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Volume 25 No. 175
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Names In The News

WWE's JOHN CENA will receive the Sports Illustrated Muhammad Ali Legacy Award, an honor "given yearly to an athlete or sports figure who 'embodies the ideals of sportsmanship, leadership and philanthropy and has used sports as a platform to make the work a better place.'" Cena has "continually broken his own record for the number of wishes granted through the Make-A-Wish foundation, becoming the first to grant 300, 500, and now nearly 600 wishes for children." Cena will be "honored at the Sportsperson of the Year Awards show," which airs Thursday, Dec. 13, on NBCSN (BOSTON.com, 11/29). 

IN YOUR HONOR: In San Jose, Jody Beacham profiled 49ers CFO SCOTT SABATINO, a member of the '18 class of Silicon Valley Business Journal C-Suite honorees. In the eight years since he joined the 49ers after "serving as an associate commissioner" of the old Pac-10, the team has "financed and built" Levi's Stadium. Without changing employers, he went from "running the finances of a pro sports franchise with 150 employees plus part-timers to responsibility for finances of a sports team and major sports and entertainment venues with two-thirds more FTEs." In '17, Sabatino "renegotiated most [of] the team's non-stadium-related debt, cutting its debt services in half." Last summer, he "refinanced the stadium's short-term variable rate obligations into fixed-rate debt to lock in low interest rates" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 11/28).

HEAR ME ROAR: Producer DAVID SONENBERG is "developing a musical version" of "WHEN WE WERE KINGS," the Academy Award-winning '96 documentary about the '74 heavyweight title fight between GEORGE FOREMAN and MUHAMMAD ALI, better known as the "Rumble in the Jungle." The book for the musical has been adapted by SHELLEY MARCUS, while the score will be "comprised of R&B classics sung at the Zaire music festival organized around the fight." The FUGEES song "RUMBLE IN THE JUNGLE," which was "written for the film and recorded in collaboration" with A TRIBE CALLED QUEST and BUSTA RHYMES, will "also be included" (HOLLYWOODREPORTER.com, 11/28). 

NAMESFLOYD MAYWEATHER JR. and hip hop artist DJ KHALED on Thursday became the "first celebrities to face punishment over their roles in touting cryptocurrency deals that regulators say were fraudulent." The digital coin is "known as Centra." Mayweather agreed to a $300,000 fine and to "forfeit an additional $300,000 representing his gains from touting Centra and two other token sales" (WSJ.com, 11/29)....Pro Football HOFer EMMITT SMITH’s development firm is seeking $14M in financial support from Pennsylvania Gov. TOM WOLF’s office to “raze part of a shuttered paper mill complex on Manayunk's Venice Island so it can build a sprawling campus of labs, offices, and homes on the 31-acre property” (PHILLY.com, 11/29)....Michigan State trustee GEORGE PERLES, 84, has “resigned effective immediately” as he battles the “effects of Parkinson’s disease.” Perles coached the MSU football team from ’82-’94 and also served as AD from ’90-92. He became a trustee in ’07 (LANSING STATE JOURNAL, 11/30)....Former NFLer MATT MASIFILO’s online company Modernesian Kava Social has opened its “first, very own storefront” in Tampa (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 11/30).