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People on the move: Tokyo 2020, Tottenham, Houston Texans and more

Tokyo 2020 president Yoshiro Mori has stepped down after admitting that recent comments he made about women were “inappropriate”.

During a Japanese Olympic Committee meeting earlier this month, Mori said that having women participate meant they tended to “drag on”. The comments prompted widespread calls for his resignation and Mori has now confirmed that he will be stepping down.

Tokyo 2020 is yet to announce a replacement for Mori but it has been widely reported that his successor will be confirmed this week, with Olympics Minister Seiko Hashimoto considered favourite.

English Premier League football club Tottenham Hotspur has reportedly hired Todd Kline (pictured left) as its new chief commercial officer as it continues its search for a stadium sponsor.

Kline served as chief commercial officer for the Miami Dolphins NFL team from February 2015 to August 2018 before a brief stint at Washington Football Team. He currently serves as senior vice-president of sports talent and property sales at the WME agency.

While at the Dolphins, Kline helped broker the lucrative 18-year deal with Hard Rock Cafe for naming rights to the team’s stadium. The deal was worth a reported £180m (€206m/$248m).

According to the Daily Mail, Kline will join Tottenham next month to oversee the club’s commercial department. Tottenham moved into its state-of-the-art new stadium in April 2019 but the club is yet to find a naming-rights partner for the venue, which is also used to stage NFL games.

Jamey Rootes, a speaker at TheStadiumBusiness Summit 2020, is stepping down from his role as president of the Houston Texans NFL team.

Rootes (pictured centre) has served as president of the Texans since 2000 but is leaving the team to pursue interests as a writer, public speaker, consultant and professor at the University of Houston. The Texans have commenced an immediate search for a new president and will consider internal candidates from the business side of the team.

Rootes said: “It has been an honour to serve them in this capacity for as long as I have. I want to thank my teammates as we could not have had so many successes without their hard work and dedication to the team. I also want to thank the best fans in the National Football League, whom I call ‘Texans Nation’.

“Your passionate support created a tremendous homefield advantage, established the best tailgating experience in the NFL and sold out every home game. I will always be a proud Texan and I look forward to continuing to support our team.”

Robert Elstone is to step down as executive chairman of the Super League rugby league competition.

Super League did not give a reason for the departure, which comes ahead of the start of the new season. Elstone was appointed to the role in June 2018, having previously served as chief executive of Premier League football club Everton for 13 years.

Super League said the matter would be discussed by the board before further comment is made.

PTI Digital has appointed Ryan Benson as head of venue technology in the APAC region.

Benson will be based out of Sydney and will be responsible for overseeing further recruitment and building a team to strengthen PTI’s position in the APAC market.

Benson has helped deliver technology for a number of events, such as the Asian Cup football tournament and the US Open tennis grand slam. Other clients include the Sydney Cricket Ground, Basketball Australia, Netball Australia and the 2018 Invictus Games in Sydney.

The Minnesota Vikings NFL team has named Martin Nance (pictured right) as its executive vice-president and chief marketing officer.

Nance will oversee the development of the Vikings’ short- and long-term fan engagement strategy through marketing, content creation and organisational brand initiatives. Nance will manage the team’s marketing, sponsorship activation, events, premium services, creative, sales analytics and engagement departments, as well as Vikings Entertainment Network.

Nance most recently served as senior director of marketing and sports intelligence for PepsiCo/Gatorade.

The San Diego Padres Major League Baseball team has hired Chris Connolly as senior vice-president of marketing.

Connolly will oversee all aspects of the Padres’ marketing, content, broadcast, entertainment and fan engagement. He previously spent 12 years working for Disney in a variety of roles, most recently leading consumer marketing for the Disneyland Resort.

Connolly’s previous roles include president of the Big Idea Marketing Group and vice-president of worldwide marketing for Hasbro.

David Grevemberg will leave his role as chief executive of the Commonwealth Games Federation on March 5 after more than six years in the role.

Grevemberg was first appointed to the role in November 2014 after leading the successful Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland. He has since supported the host cities and organising committees of the Samoa 2015 and Bahamas 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games, and the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia.

The CGF will now begin the process of recruiting for a new chief executive.

Football-focused full-service provider NewC has hired Peter Smith as its UK commercial manager.

Smith has previously held commercial roles at Premier League club Arsenal and Fortress GB. NewC, which owns Roboticket, has signed partnerships with Championship clubs Cardiff City and Wycombe Wanderers over the past year and is looking to significantly increase its presence in the UK.

Do you have news of an appointment that we should know about? Get in touch by emailing news.editor@thestadiumbusiness.com and we’ll include it in our next round-up.