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Volume 20 No. 42

People and Pop Culture

The Southern League of Professional Baseball Clubs’ board of directors hired Lori Webb as Southern League president.

The Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center named Jeff Gewirtz executive vice president of business affairs and chief legal officer, and promoted Travis Lee to creative director. Illiana Blackshear was promoted to hospitality and ticket administrator for Barclays Center.

Saint Joseph’s University promoted Don DiJulia to vice president for athletics and athletic director.

Stanford University named Bernard Muir athletic director. Muir was director of athletics and recreation services at the University of Delaware.

Kansas State University named Lindsey Babcock associate athletic director for compliance. Babcock was assistant commissioner of compliance and governance for the Atlantic Coast Conference.

North Georgia College and State University hired Milledge Austin as assistant athletic director for sports communication. Austin was the director of operations and media relations at Montana State University Billings.

The NCAA promoted Elisa Halpin to coordinator of men’s basketball championships, Amy Reis to associate director of championships and alliances, Liz Suscha to director of championships and alliances, and Keith Willard to assistant director of championships and alliances, and named George Mitchell independent athletics integrity monitor at Penn State. Nathan Hatch, Wake Forest University president, was elected chairman of the NCAA Division I board of directors, and Lou Anna Simon, Michigan State University president, was elected NCAA Executive Committee chairwoman.

The University of Arkansas
named Byron Hatch associate athletic director for business. Hatch was the director of championships and alliances for the NCAA.

Rice University hired Shulmith “Shu” Muthyala as general manager of ticket sales and services and Patrick Philpot as account executive.

Pace University hired Drew Brown as director of athletic development. Brown was director of alumni relations at Mercy College.

The University of Indianapolis hired Scott Young as associate athletic director for compliance, Bob Brubeck as director of facilities and operations and Jackie Paquette as senior woman administrator.

The University of Southern California named Steve Lopes chief operating officer and chief financial officer of the athletic department and promoted Tim Tessalone to senior associate athletic director of media relations, Hatcher Parnell to associate athletic director of operations, Marilee Pischel to associate athletic director and director of human resources, Monica Morita to assistant athletic director of student services, John Mosbach to assistant athletic director of academic advising and Gregory Millward to director of development.

Hampton University named Novelle Dickenson athletic director, Alexiss Robinson assistant athletic director and senior women’s administrator and Kristen Drummond compliance coordinator.

KemperSports and KemperLesnik hired Brian Milligan as chief financial officer. Milligan was chief financial officer at Business Only Broadband.

The United States Football League named hall of famer Marshall Faulk to its board of advisers.


IMG College promoted Jason Golden to assistant regional vice president of the Midwest region and named Don Berardini general manager at the University of Notre Dame property, Rick Barakat vice president of sales strategy and operations, Bryan Deierling vice president of regional sales for California and the Pacific Northwest region, Lee Douglas general manager of Gator IMG Sports Marketing, Joshua Gold national sales director, Mark Livingston general manager of Gonzaga IMG Sports Marketing and Ron Melnyk general manager of Michigan IMG Sports Marketing.

Dial Global and the NBC Sports Group hired Jack Silver as program director of NBC Sports Radio Network. Silver was program director for KLOS and KABC Radio in Los Angeles.

People news
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Dad's day at P&G

U.S. men’s basketball team center Tyson Chandler joins fellow Olympians and their fathers (above) at the Cheers for Dad event in the Gillette Lounge at the P&G Family Home. Below is Marc Pritchard, P&G global marketing and brand building officer.

Seeing the future at GMR Hub

Executives gathered at the GMR Hub in London on Aug. 7 for an invitation-only panel titled “Up Next: From London to Sochi, Rio and Beyond.” From left: Celso Schvartzer of GMR Marketing; Igor Stolyarov, Sochi 2014 EVP; David Palmer, Procter & Gamble global head of sports marketing; and Ricardo Fort, head of global sponsorships for Visa.

