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Volume 20 No. 42

People and Pop Culture

Chuck Domino resigned as president of the Class AAA International League’s Lehigh Valley IronPigs.

The Class AAA International League’s Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders promoted Mike Trudnak to vice president of sales, Bob McLane to director of ticket sales, Kelly Cusick to senior inside sales representative, Seth Atkinson to director of ticket operations, Giovanni Fricchione to regional sales manager, Bryant Guilmette to assistant ticket operations manager and Victor Sweet to fan experience coordinator. Alyssa Novick, Mike Poplaski and Noelle Richard were hired as regional sales managers.

The Milwaukee Bucks named JoAnne Anton project coordinator and special assistant to owner Herb Kohl.

California State University, Northridge, named Lizzie Gomez associate athletic director for internal operations. Gomez was director of compliance at the University of Oklahoma.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology named Lauren Haynie special assistant to the athletic director. Haynie was assistant athletic director for sports medicine at Catholic University.

Ohio State University named Shaun Richard associate athletic director for sport administration. Richard was associate athletic director of external operations at Colgate University.

The Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference named Chris Graham commissioner, effective Dec. 1. Graham is executive director of the Midwest Conference.

Southeastern Louisiana University named Jay Artigues athletic director. Artigues was the school’s head baseball coach.

The Southland Conference named Adam Grams assistant commissioner for compliance services. Grams was compliance coordinator at the University of Nevada.


Levy Restaurants named Anna Fenten head of marketing. Fenten was marketing director at Sodexo Prestige.

Inscor named John Salley president of its newly formed sports division.

USA Football named Jed Cornforth director of strategic planning and business analysis. Cornforth was USA Track and Field director of business development.

The Vancouver Canucks named Stan Smyl director of player development. Smyl will continue in his role as senior adviser to the general manager.

The American Hockey League’s Worcester Sharks promoted Kristyn Galante to corporate and ticket sales account executive and named Mike Murtha corporate account executive, Amanda Perkins ticket service specialist, and Peter Kelly account executive.


Nelligan Sports Marketing named Todd Dyer general manager at the University of California, Riverside, and Eric Williamson general manager at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Dyer was director of business development for Aramark.

Jim Tanner launched Tandem Sports & Entertainment and named Helen Dooley senior vice president of talent representation and general counsel, Terese Whitehead senior vice president of marketing and brand development, Shana Martin senior vice president of client and business operations, Graham Boone director of basketball operations, Kenyon Redfoot director of brand strategy, Derrick Powell vice president of player representation, Matt Laczkowski director of athlete representation and staff counsel and Meredith Geisler senior vice president of communications.

Octagon Worldwide promoted André Schunk to senior vice president.

Shamrock Sports & Entertainment hired Tim Renyi as executive vice president of sales. Renyi was vice president of corporate sales at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

The Aspire Group promoted Chelsea Brauninger to team leader for Middle Tennessee State University and Nick Riashi to team leader for Western Michigan University; named Jason Taylor senior group events consultant, Megan Murphy group events consultant and Gabe Serrato and Pat Lloyd ticket sales consultants for Arizona State University; and named Latraia Daniel ticket
sales consultant and Reece Fischer manager of database marketing and analytics for Rutgers University.

Comcast SportsNet Bay Area named Monte Poole to cover the Golden State Warriors.

ESPN promoted Robyn Remick to the newly created position of ESPN Wide World of Sports vice president of business and content development.

Fox International Channels named Todd Siegel executive vice president of international ad sales and U.S. partnerships. Siegel was executive vice president of ad sales for Fox Cable Sports. hired Kevin Manahan as sports director. Manahan was the NFL senior editor for USA Today.

The YES Network named Donny Marshall a Brooklyn Nets analyst.

NBC Universal promoted Seth Winter to executive vice president of ad sales for NBC Universal News Group and NBC Sports Group.

The Pensacola News Journal named Jason Blakeney sports editor. Blakeney will continue in his role as news editor for the News Journal.

