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Volume 24 No. 113

People and Pop Culture

FLOYD MAYWEATHER JR. tops SI’s Fortunate 50 list for the third consecutive year, and the boxer “does it all without any endorsements,” according to Daniel Roberts of SI. TIGER WOODS and PHIL MICKELSON have off-the-course endorsements that “keep them high on this list; thanks to fat signing bonuses on new contracts.” Two athletes who “aren’t even playing this season (but have not retired)” -- NBAer GILBERT ARENAS and MLBer VERNON WELLS -- “made the list due to deferred money.” Among those who dropped off the list are Yankees SS DEREK JETER and suspended 3B ALEX RODRIGUEZ. SI’s findings “consist solely of (pre-tax) salary, winnings, bonuses and paid endorsements (additional earnings athletes get from speaking engagements and their own side businesses are not reflected).” For auto racing and tennis, prize money comes from the '13 calendar year. Golf tournament winnings are from May 5, 2013 through April 20, 2014. Boxing purses are for the '14 calendar year and include projected money from bouts later this year (, 6/17

Floyd Mayweather Jr.
LeBron James
Kobe Bryant
Aaron Rodgers
Peyton Manning
Phil Mickelson
Tiger Woods
Tom Brady
Derrick Rose
Matthew Stafford
Joe Flacco
Matt Ryan
Kevin Durant
Dwyane Wade
Zack Greinke
Tony Romo
Robinson Cano
Ryan Howard
Calvin Johnson
Carmelo Anthony
Amar'e Stoudemire
Albert Pujols
Cliff Lee
Clay Matthews
Prince Fielder
Joe Mauer
CC Sabathia
Jimmie Johnson
Dwight Howard
Felix Hernandez
Chris Paul
Dirk Nowitzki
Gilbert Arenas
Blake Griffin
Cole Hamels
Miguel Cabrera
Mark Teixeira
Clayton Kershaw
Serena Williams
Joe Johnson
Masahiro Tanaka
Adrian Gonzalez
Matt Kemp
Pau Gasol
Jacoby Ellsbury
Chris Bosh
Vernon Wells
Justin Verlander
Eli Manning
Carl Crawford

MONEY TEAM: ESPN’s Mike Greenberg said Mayweather being first on the list “for some reason continues to crack me up.” ESPN’s Mike Golic added Mayweather’s top-billing “is amazing because zero dollars of that are endorsements. You look at everybody else and their endorsements far outweigh their earnings” (“Mike & Mike,” ESPN Radio, 6/18).

Officials from Spike TV, whose parent company Viacom bought a majority stake in Bellator in '11, yesterday confirmed that the MMA outfit has “parted ways” with Founder, Chair & CEO BJORN REBNEY, “effective immediately,” according to Brett Okamoto of Bellator “also parted ways” with President & COO TIM DANAHER who is being replaced by former Strikeforce CEO SCOTT COKER. Rebney said that the spilt was “caused by differences in ‘strategic direction.’” Rebney, along with investors, “founded Bellator MMA” in ‘08. Danaher said, "Viacom, Tim and I differed in our views of the right strategic direction for Bellator. I feel very privileged and honored to have been one of the guiding forces for developing Bellator into the largest MMA tournament-based organization in the world." Coker brings “more than 25 years of experience in promoting combat sports” to Bellator. He founded Strikeforce in ’85 and sold the MMA outfit to UFC in '11 (, 6/18).

Former NFLer BRETT FAVRE is throwing his support behind U.S. Sen. THAD COCHRAN (R-Miss.), appearing in a new campaign ad to help Cochran "pull out an overtime win in his runoff battle" with primary challenger CHRIS MCDANIEL, according to Alexandra Jaffe of THE HILL. Favre in the ad, which is being funded by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, "touts Cochran as Mississippi's 'strong voice in Washington.'" Favre said, "I’ve learned through football that strong leadership can mean the difference between winning and losing. Trust me, Mississippi can win." Favre, a Mississippi native who played his college football at the Univ. of Southern Mississippi, is "still well-known and liked in the state (, 6/18). Favre could help Cochran "in South Mississippi, especially around the Hattiesburg area, where McDaniel had his strongest showing." USM is located in Hattiesburg (Jackson CLARION-LEDGER, 6/19). Favre sports a thick gray beard in the ad, and MSNBC's Joe Scarborough said the former MVP resembles "the guy in the Dr Pepper commercial who eats bark off of trees and canoes with bears." He also commented on Favre's hair style, saying the mullet "is coming back" ("Morning Joe," MSNBC, 6/19).

