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Volume 21 No. 13
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Power Players: Communicators & Storytellers

In a world where effective messaging and communication is more critical than ever, the ability to artfully craft and distribute a story is vital. That means communication specialists have a much larger role, with significant influence in shaping an organization’s agenda, strategy, tactics and public persona.

Over the years, sports has seen a specialization in the role of PR professionals. It’s about shaping the news cycle, selecting the proper distribution platforms and having the ear of and access to the leaders who articulate the message. Again, it’s back to storytelling, with more tools than ever at their disposal to tell, shape and spread the story.

Here are a number of top storytellers and communication specialists who influence much of the messaging we see today in sports — from teams, leagues, governing bodies and brands.

Jennifer Sabatelle, CBS Sports
Greg Hughes, NBC Sports Group
Chris LaPlaca, ESPN
Sal Petruzzi, Turner Broadcasting System

Dan Courtemanche, MLS
Chris Widmaier, U.S. Tennis Association
Mike Bass, NBA
Joe Lockhart, NFL
Pat Courtney, MLB
Bob Williams, NCAA
Patrick Sandusky, U.S. Olympic Committee

Meier Raivich, Fanatics
Diane Pelkey, Under Armour

Staci Slaughter, San Francisco Giants
Jason Zillo, New York Yankees
Stacey James, New England Patriots
Raymond Ridder, Golden State Warriors
Rich Dalrymple, Dallas Cowboys

Ari Fleischer, Ari Fleischer Sports Communications / Sandy Montag, The Montag Group
Alice McGillion, Rubenstein Associates
Ann Wool, Ketchum Sports & Entertainment
Mary Scott, United Entertainment Group
Joe Favorito, Joe Favorito Consulting
Steve Brener, Brener Zwikel & Associates
Melissa Zukerman, Principal Communications Group
Peter Land, Finsbury
Matthew Hiltzik, Hiltzik Strategies