SBD/17/Franchises

GRIZZLIES' "DRIVE FOR FIVE" PROFILED IN CANADA

     This morning, Three Canadian papers examine the marketing of
the Grizzlies and their quest to meet the 12,500 season ticket
minimum with an NBA-determined deadline of December 31.  "The man
in charge of the unenviable task," Tod Leiweke, is profiled in
the VANCOUVER SUN.  "Recruited out of the Warriors organization
almost three weeks ago, Leiweke has become perhaps the single
most important employee of the Northwest Entertainment Group; the
umbrella company that oversees the Grizzlies, Vancouver Canucks,
and General Motors Place" (Dan Stinson, VANCOUVER SUN, 11/17).
But Jim Taylor of the Vancouver PROVINCE takes the team to task
for their hard sell.  "Memo to the marketing department of the
Vancouver Grizzlies:  Back off.  ... The Grizzlies are not a
community operation, and the community is under no obligation to
support them."  Taylor writes that if the team fails to sell
enough tickets "it will be because not enough people want to buy
your product. ... Wanting the NBA and needing it are two
different cats" (VANCOUVER SUN, 11/17).  A day in the Grizzlies
ticket office is chronicled in the Toronto GLOBE & MAIL (Neil
Campbell, GLOBE & MAIL, 11/17).
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