Is Mary Pierce, the world's 12th-ranked woman tennis player, copying top-ranked Steffi Graf's move from baseline to hemline? A recent press release trumpets the 19-year-old Pierce's modeling debut: "Mary comes into her own as a person with a captivating fashion layout in the February 1994 issue of TennisMatch magazine." Her own? We'd swear we've seen that décolletage somewhere before. Compare Pierce's pose (left) to Graf's dip in the April 1990 issue of Vogue. Advantage Ms. Graf.
•Rumors have been circulating for several weeks that Rick White, president of Major League Baseball Properties, has been fired, even though he led baseball's licensing division through its most profitable era ever. Sources in and out of the game say they've heard that White has been let go for "personal reasons," and newspaper reports suggest that he and his lawyers are trying to negotiate a settlement with Major League Baseball. But nothing official has been announced, and baseball spokesman Rich Levin says White still has his job. Calls placed to White's office were not returned. Only this much is clear: Baseball will be losing big if White goes.
•Slide on over, Nancy and Tonya. The real battle in Lillehammer is between credit card giants Visa and American Express. The IOC last week denounced American Express for "ambush marketing," pointing to an Amex ad that promises, "If you're traveling to Norway, you'll need a passport, but you won't need a Visa." However, Visa, as one of 12 corporations that have each paid as much as $40 million to the IOC, does have exclusive rights to provide credit card services at the Games, a fact Visa repeatedly touts in its own don't-bring-your-American-Express ads. While Amex contends that Visa is using the Games to "bash" its rival and points out that American Express has been in Norway since 1916, the IOC is unmoved. Says IOC board member Dick Pound, "It appears to be American Express...corporate policy to try to appropriate the goodwill of the Olympics without in any way supporting them."