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Volume 21 No. 6

People and Pop Culture

We talked with industry executives about some of the stories they are keeping an eye on this year.

The Los Angeles Clippers hired Chris Wallace as vice president of strategic communications. Wallace was vice president of marketing communications for Prudential Center and the New Jersey Devils.

The Milwaukee Bucks named Milt Newton assistant general manager, David Mincberg director of basketball strategy and Tony Bollier director of basketball operations.

The New York Knicks named Harold Ellis director of player personnel, Michael Arcieri director of basketball strategy, Gerald Madkins assistant general manager, Craig Robinson vice president of player development and G League operations and Fred Cofield scout.

The Orlando Magic named Anthony Parker general manager of the NBA G League’s Lakeland Magic.

The Detroit Pistons and Palace Sports & Entertainment promoted Charlie Metzger to chief revenue and marketing officer.

Kent State University named Matthew Papatheodorou director of athletic marketing and strategy. Papatheodorou was senior marketing manager for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Michigan State University gave Alan Haller the additional title of chief of staff and promoted Amy Moeder to senior associate athletic director for business and finance and chief financial officer, Elliot Daniels to associate athletic director of student-athlete engagement and Matt Larson to associate athletic director of communications.

Northwestern University named Kevin White deputy athletic director and chief financial officer. White was senior associate athletic director and chief operating officer at Southern Methodist University.

Northwestern State University hired Tori Thompson as director of marketing and digital media.

Temple University promoted Morgyn Seigfried to assistant athletic director for digital media and Scott Hartkorn to video production manager and named Richie Raspa video production coordinator.

The Big 12 Conference named Rachel Coe communications coordinator, Will Gulley director of digital content and strategy, and Aaron Pryor and Christine Williamson digital media correspondents, and promoted Joni Lehmann to director of media services.

The University of Arizona named Brent Blaylock associate athletic director for compliance. Blaylock was assistant athletic director for compliance for the University of Kansas.

Villanova University named Malcom Grace assistant athletic director for compliance for basketball. Grace was director of compliance at Rutgers University.

College athletics consulting firm the Pictor Group named Sandy Hatfield-Clubb senior partner. Hatfield-Clubb was Drake University athletic director.

Northern Kentucky University promoted Debbie Kirch to associate athletic director for compliance and academic services and senior woman administrator.

Oregon State University named Ryan Bucher associate athletic director for facilities and event management. Bucher held the same position at Rice University.

The University of Nevada-Las Vegas named Megan Caligiuri associate athletic director of content creation and fan engagement, and Mallory Poole director of student-athlete leadership and career development.

Intrust Bank Arena hired Lauren Dugan as director of ticketing. Dugan was box office manager for Save Mart Center.

The Chicago Bears promoted Champ Kelly to assistant director of player personnel.


Golfzon hired Joel Smith as director of sales for the Northeast. Smith was director of business development at Landmark Ventures of New York.

Callaway Golf gave Brian Lynch the additional title of chief financial officer. Lynch is also senior vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary.

The Tampa Bay Lightning promoted Brittany Austin to director of marketing, Susan Danielik to director of premium and guest services, Steve Butler to director of facilities, Matt Hill to vice president of premium seating and group sales, Chris Kamke to vice president of strategy and analytics, Travis Pelleymounter to vice president of ticket sales and services, Mike Harrison to vice president of partnership development and activation, Mary Milne to senior vice president of guest experience and blue-ribbon service, Elizabeth Frazier to senior vice president of philanthropy and community initiatives, and Jarrod Dillon to chief revenue officer.

The Carolina Hurricanes promoted Kirsten Brierley to communications and hockey operations assistant and hired Kevin Kan as data engineer and Pace Sagester as manager of communications and team services.

The Washington Capitals named Tommy Chalk manager of media relations and content, and promoted Megan Eichenberg to manager of communications and publicity.

The Los Angeles Kings named Robyn Dutton marketing manager and Trent Frey assistant strength and conditioning coach, and promoted John Abary and Ryan Rock to senior account executive, April Alba to supervisor of game presentation and events, Jeff Barash to manager of partnership sales, Justin Bishop and Ashley Grossman to account executives, Brandon Bittel to director of ticket sales and service; TJ Cormier to supervisor of ticket sales, Dominique DiDia to senior manager of marketing, Pat Donahue to senior director of marketing and digital media, Amanda Ellis to director of community relations, Eddie Fischerman to manager of communications and media services, Zach Henkhaus to account executive of partnership sales, Melina Kent to supervisor of membership services, Gretchen Kiker to senior manager of database marketing, Jeff Lewis to senior video editor and animator, Yvonne Luong to senior manager of finance, Andrew Massey to graphic designer, Stephanie Nienhuis to manager of partnership activation, Kiki Oldani to senior office administrator, Michal Olszewski to director of digital media, Darshan Parikh to director of information technology, Phil Radke to senior editor of production and Chris Wohlers to manager of production.

