SBD/Issue 132/Sports Industrialists

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  • Forbes' Billionaire List Contains 30% Fewer Names This Year

    Forbes has released its annual list of the world's billionaires, with 793 people making the list this year, a 30% decline from 1,125 last year, according to Kroll, Miller & Serafin of FORBES.com. There were 373 individuals who fell off the list from last year, 353 due to "declining fortunes and 18 who died." Thirty-eight newcomers made this year's list, "plus three moguls who returned to the list after regaining their 10-figure fortunes." The drop marks the first time since '03 "that the world has had a net loss in the number of billionaires." The collective net worth of the billionaires is $2.4 trillion, down $2 trillion from a year ago, while their average net worth fell 23% to $3B. Kroll, Miller & Serafin note there are 28 American billionaire hedge fund managers this year as opposed to 39 last year, while 12 American private equity tycoons lost their billionaire status (FORBES, 3/30 issue). Among those dropping off the Forbes billionaire list are Browns and EPL club Aston Villa Owner Randy Lerner, Pacers co-Owner Herb Simon, EPL club West Ham United Owner Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson, Thunder Investors Tom Ward and Aubrey McClendon, Penske Racing Owner Roger Penske, SMI Chair Bruton Smith, UFC Owners Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta and DeBartolo Sports & Entertainment Chair Eddie DeBartolo. Making the list this year for the first time are Eagles Owner Jeffrey Lurie and Colts Owner Jim Irsay. Astros Owner Drayton McLane returns to the list this year (THE DAILY).

    TOP FORBES GLOBAL BILLIONAIRES WITH SPORTS INTERESTS
    '08 RK
    '07 RK
    NAME
    '08 (Billions)
    '07 (Billions)
    SPORTS INTEREST
    2
    1
    Warren Buffett
    $37.0
    $62.0
    PCL Triple-A Omaha Royals stakeholder
    4
    14
    Larry Ellison
    $22.5
    $25.0
    Oracle Racing CEO (America's Cup)
    8
    4
    Lakshmi Mittal
    $19.3
    $45.0
    Football Championship League club Queens Park Rangers co-Owner
    32
    41
    Paul Allen
    $10.5
    $16.0
    Seahawks & Trail Blazers Owner; MLS Sounders FC stakeholder
    51
    15
    Roman Abramovich
    $8.5
    $23.5
    EPL club Chelsea Owner
    52
    75
    Ernesto Bertarelli
    $8.2
    $10.3
    Team Alinghi Owner (America's Cup)
    53
    73
    Phil Knight
    $8.2
    $10.4
    Nike Chair
    70
    90
    Silvio Berlusconi
    $6.5
    $9.4
    Serie A club AC Milan Owner
    98
    125
    Philip Anschutz
    $5.0
    $7.4
    AEG Chair; MLS Galaxy & NHL Kings Owner; Lakers stakeholder
    104
    N/R
    Mansour bin Zayed al Nahayan
    $4.9
    N/R
    EPL club Manchester City Owner
    119
    288
    Rich DeVos
    $4.4
    $3.7
    Magic Owner
    122
    149
    Leonid Fedun
    $4.3
    $6.4
    Russian Premier League club FC Spartak Moscow Owner
    124
    158
    Robert Rowling
    $4.2
    $6.2
    Gold's Gym Owner
    132
    127
    John Menard
    $4.0
    $7.3
    IRL Team Owner
    132
    109
    Rupert Murdoch
    $4.0
    $8.3
    News Corp. Chair & CEO
    146
    87
    Charles Ergen
    $3.9
    $9.5
    EchoStar Chair & CEO
    151
    288
    Bernie Ecclestone
    $3.7
    $3.7
    F1 Management Chair; Football Championship League club Queens Park Rangers co-Owner
    151
    260
    Dietrich Mateschitz
    $3.7
    $4.0
    MLS Red Bulls, Austrian Bundesliga club Red Bull Salzburg, F1 teams Scudiera Toro Rosso and Team Red Bull, NASCAR Team Red Bull Owner
    151
    201
    Masayoshi Son
    $3.7
    $5.1
    Japan Pacific League Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks Owner
    191
    462
    Ted Lerner
    $3.2
    $2.5
    Nationals Owner
    191
    227
    Stephen Ross
    $3.2
    $4.5
    Dolphins Owner
    191
    222
    Lester Crown
    $3.2
    $4.6
    Bulls & Yankees stakeholder

    FLYING HIGH: Lurie said making the list was "meaningless because I don't have any plans to sell the team, and it's worth zero until you sell it." Lurie: "Obviously, the NFL delivers a very successful product, and that's why it has been valuable" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 3/26).

