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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Ali Sells His Good Name For $50 Million

Billionaire marketing entrepreneur Robert Sillerman thinks he's found the perfect product to market as the next big thing: Muhammad Ali.

Sillerman's company, CKX Inc. (NASDAQ:CKXE), has paid the champ $50 million for an 80 percent stake in the 64-year-old former heavyweight champion's name and likeness. It will be handled by an operating company to be named G.O.A.T. LLC, an acronym for "The Greatest of All Time."

In a world where Michael Jackson owns a chunk of the Beatles music catalog, its not such a strange thing to know that somebody literally owns you, or at least part of you, and is able to make good money on it.

More proof that an monster ego may be the greatest motivator ever known to man, Ali, who suffers from Parkinson's disease, is expected to work with CKX and G.O.A.T. to effectively market himself and the trademarks he owns, ensuring that all deals done in his name are still in his best interest. Anybody that would challenge that Muhammad Ali, despite the toll Parkinson's has taken on his body, is not still just sharp in the mind as he was in his fighting days deserves to go back in time and spar a few rounds with the old Cassius Clay.

Although you might question the company he will keep. CKX also holds the rights to the IDOLS television brand, which includes the show "American Idol," and the rights to Elvis Presley's marketing.

- What's In A name? Ali Knocks Down $50 million (Louisville Courier-Journal)
- $50 Million Puts Ali In Ring With Elvis and 'American Idol' (New York Times)

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