New-York Historical Society's Bill Shannon Dictionary of New York Sports

Category Archives: Public relations

Joey Goldstein


Joey Goldstein (Public relations.  Born, Conway, SC, July 20, 1927; died, Boca Raton, FL, Feb. 14, 2009.)  Cast in the mold of the great Broadway press agents of the 1930s and ’40s, Joey Goldstein carved a unique position for himself in the world of sports as the most dynamic, exciting and, sometimes, controversial public relations man in the field.  For 15 years (1954-1969), Goldstein made Roosevelt Raceway in Westbury, Long Island, the center of his operations and his work on behalf of the George Morton Levy trotting plant became legendary.  His promotional efforts generated a new level of consciousness among the sports fans for harness racing.  Goldstein employed pigeons to deliver post-position draws for events, created arguments over the impact of overnight drivers on their horses and rescued trotters from Argentine revolutions just in time for the race.  He began his own public relations firm in Manhattan in 1969 and represented not only the harness racing industry but such major New York events as the New York City Marathon, the Millrose Games as well as attractions such as the Saudi Arabian Olympic soccer team.  Goldstein began stringing for the old World-Telegram while at Seward Park High School, worked briefly for The Sun before it folded on Jan. 4, 1950, and then assisted the late Lester Scott in the basketball department at Madison Square Garden before moving to Roosevelt Raceway. He ranked as perhaps the most outstanding name in his field since the days of Dick Maney, Steve Hennigan and Bill Doll.

Bill Esposito


Bill Esposito (Public relations.  Born, Brooklyn, NY, Sept. 9, 1932; died, East Patchogue, LI, Sept. 9, 1995.)  William Esposito was sports information director at St. John’s for 23 years (1961-84) and served as president of CoSIDA, the college sports information directors’ organziation, in 1976-77.  He was a noted authority on jazz music who lectured extensively on the subject and won a bronze star for gallantry in the Korean War.

Kevin DeMarrais


Kevin DeMarrais (Public relations.  Born, Teaneck, NJ, July 13, 1942.)  Now established as a business writer for The Record of Hackensack, N.J., Kevin Gerard DeMarrais had a long history of sports public relations.  DeMarrais served as an assistant at the old International Soccer League in the summer of 1964 following his graduation from Columbia.  He was sports information director at Bucknell in Lewisburg, Penna., for a year.  DeMarrais returned to Columbia in Aug. 1965 as sports information director.  Except for a two-year Army hitch (1966-68), he held that position for almost 19 years.  He left in April 1984 to become senior vice president at Sports Information Data Base in Hasbrouck Heights, N.J.  In 1986, he became a sportswriter for The Record and, after a stretch with Porter Novelli public relations, joined the business staff of the paper in 1992.  DeMarrais continued for a decade to write a boating column for the sports section.  He was also a part-time press assistant for the Jets (1963-84), the N.A.S.L. Cosmos (1976-84) and the U.S. Olympic Committee (1981-83).

Dennis D’Agostino


Dennis D’Agostino (Public relations.  Born, Brooklyn, NY, July 31, 1957.)  A Fordham graduate whose career began with the A.P., Dennis D’Agostino later worked for both the Mets and Knicks.  D’Agostino was a statistician and sportswriter for the A.P. (1978-83) before serving as the Mets’ assistant public relations director for five seasons (1983-87).  He then joined the Knicks as publicity manager, subsequently becoming their director of publications.  D’Agostino has authored two books – This Date in New York Mets History (1982) and Garden Glory (2003).  At the close of his 12-year stint (1987-99) with the Knicks, he was honored with the Marc Splaver/Howie McHugh “Tribute to Excellence” Award by the N.B.A. public relations directors.  He is married to sportswriter Helene Elliott.

Rick Cerrone


Rick Cerrone (Public relations.  Born, Mount Vernon, NY, Nov. 29, 1954.)  A founder of his own magazine at age 22, Richard Joseph Cerrone later became the Yankees’ longest-serving publicist since Bob Fishel.  Cerrone founded Baseball Quarterly in 1977 and served as publisher during the life of the magazine, which later became a bi-monthly.  In 1981, he became the assistant director of public relations in the Office of the Commissioner, spent a year co-hosting a sports talk show on WNEW-AM (1987), and was vice president, public relations, for the Pittsburgh Pirates (1987-93) before joining the Yankees in 1996.  He left after the 2006 season to work for Dan Klores Communications for three years and then became a motivational speaker.

Philip J. Burke


Philip J. Burke (Public relations.  Born, Yonkers, NY, Jan. 11, 1935; died, Millville, DE, Aug. 23, 2000.)  A Fordham graduate who became Columbia’s sports information director, Philip John Burke was sports editor of the Sunday Sun of Teaneck, N.J., from 1958-60.  Burke was with Columbia for over four years (1960-64) before joining the public relations staff of the Rangers.  In 1966, he moved to Roosevelt Raceway.  Burke returned to the Garden in 1967 to assist in publicizing the opening of the new building at Penn Station, which took place Feb. 11, 1968.  In later years, he worked for the Bicycle Manufacturers Association, a Washington, D.C., trade group, was a radio talk show host and wrote sports for weekly newspapers.  Burke’s father was with The New York Times for 42 years, his younger brother became chief of police in Teaneck, N.J., and his son, Sean, was associated with The Washington Post.

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The Bill Shannon Biographical Dictionary of New York Sports is an open database of sports biographies maintained by Jordan Sprechman and Marty Appel. We welcome public and scholarly contributions and suggestions.

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About Bill Shannon

A prolific author, wire service sports reporter, long time Major League Baseball official scorer, football statistician, sports museum founder, theatrical agency owner and public ... read more

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