Fried drafted to head SFX sports group unit

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SFX Entertainment, the live entertainment and sports management company, has a new team captain.

SFX tapped Fred Fried, 41, as president of the SFX Sports Group Marketing Division. The former senior VP-corporate sales and marketing, Mr. Fried succeeds Frank Vuono, who left the company.

Mr. Fried brings a decade of experience in sports marketing and celebrity representation to the post. He will be responsible for the Sports Group's diverse sales functions. While he plans to place particular emphasis on corporate consulting, he'll be involved with creative; branding; team, league, and venue marketing; talent marketing; and media event and integrated sponsorship sales.

"The real change with this position is that I'll have a broader, more elevated plane [on which] to do business," Mr. Fried said. "It really speaks to the way SFX is approaching business. We're really putting ourselves and our clients in a position to access the full array of resources at SFX and now with Clear Channel." Clear Channel Communications, an operator of radio stations and out-of-home advertising displays, merged with SFX this year.

LARGEST IN THE U.S.

SFX Entertainment is the largest diversified live entertainment promoter and venue operator in the U.S.; in 1998, 35 million people attended about 12,150 events promoted or produced by SFX.

Industry estimates peg SFX's sports-related revenue at approximately $140 million.

"I don't know of anyone that has a broader and deeper entrenchment in the market," Mr. Fried said. "Within the consolidated areas, no one carries more leverage than we do and, most significantly, in the sports representation business."

SFX expects to grow particularly in the international sports marketing divisions, Mr. Fried said. He will work with presidents of other internal divisions, including talent representation, TV and events.

MJ HITS THE LINKS

"There are more opportunities than ever to cross boundaries with our projects," Mr. Fried said. One upcoming SFX project is a made-for-TV Michael Jordan golf event to be held in January. The event, to be played in the Bahamas, will have a charity component.

With the recent partnership with Clear Channel, Mr. Fried sees an even broader array of media assets and properties available to clients.

"We'll offer a full range of marketing, from athlete endorsements to promotions. SFX has lots of wheels with which to distribute the messages that clients want to deliver, and our salespeople can do an even better job of taking a custom-oriented approach with these resources."

Mr. Fried was a co-founder of Integrated Sports International in 1993. ISI was acquired by SFX Entertainment in 1999.

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