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Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival Ambassadors

Former NFL star and now television personality Tiki Barber and Billie Jean King, the famed professional tennis and women's rights legend, served as ambassadors of the ESPN/Tribeca Film Festival.

Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival

Tiki Barber

Tiki Barber

Born premature and suffering from febrile seizures as a toddler, Tiki Barber was told he never could play contact sports. But he used the fierce determination passed down to him by his mother--a breast-cancer survivor and single parent--to shine both athletically and academically, at the University of Virginia McIntire School of Commerce (Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society). In demand as a corporate pitchman, he has appeared in national ad campaigns for VISA, Johnston & Murphy Shoes, Cadillac, Dish Network, Reebok, Foot Locker and Sports Illustrated.

Barber is working on an animated TV series based on his children`s books and in 2005 acted in the off-Broadway play "Women of Manhattan." In 2001, he was named one of People Magazine`s "50 Most Beautiful People." At the podium, he speaks not only of his path to an amazing NFL career but also about responsibility and accountability in one`s professional life-sharing with audiences his belief in the influence business leaders and CEOs can have on today`s youth. Barber also stresses the importance of teamwork, determination and humility in creating success both in life and in business. His inspiring presentation motivates audiences to achieve greatness.



Billie Jean King

Billie Jean King

Billie Jean King has long been a champion for social change. A one of the most illustrious and celebrated athletes in history, King is recognized for spearheading the women's movement in tennis and for her life-long pursuit of equal rights and opportunities for girls and boys. King empowered women and educated men when she defeated Bobby Riggs in one of the greatest moments in sports history – the Battle of the Sexes in 1973.

In 1990, Life magazine named her one of the "100 Most Important Americans of the 20th Century". In 1994, she ranked No. 5 on Sports Illustrated’s “Top 40 Athletes” list for significantly altering or elevating sports the last four decades.

On the court, King left a lasting and indelible mark. She won 39 Grand Slams, including a record 20 Wimbledon titles. King is the only woman to win U.S. Open singles titles on all 4 surfaces on which it has been played (grass, clay, carpet, hard).

King has had a long and impressive career of firsts. In 1970, she was one of nine players who broke away from the tennis establishment and accepted $1 contracts from tennis promoter Gladys Heldman in Houston. The revolt lead to the formation of the Virginia Slims Tour and Women’s Tennis Association. In 1971, she was the first woman athlete to win more than $100,000 in any sport. In 1974 she became the first woman to coach a professional team with men when she served as player/coach for the Philadelphia Freedoms of World TeamTennis.

King founded the Women’s Tennis Association in 1973, the Women’s Sports Foundation in 1974 and Women’s Sports Magazine in 1974. She also co-founded World TeamTennis in 1974.

King’s biggest honor in tennis came on August 28, 2006, when the National Tennis Center, home of the US Open, was renamed the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, in honor of King’s contributions to tennis, sports and society both on and off the court. King was honored once again in October 2006 when the National Sports Museum and the Women’s Sports Foundation announced that the Billie Jean King International Women’s Sports Center, the nation’s first permanent, comprehensive museum dedicated to women’s sports, will be housed at the National Sports Museum when it opens in New York City in 2008.

Off the court, King remains active in a number of important causes. She serves on the boards of the Women’s Sports Foundation and the Elton John AIDS Foundation. She currently chairs the Tennis in the Parks Committee of the USTA. She is a member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame and the National Women's Hall of Fame.


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