Market talk at Casa Brazil

Sports marketing executives met with SBJ for a roundtable discussion on the London Olympics at Casa Brazil, home to Rio 2016, in Somerset House on the Strand (from left): Jan Katzoff, Radiate Group EVP; Mary O’Connor, The Marketing Arm VP of Olympic marketing and global partnerships; and Gary Pluchino, IMG SVP and head of global Olympic consulting.

Mets roll out All-Star Game logo

MLB and the New York Mets unveiled the 2013 All-Star Game logo at Citi Field on Aug 7. From left: Mets COO Jeff Wilpon; Patricia Harris, New York City first deputy mayor; Mets third baseman David Wright; and Tim Brosnan, MLB executive vice president of business.

Security honorees

The National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security honored Dan Mullin of MLB with the National Sport Security Distinguished Leadership Award during the third annual National Sports Safety and Security Conference and Exhibition on Aug. 1 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. From left: Lou Marciani, NCS4 director; Cate Richards of IBM, sponsor of the Professional of the Year awards; Rob Matwick of Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, one of eight Professional of the Year honorees, and Mullin, MLB senior vice president of investigations.

Scout Sports visits Barclays site

Scout Sports and Entertainment employees tour the Barclays Center, which will open this fall in Brooklyn. The firm negotiated Geico’s recently announced deal as a founding partner at the arena and will handle activation of the deal.

The Aldean crew

Crew Stadium President Mark McCullers presents a Columbus Crew jersey to Jason Aldean before his concert at the stadium Aug. 5. From left: Chris Parr of Spalding Entertainment, Clay Campbell of Triangle Talent, McCullers, Aldean, Ryan Smith of Crew Stadium, Donnie Frizzell of Modern Music Services and the Soccer Stadium Alliance, and Kevin Neal of BLA and Buddy Lee Attractions.

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Minnesota Vikings President and co-owner Mark Wilf talks about technology, increasing access for fans and corporate partners, and what it will be like for the team to play in three different “home” venues in the years ahead.

The talk about our corporate sponsors being partners, certainly at the highest levels, is something that we’re really going to have to emphasize. Whether that’s broadening our access on the field, our entertainment network or tweets — these touch points like locker room access or coming through the facility on an off day are a lot bigger. You get almost immune to it when you’re in the business, but it’s still much bigger than you think.

The part of pro sports most in need of innovation:
Fan experience. We’re in the process of getting a new stadium. What we’re going to be looking at very, very hard is to touch people and get them out of their seats. Their in-home experience is so good right now. We’ve got to make going to the games something exciting, something different, something that’s going to stimulate them technologically.

How to incorporate that into the new stadium: It’s a little scary because we’re going to pour a lot of time and investment into the technology sector … but are you going to be at the tail end of the old wave or the beginning of the new wave? A lot of that is going to be a function of timing and luck.

The team’s stadium path: We’re going to be two years at the Metrodome, two years outdoors [at TCF Bank Stadium], the University of Minnesota stadium. In ’16, hopefully, we’ll be at the new facility back at the Metrodome. We’re building right at the same location.

What about those interim years?: Another whole set of challenges. Outdoor games. We’re going to be renovating that stadium as a part of the deal: putting coils in the field and things of that sort; upgrading the capacity. It’s still going to be lower than what we have now.

Finding the right employee: We’re fortunate in sports business because we get the very best to apply, but I think then you have to bring them in and I think culturally show them that you do impact winning, that you do impact the team. … You try to create that atmosphere for people who sell the tickets, service the club, whatever they do — they feel like they’re impacting the team. Whatever you do, if you don’t allow them that ability, I think you just create a little less passion, a little more disconnect.


What I Like …

An influential person in my career: Jack Kelley, a hall of fame hockey coach at Boston University and one-time GM of the New England Whalers. He gave me great initial advice on how to get into sports marketing.

An insight: Time flies when you are having fun. We just celebrated our 20th anniversary, and I have no idea where that much time has gone.

