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Volume 21 No. 6

People and Pop Culture


The Tampa Bay Rays named Rafaela Amador senior director of corporate communications. Amador was an account director at Tucker/Hall.

The Miami Heat promoted Jarred Diamond to executive vice president of Heat Group Enterprises, the marketing and booking arm of AmericanAirlines Arena. Diamond replaces Mike Walker, who is retiring.

The Charlotte Hornets named Chad Buchanan assistant general manager. Buchanan was director of college scouting for the Portland Trail Blazers.

Indiana Pacers vice president of player relations Clark Kellogg left the organization.

The Philadelphia 76ers named Eric Cole sales manager. Cole was a group events specialist with the Indiana Pacers.

Oregon State University named Mark Massari deputy athletic director. Massari was athletic director at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

University of Albany Athletic Director Lee McElroy retired from his position, but McElroy will serve as senior adviser for intercollegiate athletics advancement and engagement for the school through the remainder of 2014.

The University of Cincinnati named Maggie McKinley senior woman administrator in addition to her duties as senior associate athletic director.

The American Athletic Conference promoted Mark Hodgkin to assistant commissioner of digital media, Robert Weygand Jr. to assistant commissioner for Olympic sports administration and Kenneth Schank to senior director of compliance.

The Big 12 Conference named Zach Gourley and Mark Jezek Will Hancock Communications assistants. The conference also named Jason Angoy digital assistant and Jeffrey Smith compliance assistant.

Columbus State University named Todd Reeser athletic director, effective Aug. 1. Reeser was executive senior associate athletic director for development and sports services at Georgia State University.

Rutgers University promoted Kevin Lorincz to assistant athletic director of athletic communications, Kimberly Zivkovich to director of athletic communications and Jimmy Gill to associate director of athletic communications. Senior associate athletic director Jason Baum will add the title of chief communications officer.

Eastern Michigan University named Erin Kido senior associate athletic director for administration. Kido was associate athletic director and senior woman administrator at Xavier University.

Fordham University named John Barrett senior associate athletic director for business affairs. Barrett was associate athletic director for intercollegiate sport programs at Columbia University.

Grambling State University reassigned Athletic Director Aaron James and athletic business manager Terrance Bedford.

Millsaps College named Josh Brooks athletic director. Brooks was associate athletic director at the University of Georgia.

Charlotte Motor Speedway promoted David MacDonald to senior director of advertising and Nick Skrabalak to senior director of ticket sales.

Dover International Speedway named Patrick Long director of event operations. Long was manager of event services for the Ocean Center Convention and Entertainment Complex in Daytona Beach, Fla.

Homestead-Miami Speedway named Neal Gulkis director of media relations. Gulkis was vice president of media relations for the Cleveland Browns.

The Cleveland Browns promoted Sam DeLuca and Harrison Ritcher to player personnel associates and named Charles Bailey, Bobby DePaul, Mike Hagen, Ron Hill and James Kirkland senior personnel associates, and Scott Aligo player personnel associate. Browns director of communications Zak Gilbert resigned from his position.

The Cotton Bowl Athletic Association, the sponsoring agency of the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic, elected Dan Novakov chairman.  

The Miami Beach Bowl named Brett Weisbrot director of partnerships. Weisbrot was executive director of Sunrise Sports & Entertainment’s 360 Club.

The Carolina Hurricanes named Don Waddell president of Gale Force Sports & Entertainment and Ricky Olczyk assistant general manager. Waddell was a professional scout for the Pittsburgh Penguins, and Olczyk was assistant general manager for the Edmonton Oilers.

The Columbus Blue Jackets named Dani Nell group event specialist.

Steiner Sports Marketing & Memorabilia promoted Kelvin Joseph to chief operating officer and executive vice president of sales.

The Aspire Group promoted Brian Treiser to director of sales and service, and Brandon Lopez and John Zeleznock to team leaders at Florida Atlantic University. The company also named Scott Dressler, Eric Landman, Breann Barton, Cameron Legge and Jeremy Bowler ticket sales consultants at Arizona State University, Kaitlin Straits ticket sales consultant at Florida International University, Chris Nichols ticket sales consultant at Louisiana Tech athletics, DeMikel Tinker and Riley Cain sales consultants for the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks, and Allie Ware and Kyle Valente sales consultants for the U.S. Open.

MESP Lifestyle Sports Marketing promoted Blake Carey to vice president of operations and Libby Mooney to vice president of marketing.

IMG restructured its business to create a single IMG Events & Media division. The company named Michel Masquelier chairman, Ioris Francini president and Sam Zussman chief business officer of the new division.

IMG College named Nathan Hubble general manager at Tulane University and David Potamianos general manager at George Washington University. Hubble was vice president of business development for the Jacksonville Jaguars, and Potamianos was sponsorship marketing manager for the Florida Panthers.

Fanatics hired Vicky Picca to join its business affairs department. Picca was NBA senior vice president of licensing

and business affairs.

Learfield Sports named Joe Domingos general manager at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. Domingos was general manager for The Radio People.

