540 Sports and Entertainment

Professional Services

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"This license authorized 540 Sports and Entertainment to place American basketball players on Iranian teams. When 540's owner, John Spencer, first received a phone call from an Iranian sports agent inquiring about such placements, he thought that the man was joking. But since then, he said, he has placed a number of professional players on teams in Iran. On average, the men were paid $7,000 to $40,000 per month, Mr. Spencer said. The United States has long supported such 'sports diplomacy,' and while relations between the United States and Iran are testy, Mr. Spencer said he found that everyday Iranians 'are fascinated with our culture, just as we should be fascinated with theirs.'" (New York Times, "Licenses Granted to U.S. Companies Run the Gamut," 12/24/10)