SBD Global/September 27, 2013/People and Pop Culture

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  • Why Longtime Ferrari Chief Luca Di Montezemolo Has Mellowed At Age 66

    Luca Cordero di Montezemolo said racing is the best advertising for Ferrari.

    For the past 22 years, a third of the company's history, Ferrari SpA "has been in the hands" of Chair LUCA CORDERO DI MONTEZEMOLO, according to Joshua Robinson of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. A "successful, outspoken businessman," he is "about as close as you can get to Italian royalty these days." Montezemolo, after all, was appointed Ferrari's sporting director in '74 by ENZO FERRARI himself. He "isn't quite as obsessed as he was." There was a time, he said, where he could only think, "If Ferrari comes second, it's a disaster. It's a disaster! We are obliged to win." At 66, "he is mellower." Although that is "not to say he isn't involved with the sporting side." Earlier this season, he gave driver FERNANDO ALONSO "a public dressing-down for criticizing the car." Montezemolo sat down with The Wall Street Journal to "discuss Ferrari's legacy of Formula One racing."

    On Ferrari's legacy of racing infusing every aspect of the company...

    Montezemolo: There is no other company in the world with such a long history in racing. There is no other company, or team, in the world that has been so successful. One reason is, for sure, this for us is promotion, communication. We do not invest in advertising... So racing is the best advertising for Ferrari. Second is that Formula One, since I've been here, is the best advanced research center for Ferrari.

    On how the integration of KERS, which was originally designed to give F1 cars a burst of speed at the touch of a button, comes about in cars for general sale...

    Montezemolo: It's very simple. Since 23 years, I put three people from GT and three people from the racing department to dialogue every day... And despite ridiculous rules [governing F1 technology] we've been able to always to try to transfer something. In terms of materials, or in terms of electronics, or in terms of engines. So there is day by day a transfer of ideas, transfer of experience, transfer of technology. So this is how we work.

    On manufacturing just 7,000 cars a year...

    Montezemolo: I'm proud to say that this year, I told to my people, "I want to do less cars." Why? Because for me, it's important that Ferrari will remain a dream. I always repeat to my people, "We don't sell a car, we sell a dream..."

    On also trying to keep Ferrari exclusive...

    Montezemolo: I always say to my people, "If you don't sell a Ferrari to a football player, you make a big present to me." Really. Because they buy to just show off. I don't like.

    On the need, simultaneously, to develop new markets...

    Montezemolo: I sell 3% of my production in Italy. Three percent. But thank God, in the last 10 years, China, Taiwan, we send 200 cars a year to Singapore, and the United States (WSJ, 9/25).

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  • Executive Transactions

    The board of directors of Swiss Super League club FC Luzern has unanimously proposed RUDOLF STÄGER as club president. At the same time, it decided to reduction the size of the organization. The club's presidential elections will take place at its annual general meetion on Dec. 16 (FC Luzern). ... First League Colts Cricket Club coach for nearly five years, NISHANTHA WEERASINGHE, "has been removed from his post" (SRI LANKA MIRROR, 9/25). ... Columbia Sportswear Company announced on Wednesday the appointment of FRANCO FOGLIATO as senior VP of Europe, reporting directly to President & CEO TIME BOYLE, effective Nov. 4. Fogliato, 44, will be responsible for establishing and executing sales, distribution, and marketing strategies for the company's Columbia Sportswear, Mountain Hardwear, and SOREL brands, sold through more than 5,000 wholesale customers across Europe. Fogliato brings 17 years of European sales and marketing experience in the action sports and outdoor footwear and apparel industries. Since '04 he has served as GM of Europe for the Billabong Group and as a member of the company's exec board (Columbia Sportswear).

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

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  • Names In The News

    NHL Washington Capitals captain ALEX OVECHKIN will be the first Russian torchbearer for the 2014 Sochi Olympics. The torch will travel through all 83 Russian regions, visiting 2,900 towns and settlements (Washington Capitals). ... Super Rugby League side ACT Brumbies coach JAKE WHITE "has quit his Super Rugby job just two months after leading the club to the grand final." The Brumbies have granted White a release from the last two years of his contract because ‘‘his heart's not in it.’’ Assistant coaches STEPHEN LARKHAM and LAURIE FISHER "are the front-runners to replace White" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 9/25). ... Former FC Barcelona and Spain handball star ENRIC MASIP, "considered one of the greatest players of all time in the sport, is considering running as President of the club" (INSIDE SPANISH FOOTBALL, 9/26). ... Former Australian tennis player PAT CASH "lands in Phnom Penh on Sunday evening for his first ever visit to the Kingdom." Although his three-day trip "is purely private in nature, Tennis Cambodia will occupy most of his time" (PHNOM PENH POST, 9/26). ... MICHAEL JACKSON "was known for his elaborate entrances and glittery stage shows." On Wednesday, the King of Pop "was hauled away in air-bubble packaging by four burly stonemasons." It was "an unceremonious end to his nearly three-year run" at EPL Fulham’s stadium, Craven Cottage. After 90 minutes of "chiseling, sawing and hacking, Jackson left the building, horizontally, on the back of a truck" (N.Y. TIMES, 9/25). ... Spain Anti-Doping Agency Head ANA MUÑOZ has been appointed to replace Spanish Superior Sports Council (CSD) Sports Dir General DAVID VILLAVERDE. Muñoz will have "to leave her position with the anti-doping agency" (MARCA, 9/26). ... The CSD has awarded Barcelona Mayor XAVIER TRIAS with a "Gold Plaque For Sporting Merit" for the "brilliant organization" of the 2013 Int'l Swimming Federation (FINA) World Championships held in Barcelona in July and August. The "distinction is Spain's top honor for an organization, athlete or politician's success or help in spreading sports throughout the nation" (AS, 9/26). ... PRINCESS HAYA of Jordan "has announced she will not seek a third term as president" of the Int'l Equestrian Federation, days after opponents flagged up her alleged “conflict of interest” as wife of SHEIKH MOHAMMED, ruler of Dubai, in "trying to reduce doping and horse welfare issues in endurance riding in the Middle East" (London TELEGRAPH, 9/25). ... U.S. social media entrepreneur and handball player LEWIS HOWES has "a lot of money, a successful business, innovative ideas and an Olympic dream." Howes is currently in Spain with one objective: "to participate in the 2016 Rio Olympics." Howes is attempting to join the U.S. national handball team, and "to achieve this objective, he has spent the past two weeks with Spanish handball side Reale Ademar, where he is hoping to translate what he learns to his current team, the New York City Handball Club" (LIBERTAD DIGITAL, 9/26). ... Former LOCOG CEO PAUL DEIGHTON, "has visited the UAE to drum up further financial support" for £300B ($480B) in infrastructure projects planned for the next decade (THE NATIONAL, 9/25). 

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  • Twitter Me This...

    AP's ROB HARRIS: "Guardian's Qatar story a reminder of the power of papers in print - splashing on World Cup-related story makes it a global issue"

    London Guardian's OWEN GIBSON: "Two days after new LTA chief promises tennis for all, top junior has to quit National Tennis Centre due to new court charges (Standard, p37)"

    British PM DAVID CAMERON: "Talk about winning the #GlobalRace - Sir Ben Ainslie is responsible for one of the greatest ever sporting comebacks in the America's Cup."

    If you see a tweet we will not want to miss, send it to us at global@sportsbusinessdaily.com.

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