“Stan will be president and CEO and my role will be what it’s been during the 30 years since I got to LA,” said Johnson, the biggest name in the group that will pay $2 billion to purchase the Dodgers and Dodger Stadium.
“I’ll be working with the city, making sure the fans enjoy themselves at the park,” Johnson said. “If the players need anything, my door is open to anything — not just baseball. They’ll get enough baseball from the manager, Don Mattingly, and I’m sure they can reach out to Stan too, and Mark, from the standpoint of selling the Dodgers brand and working with the sponsors. I’ll have an office there and I’ll be there every day.”
Johnson said he was enlisted by Kasten, their relationship dating to Johnson’s playing days with the Lakers when Kasten ran the Atlanta Hawks, along with the Atlanta Braves and the Atlanta Thrashers. Kasten also ran the Washington Nationals, and now he’ll be in charge of running the Dodgers. Walter will be the controlling partner.
“It’s beyond a dream come true for a guy who does what I do,” Kasten said. “The word that’s associated with Dodgers is ‘pride.’ There’s not any other franchise that has that history. Any opportunity to be associated with that franchise — I’ve been friends with Tom Lasorda and Vin Scully — and the thought of being co-workers with them is beyond belief.”
Kasten, who met with general manager Ned Colletti after touring the Dodgers’ Camelback Ranch Spring Training facility two weeks ago, said he has no immediate changes planned.
“We’ll be coming in May 1, and I know a lot about an organization from the outside, but you can’t know everything and everybody until you get inside,” Kasten said. “I look forward to getting to know the people and helping them be more productive, and if we need more people or different people, we’ll do that.”
Walter, CEO of investment manager Guggenheim Partners, which is providing the primary funding for the purchase, was asked if there is any money left to acquire and pay players after the record-breaking purchase price for a North American sports franchise.
“There is,” Walter said. “I know Stan is an expert on this topic, as far as what should be done building a roster. My job is to help Stan and Magic accomplish all of our goals, and that’s not only on the field, but in the community and philanthropy.
“But winning is essential. When I met Magic the first time, we covered a lot of topics, but it was clear that if winning wasn’t the goal, there was no point in owning the franchise. We want to win. If that means we have to work harder on the business side to make that happen, we will.”
Other named partners in the Guggenheim Baseball Partnership LLC purchasing group are Peter Guber, Bobby Patton and Todd Boehly.
Guber is chairman and CEO of Mandalay Entertainment, which expanded its initial focus of movie production to include ownership of Minor League baseball teams and a stake in the Golden State Warriors NBA team.
Patton is an oil and gas investor and Boehly is president of Guggenheim Partners.
About Earvin ”Magic” Johnson Jr:
Earvin ”Magic“ Johnson Jr. (born August 14, 1959) is a retired American professionalbasketball player who played point guard for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). After winning championships in high school and college, Johnson was selected first overall in the 1979 NBA Draft by the Lakers. He won a championship and an NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award in his rookie season, and won four more championships with the Lakers during the 1980s. Johnson retired abruptly in 1991 after announcing that he had contracted HIV, but returned to play in the 1992 All-Star Game, winning the All-Star MVP Award. After protests from his fellow players, he retired again for four years, but returned in 1996, at age 36, to play 32 games for the Lakers before retiring for the third and final time.
Johnson’s career achievements include three NBA MVP Awards, nine NBA Finalsappearances, twelve All-Star games, and ten All-NBA First and Second Team nominations. He led the league in regular-season assists four times, and is the NBA’s all-time leader in average assists per game, at 11.2. Johnson was a member of the “Dream Team“, the U.S. basketball team that won the Olympic gold medal in 1992.
Johnson was honored as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History in 1996, and enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002. He was rated the greatest NBA point guard of all time by ESPN in 2007. His friendship and rivalry with Boston Celtics starLarry Bird, whom he faced in the 1979 NCAA finals and three NBA championship series, were well documented. Since his retirement, Johnson has been an advocate for HIV/AIDSprevention and safe sex, as well as an entrepreneur, philanthropist, broadcaster andmotivational speaker. Johnson was a part-owner of the Lakers for several years, and was part of a group that purchased the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2012.
After raining almost all week, Sunday’s was the perfect day for L.A. Marathon runners where Simon Njoroge and first time ever 20 year old Fatuma Sado Wins the 2012 Los Angeles Honda Marathon held on Sunday, March 18, 2012 from the Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles to the Sea in Santa Monica, CA. from 6:55 am to 2:00 pm.
