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Volume 21 No. 2

People and Pop Culture

Little League Baseball named Davie Jane Gilmour chairman.

The Denver Nuggets named Tim Connelly executive vice president of basketball operations, and player personnel director Mike Bratz and scouting coordinator Dan Tolzman stepped down from their positions. Connelly was assistant general manager for the New Orleans Pelicans.

The Toronto Raptors named Bobby Webster vice president of basketball management and strategy.

The Utah Jazz named Jerry Sloan senior basketball adviser.

Adelphi University named Danny McCabe director of athletics and campus recreation. McCabe was the executive associate athletic director at Hofstra University.

Rice University Athletic Director Rick Greenspan resigned.

University of Maryland Baltimore County named Tim Hall director of athletics, physical education and recreation. Hall was the athletic director at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

University of Northern Colorado Athletic Director Jay Hinrichs resigned.

University of South Florida named Jim Harris senior associate athletic director and associate vice president for development. Harris was the senior associate athletic director for development at Ohio University.

University of the Pacific named Dan Chapman associate athletic director of marketing and media. Chapman was president of the ECHL Stockton Thunder.

Madison Square Garden Co. named Ryan O’Hara to the newly created role of president of content, distribution and sales. O’Hara was the president and chief executive officer of Topps.

The Minneapolis Sports Facilities Authority named Alex Tittle director of equity. Tittle was the director of the office of civil rights for the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

Phoenix International Raceway named Zac Emmons director of communications. Emmons was the corporate communications manager for the Houston Texans.

The Dallas Cowboys promoted Will McClay to assistant director of player personnel and Tom Ciskowski to director of scouting.  

The Buffalo Sabres named Craig Kanalley social media manager. Kanalley was senior editor for The Huffington Post. 

The AHL Chicago Wolves hired Mike Short as partnership sales executive. Short was a sales representative at MSG Sports.

The Dallas Stars named Tom Holy senior director of communications. Holy was the media relations manager for the San Jose Sharks.



Home Team Marketing hired Clare Davis as account manager.

Learfield Sports named Mike Hollister associate general manager for its Aztec Sports Properties at San Diego State University.


Fox Sports Florida and Fox’s Sun Sports named Marc LeSage vice president and general sales manager. LeSage was head of sales at Fox Sports South.

The NFL Network named Lorey Zlotnick senior vice president of marketing. Zlotnick was the senior vice president of marketing for the Outdoor Channel.

XOS Digital named Ben Godwin president of licensing. Godwin was general manager for SEC Digital Network.  

The International Motor Sports Association and United SportsCar Racing named Ed Bennett chief executive officer, Scott Atherton president and chief operating officer, Richard Buck vice president of racing operations, Scot Elkins vice president of competition and technical regulations, and David Pettit vice president of marketing.

Multiteam Companies

Miller Sports Properties named Jim Olson chief operating officer and Don Stirling chief revenue officer, and promoted Craig Sanders to senior vice president of marketing, Clay Jensen to senior vice president of tickets, suites and clubs, David Wood to vice president of employee development and guest relations, Aaron Cook to vice president of information technology.   

Shark Sports and Entertainment named John Tortora chief operating officer and gave executive vice president of building operations Jim Goddard the added responsibilities of overseeing all revenue and marketing activities.

The Canadian Olympic Committee named France St-Louis assistant chef de mission at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games. St-Louis is a Nagano 1998 Olympic silver medalist and five-time World Champion in women’s ice hockey.

The U.S. Olympic Committee named Benita Fitzgerald Mosley chief of organizational excellence and Rick Adams as chief of sport operations and NGB relations. Fitzgerald Mosley was the chief of sport performance for USA Track & Field. The USOC gave Chief Financial Officer Walt Glover the additional responsibility of information technology and audit. Chief of Sport Operations Mike English stepped down.

EPL club Newcastle United Managing Director Derek Llambias resigned from the position. Joe Kinnear was named director of football.

Sports Commissions and Tourism Boards
The Utah Sports Commission named David Simmons chairman, James Sorenson vice chairman of the private sector, Wayne Niederhauser vice chairman of the public sector, Peter Mouskondis treasurer, and Steve Miller head of the strategic advisory committee.

Sporting Goods and Apparel
Point 3 Basketball hired Noel Byrd as sales coordinator and Jay Harris as marketing coordinator.

Ray Cook Golf named John Holst director of sales. Holst was the territory manager and Eastern regional sales manager at Wilson Golf.

AlignMed named Robert Meers chief executive officer.

Awards and Boards
Sqor named Brett Favre to its board of directors.

Texas Legends President Bill Boyce was named 2013 NBA Development League Team Executive of the Year.

Alpine Canada President and Chief Executive Officer Max Gartner will step down from the position when his successor is chosen.

The New York Racing Association named Christopher Kay president and chief executive officer. Kay was the chief operating officer for The Trust for Public Land.

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.

