Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 21 No. 2

People and Pop Culture


The Cleveland Indians promoted Andrew Miller to senior vice president of strategy and business analytics.

The University of Minnesota promoted Randy Handel to associate athletic director for development.

Loyola University Chicago hired Betsi Burns as associate athletic director and assistant dean for academic services. Burns was assistant dean of students at Northwestern University.

Southern Wesleyan University named Kevin Young sports information director. Young is assistant athletic media relations director at Wofford College.

The Seattle Seahawks hired Matt Thomas as vice president of football administration. Thomas was vice president of football administration for the Cleveland Browns.

Billy Casper Golf named Kyle Ragsdale chief marketing officer. Ragsdale was vice president of business affairs and finance at Vox Media.


Madison Sports Partnerships named Jordan Schleyer sports marketing coordinator and Caleb Boyd marketing coordinator.

Team Epic promoted Enrique Casanova to vice president.

Brand Affinity Technologies hired Jennifer Black as vice president of marketing and commerce. Black was executive vice president of digital commerce and marketing for Branded Online.

The YES Network promoted Joe Capobianco to director of national sales.

The International Tennis Hall of Fame and Museum promoted Mary Heath to chief marketing officer.

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.

2013 National Sports Forum and
Case Cup competition

The 2013 National Sports Forum was held Jan. 27-29 at the Orange County Convention Center. The 2013 NSF Case Cup competition featured the University of Oregon, Canisius College, Florida State University, Ohio University, George Washington University, Wichita State University, University of South Carolina and Temple University. The winner of the competition was the University of Oregon (below). From left: Faculty adviser Paul Swangard and team members Gary Wang, Jenny Swaim, Christina Early and Matthew Van Wyen.

Canisius Master of Sport Administration (MSA) students with Director Shawn O’Rourke met with Pat Williams after The Budweiser Gala at the National Sports Forum. Canisius had many alumni in attendance, and also participated in the Case Cup. From left to right; Kimberly Silverstein, Janelle Stegeland, Brent Gray, Kate Faas, Pat Williams, Andrew Moser, and O’Rourke.

NACDA gathers to plan convention

NACDA’s Executive Committee gathered at the Hilton Marco Island Beach Resort and Spa for its annual Mid-Winter Meetings at the end of January to plan for its annual convention in June. From left: NACDA Secretary Don Tencher, AD, Rhode Island College; NACDA Executive Director Bob Vecchione; NACDA 2nd VP Jim Phillips, AD, Northwestern; NACDA President Kevin Anderson, AD, Maryland; BCS Executive Director Bill Hancock; and NACDA 3rd VP Tim Selgo, AD, Grand Valley State.
Photo by: NACDA

Meeting on 'Broad Street Bullies'

Film director and musician Rob Zombie (second from left) and producer Les Borsai (far right) discuss plans to produce a full-length motion picture based on the lives of the infamous “Broad Street Bullies” era of the Philadelphia Flyers hockey team with Flyers Senior Vice President Shawn Tilger (left) and Comcast-Spectacor President Peter Luukko before a Flyers game Feb. 5 at Wells Fargo Center.

'Behind the Scenes' with Stern

In a panel discussion Jan. 10 at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, NBA Commissioner David Stern discussed the current state of professional basketball at a program called “Behind the Scenes with NBA Commissioner David Stern.” Left to right: Moderator and Washington attorney Phil Hochberg; Stern; and CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.

Palmer cuts ribbon at Golf Channel

Arnold Palmer cut the ribbon Jan. 29 at Golf Channel studios to officially christen the new “Morning Drive” set as “Studio AP” in his honor. Palmer co-founded Golf Channel with cable television entrepreneur Joe Gibbs in 1995. Palmer joined “Morning Drive” co-hosts Holly Sonders and Gary Williams for the ribbon cutting and tour of the new studios.

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.

