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Volume 20 No. 41

People and Pop Culture

The Utah Jazz named Dennis Lindsey general manager.

Columbia University hired Brent Walker as associate athletic director for championship performance. Walker was an associate professor in the department of kinesiology and sports studies at Eastern Illinois University.

The University of Maryland hired Matt Taylor as assistant director of media relations.

Miami (Ohio) University promoted Anthony Azama to assistant athletic director for marketing, sales and licensing.

Delaware State University named Candy Young athletic director.

Mercer University hired Brian Gerrity as executive director of the Mercer Athletic Foundation. Gerrity was assistant athletic director for external relations at the University of Hartford.

Manhattan College hired Amanda McEntire as assistant athletic director for facilities and event management. McEntire was athletic department facility and event manager at New York University.

Claflin University named Jerome Fitch athletic director. Fitch was assistant athletic director for compliance.

Wheaton College hired Lisa Yenush as associate athletic director.

Texas Tech University hired Michael Ryan as associate athletic director of facilities and event management. Ryan was director of intercollegiate facilities at Duke University.

The Patriot League promoted Richard Wanninger to senior associate executive director for external relations, Matt Dougherty to assistant executive director for communications, Quinton Smith to associate director for compliance and sport management, James Greene to associate director for communications and Jimmy Johnson to associate director for communications/multimedia.

The Winnipeg Jets named Larry Simmons assistant general manager.

The St. Louis Blues promoted Al MacInnis to senior adviser to general manager Doug Armstrong, Dave Taylor to vice president of hockey operations and Rob DiMaio to director of pro scouting.

Horse Racing
Churchill Downs Racetrack named David Lehr track superintendent and senior director of track surfaces.

Woodbine Entertainment Group named James Lawson chairman, replacing David Willmot, who is retiring.

Communications21 named Amy Patterson director of operations and Diana Trujillo special projects coordinator.

Icon Sports Management hired Vicky Palmer to manage its events and hospitality programs. Palmer was vice president for golf at IMG.

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

Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic hired Jeremy Howard as vice president of advertising sales.

NBC named Jeff Bader president of program planning, strategy and research for NBC Entertainment, where he will work with NBC News and NBC Sports. Bader was executive vice president of planning, scheduling and distribution for ABC Entertainment Group.

Daily Racing Form hired Phil O’Hara as executive director of racetrack development and named Lou Monaco programming manager of Sports Information Group/Daily Racing Form. O’Hara was a principal in Meyocks and O’Hara Racing Enterprises.

YES Network hired Sarah Kustok as its Brooklyn Nets reporter. Kustok was a reporter at Comcast SportsNet Chicago.

The NFL Media Group named Alex Riethmiller vice president of communications. Riethmiller was vice president of communications and media relations at CBS Interactive.

Schneider Publishing Co. hired Karen Williams as director of industry relations. Williams was executive vice president of the Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau.


Roush Fenway Racing hired Pete Thuresson as senior vice president of sales and business development. He was head of national partnerships for Fox Sports in Chicago.

FC Dallas named Melissa Jannetta and Earle Fisher directors of business development.

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.

Media day for Deutsche Bank Championship

The Deutsche Bank Championship held its media day July 30 at TPC Boston in Norton, Mass. The tournament, part of the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup playoffs, is to be played Aug. 31-Sept. 3. From left: Greg McLaughlin, Tiger Woods Foundation president and CEO; Seth Waugh, Deutsche Bank Americas CEO; Bill Scannell, president of global sales and customer operations for local presenting partner EMC Corp.; and Eric Baldwin, Deutsche Bank Championship tournament director.

Man U at NYSE

Manchester United jerseys greeted team co-chairmen Joel Glazer (right) and Avram Glazer (center) as they arrived at the New York Stock Exchange on Aug. 10, the day that shares of the club went public.

The Glazers prepare to ring the opening bell at the NYSE.

Global talk in London

NBA Commissioner David Stern (left) and English Premier League Chief Executive Richard Scudamore met up at NBA House in London on Aug. 9 to share insights on the global popularity of their respective leagues and exchange ideas during a panel discussion titled “From Local to Global: The Challenges of Success.” Also attending were Jerry Colangelo, chairman of USA Basketball; Stan Kroenke, Denver Nuggets owner and Arsenal FC majority shareholder; and Ian Ritchie, CEO of the Rugby Football Union.