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  • Book Shelf: Davis Offers Vivid Portrait Of '79 NCAA Championship

    SI college basketball reporter and CBS studio analyst SETH DAVIS has written "WHEN MARCH WENT MAD: THE GAME THAT TRANSFORMED BASKETBALL," which chronicles the '79 Michigan State-Indiana State NCAA men's basketball championship game that featured MAGIC JOHNSON and LARRY BIRD. In a special to the WALL STREET JOURNAL, Michael MacCambridge wrote the game "elevated the sport to the big time," and Davis "captures an age before ESPN was the colossus of sports media, when much that was wonderful and distinctive about college basketball was witnessed only by those in attendance." Davis offers a "well-reported account" of the game, and the "fine, fair book is a vivid portrait of a time when we knew a lot less about the sport and, because of that, loved it in a different way" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 3/21). Davis said, "It’s amazing how many times over the last couple of years when I’ve told people I’m doing a book about the Magic versus Bird championship game, they tell me, ‘I remember where I was when I watched this game’" ("The Early Show," CBS, 3/26). 

    DIAMOND DIARIES: In Toronto, Garth Woolsey wrote former MLBer RON DARLING's recall in "THE COMPLETE GAME: REFLECTIONS ON BASEBALL, PITCHING, AND LIFE ON THE MOUND" is "20/20, his reflections revealing for anyone interested in a true inside view of his sport." The book is one "for the curious and the purist, full of anecdotes but always focused" (TORONTO STAR, 3/22)....In a special to the N.Y. TIMES BOOK REVIEW, former MLBer JIM BOUTON wrote N.Y. Times writer BRUCE WEBER's "AS THEY SEE 'EM" is a "wonderfully detailed look at the craft of umpiring," and for "future aspirants, the first step should be reading" the book. Weber "spent a good part of three years in 'the Land of Umpires,' hanging out with them" (N.Y. TIMES BOOK REVIEW, 3/22)....ALLEN BARRA's new book "YOGI BERRA: ETERNAL YANKEE" is a "finely tuned portrait of a larger-than-life figure." The book is an "excellent read" as Barra "builds a case that Yogi is the best catcher ever" (SI, 3/30 issue).

    POWER STRUGGLE: In Atlanta, Chip Towers noted "BEHIND THE HEDGES: BIG MONEY AND POWER POLITICS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA," by the late RICH WHITT, examines the "internal power struggle" between Univ. of Georgia (UGA) President MICHAEL ADAMS and former AD VINCE DOOLEY. It also looks into "how the controversy resulted in the split between the Board of Regents and the UGA Foundation." Adams is "made out to be the bad guy." UGA VP/Public Affairs TOM JACKSON: "The book is old news. It's rehashing issues long since resolved" (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 3/26).

    ON THE TRACK: AUTOWEEK's Roger Hart notes J.J. O'MALLEY's "DAYTONA 24 HOURS" details the "more than 40 years of the American answer to the 24 Hours of Le Mans," and first-person accounts from drivers "give the book's readers insights into the challenges of sports-car racing at Daytona" (AUTOWEEK, 3/23 issue).

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  • Catching Up With "Howard Stern Show" Producer Gary Dell'Abate

    Dell'Abate Has Produced "The
    Howard Stern Show" Since '84
    Gary Dell’Abate has been the producer of “The Howard Stern Show” since ‘84, and he also co-hosts “The Wrap Up Show with Jon Hein” on Sirius XM, a daily look at the day’s happenings on the popular talk show. In addition, Dell’Abate writes a column for "Sound & Vision" called "Gadget Gary" in which he reviews the latest tech products, a subject he is very passionate about. His role on “The Howard Stern Show” is multidimensional. He is called upon to play peacemaker and dealmaker, and is expected to have a thick skin, as he often finds himself the butt of the joke. Television Editor Paul Sanford recently caught up with Dell'Abate on his daily commute home, and after first pulling over to a safe spot off the road, Dell'Abate gave some insight into his passion for sports and his love of technology.

