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Sports Entertainment Group, Inc. creates and develops entertainment content focusing on
sports and general entertainment properties
Sports and Entertainment Marketing
Idea Sports Entertainment Group Inc.
800 West Main Street
Lake City, SC 29560
Chairman and CEO
Interview conducted by:
Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor
December 30, 2004
BIO: William C.
Billy Morris, born Olanta, SC, graduated from Charleston Southern University
in 1970. Up until Idea Sports Entertainment, has been CEO of Godley Morris Group,
LLC, which is a diversified Southeastern based investment company. Has served on
numerous state, city and county boards and is married to Gale Mishoe Morris and has three
Idea Sports Entertainment Group, Inc. is a sports and entertainment marketing and
management company dedicated to developing undervalued sports and entertainment properties
and discovering niche opportunities to serve underdeveloped market segments. Idea Sports
Entertainment Group, Inc. through various partnerships, and wholly owned affiliates, is a
creator and developer of entertainment content focusing on sports and general
entertainment properties. Its current project base includes motion pictures,
television/radio, publishing, sports properties, licensed merchandise, direct-to-retail
videos, and international entertainment.
The Idea group is based corporately in Lake City, South Carolina, with regional offices in
Charlotte, NC, New York, NY, Atlanta, Ga. It also plans to establish an office in Los
Angeles, CA in the near future. All the activities of the projects and the administrative
and accounting functions of the company are managed by Idea Management Group, Inc., which
is a wholly owned subsidiary of Idea Sports Entertainment Group, Inc.
CEOCFOinterviews: Mr. Morris, will tell us what attracted you
to Idea Sports and what the company does?
Mr. Morris: Idea Sports Entertainment is a restructure
of Team Sports Entertainment, which was formed three or four years ago. We felt that we
had an opportunity with the old company to create some new activities in sports and
entertainment. We knew we had some good people that were surrounding our projects. We have
restructured the company and pointed it more in the direction of sports and entertainment
projects and a concept and content-based type of an arrangement where we go out and create
the assets whether it is made-for-television or for motion picture. We get it in a
presentation to market or sell that asset. The unique thing about our company is that we
have a very small staff so we can react in a quicker time. If we do not have inside staff,
we have the ability to take outside people who we have affiliations with to finish these
projects and get them to where we can turn them into the marketplace.
the sports theme, is there a common thread and what do you look for?
Mr. Morris: We look for niches in the marketplace that
somebody has captivated. Some of these projects are our brainchild and some are not. What
we have is the unique way of taking a project and reacting quickly, where a big sports and
entertainment company would go through the levels of management. We have six to eight
people on staff, so we are able to take a project, analyze it and determine where it can
go. We are not trying to be everything to everybody.
you give us an example of a project that fits into that category?
Mr. Morris: We acquired the property rights to
Americas Top Driver from Adler group in New York. It is a unique racing series about
forty drivers who will have a chance to drive in this made-for-television series. First,
they have to have the capabilities to drive; this is not a situation where they can just
pick somebody off the street. We get forty people and we produce this as a fifteen-part
series. We then bring in a noticeable driver that they will race. One of the final eight
people will have a chance to race against a motor sport legend, which will be announced
probably within thirty days, with a chance to win a million dollars. We are going to give
them a guaranteed three-race series and a notable racing series. Racing is a hot area in
sports and 40% of the market is women. There are a lot of demographics and good things
that this series can bring. Hopefully, when we are finished with the forty drivers, there
will be a mixed array of participants. Cale Yarborough, who is a NASCAR legend and
director of motor sports in that series, will be one of the analysts on television. We
have been in a discussion with some of the major network people and with some cable
networks. It will be presented to an audience that will have some populace to it. It will
be a series that will not only bring good racing but will also bring some human nature to
the background of these drivers. We hope that this series can bring some international
flair because we are promoting this internationally as well. We have about 30 projects
that are in the production mode of being created but not produced. On the brainchild side,
with most of these projects, there are probably forty to sixty percent that are 100%
complete and the other part will probably be complete in six months. If we are successful
in the ratings via television, some of these projects could have an enormous residual
value in years to come. The MAPSTOP DRIVE was our first start and we are working hard on
that. We hope to get it finished by the end of December and we hope that we can shoot this
series in the first quarter of 2005. If we are fortunate, this series could become public
to the viewers in late summer to the fall. That is an aggressive plan but we feel we have
the elements in place now and there are many things that could happen between now and
January 1 to make it happen.
is it that you and your team know that will allow you to take the projects and make money
where other people have not?
Mr. Morris: We have the internal talent of Terry Arbin
and some people that understand that market more than anybody does. We have Robert Wussler
who was president of CBS and worked for CBS for 25 years. He co-founded CNN and ran Turner
Broadcasting until its merger with Time Warner. Robert Wussler understands both television
markets extensively and has a background in motion pictures. He will decide if many of the
projects we have considered are viable or not. We have probably turned away as many
projects as we have kept. Some of the projects are joint revenue shared and some are
created internally by the people that we have on board. Some of these people have very
brilliant creations. I think it is about a combination of good internal creativity, which
is a God-given talent, and having a person like Robert Wussler to determine how it should
be presented, and how the revenue side should work. If you take all that and at the same
time pick a niche where nobody else has, using a smaller staff, and having people to get
you beyond the barriers is what separates us from many of the other companies. Many of
these projects come through a due-diligence and one committee to another. By the time they
finished up two or three years of work, some of our projects can be done in months and be
setting on a major network for consideration.