Lakers honor Jerry Buss at upfront

Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak, Executive Vice President Jeanie Buss and retired head coach Phil Jackson attended Time Warner Cable Media’s “View From The Top” upfront honoring the Lakers’ late owner Jerry Buss at Vibiana on June 19 in Los Angeles.

NASCAR visits Bay Area

NASCAR held its Fuel for Business Council Meeting at the W Hotel in San Francisco on June 21. Jon Schwartz, NASCAR senior director of brand and business communications (far right), moderated the technology and innovation panel. Also pictured, left to right: Jeff Caldwell, HP Enterprise Services consulting lead; David Wirt, 3M key accounts manager; and Artis Brown, Mobil 1 Motorsports manager.
Photo by: NASCAR

Golfing with GlideSlope

GlideSlope held its annual “Summer Open” on June 20 for more than 40 guests at Manhattan’s Pier 25 Mini Golf Course. From left to right: Tori Stevens, vice president, ESPN Global X Games; Chris Prindiville, partner at Fermata Partners; Ryan Djabbarah, vice president of corporate sponsorships and marketing for Citi; Erica Zimmerman, director of sports Marketing at PepsiCo; and Dave Mingey, GlideSlope president and founding partner.
Photo by: ROB HAYDEN

Mr. Popper’s Pirates

The Pittsburgh Pirates held the second of four postgame concerts of the 2013 season on June 15 at PNC Park. The on-field show was booked and produced by Select Artists Associates. Pictured here is Blues Traveler with Charles Johnston, SAA president (second from right).

Choir holds court

Prior to their show at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in June, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir was presented a custom Indiana Pacers jersey by representatives from Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Pictured with the choir, from left to right: Ron Gunnell, assistant to the president of the choir; Jack Everly, principal pops conductor of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra; Scott Barrick, choir general manager; Ron Jarrett, choir president; Greg Schenkel, vice president of corporate/public and community relations, Pacers Sports & Entertainment; Marty Bechtold, director of booking, Live Nation Arenas/Bankers Life Fieldhouse; and Rich Kapp, vice president of facilities and event services, Pacers Sports & Entertainment.

Signs go up at StubHub Center

Prior to the Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Portland Timbers match on June 19, the new marquee signage at StubHub Center was unveiled. Pictured from left to right: Marcelo Sarvas, Galaxy midfielder; Galaxy President Chris Klein; StubHub President Chris Tsakalakis; AEG President and CEO Dan Beckerman; Carson Mayor Jim Dear; Willie Hagan, president of California State University, Dominguez Hills; and Omar Gonzalez, Galaxy defender.

Marketers hit airwaves

16W Marketing co-founders Frank Vuono (left) and Steve Rosner at Sirius/XM Satellite Radio studios recorded a segment of their favorite Bruce Springsteen songs on E Street Radio to celebrate their 20th anniversary as business partners in the sports marketing industry.

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.

While he made his mark in music and then in private aviation, Jesse Itzler is as well connected across sports as anyone. His “Go New York Go” tune is the Knicks’ theme song, an endeavor that led to the establishment of Alphabet City Records, later sold to SFX during its sports rollup. Itzler became a serial entrepreneur of sorts, co-founding fractional jet pioneer Marquis Jet and, more recently, 100 Mile Group, a brand incubator and marketing agency that fosters about 10 startup brands, including Zico coconut water (Coke later purchased a 50 percent interest); Sheets energy strips; and Voli, uniquely positioned as a low-cal vodka.

— Compiled by Terry Lefton


After innovation, it’s just about effort and execution, and the old saying there is, ‘Bet on the jockey, not the horse.’

Launching consumer brands
: Unless you start with a $100 million marketing budget, any brand you start from a PowerPoint is just about inducing trial, changing consumer habits and getting repeat business. A new brand needs to tell consumers why they want it in five seconds or less, so messaging and packaging are critical. If it fits into a larger consumer trend, like health and wellness, even better.
Identifying a winner: To spot an incubation brand that will grow, you look for things that are simple and behavior-changing. You don’t have to belong to a gym any more; apps or online links can give you the best workouts in the world, from the best instructors. We are working with an app called ShadowMe that demystifies Twitter. You can get anyone’s entire Twitter feed.

Defining innovation: We see a million good ideas, so before investing or asking people to, we ask if it solves a problem no one has solved yet, or if it does that in a unique way. Innovation is all about looking for what’s missing — even for simple things. Athletes have been icing their shoulders or knees the same way for 100 years, and they end up with water all over their shirts or shorts. Anyone that solves that has a killer product that every athlete and everyone who wants to be an athlete will use.

The next trend?
: Because of all of our health consciousness now, I believe we’re at the beginning of a trend that will see some food companies take the additives out of almost everything. We’ll have gluten-free, allergen-free, everything-free foods, and consumers will be willing to pay for that.

I define a leader differently than most people do. I define a leader as somebody who stands up for justice and doesn’t block its path. Nelson Mandela would be at the very top of any list that I would put together.

