SBD/17/Sports Industrialists

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  • NAMES IN THE NEWS

         Reggie Lewis' widow, DONNA HARRIS-LEWIS was interviewed on
    "CBS This Morning."  Harris-Lewis:  "He never was never asked to
    take a drug test.  And I think if one paid attention to the
    Sports Illustrated article, Dr. Munn also refute the Wall Street
    Journal article that he did not ask Reggie to take a drug test"
    ("CBS This Morning," 3/17)....     During the long strike layoff,
    Red Sox infielder TIM NAEHRING has started a charitable
    corporation called "Athletes Reach Out."  Naehring is seeking a
    corporate sponsor for his program, which aims to reach 50,000
    kids in schools in Boston and Cincinnati (BOSTON GLOBE, 3/16)....
    Whalers Owner PETER KARMANOS figures prominently in a DETROIT
    FREE PRESS piece on the future of the sports industry.  Karmanos:
    "The golden age of sports is over.  The golden age of sports
    business has just begun"  (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 3/14)....O.J.
    SIMPSON "Dream Team" attorney ROBERT SHAPIRO was seen at last
    night's L.A. Kings game (ESPN, 3/16).... GRANT HILL appeared on
    NBC's "Tonight Show" last night.  Hill said after meeting JULIUS
    ERVING recently, Dr. J gave him his phone number.  Hill:  "I'm
    like a little kid, calling up and hanging up when the answering
    machine is done.  I would call and listen to it and hang up.  I
    would call and listen to it and hang up.  So Doc, if you're out
    there and you have some crank calls, that's me calling, so don't
    be too upset."  Hill also played one-on-one with CHEVY CHASE
    (NBC, 3/16)....LAWRENCE TAYLOR, on not being with TNT anymore:
    "They do WCW wrestling and I'm in WWF wrestling, and that doesn't
    make good copy" ("Up Close," ESPN, 3/16). ....JODY SHAPIRO has
    been promoted to VP & GM at Home Team Sports, the MD-based
    regional sports network.  Shapiro was VP/Programming and Network
    Development.  BILL ABER has left to become GM of WBZ-TV in Boston
    (HTS).
    

    Print | Tags: Boston Red Sox, CBS, Comcast-Spectacor, ESPN, NBC, Sports Illustrated, People and Pop Culture, TBS/TNT, Time Warner, Viacom, Walt Disney
  • THE JORDAN WATCH: SCOTTIE'S ALL SMILES

         During the halftime of last night's TBS NBA game, Craig
    Sager reported, "I met with Scottie Pippen privately this morning
    before practice and he was all smiles, indicating Jordan's return
    is inevitable.  His representative said that Pippen's contract
    has not been altered, nor can it be until a new collective
    bargaining agreement is reached, however teammate Larry
    Krystowiak says that Pippen's change is obvious" (TBS,
    3/16)....Bulls Coach Phil Jackson said yesterday an announcement
    could come "within the next three or four days" and the delay has
    been because "it's not a done deal."  Jordan avoided the throng
    outside of the Bulls' suburban Chicago practice facility and did
    not practice with the team (Melissa Isaacson, CHICAGO TRIBUNE,
    3/17).
    

    Print | Tags: Chicago Bulls, NBA, People and Pop Culture, TBS/TNT, Time Warner
  • THE STRIKE WON'T BEND THE WILL OF BASEBALL'S IRONMAN

         The consecutive game streak of Cal Ripken has been the focus
    of a great deal of media attention as the regular season is
    poised to begin with replacement players that could possibly end
    Ripken's quest.  Yesterday, THE SPORTS BUSINESS DAILY spoke with
    Ripken's agent, Ron Shapiro, about the effect the work stoppage
    has had on his client and The Streak's place as an issue in the
    ongoing work stoppage.
         THE DAILY:  What are you advising your client?
         SHAPIRO:  When you have a client like Cal Ripken, you really
    don't have to give him a lot of advice -- for two reasons.
    First, Cal doesn't put his individual accomplishments on a level
    with his responsibilities to his fellow teammates and his fellow
    baseball players.  And secondly, he is a man who doesn't -- and
    maybe this is what makes it possible for him to accomplish things
    like the so-called streak -- he is a man who doesn't deal with
    the hypothetical.  He deals with issues by confronting them
    straight on.  At the present time, the issue of how things are
    going to impact on his streak is still somewhat hypothetical.  I
    should emphasize that there were times this past year when Cal
    suffered injuries and assessed, not whether or not he should
    extend his streak by appearing in the next game, but whether or
    not the injury would stand in the way of his producing what he
    had to produce for the team.  People who knew him well were
    somewhat shocked not to think that he wasn't thinking what they
    were thinking -- and that is, what is going to happen to his
    streak.
         THE DAILY: Is this a looming PR disaster for the owners with
    the all the emotion the fans feel for Cal's streak?
         SHAPIRO:   What is going to come back and bite the owners,
    and in fact everyone affiliated with the game, is that the fans
    are getting increasingly disgusted and increasingly disinterested
    with the whole concept of the game of baseball.  The streak
    symbolizes something for the fans.  Baseball was something that
    was there throughout the summer on an everyday basis, and Cal
    Ripken was someone who was there on an everyday basis.  It was a
    reliable part of their lives, and the fact that the work stoppage
    could undo the streak goes to the heart of what the fans feel
    they are being deprived in terms of baseball from day to day.
    So, it certainly symbolizes something in the minds of fans and
    those who follow the game.
         THE DAILY:  Is there any pressure from the union on Cal to
    use the streak as a bargaining chip?
         SHAPIRO:  The union has offered on several occasions to
    relax rules, or to get Cal out there if he wanted them to
    consider it, so that he could keep playing and he said 'By no
    means do I get treated specially.'  There has been no pressure by
    the union for Cal to use the streak, however Cal has been viewed
    by his fellow players as a man making perhaps even a greater
    sacrifice than other players and it allowed him to be a catalyst
    for solidarity because he has chosen to make it a catalyst.  For
    example, in the most recent meeting of high profile players, Cal
    didn't speak for a long time, but when one of the players called
    on him to speak, Cal was a very significant force in solidifying
    opinion about the importance of solidarity and their support of
    the union.  And that is not hard for Cal to do, he doesn't need
    the union to tell him that.
         THE DAILY:  What does Cal have to lose or gain in terms of
    endorsements from ther streak?
         SHAPIRO:  There is no question that Cal is the modern Iron
    Man of baseball and, in many ways, the all-time Iron Man because
    of the hundreds and hundreds or perhaps thousands of more innings
    that he has played than Lou Gehrig.  That has already given him a
    special spot in the constellation of endorsement opportunities
    out there. Nevertheless, hitting and surpassing a historic record
    that people said was unobtainable by anyone in the modern age of
    baseball, particularly someone that plays the position of
    shortstop, would open even new doors of opportunities for him.
    He would be the ultimate in strength, dependability, durability,
    all the things potential endorsement sponsors would love to have
    in a spokesperson, and so there are going to be some lost
    opportunities. ... But in the end if he is denied the opportunity
    to break Lou Gehrig's streak, he will be denied some endorsement
    opportunities.
    

    Print | Tags: People and Pop Culture
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