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Volume 21 No. 2

People and Pop Culture

High Point University promoted Sam Phipps to assistant athletic director for facilities and operations.

The University at Buffalo promoted Allen Greene to deputy director of athletics.

Wake Forest University named Skip Brown assistant athletic director for student-athlete development and operations finance. Brown was president of First Community Bank in Winston-Salem, N.C.

The West Coast Conference named Chris Carlson associate commissioner for men’s basketball and sport administration and Ryan McCrary senior director of communications. Carlson was men’s basketball coach at San Diego.

The American Athletic Conference hired Ellen Ferris as associate commissioner for governance and compliance. Ferris was associate vice president for athletic compliance at the University of Southern California.

The Big East Conference promoted Joe D’Antonio to senior associate commissioner for administration and NCAA relations and named Jennifer Condaras associate commissioner of compliance and governance, John Paquette associate commissioner of sports media relations, Chris Schneider associate commissioner of Olympic sports, Shawn Murphy assistant commissioner of men’s basketball operations, Kevin Flanagan business officer and Naomi Huston executive assistant.

Davis & Elkins College named Phillip Fetty sports information director. Fetty was director of sports information and promotions at West Virginia Wesleyan College.

Eastern Oregon University named Anji Weissenfluh athletic director.

Waldorf College named Bart Gray athletic director. Gray was athletic director at the University of Wisconsin-Marathon County.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Chief Sales and Marketing Officer Mike Redick resigned.

The All American Games promoted Joe Bouffard to vice president of marketing and communications and named Steve Quinn vice president of player development.

The Miami Dolphins named Jeremy Walls senior vice president and chief revenue officer. Walls was vice president of ticket sales, service and operations for the San Diego Padres.

The Central Hockey League named Steve Ryan commissioner. Ryan was the founder of Ryan Enterprises.

The National Lacrosse League named Dan Gacetta director of business development.

Troika named Damon Haley sports account director.

The Aspire Group hired Jeff Bell and Ben Schulman as sales consultants at Louisiana Tech University.

InStadium named Pat Coyle vice president of audience platforms. Coyle was president of Coyle Media.

The WWE named Laura Brevetti senior vice president, general counsel and secretary. Brevetti was a partner with K&L Gates.

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.

Sandy Brown was in London earlier this month, reflecting on the Sportel conference that had just ended in Monaco. The market for international sports programming is as vibrant as it’s ever been, and that’s good news for Brown, CEO and president of One World Sports. The outlet launched in the United States as a channel for Asian ex-pats about two years ago, but Brown relaunched the channel in August as more of an international sports destination. He reflects here on the market for independent channels and on how One World Sports can make its mark.

— By John Ourand

People should have access to content wherever they are. Content providers want to be able to have access to those eyeballs. Distributors want to be able to provide customers that kind of access because it gives them another avenue to charge more money.

On the market for independent channels:
It is difficult. Distributors are looking for content that is relevant and compelling. Unless a channel is able to provide content where a distributor feels that they can make some money, they are going to have a very tough row to hoe.
On competing for live sports: There is a lot of content out there that has not received exposure in high definition and with the kind of production values that are necessary to compete in the U.S. market. As part of One World Sports’ programming mix, we are able to provide a home for some content, like table tennis, which we feel there’s a market for.
The role of live sports: Live sports are absolutely critical. It creates a call to action for a consumer to watch or to pay for content. We carry 2,500 to 2,600 hours of live content and will continue to increase that. Shoulder programming provides a lot of context, but the more live programming that we’re able to offer, the more successful we’ll be.
Media 10 years from now: There’s always going to be a role for linear. One of the problems right now is that you don’t have the user experience on mobile that you really should have. I’m hopeful that people will be able to have the same digital experience that they do on a linear basis.
Why relaunch?: We identified our target audience; we skew 18-34. We needed to be in HD and needed to have production values that would allow us to compete with our peer group. We needed more content out of Europe and … Latin America in order to provide a more well-rounded service. Lastly, it was important that we had rights that allowed us to be available to multiple platforms.

I was a hippie, so that gives you some sense of what trajectory I thought I was on after college.

