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Kevin B. Donovan, new CEO

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Chance To See   Saturday, 01/10/09 08:53:54 PM
Re: gilead23 post# 1134
Post # of 14378 
Kevin B. Donovan, new CEO



This is the result of an attempt to get a better understanding of the accomplishments of Kevin Donovan. I realize now I could spend my life on this, as roaming through the internet trying to understand the activities of numerous companies takes you on many twists and turns. (For example, the 1999 article on the All-American SportPark [link 8] makes it sound like a great success. Yet then I find that it was not successful and was sold a couple of years later [link 12]. These two sources also give different accounts of how the park came about.)

So I’m just going to post this as is even though some of the information may not be 100% accurate. Also it includes some conjectures on my part.

Links to sources are at the end, which is what the numbers in brackets refer to.



So it looks like he started out with an interest in graphic/commercial design, as in 1983 he got a degree in Commercial Art from St. Paul College, a community college in St. Paul, MN. Three years later he was Art Director and Creative Director at a Minneapolis company, John Ryan & Co., “which provides design services to retail and banking companies.” [1]

He stayed there about three years, then in 1989 started his own commercial design company in Dallas, Donovan Design Agency. (I believe that this company is the forerunner of U4oria Discovery, as the work in the U4oria portfolio appears to span Donovan’s career. The Chemical Bank design may even date from the time he was at John Ryan & Co. The Pearle Vision stores were done by the Donovan Design Agency [3] and there are also designs for the All-American SportPark, Salt Lake City Olympics, and Smoothie King. [7] U4oria is described as “a strategic marketing and business development firm specializing in sports and entertainment and food service market sectors.”) [5]

In April 1994 he became Vice President of New Business Development at Saint Andrews Golf Corporation in Las Vegas, where he developed the All-American SportPark. His responsibilities on the park included “original concept, design, development, contract negotiations, marketing, sponsorship sales and license agreements with Major League Baseball Properties, NASCAR Licensing, Callaway Golf Company, Delaware North Companies-Sportservice, Jeff Gordon, Inc., Pepsi-Cola, SONY, DirecTV, Sanyo Electric, NAMCO and all other sublease retail, food service tenants and strategic partners.” [3]

Maybe this park is why the EGMI PR calls him a creative visionary: “Leave it to the revolutionaries in the theme park design industry to rescue the beleaguered, hen-pecked masses from a fate worse than housework. On October 9, 1998, after years of planning, the $40-million, 23-acre, state-of-the-art All-American SportPark opened its doors to eager sports enthusiasts. In late December 1998, the All-American SportPark acquired the neighboring Callaway Golf Center and expanded to a sprawling 65 acres. Located within two miles of the Las Vegas strip, the All-American SportPark is the first theme park of its kind in the United States -- if not the world -- to cater exclusively to eager sports enthusiasts. Attractions are intensely interactive. At the NASCAR SpeedPark, participants can whip around on a high performance road course at speeds up to 65 miles per hour in NASCAR-approved NASKART Stock Car replicas. If you don't have a fear of heights, you can rock climb on the 40-foot indoor Rockreation Sport Climbing Walls and then head over to Slugger Stadium to hit a few Out of the park in any one of 16 batting cages. Another enticement is the Boston Garden Experience, a 10,000-square-foot, two-level interactive sports bar and restaurant replicating the famous Boston Garden. Here, one can leisurely lift 12-oz. liquid weights surrounded by decades of sports memorabilia while exchanging viewpoints on the trials and tribulations of professional sports with other couch coaches.” [8]

It may have been the first of its kind, but apparently it was not successful. “The remaining 23 acres was home to the discontinued SportPark that opened for business in October 1998 and was disposed of in May 2001.” [12]

He left that company in late 1998 (just as the park was opening, apparently) to take the high-profile job of Director of Image for the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. Many of the designs for the Olympics are on the U4oria site. [7]

Now he seems to have been going great, and you might think he would focus on commercial design going forward.

