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Volume 10 No. 22

People and Pop Culture

Rugby player SONNY BILL WILLIAMS' A$550,000 ($574,000) contract with National Rugby League club Sydney Roosters has already earned the league "double the amount, with New Zealand TV rights now worth an extra A$1M," according to Brad Walter of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. While some within the game "are unhappy about Williams' return after walking out on a five-year contract with Canterbury in '08," the efforts of Roosters Chair NICK POLITIS to bring him back "are set to benefit not only the Bondi club but the entire competition." Rival clubs "will get their chance to cash in when they play home games against the Roosters -- starting with the Warriors in round two." The Auckland, New Zealand-based club "has already made arrangements to move the clash from Mt. Smart Stadium to the 50,000 capacity Eden Park." With the NRL "still negotiating a New Zealand broadcast deal, Fairfax has been told that representatives of Sky TV have been asking for confirmation of Williams' signing with the Roosters as his return increases the value of the rights by A$1M" (SMH, 11/14). In Sydney, Andrew Webster reported that "after his one-year deal was officially confirmed with the Roosters," the NRL "now wants to put his name in lights again -- including next season's advertising campaign." NRL Marketing Dir PAUL KIND said, "Once his contract is registered, I would be seeking an immediate meeting with the Roosters about his involvement in next year's advertising campaign. It would absolutely be the intention of the NRL to work with the Roosters to ensure we get value out of his return to the game. He's another star in the stable" (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 11/14).

Premier League CEO RICHARD SCUDAMORE is "understood to be high on a list of potential candidates" to succeed F1 CEO BERNIE ECCLESTONE, according to Charles Sale of the London DAILY MAIL. Ecclestone is 82 and subject to demands from German bank BayernLB for around £250M ($397M) in damages and "threats of prosecution over an alleged bribe." F1's largest shareholder, CVC, said that they are "not yet looking for a replacement" for Ecclestone but have drawn up a list of those they would approach if he is forced to stand down or decided to do so. Scudamore is said to be one of the names on the list. Scudamore's "stock in the sports industry is high" with the EPL on course to collect £5B ($8B) from its global TV rights. But it will need a "considerable offer to tempt Scudamore away, especially with the promise of a multi-million pound bonus for his TV work, payable over three years, to be decided by a remuneration committee next June" (DAILY MAIL, 11/12).

Serbian club Red Star Belgrade President VLADAN LUKIC stepped down on Tuesday amid fan pressure ahead of the team's crunch city derby with league champions Partizan Belgrade. Senior board member SVETOZAR MIJAILOVIC was named the acting president until a permanent replacement for Lukic is elected (REUTERS, 11/13).

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German second-tier hockey club SC Riessersee has signed NHL Ottawa Senators player ERIC CONDRA during the league's lockout. Condra has scored 37 points in 107 NHL games (SID, 11/12). ... Scottish golfer COLIN MONTGOMERIE said that "it's a shame" it will be the last time the city's oldest professional sports tournament, the Hong Kong Open, will hold the "prestigious slot on the European Tour calendar as the penultimate event to count" before the season-ending World Tour Championship in Dubai, UAE (SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST, 11/13). ... Hungarian Table Tennis Association Vice Chair AKOS MARSCHALEK "was killed on Monday in Budaors, a small town near Budapest." News agency MTI reported that "a 43-year-old man named Jozsef M. stabbed Marschalek with a knife in his chest after a quarrel in a courtyard, causing the victim to die on the spot" (XINHUA, 11/12). ... ANDY MURRAY "will snub next month's BBC Sports Personality of the Year ceremony because he fears it could cost him the chance to win a second Grand Slam." Murray "is among the favourites for the prestigious award alongside BRADLEY WIGGINS, MO FARAH and JESSICA ENNIS." Murray said that "he will not disrupt his preseason plans" (Scotland DAILY RECORD, 11/13). ... ManU CEO DAVID GILL started his election campaign on Monday for a place on UEFA's exec committee, six months ahead of the vote at May's congress in London (London DAILY MAIL, 11/12). ... IOC President JACQUES ROGGE "has expressed caution about the changes" of former LOCOG Chair SEBASTIAN COE "becoming a member of the Olympic body next year." Rogge told French sports daily L'Equipe "many people would like to see him in the IOC." But Rogge said "unfortunately only two or three member can be nominated each year, maximum four, and Coe is not the only candidate" (AP, 11/13).

POST-NBA: The Beijing News reported that former NBAer GILBERT ARENAS "has signed a contract" to play for the Chinese Basketball Association team Shanghai Sharks, which is owned by YAO MING. The newspaper added that "the deal will be announced soon" but provided no further details (BLOOMBERG, 11/12). ... Former NBAer DIKEMBE MUTOMBO Monday spoke at the ASPIRE4SPORT 2012 Congress and Expo at the Aspire Dome in Doha, Qatar. He told told students "to set goals for themselves and go about achieving them with single-minded devotion and purpose." He said, "Self-discipline is the most important quality needed to succeed in life" (GULF TIMES, 11/13).

AN APPLE A DAY...: Brazil legend PELE underwent a successful hip operation at the Albert Einstein hospital in São Paulo on Tuesday (GLOBO, 11/13). ... American Alpine Skier LINDSEY VONN has been admitted to a hospital in Vail with an undisclosed illness (AP, 11/12).

Payne Sports Media Strategies CEO & Chair MICHAEL PAYNE: "European Olympic TV rights - jury out on whether the IOC should ever have broken with EBU. Big strategic mistake to my mind."

NFL European Dir of Pulic Affairs DAVID TOSSELL: "Finished reading 'Fibber In The Heat' by Miles Jupp. A real joy of a book. Can see why nominated for the William Hill Sports Book of Year"

London Independent's SAM WALLACE: "The Friends Arena stadium roof can be opened or closed in 20 minutes #friendsfact"

Visa Global Head of Sponsorships RICARDO FORT: "FIFA WC Brazil budget is 1.7 Bi above target. If London Olympics got it wrong, why would Brazil be on target ?"

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