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Volume 21 No. 2

People and Pop Culture

The New York Mets named Harold Kaufman executive director of communications. Kaufman was senior counselor at The Ehrhardt Group, and before that was the longtime vice president of communications for the New Orleans Pelicans organization.

The NBA named Matt Goodman vice president of team marketing and business operations. Goodman was vice president of corporate partnerships for the Cleveland Browns.

The Philadelphia 76ers promoted Ben Kessler to account executive.

American International College promoted Matthew Johnson to athletic director, effective July 1.

The Big East named Tania Kennedy director of championships. Kennedy was assistant director of championships for the MAAC.

The CIAA named Adrian Ferguson associate commissioner of media relations, effective July 1. Ferguson was assistant athletic director for media relations and manager of game operations at Fayetteville State University.

Texas A&M University promoted Kevin Hurley to senior associate athletic director for facilities and construction.

Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi named Bill McDaniel assistant athletic director for external operations. McDaniel was director of corporate sponsorships and external relations at McNeese State University.

Virginia Tech associate athletic director for administration Jon Jaudon will leave his position.

Virginia Commonwealth University promoted Ed McLaughlin to associate vice president in addition to his duties as athletic director.

The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater named Amy Edmonds athletic director.

Wayne State College named Ryan Hix assistant athletic director for business management. Hix was a loan officer with Security Bank.

Western Washington University promoted Steve Brummel to associate athletic director for facilities and operations, and T.H. Kamena to assistant athletic director for compliance and academics.

AEG named Rich Krezwick senior vice president of facilities. Krezwick was president of Devils Arena Entertainment.

AT&T Stadium senior vice president and senior adviser Bruce Hardy is stepping down.

Barclays Center named John Baier vice president of ticket sales for the New York Islanders as the team prepares to move to the arena in for 2015-16 NHL season. Baier was senior director of premium sales for the Brooklyn Nets.

Western & Southern Financial Group named Steven Kreider senior vice president and chief investment officer for Western & Southern and Fort Washington Investment Advisors. Kreider played eight seasons for the Cincinnati Bengals.

SunTrust Banks promoted John Hondros to managing director of the sports and entertainment specialty group, managing its Charlotte and Daytona Beach, Fla., offices.

The Detroit Lions promoted Rob Lohman to assistant director of pro personnel and named Patrick Mularkey pro personnel coordinator.

The Canadian Football League’s Winnipeg Blue Bombers named Jason Smith general manager for the 2015 Grey Cup Festival and vice president of entertainment and events. Smith was managing director of the 2014 Juno Awards.

ESPN promoted John Saccenti to executive director of the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl.

The Philadelphia Eagles promoted Dom DiSandro to vice president of team security and Jake Rosenberg to director of football administration. The team also named Rick Mueller director of pro player personnel, Mike Bradway assistant director of college scouting, Joe Hastings pro personnel assistant and Matt Lindsey college scouting coordinator.

The San Francisco 49ers parted ways with chief technology officer Kunal Malik and named Fergus Connolly director of elite performance.

The Washington Redskins promoted Bruce Allen to president and general manager and Alex Santos to director of pro personnel.

The Tiger Woods Foundation named Rick Singer president and chief executive officer. Singer was vice president of client executive marketing for IBM.


Drizly, a tech and app startup, named Kerry McGovern senior director of communications and media. McGovern was director of communications for the NHL.

The Ontario Hockey League’s Plymouth (Mich.) Whalers promoted Dennis Moore to president and chief financial officer of the Whalers and Compuware Arena, and Mike Henry to vice president and general manager of the arena. The team also named Mark Craig general manager.

The American Hockey League’s Springfield (Mass.) Falcons named Eric Lapointe executive vice president and alternate governor, and Sarah Pompea team president and governor. Lapointe was director of premium seating for the Florida Panthers.

The United States Hockey League named Bob Fallen president and commissioner. Fallen previously managed U.S. trade marketing for Reebok-CCM Hockey.

Horse Racing
The New York Racing Association named Lynn LaRocca senior vice president and chief experience officer, and Joseph Lambert general counsel. LaRocca was senior vice president of marketing for Modell’s Sporting Goods, and Lambert was executive managing director and general counsel for UnitedLex Corp.

U/S Sports Advisors named Josh Carpenter manager of merchandise sales.

Team One promoted Michael Resnick to management supervisor for experiential marketing. The company also named Kaitlin Kerns account executive and Taylor Brown account coordinator.