    Favorite Vacation Spot: Chatham, Mass. It's on the elbow of the Cape and it’s nice and relaxing and it’s sort of low key.
    Last Movie You Saw: I’m going to sound like a jerk when I say this, but I just finished building a home theater at my house, so I got all the Academy screeners. So of the Best Picture, Best Director and the four acting categories -- 30 potential nominees -- we saw 28 of them before the Oscars. 
    Music in iPod: There’s a lot of everything. A lot of Springsteen, a lot of U2. I haven’t put anything new in lately. People say this all the time, “My tastes runs the gamut,” but it really does. Somebody just sent me a Sinatra collection that I’m going to put in. 
    Last Book You Read: I’m a huge audio book guy and in fact I just stopped my audio book that I’m reading right now. There’s three audio books in my car right now. I’m currently reading the new John Grisham book called “The Associate.” Before that I had Joe Torre's book (“The Yankee Years”). The last book I have is the Artie Lange book.

    Q: Being such a big tech/gadget guy, let’s talk about technology and how you use it. Do you Twitter?

    Dell’Abate: I just joined Twitter the other day because I thought I was joining so I could follow a local politician of mine who sent me a note to follow his Twitters. But instead, it appears -- this is how bad I am at this -- that I’ve actually put it out there that I’m going to Twitter so two people have already requested to be on my … I don’t what you call it. But I don’t have anything to say, so I think everyone is going to be really disappointed.

    Q: Do you watch sports through devices other than a conventional TV, such as a Blackberry?

    Dell’Abate: I have Slingbox on my Blackberry. So a couple of weeks ago I was at my kid’s basketball game, but I can catch the end of the football game, although that’s a last resort. At the end of the day I’d rather be watching football on a big-screen. But you got to do what you got to do when you got a family.

    Dell'Abate Loves MLB.com, NFL.com
    Q: Favorite sports Web sites?

    Dell’Abate: I think MLB.com might be one of the best run Web sites of any kind -- high resolution video, access to every game, amazing archive of games that you can go look at. I love NFL.com, although I wish they would offer more video. But they offer an amazing package. On Monday morning if you go on there, you can watch your game that’s summarized in six, seven minutes, all the top plays, which are really well done. ESPN is probably the best one (for scores and news).

    Q: Cable or satellite TV at home?

    Dell’Abate: I’m both. The only reason I have satellite is for the NFL package, which is really worth it. I’m getting the baseball package this year on my cable system. I usually get the baseball package through MLB.com.

    Q: How many sporting events do you attend in a year?

    Dell’Abate: I try to go to one Jets game a season. I’m not a season-ticket holder for baseball, but I probably was getting to about 3-5 Mets games a year. Last year, it was probably a big year for me. I probably did about a dozen because there was a lot going on. I went to the first game of the last season of Shea, I went to the last game of the last season of Shea and I went to a bunch of games in between because Shea was closing and I just wanted to go to a lot of games. I usually get (tickets) through friends. I usually try not to bother the Mets that much with (ticket requests).

    Q: Favorite memory of Shea Stadium?

    Dell’Abate: I was at (Game Six of the ’86 World Series against the Red Sox). Actually, it was very memorable. My dad and I, who just passed away, I got a pair of tickets to Game Six and he was the only one I thought to take. Kathleen Turner was sitting about six rows in front of us in the orange seats and that’s my best memory of Shea. My second-best memory of Shea was when I threw out the first pitch about five or six years ago. And that will hopefully be eclipsed by my next great memory of Shea, which will be May 9th of this year when I’m throwing out the first pitch again. I guess my goal is not to end up as an ESPN highlight.

    Q: How do you feel about the Mets' ballpark naming-rights deal with Citi and the controversy of Citi receiving TARP funds?

    Dell’Abate: The Mets cut a deal legitimately with Citibank and Citibank paid it. I think the Mets have a legitimate claim to the money. If it were a different company, nobody would be saying anything.

    Q: Who was the most memorable sports guest to appear on “The Howard Stern Show”?

    Dell’Abate: I got to go with Mickey Mantle just because the dude was a living legend and he really seemed to be amused by Howard, and I think he was sort of amused by the fact that it wasn’t the same old hero worship interview. Howard just sort of treated him like a guy, and I think Mickey got it and liked his sense of humor.

