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Ski industry public-relations executive

Passing Date: 
Monday, February 20, 2017

Ski-industry public relations executive Anthony “Tony” Furman died on February 20, 2017, after a short illness at the age of 83.

Tony founded his sports marketing and public relations firm Anthony M. Furman, Inc. in New York City in 1966, growing the business and his national reputation as the “King of Minor Sports.” His agency garnered a prestigious clientele including AT&T, Anheuser-Busch, Beneteau yachts, Ice Follies and the America’s Cup. He promoted Wham-O from its beginning and helped make Frisbee a national obsession.

As an avid skier, Tony worked with the Utah and New Hampshire Ski Associations, the Harry A. Leonard and BEWI ski shows, Hunter Mountain, Vail Associates, Men’s and Women’s Pro Ski racing and Lake Placid during the 1980 Olympic Winter Games. He represented athletes, including Olympic alpine racer and three-time world freestyle champion Suzy Chaffee; he ran on-mountain events for clients like Camel cigarettes; and he promoted resorts with a repertoire of clever promotional ideas. He was known for his trademark leather hat, Groucho Marx moustache and upbeat personality.

Furman was an adjunct professor at New York University and Long Island University, where he taught classes in sports marketing and promotion. Early in his career, he served as advance man during Bobby Kennedy’s 1968 presidential campaign. Born in Glendale, California, in 1934, he leaves behind a loving wife, Betty, of 46 years and their son, Michael Jason. —Jeff Blumenfeld 

 

Comments

Submitted by jeff@blumenfeld... on

Tony was a mentor of mine. We would meet at the Broadway Diner and he would offer career suggestions, particularly in regards to my work in skiing. As I go on to mentor others, I will truly miss him.

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