Leavine Family Racing hired Todd Yunker as senior director of marketing and business development. Yunker was senior account executive of corporate partnerships with the Carolina Hurricanes.

Green Savoree Racing Promotions general manager Terry Angstadt resigned, effective Nov. 15.

Humpy Wheeler launched Speedway Benefits and will serve as chairman. The company named Trip Wheeler president, Lauri Eberhart executive vice president and general counsel, Clint Elkins director of track relations and Todd Adams director of tracks.

Multiteam Companies
AEG promoted Thomas Miserendino to AEG Europe president and chief executive officer.

Ilitch Holdings named Steve Marquardt vice president of Olympia Development of Michigan and John Hahn vice president of corporate communications. Marquardt was vice president of real estate, facilities and administration for Compuware, and Hahn was senior director of communications for the Detroit Red Wings.

Kroenke Sports & Entertainment promoted Tom Philand to executive vice president and chief marketing officer, Che Vialpando to senior vice president of team sales for the Denver Nuggets and Colorado Mammoth, and David Burke to senior vice president of team sales for the Colorado Avalanche.

The British Olympic Association named Bill Sweeney chief executive officer. Sweeney was global head of business development for Puma AG.

USL Pro club Sacramento Republic FC named Fred Matthes vice president of ticket sales and service. Matthes was senior director of ticket operations and customer service for D.C. United.

Sporting Goods and Apparel
Billabong promoted Ed Leasure to Americas Division president.

Sports Commissions and Tourism Boards

The Greater Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau hired Luke Trahan as sports sales manager for its newly developed Western Massachusetts Sports Commission.

Awards and Boards
The Pioneer Baseball League named Kevin Greene executive of the year. Greene is general manager of the Idaho Falls Chukars.

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.

Live from New York … it’s the NBA

At the “NBA on TNT” Opening Night broadcast, Turner Sports’ Lenny Daniels and TBS President David Levy share the Flatiron Plaza set with the “Inside the NBA” studio team of Shaquille O’Neal, Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith in New York City on Tuesday. Turner Sports celebrated the start of the 2013-14 NBA season with a daylong activation that included fan events, sponsor integrations from 2K Games and Samsung, and a special pregame telecast of “Inside the NBA.”

Celebrating season’s tipoff

TBS President David Levy; NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver; Lenny Daniels, executive VP and COO at Turner Sports; and Ed Erhardt, president of ESPN Customer Marketing and Sales, attend the joint NBA Opening Night kickoff party Tuesday hosted by Turner Sports and ESPN at the 40/40 Club in Manhattan.
Photo by: ESPN / TURNER

  A Garden transformed

At the Oct. 24 unveiling of Madison Square Garden following a three-year, $1 billion transformation, Knicks legend Willis Reed; MSG Co. President and CEO Hank Ratner, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, MSG Co. Executive Chairman Jim Dolan, and Rangers legend Mark Messier.

Skipper on stage in Ann Arbor

ESPN President John Skipper was the keynote speaker at the second annual Michigan Sport Business Conference at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Pictured with Skipper is David Herman, co-president of the Michigan Sport Business Conference, and “Monday Night Football” broadcaster Mike Tirico.

A Revolution in giving

Santander, the official bank of the New England Revolution, recently presented three local charities with $22,000 each from the bank’s “Goals for Charity” community giving campaign. Fifteen Boston-area youth were invited to participate in the on-field presentation at Gillette Stadium before the Revolution’s final regular-season game. Pictured are: Revolution player Lee Nguyen; Carla Cavallaro, Santander’s small business manager; Michael Bruno, Santander region president, Northeastern New England; and Revolution President Brian Bilello.

Global Games return to China

Olympic medalist Michael Phelps, Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank and Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry pose for a photo after the 2013 NBA Global Games at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai. The Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers played two preseason games, one in Beijing and one in Shanghai, as part of the Global Games.

