Names In The News
In N.Y., Mark Leibovich in a front-page piece notes President BARACK OBAMA's "image makers see sports as an opportunity to exploit what they regard as the president's advantage" over Republican presidential candidate MITT ROMNEY. In addition to filling out his annual NCAA men's and women's basketball tournament brackets on ESPN last week, Obama also "boasted in a podcast that he knew about the Knicks sensation JEREMY LIN before everyone else did ... and chomped on a widely photographed hot dog" alongside U.K. PM DAVID CAMERON during the Western Kentucky-Mississippi Valley State First Four game in Dayton, Ohio. Obama advisor DAVID AXELROD said, "I don't think anyone will be elected president by filling out an NCAA bracket. But I do think that that accessibility to a person is important. People want to support people they can relate to and are comfortable with" (N.Y. TIMES, 3/23).
ON THE RIGHT: FORBES' Clare O'Connor noted several "behind-the-scenes billionares" with sports ties are helping to fund Republican presidential campaigns by supporting right-leaning political action committees. The list includes New Balance Chair & CEO JIM DAVIS ($500,000 to Restore Our Future), Dolphins Owner STEPHEN ROSS ($100,000 to Restore Our Future) and Texans Owner BOB MCNAIR ($100,000 to Make Us Great Again) (FORBES.com, 3/22).
HEATING UP: In Atlanta, David Markiewicz notes Morris Manning & Martin Partner and '13 Atlanta Basketball Host Committee Chair JOHN YATES has spent the last year "getting Atlanta ready" for the '13 NCAA men's basketball tournament Final Four. The South Regional of this year's tournament is being played in Atlanta, and Yates said, "It's a great opportunity for us to have a preview of the Final Four. Obviously, it's on a smaller scale. But it's a real event that will prepare us for when the Big Dance comes next year." Yates estimated that he has "spent seven to 10 hours a week to date on the job, but that will increase dramatically in the coming year, particularly as March Madness approaches." He said, "It will be a very active second job" (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 3/23).
NAMES: Warriors C ANDREW BOGUT "has moved into sports management" by buying into his agent BRUCE KAIDER's company One Management Group & Consulting (AAP, 3/23)....Trail Blazers and Seahawks Owner PAUL ALLEN is donating $300M to fund new projects to map and observe the human brain (FORBES.com, 3/21)....Driver DANICA PATRICK Thursday participated in a photo shoot in Santa Monica, Calif., for Tissot watches, one of her sponsors (L.A. TIMES, 3/23)....Celtics Managing Partner STEVE PAGLIUCA has offered to help Boston's Charles Street AME Church "pay off debts that pushed it to the brink of foreclosure." Pagliuca said that he is willing to raise money for the church and provide matching funds of his own (BOSTON HERALD, 3/23)....Actor SAMUEL L. JACKSON announced the starting lineups for Thursday's Clippers-Hornets game and quoted a biblical passage as he did in his role in "PULP FICTION" (NEWSDAY.com, 3/23)....Former L.A. Memorial Coliseum GM PATRICK LYNCH and former Events Manager TODD DESTEFANO were arrested yesterday. The Coliseum Commission sued Lynch and DeStefano in November, alleging that the pair "mismanaged funds and diverted money for their own use" (DAILYNEWS.com, 3/22).