Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 20 No. 42

People and Pop Culture

The Atlantic 10 Conference promoted Drew Dickerson to assistant commissioner and Caitlin Bonner to director of advanced media.

Boston University named Aaron Aaker associate athletic director for compliance and strategic planning. Aaker was assistant athletic director at Boston College.

Clayton State University named Tim Duncan athletic director. Duncan was athletic director at Paine College.

Clemson University named Darryl Richard assistant director of business operations, Barbara Kennedy-Dixon special assistant to the athletic director, and Natalie Gonzalez as senior woman administrator. Richard was a financial analyst and budget coordinator for Entergy, Kennedy-Dixon was senior woman administrator at Clemson, and Gonzalez was associate athletic director, varsity sports administration, contest management, travel and scheduling at Yale University.

The University of Delaware promoted Christine Motta to associate athletic director for student-athlete development and senior woman administrator. Motta was assistant director of career services for athletes.

Eastern Illinois University named Tom Michael athletic director. Michael was senior associate athletic director at the University of Illinois.

The University of Houston promoted Jeramiah Dickey to senior associate athletic director for external operations, David Bassity to associate athletic director for strategic marketing and communications, Brian Crawford to assistant athletic director for development, John Noud to director of development, Allison McClain to associate director of communications, and Jessika Bailey to assistant director of communications. The school also named Ian Sadler assistant athletic director for strategic marketing, Katie King assistant director of development, Anthony Hulse development assistant, Kayla Bosco assistant director of strategic marketing, Sam Colin marketing assistant, and Roman Petrowski communications assistant.

The Big East Conference named Stu Jackson senior associate commissioner for men’s basketball. Jackson most recently was executive vice president of basketball operations for the NBA.

The University of Maryland, Baltimore County named Kala Andrews associate athletic director for compliance. Andrews was associate director of compliance at the University of South Carolina.

Mercy College named Matt Kilcullen athletic director. Kilcullen was assistant vice president of athletic fundraising at the Florida Institute of Technology.

The University of Oklahoma named Drew Hill director of player personnel for the football program. Hill was director of player personnel for the football program at Colorado State University.


Xavier University promoted Patrick Dillon assistant director for marketing.

Temple University named Vincent James athletics business manager. James was athletics business manager at La Salle University.

Dover International Speedway hired Lynn Sudik as social media coordinator. Sudik was an account coordinator for Krupp Kommunications.


The Orange Bowl Committee promoted Ana Hernandez-Ochoa to chief marketing officer, Jarrett Nasca to chief operating officer, Dawson Hughes to vice president of business development, Mitch Morrall to vice president of operations and special projects, Christina Ramos to director of marketing, John Mas to director of partnerships, Armando Ramirez to director of ticket sales and services, Joe Mandele to manager of ticket sales and Jessica Porter to manager of ticket services.

The Cleveland Browns hired Peter John-Baptiste as vice president of communications. John-Baptiste was vice president of communications for the New York Giants.

The AHL Grand Rapid Griffins promoted Matt Batchelder to vice president of ticket sales, Zack Krywyj to group sales account manager and Mike Myeno to season ticket sales and customer service account manager.

The Minnesota Wild hired Jamie Spencer as vice president of new business development and assistant to the chairman. Spencer was executive vice president of sales for the Tampa Bay Lightning.


Learfield Sports promoted Amber Armstrong to director of sales operations and Lori Bland to director of client services.

The Aspire Group promoted Gary Wilbert to selling manager for the Fan Relationship Management Center at Towson University and Phenicia Taylor to senior sales consultant at the USA National Sales Center. The company also named Trevor Allison manager of the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Fan Relationship Management Center, Brian Maughn ticket sales consultant for the Fan Relationship Management Center at Florida International University, Gabriel Nunez and Gary Jackson ticket sales consultants for the University of Louisiana at Monroe Fan Relationship Management Center, Taylor Zafir retention consultant for the Rutgers University Fan Relationship Management Center, Brent Buckley and Cole Jackob strategic consulting and research associates, and Nick Buten marketing associate.

