SBD/Issue 219/Sports Industrialists

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  • BEST Acquires Fegan's Practice In Effort To Boost NBA Presence

     
    Blue Entertainment Sports Television (BEST) has agreed to acquire the practice of NBA agent DAN FEGAN, which "solidifies the position of BEST ... as a major player in representing NBA talent," according to Liz Mullen of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. Fegan will bring 25 players with him, including Heat F SHAWN MARION, Bobcats G JASON RICHARDSON and Nets F YI JIANLIAN, making BEST "one of the largest basketball talent practices." BEST, which employs NBA agents BILL STRICKLAND and KIM GRILLIER, already reps about 10 NBAers, including Pistons F RASHEED WALLACE and Bulls F JOAKIM NOAH. Fegan and Strickland will serve as co-VPs of BEST's basketball division, with Fegan maintaining his L.A. base and Strickland remaining in DC. Both will report to BEST Managing Dir MICHAEL PRINCIPE. Principe said of the deal, "We have completed phase one of our acquisition arc and are now in phase two. We are certainly not done yet." Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Meanwhile, BEST also has "held talks with several major MLB agents about acquisitions in recent months." Principe said the company "would like to have an announcement prior to the end of the year" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 8/4 issue).

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  • Longtime Braves Broadcaster Skip Caray Dies At Age Of 68

    Caray Dies At Age Of 68
    Braves announcer SKIP CARAY passed away yesterday in his sleep at his Atlanta home at the age of 68. Caray was in the middle of his 33rd season calling games for the club (Braves). In Atlanta, Tim Tucker writes Caray, the son of late Baseball HOFer HARRY CARAY, "became as much the voice of baseball in the Southeast as his father had been in the Midwest." Caray "made his mark broadcasting Braves games on radio and television from 1976," and with his "nasally voice, wry and witty delivery, and tongue often in cheek, Caray became an enduring sound of summer in the South." Tucker adds in recent years, Caray's "biggest professional thrills seemed to come from working with family." CHIP CARAY rejoined the Braves' broadcast lineup in '05, "often working with the man he called 'my dad and my hero'" (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 8/4). Chip Caray: "I'm just in shock. I know he wasn't feeling good, but this was unexpected." MLB.com's Mark Bowman wrote Skip's sons, Chip and Single-A South Atlantic League Rome Braves announcer JOSH CARAY, "will carry on the family's rich broadcasting tradition." Though Skip Caray "battled multiple ailments over the past year that he linked to diabetes," he still "brought his smile and humor to the ballpark on a consistent basis." Though "most recognizable as a baseball announcer, Caray's versatile broadcasting skills allowed him to serve as an announcer for NBA games, NFL games, and other ventures like the Goodwill Games." Caray also won the Georgia Sportscaster of the Year award six times (MLB.com, 8/3). He was inducted into the Braves HOF in '05 along with longtime broadcast partner PETE VAN WIEREN (THE DAILY).

    LASTING IMPRESSION: In Atlanta, Mark Bradley wrote Caray "wasn't from the neo-announcer's school of happy talk." In an industry "predicated on likeability, he really didn't care if you liked him or not. He said what he thought -- near the end of a lopsided game, he famously intoned: 'If you promise to patronize our sponsors, you have permission to go walk the dog'" (AJC.com, 8/3). Also in Atlanta, Carroll Rogers notes news of Caray's passing "hit the Braves family hard." Braves P JOHN SMOLTZ: "I will always remember Skip for his humor and his ability to go about life the way he did." Braves P TOM GLAVINE: "For so long, he was what people associated with the Atlanta Braves. Turn on TBS, and there was Skip. Good times, bad times, that was the constant. The voice people identify the Braves with is Skip Caray. That's going to be missed" (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 8/4). In Albany, Pete Dougherty wrote, "Caray probably was at his best when the Braves were at their worst in the 1980s, using a dry wit to enlighten otherwise-dull games" (TIMESUNION.com, 8/3). WWAY-ABC's Kevin Wuzzardo writes, "When you spend years painting the picture of a horrid team, you have to be colorful. Skip Caray was MICHELANGELO, MONET and MAGRITTE rolled into one" (WWAYTV3.com, 8/4). AWFUL ANNOUNCING's Brian Powell writes, "The Baseball community lost a good one yesterday. ... I grew up watching Braves games on TBS and he was always one of the guys I enjoyed listening to" (AWFULANNOUNCING.BLOGSPOT.com, 8/4). 

