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WALL STREET JOURNAL EXAMINES THE STORY OF PROSERV
Published September 5, 1997
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).