SBD/March 17, 2011/People and Pop Culture

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  • Laying Down The Law: A Number Of Sports Entities Argue Their Cases In Court

    Ecclestone may be key witness in one of Germany's biggest corruption scandals

    F1 Management Chair BERNIE ECCLESTONE is “expected to be a key witness in what is being billed as one of the biggest corruption scandals in Germany’s history,” according to Eason, Boyes & Power of the LONDON TIMES. Prosecutors would question whether Ecclestone paid a $50M “‘kickback’ into the offshore accounts of a German banker who oversaw the sale” of F1 to majority owner CVC Capital Partners. Ecclestone “denies making illegal payments and is said to be willing to give his side of the story in Germany, although he is thought to want assurances that he will not be detained by the authorities in Munich if he co-operates.” CVC officials reportedly are “anxious not to get dragged into a legal action with the complex financial dealings of Formula One put in the spotlight” (LONDON TIMES, 3/17).

    UNDER REVIEW: The GLOBE & MAIL’s Frances Bula reports “almost a quarter” of the original buyers of condos in the Vancouver Games Olympic Village “have filed lawsuits to get their money back, claiming their condos are not worth what they paid because they leak or the doors don’t work properly or the work is shoddy -- or all of the above.” Lawyer BRYAN BAYNHAM yesterday filed the suits “on behalf of 62 clients in five buildings.” Baynham said that the buyers “feel they were promised and paid for luxury suites, but received medium-quality apartments that they could never resell for the same price” (GLOBE & MAIL, 3/17).

    WHAT HAPPENS IN VEGAS: In Las Vegas, Steve Green notes former tennis players ANDRE AGASSI and STEFFI GRAF, among others, have “filed a second lawsuit over their investment in the Pure nightclub at Caesars Palace on the Las Vegas Strip.” Agassi, Graf and the investors “first sued Pure Management Group in September, charging club executives mismanaged finances and used money from Pure to fund competing nightclubs.” The new lawsuit claims that on Oct. 29 -- after “the first suit was filed -- the Pure investors agreed to sell their interests for an undisclosed price in Touch LLC, the licensed owner of Pure” (LAS VEGAS SUN, 3/17).

    SHINE ON: The GUARDIAN’s Mark Sweeney notes News Corp. is being sued by shareholders for “paying for nepotism" in its $675M deal to buy Shine, a production business owned by Chair & CEO RUPERT MURDOCH’s daughter ELISABETH. The deal, which “following regulatory approval is expected to close on 31 March, will see” Elisabeth take a seat on the News Corp BOD. The lawsuit accuses Rupert of treating News Corp "like a wholly owned family candy store" and argues that “a fair price was not achieved for Shine” (GUARDIAN, 3/17).

    Print | Tags: People and Pop Culture, News Corp, Formula One
  • What I Like.... With Warrior Sports Founder, President & CEO Dave Morrow

    Warrior Sports' Dave Morrow says he really isn't a sports fan

    In our continuing series, SportsBusiness Daily/SportsBusiness Journal asks top sports personalities for their thoughts, ideas, aspirations and likes. Today, Warrior Sports Founder, President & CEO DAVE MORROW. Morrow founded Warrior Lacrosse in '92 while a junior on Princeton Univ.'s lacrosse team. Using the lightweight titanium handles that he and his father developed, he led Princeton to the NCAA championship that year. The three-time All-American and two-time world champion also was a co-Founder of Major League Lacrosse in '98 before selling Warrior to New Balance in '04 and subsequently establishing Warrior Hockey in '05.

    What I like in an insight: Never, ever, ever give up!

    Influential person in my career: JIM DAVIS, New Balance Chair & Owner.

    Out-of-the-box idea: Spend more time communicating face to face. It's a dying art!

    Timeless idea: Cash is king.

    Business deal: When I sold Warrior to New Balance.

    Sports facility: The Palace in Auburn Hills, Mich. The Red Wings should play there.

    Sports event: NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs, MLL All-Star Game.

    Strategy: Hire the best people you can afford.

    Hire: ALAN MULALLY at Ford.

    Brand: Ferrari.

    Trend: Customization of sports equipment, apparel and footwear.

    Innovation: Fat twin-tip powder skis, HEVI-Shot shotgun shells, Rescue clubs.

    A pro league: Major League Lacrosse.

    Story that bears watching: Youth obesity. It's a huge problem.

    An idea I wish I thought of: Saturday! It's the best day of the week.