CAA Sports catches up with Ponders

From left, CAA Sports’ Michael Levine, Minnesota Vikings QB Christian Ponder and his wife, ESPN broadcaster Samantha Ponder, and CAA Sports’ Jim Denton and Jimmy Sexton attend the CAA Sports Super Bowl Party, presented by LG, at the Contemporary Arts Center on Feb. 2 in New Orleans.

Industry turns out for Celebrity Beach Bowl

Industry turns out for Celebrity Beach Bowl
From left, Paul Guyardo, DirecTV EVP and chief revenue and marketing officer; model Chrissy Teigen; DirecTV Chairman and CEO Mike White; and Matthew C. Blank, chairman and CEO of Showtime Networks, attend DirecTV’s seventh annual Celebrity Beach Bowl at DTV SuperFan Stadium at Mardi Gras World on Feb. 2 in New Orleans.

Audi Forum New Orleans

Audi of America President Scott Keogh and NFL hall of famer Jim Brown catch up at the Audi Forum New Orleans on Feb. 1 at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans.

Big Game Big Give

Director Michael Bay (right), host of the fourth annual Big Game Big Give party on Feb. 2 in New Orleans, with event co-host Marc Pollick, president and founder of the Giving Back Fund.

 Broadcasters confer

CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus (left) and announcer Jim Nantz attend a Super Bowl XLVII broadcasters press conference at the New Orleans Convention Center on Jan. 29.

Red carpet at 'NFL Honors'

Houston Texans owner Bob McNair attends the second annual “NFL Honors” at Mahalia Jackson Theater on Feb. 2 in New Orleans.

Not your everyday Joe

During a Jan. 28 photo shoot for Haribo of America at the Ravens’ complex in Baltimore, QB Joe Flacco poses with TBC Advertising’s Allen Charles (left), chairman and creative director, and Howe Burch, EVP and managing director.

ESPN's got Next

Sean Bratches (right), ESPN’s EVP of sales and marketing, catches up with Grammy-winning artist CeeLo Green, the featured performer at ESPN The Magazine’s Next event on Feb. 1 at Tad Gormley Stadium in New Orleans.

DirecTV's Super Saturday Night

Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews (left) parties with “Nashville” actress Hayden Panettiere, and Ryan Williams, director of marketing with Athletes First, at DirecTV’s Super Saturday Night party Feb. 2 at Mardi Gras World in New Orleans. The event was co-hosted by Mark Cuban’s AXS TV and benefited Shriners Hospitals for Children.

 Discussing Super Bowl ad value

USA Today and Momentum Worldwide hosted “The Creativity Kick-Off,” an Ad Meter Super Panel, on Feb. 2 in New Orleans. Back row, from left: Tom Beusse, president of USA Today Sports Media Group; Laura Petrecca, New York deputy bureau chief for USA Today; Alison Lewis, SVP of marketing, Coca-Cola North America; Chris Weil, CEO, Momentum Worldwide. Front row, from left: Tony Pace, CMO, Subway; Larry Kramer, president and publisher of USA Today; Bryan Buckley, Super Bowl commercial director; Susan Credle, chief creative officer, Leo Burnett.

From Big Easy to Big Apple

From left, New York Jets owner Woody Johnson poses for photos with Rita Benson LeBlanc, vice chairman and co-owner of the New Orleans Saints; New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu; and New York Giants co-owner Jonathan Tisch before Super Bowl XLVII  on Feb. 3 in New Orleans.

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.

Howard Handler just completed his first year as chief marketing officer of Major League Soccer. Over a career spanning more than 25 years, he has helped build brands as diverse as Madison Square Garden, MTV, the NFL, “Saturday Night Live,” Virgin Mobile and Quaker Oats.

Photo by: MLS

Logic can get you from point A to B, but imagination can take you anywhere. In our business, you need both, and a little luck.

On working in soccer:
Soccer is a global language, and the people involved are true believers. The passion and level of commitment to make MLS the league of choice for fans and players in the U.S. and Canada is a big driver of our growth. It’s contagious.

