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August 14, 2019

UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO
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UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO

Given the potentially groundbreaking research underway at each end, a more appropriate moniker for the turnpike might be Head Trauma Highway. At one end, University of Colorado-Boulder researchers are using Virtual Reality to study the body’s response to concussion. “What we’re doing isn’t creative, it’s proactive,” Buffaloes athletic director Rick George said. “We’ve got some passionate faculty, and the (Pac-12) has given us an opening.” Using a sliver of its windfall from the College Football Playoff, the conference has allocated $3.6 million annually ($300,000 per school) to supporting research projects designed to improve the welfare of athletes during and after their playing careers. -Jon Wilner, The Mercury News. Read More.

FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY
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FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY

Florida State University will include beer and wine sales in five locations for home football games in 2019. Two locations within Doak Campbell Stadium will serve the expanded concessions menu along with three locations in tailgating areas outside the stadium. The sale of beer and wine will be open to the public at all five locations. However, the two areas inside Doak Campbell will require that all alcoholic beverages be consumed within a designated area adjacent to the concession stand. Alcohol consumption will not be permitted in any public location inside Doak Campbell other than the two designated areas. Read More.

NORTHWESTERN OKLAHOMA STATE UNIVERSITY
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NORTHWESTERN OKLAHOMA STATE UNIVERSITY

Northwestern Oklahoma State University Director of Athletics Brad Franz is pleased to announce the addition of Chris Maple to the Ranger athletics department administrative staff. Maple recently joined the Ranger family as the Assistant Athletic Director for Communications. “We are happy to have Chris join the Ranger family at Northwestern,” said Franz. As the head of the Northwestern athletics communication office, Maple will serve as the primary contact for Ranger football, baseball men’s and women’s golf and men’s and women’s cross country. Read More.

MIDDLE TENNESSEE STATE UNIVERSITY
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MIDDLE TENNESSEE STATE UNIVERSITY

The Blue Zoo, once the loud and proud student section found at MTSU’s Floyd Stadium and Murphy Center, faded when co­-founders, Brian Taylor and Aaron Grisham graduated. When Taylor and Grisham left, the large banner Zoo members raised when Blue Raiders scored disappeared. As diehard supporters began to leave campus, the Zoo was becoming just a memory. But the group has been revived as the 2019-20 academic year begins. Kobe Hermann, a senior majoring in management in the MTSU Jones College of Business, decided to resurrect the Blue Zoo. A former Student Government Association senator, Hermann pulled together a core group of student leaders to make it happen. –Daily News Journal. Read More.

FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY
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FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY

Florida State season-ticket sales have seen a significant drop-off coming off last season’s 5-7 record, and that will have an adverse impact on the athletic department’s finances. As of Aug. 1, FSU has sold 24,636 of 40,000 available main bowl seats. For the more expensive Champions Club, which has been around since 2016, FSU has sold 2,951 of 6,000 seats. Warchant.com reported earlier this month that FSU season-ticket sales have declined every year since the 2014 season. FSU’s 2019-20 athletic department budget, which anticipated the sale of 25,000 season tickets, projected a decrease in ticket sales revenue from $23.445 million in 2018 to $14.995 million in 2019. Overall, the Florida State University Athletic Association’s revenue will drop from $84 million to right below $75 million. Seminoles Boosters also is feeling the hurt, as each season ticket requires a minimum donation to the direct support organization. -Tashan Reed, The Athletic, Read More

VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY
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VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY

Alcohol will be available for purchase by the general public at Vanderbilt Stadium beginning on Aug. 31, when the Commodores face Georgia in the 2019 football season opener, Vanderbilt Athletics announced today. “Not only will this game day initiative enhance our fan experience, it will provide additional resources to invest in our mission of helping our student-athletes succeed on and off the field, such as through facility enhancements and in other areas,” said Malcolm Turner, Vanderbilt vice chancellor for athletics and university affairs. Any potential expansion of alcohol sales at additional Vanderbilt Athletics venues and events will be determined at a later date. Read More.

OLD DOMINION UNIVERSITY
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OLD DOMINION UNIVERSITY

The rumor mill has been running overtime lately. The general consensus among a lot of folks is that Kornblau Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium won’t be ready in time for the Old Dominion football team to host Norfolk State on Aug. 31. Stephen Ballard, head of S.B. Ballard Construction, which is overseeing the stadium construction, has also heard the rumors. So when Ballard appeared at a Norfolk Sports Club breakfast on Tuesday, and then the Jamboree that night, he brought a sign with him. It simply said: “Yes.” His emphatic “Yes” is confirmed by ODU officials, including athletic director Wood Selig, who when I asked, held the “Yes” sign up with Ballard between events on Tuesday. Read More.

OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY
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OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY

Ohio State University wants to trademark the word “The” when used in conjunction with the university’s name on items marketed for sale. The university submitted a trademark application Aug. 8 to the United States Patent and Trademark Office in Washington. The request is for a standard character trademark for the title “The Ohio State University.” Some of the items covered would include T-shirts, baseball caps and hats, according to the university’s application. “Like other institutions, Ohio State works to vigorously protect the university’s brand and trademarks,” Chris Davey, a spokesman for the university, said in a statement after confirming the trademark submission. -Jim Woods, The Columbus Dispatch. Read More.

UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS
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UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS

There is no truth to the rumor that the Razorbacks will release their 2040 football schedule later this week, but Arkansas athletic director Hunter Yurachek does admit he is working ahead quite a bit these days. He addressed the issue Tuesday evening at a gathering on the #OneRazorback Road Show. Arkansas announced Tuesday it had a extended a two-game series with Oklahoma State to four games with dates now scheduled in 2024 (Stillwater), 2027 (Fayetteville), 2032 (Stillwater) and 2033 (Fayetteville). Yurachek admitted that tickets sales are what you might think coming off of a 2-10 season. He also got a chance to look over Arkansas’ new grass surface at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium on Monday and says it is a great addition to the stadium. -Dudley Dawson, wholehogsports. Read More.

UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH DAKOTA
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UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH DAKOTA

Since the DakotaDome was built 40 years ago, almost everything athletically at the University of South Dakota has centered on the iconic structure on campus. Now it’s the dome’s turn for some upgrades. A $24.2 million project has taken over the entire west end of the DakotaDome. Work began in February, and the construction includes adding permanent seating on the west side of the building along with suites and loge boxes, a separate floor to house football coaches offices and meeting rooms for the team and a bottom level that will house the football locker room, meeting spaces, lounge areas and office space. The project is scheduled to take around 18 months, and the goal is to have the project completed in time for the 2020 football season. –Sioux City Journal. Read More.

HIGHER EDUCATION
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HIGHER EDUCATION

Alaska’s governor and officials of the University of Alaska system announced an agreement Tuesday that will blunt — but not avert — a budget crisis that had in recent weeks become a national symbol of the defunding of public higher education. Under the agreement, the university system will see its state allocation for the 2020 fiscal year that began July 1 cut by $25 million, with another $45 million total sliced from the state allocation over the two years that follow. While $70 million over three years is a large excision from operating budget support totaling $327 million, it looked like a net positive to Jim Johnsen, the university system’s president, given the $135 million cut that Governor Michael J. Dunleavy had imposed with a swipe of his veto pen in late June. -Doug Lederman, Inside Higher Ed. Read More.

NCAA
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NCAA

Attorneys representing the three men convicted of funneling money from Adidas to the families of high-profile recruits to steer them to sign with Adidas-sponsored schools filed an appeal Tuesday. A federal jury in New York convicted former Adidas executive James Gatto, Adidas consultant Merl Code and aspiring business manager Christian Dawkins in October on felony charges of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud for their roles in pay-for-play schemes to influence recruits to sign with Kansas, Louisville and NC State. U.S. District Court Judge Lewis A. Kaplan sentenced the men to federal prison in March. Gatto received a nine-month sentence; Code and Dawkins each received six months. -Mark Schlabach, ESPN. Read More.

AUGUSTANA UNIVERSITY
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AUGUSTANA UNIVERSITY

With a focus on enhancing the student-athlete experience and sharing the story of Viking student-athletes and programs, Augustana Athletics is pleased to announce Ryan Hilgemann as the new Assistant Athletic Director For Communications. Ryan’s first day is officially today, August 14, 2019. Hilgemann most recently worked at the University of South Dakota, where he served as the Assistant Sports Information Director for the Coyotes. Adding Hilgemann allows Elliot Nathan to take on a new role with an emphasis on video and digital content. Read More.

