SBD/1/Sports Industrialists

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              Bucs GM RICH MCKAY signed a five-year contract
         extension through 2002.  Team execs "hinted" that McKay's
         salary is "slightly more than" $1M a year (TAMPA TRIBUNE,
         5/1)....RICHARD BATTISTA has been named Exec VP of a new Fox
         TV division called Fox Channels Group.  The new division
         will oversee all the studio's cable and satellite channels
         (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 5/1)....Pepsi-Cola Co. Exec VP/Chief
         Marketing Officer BRIAN SWEETE has resigned.  No successor
         was named and the company said it has formed a marketing
         council, to be co-chaired by Chair & CEO CRAIG WEATHERUP,
         Pepsi North America President & CEO PHIL MARINEAU, and Pepsi
         Int'l President PETER THOMPSON.  Pepsi said the moves "do
         not affect" its relationship with agency BBDO Worldwide (AD
         AGE DAILY, 4/30)....LEISA CATON has been named Dir of Ticket
         Operations at Gund Arena (CRAIN'S CLEVELAND BUSINESS, 4/27).

    Print | Tags: PepsiCo, People and Pop Culture, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

              Women's role in the sports business industry will be
         the topic of "Shattering the Glass Ceiling," the third
         annual WOMEN'S SPORTS BUSINESS SYMPOSIUM presented by the
         Univ. of Oregon's James H. Warsaw Sports Marketing Center on
         May 7-8 in Eugene (Univ of Oregon)....CBS has recruited
         Comedy Central's "Daily Show" host CRAIG KILBORN to take
         over as the host of the "The Late Late Show" (HOLLYWOOD
         REPORTER, 5/1)....In N.Y., Rush & Molloy report that MICHAEL
         JORDAN denied a Star Magazine report which said that his
         wife, JUANITA, wants a divorce.  Jordan said the rumor is
         "absolutely and categorically untrue and has no basis
         whatsoever.  We continue to enjoy a very happy marriage and
         relationship" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 5/1)....CAL RIPKEN JR.
         appeared live from Camden Yards on "Good Morning America" to
         present co-host Charles Gibson an Orioles jersey honoring
         Gibson's final broadcast ("GOOD MORNING AMERICA," ABC, 5/1).

    Print | Tags: ABC, Baltimore Orioles, CBS, People and Pop Culture, Viacom, Walt Disney

              "He Got Game," a SPIKE LEE film starring DENZEL
         WASHINGTON and Bucks G RAY ALLEN, opens nationwide in
         theaters today.  The Touchstone Pictures presentation tells
         the story of Jesus Shuttlesworth (Allen), a talented high
         school basketball player from Coney Island who must choose
         from the various colleges recruiting him.  The decision is
         complicated by the release of his father Jake (Washington)
         from prison after serving a six-year term for murdering his
         wife, Jesus' mother, and the pressures of friends, coaches,
         agents and groupies who want a piece of Jesus' success.  The
         film includes cameos by MICHAEL JORDAN, DEAN SMITH, CHARLES
         BARKLEY and SHAQUILLE O'NEAL, among others (THE DAILY).
              HE CAN ACT: In N.Y., Janet Maslin praises the film as
         an "explosion of spectacular gambits and a great high-
         concept hook."  Allen gives a "likable, unaffected
         performance that would be fine even if he weren't an NBA
         star" (N.Y. TIMES, 5/1).  NEWSWEEK's David Ansen calls the
         film "a celebration of the game of basketball [and] an
         expose of the game's corruption."  Lee's script is "sharp on
         the specifics of the sports world," and Allen is
         "inexperienced but winning" (NEWSWEEK, 5/4).  SI writes that
         Allen gives a "measured performance" and "never seems out of
         his league" in a film that "deftly portrays the exploitation
         of and the pressure put on young potential millionaires"
         (SI, 5/4 issue).  VARIETY's Emanuel Levy writes the film is
         a "tad too soft," but notes the "immensely engaging" Allen,
         who gives an "utterly convincing performance that draws on
         his youth and vulnerability" (VARIETY, 4/27).  In Chicago,
         Roger Ebert calls Allen a "rarity, an athlete who can act"
         (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 5/1).  Also in Chicago, Michael
         Wilmington: "Giving us much more than usual for a Hollywood
         sports movie, Lee shows us the sordid underpinnings of
         modern 'amateur' sports, while also conveying family
         heartbreak and the sport's real savage beauty" (CHICAGO
         TRIBUNE, 5/1).  In Boston, Jay Carr writes that Lee has
         "folded virtually the entire [NBA] into a fiercely loving
         story about fathers and sons and family, with basketball as
         the delivery system."  It is one of Lee's "best" films and
         Allen "does a miraculous job of blending rage and confusion"
         (BOSTON GLOBE, 5/1).  In DC, Stephen Hunter writes the film
         is about "sports as workplace culture and vernacular of
         physical expressiveness.  It worships at the altar of the
         game."   He credits Allen's performance but calls the film a
         "mild disappointment" (WASHINGTON POST, 5/1).  On CBS "This
         Morning," Gene Siskel said Allen "is very good in his acting
         debut" (CBS, 5/1).  In Minneapolis, Jeff Strickler writes
         that Allen "handles the dramatic aspects of the role
         surprisingly well."  Lee "holds back nothing as he lambastes
         the exploitation of young athletes" by the sports industry,
         but he doesn't "blame the game for these problems"
         (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 5/1).  The HOLLYWOOD REPORTER's
         Michael Rechtshaffen writes Allen "shows sensitive focus
         within a limited range" (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 5/1).  
              ONE CON: In N.Y., Dave Kehr writes that Allen is "no
         more than adequate" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 5/1). 
              PUPPY CHOW: Lee is profiled in the WASHINGTON POST and
         says that the agent for KEVIN GARNETT and STEPHON MARBURY
         asked that Lee guarantee one of the two the lead role or
         neither would act in the film.  Lee said neither player was
         asked to audition: "There ain't no guaranteed contracts,
         buddy.  This is a film" (WASHINGTON POST, 5/1).

    Print | Tags: CBS, Milwaukee Bucks, NBA, Sports Illustrated, People and Pop Culture, Viacom
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