    Q: Has there ever been a sports personality that you’ve tried to book for the show and weren’t able to?

    Dell’Abate: I tried to get Torre on for the book. I tried hard. I tried like crazy. I called the book company. I called his manager. He was up at Sirius but I couldn’t get him on the show.

    Q: Has there ever been any feedback from teams, leagues or agents saying they would never allow their players to appear on the show?

    Dell’Abate: No, because I think people are at the point now where if they tell me that I’ll probably say it on the air and they’ll look even worse.

    Q: Who is the more famous Adelphi Univ. alumnus: you or Public Enemy lead singer Chuck D?

    Dell’Abate: I’m more famous with people who aren’t into rap.

    Dell'Abate Remains Friendly
    With Dan Patrick
    Q: In 2003, Captain Janks crank-called ESPN’s “SportsCenter” with Dan Patrick pretending to be Steve Bartman. What was the reaction to that?

    Dell’Abate: That one we really had nothing to do with. It’s one of those things where Captain Janks is up to God-knows-what and all of a sudden my phone starts ringing and everyone’s like, “Oh my God, you just missed it, you just missed it!” The funny thing is we’ve become pretty friendly with Dan Patrick since then and Dan -- just to show you what a great guy he is and what a great sense of humor he has -- was gracious enough to call our show and accept the F-Emmy for “Best Crank Phone Call.”

    Q: What is the best part of the XM/Sirius merger?

    Dell’Abate: The best of it is we increased our subscribers dramatically and that’s a huge help for me when I’m booking guests. There’s no downside. The company is growing so there’s no downside. The more listeners the more it validates us the better it is for me getting guests.

    Q: What are your Final Four picks?

    Dell’Abate: I have not been following it as much as I used to. I’m a big Big East fan. At heart, I’m a St. John’s fan but they clearly have given up on trying to win. I like UConn, Louisville, Pitt and Memphis with UConn winning the championship. 

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  • This Week's Newsmakers: Marlins Move Forward With New Park

    THE DAILY each Friday offers our take on the performances over the past week of people and entities in sports business. Here are this week’s newsmakers:

    New Marlins Ballpark Promises To Increase
    Team Revenues, Stabilize And Grow Fan Base
    WINMarlins – After nearly a decade of lobbying for a new home, the franchise finally gains approval for its 37,000-seat retractable-roof ballpark, securing baseball’s future in South Florida. Marlins Owner Jeffrey Loria and President DAVID SAMSON are lauded for their determination in getting the deal done, particularly in a challenging economic climate. The move into the new ballpark promises to increase the team’s revenues and stabilize and help grow the team's fan base.

    LOSESony Ericsson WTA TOUR -- The organization is charged with filling the large void left by LARRY SCOTT, who earlier this week announced he will step down as Chair & CEO to become Pac-10 Commissioner. The Tour is faced with the challenge of replacing a man who oversaw a dramatic growth in the game. During his six-year tenure, Scott helped secure the Tour’s title sponsorship deal with Sony Ericsson and developed the organization’s Roadmap plan. With the economic downturn affecting all corners of the sports world, Scott's replacement will have work to do to maintain the Tour's sponsors and continue to grow the sport.

    DRAWTWITTER -- The latest social-networking craze has quickly caught on in the sports world. This week, Sir Richard Branson uses the medium to informally break the news of his Virgin Group sponsorship of F1 team Brawn GP, and Fox’ Jeff Hammond and ESPN’s Rebecca Lobo both send out tweets during live events. On Sunday, Women’s Professional Soccer will take things a step further by allowing players to send tweets during the fledgling league’s inaugural game. But in other locker rooms, the emergent technology has been seen as a distraction, and the Bucks have been forced to ban the use of the site during games. 

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  • Executive Transactions

    The USA Basketball BOD announced its committees for ’09-12 and named Syracuse coach JIM BOEHEIM Chair of the ’09-12 Men’s Junior National Committee and NCAA VP/Division-I women's basketball SUE DONOHOE Chair of the ’09-12 Women’s Junior National Team Committee (USA Basketball)....The Univ. of North Carolina-Chapel Hill's Board of Trustees Thursday unanimously approved a three-year contract extension for AD DICK BADDOUR through June 20, 2012 (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 3/27).

