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Volume 21 No. 34

People and Pop Culture


Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie talks to Philadelphia Phillies owner John Middleton before kickoff of Super Bowl LII.
Photo: ap images



Fanatics CEO Doug Mack, Patriots owner Robert Kraft, NBA hall of famer Julius “Dr. J” Erving, and Fanatics owner/Executive Chairman Michael Rubin at the Fanatics Super Bowl Party at Lumber Exchange Event Center on Feb. 3.
Photo: getty images for fanatics



NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Joe Lockhart, NFL executive vice president of communications and public affairs, watch from the sideline at U.S. Bank Stadium near the end of Super Bowl LII.
Photo: getty images



Marc Pollick, founder and president of The Giving Back Fund, speaks to the crowd at the Big Game Big Give fundraising event on Feb. 3 at the home of Angie and Tom Wicka in Edina, Minn. The event raised more than $1M for local and national charities.
Photo: eliesa johnson



At the BET Presents 19th annual Super Bowl Gospel Celebration at Bethel University in St. Paul on Feb. 1: Snoop Dogg, BET’s Connie Orlando and hosts Yvonne Orji and Pastor John Gray.
Photo: getty images



Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, SiriusXM President and Chief Content Officer Scott Greenstein and ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith at Super Bowl LII Radio Row at the Mall of America on Feb. 1.
Photo: cindy ord



From On Location Experiences’ pregame party at U.S. Bank Stadium and the Delta 360 Club: Former NFL quarterback Daunte Culpepper, On Location’s Don Renzulli and John Collins, and Pro Football hall of famer Derrick Brooks.
Photo: on location experiences



Wheels Up CEO Kenny Dichter and Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson at the Wheels Up Super Saturday Tailgate on Feb. 3 at Quincy Hall in Minneapolis.



Tim Tebow, Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban attend the 2018 DirecTV Now Super Saturday Night Concert at Nomadic Live at The Armory on Feb. 3 in Minneapolis.
Photo: getty images



Taste of the NFL chefs at the 27th annual Party With A Purpose at the St. Paul RiverCentre on Feb. 3. The event, the first of which was held in Minnesota in 1992, raises millions of dollars for food banks across the U.S.
Photo: getty images



Peyton Manning presents Tony Dungy with the Pat Summerall Award during the Legends for Charity Dinner to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital on Feb. 1 at the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis.
Photo: am photography



Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt shakes hands with Jarrett Payton as he is presented the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award prior to Super Bowl LII kickoff. Previous winners of the humanitarian award look on and applaud.
Photo: getty images



Shamrock Sports & Entertainment CEO Brian Corcoran and former New England Patriots running back Kevin Faulk enjoy the Shamrock Super Bowl Social at O’Donovan’s in downtown Minneapolis on Feb. 2.
Photo: david thompson



Eric Dickerson and Leigh Steinberg at the Leigh Steinberg Super Bowl Party 2018 on Feb. 3 in Minneapolis.
Photo: getty images

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.

StubHub’s push to be a more customer-centric company took on a new dimension with the recent hire of Jill Krimmel as general manager of Major League Baseball, the NCAA and other sports for the ticket resale marketplace. Previously with Walmart for more than a decade, Krimmel oversaw several categories of online merchandise sales for the retail giant. A regular attendee of San Francisco Giants games, she now will lead the implementation of a new, third contract term with MLB, and will likely be a key figure in the ongoing maturation of collegiate sports ticketing.

Mobile will continue to drive change in our industry and provide a better experience for the customer.
Jill Krimmel
General Manager, MLB

On the evolution of the ticketing industry: The ticketing industry is on the fast track to change. Seeing content rights holders literally open up their marketplaces and also figuratively open up to the idea that we can do ticketing differently, and better, is both exciting and challenging.


On what sports and ticketing can learn from retail: I’m obsessed with the customer. What is the customer going to buy? When is she going to buy? At what price will she buy? We learned to be precise, and to tailor the shopping experience very specifically to each customer, even in the broad world of Walmart. StubHub has been doing this since day one, making the fan No. 1. And we’re obsessing about how to make that customer experience more efficient, intuitive and relevant.


Photo: stubhub

On what can be expected in the new MLB-StubHub contract term: Deeper relationships. We’re looking to connect with the clubs in a more strategic way than ever before. We’re digging into ways we can leverage the synergies of each club with StubHub, thinking about things like marketing, ticketing strategies, sponsorship and of course data. We see significant opportunity to share best practices and work together more efficiently and seamlessly to not only improve the bottom line but also continually improve the customer experience. While we are collectively focused on getting more people to baseball games, we’re also committed to collaborating on ways to customize the partnership in the local markets, and think about ways we can leverage our sponsorship assets to do more with the clubs.


On the biggest misunderstanding of secondary ticketing: There are still some outdated practices in our industry where we’re stalled. Some are making it harder on the customer to access events, like putting up roadblocks to prevent the exchange of tickets, for example. We don’t see it as much in sports as we do in other genres, but no one really wins with that approach.

—Eric Fisher

Wilson Sporting Goods has a rich 103-year history in Chicago with the venerable company recently moving to its new headquarters in downtown Chicago after spending two decades in offices near O’Hare Airport.


The 90,000-square-foot space at the Prudential Plaza was designed by Gensler Chicago and houses some 400 employees over two floors that are connected by an open staircase in the center of the building. The space encourages collaboration, with an open floor plan featuring workstations, and studios and conference rooms for each Wilson product line.

“Just having been there a month, you can hear a vibe in the building,” said Mike Dowse, president of Wilson Sporting Goods. “It is not as subdued. There is more interaction that speaks to the workstations we have built.”

The company’s new headquarters is also located across the street from Chicago’s Millennium Park, which has tennis courts and softball diamonds, providing a convenient testing ground of sorts for some of Wilson’s products. 

The downtown location also gives the company access to many players in pro sports who travel with their teams to the city. “The teams stay downtown so it is easy access to come visit us and give us feedback on our products,” Dowse said.


The well-known Wilson logo at the office entrance.
Photo: © Wilson | Gensler Chicago | Tom Harris Photography
A company mantra on the wall.
Photo: © Wilson | Gensler Chicago | Tom Harris Photography
An open office environment in the baseball glove area.
Photo: © Wilson | Gensler Chicago | Tom Harris Photography
Spacious employee café with sporting lines and a lofty feel.
Photo: © Wilson | Gensler Chicago | Tom Harris Photography
The office features a 10,000-square-foot café and a game lounge with a ping-pong table and wall modeled after the iconic Wrigley Field scoreboard.
Photo: © Wilson | Gensler Chicago | Tom Harris Photography
A wide staircase with open seating below.
Photo: © Wilson | Gensler Chicago | Tom Harris Photography
The open staircase encourages employee interaction.
Photo: © Wilson | Gensler Chicago | Tom Harris Photography
Another wall is adorned with employee mock baseball cards.
Photo: © Wilson | Gensler Chicago | Tom Harris Photography
Reception area with Wilson products.
Photo: © Wilson | Gensler Chicago | Tom Harris Photography
A small putting green tucked away for impromptu meetings.
Photo: john lombardo / staff
Wilson!! A mosaic of volleyballs adds color.
Photo: john lombardo / staff
A mural made from golf tees.
Photo: john lombardo / staff