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Volume 21 No. 1

People and Pop Culture


The Atlanta Hawks and Philips Arena hired Andrew Steinberg as senior vice president and chief revenue officer. Steinberg was executive vice president of business operations for Sporting Kansas City.

Bobcats Sports & Entertainment hired Kim Henderson as vice president of community affairs and executive director for the Cats Care Foundation. Henderson was senior director of corporate relations and sponsorships for Presbyterian Hospital/Novant Health.

The Los Angeles Lakers promoted Glenn Carraro to assistant general manager.

The Portland Trail Blazers hired Neil Olshey as general manager. Olshey was vice president of basketball operations for the Los Angeles Clippers.

Fordham University promoted Frank McLaughlin to associate vice president of student affairs for athletic alumni relations and external affairs/athletic director emeritus, effective July 1.

Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis promoted Gail Barksdale to senior associate athletic director, Ed Holdaway to assistant athletic director for communications and Kyle Torgerson to assistant athletic director for sports medicine.

The Atlantic 10 Conference hired Wendy Larry as associate commissioner. Larry was women’s basketball coach at Old Dominion University.

Northern Michigan University named Forrest Karr director of athletics, recreational sports and the U.S. Olympic Education Center and special assistant to the president. Karr was athletic director at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

St. Cloud State University named Heather Weems athletic director. Weems was an associate athletic director and senior woman administrator at Drake University.

Utah State University hired Joel Moersch as assistant athletic director for development and major gifts. Moersch was assistant director for major gifts at UCLA.

Endurance Sports
MESP hired Scott Roegner as special projects coordinator. Roegner was a senior account executive for Rogers & Cowan.

Global Spectrum promoted Casey Heverling to assistant general manager and director of operations for the Mullins Center at the University of Massachusetts and named Michael Tischler event manager for the Sun National Bank Center. Tischler replaces Todd Stoudenmire, who was named event manager for the Wells Fargo Center.

Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Commission President David Israel resigned.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers hired Eric Stokes as director of college scouting. Stokes was assistant director of college scouting for the Seattle Seahawks.

The Houston Texans named Marc Vandermeer director of broadcasting. Vandermeer has served as the team’s play-by-play announcer and hosted a show on CBS SportsRadio 610 in Houston.

The Philadelphia Eagles promoted Don Smolenski to president, replacing Joe Banner, who was named a strategic adviser to the owner.

Golf San Antonio Chief Executive Officer Tony Piazzi resigned.

The Montreal Canadiens named Rick Dudley assistant general manager and Scott Mellanby director of player personnel. Dudley was director of player personnel for the Toronto Maple Leafs, and Mellanby was an assistant coach for the Canadiens.

St. Louis Blues Chief Executive Officer Mike McCarthy is stepping down from his position.

IMG College named Amy Weinstein Flynn general manager of George Washington IMG Sports Marketing, Brandon Forbis general manager of Air Force IMG Sports Marketing, Heidi Griffith regional sales strategist of the West, Robert Miller general manager of the ticket solutions division at the University of Florida, Emily Pettorini customer service and events manager of the IMG College IDEAS team, Lisa Pillans business analyst for IMG College, Tyler Reichwein general manager of the ticket solutions division at Georgia State University, Cameron Scholvin regional vice president of the Midwest and Jack Trompeter vice president of regional sales for the West region.

Wasserman Media Group named Pedro Bonilla director of multicultural marketing and Alfredo “Freddy” Piedra an associate manager of multicultural marketing. Bonilla was a national sales and business development executive for Cardenas Marketing Network, and Piedra was with the Miami Marlins’ mobile marketing department.

Fenway Sports Management hired Joe Hockenjos as senior vice president of sales. Hockenjos led the business development and sports sales divisions for NCC Media.

Cenergy hired Mark Cheney as an account manager. Cheney was an assistant marketing manager for Rich Products Corp.

CBS Sports Network promoted Ryan Briganti to vice president of ad sales.

NBC Sports manager for strategic initiatives Lindsay Fitz is stepping down for a position with Discovery and TLC Networks.