I thought that I would begin working, work for a few years, go to graduate school and I anticipated either running an art gallery or teaching English.

I started in city politics. In city politics, I worked for the office of cultural affairs. I had been an American literature major and an art minor so I cared greatly about those kinds of subjects.

Eventually I cut off my hair, I took off the Mexican wedding dress I had been wearing and started to dress more appropriately, and lo and behold, I was asked to more meetings and I was able to demonstrate some competence.

I was offered a job in local television in public relations as a creative services director. From there, I was offered a job in advertising as their executive producer, and over time I moved to the business side and eventually became the head of account management for Hill Holliday. After that, I went into consultancy and from there I went into banking as the chief marketing officer.

In a way, each of those things made sense — politics, public relations, advertising, consultancy — but I’m not sure I knew what each of them would amount to. And along the way I had a lot of kids.

[In the workplace] all of us are looking for the land mines. We don’t always see them, but you get better at it over time. Sometimes you see other people hit them and you know not to go there.

I do think work is seen as an action verb, and I think it is an action verb, but it’s important you observe the landscape. … I never tread carefully, but I do try to have a sense of time and place, and I think that matters.

Thinking is underrated. … The opportunity to sit with yourself, to read, to think, to observe, to aggregate all the inputs you are getting and then to make some sense of it, because of the 24/7 conveyor belt we’re all on, you don’t get many opportunities to step off that.

Opportunities are your time in the car, on the train, or that moment in the morning, and you have to take that and use it.

Mentorships are getting to be like a pop culture thing, like you put it in everyone’s performance review. … I feel like it’s a little like talking to a congregation.

You’re going to mentor everybody? It can’t be done. Having coffee with every young person that comes in, you probably can’t give them the time they need.

My observation as a young woman, mostly in a male-dominated world, was mentorship meant there were just guys that seemed to have something in common with a younger fellow and they either played golf or they had a drink or something.

To take a lesson from that, it’s just finding some commonality, because that’s an easy place to begin a conversation.

Asking for help from the men and women in the accounting department might not seem like the natural way to go, but it was enormously helpful because to be able to make a case for an ROI, to make a difference in terms of the financial community, meant that I could get more money to spend on the programs I thought would work and we could demonstrate an ROI.

I don’t have one thing I look for in hiring. I do have a belief in energy givers versus energy takers, and that could happen in a minute. Sometimes when people come in a room you think, “Why am I suddenly exhausted?”

Other people, you think, “It’s an hour into this conversation and I’d like to have more of a conversation.”

Clear thinking, even if it’s not a reflection of your own thinking, is probably one of the greatest gifts because it gets you thinking about something differently than you would have otherwise.

Pushing a product or a sponsorship onto us is probably not a winning formula. Learn our company, learn how we evaluate a sponsorship’s potential value, and probably where we are in our trajectory.

If you had come to us three years ago at the low point of the financial crisis, that was not a moment we were going to take on something new. But I can’t tell you how many people came to us and said, “Well, you know, you’re really in tough shape so we could do you some good.”

Everybody knows what the pros and cons are of signing individual athletes. For us, we’ve certainly done it. But we’re more comfortable associating with leagues and teams and cities and community outreach and not hanging our hat on one individual.

We are trying to serve 50 million customers throughout the United States, and relying on one individual to carry the water on that is probably too much.

Some marketing to women is sophomoric, but it’s more in the TV commercials.

I had many days, weeks, months and probably a few years that I didn’t move forward at all. I probably moved back. I may have had a sick child or my husband was at a different point in his career.

Hopefully, we’re in it for the long haul, so if success is going to be measured every day that you come into work and you have to get it to where you want it to go that day, it’s going to be very frustrating.

I knew what I wanted. I knew I wanted a family, I was willing to invest in it, and I had more kids than I thought I would have, but I’m happy. So every day wasn’t a good day. I think that’s life. I don’t think every day is a good day even if you’re at the top of your game.

You’re not always charging forward. You’re doing the best you can every day, you’re being as smart as you can.

My advice to young people is you have to be undaunted. Just like anything in life, you have to get up, dust yourself off, and move on.