But then in August 2000, two years before the Olympics took place, he was wooed by Smoothie King, a private company which at that point had 225 franchises in 22 states, to be their CEO. Per the wife of the founder of Smoothie King, “With the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games around the corner, we knew we had a small window of opportunity before Kevin would begin to take on additional responsibilities in Salt Lake.” The founder of the company described him this way: "Kevin is a multi-dimensional talent with a proven track record of success in creating and building international household brands. We had been looking for his caliber of leadership, experience and strategic alliances for quite awhile and we are thrilled to have Kevin join our team." These are Donovan’s words: "Smoothie King offers a nutritional lifestyle approach that is healthy and very appealing to me personally. Plus the Smoothie King Franchise system is uniquely positioned to go to the next level. [Sounds like EGMI.] Steve and Cindy Kuhnau are high-integrity people with a great passion and commitment for improving lives. This was another very important factor in my decision." [3]

Then sometime between the fall of 2002 and the spring of 2003 he was out of that job. The company had an Executive VP for a while and then the founder was back as CEO. You have to believe that there was some kind of conflict, possibly based on the founder regretting having given up the reins, or it occurs to me that maybe Donovan expected the company to go public.

This set-back may have derailed him a bit, as he then took a short-lived position at Fotoball in June, 2003 a few months before it was acquired, and apparently didn’t stay on after the acquisition. Fotoball manufactured and marketed souvenir and promotional products for sports and entertainment, with licenses from the major sports leagues and entertainment properties such as Blue’s Clues, Spiderman, Barbie, etc. His position there was “VP-Managing Director of Marketing Headquarters (MHQ), the newly created promotional and marketing arm…where he worked with all Major Sports and Entertainment Properties and Licensors.” [5] Per the President and COO: "With Kevin joining the team, we now have the necessary talent and required leadership to successfully grow and expand the company's full service promotional marketing capabilities and capture a sustainable revenue stream with Fortune 500 clientele." [6]

Then in 2004 he started the Planetwide Games online gaming company, where, according to the EGMI PR “he was instrumental in bringing high profile brands into significant partnership deals, including those with Marvel Entertainment, Electronic Arts, National Geographic, NBC Universal Pictures, and Paramount Studios to name a few.” The comic book creation application seems novel and interesting [11] although I don’t know who is responsible for that. Presumably he is out of this company at this point.

His current involvement with Subway in “multiple strategic advisory roles “ [9] is through his U4oria commercial design company. [5]



Sources:
1. http://idea.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/930245/0000948830-97-000102.txt
ALL AMERICAN SPORTPARK INC 1996 10K

2. http://www.mnscu.edu/campuses/profiles/stpaulcollege.html


3. August 8, 2000 Smoothie King PR announcing Donovan’s hiring as CEO (See full PR below. I can’t link to it because I found it through my Library’s Pro Quest system.)

4. http://www.spoke.com/info/p6IOLdQ/KevinDonovan

5. http://www.secinfo.com/dsvrp.zb6g.htm
Dirt Motor Sports/Inc • PRE 14C • For 6/30/05

6. http://www.allbusiness.com/retail-trade/miscellaneous-retail-miscellaneous/4459866-1.html
Fotoball Reports "Shortfall" in First Half
Publication: Sporting Goods Business
Date: Wednesday, July 23 2003

7. http://www.u4oria.com/
U4oria Discovery site.

8. http://www.qscaudio.com/press/in_news/aasp1.htm
All-American Sports Park
A Sports Theme Park Requires the Best in Sight and Sound
By Arthur Birling
Reprinted from Sound & Communications magazine, March 15, 1999, p. 42

9. http://www.electronicgamecard.com/press/EGC-Appoints-Prominent-Brand-and-Marketing-Executive-as-Chief-Executive-Officer.htm
EGMI PR

10. http://library.nevada.edu/arch/lasvegas/southlv05.html#005

11. http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=104&STORY=/www/story/05-18-2005/0003636641&EDATE=
GameFREQ Comic Book Creator Launched by Planetwide Games at E3

