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Volume 21 No. 2

People and Pop Culture

The Boston Red Sox promoted Jared Banner to assistant director of player personnel, Mike Murov to coordinator of baseball operations, Duncan Webb to assistant director of player development and Laz Gutierrez to coordinator of player development programs.

The Houston Astros hired Meg Vaillancourt as vice president of community relations and executive director of the Astros in Action Foundation. Vaillancourt was a senior vice president for the Boston Red Sox and executive director of the Red Sox Foundation.

The Class AAA Pacific Coast League’s Albuquerque (N.M.) Isotopes hired Laura Verillo as director of public relations.

The Class AAA Pacific Coast League’s Round Rock (Texas) Express named Jill Cacic director of communications, Stuart Scally a senior account executive, Corey Woods stadium maintenance manager of The Dell Diamond, Whitney Rhoden marketing coordinator and Juliana Benavides and Lindsey Gordon account executives.

The Class A Carolina League’s Myrtle Beach (S.C.) Pelicans hired Andy Milovich as vice president and general manager. Milovich was executive vice president of Palisades Baseball, owner and operator of the West Virginia Power.

The Class A Midwest League’s Wisconsin Timber Rattlers named Jenny Smith banquet facilities manager, Rebecca Sievers group sales representative and Tim Hansen executive chef.

The independent Atlantic League’s Southern Maryland Blue Crabs hired Patrick Day as general manager, replacing Joel Seiden, who will move into a business development leadership role with the team. Day was general manager of the Lansing Lugnuts.

The NBA promoted Mike Bass to executive vice president of communications.

The Washington Mystics hired Mike Thibault as coach and general manager.

Butler University associate athletic director Bill Lynch resigned to become football coach at DePauw University.

Colgate University promoted Vicky Chun to athletic director.

Nyack College promoted Mandy Aikens to assistant athletic director.

Alabama A&M University hired Renae Myles as associate athletic director for business and administration and senior woman administrator. Myles was associate athletic director and senior woman administrator at Southwest Baptist University.

Global Spectrum named Jeffrey Schumacher general manager for the Comcast Arena at Everett. Schumacher was general manager for the Sun National Bank Center.

Talladega Superspeedway hired John Fadool as food, beverage and merchandise manager.

The San Diego Chargers hired Jon Werbeck as manager of corporate sales. Werbeck was corporate partnership executive for the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Troon Golf named Peter Wong vice president of human resources. Wong was vice president of human resources for the Phoenix Suns and the US Airways Center.

The PGA of America promoted Kerry Haigh to chief championships officer.

The Utah Grizzlies and the Maverik Center named Cris Carrico vice president of corporate partnerships.

College Hockey Inc. promoted Nate Ewell to deputy executive director and hired Kyle Lawson as director of education and recruitment.

US Lacrosse hired Bruce Griffin as director of health and sport safety. Griffin was chief risk officer for the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.


Team Epic promoted Christi Pluta and Adam Nurik to associates, Eric Ginsburg to manager and Tracy Ogrean and Samantha Bond to senior managers.

Madison Sports Partnerships hired Tom Diganci as director of strategic financial planning.

DDB Chicago hired Mark Hansen as director of account management. Hansen was group account

director for TBWA\Chiat\Day.

IF Management named Carol Perry senior vice president, Gideon Cohen vice president of sports broadcasting, Josh Santry and Jeff Feldman senior directors, Stephanie Costa director of client services and Aaron Gottlieb director of public relations and communications.

Scout Sports and Entertainment hired Brianna Yurek as a production coordinator. Yurek was a brand representative for the New York Red Bulls.

Learfield Sports named Zach Wagner general manager and Dan Kaufmann, Tyler Norman and Mark Meisner managers of business development for its Badger Sports Properties at the University of Wisconsin.

Competitor Group promoted Caley Fretz to tech editor for Velo Magazine and

NBC Owned Television Stations promoted Marion Taormina to senior vice president of Olympics and sports sales.

WebStream Sports hired Gregory Weitekamp as president and partner, effective in February. Weitekamp was director of championships and alliances, media services for the NCAA.

YES Network promoted Patrick Cavanaugh to senior vice president of finance and hired Jamie Brokowsky as controller. Brokowsky was vice president of finance for SourceMedia.

NASCAR promoted Ed Bennett to senior vice president and Jim Cassidy, Zane Stoddard and Kim Brink to vice presidents; and named Joe Balash international competition liaison; Wayne Auton NASCAR Nationwide Series director; Chad Little NASCAR Camping World Truck Series director; and Brad Moran NASCAR Touring Series director.

Chivas de Guadalajara and Chivas USA named Dennis te Kloese sporting president. Te Kloese was general coordinator of the Mexican Soccer Federation’s national youth teams.

Sporting Goods and Apparel
Madd Gear named Brian Anderson president and chief executive officer for Madd Gear Americas.

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.

David Rudolph was only 26 when he wrote the business plan for Turner South and launched the new cable network. He always appreciated the massive amount of resources he had at his disposal there, but he also wondered, “Am I really any good at this or am I just a product of the environment here?” To answer that question, Rudolph bought a Turner property called PlayOn Sports in 2008 and went into business for himself. He recast PlayOn Sports with a 100 percent focus on the broadcast of high school sports events. More than four years later, Rudolph has 65 full-time employees, close to 2,000 freelancers, and a business that is growing at nearly 100 percent a year..


