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Volume 21 No. 2

People and Pop Culture

Cleveland Indians senior vice president of sales and business development Vic Gregovits stepped down from the position.

The University of Iowa hired Lyla Clerry as associate athletic director for compliance and Liz Tovar as associate athletic director for student-athlete academic support services. Clerry was assistant athletic director at Arizona State University, and Tovar was associate athletic director for student-athlete academic support services at Northern Illinois University.

The University of Massachusetts-Lowell promoted Kristi Stake to associate athletic director for compliance and student athlete services and named Tracy Ellis-Ward senior associate athletic director for internal operations. Ellis-Ward was director of the multicultural education center for Gonzaga University.

The University of Southern Mississippi named Bill McGillis athletic director. McGillis was executive associate athletic director at the University of South Florida.

Western Illinois University hired Tommy Bell as athletic director, effective Aug. 12. Bell was athletic director at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne.

University of North Carolina Wilmington deputy director of athletics Pat Howey is retiring, effective Aug. 31.

Texas Christian University promoted Mike Sinquefield to associate athletic director for administration and Matt Lewis to director of football operations.

SMG Canada named Ken Noakes general manager for the new St. Catharines Spectator Facility in Ontario. Noakes was general manager at the K-Rock Centre in Kingston, Ontario.

The PGA of America named Calvin Fields account executive.

The U.S. Golf Association named Joe Sprague director of regional affairs for the Northeast. Sprague was executive director for the Massachusetts Golf Association.


The American Hockey League promoted Nathan Costa to vice president of team business services and Maria Lauring to director of team business analytics.

The Central Hockey League’s St. Charles (Mo.) Chill hired Lou Siville as vice president of sales and marketing.


Premier Partnerships promoted Uzma Rawn to senior director of corporate partnerships.

IMG College named Tim Shannehan vice president of national sales. Shannehan was vice president of sales for luxury travel company Inspirato.

The Aspire Group promoted Kevin Dwan to director of sales and service at the U.S. Military Academy, Michael Johnson to team leader of premium sales at Tulane University, and Bryan Avolio to manager of ticket sales and service at the University of California, Riverside. The Aspire Group hired Analisa Trstensky as senior sales consultant at the
University of Maryland; Benjamin Monat, Melvin Powell, Leslie Tanner and Lara Ceaser as sales consultants at the University of Maryland; Merritt Peasley, Sammy Soliman, David Foster and Neil Orvis as sales consultants at Arizona State University; Simon Scholl and Jessica Martin as sales consultants at Georgia Tech University; and Roy Tidwell, Eddie Delgado and Coleman Feeley as sales consultants at the University of North Texas.

Comcast SportsNet hired Scott Bair as a reporter covering the Oakland Raiders. Bair covered the San Diego Padres for and The Associated Press.

Fox Sports named Roy Hamilton senior vice president of talent development; Judy Boyd, Kent Camera and Jacob Ullman vice presidents of production; Michael Hughes executive producer for “Fox Sports Live”; and Azzie Mackenzie, Bardia Shah-Rais and Brad Zager coordinating producers for Fox Sports 1.

Time Warner named Joseph Ripp chief executive officer, effective in September. Ripp was chief executive officer of OneSource Information Services.

The NHRA hired Taylor Parkerson as sales and marketing manager at Atlanta Dragway.

IRG Sports & Entertainment hired Daniel Carpenter as business development consultant, Aidy Alonzo as vice president of marketing and communications and Hillary O’Brian as vice president of finance and administration.

Major League Soccer and Soccer United Marketing named Susan Fiore legal counsel, Ken Garland senior operations developer for MLS Digital, Jennifer Carroll director of human resources, Pablo Zárate Fuentes director of SUM International, Ryan Gmerek analyst for strategic planning and research, Andrew Ju staff accountant, Samuel Harrington publisher relations account manager for MLS Digital Properties, Robert Hines community relations manager for MLS Works, Lauren Brophy manager of corporate communications, Susan Marschall coordinator of sports communications, Clarisse Bidad digital designer for MLS Creative Services, and Steve Mandelbaum designer for MLS Creative Services.

Team/Venue Companies

The Brooklyn Nets promoted Kari Cohen to counsel for legal and business affairs, Tony Brasile to director of operations, Jared Kaye to senior manager of financial and ticket analysis, Erin Cauthen to senior manager of marketing, and Angelica Shuhala to coordinator of event marketing. Barclays Center promoted Sean Saadeh to senior vice president of programming and Emily Rand to director of franchise marketing. The Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center promoted Fred Mangione to chief revenue officer to add to his role as chief marketing officer, Marie Chindamo to executive vice president of human resources, John Baier to senior director of premium sales, Andrew Newman to director of corporate sponsorship development, Justin Baier to senior graphic designer, Illiana Blackshear to account executive and partnership marketing and hospitality manager, and Christopher Harrington to legal analyst and executive assistant to the chief legal 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.