The Columbus Blue Jackets named Patrick Reilly group event specialist and Jared Crockett season-ticket account specialist and promoted Carmelo Marzullo to manager of season-ticket services, Katherine Schuette to human resources generalist and Amy French to CRM manager.

Berk Communications named Melanie Wadden vice president of sports and entertainment. Wadden was public relations director at Select Sports Group.

Snodgrass Partners named Tom O’Connor vice president of collegiate sports. O’Connor was president of Athletic Solutions Consulting.

Capture Marketing hired Emily Bomar as vice president. Bomar was corporate sales manager, special events, for the Houston Astros.

Learfield named Andy Fiske general manager at the University of California, Davis. Fiske was vice president of sales and service for USL club Sacramento Republic FC.

People news
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Kenny Kendrena’s dreams of being a major league player didn’t work out after he reached as high as the Class AA minor league level in the 1990s for the Florida and Montreal organizations. But after a long stint as a high school teacher and baseball coach, Kendrena is still making an impact upon the big leagues by serving as vice president of product and sales for Inside Edge Inc., a Minnesota-based analytics firm that works with more than 20 MLB teams. The company, whose roots are in charting pitches and hitter tendencies in baseball, is expanding into on-field analytics for other sports, fueled in part by the introduction of Remarkable, an automated product that provides real-time statistical trends and insights in short-form narratives to a wide range of media clients.

The biggest opportunity is anywhere there is a lot of data.

On the rise of analytics and sabermetrics in MLB front offices: We went from one team in 1993, the Milwaukee Brewers, [then-owner] Bud Selig writes us the first check, and what they wanted us to do is provide some reports, and by today’s standards, they were very rudimentary reports, hot zones and cold zones, spray charts, in a nice graphical illustration. We were trying to take data and turn it into something they could use on the bench. Even four, five years ago, maybe half of the clubs in baseball still didn’t have an official analytics department, and now every club has one with at least two or three guys, and some with even 10 or more. That says a lot to how things have evolved very quickly.

On the changing demands for data: The demand for some of those older services we provided aren’t as strong, but there is a newer demand for niche data. What we have found now is clubs coming to us and saying, “We’re getting all this great information from MLBAM, with the Statcast data, and some of these other automated services. And it’s excellent. But it does have some holes. And can you guys help fill these holes?” So it’s become something of a hybrid of the automated with the expert human approach.

On navigating business versus consumer markets: We’re still pretty much b-to-b, but it’s a tricky one. We’ve always wrestled with the notion that if we rolled out Remarkable to everyone, there probably would be a lot of rabid fans. At the time, it’s such a perfect tool for broadcasters, anybody who’s covering a sport or contest. So we’ve always been a b-to-b company, and that’s still the way we are now, though there are some ways I think we can provide some b-to-c.

On the opportunities in esports: You talk to anybody these days and esports comes up, probably a few times a day. But it’s absolutely one of those areas that’s really interesting because it’s not as structured or set in their ways just yet. That’s a perfect opportunity for us to do some really cool things.

                                                                                                                               — Eric Fisher

Girls Who Code get look at golf tech

The U.S. Golf Association and sponsor Deloitte teamed up with Girls Who Code on July 28 to give a group of high school girls an inside look at the technology behind the USGA Research and Test Center in Far Hills, N.J.
Photo by: DELOITTE
Leadership award

Activist and former college basketball player Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir receives the Leadership in Sport Award from Donna de Varona at the Beyond Sport Awards on July 26 in New York City. Abdul-Qaadir worked to persuade the International Basketball Federation to allow the wearing of religious headgear during competition.
Golden Bear in Canada

At the RBC Canadian Open last month in Oakville, Ontario: Golf Canada President Roland DeVaus; RBC EVP and CMO Mary DePaoli; Jack Nicklaus, golf hall of famer and designer of the Glen Abbey course, where the tournament was played; and Golf Canada CEO Laurence Applebaum.
Bucks open new training center

The Milwaukee Bucks officially opened the Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin Sports Science Center, the team’s training facility in downtown Milwaukee, on Aug. 3: Milwaukee Alderwoman Milele Coggs, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, Bango, Bucks President Peter Feigin, Bucks co-owner Mike Fascitelli, Froedtert Health President and CEO Cathy Jacobson, Medical College of Wisconsin President and CEO Dr. John Raymond, Milwaukee Alderman Bob Bauman, and Milwaukee County Communications Director Melissa Bauldaff.
Atlantic League All-Star Game

