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Volume 24 No. 155

Sports Industrialists

          KOBE BRYANT was featured on last night's ABC Barbara
     Walters special "Six To Watch."  Walters: "Scandal-free and
     cozy in the limelight, Kobe Bryant is a marketer's dream. 
     He seems to have as many endorsements as he has moves on the
     court" (ABC, 5/20).  Actor RUPERT EVERETT was also one of
     Walters' "Six To Watch."  Everett, who is gay, said that he
     plans to make a gay JAMES BOND film.  Walters: "If you are
     the gay James Bond, who would be the Bond Girl?"  Everett:
     "DENNIS RODMAN.  I'm serious" (ABC, 5/20).

          The USOC named J. MICHAEL WILSON Dir of Visitor Center
     & Community Relations, and ERICA HUTCHINSON Assistant Dir of
     Visitor Center and Community Relations (USOC)....Disney
     named THOMAS STAGGS as CFO & Exec VP, filling the post
     vacated by RICHARD NANULA.  Staggs, who joined Disney in
     '90, most recently served as Senior VP/Strategic Planning. 
     In other news, Disney named PETER MURPHY Chief Strategic
     Officer.  Murphy, ABC CFO since last year, will oversee
     business development and the global growth of Disney's
     businesses (Mult., 5/21).     

          In N.Y., Paul Tharp previews CARL HIAASEN's "scathing"
     new book on WALT DISNEY CO., "Team Rodent: How Disney
     Devours The World" (N.Y. POST, 5/21)....Due to his shoulder
     injury, GREG NORMAN is unable to drive the pace car during
     this weekend's Indy 500.  He will be replaced by '63 Indy
     reports that Amway co-Founders, the DEVOS and VAN ANDEL
     families, have "contributed" nearly $95M to charities since
     '95, for a total of $150M this decade.  Many of the
     donations are to Christian causes.  RICHARD DEVOS is RDV
     Sports Chair (AP/DET. NEWS, 5/21)....GEORGE WILL was named
     to the Board of Dir of the NEGRO LEAGUES BASEBALL MUSEUM
     (K.C. STAR, 5/21)....TARA LIPINSKI was in Washington, DC,
     pushing anti-tobacco legislation (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 5/21). 

          SFX Chair ROBERT SILLERMAN, whose company recently
     purchased FAME, is now one of the "three most important
     suits in the NBA," along with Commissioner DAVID STERN and
     DAVID FALK, according to Shaun Assael of ESPN MAGAZINE. 
     Sillerman helped found The Marquee Group in '95, and his
     "likely next step" will be to combine FAME with Marquee "to
     create a sports mega-agency."  With the consolidation of the
     sports agency business, Assael writes that Sillerman may be
     "a sports version of Michael Ovitz."  However, an SFX exec
     said Sillerman "doesn't have the ego needs of an Ovitz. 
     He'll be as aggressive, but not as high-visibility."  Assael
     writes "that's good news for Falk" as he heads into
     offseason contract talks and may rep not only his own client
     list, but "potentially" Marquee's "as well."  Assael:
     "Sillerman's role at the NBA power table?  Nobody's sure. 
     But remember that during the peak of Ovitz's power, he was
     setting the salaries of virtually every performer in the
     entertainment business -- a scary thought if you're David
     Stern" (ESPN MAGAZINE, 6/1).