CEOCFOinterviews: How do
you convince the networks to consider you projects?
Mr. Morris: Much of the way business works now is
through word-of-mouth, and sometimes it is just getting through the front door with a
project and getting it in the right hands. I think what is needed is a combination of very
creative people and surrounding the project with a noteworthy person of interest. Robert
Wussler has been in the business a long time, is very respected and is a great visionary
of sports; he created NFL Today for CBS. He did many things for CBS from starting in the
mailroom to executive producer for Walter Cronkite, to being president of the sports
division and president of the network. Twenty-five years then and aggressive time with Ted
Turner, if you bring that experience to the table, it separates us from other companies
trying to do business.
CEOCFOinterviews: Do you
feel having Robert Wussler on board gives credibility to the company and your projects?
Mr. Morris: Robert saw what we were doing and he
thought this was a great opportunity for him to be involved as well as a great opportunity
for these projects. His background and knowledge has been a great thing for us. For
Robert, it has been a great thing because he sees the way of doing something unique and
different. I think of our company as a think-tank operation because we get thinking and
create unique things of which nobody has conceived. We are able, within a short
period-of-time, to turn an asset into a finished product whether it is a screenplay or a
product for television. Our turn-around time is so short. Our people are amazed at what we
do in the time we do.
us about Hank Jones involvement with Idea.
Mr. Morris: Hank Jones is going to be involved with us.
Hank Jones is a guy that has been around NASCAR a long time. He helped create the license
of the merchandising business. He joined forces with Dale Earnhardt in the early stages
when Dale Earnhardt was just getting started in the early eighties. He turned that into a
multi-million dollar operation and later he sold out to Dale Earnhardt. They stayed around
the sport and have 25 to 30 years experience. Hank is going to be heavily involved in
providing us the insights of Americas Top Driver from the standpoint of the cars and
what track to race on. He will do that with Cale Yarborough, who will be the notable
celebrity driver that we pick. Two or three production companies already have an interest
to be involved with us. He is going to be an integral part of the motor sports side of
what we do. We are bringing in quality people and they see a way in which they can help
and they benefit themselves and the public company. It will be another good working
relationship and he will be heavily involved to promote information.
you tell us a bit about the financial position of the company?
Mr. Morris: We run this company very modestly and we do
not have a great overhead. This is part of a restructure so the company is in a start-up
mode. In terms of revenue, if our projects fall in line over the next twelve to
twenty-four months, I think our company with revenue sharing will gross 100 million
dollars. At this point, much of our stuff is done up-front. We will start generating some
revenue hopefully in the first quarter of this year, from some joint sharing of these
projects. I think two years down the road we will have a solid company. We have little
debt in the company, our overhead is very low and our expenses are low compared to what we
do and our projects. I think that when you see the income side of the company as relevant
to what we are doing, I think it is a good financial model that we can present to the
are the challenges and what do you have to watch for as you go forward?
Mr. Morris: When you develop concepts, I think you are
always worried that someone will beat you to the punch. We will do our project better, get
it into a better market and produce it better. Their project will not compete. If you have
to look at anything, you look at who has a better project and who is working on it behind
the scenes that you do not know anything about. We know that in television and motion
pictures, for every one good project there are probably a thousand presented. You probably
wonder if the project is going to be accepted or kicked out and if you get it in, how will
the ratings be. Reality has taken over television now, even though we do not have any true
reality projects. You get inundated with a lot of stuff on television. We are a content
concept company. We have some advantages but the fear I have sometimes is who has
something similar to us. I think our first project is going to beat everyone out of the
gate. Much of the time, the first to go out is the first to win.
you making an effort to reach potential investors and what are you doing in that regard?
Mr. Morris: Right now, it is a restructure. Some people
have followed the company. We have some releases out there and we get people interested in
the company and the projects of the company. Between now and the first quarter of 2005, we
are in the process of putting together a very detailed plan to tell the story to the
public both in the financial world and with investors so they can see what we are doing.
As well as to present an awareness of the company and the consumer level to tell the
story, and people in the sports and entertainment business that might have an interest in
looking at potential acquisitions of properties. We have a plan but the new company was
started in July-September of 2004. We are in December now, so we have only 60-90 days to
play out our plan. We are just getting started.
closing, why should investors be interested and what should they know that they might not
see on the surface?
Mr. Morris: I think an investor would look at our
company and the way it is structured now with low overhead, very little debt, great upside
for the projects side of what we do with revenue. Getting into this company and in
position now for where we are, would give them a great opportunity to grow earnings with
us and as they invest and make money on their stock as time goes by. I think we are
running ahead of where we should be because of projects and momentum of the company, as
well as the brand of the company associated with great people. We have put together a
great board of directors and a great board of advisors. That will come out after the first
quarter. It will give an opportunity for investors to get in on the ground floor of
something great. I think that over the next eighteen months, as we grow, the stock will
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