Sponsorship summit

More than 120 sponsors gathered Oct. 23 for the second annual Waste Management Phoenix Open Sponsorship Summit at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess in Arizona. Attending the summit, sponsored by tournament hosts the Thunderbirds and Waste Management, were: Tom King, Thunderbirds/WMPO; Derrick Hall, president and CEO, Arizona Diamondbacks; Dave Aardsma, chief sales and marketing officer, Waste Management; Peter Kent, VP, PGA Tour; and Tom Altieri, Thunderbirds/WMPO. Altieri said the 2013 tournament raised more than $6.2 million for charity.

UMass sport management road trip

MLB Players Association representatives Greg Bouris (center) and Danielle Lopez (far right) hosted graduate students of the Mark H. McCormack Department of Sport Management at the University of Massachusetts Amherst during a recent professional development trip to New York City. Bouris (1983) and Lopez (2012) are alumni of the UMass program.

Stefanyshyn honored

Gene Stefanyshyn (center), NASCAR VP of innovation and racing development, was honored with the Lifetime Engineering Achievement Award from his alma mater Kettering University in a recent ceremony in Dearborn, Mich. Robert McMahan, president of Kettering University (left) and Paul Cloutier, president of the Kettering/GMI Alumni Association presented the award.

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Denise White founded Entertainers & Athletes Group 17 years ago to do the things for athletes that traditional playing contract agents don’t do, including PR and marketing. EAG now has 32 athlete clients, including 27 NFL players. And with the explosion of social media, an increasing amount of White’s time and work is focused on crisis management.

— By Liz Mullen

As a female in this industry, I found it very hard coming up to be taken seriously, but once I was taken seriously — and that took awhile because agents were intimidated by me and agents weren’t too sure what EAG did — but once people figured that out, we garnered respect. But, every day, it’s still a battle.

Social media in endorsements: I have probably done a few hundred marketing contracts in the last year, and every single one has a social media component. Every single one. Everything from autograph signings to endorsement deals with GNC to Gatorade to Subway. A guy is appearing at a mall and the mall wants him to tweet it out. I kid you not: There is not a contract I have done in the past year that has not included social media. And if a guy doesn’t have social media, a company will pass on him.

The need for crisis management: I have never done more crisis management than since social media came on to the forefront. When Instagram and all that stuff started happening — the news cycle is less than a 24-hour news cycle now. It’s actually minute by minute; it’s not day by day. Because of social media and athletes having camera phones … we have crisis management at least a couple of times a month with our players.

Fans or the athletes creating trouble?: It’s both. You put an athlete in a situation where he is not going to tweet or take pictures, but you have someone taking a picture and tweeting about him. It’s the athlete not knowing when to be quiet on social media or wanting to respond to idiots saying things about them — because we all want to defend ourselves, especially if you are an athlete.

Advice to athletes: I do think there is a market for athletes to be on social media. However, I always say, “If you think it’s clever, it probably isn’t.” I will tell our athletes who are having problems on social media, the biggest power you have is to block someone; that when someone is talking trash to you, all you do is block them and move on. And if you feel like you cannot control yourself on social media, get off it; you do not need to be on it, plain and simple. It’s not for everybody. Guys think it is for everybody, but it’s really not. And if you can’t talk where people can understand you, you shouldn’t be on it, either.

Trends in the business: What I have noticed in the past 10 years is athletes want an agency that comes with more than just the agent who does the contract. They want the bells, they want the whistles. Everybody wants to be a star.

T here’s a big, big difference between a vision and a mission statement. Mission statements are often just trite and merely state the obvious. The vision is not something you can settle upon because you think it’s what people would expect you to say.

The best visions are not too tightly prescriptive. The best example of that, of course, is Disney. The Disney vision is to make people happy. It never mentions anything about cartoons or Epcot … or the Mighty Ducks. It’s simple. It’s to make people happy.

