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Volume 20 No. 42

People and Pop Culture


The Orlando Magic promoted Charlie Freeman to executive vice president and chief revenue officer, Chris D’Orso to senior vice president of sales and ticket operations, Joel Glass to senior vice president of communications, Audra Hollifield to senior vice president of human resources and
administrative services, Catherine Carlson to vice president of corporate partnership activation, Michael Forde to vice president of corporate partnership sales, Anthony Perez to vice president of business strategy and Nyea Sturman and Pat Gallagher to assistant directors of legal services.

The Phoenix Suns hired Sarah Krahenbuhl as director of Phoenix Suns Charities. Krahenbuhl was executive director of Coyotes charities and director of community relations and fan development for the Phoenix Coyotes.

The University of North Carolina promoted Larry Gallo to executive associate athletic director; Clint Gwaltney, Rick Steinbacher and Steve Kirschner to senior associate athletic directors; and Ken Cleary, Mike Perkins, Tim Sabo and Tim Smith to assistant athletic directors. Karlton Creech was named senior associate athletic director and will serve as the athletic department’s chief of staff, and Ken Mack and Matt Terrell were named associate athletic directors.

University of Richmond Athletic Director Jim Miller will become assistant to the president for athletic advancement.

The University of Miami hired Andrew Goodrich as assistant athletic director for marketing. Goodrich was the athletic director at Owego Free Academy.

Colorado State University hired Paul Kirk as director of media relations. Kirk was assistant athletic director for communications at Drake University.

Canisius College promoted Judi Caserta to assistant athletic director of business operations and Matt Reitnour to assistant athletic director of communications.

Bowling Green State University hired Joe Buono as director of ticket operations with Collegiate Consulting.

Louisiana Tech University named Doug Sutherland assistant athletic director of ticket operations. Sutherland was assistant director of ticket operations for the University of Florida.

Intrust Bank Arena named Nate Johnson operations manager. Johnson was assistant operations manager for the Peoria Civic Center.

Bill Lester will step down as executive director of the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission in Minneapolis July 31.

The PGA Tour named Tom Clark executive director of the Tour Championship by Coca-Cola. Clark was executive director of the Charles Schwab Cup Championship for the tour.

The Dallas Stars named Toni May vice president of finance and administration. May was director of corporate accounting for Alliance Data.

The American Hockey League’s Hamilton (Ontario) Bulldogs hired Brianne Whitty as director of community relations and fan development. Whitty was manager of group sales and community relations the Niagara IceDogs.


BDA Sports Management hired Kim Miller as lead athlete publicist. Miller was client manager and PR and marketing director for NFL players at Premier Sports & Entertainment.

Dietz Trott Sports & Entertainment Management named Rick Chryst senior vice president and counsel. Chryst was commissioner of the Mid-American Conference.


Grand-Am Road Racing named Richard Buck managing director of competition and Gabriel Cadringher managing director of technical regulations and development.

The Sonoma raceway named Grace Chen director of marketing. Chen was the director of marketing for the Sacramento Kings.

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.

New interactive fan event for NASCAR

NASCAR announced the launch of the inaugural interactive fan event, NASCAR Contenders Live sponsored by Toyota and Sprint, on July 20 outside the House of Blues in Chicago. Unveiling a 2012 Toyota Camry SE (from left): Keith Dahl, Toyota national manager of motorsports and engagement marketing; driver Kyle Busch; Miss Sprint Cup Jaclyn Roney; Lou Garate, NASCAR senior director of partnership marketing; and Chicagoland Speedway President Scott Paddock.

Where there’s Smoke, there’s NASCAR

Oliver Dizon, ESPN SVP of asset management, shows off the car of reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart at ESPN’s New York office July 12. The car and the NASCAR Sprint Cup trophy were there to promote NASCAR Sprint Cup races on ESPN beginning with the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis on July 29.
Photo by: ESPN

Kraft health center opens

New England Patriots and Revolution owner Robert Kraft celebrates the launch of the Kraft Center for Community Health, established at Partners HealthCare, with a party at his home. The event July 17 offered a chance to welcome the first class of program participants who will practice in community health centers and care for people in low-income communities. From left: Jay Light, dean emeritus of Harvard Business School; Kraft; Nitin Nohria, dean of Harvard Business School; and William Swanson, CEO of Raytheon.

