BOOSTING FAN INTEREST
Personal investing took a sporting turn in January when Skokie (Ill.) Federal Savings introduced the Super Bowl CD, a one-year certificate of deposit whose interest rate was tied to the Bears' performance on Super Sunday. The bank promised to raise the guaranteed 8.25% interest rate by .01% for every point by which Chicago outscored the Patriots, with no reduction in the basic rate if the Bears lost. The offer attracted a whopping $13.8 million in investments, and it was money well spent: Chicago's 46-10 trouncing of New England raised the rate of return to 8.61%.
Since then, sports CDs have become a hot item among financial institutions. In February a Louisville bank offered a six-month NCAA-basketball-tournament CD tied to an investor's choice of either Louisville or Kentucky. Most investors went for the Wildcats, but the Cardinals, eventual national champions, returned half a point more in interest.
For the baseball season, Skokie Federal came up with a one-year Grand Slam CD, linked to the success of the Cubs or White Sox. Through April 30, investors of $500 or more were guaranteed an interest rate of 7.375%, to be increased .01 for each game their team is over .500 at the All-Star break; another .01 at season's end for each game over .500 and better than their team's All-Star break record; and .25 if the team wins the World Series. It's a good thing Chicago baseball fans, who poured $10,861,000 into Grand Slam CDs, are eternal optimists: As of Sunday the Cubs and White Sox were a combined 34-47.
NO CONFUSING THESE PROGRAMS
While the Los Angeles Lakers were being eliminated from the NBA playoffs by the Houston Rockets 114-112 last Wednesday, to become the 17th consecutive NBA champion to fail to repeat, one of the competing shows in the L.A. TV market was Dynasty.
ANOTHER GOLDEN OLDIE
Jack Nicklaus and Bill Shoemaker aren't the only athletes defying Father Time. Pedro A. Bacallao, 50, is also experiencing a grand spring in the twilight of his sports career. Bacallao, of Miami, is a squash-tennis player, which is different from being a squash and tennis player. Squash tennis is played on a squash court with a tennis ball and a junior-sized tennis racket. Several hundred people play this grueling game in the U.S., most of them in the New York City area. Bacallao traveled to the Big Apple recently and won his 13th national championship, his first since 1980. In the finals he upset defending champ Gary Squires, a youthful 29, in straight sets: 15-13, 15-4, 15-12. "If Gary had won the third game," said a tired Bacallao after the match, "I would have had to give him the fourth, while resting up for the fifth."
Bacallao says there's no great secret to senior-citizen success. "The problem is, people give up after a certain age," he says. "Never give up."
IN HIS PRIME AT LAST
If Bacallao is happy to be playing so well at age 50, Gary Clark is downright thrilled to be competing in minitriathlons at 47. Clark, a former Phoenix insurance executive, was hospitalized last autumn with viral cardiomyopathy, and on Nov. 30 he received a heart transplant. The change of heart triggered a change of life-style for the 6-foot, 210-pound Clark. "Before the operation, I couldn't wait to get to happy hour somewhere," he says, "but no more." His therapy consisted first of slow walking, then pedaling on a stationary bike. After being released from the hospital in January, he began more strenuous exercising under strict supervision. On Feb. 15 he entered the cardiac division of the University of Arizona Fitness Run, briskly walking five kilometers to the finish line. "Then I saw an entry form for the Old Pueblo Triathlon," says Clark. "I looked it over and wondered if I could do it."