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Volume 20 No. 42

People and Pop Culture


The Class AAA International League Pawtucket Red Sox named John Wilson director of ticket sales, A.J. Lewis box office manager, and Samantha Sousa, Ryan Hayden and Geoff Sinnott Jr. as account executives. The Red Sox also named Chris Thompson to the
club’s merchandise team and Meghan Cafelle to the stadium operations staff.

Phoenix Suns general manager Lance Blanks is no longer with the organization.

The Memphis GrizzliesGreg Campbell, president of business operations, and Mike Humes, senior vice president and chief revenue officer, are no longer with the organization.

Central Washington University named Dennis Francois athletic director, effective June 17. Francois is associate athletic director of external affairs for Drake University.

Kent State University promoted Matthew Geis to senior associate athletic director.

Niagara University named Jessica Wheeler associate athletic director for internal operations. Wheeler was assistant athletic director for finance at SUNY-Brockport.

The University of Delaware named Tim Ford senior associate athletic director and director of development for athletics. Ford was senior associate athletic director for Yale University.

The University of Maryland named Marcus Wilson senior associate athletic director for compliance. Wilson was associate director of enforcement for the NCAA.

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga named David Blackburn vice chancellor and athletic director. Blackburn was senior associate athletic director for administration at the University of Tennessee.

The University of Minnesota named Michael Halloran assistant athletic director for development and Corrie Sears assistant athletic director for marketing. Halloran was director of development for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, and Sears was assistant athletic director for marketing at Virginia Commonwealth University.

The University of Washington hired Rene Woeckener as ticket vault manager. Woeckener was assistant director of ticket operations at Northwestern University.  


Daytona International Speedway promoted Troy Willrick to senior director of emergency and event services.

OB Sports Golf Management named Leah Aitken director of human resources.

The Boston Bruins named Wesley Dauer accounting manager, Maria Poirier executive assistant and Renee Riva marketing coordinator.

Horse Racing
The New York Racing Association named Eric Wing director of communications and media relations. Wing was senior director of media relations for the National Thoroughbred Racing Association.  


Weber Shandwick
hired Jessica Weidensall as a director for the firm’s Denver office. Weidensall was the director of global public relations for the World Triathlon Corp.

Home Team Marketing hired Jeff Lillibridge as vice president of marketing and digital integration. 

Madison Sports Partnerships promoted Jordan Schleyer to sports marketing manager.


Synergy Events named Mark Rothenberg to the newly created position of executive vice president. Rothenberg was senior vice president for Havas Sports & Entertainment USA.

Ad Age hired Michael McCarthy as a reporter, covering sports marketing and media and automotive marketing.

The Back9Network named David Clevinger senior vice president of digital projects and programming. Clevinger was vice president of product management for NeuLion. 

The Tribune Co. named Dana Zimmer as president of distribution for Tribune Broadcasting. Zimmer was executive vice president of TV networks distribution for NBCUniversal.

Multibrand Companies

Vulcan Sports and Entertainment named Eric Mastalir chief commercial officer of the Seattle Seahawks, Seattle Sounders and First & Goal Inc. Mastalir was the vice president of corporate partnerships for the San Jose Sharks.

Sunrise Sports & Entertainment promoted R.J. Martino to executive director of business development and partnership marketing and Ryan McCoy to senior vice president of sales and service, and named Shawn Kuzmin vice president of sales and fan experience and Ryan Bertschmann executive director of ticket sales.

The New York Cosmos named Luke Sassano assistant technical director.

Seattle Reign FC general manager Amy Carnell stepped down from the position. Laura Harvey was named general manager in addition to her role as head coach.


The ATP promoted Adam Hogg to director of content production and Robert Neill to vice president of information technology and digital media systems. The ATP also named Jorge Escallon director of treasury and benefits administration in addition to his role as director of alumni services.

MaryAnne Gilmartin was named to succeed Bruce Ratner as president and CEO of Forest City Ratner Cos. Gilmartin has been an executive vice president. Ratner will remain as executive chairman.

GoVision promoted Justin Eaton to vice president of production services.

Ticketmaster promoted Chris Edmonds to U.K. chair and executive vice president of international strategic partnerships.

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.

Wolff donates recordings

Longtime sportscaster Bob Wolff was in Washington, D.C., last week to donate his personal library of audio and video recordings — 1,500 hours’ worth — to the Library of Congress. From left: Washington Nationals radio broadcaster Dave Jageler, Nationals TV play-by-play broadcaster Bob Carpenter, Librarian of Congress James Billington, Wolff, Nationals radio broadcaster Charlie Slowes and Robert Tanenbaum, a Nationals owner.

Warming up for All-Star Game

Major League Baseball, the New York Mets and the city of New York on April 24 launched balloting for this year’s All-Star Game and announced activities surrounding the game, to be played July 16 at Citi Field. On hand were (from left) former Mets Edgardo Alfonzo, Mookie Wilson and John Franco, MLB EVP of business Tim Brosnan, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Mets third baseman David Wright.

