DeBartolo Jr. profile rising on NFL sports scene
Wake up and good morning. He's not Tampa Bay's highest profile guy, but he may be its richest. So it's especially interesting to hear from billionaire Eddie DeBartolo Jr., real estate developer and a former owner of the San Francisco 49ers, talking about his nephew (now the 49ers' front man) profiled in the San Francisco Chronicle. Jed York, 27, is the son of DeBartolo's sister, and is trying to rehab an arguably wimpy franchise and get a new stadium built in Santa Clara.
In the profile, York said the biggest lesson he learned from uncle and godfather Eddie DeBartolo Jr., the "beloved former owner" of the franchise, was: "Don't read the papers."
Responds DeBartolo from his office in Tampa. "I lied. I read everything, and I probably shouldn't have." DeBartolo said he succeeded in a difficult business because "I had more than my share of street sense. It's important that you get bloodied a little bit. You have to take your lumps, then go right back." Does York have street sense? "He's getting it," DeBartolo told the Chronicle. "This is something new to him."
But not to DeBartolo Jr. He's back in the game, so to speak, with his DeBartolo Sports and Entertainment, a "full-service sports and entertainment agency" that represents athletes and consults with corporations to help build their brands through sports. It is also an executive ticket and hospitality provider for sporting events -- including the Feb. 1 Super Bowl to be played at Raymond James Stadium. DeBartolo's teamed up with RazorGator's PrimeSport and is marketing tickets for a pre-game, James Bond-inspired "CLUB 009 party" on Super Bowl Sunday.
-- Robert Trigaux, Times Business Columnist