UMass-ive turnout

Comcast-Spectacor employees who are University of Massachusetts alumni recently gathered in front of the statue of Julius “Dr. J” Erving (also a UMass alum) in front of Xfinity Live! Philadelphia (from left): Cindy Stutman, Philadelphia Flyers VP of customer service; Bob Schwartz, VP of marketing for Global Spectrum; intern Alex Ostrow; Doug Higgons, Global Spectrum regional VP; interns Vincent Rubinaccio and Nick DeChristopher; Paul Dionne, director of marketing for Global Spectrum at Mullins Center on the UMass campus; interns Brian Watson and Leonardo Gomez; Peter Luukko, Comcast-Spectacor president; Emily Hess, Philadelphia Wings assistant marketing manager; interns Ben Spotts, Matthew Graham, Drew Rosen (front in lavender shirt) and Alex Mercer; Brian Ohl, regional VP for Global Spectrum; and interns Gregory Keith and Dana Reynolds.

Smart start for new Adidas system

Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber (left) and Adidas Group CEO Herbert Hainer show customized Smart Soccer 2013 jerseys. They celebrate the leaguewide integration announcement of the miCoach Elite System, which will give coaches real-time performance measures, at a news conference in New York City on July 19.
Photo by: ADIDAS

Tennis hall of fame class inducted

The International Tennis Hall of Fame Class of 2012 was inducted July 14 in Newport, R.I. From left: Spanish tennis star Manuel Orantes; tennis industry innovator and executive Mike Davies; Brazilian tennis star Gustavo “Guga” Kuerten; former world No. 1 Jennifer Capriati; and Tom Snow, father of the late Randy Snow, a wheelchair tennis champion and three-sport Paralympic medalist.

Venue managers meet up

The International Association of Venue Managers held its annual conference July 21-24 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Top photo (from left): Tom Paci, Turner Construction; Allen Johnson, Amway Center; Robert Rayborn, Turner Construction; Charles Leone, Amway Center; and Dale Koger, Turner Construction.

At a panel discussion on sports and entertainment facilities (bottom photo, from left): Claude Delorme, Miami Marlins; Bob Hunter, Air Canada Centre; Jim Riordan, Florida Atlantic University; Rich Krezwick, Prudential Center; Brad Mayne, American Airlines Center; Mark Williams, HKS; and Bobby Goldwater, Goldwater Group.

Photos by: DON MURET / STAFF (2)

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.

Scott Blackmun

CEO, U.S. Olympic Committee

The whole world is watching London and the Olympics right now, and Scott Blackmun is no exception. When the Olympic flame isn’t blazing, though, Blackmun can look across to the mountains outside Colorado Springs, Colo., from his office at the U.S. Olympic Committee’s headquarters downtown.

Blackmun, the USOC’s CEO since early 2010, displays a collection of keepsakes around him that reflects the multisport mission of his organization, although soccer might be a candidate for first among equals: Blackmun played in college at Dartmouth, and AEG owned several MLS teams when he was chief operating officer there in the mid-2000s.

Miami Marlins President David Samson talks about the teams and the fans of South Beach, why it’s good for the Marlins to be featured on Showtime’s series “The Franchise” this summer, and how decisions are made at the executive level.

It’s constantly making choices. And we have the best advisers we can have around us. We all have great organizations and great people working with us, but I promise you we’re not right every time. None of us. You can’t be. But we’re the ones making decisions and getting blamed for it as faces of the franchise. That’s fine; that’s what we signed up for. The key is to make the decision of whether you’re playing offense or defense, then making sure that you have ownership support in that decision, getting through it and waiting for the next one.

On South Florida teams:
I want the Heat to win the championship. …  I want the Dolphins to be in the Super Bowl because can you imagine what would happen in Miami?  … What if we had a decade like Boston just had? Can you imagine what would happen to the Miami sports landscape; how much more valuable all our franchises would be?

A marketing challenge for the club: Florida is, I think, the only market where we’re a purely vertical market, which is terrible. You talk about regional teams in baseball: People drive hours to go to a Cardinals game or to a Reds game. Generally, you take your ballpark and draw concentric circles around it. After two or three circles, we’re … in the water.

What’s  behind “The Franchise”? The whole point is, how do we differentiate access now?  How do we get viewers to tune in and pay attention for more than 140 characters?

What worries him in social media: What consumers are doing, I’m afraid, is they’re more apt to listen to other fans versus the credibility of your own company tweeting or Facebooking about what you’re doing.

On listening to fans: One thing you have to be very careful of when you’re running a team these days is you can’t be too reactive. When you have a plan, if you become too reactive to what is going on in social media and the court of public opinion, you will end up having a rudderless ship and not able to actually do anything.

A piece of inventory he wishes he could sell: Online. … MLBAM has been unbelievable with the creation of wealth for all the teams, but you’re asking what would be nice.