Re: Will Indian Wells be sold to China??
Titles: Managing director of Custom Marketing Group, an integrated destination marketing company specializing in travel and tourism. Also a partner in “Tennis” magazine and president of The Tennis Company.
Other career notables: Served as West Coast Manager of Newsweek International from 1979-84. IN 1984, he founded Mackin Media, Inc., which grew to become the largest independently owned advertising sales representation firm in the U.S., with over $150 million in sales annually.
Tennis ties: In 2000, invested in Tennis Magazine. In addition to owning Tennis Magazine and Tennis.come, they produced SMASH Magazine, a youth tennis publication.
Robert L. Miller
TITLES: President and CEO of Miller Publishing Group, LLC (MPG), which owns publications such as Vibe and Spin, as well as Tennis magazine. Also the CEO of The Tennis Company.
OTHER CAREER NOTABLES: At 33, was the publisher of Sports Illustrated. Was also the executive vice president of Time, Inc., which oversaw People, Entertainment Weekly, Fortune, Time, Sports Illustrated, and Money.
In 1992, became the president and CEO of Time Inc. Ventures (TIV). During that time, his most successful launches were Martha Stewart Living and Vibe. In 1996, upon leaving Time, he purchased Vibe, and in partnership with Quincy Jones, created Vibe Ventures. In 1997, they bought Spin.
A look at the Pacific Life Open's efforts to keep the international tennis tournament in Indian Wells and the issues involved.
THE OFFER: An overseas investment group, believed to be from Shanghai, has made an offer to buy the tournament for $35-$70 million.
THE CONFLICT: International Management Group, which owns 50 percent of the Pacific Life Open, wants to take the deal because the tournament has been losing money since 2002.
PM Sports, which owns the other 50 percent, is determined to keep the event in Indian Wells, where owners Raymond Moore and Charlie Pasarell call the Coachella Valley home.Moore and Pasarell are trying to connect an investors syndicate with the city of Indian Wells to help them finance debt and keep the 5th largest tournament in the world in the desert.
THE REFINANCE PLAN: The Indian Wells Tennis Garden, a $77-million complex which houses the Pacific Life Open, has a $39 million mortgage with an interest rate at 8 percent. The tournament has to pay debt services of $3.9 million annually. The tournament wants to refinance and get an interest rate of 6 percent or lower, and needs help from the City of Indian Wells to help secure the loan.
THE TOURNAMENT: The Pacific Life Open is considered the fifth-largest tournament in the world, based on its attendance, with more than 280,000 fans during the 12-day run. It has a 96-player men's and women's main draw. Total prize money for the men was $2,974,600, and for the women, $2,100,000.
THE IMPACT: In 2001, the tournament had an economic impact study conducted by George Washington University, which said the tournament had a $100 million impact on the Coachella Valley. Tournament officials have taken the same formula and applied it to the growing attendance, estimating the impact is now at $140 million.
GENESIS OF THE PROBLEM: In 2000, the ATP signed a $1.2 billion deal with Swiss marketing firm ISL, which was going to handle the marketing of the tour's top level events, including Indian Wells. The Indian Wells Tennis Garden opened that same year. The deal guaranteed the tournament approximately $10 million a year. After the 2001 event, ISL went bankrupt, leaving Indian Wells with no sponsors. Three months after the settlement, the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks hit, which made it nearly impossible for the tournament to find sponsors. The tournament secured Pacific Life insurance company as the title sponsor, but have not been able to secure the kind of funding the ISL deal promised.
CHANGES AT IMG: Mark McCormack was the founder and owner of International Management Group, an international sports and lifestyle marketing and management firm. McCormack was a fan of tennis, and was willing to support the Indian Wells tournament, believing in its future. When McCormack died in 2003. In 2004, McCormack's family sold IMG to Ted Forstmann, who founded Forstmann, Little and Co. Forstmann is considered a pioneer of the leverage buyout, and his business philosophies differ from McCormack's.