SBD/16/Sports Industrialists

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  • EXECUTIVE TRANSACTIONS

         DEE RAY is leaving Raycom Inc. at the end of the year to
    spend more time with her family and launch a public-speaking
    career (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 12/16)....IMG announced ROBERT KAIN,
    IAN TODD, and ALASTAIR JOHNSTON were promoted to newly created
    positions of Senior Exec VP to help direct the continued
    expansion of the company (IMG)....Liberty Sports' "Press Box"
    hired three anchors:  ANDRE ALDRIDGE, RANDY SPARAGE, and PAUL
    SUNDERLAND.  The nightly news show premieres January 1 (Liberty).
    

    Print | Tags: Cablevision, IMG, New York Liberty, People and Pop Culture
  • NAMES IN THE NEWS

         NBPA President BUCK WILLIAMS, on the current labor
    negotiations: "They take us for granted like all we can do is
    play the game.  It's an attitude that has developed early on that
    has to be changed. ... We care just as much about professional
    basketball as Mr. Stern does. ... It would be foolish not to
    wonder where basketball is headed and not be prepared because the
    climate of professional sports has really changed" (MCCLATHCY
    NEWS, 12/16).  Heavyweight Champ GEORGE FOREMAN will host the
    final telecast of "Saturday Night Live" tomorrow on NBC....GRANT
    HILL tells USA WEEKEND how he was "offended" during college
    recruiting by Georgetown, his first choice, when he was asked to
    read pages from a book out loud (USA TODAY, 12/16).
    

    Print | Tags: NBC, People and Pop Culture
  • NASCAR MARKETING CHIEF IS REVVING UP FOR A STRONG '95

         Yesterday, THE SPORTS BUSINESS DAILY spoke with Brian
    France, VP/Marketing & Corporate Communications for NASCAR, about
    the sport's successes in '94 and predictions for '95.  France
    will be a featured speaker at the 17th International Sport Summit
    in New York on January 17-18.
         THE DAILY:  Assess NASCAR's marketing for 1994.
         FRANCE:  We had a banner year on all fronts, licensing,
    attendance, etc.  We introduced a new product with NASCAR
    SuperTruck series by Craftsman.  Obviously, we have very high
    hopes for that.
         THE DAILY:  Is '95 the year that NASCAR breaks out of the
    stereotype of being a regional sport?
         FRANCE:  You break out of that stigma by taking events to
    different parts of the country.  We're going into Miami in '95
    with a Busch Car National event.  We're hopeful to be in Los
    Angeles in '96 or '97 with that new track.  And we are also
    looking at the Pacific Rim, on an international basis.  In Japan,
    we've had ongoing discussions and we are optimistic that those
    will bring some events overseas.
         THE DAILY:  With surveys showing that brand loyalty is
    highest among NASCAR fans, have new companies stepped up to
    sponsor NASCAR events or cars?
         FRANCE:  There are several new companies.  What we're
    finding, though, is that the way to explain the loyalty is that
    NASCAR has taken itself beyond the traditional.  We're a sport,
    obviously, but we're also a lifestyle.  It distinguishes us from
    others and people are noticing how hot the lifestyle is for fans
    that follow NASCAR.
         THE DAILY:  Are there new products on the horizon?
         FRANCE:   Our licensing is really poised to do great things
    and we'll be ahead of the curve on some innovative areas there.
    Our numbers look like they'll push well beyond $600 million in
    licensing sales.  We're still, obviously, behind the other
    leagues, but we are catching up.  It's a respectable number.
    It's probably about where the NHL, or past the NHL, considering
    their struggles.  Our apparel is doing real well.  But, we've got
    an eye on an untapped market and that is automotive after-market
    situation.  We're making some big strides there with various
    companies and we're gearing up for that.  That market is
    everything from floor mats to air filters, to you name it.  When
    it has to do with an automobile, we think a NASCAR line makes
    sense.  And we're going to have a very big presence in that
    industry in the years to come.
         THE DAILY:  How is NASCAR taking advantage of the legendary
    stars as a marketing opportunity?
         FRANCE:  Richard Petty is still in the sport as a car owner.
    Bobby Allison and others are owners.  That keeps them in the
    loop.  Many of them are going into the car owning ranks and
    that's a major role, so they're not disappearing by any stretch.
         THE DAILY:  Touch on some of the themes which you will speak
    about at the International Sport Summit.
         FRANCE:  We're just going to talk about what we are familiar
    with.  It's kind of difficult for us to speak to baseball
    dilemmas and labor problems, etc.  Where NASCAR is going may be a
    departure from most sports leagues.  We're really honing in on
    the lifestyle issue.  That's what we'll be talking about.  We're
    going to put all of our marketing effort behind that.  We think
    that's what makes sense, and it has implications for everything
    we do.  It is creating ways our fans can live a NASCAR lifestyle
    -- be it themed restaurants or retail stores or whatever
    licensing ventures fit nicely into what is already a NASCAR
    lifestyle.
    

    Print | Tags: Anheuser Busch, NASCAR, NHL, People and Pop Culture
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