62nd AutoZone Liberty Bowl

Date: Coming Soon


AutoZone Liberty Bowl to Honor
Tennis Legend Donald Dell 
with Distinguished Citizen Award

Tennis Legend and Sports Business Pioneer will be featured at event benefiting St. Jude Children's Research Hospital


Donald Dell, an innovator in the worlds of tennis and sports business, will be the guest of honor and will receive the AutoZone Liberty Bowl’s most prestigious recognition, the Distinguished Citizen Award, on June 23, 2019.

Dell, who was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2009, will be in Memphis to receive the award on Sunday, June 23 at the Hilton Memphis Hotel.  A cocktail reception will begin at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner and the award presentation at 6:30 p.m.  A live auction and silent auction will also be held during the evening, with 100% of all proceeds going to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.  The 25th Annual AutoZone Liberty Bowl Golf Classic will be held the following day, Monday, June 24 at TPC Southwind.

Individual seats for the dinner may be purchased for $100 or a table of ten (10) seats may be purchased for $1,000. The dinner includes buffet dinner, cocktails and wine. To reserve a table or individual seat, please call the AutoZone Liberty Bowl at (901) 795-7700 or by clicking here.

“The AutoZone Liberty Bowl has a long history of excellence and is one the of most tradition-rich college football bowl games in America. To be recognized with the 2019 Distinguished Citizen Award by such an outstanding organization is a tremendous honor,” said Donald Dell. “Many exceptional American icons in business, sports and entertainment have received this award and I very much appreciate the AutoZone Liberty Bowl including me on this list of incredible individuals.”

“Donald joins a decades-long list of renowned Americans who have distinguished themselves and reached the pinnacle in their chosen field,” said Steve Ehrhart, Executive Director of the AutoZone Liberty Bowl.  “We are proud to include Donald among the luminaries who have been honored by the AutoZone Liberty Bowl over our 61-year history.”

“Donald Dell is one of the giants in the history of tennis and one of the great founding fathers and innovators of sports marketing and sports representation,” said Kevin Kane, President and CEO of Memphis Tourism. “Donald’s life and career check all the boxes of what the Distinguished Citizen Award is all about. He shaped modern tennis and the industry of sports marketing and representation. He is also an amazing philanthropist, having raised millions of dollars for various charitable initiatives.”

Dell played tennis at Yale, earning All-American honors in 1958, 1959 and 1960. He played on two United States Davis Cup Teams and later served as the youngest captain of the U.S. Davis Cup Team.

Dell’s passion for the business side of tennis made him one of the game’s most prolific power brokers and an industry leader. He is recognized as one of the “fathers” of sports marketing and athlete representation. Dell founded ProServ, a worldwide sports marketing firm. He represented many of the world’s top tennis players, including Arthur Ashe and Stan Smith. Outside of tennis, he was NBA star Michael Jordan’s first lawyer/agent.

Dell was instrumental in co-founding the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP). He pioneered national television coverage of tennis and became a familiar face and voice providing commentary for PBS and NBC television.

Dell has been an energetic philanthropist for many years, raising millions of dollars for medical research, scholarships, education and youth tennis. Following Arthur Ashe’s death, he co-founded the Arthur Ashe Foundation.

His legacy as one of the pioneers of sports business and sports marketing was recognized with the presentation of the Champions Award from Sports Business Journal in 2013.

Dell is a noted author and is still active today overseeing the Citi Open tennis tournament in Washington, D.C. He also teaches law at the University of Virginia.

About the Distinguished Citizen Award:

As the 7th oldest bowl game in America, the AutoZone Liberty Bowl was founded on the principles of freedom, patriotism and liberty. One of the Bowl’s time-honored traditions is the annual presentation of the Distinguished Citizen Award. The award has been presented to a cross section of prominent Americans from a wide range of professions, including military commanders, governors and congressmen, as well as leaders in business, medicine, education, entertainment and sports.

Previous honorees include St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital founder Danny Thomas; U.S. Army General Kenneth Tovo; Nobel Prize recipient Dr. Peter Doherty; FedEx founder Fred Smith; AutoZone founder Pitt Hyde; U.S. Navy Admiral William Lawrence; Holiday Inn founder Kemmons Wilson and actress/business entrepreneur Priscilla Presley.

Legends from the sports world such as Paul “Bear” Bryant, Bobby Bowden, Lou Holtz, Tony Dungy, Lee Corso, Darrell Waltrip, Dick Vitale, Archie Manning and Tim McCarver have also received the award.

For Tickets Call (901) 795-7700
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