    EXECS: The city of Vancouver announced Deputy City Engineer PETER JUDD will serve as GM of Olympic and Paralympic operations. Judd replaces DAVE RUDBERG, who announced his retirement earlier this month (VANCOUVER SUN, 3/26)….TV One named ERIC CLAYTOR VP/Affiliate Relations for the Western Region & National Accounts. Meanwhile, MSG Media Senior VP & GM of Interactive SCOTT RICHMAN will oversee the Fuse digital department in addition to his current responsibilities (CABLEFAX DAILY, 3/26)….Canadian broadcaster The Score Producer RICHARD GARNER is leaving to pursue a web-based TV initiative that aims to “provide programming that focuses on the many similarities that all human beings share instead of the few differences” (THESTAR.com, 3/26)....The Environmental Institute for Golf Board of Trustees announced Nike VP BOB WOOD will remain as Chair for another year. Also, Evans Capital Group Founder & President RAE EVANS, a past Chair of the LPGA’s BOD, was elected as Vice Chair & Treasurer, and GREG NORMAN will serve another five years as a board member (GCSAA).

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

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  • Names In The News

    George Steinbrenner Expected To Attend April
    16 Home Opener At New Yankee Stadium
    On Long Island, Steven Marcus cited a source as saying that Yankees Chair GEORGE STEINBRENNER is expected to be at the new Yankee Stadium for the April 16 game against the Indians, the first regular-season game in the ballpark. Steinbrenner has not attended a game in N.Y. since the MLB All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium last July, and now is "essentially confined to a wheel chair." The source said, "He can't walk, he has two football knees. He can barely stand." Steinbrenner is not expected to make a public appearance at the game, and the source said, "I don't think he's willing to pose in a wheelchair" (NEWSDAY.com, 3/26).

    KOBE STAKE: MARIA JIMENEZ, the former housekeeper for Lakers G KOBE BRYANT and his wife, VANESSA, is suing the couple, claiming Vanessa "badgered, harassesed and humiliated" her. Jimenez, who worked at the house six days a week, is seeking money for wrongful termination and is "asking for damages for emotional distress, unpaid wages, and invasion of privacy and breach of contract" (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 3/25).

    SILVER SCREEN: In a special to the WALL STREET JOURNAL, Jeff Pearlman noted "SUGAR," a documentary about a "small-town Dominican Republic pitcher looking to escape his county for the riches of American professional baseball," earned "strong reviews" at the Sundance Film Festival in January '08. In the film, which opens nationwide April 4, the title character's "rise and fall are portrayed with jarring realism" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 3/27)....Bergen Record reporter MIKE GARTLAND and filmmaker ROB WEISS have created "YANKEELAND: IN THE SHADOW OF THE STADIUM," which is an independently produced documentary that "introduces us to a handful of locals who bid farewell to the old Yankee Stadium and said hello" to the new ballpark. A trailer for the movie is available at shadowofthestadium.com (Bergen RECORD, 3/27).

    NAMES: Cavaliers Owner DAN GILBERT Saturday night at a Bar Mitzvah in Detroit got into a fight with former Rock Financial Senior VP DAVID HALL, who was let go from the Gilbert-owned company last year (MLIVE.com, 3/24)....Syracuse Univ. this spring will host its 10th annual "Basket Ball" fundraiser to raise money for cancer charities. The school has raised $2.8M total from the previous nine events, and Syracuse coach JIM BOEHEIM has helped raise $4.5M for the central New York chapter of the American Cancer Society since the mid-'90s (N.Y. TIMES, 3/27)....The Denver Press Club will give its annual Damon Runyon Award to ESPN's RICK REILLY at a banquet on April 17 at the Marriott Denver City Center (DENVER POST, 3/27)....Former NBAer JAMES DONALDSON Wednesday kicked off his campaign for Seattle Mayor (SEATTLE TIMES, 3/27)....IOC member Dr. ROBERT HINDMARCH Thursday was inducted into the Canadian Olympic HOF (CTVOLYMPICS.ca, 3/26).

    BEST WISHES: Longtime FSN ad sales exec STEVE HILL currently is in a Dallas hospital with a serious kidney ailment. Hill has been a fixture in the Dallas sports advertising community for more than 20 years, and has been with FSN Southwest since its November '96 launch. FSN Senior VP/Ad Sales CRAIG SLOAN: "We're all pulling for Steve. He's a great friend. Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family" (John Ourand, THE DAILY).

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