Golf Channel promoted Mike Hendrix, Stacey Oleck and Jonathan Vassil to senior directors of sales, and Maury Adcock, Brooke Bendler, Jessica Elkins, Dan Hardy, Shawn Lally and Mike Lynch to senior market sales managers for

The Canadian Paralympic Committee named Martin Richard executive director of marketing and communications. Richard was the director of communications for Swimming Canada.

Sporting Goods and Apparel
Under Armour vice president of retail Dan Sawall resigned.


The Columbus Crew promoted Avin Assomull to group sales manager and hired David Doom, Courtney Klein, J.P. Lococo, Elena Rodrigues and Matthew Schumann as ticket sales representatives.

The Barclays Premier League’s Manchester City FC named Tom Glick chief commercial and operating officer. Glick was chief executive officer for Derby County FC.

Award and Boards

The Media Financial Management Association named François McGillicuddy, Speed vice president of finance and business operations, to its board of directors and a recipient of the MFM Rainmaker Award.

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.

Nomar in the house

ESPN hosted a “Chalk Talk” at media agency MPG’s Boston office featuring former Boston Red Sox great and current ESPN analyst Nomar Garciaparra and writer Mike Reiss. From left: Heather Brady, MPG account director; Garciaparra; Tricia Betron, ESPN SVP of multimedia sales.

Turkey ready to welcome WTA’s year-end tourney

In Istanbul, Turkey, June 11 to officially launch the 42nd edition of the WTA’s year-end event, the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships–Istanbul (from left): WTA CEO and Chairman Stacey Allaster; Varol Civil, TEB; player Agnieszka Radwanska; Ayda Uluc, Turkish Tennis Federation; player Caroline Wozniacki; and tournament director Markus Guenthardt.

Pop Warner winners

At the 52nd annual Pop Warner All-American Scholastic Banquet on May 26 at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort (from left): Pop Warner Executive Director Jon Butler with honorees Darlene Cavalier, founder of; former New England Patriots offensive tackle Matt Light; Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy; and NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith. Pop Warner honors more than 9,000 young athletes as All-American Scholars at the banquet, and recognizes notable professional athletes and industry leaders who serve as role models.

Kings, Fox celebrate long-term deal

Fox Sports and the Los Angeles Kings celebrated their new long-term TV agreement before Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final at Staples Center on June 4. From left: Fox Sports West host and reporter Patrick O’Neal; Kings TV analyst Jim Fox; Luc Robitaille, Kings president of business operations; Fox Sports West SVP and GM Steve Simpson; Kings play-by-play announcer Bob Miller; and Kings governor Tim Leiweke.

A premiere for Premier at the Dolby Theatre

The Dolby Theatre sign was unveiled to the public June 11 in an event featuring a short performance by Cirque du Soleil and a demonstration of the new Dolby Atmos technology. From left: Stephanie Cheng, Premier Partnerships senior director of marketing services; Premier Partnerships CEO and President Randy Bernstein; Ramzi Haidamus, Dolby Laboratories EVP of sales and marketing; Ray Dolby, Dolby Laboratories founder and director emeritus; and Erin Prober, Premier Partnerships manager of marketing services. Premier Partnerships helped bring about the Hollywood venue’s naming-rights agreement.

Finals meetings

New York Jets coach Rex Ryan (left) joins NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly at Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final at the Prudential Center on June 2.

Also at Game 2, Bill Cowher (left), “NFL Today” analyst and former Pittsburgh Steelers coach, meets up with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman.

High-performance GMs in Tampa

Tampa Bay GMs Mark Dominik (left, Buccaneers), Andrew Friedman (second from left, Rays) and Steve Yzerman (right, Lightning) were honored by Tampa Bay Sports Commission Executive Director Rob Higgins (second from right) for serving as co-chairs for the 2012 Tampa Bay Sneaker Soiree. The event was May 31.

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.

Every AD at every level would indicate that the thing keeping them up at night is managing expectations.

You have to make decisions and make certain they’re consistent with your core values. Then you move on.

Athletics should be like the Hippocratic oath — do no harm. In other words, make sure you’re contributing to the institution, not doing harm to it.