MLS Works in Kansas City

MLS Commissioner Don Garber (left), Sporting Kansas City CEO Robb Heineman (right) and MLS All-Stars Matt Besler, Jack McInerney, Landon Donovan, Will Johnson and Thierry Henry dedicate a futsal court at Wyandotte High School in Kansas City, Kan., as part of the MLS Works Community Day during All-Star Week last week.
Photo by: MLS

A star for AT&T

Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys (right), Cathy Coughlin of AT&T and Arlington Mayor Robert Cluck speak at the news conference July 25 announcing AT&T’s deal for naming rights to the Cowboys’ stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Sitting on the Front Row

On a July 17 panel at Front Row Marketing Services’ national meetings in Scottsdale, Ariz.: Chris Lencheski, Front Row Marketing Services; former football coach Barry Switzer; and Mike Henry and Neal Pilson, Second Screen Media.

IAVM in New Orleans

On a panel discussing new design and construction at the International Association of Venue Managers conference July 28 in New Orleans: Tom Tingle, Skanska; Todd Vigil, Mortenson; Troy Hoberg, Hunt Construction; Chris Lamberth, 360 Architecture; Robert Rayborn, Turner Construction; Bob Jordan, Van Wagner Sports Group; Don Dethlefs, Sink Combs Dethlefs; and Mark Williams, HKS.
Photos: DON MURET / STAFF (2)

Actor Wendell Pierce (center) was the keynote speaker at the conference. Joining him are SMU sports management instructor Rodney Williams (left), IAVM’s director of content and professional development, and Pierce representative Ken Mask.

PGA, KitchenAid shake on it

The PGA of America CEO Pete Bevacqua (left) and Whirlpool Corp. CEO Jeff Fettig agree to terms on a four-year partnership extension between Whirlpool brand KitchenAid and The PGA of America through 2018. The contract extension was announced during a reception at Harbor Shores in Benton Harbor, Mich., on July 25.

Giants visit the White House

President Barack Obama walks with San Francisco Giants CEO Larry Baer (left) and manager Bruce Bochy while welcoming the 2012 World Series champions to the White House on July 29.

Ready to welcome the world

Patrick McClenahan, president and CEO of the 2015 Special Olympics World Games, stopped by the SportsBusiness Journal and Daily offices July 23. He was in Charlotte for the Special Olympics North America Conference.

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.

All photos this page: UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA
It’s been nearly 10 years since University of Georgia President Michael Adams forced out athletic director and local legend Vince Dooley. Georgia fans with long memories — which are most of them — haven’t forgotten. Upon the news that Adams would step down after 16 years as president, a headline on fan site blared: “Bulldog Nation Planning Parties to Celebrate the Blessed Event.”
Whatever criticisms Adams endured at Georgia, they mostly stayed in his own backyard. On the national stage, Adams was viewed as a thought leader among university presidents, especially when it came to athletics. He was chairman of the NCAA’s executive committee, sat on the Division I board of directors and voiced support for a college football playoff when it clearly wasn’t a cool thing to do. While it wasn’t widely known, Adams also developed a close friendship with former NCAA President Myles Brand and visited him often in the
final months of Brand’s battle against pancreatic cancer. Even though Adams, 65, has stepped down as Georgia’s president, he still has strong views on the role of university presidents in athletics and other issues facing the NCAA. He spoke recently with SportsBusiness Journal’s Michael Smith.

During my 16 years at Georgia, the popularity of college athletics has expanded dramatically. That’s evidenced in overall attendance, the media deals, the improvement in TV. The impact all of that has on conferences is much greater than it was when I first got to Georgia. And most of it has been for the better, [but] not all of it. But at Georgia, we’re better off than we were 16 years ago. We’ve won a lot of championships, there’s money in the bank and not a lot of debt.

It’s a different market situation for Mark Richt than it is for me. People will just have to decide if one or both of us are overpaid. I’ve been paid fairly in my market and Mark is paid fairly in his market. I do worry about growing disparities in assistant coach salaries. That kind of thing is hard to explain to a physics professor. Those divisions [between coaches and faculty members] have gotten to be greater and greater, and it’s a legitimate concern for the future.

Adams with Georgia’s 2008 Olympic swimmers and divers
I don’t know if college athletics has become that much more commercialized, but the impact is great because of the money and visibility. I read “The Big Scrum,” and people were cheating and playing for pay in the late 19th century in much greater fashion than today.

If you look at the last 50 years, college football is probably cleaner today than at any point since that time. But the amount of money coaches make, and that all of us spend on athletics, that’s what everyone pays attention to. For Georgia to have an athletics budget of $100 million would have been unthinkable just a few years ago.

What we’re taking out of fans’ pockets with concessions, tickets, parking, it’s pushed about as far as we can push. I don’t think you’ll see as many increases in the next 15 years as the last 15 years.

When I got to Georgia [in 1997], I expected to be involved in athletics because I love it. I have a real admiration for the players and coaches. It does still bring a lot of positives to the university community.