French/West/Vaughan promoted Chris Shigas to senior vice president and named Alexander Aigen account coordinator supporting the agency’s sports and entertainment practice.

Stealth Media House named Thomas Repicci senior vice president of business development. Repicci was vice president of operations and brand relationships at Octagon Entertainment.

Teneo Sports named Charlie Denson chairman. Denson was president of Nike Brand until his retirement in January.

Universal Sports Network named Mike Severino vice president of distribution strategy. Severino was vice president of affiliate sales for Fearnet, a Sony, Lionsgate and Comcast joint venture.

Back9Network named Brian Kalinowski executive vice president of digital media. Kalinowski was chief operating officer of LiveClips.

Yahoo Sports Radio named Jeffrey Schwartz executive vice president of corporate strategy and Amanda Deutchman director of marketing and business development. Schwartz was vice president of sports sales for Fox Sports Radio and Deutchman was marketing communications manager for Fox Sports Radio.

The Outdoor Channel named Viga Hall and Michael Savino account executives. Hall will serve clients in the West and Savino will focus on the Southeast.

Hockey Canada named Tom Renney president and chief executive officer. Renney was most recently an associate head coach with the Detroit Red Wings.

Sporting Goods and Apparel
Under Armour named Frederick Bealefeld chief global security officer. Bealefeld is a former Baltimore Police Department commissioner.

Sports Commissions and Tourism Boards
Connecticut Convention and Sports Bureau President Michael Van Parys will retire from his position, effective Friday.

Awards and Boards
The Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee named Cassidy Turley executive vice president Michael Haenel, International Capital Investment chief operating officer Jim Grogan, CBRE executive vice president Brad Anderson, ToH Design Studio president David Farca and Vestar vice president Patrick McGinley to its board of directors.

The V Foundation for Cancer Research named Rob Steeger vice president of event and cause marketing. Steeger was director of partnership marketing for the U.S. Tennis Association.

The Association of Surfing Professionals hired Mark Noonan as its chief commercial officer. Noonan is the founder of sports marketing and media agency FocalSport.

The Club Managers Association of America named Jeffrey Morgan chief executive officer. Morgan was president and chief executive officer of the National Investor Relations Institute. He succeeds James Singerling, who retired after 25 years of service.

Speedway Children’s Charities named Major Gen. Chuck Swannack executive director. Swannack replaces Major Gen. Tom Sadler, who was named executive director emeritus after serving 25 years as executive director.

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.

Awarding innovation

The first InStadium Experience Innovation Awards were presented July 21 at the Sports and Entertainment Alliance in Technology Conference in Miami. InStadium’s Pat Coyle (left) and Barrett Davie (right) are pictured with winners Kevin Cote, Golden State Warriors, digital media; Sean Flynn, Miami Marlins, game presentation; Zain Pasha, Sporting Innovations, information technology; Mary Pink, Iowa State University, marketing; and David Peart, Pittsburgh Penguins, sponsorship sales. Winners not pictured: The Warriors’ Kenny Lauer and the Marlins’ Larry Blocker.

Fight Network kickoff

Undefeated WBO middleweight champion Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin, unbeaten world heavyweight contender Charles Murray, UFC star Frankie Edgar, boxing great Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini and Fight Network CEO Len Asper were part of FN’s kickoff event in New York City on July 26.

It’s still Rock ’n’ Roll to me

Competitor Group executives Bill Pedigo and Dana Allen, Olympic bronze medalist Shalane Flanagan, and Competitor’s Josh Furlow and Mark Buntz kick off the first Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Festival at a VIP party during the Billy Joel concert on July 18 at Wrigley Field in Chicago. The festival continued July 19 with a 5K and Sunday with the Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago Half Marathon presented by HumanaVitality.

Take a seat

Florida Citrus Sports CEO Steve Hogan and Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer sit in the first two seats installed in the new lower bowl of the Citrus Bowl on July 25. A new lower bowl with chair-back seats is part of stadium reconstruction underway.

