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The Latest on LeBron, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade

There is a report that says a summit of the three major names in this year's free agent class - LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade held a meeting over the weekend in Miami to discuss their options as the July 1st start of free agency is almost here.

There is also another report that says that Dwyane Wade was in Chicago for several days last week including the weekend which would make a Saturday/Sunday rendezvous of the superstars in Miami impossible.

Well, here is the truth. I spoke with Wade and Bosh's agent Henry Thomas just moments ago and he told me that the three stars did not meet in Miami over the weekend. Wade met with his agent in Thomas' office on Saturday and then took his children to the Cubs - Sox game which was held on Saturday evening at U.S. Cellular Field.

"Dwyane was here in Chicago over the weekend and did not meet with LeBron and Chris in Miami over the weekend," Thomas told me. "Have these guys talked about their futures with one another? Absolutely, and I am sure they will talk again. However, this report of a summit over the weekend in Miami involving Dwyane is untrue. He was here in Chicago with his kids and when he left town on Sunday he was not headed back to Miami. That I can tell you."

In addition, Wade's enormous marketing presence through deals with Converse, T-Mobile, and others were all developed and negotiated by Thomas and after the free agency process is completed Wade and Bosh should see increased exposure and dollars through another brilliant marketing campaign devised by Thomas. That all has to be factored into the decision making process because the money available in free agency is one thing but the marketing dollars and Thomas' expertise could take the process to another level. 

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Was The IOC's Decision A Slap At Chicago or The USOC?

Did the International Olympic Committe say no to the Chicago 2016 bid because they wanted no part of Chicago? Or did they say no because of their displeasure with the United States Olympic Committee (USOC)?

The reasons Chicago lost out will be analyzed for a long time and the finger of blame will be pointed at Mayor Richard Daley, Pat Ryan, and even President Barack Obama. But is that fair and is it accurate? This article highlights the problems the USOC has had recently with the IOC and it shows how that fractured relationship may have derailed any bid that an American city would have put up.

I spoke with one of the best sports business experts in the industry, Rick Horrow, of the Horrow report and here is his take on the IOC's decision to award the games to Rio De Janiero. "What today's IOC selection process proves is that the Olympics are bigger business than ever -- a linchpin in the $750 billion business of sports, and a bellweather of global business developments.  2016 winner Rio de Janeiro has budgeted $14 billion for the Games -- far more than the other finalists.

Rio's awarding of the Games is a clear signal that Latin America is an emerging market now mature.  38 percent of the Fortune 500 has supported Rio's bid for the 2016 Olympic Games, and major sponsors looking to add the 160 million people in South America under the age of 18 to their customer base will be racing each other to get on board within the next few months.  The selection is also a confirmation that the hundreds of millions of dollars American pro sports teams have spent courting a Latin American fan and sponsor base is money well spent.
One other thing is clear.  While cynics question the extraordinary emotional, political, and economic capital invested in attracting these games, more cities and countries are bidding than ever before.  While Rio celebrates its selection victory, countless other cities plan for their 2020 Summer Olympics selection conquest four years from now.  With Chicago now on the sidelines, other U.S. cities will their places among the candidates -- the American sports business engine will continue to roar."

Do You Support the Olympic Bid for Chicago?

Approximately 24 hours from now the International Olympic Committee will announce their decision on what city will host the 2016 Olympic Games. There has been a great amount of support for Chicago's bid including tremendous star power throwing their weight behind the quest to land arguably the most visible sporting event in the world.

President Barack Obama and his wife, Oprah Winfrey, Mayor Richard Daley, and many others have joined forces to support the bid and to try to land the games for the Windy City. I support the bid and believe that it will be a great thing for our town to be so visible on the world stage. We are a world class city and those in the world who don't know that yet need to see firsthand just how great a place Chicago is.

Do we need the games to be a world class city? No, we already are. However, by exposing the beauty of Chicago to the rest of the world it could reap us billions in future revenue from travel by tourists to our town. A recent study showed that while the Chicago 2016  committee may be overestimating the value of the games to the area, landing the Olympics should have the effect of hosting 12 consecutive Super Bowls. That's a pretty good boost to our region's economy.

Here is the latest on the race to land the games which could have a huge impact on our region in terms of creating jobs, increasing tourism, and driving tens of millions of dollars to our local stores, hotels, and restaurants for years to come.  The latest poll on whether or not Chicagoans want the games seems to indicate widespread support for bringing the games to the Windy City.

Do you agree? Do you want to see the 2016 games here in Chicago? Weigh with your vote on today's poll question.

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