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Volume 21 No. 1

People and Pop Culture


The Seattle Mariners promoted Kevin Mather to president and chief operating officer. Bob Aylward, Mariners executive vice president of business operations, was named NW Sports Net chairman of the board.

The NBA promoted Bill Koenig to president of global media distribution, Sal LaRocca to president of global operations and merchandising and Danny Meiseles to president and executive producer of content. The league named Jason Cahilly chief strategic and financial officer.

The College of New Jersey hired Sharon Beverly as assistant vice president for student affairs and executive director of athletics and recreation. Beverly was athletic director at Vassar College.

Florida State University hired Karl Hicks as deputy athletic director for external operations. Hicks was senior associate commissioner for men’s basketball operations for the Atlantic Coast Conference.


Ephesus Lighting named Mike Lorenz president, Joe Casper chief technology officer and Howard Dolgon chief marketing officer.

The Orange Bowl Committee named Luis Boué president and chair, Lee Stapleton president-elect and chair-elect and Michael Chavies first vice-chair.

The Green Bay Packers promoted Nicole Ledvina to vice president of human resources.

The Arizona Cardinals promoted Terry McDonough to vice president of player personnel.

The Miami Dolphins hired Dennis Hickey as general manager. Assistant general manager Brian Gaine left the organization.

The San Francisco 49ers named Ethan Casson chief revenue officer.


The Aspire Group promoted Alex Milnes to group sales consultant for Leeds United, Rickey Moore and Akash Chaudhry to senior sales consultants for the Milwaukee Bucks and John Rivers to senior sales consultant for Rutgers University. The company hired Lexi Smith as senior sales consultant for the London Irish RFC; Paige Wilson as a sales consultant for the USA National Sales Center NCAA property; Phil Landells as a sales consultant, Jeff Owsik as service and retention consultant and Michael Huggins as database marketing and analytics associate for Rutgers University; Kelsey English as a sales consultant for UC-Riverside; and Mark DeBoy, Brian Grey and Pete Thompson as sales consultants for the University of Maryland.

Learfield Sports promoted Jake Hobrock to account executive, and named Kyle James general manager, Joe Weiss associate general manager and Jared Schmit sales coordinator at the University of New Mexico.

Intersport hired Andrew Opatkiewicz as vice president of strategic partnerships, Steve Johnson as vice president of public relations, Bill Behrns as director of communications, and Steve Smith Jr. as vice president of sales for CelebTV. Opatkiewicz was associate vice president of strategic development for Stats LLC; Johnson was principal at Steve Johnson Connects; Behrns was assistant athletic director for communications at Loyola University Chicago; and Smith was a vice president for TouchTunes Music Corp.

GRand Solutions hired Paul Kelly to oversee planning and execution of the firm’s communications programs. Kelly was communications manager for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Octagon hired Mindy Coppin as head of Asia Pacific business development and strategic initiatives. Coppin was senior vice president and managing director for IMG Artists Asia Pacific.

The Associated Press promoted Noreen Gillespie to deputy sports editor.

Fox International Channels and the RCN Television Group hired Ibra Morales as president for MundoFox. Morales was senior vice president of national marketing for Katz Television Group.

Rogers Media named Scott Moore president of Sportsnet and NHL and Bart Yabsley senior vice president of NHL and video distribution.

Volar Video named David Bertram chief executive officer and Ben Askren president and chief technology officer.

Amy Konrath stepped down from the position of vice president of public relations and communications at IndyCar.


The North American Soccer League’s Minnesota United FC hired Craig Mallace as director of camps and youth development.

The USL Pro’s Orlando City SC hired Paul McDonough as senior vice president of soccer operations. McDonough was director of global soccer for Wasserman Media Group.

Sporting Goods and Apparel
Loudmouth Golf hired Dennis Green as executive vice president and general manager of sales and marketing. Green was managing partner for Indexla.

Executive search firm Harvard Group International named Malcolm Bordelon as an executive-in-residence. Bordelon was executive vice president of business operations for the San Jose Sharks.

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.

Super Bowl bell ringers

Ringing the opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange on Jan. 30: Jonathan Tisch of the Super Bowl host committee and the Giants; Joe Ellis of the Broncos; Al Kelly and Laurie Tisch of the host committee; John Elway of the Broncos; John Mara of the Giants; Peter McLoughlin, John Schneider and Paul Allen of the Seahawks; and Woody Johnson of the host committee and the Jets.

Stadium stalwarts

MetLife Stadium executives take a quick break from preparations on Feb. 1, the day before the game: Jena Schaafsma, Brad Mayne, Nicole Fountain and Ron VanDeVeen

Pregame chat

DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the NFL Players Association, and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell speak on the field at MetLife Stadium before the game on Feb. 2.
Photo by: AP IMAGES

Owners gather at DirecTV party

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and Papa John’s Pizza’s John Schnatter at the DirecTV Super Saturday Night at Pier 40 on Feb. 1. Below: Patriots owner Robert Kraft and Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.