Celebrating Sixers Night

The Philadelphia Freedoms of Mylan World TeamTennis hosted Sixers Night at their match against the Boston Lobsters July 22 at the Pavilion at Villanova University. Sixers legend Darryl Dawkins, Dream Team member Davida and CEO Scott O’Neil presented Freedoms owner and WTT co-founder Billie Jean King with a personalized Sixers jersey.

Carrying the message to future messengers

Speaking to aspiring young journalists at the Shirley Povich School of Sports Journalism Summer Camp on July 24 at the University of Maryland are: the Baltimore Ravens’ Kevin Byrne, Comcast-Spectacor’s Ike Richman (Class of 1988), Monumental Sports and Entertainment’s Kurt Kehl, and the University of Maryland’s Rose DiPaula.

Fenway hosts Run to Home Base

Boston Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner was one of 2,600 runners and walkers, including 500 actively serving military and family members, to participate in the fifth annual Run to Home Base presented by New Balance, on July 19 at Fenway Park. The event benefits the Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Home Base Program, which treats veterans and families dealing with post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injuries.

Hays partners with NYCFC

At the announcement July 28 of Hays as the official recruitment partner of MLS franchise New York City FC are NYCFC’s Tim Pernetti, Hays’ Sholto Douglas-Home, newly signed player Frank Lampard and NYCFC’s Claudio Reyna.

Lunch is on us

The Philadelphia Eagles recently held a lunch for the construction crew working on the Lincoln Financial Field revitalization. The workers were joined at the lunch (fully catered by partners Acme, Dietz & Watson, Dunkin’ Donuts, Snapple, Coca-Cola, Rita’s Water Ice and Frito-Lay) by Eagles GM Howie Roseman, President Don Smolenski and players Earl Wolff, Connor Barwin, Bennie Logan and Emmanuel Acho.

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.

Nothing captures the imagination of golfers more than hitting the ball farther. Art Sellinger knows that; he’s built his business on it. Long Drivers of America, where Sellinger is CEO, was founded 20 years ago, back when Sellinger was one of the longest-hitting golfers in the world. Sellinger now is the guy who runs the clinics and events, most notably the company’s annual Re/Max World Long Drive Championship.

You see Rory McIlroy generate 180 mph of ball speed, and that’s impressive. Our guys in Long Drive are making the ball go 220 mph or faster, 25 percent faster than what you see on TV each week. We have incredible athletes who can fly a ball 400 yards. So every week, every day, we’re talking internally about what we can do to promote them.

On switching from ESPN to Golf Channel for the championship this year: We spent 18 years with ESPN and they’ve been a great partner. The tournament player is different than our guys, but we want to keep that strong connection to golf and we felt we could best do that with Golf Channel.

Turning point during 20 years of the long-drive business: It would have to be when we went to the long drive at night around 1995. In the original days, the competition lacked excitement. One of the problems was that you couldn’t see the ball. At night, the lights reflect off the ball and it’s kind of like the ball lights up. It just made for a cool atmosphere.

On whether long-drive specialists can make it in tournament golf:
We’ve had three guys on “Big Break.” We’ve had a couple qualify for the U.S. Senior Open. Some have played mini-tours, and a few have played on the Tour. I personally think you have to pick one or the other.

On the last year of Re/Max’s 20-year run as title sponsor: They’ve been incredible. They’ve really helped with a grassroots push for the event, through their local agents. From a branding standpoint, their balloon has been the icon, but we’re also a property with weekly events around the calendar. We’ve got local and regional qualifying, and international players now. We need a partner who will see the value in that type of branding.

On drug testing long-drive competitors: We do drug test through random testing. We push a clean message with our events. When people think of long drivers, they tend to think of bulk, but our guys are all different sizes. Jamie Sadlowski is 5-11, 168 pounds. Tim Burke is a former pitcher who’s 6-6, 225. Bulk and size in the chest and biceps doesn’t guarantee that you’ll hit the ball far. Guys thick in the chest generally can’t generate the same speed as long and lanky guys.

