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Volume 23 No. 17

People and Pop Culture

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Sweet Success

Andy Ruiz Jr. is working toward an endorsement deal with Snickers. He made no secret of his love for the candy bar in the run-up to his shocking upset of Anthony Joshua, and the newly crowned heavyweight champion was sent a care package by the company as both sides look to capitalize on his sudden fame.

 

 


Sell

Flag On The Play

An Enterprise Rent-A-Car flag was included during the color guard presentation before Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final in St. Louis, a decision that drew heavy criticism. The flag was not part of the color guard for Game 4.


Photo: getty images
Photo: getty images
Photo: getty images

Hold

Bills Come Due

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell reiterated his belief that the Buffalo Bills should explore getting a new stadium. The team is awaiting the results of a market research study and no plans are yet in place.

Empowering women

The Chicago Cubs hosted a Women’s Empowerment Night, including a panel discussion hosted by Mastercard, before their game May 20 at Wrigley Field. From left: Dorri McWhorter, CEO of YWCA Metropolitan Chicago; Cubs Charities Executive Director Alicia Gonzalez; Illinois Deputy Gov. Sol Flores; Ginger Siegel, Mastercard North America small business lead; Sarah Schultz, Cubs VP of human resources; and 1871 CEO Betsy Ziegler.
Photo: chicago cubs
The Chicago Cubs hosted a Women’s Empowerment Night, including a panel discussion hosted by Mastercard, before their game May 20 at Wrigley Field. From left: Dorri McWhorter, CEO of YWCA Metropolitan Chicago; Cubs Charities Executive Director Alicia Gonzalez; Illinois Deputy Gov. Sol Flores; Ginger Siegel, Mastercard North America small business lead; Sarah Schultz, Cubs VP of human resources; and 1871 CEO Betsy Ziegler.
Photo: chicago cubs
The Chicago Cubs hosted a Women’s Empowerment Night, including a panel discussion hosted by Mastercard, before their game May 20 at Wrigley Field. From left: Dorri McWhorter, CEO of YWCA Metropolitan Chicago; Cubs Charities Executive Director Alicia Gonzalez; Illinois Deputy Gov. Sol Flores; Ginger Siegel, Mastercard North America small business lead; Sarah Schultz, Cubs VP of human resources; and 1871 CEO Betsy Ziegler.
Photo: chicago cubs

 

Victory Ride

The V Foundation’s Victory Ride to Cure Cancer on May 18 at the N.C. State Centennial Campus in Raleigh raised more than $230,000 for cancer research. George Hincapie (in black), 17-time Tour de France competitor, was the grand marshal of the ride and led riders out onto the 60- and 100-mile routes.
Photo: the v foundation
The V Foundation’s Victory Ride to Cure Cancer on May 18 at the N.C. State Centennial Campus in Raleigh raised more than $230,000 for cancer research. George Hincapie (in black), 17-time Tour de France competitor, was the grand marshal of the ride and led riders out onto the 60- and 100-mile routes.
Photo: the v foundation
The V Foundation’s Victory Ride to Cure Cancer on May 18 at the N.C. State Centennial Campus in Raleigh raised more than $230,000 for cancer research. George Hincapie (in black), 17-time Tour de France competitor, was the grand marshal of the ride and led riders out onto the 60- and 100-mile routes.
Photo: the v foundation

 

LA 2028 First Look

LA 2028 brought together 70 top agency executives from across the U.S. to talk about the LA 2028 Games and the road to 2028 with Team USA as part of an Agency First Look event May 30 at Banc of California Stadium. From left: NBC Olympics President Gary Zenkel; Janet Evans, LA 2028 chief athlete officer and Olympic gold medalist; U.S. Olympic Committee CEO Sarah Hirshland; Kathy Carter, LA 2028 chief revenue officer and U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Properties CEO; and LA 2028 Chairman Casey Wasserman.
Photo: brian kramer / la 2028
LA 2028 brought together 70 top agency executives from across the U.S. to talk about the LA 2028 Games and the road to 2028 with Team USA as part of an Agency First Look event May 30 at Banc of California Stadium. From left: NBC Olympics President Gary Zenkel; Janet Evans, LA 2028 chief athlete officer and Olympic gold medalist; U.S. Olympic Committee CEO Sarah Hirshland; Kathy Carter, LA 2028 chief revenue officer and U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Properties CEO; and LA 2028 Chairman Casey Wasserman.
Photo: brian kramer / la 2028
LA 2028 brought together 70 top agency executives from across the U.S. to talk about the LA 2028 Games and the road to 2028 with Team USA as part of an Agency First Look event May 30 at Banc of California Stadium. From left: NBC Olympics President Gary Zenkel; Janet Evans, LA 2028 chief athlete officer and Olympic gold medalist; U.S. Olympic Committee CEO Sarah Hirshland; Kathy Carter, LA 2028 chief revenue officer and U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Properties CEO; and LA 2028 Chairman Casey Wasserman.
Photo: brian kramer / la 2028