Chase Bank / United Airlines VIP Lounge

Inside the Chase Bank / United Airlines VIP Lounge on Feb. 1 at Guy Fieri’s American Kitchen in Times Square were Jon Miller, NBC Sports; David Gold, Chase Card Services; Fieri; and the Giants’ Chris Mara.

And the winner is …

Congratulations to Kroenke Sports & Entertainment VP/IT Rick Schoenhals, who won the 2014 SBD/SBJ Super Bowl pick ’em. His entry had the Seahawks defeating the Broncos 42-28 (the final was 43-8) and Anheuser-Busch taking the top spot in USA Today’s Ad Meter. No one correctly predicted the Seahawks’ Malcolm Smith as the game’s MVP.

Business of Sport panel

At the 2014 Business of Sport Forum: Football Edition, at Marquee NYC on Jan. 30, The Legacy Agency’s Mike Principe (left) welcomed Under Armour’s Kevin Plank, the Falcons’ Osi Umenyiora, Twitter’s Geoff Reiss, CNBC’s Jim Cramer and Fox Sports’ Eric Shanks.
Photo by: JEFF LEWIS

Steinberg’s celebration

Leigh Steinberg and Steve Young attend the Leigh Steinberg Super Bowl Party at 230 Fifth Ave. on Feb. 1. The event benefited the Lone Survivor Fund.

Steve Tisch’s bash

Giants co-owner Steve Tisch was the host for a dinner Jan. 29 at Carbone in New York. Tisch (right) with brother and Giants co-owner Jonathan. Below: NFL Network’s Rich Eisen with Translation’s Steve Stoute, holding the trophy for winning Jay-Z’s fantasy football league.

GE, NFL announce winners

General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell attend a news conference to announce the 16 winners of the first round of the $20 million Head Health Challenge, a research grant created by the NFL and General Electric to better study and treat traumatic brain injuries, on Jan. 23 in New York City.

Getting together at 16W

16W Marketing held its annual “Super Bowl Get Together” at Il Villaggio in Carlstadt, N.J., on Jan. 30. With 16W partners Steve Rosner (fourth from left) and Frank Vuono (fourth from right) are 16W clients Howie Long, Jim Kelly, Ron Darling, Chris Simms, Bob Papa and Phil Simms.

Chalk talkers

CBS broadcaster Phil Simms, Bleacher Report’s Dave Finocchio, the Packers’ Randall Cobb, Fox broadcaster Howie Long and Rich Calacci of Turner Digital Ad Sales were at the Bleacher Report Chalk Talk Powered by Samsung Galaxy event on Jan. 30 at Bleacher Report’s video production office.

Assessing the impact at NYU

NYU Sports and Society hosted “48 Hours Before Super Bowl XLVIII: The Lasting Impact of Sports’ Greatest Events” on Jan. 31. Back row: Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard; Lisa Baird, U.S. Olympic Committee; moderator Arthur Miller; Mary Pilon, The New York Times; David Rousseau, Arizona Super Bowl XLIX Host Committee; and Dennis Di Lorenzo, NYU-School of Continuing and Professional Studies. Seated: Gregory Carey, Goldman, Sachs & Co.; Richard Florida, NYU-SCPS professor; Kevin Hallinan, former MLB security chief; and Constantine Kontokosta, NYU Center for Urban Science and Progress.

Global travelers

Visiting Super Bowl XLVIII in preparation for hosting Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale: Global Spectrum’s Fred Corsi, Dan Callendar, Peter Sullivan, Tarena Smith and Myles Gabel.

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.

Longtime sports executive Arnie Fielkow, since 2011, has been charged with leading the National Basketball Retired Players Association. The group aims to assist former NBA, WNBA, ABA and Harlem Globetrotters players and has a current membership count of 650, up from 400 when Fielkow came aboard. Fielkow previously was an executive vice president for the New Orleans Saints and served as a New Orleans city councilman. Today, he’s responsible for growing the NBRPA membership and its programs.

There are success stories, but equally true is that there are a lot of depressing stories. We see both sides. Our organization exists to do as much as we can to help those in need of a better place in life.

The challenges: Our membership is so diverse. We have guys in their 20s to their 80s. We have rich and we have poor. We have to provide programming and benefits that fulfill the needs for everyone.

The programs: One mission is to help transition the former player to a successful life after sports. We have programs in multiple areas, including financial, career transitions, education, health care, and in almost any area that would involve a former athlete. We have a dozen programs across that platform that are free and are part of the membership. We provide a number of monetary opportunities to our players to continue their brand in the marketplace. Our newest mission is a community mission.

The growth targets: We just added the WNBA. We are having discussions with the NBPA about active players coming into our organization. The thought is that it would be a seamless transition: They would be a member in both organizations, and there would be no gap in time when they stop playing.

On the NBPA executive director search: We are hoping that the new person coming in is supportive of the NBRPA and is someone who wants to work hand-in-hand in creating programs for former players.

On Dennis Rodman and North Korea: There is a time and place for the utilization of sports to bring people together. I personally don’t feel that the North Korea trip was that situation. You have a dictator who is violating basic human rights, and to go over there for his birthday is not something we feel is appropriate.

— John Lombardo