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Volume 21 No. 2

People and Pop Culture

The Chicago White Sox named Jim Thome special assistant to general manager Rick Hahn.

Ripken Baseball named Geoffrey Lindsay director of corporate sales and Daniel Condon corporate sales manager.

The Class A Northwest League’s Salem-Keizer (Ore.) Volcanoes named Tom Leip president of business operations. Leip was general manager of FC Edmonton.

The Cleveland Cavaliers promoted Jeff Schaefer to basketball communications manager and Kevin O’Toole to senior director of business intelligence. The Cavaliers also named B.J. Evans director of basketball communications and Mike Conley vice president of digital. Evans was vice president of communications for the Charlotte Bobcats, and Conley was director of product and technology for Fox Sports Digital Media.

The Denver Nuggets named Ben Tenzer director of team operations.

The Los Angeles ClippersJoe Safety resigned from the position of vice president of communications.

Toronto Raptors President Bryan Colangelo stepped down from the position, and the Raptors named Jeff Weltman executive vice president of basketball operations. Weltman was assistant general manager for the Milwaukee Bucks.

The Big 12 Conference named Austin Anderson and Braxton Banning communications assistants and Riannon Rowley digital media assistant.

Carroll College promoted Bennett Mac-Intyre to associate athletic director and executive director of the Saints’ Athletic Association. MacIntyre will remain the men’s and women’s golf coach.

Columbus State University hired Bryan Senior as assistant athletic director for business operations.

Duquesne University named Jared Kramer director of ticket sales and service and Matt Wagner assistant director of ticket sales and service.

East Carolina University named Shelley Binegar associate athletic director of external operations. Binegar was associate athletic director for development and marketing at Northern Illinois University.

Grambling State University Athletic Director Percy Caldwell resigned.

Eastern Michigan University named Heather Lyke vice president and athletic director. Lyke was senior associate athletic director at Ohio State University.

The American Athletic Conference promoted Tom Odjakjian to senior associate commissioner for broadcasting and digital content, Mark Hodgkin to senior director of digital media, Michael Costa to director of football and video administration, and Lois DeBlois to executive assistant for administration. The conference named John Larson chief financial officer, Michael Coyne assistant director of broadcast scheduling, Catherine Carmignani branding and event coordinator and Jamie Corun digital communications coordinator.

Georgia State University promoted Jamie Boggs to executive senior associate athletic director, chief operating officer, and senior woman administrator, Todd Reeser to executive senior associate athletic director for development and sports services, Ike Fullard to senior associate athletic director for external affairs, and Misty Brown to assistant athletic director for development and special events.

The U.S. Military Academy named Stephanie Menio senior woman administrator. She will continue in her role as assistant athletic director for marketing.

High Point University promoted Jon Litchfield to associate athletic director for communications and Jared Micklos to associate athletic director for internal operations.

Louisiana Tech University Athletic Director Bruce Van De Velde stepped down from the position.

Loyola University Maryland promoted Amanda McClure to associate director of athletic communications and named Reilly Bradshaw assistant director of athletic communications for video production and Chris Archacki and Ryan Eigenbrode assistant athletic directors for business operations and communications, respectively.

Northern Kentucky University named Ken Bothof athletic director, effective Aug. 19. Bothof was athletic director at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.

Purdue University promoted Calvin Williams to associate athletic director and Mike Braughton, Doug Boersma and Tom Mitchell to assistant athletic directors.

The University of Arkansas named Patrick Pierson associate media relations director. Pierson was assistant athletic director for communications at Florida Gulf Coast University.

The University of California, Berkeley, named David Secor senior associate athletic director and chief financial officer. Secor was director of financial services for UCLA Capital Programs.

South Dakota State University named Adam Heemeyer assistant athletic director for ticket operations and Dan Haverkamp ticket sales coordinator.

Southeast Missouri University promoted Nate Saverino to assistant athletic director for external affairs.

The University of Alabama-Birmingham named Bill Lansden senior associate athletic director for external affairs. Lansden was associate athletic director at the University of Memphis.

The University of Louisiana at Monroe named Brian Wickstrom athletic director. Wickstrom was athletic director at the University of California, Riverside.

The University of Missouri promoted T.J. Leon to assistant athletic director for development and Carly Northup to assistant athletic director for external engagement.

The University of Oregon named Jody Sykes senior associate athletic director and chief compliance officer, effective July 29. Sykes was associate athletic director of compliance for the University of Louisville.

Washington State University named Ryan Donckers regional director of Spokane operations for the Cougar Athletic Fund. Donckers was sports sales manager for Red Lion Hotels.


