Feb 2021 staff moves and sports business industry news in one spot — updated as they happen, so make sure you check back throughout the month.
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Feb 1, 2021
Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) announces two related “multi-year” extensions. One is a renewal with Denny Hamlin as the driver of JGR’s No. 11 Toyota and the other is a new agreement with FedEx. FedEx has been a primary sponsor of Hamlin since 2005 when the #11 NASCAR Cup team was formed.
Feb 3, 2021
The National Lacrosse League (NLL) announces that after months of work to try and stage an abbreviated 2021 season starting in Apr 2021, ongoing COVID-19 precautions have forced the NLL to scrap those plans and instead announces it will work to play a full 2021-22 season starting in the traditional late Fall timeframe. Exact dates remain TBD.
Feb 5, 2021
Pac-12 Conference selects talent recruitment firm TurnkeyZRG to support the conference in the search for its next Commissioner.
(See Jan 2021 Roster Moves on departure of Larry Scott.)
Feb 10, 2021
Minnesota Vikings appoint Martin Nance EVP & CMO, where he will lead multiple departments, including marketing, sponsorship activation, events, premium services, creative, sales analytics & engagement and Vikings Entertainment Network. A former Vikings player, Nance most recently was Sr Director, Marketing & Sports Intelligence at PepsiCo/Gatorade.
Feb 15, 2021
NWSL Kansas City announces that Amber Cox has been named the team’s first COO, from VP, Sports at Mohegan Sun, where she lead all revenue-generating activities for the WNBA Connecticut Sun and NLL New England Black Wolves.
Feb 16, 2021
American Hockey League (AHL) and CCM Hockey announce a five-year extension of their long-term partnership. CCM will remain the exclusive supplier of sticks, helmets, gloves, pants and jerseys for AHL players. CCM Hockey remains exclusive licensee for AHL replica jerseys, and a licensee for other AHL apparel and headwear including authentic jerseys and the official Calder Cup Championship hats and shirts worn on the ice by the league’s championship teams. CCM will also continue to sponsor the AHL All-Star Classic, providing equipment, jerseys and locker room apparel for the annual event, and will also be the head-to-toe uniform provider for AHL referees and linesmen.
Feb 17, 2021
- Devin Talbott — lead investor of the new group
- Craig Abod
- Veronica Atkins
- Chelsea Clinton
- Tom + Linda Daschle
- Dominique Dawes
- Joe Duckett
- Tracy Fitzsimmons + Knox Singleton
- Assia Grazioli-Venier
- Jenna Bush Hager
- Matt and Soogi Hong
- Phil + Cathy Horvitz
- Razmig Hovaghimian
- Mark and Kimberly Johnson
- Justin + Cindy Kuzemka
- Kyle + Amanda Lierman
- Terry Lin
- Jimmy Lynn
- Bonnie McElveen-Hunter
- Mary Mochary
- Dr. Kurt Newman
- Suzanne Niedland
- Brian Nightingale
- Estee Portnoy
- Scott Reynolds
- Shannon + Johnathan Robertson
- Danielle + George Scott
- Briana Scurry + Chryssa Zizos
- David Schiff
- Claire Shipman + Jay Carney
- Devin Talbott
- Mark Wishner
United States Golf Association (USGA) names Mike Whan CEO. Whan, who announced he was leaving the LPGA in Jan, will join the USGA in Summer 2021 and become the eighth top executive in USGA history.
Angel City FC announces DoorDash as the team’s founding front-of-kit sponsor and exclusive on-demand delivery platform partner, marking the company’s first entry into professional soccer. As the team’s exclusive front-of-kit sponsor, the DoorDash primary logo will grace the mid-center position of ACFC’s official kits and merchandise including home and away jerseys, stadium, rain and travel clothing, all authentic and replica first-team jerseys available to consumers, and any special edition first-team jerseys. Through ACIF, the two will work together to address food insecurity in Los Angeles. In fact, in the first year of their multi-year partnership, ACFC and DoorDash have committed to bringing an estimated 250,000 meals to those in need. To do so, ACFC and DoorDash have partnered with CARE in their first year to identify local organizations that serve areas of LA in which the critical need for food outpaces the bandwidth of volunteers and staff distributing it. To kick-off the partnership, DoorDash runs a special promotion with every DoorDash order placed (on Feb 18, 2021) from participating local woman-owned restaurants, DoorDash will donate $5, up to a maximum of $15,000, to CARE.
Columbus Crew SC announces a multi-year partnership with Donatos Pizza becoming an official team partner ahead of the opening of the Crew’s new downtown stadium, set for Jul 2021. Donatos is designated the Official Pizza of Columbus Crew SC, and Donatos’ products will be sold at Crew SC home matches at both Crew Stadium and the New Crew Stadium. “The partnership will include entitlement rights to two New Crew Stadium concession stands, presenting partner rights to the Crew SC match ball delivery program and to the Crew SC match day pizza promotion, associate partner rights to Crew SC youth camps and clinics, in-stadium digital signage, and opportunities for Donatos to further engage with Crew SC supporters and fans through digital, social and retail activation.” The Crew were represented by Legends Global Partnerships on this partnership.
Feb 19, 2021
The Lexington Legends announce they will join the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball, beginning with the 2021 season. From 2001-20, the Legends were members of the South Atlantic League but lost their Major League Baseball affiliation when MLB restructured the entire Minor League Baseball player development system in 2020.
(See TMR Insider article MLB’s Reorganization of MiLB Structure for more.)
Feb 22, 2021
Major League Soccer announces Sola Winley has been named EVP & Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer. In addition, a pair of MLS employees will transition into new roles. Tunde Oguntimein, moves from Special Assistant to Deputy Commissioner/President & Managing Director of MLS Business Ventures, to work in the Commissioner’s office and collaborate with Winley to develop the league’s overall diversity, equity and inclusion strategy. Oguntimein will also work on key initiatives for Commissioner Garber and the league. MLS sr manager Jamie Batey, who has been with the league since May 2018, will continue working in the Commissioner’s office, now supporting Winley across a variety of initiatives.
Feb 23, 2021
Washington Spirit announce Lindsay Barenz will join the front office as the President, Business Operations. Most recently, Barenz was VP, Business Development for the National Women’s Soccer League.
NLL approves the sale of the New England Black Wolves by Mohegan Sun to a group headed by Oliver Marti. Marti is a former NCAA DI men’s lacrosse All-American, Canadian national field lacrosse player and NLL player before focusing on a career as a hedge fund manager and working to develop box lacrosse at the youth level. The new owenrship group, Capital Region NLL, includes Brett Jefferson, an investor in and board member of the Premier Lacrosse League, and member of the Board of Directors of the Tewaaraton Foundation; Sol Kumin, co-owner of Triple Crown Winner Justify and last year’s Kentucky Derby winner Authentic who serves as Chair of the US Lacrosse Foundation Board; along with Russ Sheppard, on which the lacrosse movie, The Grizzlies, was based.
Feb 24, 2021
MLB and Scotts Miracle-Gro announce the 2021 Scotts Field Refurbishment Grant Program. Over the first five years of the program, the Scotts Field Refurbishment Program has helped renovate more than 24 fields across the country, with nearly $2 million contributed to improving these ballfields.
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