3 Point Productions named Scott Smith marketing coordinator.

Lammi Sports Management named Becky Valcq general counsel. Valcq was regulatory counsel at We Energies.

Turnkey Sports & Entertainment named Gene DeFilippo adviser for college sports. Turnkey Intelligence named Erin Morris director of cultural and performing arts, and Britney Talty manager of client services. DeFilippo retired as athletic director at Boston College in 2012.

Wasserman Media Group announced co-managing directors of the global media division, David Kogan and Sara Munds, are leaving the company. Kogan and Munds co-founded Reel Enterprises, which was sold to Wasserman in 2011.

The NHRA promoted Bob Lang to senior director of safety and emergency services and Dave Mohn to director of the Northeast division.

International Speedway Corp. named Gentry Baumline-Robinson manager of corporate communications. Baumline-Robinson was communications manager for the Halifax Area Advertising Authority.

Speedway Motorsports Inc. promoted Donald Hawk to senior vice president of business affairs, James Scudder to senior vice president and chief accounting officer, Randall Storey to senior vice president and tax director, Cynthia Jacobson to senior vice president of human resources, J. Cary Tharrington IV to senior vice president, chief legal officer, general counsel and secretary, Michael Burch to senior vice president of national sales and marketing, and Braun Smith to vice president of sales.

Multiteam Companies
Madison Square Garden named Marc Miller director of marketing partnerships, focusing on the D-League’s Westchester (N.Y.) Knicks. Miller was in the global marketing partnerships division of the NBA.

USA Swimming named Scott Leightman director of public relations and communications. Leightman was public relations director at Buffalo Communications.

USA Synchro named Rachel Hibner business and sport development manager. Hibner was marketing and social media coordinator for Vision Event Management.

USA Hockey named Rachel Schwartz social media and digital content coordinator. Schwartz was a digital producer with NBC Olympics for the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Sporting Goods and Apparel
Footwear and apparel company Keen named Steve Meineke president. Meineke was chief executive officer for Accell North America.

Icebreaker, an outdoor apparel brand, named Rob Fyfe chief executive officer. Fyfe was executive chairman of the board for the company. Founder Jeremy Moon becomes executive chairman and creative director.

Spanx named Jan Singer CEO. Singer was Nike corporate vice president of global apparel.

Nike promoted Craig Zanon to vice president and general manager of global men’s training, and Michael Jackson to vice president and general manager of global basketball. The company also moved Marc van Pappelendam to vice president and general manager of Central and Eastern Europe, and Jim Reynolds to vice president and general manager of Japan.

2XU, an Australian performance sports and compression apparel company, named Scott Taylor its first president for United States business. Taylor was director of global brand marketing for Under Armour.

Sports Commissions and Tourism Boards
Richmond Region Tourism named Matt Robinette director of convention and sports services. Robinette was sports sales manager for the Virginia Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau.


Kore Software, a sports and entertainment customer relationship management solutions company, named Neda Tabatabaie vice president of best practices and Russell Scibetti vice president of product strategy. Tabatabaie was director of business intelligence and digital for Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, and Scibetti was director of relationship and database marketing for the New York Jets.

Primeview USA, an advance displays company, named Yossef Jackson director of technical operations for North America. Jackson was a principal at Media2connect.

WWE named Chris Gesue director of integrated sales and talent brand management. Gesue was director of new business development at StarPower.

President Barack Obama nominated Marcus Jadotte for assistant secretary for industry and analysis in the Department of Commerce. Jadotte was vice president of public affairs and multicultural development for NASCAR.

Korn Ferry named former NHL player Blake Geoffrion to its sports practice.

Awards and Boards
The NCAA Division I Men’s Lacrosse Committee appointed John Hardt as a member. Hardt is athletic director at Bucknell University.

The National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics named its officers for 2014-15. The association named Northwestern University’s Jim Phillips president, Grand Valley State University’s Tim Selgo first vice president, University of Texas’ Chris Plonsky second vice president and University of North Carolina’s Bubba Cunningham third vice president.

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.

Community MVP Awards

Max Wallack of Natick, Mass., a Boston University student and the 2014 Myra Kraft Community MVP Award grand prize winner, poses with Tom Brady, Andre Tippett, Robert Kraft, Jerod Mayo and Joe Andruzzi on the Gillette Stadium field. Wallack received a $25,000 grant for his organization, Puzzles To Remember, which provides a line of therapeutic puzzles made specifically to meet the needs of Alzheimer’s patients. Each Community MVP received grants for their respective nonprofit organizations from the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation. Fifteen New England-based organizations were presented with $5,000 grants in honor of their volunteers’ work, and 10 others received grants of $10,000.