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.

Brees lines up pros for camp

Drew Brees played host to 24 high school teams recently at his annual Passing Academy and 7 on 7 Tournament at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports near Orlando: Eric Liebler, ProCamps; Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals; Kellen Kalso, Disney Sports; Darrelle Revis, New England Patriots; Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints; Darren Sproles, Philadelphia Eagles; Chris Stuart, Encore Sports & Entertainment; and Gregg Darbyshire, ProCamps.

Big time with Big Ten Network

Big Ten Network hosted a party June 26 in New York City for 1,000 guests to celebrate the Big Ten Conference’s expansion to the East Coast as well as broader distribution for the network: Chase Carey, president and chief operating officer, 21st Century Fox; Jim Delany, Big Ten commissioner; Mark Silverman, network president; and Dave Brandon, University of Michigan athletic director.

Welcome to the ACC, Louisville

Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner John Swofford presents a plaque to University of Louisville President James Ramsey and VP/AD Tom Jurich commemorating Louisville’s official entrance to the ACC. The celebration took place July 1 in Louisville.
Photo by: SARA DAVIS

Road Runners sponsor summit

New York Road Runners welcomed sponsors of the 2014 TCS New York City Marathon to the NYRR Partner Meeting on June 25 in New York City: Mary Wittenberg, NYRR president and CEO; Surya Kant, TCS president of North America, U.K. and Europe; and Karen List, New York Times director of sport marketing.

ASPE honors Wendell Smith

Late sportswriter Wendell Smith was the recipient of the Associated Press Sports Editors Red Smith Award at a luncheon June 27 in Washington, D.C. Author and Negro League historian Larry Lester (center), who presented Smith, is joined by immediate past APSE President Tim Stephens (left) of and Garry D. Howard of SportsBusiness Journal/Daily parent company American City Business Journals, a past APSE president.

CSN Philly clients get an Eagles welcome

Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Bradley Fletcher welcomed guests recently to Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia’s client event at the Philadelphia Eagles’ NovaCare Complex for networking and a Q&A with CSN’s Eagles experts and Fletcher. From left: GMR Marketing’s Mark Cruz, CSN Philadelphia’s Brian Monihan, Fletcher and GMR’s Bobby Isom.

Ready to draft

Preparing on June 27 for the NHL draft in Philadelphia: Philadelphia Flyers President Paul Holmgren, Chief Operating Officer Shawn Tilger, team captain Claude Giroux, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, team goalkeeper Steve Mason and Comcast-Spectacor President Dave Scott.

Cardinals’ Bidwill honored

Arizona Cardinals team President Michael Bidwill speaks while receiving the 2014 Transformational Leader Award at the annual Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry Awards Luncheon on June 27 in Phoenix.

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.

Executive vice president, chief video officer and chief operating officer,
Time Warner Cable Networks

“New York: The Novel,” by Edward Rutherfurd
Always enjoy a good historical novel.

“Mandela’s Way,” by Richard Stengel
I’m intrigued by the notion that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear. The way he managed to work with the people who imprisoned them. He chose his goals over anger.

“The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail — But Some Don’t,” by Nate Silver
Fascinated by his thinking.

Vice president of legal, MLS

“A Delicate Truth,” by John le Carré
I am a big le Carré fan; he’s been writing spy novels for decades and has an uncanny ability to write stories that feel contemporary, dealing with current foreign affairs. Makes for great reading on my subway commute.  
“I Would Die 4 U,” by Touré
I’ve been meaning to get to this biography for a year now.  While I am by no means an expert on the subject matter, I am from Minneapolis and The Purple One is close to my heart.

Executive vice president and chief sales and marketing officer,
Charlotte Hornets

I am a Malcolm Gladwell fan like a lot of my peers and have read “Outliers” and “Blink.” I have been reading “David and Goliath.” I thought the premise on how and why underdogs win would apply to our situation, being in a smaller market. I have always felt there are ways to compete in any situation. The book has been motivational as we continue to find different paths to succeed despite any inherent disadvantages we may face..

Executive director, U.S. Masters Swimming

“Rome 1960,” by David Maraniss
Fascinating insight into the personalities and politics of how the 1960 Olympics began to change the Olympics from pure amateurism to a business.

“Revolutionary Summer,” by Joseph Ellis
I appreciate learning about the sacrifices others have made so we can enjoy our opportunities, and I am particularly interested in Revolutionary and Civil War history periods.

“Team of Rivals,” by Doris Kearns Goodwin
The story of how President Lincoln had the self-confidence to surround himself with men who all wanted to be president.

I have 3-year-old twin boys who every night want to read Thomas the Train, so whatever I’m reading usually gets replaced by their desires..

Senior partner and chief creative officer, SME Branding

I’m reading two books, neither of which are very new.

“Matisse and Picasso: The Story of Their Rivalry and Friendship,” by Jack Flam. This book is a peek inside the minds and personal relationship between two of the greatest artists in the history of the world. As a former fine art major in college, the jealousy, the respect, the friendship and the influence these men had on each other and on the dramatic changes that occurred in the direction of art in the early 1900s is a profound story that touches me and is one that has rarely been told with such historic flair.

