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Volume 24 No. 156

People and Pop Culture

Rapper 50 CENT “appears to be taking FLOYD MAYWEATHER JR., the world's top boxer, with him to his new company, TMT Promotion,” according to Kevin Iole of YAHOO SPORTS. 50 Cent even “got into a battle” with Golden Boy Promotions President OSCAR DE LA HOYA. Golden Boy has promoted Mayweather's “last six fights, though it had never signed Mayweather to a promotional deal.” Mayweather's company, Mayweather Promotions, does “not have a promoter's license” and as a result, “paid Golden Boy a flat fee” to promote his bouts. But if TMT Promotion does promote Mayweather's fights “without Golden Boy, it would be a massive power shift in the sport and a devastating blow to De La Hoya's company.” Much of the leverage it had over the last several years “with premium cable networks HBO and Showtime was because it worked closely with Mayweather” (, 7/25). Golden Boy Promotions CEO RICHARD SCHAEFER said that there is “no animosity" between his company and 50 Cent.’s Rick Reeno notes Schaefer “believes 50 Cent’s promotional venture is [a] very positive sign for the sport of boxing.” Schaefer said, “He brings a different audience, the hip-hop world and so on, to this sport. I think it’s terrific. I certainly wish him good luck. We know each other, we respect each other.” Regarding the possibility of Mayweather “severing his business ties with Golden Boy and working exclusively with 50 Cent’s new company, Schaefer doesn’t appear to be worried.” He is even “willing to sit down at the table, with 50 Cent, to explore a potential fight between” YURIORKIS GAMBOA, who reportedly will join TMT, and Golden Boy’s ADRIEN BRONER (, 7/26).

The USTA named SKIP GILBERT Managing Dir of Professional Tennis Operations and U.S. Open Tournament Manager. He most recently worked for Virginia-based event, communications and creative arts company PSA. Gilbert also served as USA Triathlon CEO until Aug. '10 (THE DAILY)....The Maple Leafs named former NHLer STEVE STAIOS Player Development Advisor (Maple Leafs)....Comcast SportsNet Houston named GERALD LYLES II VP/Advertising Sales and JIM COLASANTO Senior Dir of Advertising Sales (Comcast)....Jacksonville Univ. named Newberry College AD BRAD EDWARDS to the same position. Edwards succeeds ALAN VERLANDER, who left to become the city of Jacksonville's Exec Dir of Sports & Entertainment (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 7/26).

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In N.Y., Thompson & O'Keeffe report a federal grand jury in Chicago "indicted sports memorabilia executives BILL MASTRO and DOUG ALLEN on fraud charges, alleging that the pair ... routinely defrauded customers, rigged auctions and inflated prices paid by unwitting bidders." The indictment states that Mastro "altered the world's most expensive baseball trading card, the HONUS WAGNER T206 that has fetched millions in a series of high-profile sales" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 7/26).

GOING BEYOND SPORTS: NASCAR Chair & CEO BRIAN FRANCE and NASCAR Managing Dir of Green Innovation Dr. MICHAEL LYNCH yesterday spoke at the Beyond Sport summit in London, as part of a panel discussion titled "Mobilizing Millions," which highlighted NASCAR's "efforts in green, diversity and charitable giving" (Daytona Beach NEWS-JOURNAL, 7/26)....Beyond Sport yesterday named the Grizzlies the Sport Team of the Year. The NBA club beat out four other finalists: the Celtics, EPL clubs Tottenham Hotspur and Queens Park Rangers, and Australian field hockey club North Queensland Rubies (Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 7/26). SportsBusiness Journal's Tripp Mickle looks at the Beyond Sport event and also talks to France about his participation in the event.

GIVING BACK: A Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL editorial states Baseball HOF broadcaster TIM MCCARVER's recent pledge to "donate an unspecified amount of money to build a ballpark or ballparks in Memphis ... is welcomed and will be an important arrow in Major League Baseball's quiver to get more African-Americans as serious about baseball as they are about basketball and football." The editorial: "It won't be easy. In Memphis, for example, only a handful of high schools emphasize baseball. McCarver's pledge could be a big step in changing that" (Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 7/26).

NAMES: Former Broncos GM TED SUNDQUIST recently announced the launch of, an internet resource "for sports managers, agents, players, team management and others who want a higher level look at the game" (THE DAILY)....Talent agency William Morris Endeavor is working with Patriots TE ROB GRONKOWSKI and his family "to develop a TV show, a book & speaking engagements" (, 7/25)....The NHL Kings donated $10,000 to the Jessica Redfield Foundation college scholarship, which was created in honor of late hockey blogger JESSICA GHAWI, who was killed Friday during the movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colo. (, 7/25)....After Univ. of Washington football coach STEVE SARKISIAN yesterday met with 14-year-old San Diego football player TATE MARTELL and his family, Martell said that he "will sign" to play quarterback for the school beginning in '17. The news "raised eyebrows throughout college football." Martell is the "youngest player to commit publicly to UW, and among the sport's youngest ever" (SEATTLE TIMES, 7/26)....Clippers F CARON BUTLER has joined bike sharing program Bike Nation as a Community Ambassador in Anaheim (THE DAILY).