 

Women’s Golf Day

LPGA Tour star and former Solheim Cup team member Ryan O’Toole spent Women’s Golf Day (June 4) giving a clinic to 40 members and guests at Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, N.J., in conjunction with PXG.
Photo: liberty national golf club
LPGA Tour star and former Solheim Cup team member Ryan O’Toole spent Women’s Golf Day (June 4) giving a clinic to 40 members and guests at Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, N.J., in conjunction with PXG.
Photo: liberty national golf club
LPGA Tour star and former Solheim Cup team member Ryan O’Toole spent Women’s Golf Day (June 4) giving a clinic to 40 members and guests at Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, N.J., in conjunction with PXG.
Photo: liberty national golf club

 

Big East turns 40

From the Big East’s 40th anniversary celebration May 29 at The Graduate Providence hotel: Dan Gavitt, SVP of basketball, NCAA; Larry Jones, EVP, business, Fox Sports; Joel Fisher, EVP, marquee events and operations, Madison Square Garden; Big East Commissioner Val Ackerman; former Big East Commissioner Mike Tranghese; Fox Sports/CBS Sports analyst Bill Raftery; and Georgetown University President Jack DeGioia.
Photo: courtesy of the big east conference
From the Big East’s 40th anniversary celebration May 29 at The Graduate Providence hotel: Dan Gavitt, SVP of basketball, NCAA; Larry Jones, EVP, business, Fox Sports; Joel Fisher, EVP, marquee events and operations, Madison Square Garden; Big East Commissioner Val Ackerman; former Big East Commissioner Mike Tranghese; Fox Sports/CBS Sports analyst Bill Raftery; and Georgetown University President Jack DeGioia.
Photo: courtesy of the big east conference
From the Big East’s 40th anniversary celebration May 29 at The Graduate Providence hotel: Dan Gavitt, SVP of basketball, NCAA; Larry Jones, EVP, business, Fox Sports; Joel Fisher, EVP, marquee events and operations, Madison Square Garden; Big East Commissioner Val Ackerman; former Big East Commissioner Mike Tranghese; Fox Sports/CBS Sports analyst Bill Raftery; and Georgetown University President Jack DeGioia.
Photo: courtesy of the big east conference

 

A suite life

From the Chicago Bears suite partner event on May 23 at the team’s downtown office location: Bears GM Ryan Pace, Karl Schulz, senior manager of vendor incentives at CDW; guests Greg Poulos and Michael LaMargo; and Bears coach Matt Nagy.
Photo: chicago bears
From the Chicago Bears suite partner event on May 23 at the team’s downtown office location: Bears GM Ryan Pace, Karl Schulz, senior manager of vendor incentives at CDW; guests Greg Poulos and Michael LaMargo; and Bears coach Matt Nagy.
Photo: chicago bears
From the Chicago Bears suite partner event on May 23 at the team’s downtown office location: Bears GM Ryan Pace, Karl Schulz, senior manager of vendor incentives at CDW; guests Greg Poulos and Michael LaMargo; and Bears coach Matt Nagy.
Photo: chicago bears

 

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.

Basketball

The NBA named AMADOU GALLO FALL president of the Basketball Africa League, which is scheduled to begin play next year. Fall was the NBA’s vice president and managing director for Africa.

The Phoenix Suns named TOM FLETCHER senior vice president of marketing partnerships for the Suns, Mercury and Legends Entertainment District. Fletcher spent the past seven years as senior vice president of sales and business development at IMG College.

Colleges

The United States Military Academy named MIKE BUDDIE athletic director. Buddie was athletic director at Furman University.

The University of Central Florida’s DeVos Sport Business Management program named ASHLEY TURNER director of external affairs and partnerships. Turner spent the last seven years in various roles at the Orlando Magic.

Learfield IMG College named SHEA HANSEN general manager of the University of Milwaukee Panther Sports Properties. Hansen was a corporate sales executive for the Green Bay Packers.

The University of Mississippi named KEITH CARTER interim athletic director. Carter will continue in his role as deputy athletic director for development and resource acquisition.

Saint Joseph’s (Pa.) University eliminated its associate athletic director and sports information director position, which means MARIE WOZNIAK is no longer at the school after 16 years. Additionally, JOE LUNARDI, director of marketing and broadcast services for SJU athletics, resigned.

Weber State University’s women’s soccer head coach, TIM CROMPTON, has been named the school’s interim athletic director.

Football

The Atlanta Falcons promoted STEVE SABO to director of player personnel, ANTHONY ROBINSON to director of college scouting, MICHAEL ROSS to Eastern regional scout, RICHARD SANDERS to Southwest area scout and PENIEL JEAN to pro personnel scout.