“Ishmael,” by Daniel Quinn.  This is a classic, provocative look at human culture today, the beliefs it is founded on and the questions one is faced with as we take a closer look.

CEO and co-founder,

“The Men Who Would Be King,” by Nicole LaPorte
An almost epic tale of moguls, movies and a company called Dreamworks.

Commissioner, Southwestern Athletic Conference

“Only the Paranoid Survive,” by Andrew Grove
Great read by the 1997 Time Magazine Man of the Year and chairman of the board of Intel Corp. Great book on dealing with massive and drastic change. Strategic inflection points (SIPs) happen around us all the time and when they do they can sometimes change the way we do business.
“Q: The Autobiography of Quincy Jones”
I love to read the life stories of icons like Mr. Jones. Musician, composer, producer, arranger and pioneering entrepreneur Quincy Jones, one of the coolest cats on the planet, has seen it all and done it all. Working with superstars — including Frank Sinatra, Michael Jackson, Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey, Ray Charles, Will Smith. Focusing on doing what you love.
“The System: The Glory and Scandal of Big-Time College Football,” by Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian
Being a former college football player, a great book that takes you inside the machine that is college football. Great programs and scandal; “The System” shows you an in-depth look at the good, bad and ugly of college football.

“Break Out!: 5 Keys to Go Beyond Your Barriers and Live an Extraordinary Life,” by Joel Osteen
We are not here to live an average life. This book helps you to realize that we all have greatness in us. Get your life in line with purpose and dare yourself to be great. After reading this book you are always one setback and/or challenge away from breaking down those barriers that have stopped you from living a life of abundance.

“The People Factor: How Building Great Relationships and Ending Bad Ones Unlocks Your God-Given Purpose,” by Van Moody
When people show you who they are, pay attention. Great book on building relationships that feed life and ending those that take away from it.

“Instinct: The Power to Unleash Your Inborn Drive,” by T.D. Jakes
Have not finished this book, but as a leader you learn to trust yourself and instincts.

President and chief operating officer, Golden State Warriors

I’m headed to Sweden and Spain in August, and only one book is going with me — [Warriors co-owner] Peter Guber’s “Tell to Win.” Because I get to spend so much time with Peter, I know firsthand that he is the single most engaging storyteller that walks the face of the earth. I have not yet had the chance to read his book, though, so this will be my vacation read … can’t wait!

Rich Kleiman is a vice president and agent at Roc Nation Sports, the company founded by Jay Z in April 2013. He began working at parent company Roc Nation as a music manager in 2008 after producing “Fade to Black,” a documentary on Jay Z. Kleiman has managed musical artists in the past, but he said since the launch of Roc Nation Sports he has been “out of music” and is working full time in sports.

I think some people think that, ‘They’re going to bring them to a concert and say, You want to come to Roc Nation?’ That’s not how we do business.

Biggest misconception about Roc Nation Sports: I think that people think that we skip steps, that they think “They are just coming in and trying to use this glitz and glamour that they have to try to cheat the system or not learn it or not put the work in.” I mean, I work 24 hours, seven days a week. I’m a sponge. I studied sports since I was 4 years old. I learned how to read from The New York Times sports section. I knew everything about sports already, and the business of it, I love. The principles that we do in the music business, our ability to manage and understand talent: We were able to transition that over in a lot of ways. But the knowledge of the [sports] business, and learning the ins and outs and the intricacies of the business, we are really learning it and really studying it and really trying to be the best.

On building Roc Nation Sports: We are in this for the long haul. This isn’t, “Oh, my God, we’ve got to have 75 athletes tomorrow.” We would have 75 athletes if that were the case. It’s really about developing the business and being able to give everybody that 24/7 support. You have to do that by building at a certain pace. I’d rather do that by having a Kevin Durant, a Robinson Cano, and the athletes that we have. We made a great selection in James Young, someone we feel really passionate about in the NBA draft (No. 17 pick overall, by Boston), and continue to build the business rather than say, “We got six this year in the NBA draft.”

Not about the money: We did not, 100 percent, unequivocally I can say, start this as a money thing. So margins, all that stuff, is not important. I cannot speak for Jay, but I would assume by obviously spending so much time with him and building this with him, he did it because he obviously thought there was a void and a need for this. It was genuine. He felt that there was something we could be good at and impact business with. … That’s obviously separate from how much money we can make at it. We are obviously businessmen. We want to do the best deals possible, but it’s not the driving force for any of it.

Why athletes call Roc Nation Sports: I think they are fans of what Jay Z has built and how Jay Z has carried himself as a businessman and has succeeded, and I think it’s that which has attracted them. They really admire what he has been able to build. … Who else can be the best businessman in the room, own the company, and also relate to everything he went through as a talent and know what it is like to come from nothing, have money, have to deal with the outside influences when you become wealthy? And still be the best at what you do? I mean, who else can relate to that?

— Liz Mullen