NCAA
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NCAA

Last year, Elk Grove Village, Illinois, home to the largest contiguous industrial park in the United States, decided to place its slogan “Makers Wanted” on the Bahamas Bowl in an effort to attract businesses to the Village. In doing so, the Village became the first non-tourist municipality to sponsor a bowl game. It was a gamble to think that buying naming rights to a bowl game would attract new business to the town, but it’s paying off. Tonight, Elk Grove Village officials announced its sponsorship helped attract Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores, an industry-leading travel stop network, to the Village. Elk Grove Village Mayor Craig Johnson called the move a major win for the Village. -Kristi Dosh, forbes. Read More.

NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY
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NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY

There will be no public alcohol sales at Ryan Field this fall, athletic department spokesman Paul Kennedy confirmed to The Daily. Beer and wine will continue to be available before games outside the stadium at the N Zone, which opened last season. The confirmation comes as many universities around the country are making moves to allow alcohol sales at their football stadiums, in efforts to bring in more revenue to athletic departments and improve the gameday experience amid declining attendance numbers. -Ella Brockway, The Daily Northwestern. Read More.

UNC ASHEVILLE
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UNC ASHEVILLE

UNC Asheville Director of Athletics Janet R. Cone announced the hiring of Stefan Nolet as Assistant Athletic Director for External Relations on Tuesday, August 13. “We are very excited to have Stefan join our staff,” stated Janet R. Cone. In his current role, Nolet will oversee all the Bulldogs’ external units, including athletic communications, marketing, ticketing, digital media and video production. He also will serve as the primary media contact for men’s basketball, men’s soccer and volleyball, among others. Nolet comes to UNC Asheville after spending the previous athletic year as Assistant Director of Athletics Communications at Austin Peay State University. Read More.

UNIVERSITY OF IDAHO
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UNIVERSITY OF IDAHO

The University of Idaho and Vandal Athletics hired Heath Senour as its Associate Athletic Director for Compliance. Senour was named to the position in June and began his duties July 29. In his role, Senour will have dual reporting lines to University General Counsel and the Director of Athletics and serve on the athletic department’s senior staff. As an associate athletic director with the Vandals, Senour directs all aspects of the department’s rules education and compliance program. He is U of I’s liaison with the NCAA, affiliated conferences and outside constituent groups regarding rules interpretations and compliance issues. Read More.

August 13, 2019

BATES COLLEGE
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BATES COLLEGE

Bates College Director of Athletics Jason Fein today announced the appointment of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Jessica Duff as assistant athletic director, effective in September. Duff will oversee student athlete services and internal operations for the department. “We are thrilled that Jess Duff will be joining our team this fall,” said Fein. “Her experience and commitment to Division III as a student-athlete, administrator and staffer at the NCAA will certainly benefit the entire Bates community. Duff has served as special assistant to MIT Director of Athletics Julie Soriero for the past two years, following previous athletic administration positions at the NCAA national office and at Mount Holyoke College. At MIT, Duff took on a variety of roles within a large and successful Division III athletic program. She served as co-director of the Student-Athlete Leadership Program and oversaw the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee; was a co-lead of the MIT LGBTQ+ Employee Resource Group; and is a member of the NCAA Common Ground Leadership Team.  – Read More

UCONN
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UCONN

Kevin Ollie has scored a legal victory in his fight with UConn for the nearly $11 million left on his contract. An arbitrator has ruled UConn must prove it fired Ollie due to a showing of “serious non-compliance of … NCAA rules and regulations” or “serious misconduct.” Essentially, the ruling states the collective bargaining agreement between Ollie, UConn’s chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) and UConn takes precedence over the individual employment agreement between Ollie and UConn. The CBA contains language indicating a higher standard for just-cause firing. Former UConn president Susan Herbst had stated that the school believes the individual employment agreement is the governing document in the case. According to arbitrator Marcia Greenbaum’s 56-page decision, UConn indicated that since Ollie’s individual employment agreement was signed by UConn AAUP executive director Michael Bailey, it amounted to a waiver of the terms of the CBA. But Bailey has denied he was giving a waiver and, rather, simply indicating he had received the document — and Greenbaum agreed. – David Borges, ctpost – Read More

COLLEGE ATHLETICS
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COLLEGE ATHLETICS