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  • Executive Transactions

    EliteXC President GARY SHAW and Pro Elite Inc. Exec Chair DOUG DELUCA have resigned from the company, effective immediately. Both Shaw and DeLuca will remain with the company in a consultant’s role that will pay them a salary until the contract ends in ’09. Shaw “had been the public face of EliteXC since its inception, but he has seen a diminished role over the past few months.” There has been no announcement from Pro Elite or EliteXC as to who will lead the company “now that both of the most prominent public figures have stepped down” (MMAWeekly.com, 7/30)....Fox Sports promoted VP/Field Operations JERRY STEINBERG to Senior VP/Field Operations (Fox Sports)….FSN South and SportSouth Senior VP & GM JEFF GENTHNER was named Chair of the Atlanta Sports Council (Atlanta Sports Council)….The National Association of Collegiate Directors Association (NACDA) named KATIE NEWMAN Assistant Administrator/Association Liaison (NACDA).

    Do you have an executive announcement? If so, please send to editorial@sportsbusinessdaily.com.

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  • Names In The News

    In N.Y., Thompson & O'Keeffe reported federal investigators on Thursday and Friday crashed the National Sports Collectors Convention in Rosemont, Illinois, "delivering subpoenas to several hobby executives to appear before a grand jury that is hearing evidence about fraud in their industry." Hobby execs who have spoken to the agents in the past year said that the agents "have asked about 'shill bidding,' when an auction house or a consignor enters fake bids on an item in order to drive up the price" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 8/2).

    Judge Denies Bush Motion To Settle
    Lawsuit In Confidential Arbitration
    LAW & ORDER: In L.A., David Wharton reported San Diego Superior Court Judge JOAN LEWIS Friday denied a motion from attorneys for Saints RB REGGIE BUSH to "settle a lawsuit against him through confidential arbitration." The decision means the suit, brought against Bush by New Era Sports exec LLOYD LAKE over a failed business deal, now will move closer to trial. The ruling is "good news for NCAA investigators hoping to gain access to potential evidence in the case," as they "want to know if Bush or USC broke college rules" (L.A. TIMES, 8/2)....Fox' TERRY BRADSHAW Friday filed suit in Tarrant County (TX) against California-based RWC Fashion Apparel. The suit claims that the company "never had permission to use Bradshaw's name or image in advertisements and that in any case, Bradshaw typically charges at least $100,000 for such permission." The suit seeks a "temporary restraining order forbidding RWC Fashion Apparel from continuing to use Bradshaw's image; $509,000 for damages and to cover overcharges on Bradshaw's American Express card; and $100,000 for the use of Bradshaw's likeness and assorted other costs" (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 8/3).

    NAMES: Two NBA sources said that agent JOSH NOCHIMSON "has been decertified as an agent by the [NBPA] in large part because he has been accused of stealing about $500,000 from" Pistons G RICHARD HAMILTON. Nochimson also is no longer the agent for Bulls F LUOL DENG (BOSTON GLOBE, 8/3)....ESPN.com's Len Pasquarelli was named the '08 recipient of the Dick McCann Memorial Award presented by the Pro Football Writers of America in recognition of pro football reporting. Pasquarelli received the award at a Hall of Fame ceremony Friday night in Canton, Ohio (ESPN.com, 8/2)....QUEEN ELIZABETH named Steelers Chair DAN ROONEY Honorary Commander of the British Empire for "his contribution to peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland" (Pittsburgh TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 8/2)....NASCAR driver DALE EARNHARDT JR. in about two weeks will visit Naval Station Great Lakes to perform "one of the duties laid out in his $800,000 speaking-appearance contract with the Navy" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 8/4)....CINDY MCCAIN, the wife of presumptive Republican presidential candidate JOHN MCCAIN, yesterday visited Pocono Raceway and shook hands with drivers during prerace introductions ahead of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 8/4).

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