Archive for April 21st, 2011

Laurel J. Richie named WNBA president

Veteran marketing executive Laurel J. Richie, who brings more than three decades of experience in consumer marketing, corporate branding, public relations and corporate management, has been appointed President of the WNBA, NBA Commissioner David Stern announced today.

Richie will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the world’s premier women’s sports league, which tips off its historic 15th season this summer.  She will assume her new role on May 16, 2011, reporting to NBA Deputy Commissioner and COO Adam Silver.

With a long track record of developing award-winning campaigns that transform brands and drive business results, Richie served most recently as Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for Girl Scouts of the USA. She was responsible for the organization’s brand, communications, publishing, marketing and web-based initiatives, and was the driving force behind the recent brand revitalization of this well-loved American icon.

“Laurel combines extraordinary marketing and brand management skills, with a tremendous enthusiasm to help evolve young women into leaders,” said Stern. “She joins the WNBA at such an exciting time in its history and we know her expertise will be key to continuing the growth and success of the league.”

“The WNBA is comprised of the best female basketball players in the world and I’m looking forward to working with these talented women as they strive to achieve their professional goals both on and off the court,” said Richie.  “I am fortunate to have worked with an organization as inspiring as Girl Scouts, and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to build upon the successes of the WNBA and help grow this league into a world-class business.”

Prior to working at Girl Scouts of the USA, Richie worked at Leo Burnett Worldwide, an advertising agency based in Chicago, from 1981-1983, where she worked on a host of Procter and Gamble brands. In 1984, she moved to Ogilvy and Mather, where she spent more than two decades building brands for blue chip clients including American Express, Pepperidge Farm and Unilever, among others.  During her tenure at Ogilvy, she led the team that helped Huggies become a multi-billion dollar brand. As Senior Partner, Executive Group Director with responsibility for a portfolio of global brands, her team was among the agency’s most productive and profitable. She continues to work with Ogilvy as a founding member of its Diversity Advisory Board, supporting efforts to attract and retain top talent.

Richie is a recipient of the YMCA Black Achiever’s Award and Ebony magazine’s Outstanding Women in Marketing and Communications. Earlier this month she was named one of the 25 Influential Black Women in Business by The Network Journal.  A graduate of Dartmouth College with a BA in Policy Studies, Richie lives in New York City.

The AP reports:

Lakers grind past Hornets, even playoff series

Andrew Bynum had 17 points and 11 rebounds, Lamar Odom scored 16 points, and the Los Angeles Lakers survived poor games from their two biggest stars to even their first-round playoff series with an 87-78 victory over the New Orleans Hornets in Game 2 on Wednesday night.

Ron Artest added 15 points as the two-time defending champions rebounded from a stunning nine-point loss in the series opener with an improved defensive effort against Chris Paul, who still had 20 points and nine assists after shredding Los Angeles’ defense in Game 1.

With Odom’s outstanding performance leading strong bench play, the Lakers overcame the struggles of All-Stars Kobe Bryant, who managed just 11 points, and Pau Gasol, who had eight.

Game 3 is Friday night in New Orleans.

Trevor Ariza scored 22 points for the Hornets, who committed 16 turnovers after making just three in Game 1.

The second-seeded Lakers nursed a small lead throughout the second half largely thanks to Odom, who was in top form in his first game since winning the NBA’s Sixth Man award on Tuesday. After Bynum scored 12 points in the first half, Odom drove the Lakers’ offense down the stretch.

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