Promoter hits a high note

BASIL Scaffidi may not be a familiar name among music and movie fans but the Perth born businessman has knocked the elite of Australia’s entertainment industry’s off the earnings perch.

Sitting ahead of names like of Russell Crowe, ACDC and Savage Garden, Mr Scaffidi and his partners in Sports and Entertainment Limited’s head a list of Australia’s top earners from the entertainment industry.

The list, compiled by Business Review Weekly, lists SEL’s earnings for 2000 as $29 million four million dollars more than Hollywood star Mr Crowe who earned an estimated $25 million.

Mr Scaffidi said 2000 was a

very good year for his entertainment company despite the over-

all slowdown in the Australian economy.

“It’s been a very good 12 months. Our entertainment division is booming, in bad times entertainment seems to thrive. They say in bad times people eat more chocolate, drink more beer and go out more,” Mr Scaffidi said.

Hopefully this will also ensure good results for Subiaco restaurant Altos run by his family.

Before entering his current career, Mr Scaffidi completed a law degree at the University of Western Australia and went on to work at local law firm Talbot & Olivier.

“I enjoyed being a lawyer but for me I wanted to do something more people oriented even as a lawyer I always wanted to work for IMG," Mr Scaffidi said.

Mr Scaffidi accepted a position with the national franchise of sports and entertainment memorabilia business Superstars & Legends and then worked for James Erskine at IMG.

Mr Scaffidi has retained a 7.5 per cent share of the Superstars & Legends business and now also owns 7.5 per cent of SEL, which was formed four years ago with Mr Erskine, Tony Cochrane and David Coe, to manage stars and promotions such as The Sound of Music.

“James started the industry in Australia, to work with him as a boss and now as a partner this is a great opportunity,” Mr Scaffidi said.

“We’ve just opened a client management division with a focus on the elite of entertainment and sport.”

SEL now has offices in Sydney the Gold Coast, London and representative offices in Los Angeles and New York.

SEL’s core business is entertainment, sports and television with additional involvement in leisure, property and consultation to various sporting associations.

In 1999 SEL announced the purchase of 50 per cent of Gordon Frost Organisation following a number of successful collaborative events including Grease the Arena Spectacular and the Main Event.

“Gordon Frost Organisation is a leading theatrical producer in Australia and John Frost principally came to SEL with Grease and we did it jointly we’ve done so many projects together that we purchased 50 per cent of GFO,” Mr Scaffidi said. “Family oriented musicals seem to be successful in the marketplace at the moment, five years ago it was very different. Today we compete with sports, it’s generally the same people, they can’t afford to go to everything so it’s a choice between the footy or a show.”

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