— Michael Smith

W e certainly consider our history something we always want to build on and is our foundation, so that is the starting point really for everything. … But of course like every business in America, the landscape is changing, the demographics of the country are changing and there is a new sports fan out there, a different generation that expects different things.

You’re constantly trying to improve your facility, constantly trying to bring more ways for the fans to enjoy the game while at the same time not distracting them from the game.

Fans expect some of the comforts of home at the stadium, particularly great video and great visuals, but by the same token they’re there to watch the game and they don’t want things to get in the way of actually enjoying the atmosphere of the day.

I usually arrive at the stadium around three hours before the game or so and meet with staff and talk to our various people about what is going on and then Jimmy Sacco, our director of stadium operations, and I, we usually walk the building. We catch up with a lot of different people that are working on game day in that walk.

Once the game starts I kind of sit in the booth there and focus on the game. I go out at halftime and say hello to a few people usually, but I’m not very sociable once the game starts.

In the booth with me is my father [Steelers owner and Chairman Dan Rooney] and our general manager, Kevin Colbert, and Omar Khan, our director of football.

We’ve been increasing the number of games that we play in London, and each sort of little step we take has been well-received.

I’m not necessarily sold on the idea that we have to have a team there to be successful. I think that the travel for the teams playing over there is always going to be a challenge and unless somebody brings back the Concord that can get the teams there in two or three hours, I think that is a hurdle I don’t think we’ve figured out how to deal with.

There is an understanding that football can work in L.A., as opposed to London, where we’re still trying to test whether a team can be successful there.

I think we’ll have a team in L.A. At least one, maybe two within 10 years.

I think the league feels like we want to make sure it works this time and obviously we’ve already had two franchises move out of L.A. and whatever we do this time I think we have to get it right.

I think [the new Thursday night package] will be successful, and I think the partnership with CBS is a key to it. I think the talent that they bring to the table both in terms of production as well as on-air talent will make a big difference.

Coaches like to play at 1 o’clock on Sunday. Anything else is a distraction.

It’ll be a little while before there is any more significant change in the regular season in terms of Friday, Saturday and anything like that.

I don’t look at it as something that is going to be, let’s say, a regular rotation that an outdoor Northern Super Bowl will take place, but I do think we’ll see more, and I hope in my lifetime we see one in Pittsburgh.

I think the one thing coming out of our last collective-bargaining agreement that we were very hopeful to get done was the HGH testing, and it’s been a thorn in everybody’s side that we haven’t gotten that done.

The players association has tried to use that issue really to expand the discussion about commissioner discipline, and that is something we feel strongly about. We’ve had a system in our league where we’ve had a strong commissioner for many years now, as long as I can remember, and it’s served us well.

[We] think it might be a good opportunity to add more [playoff] games. Not too many, but I think one more playoff game in the opening round allows fans in a lot of other cities to kind of be alive through the end of the season. I think it’s something that we’re going to take a serious look at.

I think the 18-game season or even the 17-game season is not in the near future. … The truth of the matter is we really haven’t had any discussion, any meaningful discussion, about expanding the regular season since the early days of when we were negotiating this collective-bargaining agreement.

There is no question the league would like to see the Bills stay in Western New York. That doesn’t mean that they can’t continue to have some games played in Canada.

We have mandates from the league, and I’m unfortunately the one that has to convince [coach] Mike [Tomlin] that some days he has to wear a mike. It’s something that he is not very comfortable with, so we have a lot of conversations about it.

I’ve always said, and it really came from [Dan Rooney], that we can’t let the business of football get in the way of the game of football. We have a great game, people love it and we can’t screw up that part of it.

[The Steelers on HBO’s “Hard Knocks”] will happen. It’ll happen sooner or later. Again, it’s something that is part of the world we live in, and I’m not looking forward to the day I have to talk to Coach Tomlin about that, but I’m sure it will happen.