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Volume 21 No. 2

People and Pop Culture

The Arizona Diamondbacks named Mike Feder coordinator of southern Arizona special projects. Feder was general manager of the Class AAA Pacific Coast League’s Tucson (Ariz.) Padres, now the El Paso (Texas) Chihuahuas.

The Cleveland Indians named Matt Kata manager of youth baseball development and initiatives.

The Houston Astros hired Amanda Rykoff as social media manager. Rykoff was a freelance sportswriter.

The New York Mets and Clear Channel Media and Entertainment named Seth Everett to the radio broadcast team for Mets games on WOR-AM. Everett was with Fox Sports Radio and WINS-AM.

NBA China named Ella Wong senior vice president and general counsel. Wong was regional counsel in Asia for 21st Century Fox.

The Atlantic Coast Conference named Paul Brazeau senior associate commissioner for men’s basketball operations, effective April 14. Brazeau was senior associate commissioner for men’s basketball of the American Athletic Conference.

The NYU-SCPS Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management named four-time U.S. Olympian Cameron Myler clinical assistant professor of sports management.

Rice University named Josh Thiel senior associate athletic director for development. Thiel was associate director of development for major gifts at Stanford University.

Florida State University named Cindy Hartmann deputy athletic director for administration. Hartmann was associate athletic director for compliance at Duke University.

The University of Southern California hired Steve Fuller as trademarks and licensing manager.

Xavier University of Louisiana named Jason Horn athletic director, effective March 31. Horn was associate athletic director for external affairs at the University of Detroit Mercy.

The New York Jets hired Ian Lasher as senior vice president of corporate sponsorships. Lasher was vice president of sports management and digital marketing for ESPN.

The NFL hired Brian Matthews as senior vice president of media sales. Matthews was senior vice president of sales for NBC News Digital.

The Miami Dolphins named Harvey Greene to the newly created position of vice president of historical affairs. Greene was senior vice president of media relations.

The LPGA promoted Kelly Thesier to director of media communications, Tina Barnes-Budd to senior director of social media and marketing communications, Meghan Flanagan to senior coordinator of tour media and Ali Kicklighter to manager of player development. The organization also named Molly Gallatin manager of publicity and media services, Bret Lasky coordinator of Symetra Tour media and Matt Haas coordinator of tour media.


LeadDog Marketing Group named Jamey Sunshine vice president of client partnerships.

Navigate Research hired Beau Stephens as senior vice president of university business.

Competitor Group named Keith Kendrick chief marketing officer and Barrett Garrison chief financial officer.

IMG College named Jacob Powers general manager at Akron and Tom Sitko general manager at Kent State.

Learfield Sports named Kyle Denzel vice president of the West region. Denzel was general manager for CBS Collegiate Sports Properties’ Virginia Sports Properties.

Front Row Marketing Services named Curtis Phair corporate partnerships manager, Jeff Olaf director of corporate partnerships and Elyse Holben director of premium seating for the PPL Center and Lehigh Valley Phantoms, and promoted Nino Vanin to regional manager. The company also named Jamie Alt director of corporate sales for the Iowa Events Center and Casandra Bossingham corporate sales and premium seating manager for the Budweiser Events Center.

Back9Network named Harry Goldberg vice president of operations and engineering. Goldberg was director of engineering for Time Warner Cable.

ESPN Digital & Print Media named Chad Millman editor-in-chief of in addition to his duties as editor-in-chief of ESPN The Magazine. The company also named Alison Overholt editor-in-chief of espnW, effective later this year, and Carol Stiff vice president of multimedia strategy and integration for espnW.

KSE Media Ventures promoted Kim Carver to president and chief executive officer for the World Fishing Network in addition to her current responsibilities as president and chief executive officer for Altitude Sports & Entertainment. The company also promoted Dave Zur to senior vice president of broadcasting and engineering and general manager of the KSE Network Operations Center.

Fox Deportes named Carlos Sanchez executive vice president and general manager. Sanchez was president and general manager of WNJU-TV in New York.

Internet Media Services named Cesar Ruiz vice president of U.S. sales. Ruiz was senior director of national multimedia sales for ESPN.

Motor Racing Network named Chris McKee director of business development.

PlayOn! Sports hired Owen Shull as vice president of sales. Shull was chief revenue officer for Peach Bowl Inc.