    Fantasy job: My job. I live the dream every day.

    What I like about my job: The people I work with. We laugh constantly.

    Sports: You have to get off your ass and compete.

    Sports business: People are fun.

    Sports media: The instant access to real-time digital information whenever you want it.

    Sports technology: There is always a better way to do something.

    Competing: Winning.

    The future of sports business: Increased safety standards in play and equipment to protect the athletes.

    Sports fans: The undying passion for their team or sport. The Detroit Lions still have fans! Wow.

    What I'd like to change: Spend less time in airports.

    Change in what I do: Spend more of my time working on product.

    See: More sunlight. I live in Detroit. Sun doesn't shine here much. Ugh.

    See more of in sports: Slow-motion HD replay of highlights.

    See more of in sports business: More athlete compensation tied to annual performance goals.

    See less of in sports business: Dominant super teams. Parity is a good thing.

    See less of in sports: Hammered, belligerent fans making your experience unpleasant.

    See different: Take more risk with pro/college uniform designs. They are too traditional.

    Eliminate: Who was the dumb ass that invented nose-bleed luxury suites? Make rich guys buy the worst seats in the house -- WTF?

    What I don't like in general: Negative people.

    Pet peeve: People e-mailing/texting right in front of you when you are talking to them.

    In sports: The way the media attacks athletes for making personal mistakes.

    In business: People scared to take risks.

    About sports fans: Fans fighting at events.

    What I like in people: People who like to work hard and play hard.

    That would surprise those who know me: I'm not a sports fan. I hardly ever watch sports.

    Above all else: Spending time with my wife and four kids.

    About myself: My ability to be level-headed no matter how crazy shit gets.

    Heroes: Santa Claus, Don Corleone.

    Players: NIK LIDSTROM, ROGER FEDERER, TIGER WOODS.

    Teams: Princeton lacrosse, Detroit Red Wings, 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team.

    City: Miami; Big Sky, Mont.; Napa, Calif.

    Possessions: Watches, wine, cars and guns.

    Memento: 1992 lacrosse national championship ring.

    Time of year: All. Powder ski in winter, golf/fish spring/summer, duck hunt in the fall.

    Music: House, hip-hop, techno, reggae, rock 'n' roll.

    Books: "Oh, The Places You'll Go!," "Steppenwolf," "On The Road."

    Authors: DR. SEUSS, HERMANN HESSE, JACK KEROUAC.

    Magazines: Robb Report, GQ, Revolution (a watch magazine), duPont Registry.

    Websites: CNBC.com, GreatLakesSportingArms.com, Gucci.com.

    Gadgets: My crappy flip phone, Screwpull Wine Opener, winding chest for watches, Shure earbuds.

    iPad app: Scrabble.

    Chores: Cleaning my guns, organizing the wine cellar, stocking my fishing pond.

    Hobbies: Duck/upland hunting, powder skiing, deep sea fishing and golf.

    Trips: Anything that includes ocean, beach, snow-covered mountains and/or shooting shotguns.

    Movies: "The Hangover," "Trading Places," "The Godfather," "Scarface," "Caddyshack," "Slapshot."

    TV: "South Park," "Tosh.0," "The Office," "Californication," "Shameless," CNBC, "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives."

    Concerts: JAY-Z/EMINEM in Yankee Stadium, AC/DC, Metallica, KID ROCK.

    Artist: Dr. Seuss. He has an amazing collection of paintings and sculptures.

    Food: Pizza.

    Dessert: Ordering the whole tray.

    Drink: Many with my customers, co-workers and friends.

    Scent: Roaring fire in the fireplace, gunpowder, baking cookies.

    Vacation spots: Ocean Club, Key Biscayne, Fla.; Yellowstone Club, Big Sky, Mont.

    Cars: 430 Spider, 911 Turbo, E63 AMG wagon, LX 570.

    Aftershave: I usually take a shower.

    Singer: FRANK SINATRA.

    Print | Tags: People and Pop Culture
  • Executive Transactions

    NBC Universal yesterday promoted JEFF WACHTEL and CHRIS MCCUMBER to co-Presidents of USA Network. Wachtel, the longtime President of Original Programming for USA, and McCumber, who led the network's marketing and digital strategy, will continue to report to NBCU Cable Entertainment & Cable Studios Chair BONNIE HAMMER (LATIMES.com, 3/16).

