres on Wednesday afternoon.

Chicago Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts answered questions during lunch Wednesday at Wrigley Field. Ricketts touched on everything from his first meeting with his wife at Wrigley to his two years of ownership and the recent controversy over the team’s renovation plans for the ballpark.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, at the conference for an on-stage interview with Intersport’s Charlie Besser, collected the trophy that he won May 23 as Executive of the Year at the Sports Business Awards.

SBJ/SBD Executive Editor Abraham Madkour and Publisher Richard Weiss presented the award to Goodell.

Intersport's Charlie Besser and Goodell.

Heath Price-Khan of the Miami Marlins, Nicole Peters of the Cleveland Browns and Michelle Fogle of the Houston Texans

Jon Levine of Xerox and Evin Dobson of GroupM ESP

Will Bortz of Taco Bell, Blaise D’Sylva of Anheuser-Busch, Brette Sadler of UFC and Matthew Gizzi of ESPN

United for D.C. accepts award

D.C. United President and CEO Kevin Payne and board President Stephen Zack of United for D.C., the team’s charitable arm, receive the President’s Council of Fitness, Sport and Nutrition Community Leadership Award, along with board members and foundation staff. The foundation was honored for its work promoting healthy lifestyles at halftime of the D.C. United game on May 26 as part of United for D.C. Day festivities.

New Toyota unveiled

NASCAR President Mike Helton (front right) and Toyota Racing driver Kyle Busch (left of Helton) helped unveil the 2013 Toyota Camry NASCAR race car on May 22 in Salisbury, N.C. Also on hand were Lee White (front left), Toyota Racing Development president; Joe Gibbs Racing owner Joe Gibbs (front center), Brad Daugherty (back left), an owner of JTG Daugherty Racing; Michael Waltrip (back, third from left), owner of Michael Waltrip Racing; and the rest of the Toyota Racing family.

Wisconsin Sports Awards afterparty

Attending the Wisconsin Sports Awards afterparty at Apartment 720 in Milwaukee on May 10 (from left): Steve Dupee, GMR Marketing VP; Keith Williams Good Karma Broadcasting VP; Greg Busch, GMR Marketing EVP; Steve Politziner, Good Karma Broadcasting VP; Tim Colligan, Good Karma Broadcasting national sales manager; Shane Blackman, ESPN Milwaukee GM.

First class at Ohio University

Ohio University’s Professional Master of Sports Administration Class of 2012 recently gathered on campus during Ohio’s annual Symposium weekend. This was the first class to graduate from Ohio’s new professional program.

Harbor masters

Officials from the 73rd Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid stand on the No. 1 tee at The Golf Club at Harbor Shores in Benton Harbor, Mich. The event ran May 24-27. From left: Allen Wronowski, president, PGA of America; Jeff Fettig, chairman and CEO, Whirlpool Corp.; Tom Watson, 2011 Senior PGA champion; Jack Nicklaus, Harbor Shores course designer; Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder; and Joe Steranka, CEO, PGA of America.

Please submit photos for review of industry conferences, parties, product launches and openings showcasing the people and personalities at the event. Include the event date, location, names/titles of those featured along with credit information. The photo specifications are as follows: 300dpi, tiff, jpeg or eps color images. Submit digital photos for review at: or send color prints to: Faces & Places, c/o Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal, 120 W. Morehead St., Suite 310, Charlotte, NC 28202.


What I Like …

John Walker,
An insight: Treat people with respect and you’ll earn their trust.

An influential person in my career: Rick Welts, Golden State Warriors president and chief operating officer.

An out-of-the-box idea: Professional athletes in team sports being paid based on actual performance (like on the pro golf or tennis tours).

President and CEO,

Where I'm from: Hometown: Morgantown, W.V. Current residence: Newport Coast, Calif.

Where I Went to School: West Virginia University, B.S.; University of Oklahoma, M.S.

My First Job: As a 10-year-old fourth-grader, I sold Cokes at WVU home football games during the fall. I made 5 cents per Coke, or $1.00 for every tray sold. On hot days, I could make 20 bucks.

