SBD/5/Sports Industrialists

U.S. NEWS LOOKS AT THE "MONEY GAME" IN PROFESSIONAL SPORTS

     A special section of U.S. NEWS looks at ISIAH THOMAS and
other athletes who have entered business after their playing
days.  Thomas  has made "a smooth transition" from player to
Raptors partner.  Thomas: "You can no longer isolate what happens
on the court itself from the business side of this sport.
Everything has to work together. ... The corporate sponsors have
to buy into your vision.  You have to create a brand identity the
same way IBM or McDonald's does" (Scott McMurray, U.S. NEWS,
12/11 issue).
     BUSINESS ALL-STARS:  Others featured include MAGIC JOHNSON
and JULIUS ERVING.  Johnson owns a Pepsi bottling plant, T-Shirt
manufacturing operation and real-estate ventures.  Dr. J has
interests in the Philadelphia Coca-Cola Bottling Co., a TV
station and a sports and entertainment management firm.  While
some athletes get burned by bad investments, NBPA President BUCK
WILLIAMS says, "If you can learn about the words to a rap song,
you can certainly learn the basics of tax laws and how to invest
in a mutual fund."  Many athletes look to "become players in the
business they know best: sports" (Dan McGraw, U.S. NEWS, 12/11
issue).
     FALK TALK:  Agent DAVID FALK, or the "Falk Factor," is
profiled in U.S. NEWS Cohen under, "An Offensive Threat for NBA
Players" (U.S. NEWS, 12/11).  Falk is the leading candidate to
take over representation of the Nets' KENNY ANDERSON, who fired
his agent last week (N.Y. TIMES, 12/5).
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