Tom Butters [former Duke AD] said the worst thing that ever happened to college athletics was sports talk radio. It created all these experts. They spend an hour on hold to get 15 seconds on air. Now all those fans don’t have to wait an hour. They just push a button on their computer. It has changed our field in so many ways.

The saying goes that your skills become obsolete every five years, so if you have a job 40 years, you’re constantly adapting and adjusting.

As much as people don’t want to admit that there is a business aspect to what we do, there certainly is. You’re talking about budgets of $100 million or more.

There’s no secret that some universities have hired ADs recently from the private sector. The individual might have been on the periphery of athletics in some way, shape or form, but what they bring from a business standpoint is clearly needed. We may see that become more in vogue in the future.

Establish a culture or create a culture depending on what you find, and motivate the employees. The best advice when you come into a new situation: Consume wildly.

You want people who are ambitious, and you’ve got to convey that you’re supportive of that ambition.

You have rivals in college athletics, whether it’s on the field of play or wherever, and you battle hard. We all recognize the stresses and demands on us. NACDA is one of the ways we have to engage and share and help everyone else grow. It happens at a level much greater today than ever in the past.

What’s happening from a realignment standpoint is very distressing.

Boise State and San Diego State committed to the Big East, and any rational person says that makes no sense. But I know the issues facing San Diego State and their ability to remain solvent, and they’re finding themselves looking at decisions like this. It’s not good for the enterprise. It’s led to some tough decisions.

You can sit in a Pac-12 meeting, as USC or UCLA, and know that these two schools drive whatever value is in the media contract. But we felt it was best for the conference that everyone receives the same share of revenue and be on a level playing field. That’s a decision made for the good of the whole.

These jobs are not for the faint of heart. You know criticism is going to come. Fundamentally, you just have to be at peace about your decisions, knowing they may not always be the right decisions.

At one point, my next step before I got into athletic administration was to run for public office, city council. I ultimately decided I didn’t want to do that, I didn’t want a career in the public eye. Lo and behold, I wind up at UCLA and here we go.

Typically, the AD gets too much credit when things go well and too much blame when they don’t. But we understand the demands are so much greater now. Young professionals in the business just see it as a natural evolution. It’s harder for some guys I’ve worked alongside. It’s not that fun for them.

When I talk to kids about leadership, I ask them to raise their hands if they had to baby-sit. Most raise hands. The reality is that’s the first time they had to manage something or exercise leadership. When you talk to the kid you’re baby-sitting, you tell them they can sit and watch TV and don’t move. Or you can negotiate — sit here for the next hour and then we’ll play games. It shows that there are different ways to handle situations and you learn from those experiences.

The ultimate test of leadership is, if you had no title, would people still follow you?

I make major decisions every week, but if I’m making all of them, I’m not delegating as well as I should be.

We all have blind spots. Some recognize those blind spots better than others. That’s where your staff members have to be honest.

I’ve always wanted to be a jazz pianist.

I’m a product of Teen Post, which is like a Boys and Girls Club. I was raised in a community where, in order to get anything done, you had to bond together.

I fell in love with Italy. I stayed over there almost four years. I love their culture, their way of life.

I take my iPad with me everywhere. It allows me to do what I need to do, while enjoying music and other aspects of it.

The cigar you’d most likely find in my humidor now is the Davidoff Gran Cru No. 1.

I really like a lot of the young [jazz] musicians that make the rounds in New York. One for All is one of those straight-ahead jazz bands. I love that group.

My dad wore hats and when I was a kid, he would always put a hat on me. I’ve been wearing them all my life. I don’t wear them to a lot of business functions, but I wear them socially a lot. I think they’re stylish.

I really like the Borsalino fedora. It’s made in Alessandria, Italy, right outside of Turin. It’s been the hat of choice by many famous individuals who have worn fedoras, like Sinatra, and a lot of great Italian actors.

It’s L.A. Teams have to win. The only sure thing for years was the Dodgers, [and] even they’ve taken their hits.

If you already have a robust development area with people donating, your sponsorship potential has been reached and it’s a finite marketplace with TV revenue, the only upside is in ticket sales. For most of us with empty seats, that’s where the growth potential is.