Fields Inc. named Robert Ryan director of design. Ryan was owner and partner of Hughes, Good, O’Leary & Ryan, Inc.

The Cleveland Browns named Zak Gilbert director of communications, Frank Edgerly senior pro scout, and Brent Blaylock, Brendan Donovan, Matthew Manocherian and Patrick Moore college scouts. Gilbert was director of media relations for the Oakland Raiders.

The Seattle Seahawks promoted Tag Ribary to director of team operations, Trent Kirchner to director of pro personnel, Dan Morgan to assistant director of pro personnel and Josh Graff to national scout. The Seahawks also hired Jim Nagy as Southeast area scout.

The National Collegiate Hockey Conference named Josh Fenton commissioner. Fenton was senior associate athletic director of finance and administration for Miami University.

The San Jose Sharks named Ben Guerrero media relations manager. Guerrero was media relations manager for the Washington Capitals.

Team One promoted Jesse Sammons to management supervisor of experiential marketing and named Abby Peterson to assistant account executive for experiential marketing and Carly Campbell account coordinator for experiential marketing.

David Haas and Michael Vajda launched consulting, activation and experiential marketing company Synertia Partners.

Learfield Sports named Tatia Benkonvich senior account executive for its Fighting Illini Sports Properties at the University of Illinois. Benkonvich was senior business development manager for the Chicago Fire.

Octagon hired David Yates as managing director of golf in the firm’s athletes and personalities division. Yates was senior vice president at Gaylord Sports Management.

Repucom named Rod Millott global chief financial officer. Millott was a partner at Deloitte & Touche.

CBS Collegiate Sports Properties named Scott Stevens general manager and Brett Foltz and Evie Haertl account executives for its Shocker Sports Properties at Wichita State University.

Fenway Sports Management named Jennifer Flynn general counsel. Flynn will continue in her role as senior vice president and assistant general counsel for the Boston Red Sox.

Madison Sports Partnerships named Kyle Bruneau sponsorship sales associate.

Collegiate Consulting hired Sean McLain as director of tickets sales for Wichita State University, Mark Hazel as director of ticket sales for Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, David Shelton as director of ticket sales for Stetson University, and Ryan Majercik as director of ticket sales for the University of Missouri at Kansas City.

Dial Global named Ronald Furman chief revenue officer. Furman was executive vice president and managing director of Insignia Sports and Entertainment.

Fox Sports Midwest hired Stan McNeal and Ben Frederickson as writers and Mike Nahrstedt as digital content manager.

NBC Sports Group named Larry Eldridge Comcast SportsNet Northwest vice president and general manager, and Jim Prendergast and Dan Weinberg directors of sales for NBC Sports Ventures. Eldridge was Comcast SportsNet California general manager, Prendergast was NFuse Marketing sales and business development director, and Weinberg was Tough Mudder head of global sales.

Universal Sports Network hired Seth Rubinroit as communications coordinator.

Yahoo Sports Radio named Katherine Galanty vice president of affiliate relations. Galanty was vice president of affiliate relations for Sports USA.

NBC Universal named Nick Zaccardi OlympicTalk editor. Zaccardi was a writer with

The Outdoor Channel named Jim Liberatore president and chief executive officer. Liberatore was president of SportsTime Ohio.


Richard Childress Racing hired Joanne Stewart as senior manager of business development.

USA Gymnastics promoted Luan Peszek to vice president of the women’s program.

The U.S. Olympic Committee named Gordon Crawford chairman of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Foundation.

U.S. Speedskating Executive Director Mark Greenwald stepped down from the position.

USA Hockey named David Poile general manager for the 2014 U.S. Olympic team, Ray Shero associate general manager, Brian Burke director of player personnel, and Michael Gilbert media relations liaison.

Hockey Australia named Cam Vale chief executive. Vale was chief operating officer for the North Melbourne Football Club.

EPL club Liverpool named Sharon Tuff global partnership sales head. Tuff was commercial partnerships head for Volvo Ocean Race.

The Portland Timbers named Todd Spear vice president of corporate partnerships. Spear was director of strategic sports accounts for Portland-based design firm Downstream.

The Seattle Sounders hired Marc Nicholls to start the team’s U14 development academy program.

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.

Tennis legends hold court

WTA legends and former world No. 1s gathered at the WTA 40 Love Celebration on June 30 at Wimbledon. Front row: Tracy Austin, Martina Hingis, Monica Seles, Maria Sharapova, Billie Jean King, Serena Williams, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova and Justine Henin. Back row: Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario, Margaret Court, Evonne Goolagong Cawley, Ana Ivanovic, Lindsay Davenport, Dinara Safina, Jelena Jankovic, Jennifer Capriati, Caroline Wozniacki
and Amelie Mauresmo.

