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Rocky Health Rolls Promoter Out of Music and Into a New Business

October 27, 1987|THOMAS K. ARNOLD

SAN DIEGO — Fred Moore is sitting in the Old Town offices of Special Teams Inc., thumbing through the morning paper with one hand and lazily snapping his suspenders with the other.

He's just arrived back in San Diego after a week in Hawaii, where he'd been making preliminary arrangements for the 13th annual Michelob Light/Steve Garvey Celebrity Classic, a six-day golf, tennis, and fishing tournament his marketing company is producing in mid-November.

Several messages from some of Special Teams' other clients are piled up on Moore's desk. There's one from the owner of the Fronton Palace in Tijuana, for whom the firm is designing an expansive advertising and promotional campaign to popularize the sport of jai alai in the United States.

There's another from the San Diego Sportfishing Council, about pending corporate sponsorships for this year's Day at the Docks promotion, and a third from Captain Mike Singletary of the Chicago Bears, whose autobiography deal with Contemporary Books of Chicago was negotiated by Special Teams.

Out of Fast Lane

But Moore, 41, appears in no hurry to return his calls. Plopping his feet up on his desk, he leans back in his chair and reflects on how it took a near-fatal heart attack in 1983 to finally get him out of the fast lane of rock 'n' roll concert promotion and into a slower one as vice president and creative director of a marketing company that specializes in advertising, public relations and special-event staging for what he calls "considerably more stable, institutional accounts."

Indeed, none of the other activities with which Special Teams has been involved are even remotely connected to Moore's rock 'n' roll past.

Over the last three years, Moore and his staff have engineered national promotional campaigns for the Mirage and the Mystique, two floating film studios used by producers of television's "Wild Kingdom" and "National Geographic" specials.

They've created a marketing plan for the new Tia Juana Tilley's restaurant-nightclub in Mission Valley. And they've secured product endorsement deals for such sports figures as Charlie Joiner of the San Diego Chargers, Mike Munchak of the Houston Oilers, and Gary Kubiak of the Denver Broncos.

In the process, Moore said, he has seen Special Teams' annual gross go up from "a couple of hundred grand" in 1984 to an estimated $1.3 million in 1987. (From projects like arranging corporate sponsorships for the San Diego Sportfishing Council and securing endorsement deals for professional athletes, Special Teams gets 25%; fees for other marketing services vary.)

A Calmer Life

And while Moore admits he still works long hours and frequently has to travel across the country, he insists his life is a lot calmer--and a lot less stressful--than it was "back in the old days, when I was running around like crazy, 24 hours a day, seven days a week."

"The rock 'n' roll life style was literally killing me," Moore said. "I was so wrapped up in the glamour, the prestige, the excitement, that I forgot all about taking care of myself, and only when my body told me that I had better change gears, or else, did I finally get out.

"That's why I'm happy to let others deal with the stress and strain of putting on concerts while I concentrate on the creative advertising, promotional, and marketing concepts that business taught me.

"Those are the things I enjoy best, and besides, they're a lot better for my body."

It has been four years, to the month, since Moore staged his last rock concert. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he had spent several years trading gold, diamonds and commodities in Hawaii before moving to Escondido in 1974.

There, he set up Infinity One, a marketing company that handled mostly real estate and financial clients.

"But by the early 1980s, interest rates had zoomed to 21% and development all around the country began to slow down," Moore recalled. "So my partner and I decided to regroup and try something else and, after analyzing the market, we settled on producing concerts."

Idea Grew

As Pax Productions, Moore and his partner's first venture was a sold-out concert by the Doobie Brothers at the Del Mar Race Track, in November of 1980. A short time later, Moore said, he hit upon a novel idea: why not take advantage of the huge draws certain top rock acts were enjoying by pairing them with professional sports teams habitually suffering from poor attendance?

Moore's concept became reality in the spring of 1981 when Pax was hired by the San Diego Sockers to produce a concert by the group America immediately following the soccer team's game at San Diego Jack Murphy Stadium.

"Attendance went up from 6,000 to nearly 40,000, and we walked away with $35,000," Moore said. "So right away, we knew we had a winner."

By the end of the 1981 soccer season, Pax had produced four more rock concerts in conjunction with the Sockers, each time with similar results--and profits.

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