Chess is about to become a brand — with a slogan
Andrew Paulson, an Illinois-born entrepreneur who struck it big in the Russian media market, has bought the rights to the next world championship and promised a $6 million prize fund for related tournaments.
He said he struck the deal with world chess federation head Kirsan Ilyumzhinov after a chance meeting in Russia.
Paulson has also created a vehicle, World Chess, to promote the game. He hired a design firm to create an ad slogan — “The Best Mind Wins” — as well as a p.r. firm, and is looking for big-bucks co-sponsors.
One thing he wants to change is the small-bore approach that put championship-related events in Podunks like Elista, Russia.
In the first year of World Chess, tournaments are expected to be held in London, Berlin, Moscow, Lisbon, Madrid and Paris. He also wants live chess featured on TV, as well as via smartphones and iPads.
Paulson has competed in US Chess Federation events but he didn’t make the Business Insider.com list of 24 executives who excel at chess.
Among the USCF-rated Experts are hedge-fund managers Peter Thiel and Boaz Weinstein, Pegasystems CEO Alan Trefler and Powerset co-founder Barney Pell.
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