12. http://idea.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/930245/000126327908000097/aasp10k.txt
12-31-07 All-American Sportpark 10K



3. SMOOTHIE KING CEO PR

Smoothie King Hires Salt Lake 2002 Winter Olympics Director as President Of International Franchise Co.
PR Newswire. New York: Aug 8, 2000. pg. 1

Copyright PR Newswire - NY Aug 8, 2000
NEW ORLEANS, Aug. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Smoothie King Franchises, Inc. announced today the hiring of Kevin Donovan, Director of Image for the Salt Lake 2002 Winter Olympics, as their new President & CEO. For the past two years, Donovan was directly responsible for developing the "Look and Feel" of the Salt Lake 2002 Olympic Winter Games. He also worked closely with the Olympic family of sponsors, broadcasters, suppliers, licensees and other global strategic partners to leverage the Salt Lake 2002 brand.

"Kevin is a multi-dimensional talent with a proven track record of success in creating and building international household brands," says Stephen Kuhnau, Smoothie King founder. "We had been looking for his caliber of leadership, experience and strategic alliances for quite awhile and we are thrilled to have Kevin join our team."

From the world class Olympic Winter Sports stage in Utah to the world category industry leader Smoothie King, "Original Smoothies", Donovan was asked to comment on his decision to join Smoothie King. "Smoothie King offers a nutritional lifestyle approach that is healthy and very appealing to me personally. Plus the Smoothie King Franchise system is uniquely positioned to go to the next level." Donovan also added, "Steve and Cindy Kuhnau are high-integrity people with a great passion and commitment for improving lives. This was another very important factor in my decision." Cindy Kuhnau, Smoothie King Executive VP also commented, "With the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games around the corner, we knew we had a small window of opportunity before Kevin would begin to take on additional responsibilities in Salt Lake."

Prior to his role with the Salt Lake 2002 Olympic Organizing Committee, Donovan was Vice President of Marketing and Development for five years with Saint Andrews Golf Corporation (SAGC) in Las Vegas, Nevada. Donovan developed the All-American SportPark, a live- action 65-acre, $40M theme park on the "Strip" in Las Vegas and took the parent company public in 1994. His responsibilities included: original concept, design, development, contract negotiations, marketing, sponsorship sales and licensed agreements with Major League Baseball Properties, NASCAR Licensing, Callaway Golf Company, Delaware North Companies-Sportservice, Jeff Gordon, Inc., Pepsi- Cola, SONY, DirecTV, Sanyo Electric, NAMCO and all other sublease retail, food service tenants and strategic partners.

Prior to taking Saint Andrews public in 1994, Donovan enjoyed eight years of entrepreneur success as founder, President & CEO of Donovan Design Agency, Inc., a retail store design and development company with offices based in Minneapolis and Dallas. Donovan created the Pearle Vision 2000 store concept (Won World Best Store Design) and Pearle's new brand identity program. He managed, directed and produced the roll-out/retrofit and installation of 1,200 Pearle Vision outlets in the United States, Europe and Taiwan. Other noteworthy Donovan projects and clients included the new retail development concept and domestic roll-out of 800 Kinko's Copy Centers, the Coca-Cola Company, World Gym Licensing, Las Vegas Golf & Tennis, Gotcha International, Brooks Sports, Zale Corporation, The Associates, KFC South Central, KFC, Scott's Foods Services Canada, Bonjour Bagel Cafes and Word Publishing.

As the new Smoothie King President and CEO, Donovan will be responsible for all day-to-day operational activities, franchise systems, new franchise sales and marketing, public relations, long- term strategic planning, new store concepts, joint ventures and investor relations. Smoothie King is privately owned and is the premier healthy-foods and juice bar convenient store marketplace leader that has over 225 store units operating in 22 states with access of $65 million in total system-wide sales. Entrepreneur magazine has rated Smoothie King as the #1 franchise in their category for the past six years. SOURCE Smoothie King Franchises, Inc.


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