On the changes in sports business: Live sports is now the undisputed king of media. Digital and social innovation, and the availability of better data, has affected everything: the fan experience, the way we market and sell, our ability to create content, and a greater immediacy and overall sense of urgency.
On MLS’s coming 18th season: Incredible rivalries are taking root. We just announced Rivalry Week [week 3 of the season, in mid-March]. All of our television partners are in. The buildup to World Cup 2014 heats up in 2013. The U.S. men’s national team is attempting to qualify for Brazil, a national team in which MLS is now an important cornerstone.

On MLS’s ‘Supporters’ culture: It’s our “special sauce.” Our clubs are followed by a rapidly expanding, diverse group of Gen Y fans who celebrate the game, who care deeply about their teams and provide an exhilarating live experience.
Go Big M: We are a Maize and Blue family. I met my wife, Wendy, at Michigan, and now both of our kids are in Ann Arbor. I regularly follow Michigan football, hockey, lacrosse and soccer.

My fantasy dinner guests would be: Muhammad Ali, Ray Charles, George Harrison and Richard Branson. Ali for his transcendent social impact; Ray for his genius and soul; George because, to me, his journey was the most extraordinary; Richard because he is the consummate entrepreneur, a citizen of the globe and always takes big bites out of life.

Learfield Sports recently named Roy Seinfeld executive vice president. He began his career as a sales planner and was instrumental in the launch of Turner Sports, Fox Sports Net, the Big Ten Network and Pac-12 Enterprises, where was vice president of advertising sales. He spoke with SportsBusiness Journal staff writer Anna Hrushka.

Age: 52.
New title: Executive vice president, Learfield Sports.
Previous title: Vice president of advertising sales, Pac-12 Enterprises.
First job: Counselor at a day camp.
Education: Bachelor of arts, history/education, Queens College (1981); master’s in special education, SUNY Binghamton (1983); master’s in business administration, SUNY Albany (1986).
Resides: Chicago, with wife Shari, Ben (17), Zach (14), Hannah (12) and Jake (10).
Grew up: The Bronx, N.Y.
Executive most admired: Randy Freer, co-president, Fox Sports Media Group.
Brand most admired: Gatorade.
Favorite vacation site: Eagle River, Wis.
Last book read: “The Last Gunfight,” by Jeff Guinn.
Favorite movie: “The Deer Hunter.”
Favorite musician/band: The Rebirth Brass Band. “I’m a big New Orleans jazz fan.”

What will be the biggest challenge in your new position?
I’ve always started these organizations from scratch. [In my four other jobs] I was there before anything was there. So here we had a successful, established business. The challenge is not to get it ramped up and get it started and do all the hiring and set up all the infrastructure — that’s already here. The challenge is to take this existing team and this existing structure and bring it to the next level. And that’s a different experience than I’ve had before.

What is the biggest risk you've taken in your career?
I think it was leaving New York. I’d been a New Yorker my entire career. My family’s from New York. I’d never left New York. It was getting outside of New York and seeing the rest of the country and moving. It’s been a blessing for me, but it has made me semi-nomadic. I’ve lived in Chicago and San Francisco and now I’m going to be moving back to Chicago. A lot of people who started with me at Turner in that sort of class have made their entire careers in New York. So there was a risk leaving New York, but it surely paid out for me both personally and professionally.

What is your biggest professional accomplishment?
Being at the very start of these four networks [Turner Sports Division, Fox Cable Sports, Big Ten Network, Pac-12 Networks] and to be able to look back and say that I was part of the success, the culture and the team. I very much value the people I’ve met along the way that have helped me and I’ve helped. It’s the personal relationships that I’ve developed and the growth of these entities that I was at the start of.