Bills on the run

Mary Owen (left), Buffalo Bills EVP for strategic planning, placed second in her age group in the 5K race that was part of the Bills’ 50 Yard Finish Half Marathon, 5K and Kids Race on June 29. With her is Hannah Buehler of, who also participated.

Wild for Wimbledon

Suki Waterhouse, Bradley Cooper and Gerard Butler cheer at the Wimbledon men’s singles final between Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray on July 7.

All-Star cuisine

Mike Landeen (left) of the New York Mets and chef Robert Flowers and Tom Funk of Aramark on June 26 at the MLB All-Star Menu Preview event at Citi Field in New York. Aramark at Citi Field unveiled its food offerings for this year’s MLB All-Star events.

Four for the Cup

Mirko Groeschner of America’s Cup, Harvey Schiller of Global Options, Stephen Barclay of America’s Cup and Chris Lencheski of Front Row Marketing Services at the America’s Cup in San Francisco.

Hot Stove hits Chicago

Musician Brede Baldwin (center) with event co-hosts Theo Epstein of the Chicago Cubs and journalist Peter Gammons at the Hot Stove Cool Music Charity Concert on June 21 at the Metro in Chicago.

Louisiana sports royalty honored

Bill Koll (nephew of Anna Koll), Seamus Tuohy (son of Ed “Skeets” Tuohy), Tommy Hodson, Kevin Mawae, Chanda Rubin, Shaquille O’Neal, Ervin Johnson, James Jones and Ronald Ardoin at the induction of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2013 on June 29 in Natchitoches.

First Tee time in Charlotte

ESPN’s Jay Bilas, WFNZ-AM’s Taylor Zarzour, WCNC-TV’s Meghan Danahey, the Carolina Panthers’ Steve Smith, The First Tee of Charlotte’s Ike Grainger and the Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry at The First Tee of Charlotte Celebrity Golf Match on June 18.

They’re shooting for their goal

Josh Kraft, Boys and Girls Club of Boston; Jessica Moran, Comcast SportsNet New England; Lynn Margherio, Cradles to Crayons; Ed Morata, Sovereign | Santander; Matt Reis, New England Revolution; Eric Wynalda, Fox Soccer Channel; Shannon Mulaire, Fox 25; Rick Gormley, Sovereign; and Rhett Lewis, WHDH 7, at the launch of Sovereign | Santander’s charitable giving campaign “Goals for Charity” at Camp Harbor View in Quincy, Mass., on July 1.

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.

President, New England Revolution

“The Numbers Game,” by Chris Anderson and David Sally
Sports analytics applied to the beautiful game. What’s not to love?
“Ender’s Game,” by Orson Scott Card
One of my all-time favorite sci-fi books growing up. With the movie coming up this fall, I’ll need to reread it.
“Bringing Up Geeks,” by Marybeth Hicks
My wife is an educator and always has great books for me to read related to parenting.

SVP and managing director of sports, Events DC

“Who Owns the Future?” by Jaron Lanier
I saw the author interviewed on PBS and was intrigued by his belief that big data is controlling the Internet and exploiting all of us without recognizing the valuable contributions made to society by the little people.
“Mo’ Meta Blues: The World According to Questlove,” by Ahmir Thompson and Ben Greenman
Just saw The Roots perform and have always admired how they exhibit true musicality and fully embrace hip hop culture. Questlove has transformed himself from a self-described nerd into a universally recognized force within the music scene.
“Toughness,” by Jay Bilas
As a Carolina grad and diehard Tar Heel, it is tough for me to support a former Duke basketball player, but Bilas is the best college basketball analyst by far and one of the most candid sports commentators.
“Dad Is Fat,” by Jim Gaffigan
Love Gaffigan’s perspective and ability to give voice to the blessing and the challenge that is parenthood. Hopefully my sons will leave me alone long enough to read the book.
“I Would Die 4 U: Why Prince Became an Icon,” by Touré
Prince is a musical genius of historic proportions. Looking forward to learning more about his Purple Highness.

Founder, president and CEO, LeadDog Marketing

“Steve Jobs,” by Walter Isaacson
Steve Jobs has a huge fingerprint on our modern world, technology and innovation-wise. The book has been sitting on my wife’s bedside for a while, so time to bring it to the beach.
“I Never Had It Made: An Autobiography of Jackie Robinson”
Jackie Robinson is such an inspiration. My almost 4-year-old son’s middle name is Robinson in honor of him, so I need to read up to be able to answer lots of questions!
“Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead,” by Sheryl Sandberg
I’m lucky to have a number of female business partners that are always inspiring me, so I am interested to learn more about such a successful business leader’s perspective. I love strong women — I married one.