NFF hall inducts New Jersey’s Christie

Members of the National Football Foundation board of directors joined New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie before his induction into the NFF Leadership Hall of Fame at the New York Hilton Midtown on June 4: General Electric’s Jeff Immelt, CBS’s Jack Ford, Hampshire Real Estate Cos.’ Jon Hanson, Christie, the NFF’s Steve Hatchell, former Boston College AD Gene DeFilippo and the Big Ten’s Jim Delany.

Father of the Year

Bob Gutkowski, partner at Innovative Sports & Entertainment, was honored as a Father of Year by the American Diabetes Association during a ceremony June 4 at the Oheka Castle in Huntington, N.Y. From left: Tara Gutkowski Schwartz of the NBA, Bob Gutkowski, Matt Gutkowski of the rEal Group.

At play in San Antonio

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich and Spurs general manager R.C. Buford cut the ribbon June 6 to officially open the NBA Cares Learn & Play Center in San Antonio as part of activities around the NBA Finals.

Driving at FedEx pro-am

At pro-am day at the FedEx St. Jude Classic on June 4: NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin, Ole Miss football coach Hugh Freeze, professional golfer David Duval, FedEx’s Mike Glenn, NASCAR driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

At Game 2 of the Finals

The Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO Bob Iger and Ahmad Rashad at Game 2 of the NBA Finals at the AT&T Center in San Antonio.
Photo by: NBA

Iowa Corn celebrates in-state rivalry

Gov. Terry Branstad signed a proclamation declaring June 9 as Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Day. Iowa Corn sponsors the Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series throughout the Iowa and Iowa State sports seasons.
Photo by: IOWA CORN

Advocate Center tour

The Chicago Bulls welcomed leadership from Advocate Health Care on a hard-hat tour of the Advocate Center, the team’s new training facility, on June 4: the  Bulls’ John Paxson, Advocate’s Kelly Jo Golson, the Bulls’ Gar Forman, Advocate’s Jim Skogsbergh and the Bulls’ Tom Thibodeau.
Photo by: BILL SMITH

Batter up at NSSA HOF Awards

At the June 7 National Sportswriters Sportscasters Association Hall of Fame Awards Banquet, NSSA Executive Director Dave Goren, hall of fame inductee Marv Albert, National Sportswriter of the Year Award winner Peter King and hall of fame inductee Rick Reilly pose with baseball bats in Salisbury, N.C.

Directors’ Cup winners

The Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup winners were honored June 10 at the NACDA Convention in Orlando. From left: (front row) Division III Williams College AD Lisa Melendy; Lexie Ross, representing Division I leader Stanford; Iowa Western Community College AD Brenda Hampton, and West Virginia Senior Associate AD and Directors’ Cup Chair Terri Howes. (Back row) Division II Grand Valley State AD Tim Selgo, Learfield’s Greg Brown and NAIA Oklahoma Baptist AD Robert Davenport.

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.

Pittsburgh was the site for SBJ/SBD’s annual conferences covering facilities, franchises and ticketing. Trips to Heinz Field, PNC Park and Consol Energy Center were part of the agenda.


The Heinz Field video board provides a welcome for attendees, who enjoyed a reception and stadium tour.

Don Marinelli, co-founder of Carnegie Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology Center, gives the keynote address on reaching and managing millennials.

Sporting Innovations co-founder and co-CEO Asim Pasha lays out the latest in technology that can connect teams to fans and fans to the games.

Pittsburgh Pirates owner Bob Nutting details what went into the franchise’s turnaround.

Art Rooney II, Pittsburgh Steelers co-owner and president, talks about the franchise and his family’s history in the NFL.

Frank Coonelly of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Anthony LeBlanc of the Phoenix Coyotes and Arena take part in the annual panel of team presidents.

Meagan Manning and Julianne Vitt of Veritix, Michael Behan of Legends, and Jake Reynolds and Brian Norman of the Philadelphia 76ers

Ron Contorno of Full House Marketing, Jeff Morander of the Phoenix Coyotes and Michael Thompson of Aramark Sports and Entertainment discuss tapping into local businesses in ticketing.

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.

