SBD/Issue 56/Sports Industrialists

Names In The News

In London, Michael Herman reports English Premier League club Newcastle United Owner MIKE ASHLEY will be "forced to justify his recent purchase" of a 4.8% stake in JJB Sports, which he acquired for US$4.97M on October 17. Ashley will "have to convince the Office of Fair Trading (OFT)" that his stake "does not give him effective control over JJB." Ashley also is the largest shareholder of Sports Direct, and the OFT is "concerned that a combination of the two companies might create a sports retailing giant that would dominate the market and lessen competition" (LONDON TIMES, 12/4).

Film On Former NFLer Ryan Leaf
Has Successful Screening In San Diego
SCREEN TIME: A showing of the new documentary "LEAF," which examines the career of former NFLer RYAN LEAF, drew a "packed house of about 160" last night to the downtown San Diego Library. The film was written and directed by TIM CARR, who also stars as Leaf, and is a "low-budget hybrid documentary" that "mixes the undisputed facts of Leaf's downfall with speculative thoughts and theories by actors playing sportswriters, agents and fans" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 12/4)....In N.Y., Linda Stasi writes MMA fighter KIMBO SLICE plays a "hilariously bad guy" for Nickelodeon's "MERRY CHRISTMAS, DRAKE AND JOSH." Stasi: "Who knew the cage fighter/mixed martial arts bruiser could do comedy?" (N.Y. POST, 12/4).

CHARITY STRIPE: The Flames Tuesday announced a donation of $93,124 to Special Olympics Calgary through the NHLPA’s Dreams & Goals Fund and the Flames Foundation for Life from the last two years of Danone SuperSkills events (CALGARY SUN, 12/3)....The Packers last night held the Families of Children with Cancer Christmas Party with “help from about 19” Packers players (GREEN BAY PRESS-GAZETTE, 12/4).

NAMES: Golfer PAUL AZINGER has signed with IMG for worldwide management and marketing representation (IMG)....Canucks LWs ALEX BURROWS and TAYLOR PYATT and C RYAN KESLER said that they will "pull out" of an autograph signing session that would have charged fans "at least $30 a pop for autographs." Burrows: "I don't think I'm worth $30. Not my autograph. You can't even recognize my autograph, so I don't think it would make sense" (Vancouver PROVINCE, 12/2)....Yahoo ranked MMA fighter GINA CARANO as the 5th most "influential woman" of '08, and in Houston, Jared Barnes wrote, "You know MMA is blowing up when Gina Carano is ranked alongside" actress ANGELINA JOLIE, TV host OPRAH WINFREY and U.S. Secretary of State nominee HILLARY CLINTON (CHRON.com, 12/3)....Bobcats Managing Member of Basketball Operations MICHAEL JORDAN and NASCAR driver DENNY HAMLIN attended the annual Second String Santa party Tuesday at Time Warner Cable Arena (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 12/4).

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