Photo by: AP IMAGES
When I became chairman of the [London 2012] bid, we had figured out an awful lot of things of a mechanistic nature. We knew we had to create stadia, we knew we had to integrate, we knew we had to build partnerships, we knew we had to get athletes to and from the airport. There was an awful lot of “how,” but nobody had sat down and asked the question, “Why are we doing that?”

The “why” becomes the vision. The “why” for us was very clear. I couldn’t see any other vehicle in my lifetime that gave us the opportunity to connect with young people and inspire them through sport.
If you coalesce around your vision, it’s not just your road map. It’s your safety valve because so often somebody around the table would go, “Guys, what is it we said we were going to do?”
The next task is making sure your vision is aligned to all your stakeholders. If you are wedded to your vision, then it keeps the glue of the stakeholders solid. If you play fast and loose with your vision and got your stakeholders to buy into that vision, why would you expect them to be wedded to it? You can’t say, “I know we said that, but, guys, that’s actually not what we mean.”

It’s really important you hold onto that vision. … Keep it simple. Who on earth … is going to have a problem when you say, “Our mission is to use the power of the Games to inspire lasting change”?

Promoting sport is not strictly about health. It’s about teamwork. It’s about esprit de corps. It’s about bringing communities together.

The London Games created a vibrant, caring community. They were the catalyst for bringing 80 percent of British schools into a national program. The Games were the ability to create 11,000 homes and 10,000 jobs.

Sport is not simply about the crash-bang-wollop of Chelsea-Arsenal on a Tuesday night. Sport is far more important than that. Had it been as narrowly defined, it wouldn’t have survived three weeks, let alone 33 centuries.
I’m an absolute newspaper junkie, but I’m afraid 20 erudite paragraphs in The Daily Telegraph written about track and field is now a very, very small sliver of what’s out there.

I’m an economist by training. The best definition you’ll probably currently have of consumer sovereignty is the way anyone under the age of 21 consumes and creates information and content. I watch my kids on a Saturday night. Television is just a small part of it. They’re on their laptop. Their phone.

All these kids are doing [social media] and they’re not playing sport. I see that as a huge, huge opportunity because you can get to them. If you’re smart you can get to them in a quicker and more targeted way than you could ever have been able to get to young people. You can dog-whistle the message.

Social media comes with its own problems. When Kerron Clement, 400-meter hurdler, tweets that he sat on the coach for three or four hours going from Heathrow to the athlete village, it doesn’t really matter that it’s only two hours and it doesn’t really matter that the Olympic [road] network is not up and running and it doesn’t really matter that, “Yeah, the coach missed a turn that added 10 minutes.” You’re dealing with that for two days.

There’s no excuse now. There are so many platforms and so many channels of entrée to young people. Just use them.

I choose brave people. Around the Olympic project, they had to be brave. This was not a project for the faint of heart.

I wasn’t a chief executive. But my skill as chairman was to identify really talented people not necessarily from the obvious walk of life. Hardly any of our main board of directors came from a sport background.

I’d seen the Games through so many different angles. I’d been a competitor. I’d been vice president of an international federation. I’d been on commissions in the IOC. I know what good looked like. I know what bad looked like as well.

This organization has only a life cycle of seven years. You double your number [of staff] every year. You start off with 60 people in your bid and on the eve of the Games you end up with 8,500. It’s bigger than British Aerospace. You have to find people that can transition through that.

I look for teamwork. Herculean hard work. You can’t tell that in an interview process. But you know by virtue of what they have done that they could not have done what they did in their walk of life by cutting corners or doing a 9 to 5.

You want self-starters. You want people that are self-motivated. If a coach is spending half his time motivating the team, then clearly they’re doing the wrong thing, or they’re the wrong person, or they’ve got the wrong people out there.
Nothing good or sustainable happens overnight. It doesn’t matter whether you’re going to become an Olympic athlete or a CEO. Somewhere in your background there is probably going to be 10,000 hours of diligent, focused training.

This is the challenge now for young people. Reality television tells them that it’s not a 10-year process. It can happen in six hours. That’s not reality.