People and Pop Culture

Names in the News

NFL Chief Strategy & Growth Officer Chris Halpin will leave the league later this month to become CFO of digital media holding company IACGETTY IMAGES's Peter King writes the NFL "suffered a big loss last week," with the news that Chief Strategy & Growth Officer CHRIS HALPIN was "leaving the league." Halpin would have been one of the "strong candidates to replace commissioner ROGER GOODELL whenever Goodell steps down." Halpin had "imagination," and he "knew how to get things done." It would have been "wise for the league to find a way to keep Halpin, who loves football." Without him, the NFL "needs to find someone with the imagination and business sense who can keep pushing the ball forward on the international and strategy front" (, 1/10).

LONG OVERDUE: Hockey HOFer WILLIE O'REE will be watching via video stream as his No. 22 "rises to its permanence among the greatest Bruins" in TD Garden on Jan. 18. Before the ceremony, O'Ree "will be given a lifetime achievement award by the Carnegie Initiative." That nonprofit group, established last year to "promote growth and diversity in the sport, will hold a two-day summit at Hub Hall at TD Garden." Longtime friend BRYANT MCBRIDE said the primary topic will be "how can we, with intent and purpose, make this sport more open and welcoming? Everybody loves the sport. It can flourish by being intentionally inclusive" (BOSTON GLOBE, 1/9).

NEWBORNS: LPGA golfer PAULA CREAMER and fiancé SHANE KENNEDY "welcomed their first child on Friday, a baby girl named HILTON ROSE" (, 1/9)....Former Olympic figure skater MICHELLE KWAN announced the "birth of her first child, a baby girl named KALISTA BELLE KWAN" (USA TODAY, 1/9).

DROPPING DIMES: Mavericks Senior VP GREG NARED in recent months released his new book, "THE ULTIMATE ASSIST: HELPING OUR KIDS SUCCEED IN SPORTS AND LIFE." The book helps parents navigate the youth sports world while also preparing children to live socially responsible lives beyond the field or court. Nared is the Senior VP of Mavs Academy, Mavs Gaming and Player Relations for the Mavericks (SBJ). 

NAMES: The Univ. of Miami "got a major donation of one of its historically most celebrated sports." The RUIZ family pledged $2M toward the "four-time national champion baseball program to expand the current weight room into a 'state of the art' strength and conditioning complex" (MIAMI HERALD, 1/8)....The Spurs are "among the latest targets of a New York attorney who prolifically files patent-infringement lawsuits." RAYMOND A. JOAO has sued the Spurs and StubHub over an "electronic service that allows fans to buy tickets are a game has started." Joao alleges that the ticket service "infringes on two patents held by his Florida-based Alvao Digital." The lawsuit "doesn't specify the specific dollar amount of damages sought, saying it will be determined at trial" (SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, 1/7).

IN MEMORY: Longtime PBR Arena Dir JEROME ROBINSON passed away at 74 yesterday at his home in Fort Collins, Colo. Robinson had been PBR's longest Arena Dir for the last 29 years. He also served in the past as Bull Riding Dir on the PRCA Board and also helped develop the Pro Rodeo HOF, which he was inducted into in '19 (PBR).

SBJ Spotlight: TikTok’s threat to traditional sports media

While tech companies are consumed with finding ways to compete with TikTok, almost no one in conventional media “spends any time talking about it,” said Recode senior correspondent Peter Kafka in an Spotlight interview with SBJ’s John Ourand. “To me, that’s just an obvious disconnect.” Kafka authored a recent column headlined, “It’s TikTok’s world. Can TV live in it?” He said the main response to TikTok’s growth from traditional media execs has been to “punt and hope it’s someone else’s problem a quarter from now or two years from now.” But Kafka said that ignores the trend of conventional broadcast audiences growing older while a billion younger consumers spend most of their media time watching short video after short video. “If you’re in the business of getting anyone under the age of 30 to look at what you’re putting on a screen, you have to think about the fact that you’re probably asking them to put down TikTok and watch your thing instead,” said Kafka. “That’s a very difficult ask. … [TikTok] is insanely addictive.”

SBJ Morning Buzzcast: June 29, 2022

BioSteel makes a major move with the NHL, while the USFL looks for additional investors.

SBJ Unpacks: Thaddeus Young, NBA forward and venture capitalist

SBJ's Austin Karp posted up with NBA power forward Thaddeus Young. The 15-year veteran discussed his venture capital strategy, his investment in technology and much more.

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