The WNBA Storm named Univ. of California-Berkeley Assistant AD/Development for Annual Giving & Alumni Relations ALISHA VALAVANIS COO. She replaces President & CEO KAREN BRYANT, who in January announced her intent to step down on July 31. Valavanis will "oversee all Storm business-related and basketball operations beginning July 1." The Storm also promoted SHANNON BURLEY to Senior VP/Marketing & Business Operations (SEATTLE TIMES, 6/19)....U/S Sports Advisors named Kentucky Speedway VP/Marketing & Ticket Sales DAVID MARTIN VP/Business Development (U/S Sports Advisors)....Oregon State Univ. named UC-Santa Barbara AD MARK MASSARI Deputy AD (, 6/18).

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The NFLPA has brought on DC-based Forbes-Tate, as a federal registration states that the firm "will be lobbying on 'issues related to collective bargaining agreements and the workplace.'" Lobbyists JEFF FORBES, DAN TATE and RACHEL MILLER are listed on the account. The NFLPA "also has Fierce, Isakowitz & Blalock, which it hired in October." Meanwhile, the Big 12 Conference "has hired a lobbying firm amid growing threats" to the NCAA’s amateur model. The conference "has brought on former Missouri Rep. KENNY HULSHOF of the law firm Polsinelli PC to lobby on issues related to student welfare." This comes after the NCAA "hired Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck to lobby on the same issues of student welfare" (, 6/18).

Clinton is the third U.S. president to be chosen
for the award
AWARDS & HONORS: Former President BILL CLINTON "has been selected to receive the PGA Distinguished Service Award." He "is the third former president chosen by the PGA of America." The award "honors people for leadership and qualities such as integrity, sportsman and enthusiasm for golf" (AP, 6/18)....Longtime Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writer ED BOUCHETTE was named the '14 recipient of the Dick McCann Award, "given annually to the reporter who has made a long and distinguished contribution to pro football with coverage" (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 6/19)....ECHL Bakersfield Condors President MATTHEW RILEY has been selected by the league's BOG as the '13-14 recipient of the ECHL Exec of the Year (ECHL)....The New York State Assembly yesterday “passed a resolution honoring the Rangers for their first trip to the Stanley Cup Final since the team won it all” in ’94. Rangers President & GM GLEN SATHER was “invited to the Assembly” along with Assistant GM JIM SCHOENFELD, RW MARTIN ST. LOUIS, C DEREK STEPAN and C DOMINIC MOORE (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 6/19).

NAMES: Nuggets G NATE ROBINSON and writer JOHN FINKEL have teamed up on a new book, “HEART OVER HEIGHT” (Nuggets)….”DUCK DYNASTY” star WILLIE ROBERTSON and U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair MARTIN DEMPSEY were at Nationals Park on Tuesday night to visit Nationals 1B ADAM LAROCHE (, 6/18)….Former NFLer KRIS DIELMAN has “put his home in the Pacific Beach neighborhood of Sand Diego up for sale” at $2.35M (, 6/18)....Hockey HOFer VLADISLAV TRETIAK has “won a contest between two Russian ice hockey greats to be re-elected as the president of the national federation.” Tretiak yesterday defeated fellow Hockey HOFer VIACHESLAV FETISOV “by 125 votes to 11 at the federation conference." Tretiak “wins a third consecutive four-year term in a position he has held” since ’06 (AP, 6/18).

Did you drive home the winning run? Did your team win the local tournament? Are you coaching your son or daughter's team? SportsBusiness Journal is collecting memories for an upcoming section exploring the 75th anniversary of Little League. We would like to hear your favorite Little League stories. What lessons did you learn? Do you still have your trophies? If you are coaching, or have coached in the past, what was your experience? In 100 words or less, share your thoughts with SBJ's Bryan Ives -- -- then look for SBJ's special coverage on Aug. 4.