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Play ball! JCPenney CMO to open baseball camp

NEW YORK — Mike Boylson, formerly EVP and CMO of JCPenney, has traded retailing for baseball. The 32-year JCPenney veteran, who officially stepped down from the company on July 1, and a friend are opening a franchise of D-Bat, a baseball and softball training academy, Advertising Age reported. The facility is due to open this fall.

Boylson’s new venture will be located in Allen, Texas, not far from JCPenney’s headquarters in Plano. According to the report, the 27,000-sq.-ft. location will feature batting cages, including a designated "showcase cage" with clay pitcher's mounds, a pro-shop and a parents' lounge. Other offerings include classes, camps and clinics.

Industry experts have speculated that Boylson’s sudden retirement was the first part of a general houskeeping that would occur under new incoming CEO Ron Johnson. But Boylson had no idea about Johnson’s impending appointment when he told J.C. Penney CEO Myron “Mike” Ullman that he planned to retire early, according to the report. Boyson is 56.

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