SBD/Issue 64/Sports Industrialists

Names In The News

Navratilova Forced To
Abandon Kilimanjaro Climb

Int'l Tennis HOFer MARTINA NAVRATILOVA's quest to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro "ended Friday, before the fifth day of a planned six-day journey, when she became ill and was taken off the mountain." She had "high altitude pulmonary edema." Navratilova's journey was "made to raise awareness and money for philanthropic projects supported by the Laureus World Sports Academy, an association of 46 former sports stars" (N.Y. TIMES, 12/11). Navratilova: "This was supposed to be fun, but nobody had fun. It was just survival. It is not an experience one would enjoy" (L.A. TIMES, 12/13).

COURT REPORT: The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Don Clark reports Seahawks and Trail Blazers Owner PAUL ALLEN's "patent lawsuit against some of the biggest names in high technology ran into a stumbling block as a federal judge in Seattle dismissed the complaint for not describing its allegations specifically enough." U.S. District Judge MARSHA PECHMAN Friday "set a Dec. 28 deadline for the plaintiff, a company controlled by Mr. Allen called Interval Licensing LLC, to file an amended complaint." A spokesperson for Allen said that the company "plans to do so soon" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 12/13).

TIME TO MOVE ON: The 49ers are "losing the public face for their ongoing bid to build a new $937 million stadium in Santa Clara" with VP/Communications & Government Relations LISA LANG planning to leave her job at the end of January. Lang: "I'm going back to a more normal world." The parting "appears quite amicable," and Lang is "even doing the interviewing for candidates to succeed her." She "anticipates that the stadium plan won't need much marketing for awhile, as it's tied up in the messy business of financing and procedural hurdles" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 12/12).

PRICELESS PURCHASE: Austin-based Dimensional Fund Advisors co-CEO DAVID BOOTH Friday "agreed to pay $4.3 million at a Sotheby's auction for the two yellowed, typewritten pages on which" JAMES NAISMITH "memorialized the 13 rules of basketball." Booth paid the "most ever for an article of sports memorabilia," and the proceeds will go to the Naismith Int'l Basketball Foundation. He said that he "would keep the papers in a vault and challenge the University of Kansas," where Naismith coached, "to raise funds for a facility in which the document would be the centerpiece." Booth noted that Kansas-born filmmaker JOSH SWADE "lobbied him to buy the papers" (N.Y. TIMES, 12/11).

Writer Says SMI President Marcus Smith
Emerging As Passionate Leader In NASCAR

BEHIND THE SCENES: In Charlotte, Ron Stodghill profiled SMI President & COO MARCUS SMITH. Stodghill: "Say what you want about Marcus Smith, the guy seems to have a surprisingly firm grip on the wheel -- and is slowly finding his lane." Smith is "proving his mettle." And as the economy "continues to pummel" NASCAR's demographic, Smith is "emerging as a passionate leader" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 12/12)....The GLOBE & MAIL's Gordon & Waldie profiled UFC Chair & CEO LORENZO FERTITTA and his brother, UFC co-Owner FRANK FERTITTA. The Fertittas are the "quiet impetus behind one of the fastest-growing sports businesses on the planet," and "in many ways, their corporate strategy mirrors UFC's inside-the-octagon ethos: aggressive, brash, relentless, few holds barred" (GLOBE & MAIL, 12/11).

NAMES: Former MLBer GARY SHEFFIELD "has partnered with New York lawyer XAVIER JAMES in the player representation business" to form The James Group LLC. The company "has submitted the paperwork to be certified by" the MLBPA and signed P JASON GRILLE as its first client. James: "Gary is the CEO who will work with clients and advise them" (N.Y. POST, 12/12)....The 414-acre Hidden Hollow Ranch, an Indiana property owned by NASCAR driver and team owner TONY STEWART, “will be used to study habitats and deer-related issues through a partnership” between Stewart and Mississippi State Univ. (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 12/13)....Red Sox 1B ADRIAN GONZALEZ took out a full-page ad in yesterday's San Diego Union-Tribune to thank Padres fans for their support over the past five MLB seasons (BOSTON.com, 12/12). Gonzalez and his wife, BETSY, "bought an 11,000-square-foot, seven-bedroom, 10-bath home" in San Diego for $7.2M "just before" the Padres traded him (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 12/12)....Giants P TIM LINCECUM "bought a condo last month on the 28th floor of the luxury Esacala tower" in downtown Seattle. Lincecum paid $1.575M "for the 2,400-square-foot unit with a 500-square-foot deck on the building's north side" (SEATTLE TIMES, 12/12)....Boxing promoter DON KING last night "was stopped by security at Cleveland's Hopkins International Airport for having ammunition in his carry-on luggage." Airport spokesperson JACQUELINE MAYO said that the ammunition was "taken and that King was released to continue his trip" (AP, 12/13)....MLB Giants President & COO LARRY BAER sat in the "front row next to" Warriors co-Owner JOE LACOB during Friday night's Heat-Warriors game at Oracle Arena (NBA.com, 12/11).

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