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Volume 24 No. 116
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Names In The News

Film director RON HOWARD, for his biopic "RUSH" about the rivalry between F1 drivers NIKI LAUDA and JAMES HUNT, had to "secure the film's funding, something he had never needed to do on one of his movies." Howard "personally pitched the film to buyers and distributors." He and Exclusive Media secured $38M "through international presales, the final funding needed to begin principal photography." Because the film takes place during the '76 season, $2M of its $50M budget "immediately went to building nine replica race cars." Producer ERIC FELLNER persuaded Ferrari and McLaren, two of the teams featured in the film, to let the production "use their brands without sacrificing editorial control" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 8/26).

INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES: CNBC's Jackie DeAngelis noted Falcons QB MATT RYAN "has a big off-field" investment in Smoothie Company, "signing on to be an equity partner." DeAngelis said Ryan "plans to bring the Canadian company" to Atlanta "where he'll open several franchises." Meanwhile, TBS' SHAQUILLE O'NEAL appeared live via satellite to discuss his investment in Soupman. O'Neal noted that Soupman is "going to be the first national brand to have a food truck" ("Closing Bell With Maria Bartiromo," CNBC, 8/23)....Pro Football HOFer EMMITT SMITH's latest business venture is Dallas-based real estate brokerage firm E Smith Realty Partners (DALLAS BUSINESS JOURNAL, 8/23 issue).

BOOK SHELF: A new book title "COURT CONFIDENTIAL: INSIDE THE WORLD OF TENNIS" by the London Times' NEIL HARMAN is now available on Amazon's Kindle. The book was released earlier in the year in the U.K. by The Robson Press and will be released in early '14 as a paperback in the U.S., published by New Chapter Press. The hardcover also will be sold at the U.S. Open bookstore during the tournament (THE DAILY)....Magic Senior VP PAT WILLIAMS' current project is a book titled "VINCE LOMBARDI ON LEADERSHIP." Williams said it is "fascinating tracking down and talking with so many of Lombardi's former players and colleagues" (ORLANDO BUSINESS JOURNAL, 8/23 issue)....Author MARTY APPEL’s ’01 memoir “NOW PITCHING FOR THE YANKEES,” largely a “backstage look at the Yankees’ public relations operation in the 1960s and ‘70s, has been reissued by Diversion Books and is available this week as an ebook on Amazon for the first time” (N.Y. POST, 8/25).

FILM STUDY: Actor PATRICK DEMPSEY appeared on “GMA” yesterday to discuss his upcoming four-part documentary about his effort to compete in the 24-Hours of Le Mans (“GMA,” ABC, 8/26)….Patriots Owner ROBERT KRAFT was on the set of the movie “THE JUDGE” yesterday to hang out with friend ROBERT DUVALL (BOSTON GLOBE, 8/27)….Skier TOM WALLISCH’s short film “THE WALLISCH PROJECT” will be released on iTunes today (THE DAILY).

COMING TOGETHER: Nineteen of the 25 men who have been ranked No. 1 in the world in tennis gathered in N.Y. on Friday night at the Waldorf Astoria to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the ATP ranking system as well as the memory of late ATP Exec Chair & President BRAD DREWETT. It had been Drewett's idea to commemorate the top players by bringing them together for the first time. PETE SAMPRAS did not attend but did tape a message that was played for the audience (Daniel Kaplan, Staff Writer).

NAMES: IndyCar team owner JAY PENSKE is “set to meet with the board of his Penske Media Group in the next several days as his troublesome business relationship with NIKKI FINKE, the star blogger for Penske’s, is about to come to a head” (N.Y. POST, 8/26)....Free agent LB BRENDON AYANBADEJO and the Washington Blade, an LGBT newspaper, have teamed up for an Aug. 30 special edition. Ayanbadejo served as guest editor of the issue, which includes news and commentary from the likes of MARTINA NAVRATILOVA and NFLPA Exec Dir DEMAURICE SMITH (THE DAILY)....New Florida State AD STAN WILCOX "agreed Friday on a five-year deal that will pay" him more than $500,000 annually. The final figure is "$150,000 a year more than what former AD RANDY SPETMAN received" (, 8/23)....The Univ. of Louisville announced it received a $2M donation from the law firm Stites & Harbison “toward construction of the school’s Academic Center of Excellence for student-athletes.” Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium will house the $14M facility (Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL, 8/22)....Red Sox P JON LESTER and a number of teammates last night raised money for the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation at the House of Blues in Boston (BOSTON GLOBE, 8/27)….Bruins G TUUKKA RASK and C DAVID KREJCI, former MLBers JIM LONBORG, CARLTON FISK, JIM RICE and DWIGHT EVANS, and former NFLer ANDRE TIPPETT yesterday participated in the Legends & Friends Pro-Am at TPC Boston (BOSTON HERALD, 8/27).