Many questioned Carlos Sanchez when earlier in his career he moved from San Diego to Las Vegas to take a job in a smaller television market. The eternally optimistic Sanchez knew, however, that it was an important step in his career, which now finds him as executive vice president and general manager for Fox Deportes. Sanchez spoke with staff writer Bryan Ives.

Age: 46
New title: Executive vice president and general manager for Fox Deportes.
Previous title: President and general manager for Telemundo New York.
First job: McDonald’s.
 Resides/family: Los Angeles, two daughters.
Grew up: San Diego.
Executive most admired: “My first boss in media. His name is Philip Wilkinson. He was the chief operating officer for Entravision Communications.”
 Brand most admired: “I’m addicted to Apple. I just love how innovative Apple has been and just everything they produce.”
Favorite vacation spot: Koh Phangan, Thailand.
Last book read: “El Tigre,” which is a book about the guy that started Televisa in Mexico.
Last movie seen: “The Last Samurai.”
Favorite movie: “The Godfather.”
Favorite musician/band: “My daughter, Sammi Sanchez. She has her own site (, she has music on iTunes and she’s been around America to do concerts. She’s up and coming.”

What will be the biggest challenge in your new position?
I’ve been here two months, and one of the things that I’ve already found is that it’s very challenging to find the right content that is going to fulfill everyone’s appetite.

What is the biggest risk you’ve taken in your career?
Moving from San Diego to Las Vegas. … People ask me this question: At the time San Diego was the No. 12 market and I went to the No. 22 market, and so they said why would you go backwards? Why would you go from a larger market to a smaller market? What I did is I was actually going from an affiliate station to an owned-and-operated station, so to me it wasn’t necessarily going backwards. I did that because I was thinking more long term and I was looking at it as a steppingstone.”

What is your biggest professional accomplishment?
I think it was running a television station in the No. 1 television market in the country for the last six years. It was going to New York, and that move to Vegas is what allowed me to make that big leap to New York.

What is your biggest professional disappointment?
I really don’t see things as negative. Obviously I’ve made mistakes in my career, but I’ve learned from my mistakes and so I don’t see any of my decisions as a disappointment.

What career advice do you have for people wanting to get into the sports industry?
I say this to really anyone, not just getting into the sports industry, but really into any industry. I’ve gone out and spoken to a lot of young kids and usually what I tell them is just be the best at what you love and you’ll do well.

What is the one element you would like to see changed about the sports industry?
Better access to athletes, maybe through the use of technology. I would love to find a way to be able to offer our sports fan a better way to connect with the athletes they love.

Sitting at the helm of the oldest and best-connected sports administration graduate program in the country, Ohio University’s Jim Kahler keeps a close tab on who is hiring and which skills they value most. Kahler, an Ohio grad who rose to chief marketing officer of the Cleveland Cavaliers before crossing over into academia, shared his take on the current job market and the ever-evolving education landscape.

Most of the kids we get want to be college athletic directors. We have somewhat of a bias in training them on the development side of the house and a pretty good feeder system in doing that. College athletics is looking for the same thing the pros are looking for: revenue generation.

The job market: Stronger than a year ago and much stronger than two years ago. I base that on placements of where kids are going and also demand. A couple of years ago the phone wasn’t ringing and we were calling out. Now the phone is ringing.

What’s hot: The growth areas continue to be analytics and CRM, because it’s new and you’re seeing more jobs coming across the desk that way. And sports marketing agencies. I don’t know why, but there are more jobs coming through. Maybe that’s a sign the sponsorship market is picking up. I think we had people doing two jobs for a couple of years there.

The value of an MBA in sports: I think the recognition is getting a little stronger but the paying your dues hasn’t gone away. It pays greater dividends five or 10 years down the road. It can help you get a job, probably because of the analytics, where the MBA is more understood and appreciated. And understanding social and digital. People making hires are all looking for that. The experts are 24 and 25 years old — if that. The real experts are probably 18 and 19 and haven’t worked their way through the system. Everybody seems to want it. And no one seems to have it.

The paid internship debate: I’m happy to say the percentage of paid internships is on the rise. That’s been a crusade of mine for years because when I got out of graduate school in 1981, Dr. [Charles] Higgins would not let us leave unless we got an internship. But 40 years later there were too many programs and some of those programs said, “Hey, you don’t have to pay our kids.” I think with the lawsuits and legislation, you’re seeing more paid internships. Everybody is trying to figure it out.

