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Volume 22 No. 2

People and Pop Culture

Photo: Courtesy of General Mills

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Russell Wilson

He will be featured solo on the cover of Wheaties, a rare honor for an active NFL quarterback and a sign that his marketability wasn’t hurt by the Seahawks missing the playoffs for the first time in his career last season..

 

 

 

Photo: Getty Images

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Padres Promo

The San Diego Padres had to recover beach hats they gave away as part of a Sept. 1 promotion after it was discovered that grain beetles had infested the hats.

 

Photo: Getty Images

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Esports In Olympics

IOC President Thomas Bach didn’t rule out considering esports as an Olympic event, but said no shooter games would be allowed, calling them “contradictory to the Olympic values.”

Baseball

The Major League Baseball Players Association hired BRUCE MEYER as senior director of collective bargaining and legal. Meyer was senior director of collective bargaining, policy and legal for the National Hockey League Players’ Association.

 

The Baltimore Orioles promoted LISA TOLSON to vice president of human resources.

 

Basketball

The Philadelphia 76ers added the title of vice president of basketball operations to ELTON BRAND. Brand will continue in his role as NBA G League Delaware Blue Coats general manager. The team promoted NED COHEN to assistant general manager, MARC EVERSLEY to senior vice president of player personnel and ALEX RUCKER to senior vice president of analytics and strategy.

 

Colleges

Atlantic Coast Conference Associate Commissioner for Communications BRIAN MORRISON will retire at the conclusion of the 2018-19 academic year, after more than 30 years with the conference.

 

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock promoted CASEY PAGE to assistant athletic director for ticketing.

 

Austin Peay State University promoted LISA VARYTIMIDIS to senior associate athletic director for internal affairs and senior woman administrator, TARA PFEIFLER to assistant athletic director for compliance and SARA ROBSON to assistant athletic director for operations; and hired MARCUS HILLIARD as senior associate athletic director for external affairs. Hilliard was assistant athletic director for administration at the University of Central Florida.

 

Boston College hired ALASTAIR INGRAM as associate director of communications. Ingram was director of media relations and sports information at the University of Vermont.

 

Bucknell University hired JEN KENTERA as senior associate athletic director for leadership development. Kentera was assistant athletic director for student-athlete development at Boston College.

 

The University of Hartford hired TOM PAYNE as senior associate athletic director for business operations and internal affairs. Payne was deputy athletic director at Houston Baptist University.

 

High Point University hired TAYLOR MILLER as director of marketing-sales.

 

The College of the Holy Cross hired TAYLOR LEONARD as assistant director of athletics for compliance and AARON DASHIELL as assistant athletic director for student-athlete development. Leonard was assistant director of compliance at the University of Rhode Island, and Dashiell was director of undergraduate advising at Bryant University.

 

Texas Tech University hired LAMARR POTTINGER as assistant athletic director for the J.T. and Margaret Talkington Leadership Academy. Pottinger was director of student-athlete development and leadership programs at Old Dominion University.

 

Western Michigan University hired KEANAH SMITH as senior associate athletic director. Smith was senior associate commissioner for the Mountain West Conference. 

 

The University of Wisconsin promoted BRIDGET WOODRUFF to assistant athletic director of career and leadership, and hired NICK PASQUARELLO as director of employer relations and corporate partnerships.

 

Football

The National Football League hired TIM ELLIS as chief marketing officer. Ellis was chief marketing officer for Activision Blizzard.

 

Detroit Lions Vice President of Corporate Partnerships BILL HAWKER will retire after a nearly 20-year NFL career.

 

The Peach Bowl named BOB SOMERS, Delta Air Lines senior vice president of global sales, chairman.

 

Golf

The PGA of America named SETH WAUGH chief executive officer. Waugh was managing director for Silver Lake and will remain a senior adviser for the firm.

 

Hockey

The New Jersey Devils named MARTIN BRODEUR executive vice president of business development.

 

The St. Louis Blues promoted BILL ARMSTRONG to assistant general manager, RYAN MILLER to director of hockey operations and KEVIN McDONALD to general manager for the AHL San Antonio Rampage.

 

Marketing

The Aspire Group promoted WHITNEY GOULISH to theatre box office director at Florida Atlantic University; and hired BRIAN SHERMAN as sales and service consultant at Pepperdine University, ALEX BRUNING as sales consultant at the University of Denver; NICK DOBSON as group sales consultant at Purdue University, KEVIN CLEMENTS as sales consultant at Cleveland State University, EVAN BOOKER as new business and development consultant at the University of Kansas, NICK MICCO as sales consultant at the University of Akron and ZAC WHITE as sales consultant at Northeastern University.

JK Squared launched JK2 Sports and named MIKE D’ARCHANGELO managing director of the new division.