As far as its core functions — managing championships, certifying athletes, rules — the NCAA has done very well. It doesn’t get the credit it deserves for that.

We’ve had more high-profile cases in the last 18 months than I’ve ever seen, with Miami, Ohio State, Penn State. So in addition to the mistakes that have been made, there’s also been a lot of bad luck with the timing of the issues that have arisen. I’m not ready to throw out the NCAA.

The member schools are the NCAA, so we make the rules. Sometimes they can certainly be administered better. We’re all concerned with enforcement, and some of it you can’t defend. During the time I was chairman [of the NCAA’s executive committee], we almost doubled the budget for enforcement. We added a lot more people, so a lot more is being discovered now. So you have to bear the consequences of hanging your dirty linen out there for all to see. It cuts both ways. I’ve thought for a long time that we have to do a better job with punishment and crime.

I don’t think I ought to comment on [NCAA President Mark Emmert]. I rotated off the board and that’s another group making those decisions now. It’s up to them. Somebody else is board chair now. But the media certainly needs to be asking those questions.

Adams with football coach Mark Richt
I’m one that thinks the president has to be in control of lots of things, not just athletics. At Georgia, we have a fairly sophisticated system of stem cell research, so you have to know the core issues. You know what you need to know and then let the others manage. It’s not unlike athletics. We have a great AD [Greg McGarity], and he knows what I want to know and what I don’t need to know. The university community in Georgia needs to think you’re in control because you bear the ultimate responsibility, but day to day, you don’t do that.

Adams, with mascot Uga, says athletics brings many positives to the university.
ADs are right about the NCAA. They should have more of a voice. They’re the experts. ADs and commissioners need a seat at the table on most NCAA issues. I’d agree that they have not been consulted adequately the last few years.

Every organization, like the NCAA, has to be reborn and revitalized, periodically. They have to adjust to the times and circumstances. The bigger an organization becomes, the harder that is. Clearly, there are some things the NCAA’s better at than others. There are a lot of good people there. I know many of them. If we didn’t have it, it’d be awfully hard to re-create it. I’d rather see reform from within than throw out the whole enterprise.

It’s easy to overstate the potential impact of the O’Bannon case. It has come to represent things far greater than what the O’Bannon case was intended to represent. Until the courts rule on that, I don’t think we know the impact. I agree that there’s a legitimate question about use of likeness in a video game. I’m open to listening to arguments on that.

With all due respect to Ed O’Bannon and Herschel Walker and Michael Jordan, they’re extreme rarities. They are not the norm. Ninety-six percent of the kids in the SEC will never cash a check of any kind, anywhere, based on what sport they play. You can read too much into the O’Bannon case if you’re not careful.

I’m a believer in the amateur model, real student athletes. I’d be for some tweaking of the cost of attendance. There should be some stipend of $2,000 or $3,000 on top of books. I’m open to that. For that short list of kids who become famous, you might pay them a royalty check after they graduate. I would not do that while they’re students. That’s where the whole house of cards comes down.

Bob Lutz grew up in a motorsports family: His father owned five dirt tracks. Lutz founded the Richard Petty Driving Experience in Charlotte in 1992, then sold that venture and created the Mario Andretti Racing Experience and NASCAR Driving Experience. He operates those ventures and others under the umbrella known as Driving 101, where Lutz is president and CEO.

— Compiled by Tripp Mickle


We put a big emphasis on social media and marketing and got outside of the typical race fan everyone was marketing and trying to capture dollars from. We tapped into mainstream America and thrill seekers and got them turned on to the thrill of driving a race car at high speeds.

About grassroots motorsports:
The motorsports customer has been affected by the economy. There are challenges with the typical race fan, but there are a lot of opportunities outside that fan. Myrtle Beach, for instance, we do a thrill show (with car jumps, bus racing and drifting) that is extremely popular. We draw 4,000 spectators for that. Race attendance is in the 700 to 1,000 range. To me, it means we’ve got to work on our racing and building a fan base by mixing other things into the racing to bring new fans to the sport.

Using social marketing tools: We use retailers like Living Social, Groupon and Google Offers to sell our product. They have a broad reach and create a lot of impulse drives. People see, “I can drive a race car, and it’s $195? That’s awesome.” People buy that. For us to go into a market and market our racing experience to the masses is cost prohibitive, but social media services allow us to do this.

Drawbacks for coupon systems:
I don’t see a lot of negatives. Every business is different, and you have to come up with a package on the daily deal sites that has to work for your business. We created a package — a five-minute introductory class — for the sites. It works, and the fans love it.

An industry trend in motorsports: Hard-core fans love it as they always have. We went through a growth stage where the sport grew rapidly with new fans. We’ve lost a great number of new fans and have to get them back.

Corporate business: In 2009, when the economy turned, it went away. That forced us to emphasize our retail business. Individual business exploded by triple digits in 2010 and 2011. Corporate hasn’t come back as quickly. All business owners are a lot more frugal with their budgets. We’re seeing upward trends, but I don’t think it will grow as quickly as it did in the early 2000s.