The Oakland Raiders named JIM ABRAMS director of college scouting, DWAYNE JOSEPH director of pro personnel, DUJUAN DANIELS assistant director of player personnel, WALTER JULIFF senior adviser to the general manager, JACK GILMORE scouting coordinator, JOHN HILL pro scout and ADAM MAXIE pro scouting assistant. The team also promoted TOM DELANEY to senior vice president and director of football administration, DAVID CHRISTOFF to director of football analytics, TEDDY ATLAS to assistant director of college scouting and TREY SCOTT to assistant director of player personnel.

The San Francisco 49ers hired MADDY COOPER as partnership sales specialist and SCOTT PETERSEN as video producer of partnership sales and activation. The team also promoted KEVIN HILTON to vice president of corporate partnerships, JESSE CAMPBELL to director of risk management, ALLIE DICKEN to senior manager of brand marketing, CHRIS STEELE to senior manager of accounting, EMILY LUCAS to senior manager of corporate communications, SOFY NAVARRO to senior manager of the club’s education program and TRENT BARTLING to senior manager of Levi’s Stadium ticketing and strategy.

The XFL named PAUL WHITE director of consumer packaged goods, licensing and partnerships. The league’s Los Angeles expansion team named STEVEN GRACIANO head of marketing. He was most recently at the esports organization Immortals. The league’s New York team named ANTHONY ZUCCONI head of marketing. Zucconi previously worked with On Location Experiences. XFL Seattle named CHRIS SAVIO senior director of corporate partnerships. Savio held a similar role at the Seattle Sounders. The team also named JIM CHRISTMAN team director of communications and media relations. Christman had spent more than 16 seasons with the Chicago Bears. The Tampa Bay expansion team hired JOSH BULLOCK as president. Bullock was most recently senior associate athletic director and senior director of development at the University of South Florida.

Hockey

The Minnesota Wild named MIKE MODANO executive adviser to the owner and president.

To have your personnel announcements included in the People section, please send information to careers@sportsbusinessjournal.com.
Ray Tanner (center) and his 2010 Gamecocks celebrate their first of back-to-back titles, which straddled Rosenblatt Stadium and TD Ameritrade Park.
Photo: getty images
Ray Tanner (center) and his 2010 Gamecocks celebrate their first of back-to-back titles, which straddled Rosenblatt Stadium and TD Ameritrade Park.
Photo: getty images
Ray Tanner (center) and his 2010 Gamecocks celebrate their first of back-to-back titles, which straddled Rosenblatt Stadium and TD Ameritrade Park.
Photo: getty images

The smells. Ray Tanner will always remember the smells at Rosenblatt Stadium.

“There was always a grill going somewhere,” Tanner said.

It’s been almost a decade since the final College World Series was played at Rosenblatt in Omaha. After the 2010 CWS was played there, college baseball’s marquee event moved into sparkling new TD Ameritrade Park, which was closer to the city’s center. The 2019 edition of the CWS begins this weekend with eight teams traveling “The Road to Omaha.”

Tanner, who is now South Carolina’s athletic director, coached the Gamecocks baseball squad for 16 seasons. He had perhaps the most compelling viewpoint when the CWS changed addresses.

Tanner’s team won the final CWS at Rosenblatt in 2010, then turned around and won the 2011 championship at the new stadium. The two experiences were very different, Tanner said, even though both trips to Omaha ended with the Gamecocks in a dog pile celebrating a national championship.

“I had convinced myself, going into Rosenblatt in 2010, that this is Fenway,” Tanner said. “I knew it was the last year, of course, so wouldn’t it be great to make a deep run into the final season there.

“Then we go to TD Ameritrade and it was state-of-the-art, the Taj Mahal of stadiums at the collegiate level. The Yankee Stadium, if you will, the new Yankee Stadium. You know, it’s like leaving Fenway, going to the new Yankee Stadium. They are both tremendous, but that’s the transition, from Rosenblatt to TD Ameritrade. They’re very different, but extremely special.”

Tanner, now the chair of the NCAA baseball committee, expected the transition from Rosenblatt, which was built in 1947, to be more dramatic. Wouldn’t TD Ameritrade be more corporate, more antiseptic, as a new park compared with Rosenblatt’s personality? Perhaps, but each stadium has its own characteristics and, ultimately, it’s still eight teams competing for a championship over two weeks. That’s what makes the sport unique.

“I wondered if we could capture the essence of what the College World Series was about, or would it take time?” Tanner said. “I don’t think we missed a beat. It was like … we’re going from a historic stadium to a state-of-the-art stadium, and we just picked up where we left off. The biggest difference, to me, was the smells.”

Rosenblatt, whose grandstands came down in 2012, has since been acquired by the adjacent Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium. The site has been remade into a memorial for the old stadium.