    EXECS: ESPN The Magazine has hired SAMANTHA RUBIN as Fashion Editor, beginning Monday. Rubin, who had been Associate Fashion Editor of Men's Health for the past five years, will be the first Fashion Editor for ESPN The Magazine (THE DAILY)....Mobile Int'l Speedway Tuesday introduced NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver RICK CRAWFORD as promoter and manager for the Alabama track (AL.com, 3/15)....Maryville Univ. AD TONY DUCKWORTH will resign, effective May 31 (Maryville)....HRTV has hired CONSTANCE MARSHALL as Marketing Manager. Also, the AHL Texas Stars and Cedar Park Center have named TRAVIS TURNER Dir of Operations (THE DAILY).

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

    Print | Tags: People and Pop Culture
  • Names In The News

    Hill responds to comments made about him in "Fab Five" documentary

    In a special to the N.Y. TIMES, Suns F and Duke alumnus GRANT HILL responded to comments former Michigan players made during ESPN's documentary "THE FAB FIVE," which debuted on Sunday. Hill wrote, "It was a sad and somewhat pathetic turn of events ... to see friends narrating this interesting documentary about their moment in time and calling me a bitch and worse, calling all black players at Duke 'Uncle Toms.' ... I caution my fabulous five friends to avoid stereotyping me and others they do not know in much the same way so many people stereotyped them back then for their appearance and swagger." Hill added he "should have guessed there was something regrettable in the documentary" when he received an apology on Twitter before it aired from ESPN NBA analyst and former Michigan G JALEN ROSE, who made the "Uncle Tom" comments (NYTIMES.com, 3/16).

    TRANSITIONING FROM HOOPS TO GOLF: In a special to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, former WNBA President and PGA Tour exec DONNA ORENDER writes the LPGA is "worth watching," and the golf industry "needs to continue rolling out the welcome mat." Orender: "Buying tickets and sponsorships and watching on TV send messages that are not lost on girls or boys." Meanwhile, Orender notes she is "fortunate to be involved in a film project that will open in the fall," titled "FROM THE ROUGH." The film is "based on the true story of CATANA STARKS, an African-American women who coached the predominantly white men's golf team at Tennessee State to success." Orender writes the film "showcases the power that golf has to transform people's lives" (SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, 3/21 issue).

    GUEST STAR: Colts TE DALLAS CLARK has been "written into an April 13 episode" of CBS' "CRIMINAL MINDS," in which he will play a San Diego detective named AUSTIN KENT. Clark: "I have two lines. I ask a couple of questions to the main cast and that's it." Clark said the "first script had me getting killed," but writer RICK DUNKLE "rewrote it, and now I'm a detective" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 3/17)....Lakers G DEREK FISHER and G SHANNON BROWN appeared on NBC's "Minute to Win It" last night, where they attempted 10 challenges for $1M that would be split between the Univ. of Arkansas-Little Rock Foundation and the Shannon Brown Foundation. The players won $75,000 and will split that amount between the two charities. Lakers C PAU GASOL, F RON ARTEST, F LAMAR ODOM and G KOBE BRYANT gave their teammates a pep talk in recorded messages ("Minute to Win It," NBC, 3/16).

    NAMES
    : Sports Illustrated writer and TSN contributor MICHAEL FARBER announced that he is “taking a leave from those duties to battle cancer” (GLOBE & MAIL, 3/17)....Top Rank Chair BOB ARUM "insists his company has a valid contract" with NONITO DONAIRE JR., despite Golden Boy Promotions announcing yesterday that it has signed the boxer. The signing occurred "not quite a month after the biggest victory of his career." Arum said, "We have a valid, enforceable contract, and we'll pursue our legal rights against Donaire, Golden Boy and anyone else who is involved" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 3/16)....UFC Chair & CEO LORENZO FERTITTA and President DANA WHITE before a press conference yesterday at Radio City Music Hall spoke with N.Y. City Council Majority Leader JOEL RIVERA (LAS VEGAS SUN, 3/17)….Artists OMRI AMRANY, JULIE ROTBLATT-AMRANY, GARY TILLERY and ERIK BLOME have had their names added to plaques of the sculptures they created outside Staples Center (LATIMES.com, 3/15)….MSG Network’s MIKE KEENAN, N.Y. Times writer DAVE ANDERSON and NBA Senior Communications Advisor to the Commissioner BRIAN MCINTYRE will be honored Tuesday at the Halligan-McGuire Irish American Good Guy Awards luncheon (THE DAILY).

    Print | Tags: People and Pop Culture
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