SBD/21/Sports Industrialists

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              KOBE BRYANT was featured on last night's ABC Barbara
         Walters special "Six To Watch."  Walters: "Scandal-free and
         cozy in the limelight, Kobe Bryant is a marketer's dream. 
         He seems to have as many endorsements as he has moves on the
         court" (ABC, 5/20).  Actor RUPERT EVERETT was also one of
         Walters' "Six To Watch."  Everett, who is gay, said that he
         plans to make a gay JAMES BOND film.  Walters: "If you are
         the gay James Bond, who would be the Bond Girl?"  Everett:
         "DENNIS RODMAN.  I'm serious" (ABC, 5/20).

    Print | Tags: ABC, People and Pop Culture, Walt Disney

              The USOC named J. MICHAEL WILSON Dir of Visitor Center
         & Community Relations, and ERICA HUTCHINSON Assistant Dir of
         Visitor Center and Community Relations (USOC)....Disney
         named THOMAS STAGGS as CFO & Exec VP, filling the post
         vacated by RICHARD NANULA.  Staggs, who joined Disney in
         '90, most recently served as Senior VP/Strategic Planning. 
         In other news, Disney named PETER MURPHY Chief Strategic
         Officer.  Murphy, ABC CFO since last year, will oversee
         business development and the global growth of Disney's
         businesses (Mult., 5/21).     

    Print | Tags: ABC, People and Pop Culture, USOC, Walt Disney, Wilson Sporting Goods

              In N.Y., Paul Tharp previews CARL HIAASEN's "scathing"
         new book on WALT DISNEY CO., "Team Rodent: How Disney
         Devours The World" (N.Y. POST, 5/21)....Due to his shoulder
         injury, GREG NORMAN is unable to drive the pace car during
         this weekend's Indy 500.  He will be replaced by '63 Indy
         winner PARNELLI JONES (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 5/21)....The AP
         reports that Amway co-Founders, the DEVOS and VAN ANDEL
         families, have "contributed" nearly $95M to charities since
         '95, for a total of $150M this decade.  Many of the
         donations are to Christian causes.  RICHARD DEVOS is RDV
         Sports Chair (AP/DET. NEWS, 5/21)....GEORGE WILL was named
         to the Board of Dir of the NEGRO LEAGUES BASEBALL MUSEUM
         (K.C. STAR, 5/21)....TARA LIPINSKI was in Washington, DC,
         pushing anti-tobacco legislation (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 5/21). 

    Print | Tags: People and Pop Culture, Walt Disney

              SFX Chair ROBERT SILLERMAN, whose company recently
         purchased FAME, is now one of the "three most important
         suits in the NBA," along with Commissioner DAVID STERN and
         DAVID FALK, according to Shaun Assael of ESPN MAGAZINE. 
         Sillerman helped found The Marquee Group in '95, and his
         "likely next step" will be to combine FAME with Marquee "to
         create a sports mega-agency."  With the consolidation of the
         sports agency business, Assael writes that Sillerman may be
         "a sports version of Michael Ovitz."  However, an SFX exec
         said Sillerman "doesn't have the ego needs of an Ovitz. 
         He'll be as aggressive, but not as high-visibility."  Assael
         writes "that's good news for Falk" as he heads into
         offseason contract talks and may rep not only his own client
         list, but "potentially" Marquee's "as well."  Assael:
         "Sillerman's role at the NBA power table?  Nobody's sure. 
         But remember that during the peak of Ovitz's power, he was
         setting the salaries of virtually every performer in the
         entertainment business -- a scary thought if you're David
         Stern" (ESPN MAGAZINE, 6/1).

    Print | Tags: ESPN, NBA, People and Pop Culture, Walt Disney
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