A timeless idea: Holding the door open for another, and saying “yes, sir” and “yes, ma’am.”

A business deal: Jerry Jones buying the Dallas Cowboys in 1989 for $150 million.

A sports event: Stamford Bridge (home of Chelsea FC), Heinz Field on a Monday night, the 16th green at the WM Phoenix Open on a Saturday, and AT&T Park on a sunny day.

A sports facility: The Masters, the Super Bowl.

A strategy: Working smarter, not just working harder.

Stamford Bridge, home of Chelsea FC.
A hire: Mike Krzyzewski at Duke in 1980.

A brand: Budweiser.

A trend: Sports teams and venues wanting more control of all things ticketing — customized user experiences, brand extension and controlling fees. One size no longer fits all.

An innovation: Handheld devices that do EVERYTHING.

A pro league or team business initiative:

The NBA’s TMBO. I spent 10 years with the Phoenix Suns during the first 10 years TMBO was in existence. The concept, the quality of the individuals on that team over those 10 years, and the “rubber meets the road” initiatives around sales, retention, CRM, analytics, etc., have helped to turn bad businesses into good, and good businesses into great. A rising tide lifts all ships. It’s now the gold standard.

A story that bears watching: MLB’s digital ticketing initiative.

An idea or invention I wish I had thought of: Bottled water.

A fantasy job: To play on the PGA Tour.

What I Like About …

My job: I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to work with some of the brightest minds in sports and live entertainment. I learn something new every day.

Sports: Every event has the potential to become a “classic.”

Sports business: Unlike in other industries, wins and losses can change the sales proposition from day to day and from season to season.

Sports technology: The myriad of opportunities that are introduced with truly integrated technologies — ticketing, dynamic pricing, loyalty, access control, stored value, mobile, etc.

Competing: It’s the ultimate measuring stick.

The future of sports business: More focus on enhancing the in-venue experience (starting when you purchase tickets), and jersey sponsorships in pro and college sports.

Sports fans: They’ll tell you what they think with conviction.

What I’d Like To …

Change: The outcome of the Suns-Spurs playoff series in 2007.

See less of in sports: Off-the-field issues that dominate the media.

See different: A college football playoff involving eight schools — seven bowl sites over three weekends (quarterfinals, semifinals and finals) — leading to one national champion in college football and unprecedented demand for all seven games..

What I Don’t Like …

In general: Weight gain, flight cancellations and $12 beers.
Pet peeve: Emails and phone calls that don’t get returned.

About sports fans: Foul language when you take your kids to a game.


What I Like …
That would surprise those who know me: Sushi.

Above all else: My wife and daughters.

Heroes: Anyone who has served to protect our country — like my father.

Fred Couples
Players: Larry Bird, Jack Lambert and Fred Couples.

Teams: West Virginia Mountaineers, Pittsburgh Steelers.

City: New York City and San Francisco.

Memento: I have damn near every ticket stub for every event I’ve attended (or worked) since the late ’70s.

Music: Right now I’m listening to the Black Crowes, U2, Coldplay, Dave Matthews and the new Van Halen album.

Magazines: Golf Magazine, SportsBusiness Journal.


Gadgets: BlackBerry.

Chores: I have 9-month-old twin daughters — so diapers.

Hobbies: Golf, travel and home improvement projects.

Movies: “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”

TV: “SportsCenter,” “Shark Tank” and “Swamp People.”

Concerts: Stevie Ray Vaughan at Station Square Amphitheater in Pittsburgh, Eric Clapton with Derek Trucks in Phoenix, U2 anywhere (5 times), AC/DC at the Stanley Theater in Pittsburgh (1980).

Food: A great steak, baked potato and an expensive cabernet.

Dessert: Brownies with ice cream.

Drink: Cold beer in a frosty glass.

Vacation spots: Bora Bora, Maui — and anywhere I can play golf for two consecutive days.

Quote: Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right. — Henry Ford.