MARCELO, MARCELO, WHERE FORE ART THOU, MARCELO? AT NO. 1
IMG's Jeff Schwartz, who represents Pete Sampras, "has
stuck with" the new No. 1 men's tennis player in the world,
Marcelo Rios, "despite the fact that the player is far from
a marketing dream," according to Linda Robertson of the
MIAMI HERALD. Rios, who does have endorsement deals with
Nike and Coca-Cola in Chile, was labeled "the most hated man
in tennis" in an SI article two weeks ago. Schwartz: "They
didn't get below the surface in that article. It takes time
to warm up with Marcelo. I've been telling him to give
people a chance" (MIAMI HERALD, 3/30). Following Rios' win
at the Lipton, Chilean TV had a two-hour special on him and
another half-hour piece in prime time. Schwartz, on Rios'
popularity: "He's Michael Jordan in Chile. That's the best
way to say it" (Ft. Lauderdale SUN-SENTINEL, 3/30).
Monday's edition of "La Epoca," Chile's national newspaper,
featured ten articles about Rios. Rios is the first men's
tennis player from South America to be ranked No. 1 in the
world. Guillermo Vilas reached No. 2 in '78 (THE DAILY).