SBD/Issue 76/Sports Industrialists

Names In The News

Clippers Owner Sterling An "Easy Target"
For Criticism Despite Charitable Efforts
In L.A., Sandy Banks wrote under the header, "DONALD STERLING Is Generous, Impolitic And Eager To Be Liked." Banks attended last Tuesday's Donald T. Sterling Charitable Foundation Summit, at which the Clippers owner handed out $1M "from his private charitable foundation to 10 high schools in South and East Los Angeles and 20 charities across Los Angeles County." As Sterling has been "dogged for years by claims that he's a bigot," Banks wondered if the summit was "simple image repair or true redemption." Sterling is an "easy target ... with his tasteless jokes and impolitic comments," and Banks wrote she can "see how he gets in hot water." But L.A.-based publicist DARREN DICKERSON said Sterling "really, genuinely wants people to like him." Dickerson: "He's like a big kid who tries too hard. It's like he's hanging out with the guys in the neighborhood and he can say anything he wants" (L.A. TIMES, 1/3).

REACH FOR THE GOLD: Suns Chair and USA Basketball BOD Chair JERRY COLANGELO has written a new book entitled "RETURN OF THE GOLD: THE JOURNEY OF JERRY COLANGELO AND THE REDEEM TEAM." Colangelo said the book is "about that journey" in terms of the U.S. men's basketball team winning the Gold Medal at the '08 Beijing Games, "but it's somewhat of a life story regarding my own journey." Colangelo: "It's meant to serve as an encouragement for people trying to make it, and I share personal experiences about reaching for the stars and not being afraid to fail. Second, it's a strong look at leadership and building a company" (N.Y. TIMES, 1/3).

A LITTLE BIRDIE TOLD ME....: CNBC's Darren Rovell listed the most influential sports figures in '09 in regard to their use of Twitter. Cavaliers C SHAQUILLE O'NEAL topped the list of influential athletes, as he has used the social networking site "to interact with his fans better than any other athlete." Golfer STEWART CINK, cyclist LANCE ARMSTRONG, Bengals WR CHAD OCHOCINCO and Magic C DWIGHT HOWARD were also noted among players. Other sports figures making the list include ESPN.com columnist and author BILL SIMMONS, ESPN's ADAM SCHEFTER, N.Y. Times reporter PETE THAMEL and player agent EVAN MORGENSTEIN (CNBC.com, 12/30).

Shawne Merriman Has Signed
With EAG Sports Management
NAMES: Saints Owner TOM BENSON "will serve as Grand Marshal of the Krewe of Endymion on Feb. 13, helping make the 2010 Mardi Gras season perhaps the most Saints-centric on record." Saints QB DREW BREES will serve as the King of Bacchus for the festival, while Saints coach SEAN PAYTON will ride as "one of the celebrity monarchs in the Krewe of Orpheus" (NOLA.com, 12/2)....Prospective Nets Owner MIKHAIL PROKHOROV is "hosting Russian leader VLADIMIR PUTIN at his $30[M] French Alps chalet as a thank you" for Putin securing an "apology from French authorities for dragging Prokhorov's name into a prostitution scandal" (N.Y. POST, 1/4)....Penguins Owner MARIO LEMIEUX has been named an officer of the Order of Canada, while Hockey HOFer EMILE BOUCHARD was among the new appointments to the order (CP, 12/30). Canadiens President PIERRE BOIVIN was also named an officer of the Order, "one of the country's highest civilian honors" (Montreal GAZETTE, 12/31). Chargers LB SHAWNE MERRIMAN has signed with EAG Sports Management to handle his publicity (EAG).

IN MEMORY: Former Chicago Sun-Times columnist BILL GLEASON, 87, died Sunday of complications related to Parkinson's disease. Gleason, a "proud South Sider, worked for more than 60 years in Chicago journalism and helped launch the genre of talk sports broadcasting" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 1/4).

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