Nationwide pro-am

At the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Invitational Celebrity Pro-Am on July 23 at Muirfield Village Golf Club (from left): Clark Kellogg, Indiana Pacers VP of player relations and CBS Sports college basketball analyst.; Ricky Stenhouse Jr., NASCAR Nationwide Series driver; Matt Jauchius, EVP and CMO for Nationwide Insurance; Brian Scott, Nationwide Series driver; and Archie Griffin, Heisman Trophy winner and president and CEO of the Ohio State University Alumni Association.

New name for Dolphins' facility

The Miami Dolphins recently announced that their training facility will be officially known as the Doctors Hospital Training Facility at Nova Southeastern University. From left: Roymi Membiela, Doctors Hospital VP of marketing and public relations; Mike Dee, Miami Dolphins CEO; Dr. George Hanbury, Nova Southeastern University president; Nelson Lazo, Doctors Hospital CEO; and Jeff Ireland, Miami Dolphins GM.

On hand for Howard

Gathered at Dwight Howard’s introductory news conference with the Los Angeles Lakers on Aug. 10 were (from left) Jared Stacy, TWC Sports Regional Networks coordinating producer; David Rone, Time Warner Cable Sports president; Mark Shuken, TWC Sports Regional Networks SVP and GM; and Jeanie Buss, Lakers EVP of business operations.

Baltimore Cruisers

The third annual AAA Ravens Fan Cruise sailed to the Western Caribbean from July 8-15. Participants from AAA, the Baltimore Ravens, and Aquarius Sports and Entertainment included (from left) Qadry Ismail, former Ravens wide receiver and current broadcaster; Marc Bluestein, Aquarius Sports and Entertainment founder and president; Chris Vosburgh, AAA Mid-Atlantic marketing specialist; Andy Weidl, Ravens Northeast area scout; Amy Short, AAA Mid-Atlantic manager of group travel; Jonathan Ogden, former Ravens offensive lineman; Marke Dickinson, AAA Mid-Atlantic EVP of membership and insurance and CMO; Debby Calvert, AAA Mid-Atlantic director of group travel and merchandise; Dennis Pitta, Ravens tight end; and Torrey Smith, Ravens wide receiver.

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.

Chris Curtis

President, GoVision


The view GoVision President Chris Curtis cares about is inside company headquarters, just north of Dallas-Fort Worth: His office is near the warehouse holding LED displays that GoVision sends to 400 events a year around the country. (The view outside? “Cows,” says Curtis.)

Curtis’ workspace reflects the many events he’s attended, including those such as the Ryder Cup and U.S. Open tennis, where GoVision puts up its big video boards. There’s also a purple hue owing to his alma mater, Texas Christian University, where he has been president of both the TCU Frog Club and the school’s national alumni association.

Curtis’ travels guarantee more mementos will make their way into his office. But what will they replace? “I don’t move stuff out,” he says with a laugh.

The former Gatorade, PepsiCo and Gannett executive is now co-founder of youth sports content startup The Whistle, which is scheduled for a late-September launch. He talks about making the transition from the established world of corporate sports marketing to an unproven new venture focused on today’s kids.

This idea is so big and with so much opportunity. Our biggest challenge is making sure we come out with the right voice and a fresh perspective for kids. It’s all about putting kids in control of their sports media.

On the value proposition of the The Whistle:
We offer kids an entertaining and authentic sports media experience, and the ability to personalize their experience and share it with their friends. … We offer parents a media experience for their kids that provides engaging sports media content, and a positive focus on sports without scandals or inappropriate adult advertising. … We offer our league, nonprofit and sponsor partners access to kids and parents in a positive, entertaining and values-driven way.

On working with properties such as the NFL and USOC, and earning their trust: It’s about the idea and our mission. Who doesn’t want to do right by kids and deliver them a great sports experience? The pillars of what sports can deliver to kids are so clear: good sportsmanship, critical thinking, a solid foundation of fitness and nutrition. Those ideals resonate across properties, and our mission is to deliver them where kids spend almost a third of each day: on screens.

On developing a startup brand versus a mature entity such as Gatorade: So different, but certainly leaning on many of the marketing tenets from that great brand. Know the customer. Be laser-focused on delivering them what they want. Learn and iterate quickly.

On defining success for The Whistle: We build a brand and experience where kids want to come, engage, personalize and share their sports experiences across a wide variety of sports when and where they want it.