 

Scout Sports & Entertainment promoted SCOTT SAVRAN to senior manager of property consultation and analytics; CAITLIN BARRY to events manager; STEVEN LANG to director of strategy and development; GREG FITZMAURICE to senior account executive; and NICO AMANTIA, COLBY LIEMER, JOSH CARROLL, LAUREN LI, ROBERT STEANMAN and DANIELLE ELFASSY to account executive.

 

Team One hired KRISTIN WILSON as account executive and GRIFFIN SCHLAIKJER as account coordinator.

 

Media

Amazon hired MARIE DONOGHUE as vice president overseeing global sports programming. Donoghue was formerly executive vice president of global business and content strategy for ESPN.

 

Ticketing

IMG Learfield Ticket Solutions promoted NICK CIAGLIA to senior account executive at the University of Pittsburgh; MATT HARMAN to senior account executive at West Virginia University; BRENDAN JONES to executive general manager at the University of North Carolina and Eastern Kentucky University; MARCUS MADLOCK to executive general manager; CONNOR LISLE to senior account executive at the University of Oklahoma; DAN TORF to senior account executive at the University of North Carolina; BRENT VOGEL to senior account executive at Washington State University; and CANDICE VAUGHN to associate general manager of ticket sales at the University of Houston.

 

Other

DraftKings hired TOM GOEDDE as chief marketing officer; ANDY YANG as chief product officer; JAMIE SHEA as head of digital sportsbook operations; FRANK KUNOVIC as director of retail sportsbook operations; and SEAN HURLEY as head of commercial growth.

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 careers@sportsbusinessjournal.com. Electronic photos must be a jpg or tiff file for Macintosh, 2.25 inches wide at 300 dpi. Color only, please.

A New Milwaukee Home

The Milwaukee Bucks celebrated the opening of Fiserv Forum, the team’s new sports and entertainment venue, on Aug. 26. The ribbon-cutting ceremony was attended by numerous guests, including current Bucks players Khris Middleton (left) and Giannis Antetokounmpo (right) and Bucks alumnus Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Photo: Nick Monroe / Milwaukee Bucks

 

Atlanta Park Renovation Underway

The Atlanta Super Bowl Host Committee, NFL Foundation and Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation are funding a $2 million investment in and renovation of Atlanta’s John F. Kennedy Park. Organization and city leaders gathered on Aug. 22 for groundbreaking: Byron Amos, Atlanta Board of Education; Atlanta Parks and Recreation Commissioner Amy Phuong; Fulton County Commissioner Natalie Hall; Hollis Innovation Academy student athlete Marvin Scott; Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank; Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms; Atlanta City Councilmember Ivory Young; Hollis Innovation Academy Principal Diamond Jack; Atlanta Sports Council President Dan Corso; and Brett Daniels, Atlanta Super Bowl Host Committee COO.
Photo: Paul Abell

 

Football Quiz

Houston Texans President Jamey Rootes answers questions from Houston Business Journal Publisher Bob Charlet at HBJ’s Fast 100 VIP Reception on Aug. 28 at the The Wynden in Houston.
Photo: Natalie Harms / Houston Business Journal

 

Football Days

Fox Sports Southwest SVP/GM Steve Simpson, UIL Deputy Director Jamey Harrison and Cleatus the Fox Sports Robot join Texas Gov. Greg Abbott at the Capitol in Austin to display a proclamation declaring Aug. 31-Sept. 1 to be Texas Football Days.
Photo: Fox Sports Southwest

 

'The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived'

Executive producer Al Tapper, American Masters’ Michael Kantor, director Nick Davis and MLB’s Nick Trotta attend the Boston screening of “American Masters: Ted Williams” at WGBH Studios this summer.
Photo: Peter J. Baumgartner for WGBH

 

Taking Home Some Hardware

Good Karma Brands founder and CEO Craig Karmazin; Milwaukee Bucks owner Marc Lasry; Ted Kellner, co-founder and retired executive chairman of Fiduciary Management; Bucks owner Jamie Dinan and Bucks President Peter Feigin pose with the Bucks’ Fiduciary Management Gamechanger Award at the seventh annual Wisconsin Sports Awards on Aug. 22 at Fiserv Forum.
Photo: Reminisce Photography

 

Special Delivery

As part of the Seahawks’ Legion of Youth Powered by Boeing program, a local group of teen STEM coders, Nerdy Girls, brought their self-engineered robot to Seahawks training camp last month. The robot joined the players on the field after practice, including delivering a football to Seahawks punter Michael Dickson.
Photo: Saskia Potter / Seattle Seahawks

 

Cheez-It Bowl

Celebrating the announcement of Cheez-It becoming the title sponsor of the newly named Cheez-It Bowl during a press conference on Aug. 20 at Chase Field are Fiesta Bowl Chairman of the Board Steve Leach, Cheez-It Marketing Director Jeff Delonis, Cheez-It Bowl and Fiesta Bowl Executive Director Mike Nealy and mascot Spirit.
Photo: Cheez-It Bowl / Scott Mitchell Photography

 

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: photo@sportsbusinessjournal.com or send color prints to: Faces & Places, c/o Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal, 120 W. Morehead St., Suite 310, Charlotte, NC 28202.

