SBD/5/Sports Industrialists

WALL STREET JOURNAL EXAMINES THE STORY OF PROSERV

          ProServ and its CEO DONALD DELL are profiled by John
     Helyar on the front page of the WALL STREET JOURNAL.  The
     company "that made IVAN LENDL a mint and MICHAEL JORDAN a
     brand, the company whose negotiators once made TV networks
     and sports teams tremble is itself now shaky.  It has lost
     dramatic position in its core sport; it has lost dramatic
     numbers of key people; and now it has lost independence,"
     after being acquired by The Marquee Group for "a mere" $10M
     plus stock.  Helyar writes that while CEO Dell "drove a hard
     bargain on behalf of his clients ... those same qualities
     drove away aides in droves.  Detractors say he built less of
     a strong business foundation in ProServ than a monument to
     himself.  The man who pioneered the art of the sports deal
     in the 1970s and rode its tidal wave to riches, critics
     charge, never mastered the changed realities of the '90s." 
     Dell: "The industry is consolidating.  The top companies
     want to compete globally, and that takes a lot of capital. 
     Marquee presented an opportunity to get that overnight: Take
     away my own personal risk but keep everything else in place. 
     I'll still be CEO and Chairman ... I feel pretty good about
     that" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 9/5).

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