SBD/7/Sports Industrialists

GEORGE FOREMAN, SALESMAN OF THE YEAR

     The current issue of FORBES features GEORGE FOREMAN on its
cover, with the accompanying headline, "Businessman George
Foreman -- 'I'm not the greatest boxer, but I'm the greatest
salesman in the world.'"  The piece examines boxing's economics,
with Randall Lane writing that the sport "has evolved into the
first major sport in the television era to be funded almost
entirely by the fans themselves."  However, the gap between the
very few haves and the many more have-nots among the competitors
gives boxing a "somewhat Dickensian" quality.  The heightened
profile of the top stars is also seen as diminishing the control
of the promoters, and the "fan-driven revenue stream" of pay-per-
view has damaged the governing bodies.  Time Warner Sports
President SETH ABRAHAM is called "probably the most powerful man
in boxing today."  Foreman, on how to build boxing's fan base:
"Free, free, free, free, free.  Then, boom, everybody knows you.
Then cut them off" (FORBES, 12/18 issue).
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