Posts Tagged ‘Mike Burg’

2008 post-Olympic tour

July 15, 2008

Information about Mike Burg’s tour is now available.  You have to register for a free two week trial on this site in order to view the article.  Mr.  Burg totally outmaneuvered USAG as far as signing top athletes for this year’s tour.  

An Edge Entertainment-produced TV special will showcase two of gymnastics’ biggest stars — Shawn Johnson and Paul Hamm — and musicians from Hollywood Records, a Disney label that includes the Jonas Brothers and the Cheetah Girls. Details of that broadcast and participating artists were still being worked out last week.

The broadcast will coincide with a 30-city tour beginning in September that marries gymnastics performances with Disney musical acts, making it one of the first arena events to combine sports and teen pop music. The events will visit members of the Arena Network, including San Diego, Phoenix, Anaheim, Denver, Houston, Chicago and others. Individual tickets for a similar tour in 2004 sold for $45, $35, $25 and $15. Sponsorships also will be sold to support the tour.

At the end of the article there is a quote from Sheryl Shade that is completely ridiculous.  

Shade said, “(Disney is) looking at (Johnson) very closely because she fits to a ‘T’ one of those teen idol-heroes that they love to build up. It’s her Midwest values.”

Midwest values, huh?  I’m sure it’s actually the fact that she wins which Disney is interested in.  

There is also a picture of Shawn doing a split jump in the article and no it’s not a good pic.

“Loyal athlete signers”

June 13, 2008

This month’s IG editorial by Paul Ziert is about how USAG president Steve Penny has made some major errors recently.  Error number one was about how Steve organized the USAG post-olympic tour but failed to sign Shawn Johnson, Paul Hamm, and Morgan Hamm.  They signed with a rival tour run by Mike Burg.  He also doesn’t have Nastia who hasn’t signed with anyone.  Since he doesn’t have the biggest stars, this nullifies his contracts.  

Ziert writes:

Hence, Burg will now do his tour in the 30 cities reserved by USAG with the athletes that USAG claims it created with no financial gain to the federation other than a possible sanction fee, which isn’t even required.  and most of the loyal athlete signers will get much less or possibly nothing from tour money.

I have two issues with this.  First, just because USAG claims they created the athletes doesn’t mean they actually did.  The athletes, their families, and their coaches are the ones who did all of the work to get to the top with no help from USAG.  I will never understand why people think they owe USAG something for their success.  USAG didn’t get Shawn’s parents to take her to Chow’s instead of staying with the coach who thought she had brute strength but no talent.  USAG didn’t get Paul and Morgan’s dad to harrass Stacy Maloney into training them to greatness.  USAG certainly did not pick up the tab when it came to 6+ years of training expenses before these athltes were even on USAG’s radar.  USAG doesn’t do a damned thing to help these athletes when it matters most, yet they “created” them.  That is total crap!  

My second issue with this is the use of the phrase “loyal athlete signers”.  I don’t appreciate the dig at Shawn, Paul, Nastia, and Morgan.  These guys have worked hard and they deserve to get the most for their talents.  It has nothing to do with being “loyal” to some organization that hasn’t done anything for them anyway.  And how does Ziert know that these other athletes are loyal as opposed to simply being too scared not to sign.  How many of these athletes worry that not signing would hurt their Olympic chances?  

Penny used some serious arm-twisting to get many of the athletes to sign binding, exclusive contracts before anyone even knew they were going to Beijing.  He succeeded with all except the four I mentioned above.

I’m glad USAG got pwned.  If they had offered fair packages to the above athletes, they would be signed.  Instead they want to lowball the athletes and pocket the money so they can pad their own salaries.  


It’s MIke Burg,  not Mark Burg.  I don’t know why I put that there.