SBD/Issue 55/Sports Industrialists

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  • Executive Transactions

    The SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL's Daniel Kaplan reports STEVE SHERWYN has resigned as Managing Dir of SG Cowen's sports lending practice, "and the elimination of the position is directly related to the decline in business." RANDY CAMPBELL will remain as Managing Dir of the group, which now has four employees (SBJ, 12/2 issue)....MARTIN EDWARDS has quit the Manchester United BOD and will step down as Chair at the end of the season. In London, Mihir Bose reported that the "immediate cause is the publication in a Sunday newspaper of allegations concerning the behaviour" of Edwards and Newcastle United Dir DOUGLAS HALL while in Geneva for the draw of the second round of the Champions League. Edwards is "not likely to be replaced" (London TELEGRAPH, 11/30)....The Coyotes have named RON WOODBRIDGE as Senior VP & GM of Glendale Arena. Woodbridge served from '97-'02 as VP & GM of the Rose Garden in Portland (Coyotes)....The American Bar Association has appointed former Twins VP CLARK GRIFFITH as Chair of its Sports Law Division (PIONEER PRESS, 12/1)....Dallas-based SQUIRES SPORTS GROUP has hired LYLE JACKSON of N.Y.-based Broadway Video "to help create original sports and entertainment programming" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 11/30).

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  • Names In The News

    K.C. STARS: The K.C. STAR ranks the top five most influential sports figures in K.C. No. 1 is Chiefs/MLS Wizards Owner LAMAR HUNT, who "isn't the most visible or vocal sports figure in town, but there's little doubt that he carries the biggest hammer." Hunt's decision "to bring the Dallas Texans to Kansas City 40 years ago accomplished something few other sports figures in town have — he gave us an identity." No. 2 is CAROL MARINOVICH — Mayor of the United Government of Wyandotte County and K.C., KS — followed by Royals Owner DAVID GLASS, Champions Tour player TOM WATSON and MLB HOFer GEORGE BRETT (K.C. STAR, 12/1).

    NAMES: SERENA WILLIAMS has purchased a $1.4M, 2,000-square-foot condo in L.A. Williams "wanted to have a California condo so she could have a second home closer to the entertainment industry." Serena and sister VENUS "also had a nine-bedroom home built in Florida" (Ruth Ryon, L.A. TIMES, 12/1)....WTA Tour CEO KEVIN WULFF has moved his family from the Portland (OR) area to St. Petersburg, where the WTA is located. Wulff: "The commute was just too much." But Wulff plans to keep a home in the Portland area (PORTLAND TRIBUNE, 12/1)....The COLTS continued their support of the INDIANA UNIV. CANCER CENTER, donating $70,000 for cancer research during yesterday's game against the Texans. Colts Owner JIM IRSAY started the four-year program, and the team has donated $210,000 the past three years (INDY STAR, 12/2)....Real estate mogul and former UNIV. OF ND hockey player RALPH ENGELSTAD, who was one of the school's largest benefactors, passed away last Tuesday at 72. Among Engelstad donations was the $104M he gave for the RALPH ENGELSTAD ARENA on the school's campus (STAR TRIBUNE, 11/28)....TIGER WOODS appeared on last Thursday's "Listen Up! Charles Barkley with Ernie Johnson" and said of the controversy surrounding the Masters: "It's frustrating. We just did a press conference, and each and every one asks the same question: `We've heard your opinion before, but...' They are just waiting for you to say something controversial, or something that is different from what you've already said, but my opinion is my opinion. I've said it a million times, and I will continue to say it. I would like to see a woman member in Augusta, but it's not my decision. I don't run that golf club" (TNT, 11/28).

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  • The Trials And Tribulations Of SFX; Tollin/Robbins Profiled

    The SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL begins a four-part look at SFX SPORTS GROUP, and Andy Bernstein writes, "The SFX saga is a story of an ambitious plan that collapsed under the weight of egos, financial pressure and the often-agonizing process of one company consuming another. To most of the 180 current employees, the SFX Sports Group is a powerhouse sports talent agency backed by a giant media conglomerate. The viewpoints do not conflict. They're merely acts I and II of a sports industry epic. It's a tale that stars the mythic figures who made the sports business tick in the 1990s but found one last aspiration out of reach: the creation of a sports marketing behemoth that would combine all their experience and clout. ... SFX spent more than $350[M] in cash, stock and assumed debt to create the SFX Sports Group, combining 21 companies that at one time operated under other names. Today, few would argue that the collective asset is worth anywhere near that" (SBJ, 12/2).

    HOT MIKE: In N.Y., Neal Koch profiled Tollin/Robbins Productions partners BRIAN ROBBINS and MIKE TOLLIN and wrote that in seven years, the pair have "turned their backgrounds in sports documentaries and cable children's programming into profitable mainstream films, like `Big Fat Liar' and `Varsity Blues,' and prime-time TV series, like `Smallville,' now a signature show for WB. Perhaps more important, they have done it by embracing the entertainment industry's consolidation." In '98, Marquee Group President BOB GUTKOWSKI offered Tollin and Robbins $20M in cash for their company, saying he "wanted Hollywood glitter to entice more athletes and Wall Street investment capital to his company." Marquee was sold to SFX, which was then sold to Clear Channel in '00, making Tollin/Robbins a "largely autonomous anomaly in a huge company" (N.Y. TIMES, 12/1). Read THE DAILY's "One-On-One" with Mike Tollin.

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