Sports Business Society Awards at NYU

The Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism, and Sports Management of the New York University School of Continuing and Professional Studies honored recipients of the NYU Sports Business Society Awards at a ceremony April 15.
ABOVE: From left: Wayne McDonnell Jr. and Lee Igel, NYU-SCPS Tisch Center; John Filippelli, YES Network (Executive of the Year); Ted Shaker, adjunct faculty member and Mercury Media; and Kevin Hallinan, Royal Diamond Security. BELOW: From left: Student Vanessa Chen; Sean Galvis, New York Road Runners (Ambassadors of the Year); students Robert Varon and Michelangelo Parisi; Mark Weinstein, SportsNet New York / New York Mets (Alumnus of the Year); Michael Weiner, MLB Players Association (Lalia Rach Profile in Excellence); Scott Norwood, MLB Advanced Media (Ambassadors of the Year); Filippelli; Cyndie Burkhardt, NYRR; Chris Russo, CR Media Ventures (Graduate Sports Business Society Media Award); and students Thomas Kraus, Oliver Chan and Vanessa Bekono.

Helping plant trees in Kansas City are (from left) Mike Lynch, NASCAR managing director of green innovation; Miss Sprint Cup Jaclyn Roney; drivers Clint Bowyer and Martin Truex Jr.; Toyota motorsports marketing manager Paul Doleshal; Pat Warren, president of Kansas Speedway; and two employees of Paradise Nursery. They planted the trees recently at a Kansas City Toyota dealership as part of NASCAR’s Green Clean Air Tree Planting Program Delivered by UPS.

Business of Baseball convenes in Boston

Panelists on the Foundation to Be Named Later’s “Business of Baseball” panel April 23 (from left): Boston Red Sox pitcher Craig Breslow; Billy Beane, Oakland A’s GM; Peter Gammons, baseball writer and broadcaster; Theo Epstein, Chicago Cubs president of operations; Gulf Oil CEO Joseph Petrowski; and Andrew Zimbalist, Smith College economics professor and author.

40 for Learfield

Learfield Communications marked its 40th anniversary with an all-employee celebration April 25-26 in Dallas. Featured speaker Seth Godin (left) is shown with company co-founder Clyde Lear.

Driver with a driver

Farmers Insurance teamed PGA Tour golfer Rickie Fowler (left) and NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne for a “Drive and Drive Competition” on April 29 in Mooresville, N.C. With them is Chuck Browning, Farmers head of sponsorships, events and corporate giving.

Your morning cup of hockey

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman shows off the Stanley Cup to “Today” hosts (from left) Al Roker, Savannah Guthrie, Matt Lauer and Natalie Morales. Bettman appeared on the show April 30, the day the NHL playoffs began.

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Barbara Paddock has seen the running industry grow from spectacle to sport since in the late 1970s, when she signed her first sponsorship deal between New York’s Manufacturers Hanover bank and the New York City Marathon. Now a senior vice president at JPMorgan Chase, Paddock talks here about running’s early days as well as the popular JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge events aimed at businesspeople.

— Compiled by correspondent Fred Dreier


Running is this great equalizer, and we find that with the Corporate Challenge. You have CEOs and employees running together.

About that first NYC Marathon deal:
Sponsorship of events had only really taken off in the 1970s, and there wasn’t always a rhyme or reason to it. Our standpoint at Manufacturers Hanover was about driving the brand image. If you saw your logo on the cover of Sports Illustrated, that really meant something. At the same time, it was a chance to engage clients, but things weren’t really sophisticated.

Sponsor activation in the 1970s and ’80s: Everything was very grassroots, but it still depended on your objectives. I remember there was a frozen fruit guy who would stand in the expo handing out fruit bars. I remember one year working with the woman from Perrier; she was so concerned about getting her bottle in the hands of the winner.

On the Corporate Challenge: It was just a gem of an idea coming off of the marathon. Back then we were a regional brand, and we asked ourselves what can we be doing in the business community in New York with running. We created this little nothing event in Central Park the night of the blackout [in 1977], and we had 200 people coming from 50 companies. The mantra was you can’t do it on a weekend, it has to be a weeknight because that is when the corporate community is together. The distance is 3.5 miles because Central Park in the ’70s, you couldn’t run north; it had to be twice around the lower loop. As we went through the [bank’s] mergers … it has remained the DNA of the institution.

Positioning it within the business community: You want to target the business community. You’ll always find someone at those businesses who is a runner, and if you get one person, it takes off.

Did you push to become title sponsor of the NYC Marathon? Yes, and [NYC Marathon founder] Fred Lebow was adamant that they would never, ever put a name in front of the New York City Marathon. … I remember when Perrier asked to be in front on the T-shirt, and he kicked a garbage can across the room and said a sponsor would never be in front on the T-shirt. But, of course, the [New York Road Runners] had to change the way they looked at sponsorships eventually because putting on the race had become so expensive. We weren’t in a position to pursue it at the dollars that they were asking, and by that point our Corporate Challenge events were wildly successful, so we didn’t feel we needed to be with the marathon. We pulled out of a lot of other running events to pursue our own event.


Four years ago, Jay Howard walked into his office in Harrisburg, N.C., and saw a new name above his outside the door. It simply said: Bert.

Howard may have founded JHE more than 25 years ago, but Bert, his 7-year-old German shepherd mix, is the top dog. He comes to the office at least one day a week and follows Howard everywhere. Bert’s such a regular that Howard’s employees created a nameplate for him outside Howard’s office.

The company, which got its start producing opening ceremonies at NASCAR races, has become a leader in experiential marketing. It operates mobile displays for Speed, Sprint, Ford and others.

Howard filled his office with Bob Timberlake furniture and lined the walls with mementos that highlight JHE’s work on everything from concerts to golf events.

“I wanted my office to feel like home,” he said.