The 2012 Honda LA Marathon Wheelchair started first, at 7:00 am the 2012 Honda La Marathon Hand-Crank, at 7:07 am the 2012 Honda LA Marathon Elite Women’s Field, and at 7:24 am the 2012 Honda LA Marathon Elite Men’s Field and Full Field started to run. Simon Njoroge won the race from the men’s elite field and Fatuma Sado won the race from the Women’s Elite Field. The total miles to complete the run is 26.
Simon Njoroge of Kenya won the 27th Honda LA Marathon in a time of 2:12:12, making him the 11th different Kenyan male to win the race. Kenyan men have won 13 of the last 15 Honda LA Marathons.
“First, I would like to thank God for giving us this opportunity. I thought that the weather was good, but during the last few kilometers it was very cold. From the first kilometer, we tried to push the pace up to try to catch the girl’s leader. When I knew that I could not catch her, I tried to go with Weldon (Kirui). We worked back and forth until the 22-mile mark when I went for the win, because we could not catch the ladies. Thank you.” said Simon Njoroge, 1st-place finisher.
Mr. Njoroge concluded ”The weather was not so bad at the start, but at the end, for the last six miles, it was very cold, but I was happy that I won. For my next race, I will be deciding with my trainer and my manager where I will be running next.”
Njoroge won the first place price of $25,000 and a 2012 Honda CR-V AWD EX-L with an MSRP of $29,795.
The other Honda LA Marathon winners were: Weldon Kirui of Kenya came in second place with a time of 2:13:40. He won $12,500. Stephen Muange of Kenya came in third place with a time of 2:13:50 and won $10,000. Hailu Seifu of Ethiopia came in fourth place with a time of 2:15:35 and won $5,000. David Mandago of Kenya came in fifth place with a time of 2:17:49 and won $2,500.
“Thank you very much, the race was good. When I started I had a little pain in the front of my left leg. I pushed myself and felt okay but toward the end the pain came back. The weather was cold when I started and at the end it was windy; that is why I did not get so good a time. It was also hard to figure out my time, because I am not used to miles; I train in kilometers.” said Fatuma Sado, Women’s 1st-place finisher.
Ms. Sado concluded “At the end I was looking back for the men (for the Challenge). I am successful running marathons because I train with the elite Ethiopian marathoners. I have not decided on my next race. My coach will decide my next race.”
Sado won a total of $149,795 in prizes including a 2012 Honda CR-V AWD EX-L and $100,000 for winning the Honda LA Marathon Challenge.
The 27th Honda LA Marathon had nearly 23,000 entrants making it the 8th largest field in the history of the event. The next Honda LA Marathon is schedule for March 17, 2013.
About The Honda LA Marathon:
The Honda LA Marathon gives runners and fans a unique way to experience the beauty and diversity of Los Angeles with the race’s third year of the iconic “Stadium to the Sea” course. Runners will begin at Dodger Stadium and continue through Chinatown, Little Tokyo, Echo Park and Silver Lake, passing world-famous landmarks including the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Pantages Theatre, Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, the Sunset Strip and Rodeo Drive. The race ends on Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica, near the Santa Monica Pier. The energy, enthusiasm and entertainment to be found along the course is unparalleled. For more information visit http://www.lamarathon.com
Sources: lamarathon.com, Sugerman Communications Group, DiversityNewsMagazine.com & Diversity News TV.
Photos credit to: Francois Palais & Carlos Zeron for Diversity News Magazine.
On Wednesday, April 6, 2011 the LA Dodgers announced that they hired Kroll Chairman and former Los Angeles Police Chief William J. Bratton to assess policies and procedures related to security and fan services at Dodger Stadium, and to work with the Dodger organization to develop a best practices security blueprint that extends to both the stadium and the parking lots.
“Bill Bratton is widely credited with spearheading modern community policing in America,” said Los Angeles Dodgers Owner Frank McCourt. “There is no one better to lead a top-to-bottom review of our current practices and make recommendations to be implemented now and into the future.”
Bratton and his team at Kroll will begin consulting immediately.
“I am pleased to have the opportunity to return to Los Angeles to consult with the Dodger organization on the security posture at Dodger Stadium,” said Bratton. “We will take a full and comprehensive look at security procedures and processes, and make recommendations based on our findings.”
Mr. Bratton possesses extensive expertise in U.S. law enforcement that includes achieving major reductions in violent crimes when he led the New York City Police Department and the Los Angeles Police Department.
The Dodgers enjoy a longtime working partnership with the LAPD, and see Bratton and Kroll’s role helping with internal procedures at the Dodgers.
“We are committed to ensuring that Dodger Stadium remains a family-friendly environment for all baseball fans,” said McCourt.