Somerset Patriots sponsor RWJBarnabas Health was the presenting sponsor of the Atlantic League All-Star Game last month at TD Bank Ballpark: Robert Wood Johnson Somerset President Tony Cava; former MLBer Willie Randolph, an honorary manager for the game; and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital President John Gantner.
NEC’s football kickoff and sponsor summit

The Northeast Conference held its third annual Football Media Day and Sponsor Summit at MetLife Stadium on July 20, bringing together coaches and student athletes from each of the NEC’s seven teams, as well as the league’s corporate partners.
Hawks’ photographer honored with retrospective

The Atlanta Hawks honored their team photographer of the past 40 seasons, Scott Cunningham, with a retrospective of his work at the Westside Cultural Arts Center earlier this month. At the VIP event before the opening: Hawks senior director of media relations Jon Steinberg, coach Mike Budenholzer, Cunningham, CEO Steve Koonin and hall of famer Dominique Wilkins.
BB&T finalists

At the BB&T Atlanta Open singles championship July 30: GF Sports EVP Josh Ripple, BB&T Regional President Heath Campbell, singles champ John Isner, singles runner-up Ryan Harrison, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, and tourney director Eddie Gonzalez.
Photo by: RON ANGLE

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When you take a look at their social networks, you’ll see a slight difference between the millennials — especially the older millennials — and the Gen Z’ers.

When I look at their top activities, you will also see how big and important music is for the Gen Z’ers. We try to incorporate music into a lot of what we do.

They actually read and they desire to be kept informed. They care about technology and diversity and are very inclusive themselves, but the Gen Z’ers care a lot about money.


Millennials are a little less conscious about money, while Gen Z’ers are more conscious of money and what it’ll bring them. They care about logos.

When you think about Gen Z’s and their inclusivity, part of it is that they’re the most diverse generation.

Since 2000, there’s been a 50 percent increase in youth who say they’re multiracial. The number of Americans who feel that they’re mixed, even white and Asian, grew by 87 percent. So, this idea that you can’t be typed and that there’s some barrier to your success has gone away.

They’re very interested in entrepreneurship.

[Gen Z’ers] like things customized and personalized to them. … Customization has become very important.

The New York Times’ largest sector of readership is millennials, and 50 percent of traffic comes from this age group. When you think about their need for information, part of it is at their fingertips and part of it comes from traditional media and sources.

It used to be that if you wanted to know the weather, you’d go to or the local news station. You had a certain brand loyalty. Now, you can just ask Alexa the weather and she tells you and you have no loyalty. The worry with voice activation is that it eliminates brand loyalty.

There’s also virtual and augmented reality. I’m a little skeptical — we created a lot of content at school — and this donning of a headset feels awkward. When you’re capable of seeing a great scene without having to put this “Martian” gear on, I think that will make a huge difference.

People wanting to watch sports in a bar, gym or place with other people so that you congregate. … Because of technology, we all feel so isolated that we can use the opportunity to get together and experience things … with our friends.

You need to be tech-savvy. It’s easy to say, but many of us don’t follow that. Fifty-seven percent of Generation Z use messaging apps every time they use their phones. In fact, 50 percent download about four new apps a month.


[Apps] are still going very strongly. It’s interesting that a quarter of them use apps to communicate with a business, so it’s not declining just yet.

There are ways to get the smallest portfolio of customers into a

segment that will receive like-minded communication and ensure that those get scheduled ahead of time with an editorial calendar, etc.

Gaming is important to this generation, and it’s a lot of fun. You should consider badges and streaks. Who visits the venue the most? Who follows the game? Who is a fantasy player? What kind of leaderboards can I make? That can all be done by programming algorithms. If that’s not being done, it should be.

There’s a wonderful billboard in Germany where if you’re smoking on the street and someone passes it, the person on the billboard coughs and says, “Don’t smoke anymore.” This idea of interactivity and personalization happens in a lot of different ways.

Older millennials are using Facebook because they’re consuming material and information about their friends. Younger millennials and older Gen Z’ers are using Instagram and Snapchat and Facebook to communicate and create.

Younger Gen Z’s are really using Snapchat to create and having fun with it. Forty-five percent of young Gen Z’s use Snapchat more than five times a day, and it’s growing.

They think about Snapchat as sharing, mostly with their closest friends. It’s really with less than 15 people, which is really different than Facebook.

The idea that people’s attention span has narrowed is not new to this generation, but it’s particularly true that you don’t want inconvenience. Gen Z switched apps 27 times an hour, so you need to be sure that you’re working through all of the platforms.

There’s a book called “Ten Types of Innovation.” I think we sometimes get stuck on innovation as just a product, but it could be how you market and how you do the customization process or target new audiences.