SBD/1/Sports Industrialists

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  • DOING IT HER WAY: VENUS WILLIAMS FEATURED ON "60 MINUTES"

              VENUS WILLIAMS and her father, RICHARD WILLIAMS, were
         featured by CBS's MORLEY SAFER on "60 Minutes."  Safer
         called Venus "a godsend to a sport that has suffered
         declining interest in recent years.  He debut at the U.S.
         Open was breathtaking -- speed, brute force and grace.  And
         the bleachers ate it up. ... [A] star was born.  An attitude
         one part Tiger Woods, three parts Muhammad Ali."  Venus: "I
         am the best.  Why shouldn't I believe that?  And what's
         wrong with me thinking that I'm the best player out there?"
              RACISM? Safer: "Your dad said that there is a lot of
         racism is tennis.  Do you agree with that statement?" 
         Williams: "I'm not political."  Safer: "No, but you have
         feelings."  Williams: "Yes."  Safer: "And what do your
         feelings tell you?"  Williams, pausing: "I'd really rather
         not talk about that because when I go out there, I just go
         out there to play tennis."  Safer: "But, a lot of African
         American athletes whom I've known over the years, are forced
         to feel that they're playing for more than their own
         victory, that they're playing for their people.  Do you ever
         feel that?"  Williams: "No.  Maybe if I got older.  When I
         go out there, I'm playing for me.  Me and my family."
              ON DAD: Safer, on Richard Williams: "He is a cunning
         maverick, promotional genius, control freak and loving
         father."  Richard, on his critics in the tennis
         establishment: "Anyone that's a professional tennis player
         or anyone that has anything to do with professional tennis,
         I don't think very much of them in no way.  So I could care
         less what these experts think because these experts are
         worse than the girls that play.  They're interested only in
         money.  I'm interested in my daughter."  Conde Nast Sports
         For Women Senior Contributing Writer SALLY JENKINS:
         "Observers like me have thought he was a little goofy, but
         it looks as though Richard has taken all of the advantages
         from the tennis world and none of the disadvantages." 
              VENUS: Safer, on Venus: "She is unfailingly polite, has
         a sunny personality and a head full of nearly 2,000 beads.
         ... Those beads have become a fashion statement in inner
         city communities where Venus goes to tell kids they too can
         succeed."  Safer's conclusion: "There are those who feel
         that the complexion of this game will soon change radically. 
         The Williams sisters [Venus and younger sister Serena] and
         certainly their father have already upset a whole lot of
         people in the lily white world of tennis by not so much
         bucking the system as ignoring it with matchless self
         confidence" ("60 Minutes," CBS, 11/30).  
    
    

    Print | Tags: CBS, People and Pop Culture, Viacom
  • EXECUTIVE TRANSACTIONS

              MI-based Penske Motorsports announced the following
         personnel moves: JAY LUCAS was named Dir of PR for Penske
         Motorsports; PETE MERKEL was named Dir of Corporate Sales
         for the MI Speedway and TONY NAGORSEN was named Dir of
         Corporate Sales for the MI Speedway.  At the Homestead-Miami
         Speedway, BRIAN SKUZA was named GM while DOUG BLAND was
         named Assistant Dir of Marketing (Penske Motorsports)...
         The Red Wings named JOHN HAHN as PR Dir.  He was SID at the
         Univ. of MI before becoming a sales manager for MI-based
         A.L.S. Enterprises (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 11/29)....The
         Mariners named RON SPELLECY Dir of Team Travel (Mariners).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Detroit Red Wings, Int'l Speedway Corp., Seattle Mariners, People and Pop Culture
  • NAMES IN THE NEWS

              Sportscaster TIM RYAN will host the LEE RYAN CUP, a
         tennis event honoring his wife, LEE, who has been diagnosed
         with Alzheimer's and is living in a facility in CA.  The
         exhibition, featuring JOHN MCENROE and JIM COURIER, will be
         held December 13 at the Bank of America Center in Boise, ID. 
         Proceeds will be split by the National Alzheimer's
         Association and a Boise chapter of the association (N.Y.
         TIMES, 11/29)....PETER JACOBSEN, on TIGER WOODS: "Humanize
         Tiger. ... The best thing for Tiger is to be an approachable
         superstar.  If I were going to give advice to IMG, the next
         step is to develop the other side of being an idol. Right
         now people don't connect with Tiger. ... People know more
         about FLUFF COWAN than Tiger" (L.A. TIMES, 11/29).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Bank of America, IMG, People and Pop Culture
  • OWNER'S BOX: ANSCHUTZ & CLAY FORD JR. PROFILED

              PHILIP ANSCHUTZ is profiled by Morris & Brull in
         BUSINESS WEEK.  Anschutz on his new ventures, including the
         $300M downtown L.A. arena and his investment in telecom
         company Qwest: "I am a student of strategic timing and
         cycles.  And, I think these will prove to be right."  Morris
         & Brull report that to Anschutz and partner ED ROSKI, the
         Kings "are purely a real-estate play.  Ownership of the team
         ensures a permanent tenant for their glitzy downtown arena
         and entertainment center. ... And with an option to buy a
         25% stake in the Los Angeles Lakers, the duo have a deal
         with Laker owner JERRY BUSS to move the basketball team to
         their arena as well."  Anschutz' "obsessive privacy -- he
         avoids having his picture taken or conducting interviews for
         the most part -- allows him to walk around a Kings game
         unnoticed by the crowds" (BUSINESS WEEK, 11/30 issue).
              MOLDED CLAY: Lions Vice-Chair WILLIAM CLAY FORD JR.
         will succeed ALEX TROTMAN as Chair of Ford Motor Co. when he
         retires at the end of '99, according to Ron Stodghill of
         TIME.  Ford Jr.'s decision two years ago to take over the
         family's small business, "the lowly Lions, may have led to
         his taking over the big one.  For one thing, he proved that
         his reputation for being overly diplomatic -- read mousy --
         was undeserved.  He not only restructured the Lions
         operation but in doing so took on the NFL owners." 
         Regarding the NFL and his stewardship of the Lions,
         Stodghill writes that Ford Jr. is "talking tougher,
         negotiating harder and mincing words less than ever during
         frequent rants about an industry he says is desperately out
         of touch with its core consumer" (TIME, 12/1 issue). 
    
    

    Print | Tags: AEG, Detroit Lions, Los Angeles Lakers, NFL, People and Pop Culture, US West/Qwest
  • THREE CHEERS FOR WARRICK: GETTIN' IT DUNN IN TAMPA

              Bucs RB WARRICK DUNN made down payments on houses for
         four Tampa mothers, enabling them to celebrate Thanksgiving
         as first-time home buyers, according to Patty Ryan of the
         TAMPA TRIBUNE.  City programs helped the families qualify
         for low-interest loans while Badcock, Publix, Sears, GTE,
         JCPenney, Home Depot and others donated supplies and
         furniture (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 11/26).  In St. Pete, an editorial
         said that Dunn "showed the meaning of community and the
         power of giving back.  In an age when so many public figures
         abuse their status, Dunn has honored his community, his fans
         and his employer" (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 11/27).
    
    

    Print | Tags: GTE, Home Depot, Sears, People and Pop Culture, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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