Boris Becker: Owner, Pitchman for Sports Site

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Former Wimbledon champion Boris Becker went online last month with sportgate.de, a German sports Web site.


Becker owns 60 percent of the new site, which was supposed to have gone online in time for the Sydney Olympics last year but ran into problems and had to be reworked.


The tennis star's picture is displayed prominently on a billboard advertising the site. He has a professional staff managing the site. They aim to finance the venture through banner and other online advertising.


The harsh current online advertising climate in Germany doesn't bother CEO Marcel Reichart. He told the German newspaper Die Welt that sports-themed material remained in great demand, drew correspondingly high ad budgets, and would therefore be profitable.


Content will cover all sports news from national events, such as major league soccer, to regional and local sports. Sports writers, experts and practitioners will deliver news and commentary.


"We'll cover all sports, including those that get a short shrift in the classic media," the site's opening statement said. "And in the future we will integrate sporting clubs and associations."


Germany has 86,000 such associations, and Becker hopes to persuade a majority of them to work with him by putting their activities online.


Becker is a household brand in Germany. His recent messy divorce made headlines across all media from tabloid papers to respected national dailies and the news magazine Spiegel.


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