Chief operating officer, Fanatics

Just finished: “The Tipping Point,” by Malcolm Gladwell
Mavens, connectors, salesmen. A fascinating read and very informative. Gladwell makes a compelling case explaining how so many things are barely kept in a state of balance, and how things are easily tipped out of balance. Before I read this book I didn’t realize that a deadly virus and a trendy pair of Hush Puppies shoes had so much in common.
Reading now: “Thinking, Fast and Slow,” by Daniel Kahneman
Kahneman’s interactive approach with his readers guides them to an understanding of very distinct and separate parts of our thought process, which has been fascinating.
Other books on the list for this summer:
“The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement,” by Eliyahu Goldratt
“1775: A Good Year for Revolution,” by Kevin Phillips
“Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power,” by Jon Meacham
“The Carrot Principle,” by Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton.

VP, national sales and marketing, Speedway Motorsports Inc.

“It’s Not About Me,” by Max Lucado
We are reading this as a family this summer as a reminder to look beyond ourselves to what is really important in life.
“The Positive Dog,” by Jon Gordon
Chad Knaus recommended Gordon when he spoke at one of our staff meetings a few years ago — this is his latest.
“Music: What Happened?” by Scott Miller
Miller passed away earlier this year, and this book was recommended as an intelligent look at popular music over the last 50 years.
“Inferno,” by Dan Brown
I’ve enjoyed Brown’s earlier novels, and he blends just enough fact to make his fiction credible. Looking forward to reading this during some down time.

President and CEO, Grand-Am Road Racing; SVP and chief administrative officer, NASCAR

“Go Like Hell,” by A.J. Baime
Baime writes fast-paced history, exploring — and unveiling — some of the true glory days of international sports car racing, with the 24 Hours of Le Mans as the compelling centerpiece. This book also showcases aspects of the sport’s past that are still relevant today, which I found interesting as we look eagerly to the future of sports car racing in North America.
“Gettysburg: The Last Invasion,” by Allen Guelzo
I’ve always been fascinated by history, including Civil War history. That conflict is a regrettable period in our nation’s history which should never be forgotten. Guelzo’s words are a reminder of those times and how they transformed the United States.

Partner and chief client officer, Engine Shop

“Goodnight iPad: A Parody for the Next Generation,” by Ann Droyd
 I need a good self-help book this summer.
“The Drought,” by Steven Scaffardi
I found this when I Googled “funny books of 2013” and can’t wait to read it. Is this actually what men think?
“The Spy Wore Red,” by Aline, Countess of Romanones
I read this a long time ago and I love espionage tales. Time for a re-read.

Sitting in Discovery’s production truck as Nik Wallenda completed his walk across the Little Colorado River Gorge last month, Eileen O’Neill, group president, Discovery and TLC Networks, witnessed the social media traffic about the event. She suspected she was onto something big, and she was right: A whopping 13 million people tuned in to watch the walk. O’Neill, who started at Discovery in 1990 as an unpaid intern, reflects here on what makes a hit show and how viewers will watch such events in the future.

— Compiled by John Ourand


I have been nervous for this for about eight months, since Nik insisted that he go untethered. We take that responsibility really seriously. It’s definitely 22 minutes and 54 seconds that I don’t relish doing again quickly, but it was amazing.

Takeaways from “Skywire”:
Something that is so unimaginable is always going to capture people’s attention, especially when they have the opportunity to do it live with a social community built around that.

The translation to broadband and mobile: Discovery Channel brought the big beauty, the majesty of the Grand Canyon on big screens. People watching it on 40- and 50-inch screens got that experience. But those that were online got to program their own experience and pull from cameras above him, below him, alongside him.

How to make money on digital: We’re all trying to figure out how that business model works. ... Consumers want it on a handheld, but they also want it on a 70-inch screen. As content providers, we have to understand that and respect that and produce for that.

Importance of live events to Discovery: It was a premeditated strategy that we got behind about two years ago. We thought it was important to do big events that can break through the DVR vice and also give us a platform to launch new shows.

Do you covet sports programming?: Personally, I do as a big sports fan. Right now, Discovery’s focus on sports is on our international platform. Domestically, our channels are focused on nonfiction.

Components of a successful show: We’re looking for great characters. Ideally, something is at stake. We need it to be fresh and different. The shows that work the strongest for us are things that are first to market on subjects that people either aren’t aware of or familiar with.

How the viewing experience will change over the next decade: Access to that viewing experience is only going to improve. For as many things as we have access to — on the computer, VOD, mobile devices — getting to the show you want takes six or eight more clicks than it should.