Armstrong Opens In Style

Oscar Cohen, founding member of the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation; musician and composer Wynton Marsalis, tennis hall of famer John McEnroe and former New York Mayor David Dinkins react to a tribute video during the Louis Armstrong Stadium Dedication Ceremony at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on Aug. 22.
Photo: Getty Images
Former superstars James Blake, Michael Chang, Patrick McEnroe and John McEnroe pose for a photo before their exhibition match during the dedication ceremony.
Photo: Getty Images

 

Like A Kid Again

Serena Williams jumps rope with the Net Generation kids during a stadium show for Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day on Aug. 25 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
Photo: Getty Images

 

Diversity Discussion

From the USTA’s D&I Download event Aug. 29 at the U.S. Open:

Panelists Jason Thompson, VP, inclusion and diversity, Techstars; Renée Tirado, chief diversity and inclusion officer, Major League Baseball; Arlan Hamilton, founder and managing partner, Backstage Capital; Cyndy Yu-Robinson, executive director, National Association of Asian American Professionals; Brian Wong, founder and CEO, Kiip; D.A. Abrams, chief diversity and inclusion officer, U.S. Tennis Association.
Photo: Margot Jordan
Attendees of the event participate in a Q&A session with panelists.
Photo: Margot Jordan

 

A Gala Evening For The USTA Foundation

More than $1.5 million was raised for tennis and education at the USTA Foundation Opening Night Gala at Arthur Ashe Stadium on Aug. 27.

USTA Foundation Executive Director Dan Faber, gala guest of honor and USTA Foundation Secretary Richard Ader, Katie Couric, USTA Foundation President Tom Chen, and USTA Foundation board member and Morrison Cohen partner Y. David Scharf.
Photo: Steven Freeman
Gala co-hosts Mike Greenberg and Billie Jean King
Photo: Steven Freeman
USTA President Katrina Adams and FUBU founder and “Shark Tank” host Daymond John.
Photo: Steven Freeman

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: photo@sportsbusinessjournal.com or send color prints to: Faces & Places, c/o Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal, 120 W. Morehead St., Suite 310, Charlotte, NC 28202.

Driver Jeff Gordon scored a $1 million bonus for winning the Southern 500 in 1998, just one highlight from a record-setting season.
Photo: Newscom

It was a good problem to have, but Jeff Gordon jokes that he won so many races in 1998 that he started making suggestions to NASCAR about how the sport could speed up Victory Lane procedures.

 

Gordon’s NASCAR Hall of Fame career in Hendrick Motorsports’ No. 24 Chevrolet spanned parts of three decades and ended with him as the third-most-winning driver of all time, but it was 1998 that likely stands out as the most remarkable.

 

Gordon won a NASCAR modern-era record 13 premier series races that season, including the Pepsi Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway, where he received a $1 million bonus from then-title sponsor Winston. After winning three races over the first 15 races of the season, Gordon reeled off an astonishing 10 wins in the final 18 races en route to his third premier series championship in four years.

 

You go through a season like 1998, where you’re winning that many races, and it’s hard not to get to win No. 5, 6 or 7 and and go, ‘Damn, not all this again! All these hats and pictures! Is it over yet?’
Jeff Gordon
93-time winner in NASCAR's premier series

At a certain point, the winning became so routine that the “Rainbow Warriors” team started wanting to spend more time celebrating with each other and less completing the minutiae of Victory Lane duties, which included endless pictures as the team swapped hats for different sponsors of the race team and NASCAR.

 

“You go through a season like 1998, where you’re winning that many races, and it’s hard not to get to win No. 5, 6 or 7 and go, ‘Damn, not this again! All these hats and pictures! Is it over yet?’” Gordon said. “That year we made a lot of suggestions to NASCAR, like, ‘Isn’t there a way where you don’t have to do all these contingency hats every single time; we just did this last week and the week before.’”

 

Gordon added that NASCAR made some changes as a result and has “done a great job” speeding up the process over the years.

 

Leading up to that race at Darlington, Gordon recounted that he did something unusual in that he hosted a TV show previewing the race and his shot at a $1 million bonus. It would prove to be early training for Gordon, who today is an analyst for Fox Sports.

 

“Looking back, it’s pretty cool we did that because we ended up winning, but we definitely took some risks by being in front of the camera and talking about it. That was something unusual. I had never done that before.”