Sports executive: Mark Stenning, CEO, International Tennis Hall of Fame. He juggles so many things …

An out-of-the-box idea: QuickStart Tennis, a scaled-down version of the game for kids. It makes tennis approachable enough for kids to play.

Founder and president,
Synergy Events

Where I'm from: Melrose, Mass., where I grew up playing tennis 12 hours a day on the public courts. Now I live in Rumson, N.J.

Where I Went to School: University of Vermont, B.A., organizational communications, 1987.

My First Job: Working as an AE for a business-to-business direct marketing firm in Boston, Creative Professional Services.

A timeless idea: Handwritten notes. At a time when everything is emailed, they really stand out.

A business deal: Apple bringing back Steve Jobs for a second try.

A sports facility: The old Boston Garden. I grew up playing hide and seek after games there, along with the rats.

A sports event: Wimbledon is a great combination of an event that respects and honors tradition and still has forward thinkers, when you look at things like the roof there.

Favorite moment inside a sports venue: The Rose Bowl, 1999 Women’s World Cup,

when Brandi Chastain scored the deciding goal in a shootout

A strategy that worked: Southwest Airlines always giving something extra to customers.

A hire: Joe Torre by the Yankees. Not a great managerial record before he got there, but he was clearly the right man at the right time.

A brand: Rolex. It is timeless, which is strange for watch brand, right?

1999 Women's World Cup

A pro league or team business initiative: NASCAR Champion’s Week. Getting exposure in New York City was a great way to speak directly to Madison Avenue and make noise in the No. 1 media market.

A business story that bears watching: Health care costs are doubling every four years. As a small-business owner, that’s very distressing.

A sports business story that bears watching: Wimbledon looking to move back a week and how that will affect everything else in tennis.

An idea or invention I wish I had thought of: The oversized tennis rackets from Prince. They changed everything.

What I Like about …

My job: The ability to grow a team and develop some real talent within.

Sports business: Allows me to do what I love.

Sports media: Allows us to capture the big moments and build a bigger sports community for those really important moments.

Sports technology: It gives the average player hope.

What I’d Like To …

See more of in sports business: More of a level playing field. There’s a huge gap between the haves and have-nots.

See less of in sports: Fewer traveling teams for youth. Our kids are all way over-programmed.

See less of in sports business: The notion that a pro team is no good unless they win a championship that season. Ultimately defining an individual on whether they win a championship in a team sport is just wrong.

What I Don’t Like …

About sports fans: You often see a lack of respect shown for families and children at games, whether it is alcohol abuse or language. That needs to change.

Pet peeve: Disrespecting people’s time by being late.


What I Like …

That would surprise those who know me: I went to the University of Vermont, but I didn’t learn how to ski until I was 40.

Above all else: Spend as much time with family as possible.

Heroes: Patrick Rafter and John Havlicek. When Rafter won his first couple of U.S. Opens, he quietly gave that first big check to charity and never told anyone about it. He did it again the next year. Havlicek was just like your next-door neighbor, very unassuming.

Teams: New England Patriots and Boston Celtics.

City: Boston.

Memento: I’ve given away a piece of the Green Monster, so I don’t know what it would be.

Book: “TouchPoints: Creating Powerful Leadership Connections in the Smallest of Moments,” by Doug Conant, is a current favorite.

Magazines: Various tennis mags, Golf Digest.


IPad app: Shazam, which allows you to ID a song via your

iPhone or iPad and then you can buy it online.  

Hobbies: Tennis, swimming, a little golf.

Trips: South Africa, Paris. The one I haven’t done that I want to is the Amalfi Coast in Italy.

Movie: “The Sting” is an all-time favorite.

Concert: The U2 concert that was one of the last at the old Meadowlands Stadium.

Artist: Monet — I was just in Paris.

Food: Soft-shell crabs, in season.

Dessert: Love it, so it is whatever I am having that night.

Drink: A Mojito in the summertime.

Scent: The smell of fresh-cut grass.

Vacation spots: Park City, Utah, and Bermuda.

Car: My 100,000-plus-mile Lexus.