Dot degrees: I view online education much differently today than when we first started our professional MSA program. We just graduated our third class. When we started it, I had never taken an online course. And now I was co-teaching an online sponsorship course. It was a steep learning curve, but now that I’ve been through it I think it’s a sign of things to come. And in some cases it provides a deeper peer-to-peer learning environment.

Rainmakers: I get accused sometimes of recruiting too many people like that. If the industry tells us tomorrow that they want more PR directors, we’ll start looking for PR people. But everybody is looking for revenue generation. The call that has changed really is on analytics, CRM, database marketing. We’ll look for two to three kids who are really analytical because there are people looking for those.

— Bill King

I t used to be just a couple TV spots, make your friends laugh, go home. It’s hard now.

It’s true that I’ve worked with every team in the Bay Area over the years, because I’m very old. Including the Oakland Invaders from the USFL, so that’s how far back it goes.

In 1981 — this shows you how long back it goes — along with Andy Dolich … I was lucky enough to work on a campaign for the Oakland A’s, which starred their new manager, Billy Martin. It was a campaign called “Billy Ball.” It was one of the first, if not the first, campaign that actually gave you a chance to see players doing comedy, doing skits, acting a little bit and people liked that.

It was actually a wonderful thing to suddenly be able to see and feel these individuals trying to do something, and we all appreciate it when somebody in sports actually can do something intelligent and funny. It makes us like them better on the field, and I think that is kind of what we did with Billy.

We talked about, mostly ironically and humorously, about the guy and built a whole campaign around him. We had like two old people on the porch in Berkeley reminiscing about what a polite shy child he was and things like that.

There was a risk of course with a guy like Billy because he wasn’t necessarily the best-behaved dude off the field.

When we were working with him, [A’s broadcaster] Bill Rigney said to me, “You should have assigned a 20-year-old production assistant to him and he’ll do whatever she says,” and sure enough it’d be like, OK, go get Billy to come over here and she’d go, “Billy,” and he’d go, “Yes, dear,” and he’d show up.

One day I found myself telling Billy that I grew up as a Boston Red Sox fan and that my father had taught me to hate the Yankees and especially him. After the words were out of my mouth I was like, I just said this to Billy Martin. I can’t believe this, and he said, “Isn’t baseball great?” and he just walked away.

Throughout the next few decades I think the humorous or ironic use of teams’ individuals became pretty commonplace. You see this in local and national TV everywhere now. “SportsCenter,” of course, has advertised themselves that way for years.

I think it is our challenge … to move beyond that solution.

TV as we know it is not as dependable as it used to be. … Luckily, sports are one of the places, as you know, where people don’t time shift. They still look at things live. You can make use of that. It’s a smart thing to make use of.

The $10 billion question these days is what we do instead of TV, and the answer is usually answered in terms of media. We do stunts, we activate, we do social media, we disrupt, we do all of these other things.

I would submit that the answer lies more in being sensitive to the context around your product because many times the context that we operate in is the answer to that question and we don’t realize it and we don’t think about it.

What are people saying about you? Is the media saying anything about you? Is there a big gorilla in the room that maybe you should address and use for public relations, for humor, for some kind of public installation? Use that thing.

A lot of times we think as marketers — and not as regular people and think about “What do I know about this sports entity in the real world?” — and we kind of forget to do that because it’s exhausting.

This is a lot of work these days, but it’s what makes marketing come alive because I think what you need to do is maintain a surprising intimacy with your audience. Have them go, “Wow. They know that about me? They know that I’m thinking that about this team or about this league at this time?”

We do a playoffs campaign for the NBA every year, and some executions are better than others.

One year really stands out. We hit on a device that really resonated with people. … We did a number of iterations of that commercial — that split-screen thing — and they were good. I think they’re actually really good. They were TV spots and I think one of the things we did was we went to school on what happened after that.

Time magazine actually used the device on the cover of the magazine and this started to happen in the world. “Saturday Night Live” did a split-screen thing with a parody of Obama and Hillary talking to each other about this one thing and the punch line of it was Hillary saying she deserved to be president, which I thought was kind of nice.

Things started to get picked up in popular culture, and when that happens that is the most amazing thing and you have to go out and use it. We started making these enormous banners outside all the arenas in the NBA that had the split-screen device going on. We started using it online. When you do an interview, talk about the split screen thing.

When you get that lightning in a bottle use it everywhere.

Keep in mind that contextual thing. Challenge what you think about it and take a different route to work every day, and that will really help.