Here are top stories from the Grand Prix Entertainment media relations department. If you seek media relations assistance or to schedule an interview with one of our principals please contact Joe Favorito at +1 (917) 566–8345.
Sheppard Mullin is retained as outside counsel for GPE. Senior Partner Kelly Crabb named as League Counsel.
Grand Prix Entertainment Retains Sheppard Mullin’s Acclaimed Sport Law Practice to Form New U.S. Professional Rugby Venture
LOS ANGELES, CA, Oct 28, 2011 (Marketwire) – In a joint release issued today, the international law firm of Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP and Grand Prix Entertainment, Inc., a Los Angeles-based sports and entertainment company, announced that Sheppard Mullin has been retained to assist Grand Prix Entertainment in the formation of a soon to be announced sports and entertainment venture. The announcement further noted that Sheppard Mullin, with partner Kelly C. Crabb as team leader, will act as Grand Prix Entertainment's Outside Counsel effective immediately.
Grand Prix Entertainment was granted the United States Exclusive Sanction and License Rights to own, operate and globally broadcast professional, and the now Olympic, sport of Union Rugby Sevens, by USA Rugby, the United States official governing body for the sport of Union Rugby. USAR is a member of both the Rugby World Cup's International Rugby Board and the United States Olympic Committee.
“We are excited to have enlisted the power and global resources of Sheppard Mullin with Kelly Crabb at the helm of our efforts,” said Grand Prix Entertainment's Chairman William Tatham. “Kelly brings significant advisory experience in global sports through his extensive work with the Beijing and Salt Lake City Olympic Organizing Committees and will oversee all the critical legal milestones related to our soon to be announced venture with USA Rugby.”
GPE inks deal with former CBS Sports president Neal Pilson for exclusive representation of US TV rights for Grand Prix Rugby.
Grand Prix Entertainment Names Former CBS Sports President Neal Pilson to Represent the Global Broadcast Rights of Its U.S. Professional Rugby Projects
Grand Prix Entertainment, Inc., a Los Angeles-based sports and entertainment company, announced today the appointment of Neal Pilson, the former president of CBS Sports and for the last 16 years one of the most powerful independent deal brokers in professional sports as a special senior advisor responsible for the distribution of Grand Prix's global television rights for professional rugby sevens.
“It is not every day that we see the birth of a global sports venture with the breadth and depth of Grand Prix,” Pilson said. “Rugby is the third most watched sport in the world and Grand Prix, in its partnership with USAR has found a highly innovative way to present the sport to a global consumer. By using a combination of exclusive rights, an impressive array of management talent and some very revolutionary and proprietary technology, I believe we will take rugby to the main stage of American television.”
Since leaving CBS in 1995, Pilson has earned a reputation of being a tough negotiator and strategist for a wide array of sports and entertainment properties. In his role as a senior advisor, he will oversee Grand Prix's network, cable and pay-per-view rights attached to a soon-to-be-announced slate of events in partnership with USA Rugby.
Grand Prix Entertainment was granted the United States Exclusive Sanction and License Rights to own, operate and globally broadcast professional Union Rugby Sevens, by USA Rugby, the United States official governing body for the sport of Union Rugby.
Union Rugby Sevens attained global status when the IOC approved the fast paced sport as a new Olympic sport set to debut at the Olympic’s 2016 Rio de Janeiro Summer Games.
GPE’s partner, USAR is a member of both the Rugby World Cup's International Rugby Board and the United States Olympic Committee.
“When it comes fostering the critical relationships across global distribution points, there are few men with the pedigree of Neal Pilson and we are thrilled to have Neal on our team,” said Grand Prix Entertainment's Chairman William Tatham. “Neal brings substantial experience having brokered over $8 billion dollars worth of air time and will oversee all TV rights we hold related to our soon to be announced venture with USA Rugby.”
Gary Marenzi to head new Grand Prix Studios Unit. Former president of MGM International TV to lead GPE broadcast and Pay-Per-View business.
Grand Prix Entertainment Taps Gary Marenzi to Oversee New Grand Prix Studios Unit
Grand Prix Entertainment (GPE), a Los Angeles-based sports and entertainment company, announced today the appointment of Gary Marenzi, the former president of MGM Worldwide Television as Chairman of Grand Prix Studios a new operating unit responsible for the production and sales of Grand Prix’s sports broadcasting, pay-per-view, reality shows and other digital content related to its sports ventures starting with professional rugby in partnership with USA Rugby.
Grand Prix Entertainment and USA Rugby have established an unprecedented partnership for the development of professional Rugby Sevens in the US granting Grand Prix exclusive sanction rights to own, operate and globally broadcast the sport of professional US Rugby Sevens, and the global broadcast distribution rights for its events across all media. Rugby Sevens will be included in the upcoming 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
USA Rugby is the official governing board for Rugby in the USA and home of the Eagles, the US national rugby team. Grand Prix Entertainment is fully sanctioned by USA Rugby acting in cooperation with, and under the rules and regulations of, rugbys worldwide governing body, the IRB. Of the Marenzi appointment, William Tatham, Chairman of Grand Prix Entertainment said, Gary brings a wealth of knowledge to our new Studios division leveraging his highly successful career in international broadcast rights sales handling billions of dollars of content distribution. With his oversight we fully expect Grand Prix Studios to be a new center of excellence in sports broadcasting.
Gary Marenzi is the founder and president of Marenzi & Associates, which provides strategic management advice and implementation for the media and entertainment industry.
Marenzi most recently served as President of the Worldwide Television Group for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM), from 2007 until mid-2011. His duties there included overseeing the distribution of MGMs films and television programs to television and digital media outlets, the production of new television programs and the management of MGMs television channels worldwide.
Prior to his appointment at MGM, Mr. Marenzi founded Marenzi & Associates in 2004. Some of Marenzis clients then included Lucasfilm Ltd, IMAX Corporation, Sinclair Broadcast Group, ProSieben/Sat1 Germany, TV 4 Sweden, TV 2 Norway, TV 2 Denmark, TeleFilm Argentina and Amedia Russia.
Previously, Mr. Marenzi was President of International Television for Paramount Pictures for seven years. During his tenure with Paramount, Mr. Marenzi generated several billion dollars in license fee revenue for Paramount feature films, TV programming and formats with TV broadcasters and cable channels outside the U.S. He also oversaw Paramounts TV co-production/co-financing operations that yielded USA Networks hits, The Dead Zone and The 4400.
Between 1992 and 1997, Mr. Marenzi recorded his first tour of duty at MGM as President of the MGM Telecommunications Group, where he was responsible for all of MGMs international television and worldwide pay television business activities. Before MGM, Mr. Marenzi was President of the UIP Pay TV Group based in London for three years. In the early portion of his career, Mr. Marenzi laid a foundation for his experience in television with roles at Skouras Pictures, Inc., The Samuel Goldwyn Company, Warner Home Video, Columbia Pictures, and HBO.
Mr. Marenzi currently serves on the Board of the Hollywood Radio & TV Society (HRTS), and is a past Executive Committee/Board Member of the National Association of Television Program Executives (NATPE) and the Executive Committee of the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (IATAS). He received both his BA and MBA from Stanford University.
Marenzi will act as interim president of Grand Prix Studios with offices in Los Angeles, New York and London, serve on Grand Prixs global leadership team alongside such industry notables as Neal Pilson, former president of CBS Sports and GPE chief counsel Kelly Crabb, Senior Partner at venerable sports and entertainment law firm Sheppard Mullin. More appointments are expected as Grand Prix readies the formal announcement of its professional rugby venture in partnership with USA Rugby in the upcoming weeks.
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