In the 17 months since the death of his son, Mark Hilinski has visited enough college athletic departments to see the same things over and over, a pattern repeated: the renovated facilities, the expansive weight rooms, the well-accoutered players’ lounges. Shiny perks, all, of a major college athletics enterprise that continues to generate ever-increasing revenue. And yet, Hilinski said not long ago, referencing the athletes at the center of it all, “We can’t fund a staff for their mental health?” It was a May Tuesday at a Durham hotel, and he and his wife, Kym, had delivered the keynote address at the ACC’s inaugural mental-health summit. For more than a year, the Hilinskis had been giving these kinds of talks, sharing the story of their son, Tyler, the former Washington State quarterback. The rule, which took effect on Aug. 1, is broad. It does not necessarily define what “proper resources” are, as Mark Hilinski put it. There are, for instance, no official guidelines about how many mental health professionals an athletic department must employ, or what their specific roles should be. – ANDREW CARTER, heraldonline – Read More

UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA
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UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA

Alabama unveiled new LED lighting at Bryant-Denny Stadium on Monday night, including a Crimson-hued light show that places full disco power in the hands of UA director of Athletics Greg Byrne, although he is likely to be more conservative than a full Saturday Night Fever attack. “The current lights were at the end of their effective life and we wanted to go to LEDs because they are so much more efficient,” Byrne said. “As an added bonus, that gave us some color capability and we are excited about exploring some different ways to use that.” In June the university board of trustees increased the budget for renovations of the Bryant-Denny Stadium project by $17 million to $92.5 million due to changes to the planning for the stadium including new, larger video scoreboards in the corners of the stadium, more elevators, and student spaces on the southeast ground level. The revised plans call for four larger scoreboards in the corners of the end zones instead of a previously proposed larger video board in the upper deck of the south end zone. –  Cecil Hurt, tuscaloosanews. – Read More

SFA
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SFA

Ahead of the 2019-20 academic year, a number of staffing position changes – as well as a few additions – have been announced by SFA director of athletics Ryan Ivey.  Brandi Bryant joins the SFA athletics administration as the Associate Athletic Director for Student-Athlete Development and Strategic Initiatives. Loree McCary has been elevated to the position of Associate Athletics Director for Administration and will retain her role as SFA’s Senior Woman’s Administrator (SWA). Also being elevated to a new role is Rob Meyers who takes on the title of Associate Athletics Director for Business and Facilities. Taking over SFA’s compliance area is Kara Carpenter who will serve as SFA’s Assistant Athletics Director for Compliance. Carpenter moved into the compliance role following a short stint as a student-athlete academic services advisor upon coming to SFA in the fall of 2018. Mackenzie Wenger moves to the role of Director of Athletic Academic Services. Formerly an Athletic Academic Services Advisor at SFA, Wenger will now oversee a staff of five other individuals in SFA’s student-athlete academic services department.  – Read More

SPORTS MEDIA
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SPORTS MEDIA

HBO is in negotiations with four schools for a weekly behind-the-scenes show during the 2019 season, according to ESPN’s Kyle Bonagura. The network behind the hit show Hard Knocks is reportedly considering Alabama, Arizona, Penn State and Washington State. Showtime has previously run three seasons of weekly behind-the-scenes programs and chronicled Notre Dame, Florida State and Navy from 2015-17.  HBO is following the Raiders through the 2019 preseason. Episode 1 of the five-episode season aired on Aug. 6 and Episode 2 will air on Tuesday night. –  MICHAEL SHAPIRO, si – Read More

UNIVERSITY OF MEMPHIS
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UNIVERSITY OF MEMPHIS

The University of Memphis has introduced their new athletic director, Laird Veatch. “Alright Tigers, are you ready?” Veatch said at an introductory news conference Tuesday. Veatch previously served as executive associate athletics director for internal affairs at the University of Florida and as deputy athletics director and interim director of athletics at Kansas State University. President David Rudd announced Veatch’s hiring last week. He says Veatch is a former student-athlete — a two-time All-American linebacker from Kansas State — who recognizes the challenges of being a student-athlete. – wmcactionnews5 – Read More

COLLEGE ATHLETICS
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COLLEGE ATHLETICS

Oklahoma State University Athletics and University of Oklahoma Athletics put rivalries aside today to officially announce Phillips 66® as title sponsor of the Bedlam Series, highlighting the competitive spirit between the Cowboys and the Sooners in head-to-head sports each collegiate athletics season. Phillips 66, an Oklahoma institution, will back Bedlam in a multi-year agreement. With roots in Oklahoma dating back to 1917, Phillips 66 understands the significance of the Bedlam rivalry for the student-athletes, the fans and the communities that support the two universities. Phillips 66 has been a long-standing corporate supporter of university athletics and is a premier sponsor of the Big 12 Conference of which both universities are members. “Phillips 66 has a rich history in Oklahoma. Our company’s roots are in Bartlesville, we have local facilities and we provide fuel to people across Oklahoma at Phillips 66 stations,” says Rod Palmer, General Manager of Branded Marketing for Phillips 66.  Oklahoma soccer will host the first Bedlam meeting in the upcoming 2019-20 collegiate athletics season on Thursday, August 29. – Read More

