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According to the current issue of TIME, MICHAEL JORDAN's return has been worth over $3.8B for the companies he endorses (TIME, 4/3 issue). Wheaties debuted a new TV ad featuring Jordan missing a jump shot, with the superstar saying, "I better eat my Wheaties" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 3/26). BUSINESS WEEK debuted the "Michael Jordan Index" -- based on the performance of McDonald's, Sara Lee, Nike, General Mills and Quaker Oats since March 8. By March 21, the MJ Index had fallen to 103 from a March 19 high of 105 (BUSINESS WEEK, 4/3 issue). Jordan's agent, DAVID FALK, was a guest on ABC's "Good Morning America" this morning. On Jordan's contract: "We had no negotiations, we had no promises made to him and I think when the summer comes, we have a chance to look at the future and preponderant impact on the NBA [which] will absolutely create financial success for him as it always has. But at this point, that was not the motivating factor in his decision" (ABC, 3/27). Raptors GM ISIAH THOMAS said before Friday's Bulls-Magic game that the Raptors plan on putting the floor in the middle of Skydome when Jordan visits next season, "so we can have 60-70,000 people watching us play basketball" (TNT, 3/24). WGN reports that Jordan's first home game netted an all-time high regular-season (and all-time WGN sports) rating of 41 and a 59 share in Chicago. National figures will be available today (WASHINGTON POST, 3/26)
PRESIDENT CLINTON and VICE PRESIDENT GORE will speak to employees, volunteers and Board of Directors of ACOG, APOC, and the Atlanta Olympic Games Authority on Tuesday in Atlanta (ACOG)....Sports Business Writer CARL DESENS is leaving BUSINESS WEEK (THE DAILY)....STEVE HATCHELL was named the first commissioner of the recently formed Big 12 Conference. Hatchell is currently SWC commissioner (FORT WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 3/27)....MARY MCINTYRE has joined Network International as sales manager. She will handle advertising and sales for the Richmond Coliseum (Network International)....BO JACKSON has signed on with William Morris Agency to pursue acting opportunities (WASHINGTON POST, 3/27)....This week's NEWSWEEK profiles DICK DEVENZIO, a college basketball activist who advocates paying college players (Curry Kirkpatrick, NEWSWEEK, 4/3 issue).
The release of MIKE TYSON from an Indiana jail gained heavy coverage over the weekend in print and TV. CNN's "Morning News" was live in Indiana Saturday morning. In an extensive interview after Tyson's release, RING Magazine Editor Steve Farhood predicted Tyson's first fight would be against DON KING-client Peter McNeeley. Farhood was interviewed live along with Tyson Attorney JAMES VOYLES, and spiritual advisor Muhammad Siqqeeq (CNN, 3/25). Tyson was the 2nd story on Saturday's "NBC Nightly News" (NBC, 3/25). ABC ran the story fourth on Saturday's "World News Tonight." BERT SUGAR, of BOXING ILLUSTRATED: "I think he's a commodity worth hundreds of hundreds of hundreds of millions of dollars, almost a billion." SUGAR RAY LEONARD and trainer ANGELO DUNDEE were also interviewed (ABC, 3/25). SI's SONJA STEPTOE and former Tyson trainer KEVIN ROONEY appeared on "Good Morning America Sunday" (ABC, 3/26). This morning's N.Y. POST is the only outlet to report that Tyson has told Don King to "take a walk." Wallace Matthews writes that Tyson "brought Allah into his life and asked Don King to leave his house" (N.Y. POST, 3/27). TIME's STEVE WULF compares the returns of MICHAEL JORDAN and Tyson: There is "little doubt that basketball and boxing can use them, but as a society we may need them even more, as hero and antihero" (TIME, 4/3). On CNN's "MoneyLine," John Metaxas examined the potential financial impact, noting that TV revenue from Tyson-GEORGE FOREMAN "could be twice that of the last such megafight," four years ago between Foreman and EVANDER HOLYFIELD." JOHN MANSELL, a media analyst for Paul Kagan Assoc., estimates that Tyson-Foreman could bring in $120M and 3 million pay-per-view subscribers (CNN, 3/24).