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Volume 21 No. 1
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Holiday Gifts: Gadgets and good times


General manager
Georgia Dome

Giving: DVD copies of “I Am,” by Tom Shadyac.
EVERYONE should buy this, watch it and share it with a friend.
Receiving: It would either be an improved iTunes Match service or enough storage on each of my devices to house my music library of 20,000 songs.

President and owner
Shamrock Sports & Entertainment

I prefer to give than receive and like to have a theme to gifts. I will apply my daily mantra of “Keep It Positive” to provide unique gifts that empower people to live healthier and happier lifestyles. I vote with my heart and wallet to support our sponsors, so family and friends can count on lots of Nike, L.L. Bean, Whelen, Goodyear, Geico, Barbasol and Jack Link’s stuff.

President, global customer marketing and sales

Close games from my favorite team, Nielsen.

Senior managing director of business affairs
U.S. Golf Association

This year I’m asking for all things “puppy.” We are training a new puppy — is there an app for that? What I’ll be giving? Our kids love to travel, so they always ask for airfare to some distant place. And tickets to the 2014 U.S. Opens at Pinehurst (having lived in Raleigh for 16 years, it’s like a home game).

Tournament director
Travelers Championship

Hope to receive: I am a sucker for experiences. It drives my wife nuts, but I am always asking for a trip as a gift. Looks like Disney with the kids this year! Outside of that, any type of cool camping or outdoor gadget (WhisperLite stove or GPS hiking watch would be great in the stocking). Music: Anything from Mumford and Sons or the Avett Brothers. Giving this year: Batman Lego set, Lego Marvel PS3 game and the Disney Princess Castle.

Sports executive
Growing up, Bobby Orr was my hero. I see there is a new bio out on his life. I hope to find that under my tree on Christmas morning. Also, I’m a big Pearl Jam fan, and I’m hoping for the new CD to arrive on Christmas morning.

Chief business officer
Symetra Tour

On the gifting side, it’s American Girl “McKenna” for my daughter, anything Legos for my son, and my commitment to an iPhone-free holiday break for my wife. Also, to no one in particular, I’d happily donate about 20 pounds acquired in airport dining establishments over the course of the last year.
I’d love to receive a series of short-game lessons and the time to practice. I also hope Santa will surprise me with a gift-wrapped Symetra Tour event in the Southeast next August or September. That way I will have something I can regift to our players, since we already gave away the 10 LPGA membership cards they really wanted.

Vice president of sales and NFL contract adviser
Relativity Sports

I’m hoping to receive an indoor putting green to help me improve my short game over the winter and a Teeter Hang Ups inversion table for my stiff back caused by too much travel and bad golf. As a gift, I’m giving Powerqube charging systems, which are a more stylish and effective way to charge electronic personal devices than old-fashioned power strips. I have one in my office, kitchen and bedroom. Our 3-year-old daughter has asked for a Switch and Go Dino and any and every My Little Pony product.

President and CEO
College Football Hall of Fame

I’m hoping for a rangefinder for the golf course … I’ve held out long enough, and it’s time for me to join the 21st century. My kids (and I) will be getting a new basketball hoop for the driveway. My family and friends will all be getting certificates for commemorative bricks that will be permanently displayed in the new College Football Hall of Fame attraction with their customized inscriptions … best gift idea of the year!

Partner and toll collector
16W Marketing

Tech and gadgets: I need a new iPad. Thinking iPad Air. Sending out an SOS.
Family needs new TVs bad. Making fun of the square boxes still in use in their rooms/houses. “Dad, don’t you win any golf tournaments anymore?”
May need to surprise my daughter with iPhone upgrades for better FaceTime with my granddaughter.


I’d like to score a bottle of the elusive Pappy Van Winkle bourbon. Being a college football and tailgating fan, I think it would make a perfect complement to any good tailgating experience Melt would produce or attend.
If it were a gadget, I would say it would be a portable sound machine to create some white noise when I’m on the road traveling (which is frequently), to replicate my sleeping experience at home.

Swanson Communications

IPad mini with Retina Display. I plan to use my iPad more for business particularly during my time on the road. Making travel time more efficient to make faster, more timely business decisions while on the road is the goal.
Google Chromecast. I use Google Chrome for our office server, so being able to view this information, as well as videos, photos and documents on a larger screen can be very helpful.
Crux360 iPad case. Counting on my iPad more, this case looks great for multifunction use and portability. I like the stand it becomes, too, for various ways to position the iPad.
WOWee One Slim Portable Speaker. Great for traveling, which I do often. To be able to use this slim, lightweight and super-sound portable speaker will make going to my hotel room that much more enjoyable.  
Livescribe Echo SmartPen. You can record audio while taking notes. Save and share them on computer with USB connector. This will be great for recording live quotes from the athletes I work with and then turning those quotes around quickly for distribution to media. Should cut time in half.