MOUNTAIN WEST CONFERENCE
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MOUNTAIN WEST CONFERENCE

A total of nine Mountain West football games will be broadcast live during the 2019 season on AT&T SportsNet, including seven league contests. AT&T SportsNet’s package will feature Nevada, New Mexico and UNLV on three occasions and has a pair of in-state rivalry games in New Mexico State at New Mexico (Saturday, Sept. 21 at 2:30 p.m. MT) and UNLV at Nevada (Saturday, Nov. 30 at Noon PT). Colorado State’s 2019 home opener against Western Illinois at 2 p.m. MT on Saturday, Sept. 7 will open AT&T SportsNet’s coverage. – Read More

UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO
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UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO

The Colorado Buffaloes have an official beer now. The University of Colorado on Tuesday announced it has partnered with Avery Brewing Company to create Stampede, a Colorado gold lager, to represent the school’s athletic programs. “Boulder is my home, and I’ve been rooting for the Buffs since becoming a Coloradoan 35 years ago,” Avery Brewing Company found Adam Avery said in a news release. “It’s a dream come true to partner with such a great university.” The 4.5% ABV lager is described as “clean, crisp and crushable,” according to Avery Brewing. It will be introduced at a kickoff celebration at 11:30 a.m. Aug. 23 at the brewery. The first 100 guests will receive a Stampede pint glass. The can features art of the school’s mascot, Ralphie, with the CU logo emblazoned on the bison’s forehead. The design was created by artist Neil Shigley, who had collaborated with the brewery for the packaging for its 25th anniversary last year. –  Joe Nguyen, denverpost – Read More

COLLEGE ATHLETICS
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COLLEGE ATHLETICS

Congratulations, Michigan. You’re back on top.  Before toe meets ball, the Wolverines are once again No. 1 – at least in ticket demand.  That’s one of the takeaways from StubHub’s release Tuesday of its most in-demand teams, games and conferences for 2019. That sort of designation will have to suffice until Jim Harbaugh leads Michigan to a No. 1 ranking on the field.  StubHub, the nation’s largest ticket marketer, is in its 19th year. Since 2014, Michigan has never finished lower than No. 2 among the nation’s ticket-buying public.  Time for the product on the field to catch up?  For now, StubHub says the demand this season is up a staggering 46 percent for Michigan games. Having one of the toughest schedules in the country helps. The Wolverines play Army,  Wisconsin, Penn State, Notre Dame, Michigan State and Ohio State.  It also helps for Michigan to have half a million living alumni clamoring for those tickets.  – Dennis Dodd, cbssports – Read More

PAC-12
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PAC-12

Allegiant Stadium is still a year away from opening, but on Tuesday the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority board of directors authorized $3 million in upfront funding to stage the Pac-12 Conference Football Championship Game in 2020 and 2021. It’s the first funded special event for the 65,000-seat, $1.9 billion indoor stadium, although other events, including the Las Vegas Bowl, are expected to use the venue once it opens in August 2020. The Pac-12, a top-tier league of 12 universities in California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Utah and Colorado, opted in 2014 to stage its championship game on a neutral field and has scheduled it at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California. Attendance has declined over the years, however, and the league expects staging the event in the new stadium in Las Vegas would boost attendance. – Richard N. Velotta, reviewjournal – Read More

COLLEGE ATHLETICS
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COLLEGE ATHLETICS

Learfield IMG College, a multimedia rightsholder for some of the most iconic brands in college sports, recently named industry veterans Mitch Poll and Lainie Gentile to its national sales and marketing team in its New York City and Chicago offices respectively. Together they boast more than five decades of sales, marketing and brand partnership expertise in the sports and entertainment sector. Poll, joining Learfield IMG College as vice president, national marketing solutions, is a former United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and National Football League (NFL) executive. Gentile, vice president, sales for Learfield IMG College’s Midwest Region, most recently served in key roles with 4Front, Minnesota Timberwolves, Lynx and Target Center and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide. During his 10-year stint with the USOC as senior vice president and managing director, partnership marketing, Poll oversaw management of 35 global and domestic Olympic partnerships. – Read More


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