Billies at Tiffany's

Billies at Tiffany's

While Avalon and the Beverly Hilton Hotel brimmed with pre-Grammy star studded parties, a different set of celebrities held court amidst diamonds and pearls at Tiffany and Co. on Rodeo Drive.   Tuesday night's soiree saw the creme de la creme of female athletes poised for the announcement of the new Billies Award, recognizing extraordinary contributions in the media's portrayal of women in sports and physical fitness.  Tiffany's President Nellie Seddigh joined Women in Sports founder Billie Jean King and Olympic Softball Player Jessica Mendoza to unveil the nominees for the first annual Billie Awards in three categories.

Nominees for the Billies Award in Journalism include USA Today columnist Christine Brennan, ESPN's production of the 2005 Women's Final Four Tournament, Author Welch Suggs for 'A Place on the Team: The Triumph and Tragedy of Title XI', and Washington Post columnist Sally Jenkins. 

There will be fierce competition as nominees line up in the category of Entertainment.  'Girl Wrestler' by Diane Zander takes on HBO's 'Dare to Dream: The Story of the U.S. Women's Soccer Team' and Fox Searchlight Pictures' 'Bend It Like Beckham'.  Warner Bros. finishes out the category with Academy Award winning 'Million Dollar Baby'.

In the Breakthrough and Innovation category, ABC is nominated for 'Super Stars', the 'Passion to Play' series, and the 1999 Women's World Cup.  Jane Gottesman and Geoffrey Biddle's 'Game Face: What Does a Female Athlete Look Like?' and NIKE's print ad campaigns 'If You Let Me Play' and 'Big Butts, Thunder Thighs, and Tomboy Knees' are also in the running for the prestigious award.


Tennis Legend Billie Jean King


Named in honor of WSF founder Billie Jean King, the new awards will be presented at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in April with special guests Sir Elton John and award winning actress Geena Davis.  The Billie Award truly honors its namesake.  Billie Jean King is a household name in the world of sports.  Winner of the International Olympic Committee Women in Sport World Trophy during the 2003 U.S. Open, she boasts 20 Wimbledon titles, a landmark 'Battle of the Sexes' victory over Bobby Riggs, and was inducted into not only one, but three Halls of Fame, including The National Women's Hall of Fame, The International Tennis Hall of Fame, and the International Women's Sports Hall of Fame. In 1972, King was the first woman to be named Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year and thirty three years later, she was listed third on Sports Illustrated's America's Top 25 Revolutionary Athletes list. King's long list of accolades also names her as one of the 20th Century's '100 Most Important Americans'. 

Flanked by Olympic Gold Medalists and 'Desperate Housewives' star Marcia Cross, Billie Jean King and the new Billies Award were the toast of Tiffany's.


Marcia Cross and Nellie Seddigh with Billie Jean King


Tiffany & Co. is the official award sponsor and designer of the prestigious Billies Award.





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