We have a vision here that eventually every one of the 2 million high school events across the country will broadcast live.

About the model for his business:
We acquire rights like any other broadcaster. There are postseason rights that come from state high school associations, and the regular season mostly comes from the individual schools. We acquire the rights, serve as the production company, and monetize that content through advertising and the licensing of the content primarily to cable operators and regional networks. The last school season (2011-12), we produced 15,000 live events. Based on what we’re seeing through December, that number will grow this year (2012-13) close to 30,000 events. We have agreements with 25 state associations and we’re strongest in the Southeast and Midwest. Our goal is to work with all of them.

On his 15 years at Turner: That’s where we first developed the “PlayOn” concept. It actually started with a streaming product called ACC Select, which was a novelty at the time, because you could watch a streaming ACC event and it looked good. But we saw the window closing as these rights packages began to consolidate so that TV and digital were all wrapped up into these billion-dollar packages. That really was an outgrowth of being a Georgia Tech graduate and not being able to watch a Georgia Tech football game at North Carolina. I was annoyed that, as a consumer, I couldn’t watch the game. Now the expectation is that you can watch any event, anywhere, on any device.

On the evolution of technology: I’m a believer that technology doesn’t drive but it enables. We’re at a point where we’re seeing the cost [to broadcast a game] go down and the quality is going up. When we spun PlayOn out of Turner in 2008, we didn’t have an HD camera. Now everything we do is in HD. We use no satellites. We can typically get a high-quality [mobile] signal from the venue and stream from there. As we talk to schools, we’re finding that consumers drive this. There’s an expectation. My oldest is 5 years old, and 10 years from now, when he’s entering high school, there won’t be a game you can’t see.


when things are going right, I still think things can go wrong. I’m always, as a leader, not being pessimistic, but watching everything so that what you think is going right, will end up right.

I think part of being very successful is the analysis, like an after-action report, quickly about what’s been done. And then you move on. It’s like having a car without a rearview mirror.

Leadership evolves. It’s constantly evolving. For any leader, it has to constantly evolve because society is evolving. Cultures change, who you’re trying to lead is different.

Even with your own team in one year, they change. You might have the same team back next year, but it’s a different group.

What human beings do to connect now is different than what they did 10 years ago. They’re very different than they did 20 years ago. Some are the same. People still want to trust, they want to believe, they want to be a part of something bigger than themselves, they want to be loyal.

USA Basketball gave me an opportunity to work with as good a man as there is in this country, Jerry Colangelo — business-wise, character, passion for the game, I’ve loved my relationship with him.

Jim Tooley [executive director], Sean Ford [national team director] … now you throw in [coaches] Jim Boeheim, Nate McMillan, Mike D’Antoni. … Who do I share ideas with, as one of the top coaches? People aren’t going to share ideas with me. Which clinic do I go to? I don’t go to clinics, I give clinics. Now I have a chance to work with these great minds.

Jason Kidd, Kobe, LeBron, their training techniques. Holy mackerel, I hit a bonanza, really, of learning and leadership styles.

When I first started [with USA Basketball], people would say, “You’ve won three national championships, you’re in the Hall of Fame. You know it.” No, you don’t. There’s always something to learn. To think otherwise would be arrogant and narrow-minded, and not very smart.

[Young players are] harder to teach than they used to be. They’re different to teach. They’re very visual, there’s not as much face-to-face talking, they don’t listen for long. We have to connect with them differently.

You want to recruit not just talent, but you want to recruit character. Part of character is understanding that there’s a teacher and you respect the teaching, you respect the leadership and that you’re part of something bigger than you.

I don’t know who the leaders of college athletics are, to be quite frank. Who runs college athletics? I don’t think anybody. … The conference commissioners, the NCAA president, they run sections of college athletics.

What upsets me about realignment is that there’s not a goal. If somebody were running college athletics, you’d have a vision for an end. There’s not a vision for an end.

College sports is not as big as college. College sports is a part of college. Sports has to be interwoven into the academic mission.

Nothing against the president or chancellor making the decision to change conferences, but they probably don’t understand what’s been there before them. They don’t feel it, and they won’t be there long enough to understand the negative about that in the future. That’s sad.

For Maryland to leave the ACC — they were here for 60 years. I don’t know what price they’ll pay. … For a school having financial problems, we as a conference should try to help in that regard. That’s what you’re in a conference for, to help one another.

Everyone says our conference is solid. Well, they said that before Maryland left.

When a move is made, you don’t just look at throwing a rock into a lake and seeing the splash. You want to pay attention to the ripples. We’re not paying attention to the ripples, and that’s wrong. It’s irresponsible, really, for the total of college sports. We’re just throwing the rocks.

There’s something about [Cameron Indoor Stadium] that is priceless, that produces good feelings. OK, if we add three or four thousand more seats, it would produce this much more revenue and over 10 years it would look like this on paper. That’s great. But it doesn’t say what you would lose.

The experience of the students, where they come in here and actually feel like it’s theirs, it’s their spirit, it makes them love our university forever. That’s what college is about. This isn’t about following the Bears or the Cubs or the Yankees. This is their university. This is where they became men or women. This is their home.

We’ll never change this place as long as I’m here. But we do need to enhance it.