What career advice do you have for people wanting into the sports industry?
The advice I give is to have a plan and look two steps ahead. When I started out, I was a sales planner and all I wanted to be was a salesperson. After I was a salesperson I wanted to be a manager. After I was a manager I wanted to be a VP. I had aspirations, but they were only one step ahead. I’d say that people who come into this business should have a plan, and they should have a long-term plan that’s a few steps ahead. If they’re a sales planner, they shouldn’t just think about being a salesperson. They should think about being a manager. They should really take control of their career rather than their career take control of them.

What is one story you are continuing to watch in the sports world today?
It’s obviously what’s going on in college sports. What is going to be the structure of college sports and the major conferences when the smoke clears? That seems to be evolving every day.


ou want to get the best
or the brightest. You want to give them a lot of freedom. You want to make them feel like they’re doing their own thing and they can occasionally improvise. And your job as a leader is to make it all come together as music. That’s the model of leadership that I subscribe to.

I give my direct reports a lot of freedom. I give them a long rope. But I’m also very engaged. I talk to them several times a day, every day.

In hiring, I look for raw IQ. I like to hire really smart people. I look for integrity. And I actually like to hire generalists rather than specialists.

Technology keeps changing so quickly that whatever you’re doing today will probably soon be obsolete. You need to be quick starting and learning new things. You need to be able to connect the dots. … Generalists are more able to do that.

One of the keys I’ve found when you’re talking to people about a position is that if you find your mind wandering, don’t hire them. They aren’t able to engage you.

My advice to young people who want to develop their career and get into sports business is to try to find a situation that you can learn a lot from people around you. And don’t worry about the way you start and how you start.

If you’re smart and you’re passionate and you’re surrounded by smart people, then you’ll learn a lot. They’ll recognize your talents and you’ll quickly get to do the kind of things that you want.

Focusing on money and salary is a short-term way of looking at an opportunity. You really have to take a longer-term view. If you look at it as a 30-, 40-, 50-year career, then you want to go where you’re surrounded by really smart people. And that’s going to open more opportunities.

I try to put a lot of wood behind a few arrows. Rather than have a hundred ideas, I try to have a few ideas that I get traction from.

I tend to read multiple books at the same time. I’m reading “No Easy Day,” about the SEAL raid of Bin Laden. I’m reading a book by a physics professor called “The Physics of the Impossible.” I’m also reading a book called “A Simple Act of Gratitude,” about a guy who had a tough life.

I like jazz, but I also like U2. I like the Black Eyed Peas. But I’m also curious about how the “Gangnam Style” dance became a new phenomenon overnight.

Arguably the Bay Area is one of the most creative and innovative areas on the planet today.

I think the common fallacy that a lot of people have is that the way to have innovation is to have pingpong tables and blah blah blah. Actually, that’s not true.

Oftentimes the best things in life happen when you get outside your comfort zone.

I had never touched a basketball in my life. I had never coached a basketball team and I had never actually coached girls. I was completely, uniquely, unqualified. What the experience of coaching my daughter’s basketball team taught me is to think outside the box. And if you work harder than anyone else, then you can succeed.

I was terrified at first. I showed up for the first day and I was in this gigantic gym. I looked around the gym and there were these 7-foot guys, ex-staff or Division I players who were the other coaches. They were going through drills and they were like twice my size.

I was already behind the eight ball because they had already picked the best of the draft, which I knew nothing about. I didn’t know what a draft was. I was left with the girls they didn’t want at all because they were troublemakers. And a couple of my girls never played. I put together a team that won every game.

I pressed the whole time. I also created a formula for the game. I converted it into a math formula. The formula short is that if you force five more turnovers, then you win.

Other coaches were furious. One of them said to meet me outside in the parking lot. They were furious because they picked the superior athletes with superior skills.

We as parents tend to often make the mistake when we say to our kids, “When I was a kid it was a lot harder. I had to walk barefoot in the snow to get to school every day.” What I always say is, don’t say that to your kids and don’t ever say that to your colleagues. When you say that, you’re telling your kids that no matter what they accomplish, their accomplishments will never be the same as yours.