Along with a number of friends, we attended the 20th annual “Fight Night” event last night at the Washington Hilton. This was another terrific evening … 2,000 people packing the ball room to help raise over $1.5 million for deserving and needy school children in Washington, DC. For a few of us, this will also a work-related event as we’re embarking on a new venture. Here’s a copy of an article, written by Anne Schroeder Mullins, that is running now on http://www.politico.com — http://www.politico.com/click/stories/0911/documenting_boxer_ray_mancini.html.
<<Fresh off the heels of Fight Night – a charity that brings a couple thousand men together in a room to watch boxing and smoke cigars – two-time World Boxing Association Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini will be dining with author Mark Kriegel, journalists George Pelecanos, Michael Wilbon and Mike Wise and entrepreneurs Jimmy Lynn and Chris Tavlarides at Café Milano tonight.
As it turns out, Kriegel just finished a biography on Mancini (and his famous fight with Duk Koo Kim, who died five days after their time in the ring). Lynn and Tavlarides are funding a documentary on Mancini’s life, as well.
“Chris Tavlarides and I both think this is a very good time to be in the sports documentary space. So, we decided to move forward on looking at producing sports docs,” Lynn said. “A book about the Mancini – Kim fight is being written by Mark Kriegel, a NY Times best-selling author of books on Pistol Pete Maravich and Broadway Joe Namath. After meeting with the author in LA earlier this year, Chris and I both thought a documentary about this subject would be very intriguing. So, we’ve decided to move forward on this project.
They’ve also got inspiration from a mentor: “Ted Leonsis, AOL’s Emeritus Vice-Chair and owner of the Washington Capitals, is a mentor to both of us. He got into the documentary space a few years ago with ‘Nanking’ and ‘Kickin’ It.’ We attended the premiere of ‘Nanking’ at the Sundance Film Festival back in 2007.
He continued, “Lastly, this film project is a passion play for Chris — he’s been interested in films for a long time — he was influenced by the Pedas brothers, who are also mentors to him — and who have had great success in producing films. Chris and I both very much look up to Jim and Ted Pedas as business leaders and role models.”
And it’s sort of a natural: Lynn has spent the past 20 years in sports and entertainment, including the past 14 years at AOL, where he was a VP for strategic partnerships on the AOL Sports side. “I launched my own sports strategic advisory firm, JLynn Associates, after leaving AOL. Also, I teach Sports classes at Georgetown University, both undergrad and grad classes. And, I sit on the boards of a few sports-related non-profit organisations in DC (United for DC, Batter Up / DC RBI, the Giving Back Fund).”>>