I think that the consistency of the message of people like [Muhammad] Ali, people like Mandela, people like Arthur Ashe, Billie Jean King, who I admire so much in the world of sport, has been that decade after decade, their message has been the same. And at various points of that message being delivered, they were putting themselves at a very substantial risk in terms of their own professional careers.

Mandela spends obviously 27 years in prison and people expect him to come out as a hateful person after that terrible experience. Instead, he comes out embracing everybody, and literally changed a lot of things in the world, not just in South Africa, because they saw this principle of not only love but forgiveness.

It’s easier to love than it is to forgive. If you can do both, you’re going to be in a strong position to influence people in a positive way and to do things that are going to make society better.

I got the opportunity to found the Center for the Study of Sport and Society up at Northeastern in ’84. It was consistently using sport as a platform to educate people. I saw what it did in the anti-apartheid movement; people who knew very little about the apartheid in this country were reading about it on the sports pages because of the boycott of South Africa.

On a personal level, I was physically assaulted during that process, and it made me realize that if people were going to that length to stop what I was doing, then it must have been effective and having an impact.

The United States was late to join the boycott of South Africa. … So the Davis Cup team, their Davis Cup team, is competing in the North American zone in Nashville. … We held a press conference … about the African boycott of Los Angeles [Olympics] if this thing was allowed to come, so we tipped it in all three networks that were covering. Dick Schapp came up to me afterward and said, “We just had a remote back to the studio that told us the financial backers of the Davis Cup had pulled out and it looked like the matches were going to be canceled.”

I flew home to Virginia where I was teaching at the time that night and I thought maybe for the first time in my life I had done something worthwhile.

And the next night I was working late in my college office, which was in the school’s library at Virginia Wesleyan College. The library closed at 10:30. … If I was working after it closed, campus security would come and check, so I didn’t think it was unusual when there was a knock on my door 15 minutes after the building closed. And instead of campus security, it was two men wearing stocking masks who proceeded to cause liver damage, kidney damage, a hernia, a concussion, carved “n-----” in my stomach with a pair of scissors.

The attack signified and kind of encapsulated a large amount of hate that I knew existed in the country.

This is now 35 years later and we have an African-American president, there’s obviously been a tremendous amount of positive things that have happened.

But when Barack Obama ran for president there were 600 hate groups in the United States, when he was inaugurated there were 800, and now there are 1,000 hate groups in the United States, the largest number by far at any time in American history.

So the work on issues of discrimination, whether they be racial or gender or from the LGBT community … we’re openly discussing them but we still have not finished the journey.

The LGBT issue, right now, is probably the toughest one to deal with, but I’ve seen more movement on that in the past 12 months than any time in my lifetime, and it’s been really encouraging how fast that seems to be changing. … Suddenly we’re seeing professional sports teams doing PSAs about it.

I’ve been at probably half a dozen forums that are addressing that particular issue and the openness of it. One was at the NFL. … They were talking about that they were going to have a gay athlete come out sooner or later and they thought it was going to be sooner and they were talking about how they were going to support the athlete and it was really heartening.

The women’s movement in sports was certainly bolstered by the fact that there were men who suddenly had daughters who wanted to play sports and they took a self-interest in it.

When we first started doing the racial and gender report card in the late 1980s, the commissioners looked at this and said, “Why’s this guy being such a pain in the neck and publicizing this?”

Now, I think they all use the report card as a tool to work with the clubs to get them to improve, because the clubs are behind where the league offices are in terms of opportunities for people of color and women.

I think the fact that Bud Selig and Roger Goodell, who both were instrumental in putting in rules that mandated open hiring practices for key positions on their teams and their front offices, really changed everything.

Disappointingly, as somebody who’s worked on a college campus, I think the colleges have been worse than the pros. They haven’t changed things as fast, particularly on the issue of race, but they’re getting better.

The college level men’s basketball has gone from 25 percent coaches of color to 21 percent over a six-year period of time. That’s the type of trend that’s disturbing to me.

We’re covering the leagues and sports organizations, but when you go into those audiences where it’s marketing companies and it’s the whole rest of the field of the sports business, it’s really discouraging how few people of color there are and how few women there are.

We really need something called an “Eddie Robinson Rule” at the college level to move us along much faster than we are going.

When you fight for other people’s rights and opportunities, sometimes some people will think that it’s totally focused on just getting more people of color or more women in a position. It’s to get them the opportunity to be in that position.

There are other great sports management programs out there with great leaders running them. The difference is if you come here you’re committing to 42 hours of service every semester in a central Florida agency that is serving an underserved population.

They hear from speakers all the time who talk about how refreshing it is to know that this group of students is here because they want to bring about positive social change using the platform of sports to do it.

I always use the example of the huddle. Bill Curry talked about it years ago, that once you get into that huddle in sport, it doesn’t matter what the color of your skin is, what religion you or your parents are; it doesn’t matter if you’re gay or straight; it doesn’t matter what kind of background, rich or poor, you come from. The team’s not going to win unless they pull together.

The message, wherever I am speaking is: “We’re all working in the world of sport. We have a different kind of platform than most people have.”