Charlotte’s WJZY-TV hired Kacie Hollins as newscaster. Hollins was with Rogers SportsNet and CBC.

The World Endurance Championship named Andrew Craig North American representative. Craig is the former chairman and chief executive officer of Championship Auto Racing Teams.

IndyCar named Mike Kitchel director of communications. Kitchel was communications director for Panther Racing.

The NASCAR Hall of Fame named Mike Laheta manager of corporate partnerships. Laheta was director of marketing and business affairs for Front Row Motorsports.

Multiteam Companies
MSG Sports hired Bill Boyce as vice president of sales and business operations for the New York Knicks’ new NBA D-League team. Boyce was president of the NBA D-Leagues’s Texas Legends.

USA Synchro named Kevin Warner executive director. Warner was chief operating officer and transition director.

Darryl Seibel left his position as director of communications and media strategy for the British Olympic Association.

USA Triathlon promoted Chuck Menke to chief marketing officer. Menke was director of marketing and communications.

Southampton FC named Ralph Krueger chairman.

The Colorado Rapids promoted Paul Bravo to vice president of soccer operations and technical director.

The Philadelphia Union hired Drew Young as vice president of corporate partnerships and premium seating.

Sporting Goods and Apparel
Summit Golf Brands named Patrick Kiely senior vice president of sales for its Fairway & Greene, Zero Restriction and B. Draddy lines, and named Sandy Martinelli senior vice president of sales and operations for EP Pro and EP Sport.

Under Armour promoted Dave Dombrow to vice president and creative director of footwear and Josh Rattet to vice president of team sports and footwear.

Korn Ferry International named Liz Boardman senior client partner in the sports practice. Boardman was executive search consultant at Russell Reynolds Associates.

Awards and Boards
Olympic bid city group DC 2024 named Ted Leonsis vice chairman. Leonsis is founder of Monumental Sports & Entertainment.

The National Sports Marketing Network named Jeff Knapple to its executive board of directors. Knapple is president and chief executive officer of Van Wagner Sports & Entertainment.

Source Interlink Media named Peter Englehart chairman of its board of directors. Englehart is former operating partner at Falconhead Capital.

The Sport & Recreation Law Association named Mark Conrad president, Steve McKelvey president-elect, Sungho Cho member-at-large for finance and Michael Carroll member-at-large honors and awards.

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.

Last December, Neil Paine became one of the first writers hired for ESPN’s FiveThirtyEight website, which ultimately launched last week. Paine is a senior writer and analyst for the site, hired for his “statistical and technical skills” — as said by the site’s editor-in-chief, Nate Silver, when announcing Paine’s hiring. Paine also works as a basketball analytics consultant for the Atlanta Hawks. A 2009 graduate of Georgia Tech, Paine is one of the most high-profile writers to combine analytics with sports reporting.

The other day, I put out a random brainstorming session on Twitter, asking readers to give me some of their best ideas that they’d want to see us tackle at FiveThirtyEight. I got almost 100 responses to it. Almost half were things I thought could be the seed of an idea, even if it was a blog post or a quick-hit study.

Photo: ESPN
A trend in journalism: This might sound self-serving for FiveThirtyEight, but I like the trend toward getting away from the narratives that aren’t really backed up by any evidence. The trend is looking into the data and making sure that you can prove things, especially on the sports side. We’ve seen this in conversations on television. We’re seeing win probability show up during baseball broadcasts. We’ve got OPS at the bottom-third graphics. It’s little things like those examples that raise the level of intelligence of the discussions for fans. There are still people who do good journalistic work on the sports side who are not well versed with advanced statistics. That’s going to become more mandatory as time passes.

Frequency of reading print publications?: Probably once a month. If I’m in the train station and I’m waiting for a train, I’ll pick something up. Mostly, it’s all online for me.

Prime social media sites?: Twitter’s the one that I’m most active on, just because you can get that instant feedback to your ideas. I Instagram occasionally.

The role of Twitter: I use it to keep up with what’s going on. It’s a lot easier to keep on top of news stories that are quick-breaking on Twitter than it is to wait for it to show up somewhere in one of the major outlets. I use it to joke around and go back-and-forth with some of the people in the stat community. During games, it’s excellent to get a sense for what people are thinking about something that is happening..

— John Ourand