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         The Warriors named A's Exec VP Andy Dolich as their
    President and COO yesterday.  Dolich, 47 had been with the A's
    for 14 years, and oversaw the "Billyball" advertising campaign in
    the early '80's during Billy Martin's tenure as A's manager.
    Dolich has been in the sports business for over 23 years --
    working for the 76ers and Capitals before joining the A's.
    Dolich, who managed the A's entire marketing program, will begin
    with the Warriors on January 4, and report directly to team owner
    Christopher Cohan.  A's President/GM Sandy Alderson said of
    Dolich:  "Andy has sports marketing in his blood.  Over the years
    he has been a key architect of the team's off-the-field
    personality and its strong relationship with our fans and the
    community."  The A's promoted Alan Leford, 32, to become VP of
    Business Operations and take over Dolich's responsibilities

    Print | Tags: Comcast-Spectacor, Franchises, Golden State Warriors, Oakland Athletics, Philadelphia 76ers, Washington Capitals

         Indications are that Orange County's financial hardship will
    make it more difficult for the Rams to stay in Anaheim. The team
    was counting on heavy financial help from the county in building
    a new facility, but all plans are on hold.  Ernie Schneider,
    Chief Administrative Officer of Orange County, CA:  "We probably
    will not be going forward with some of the projects that had
    relied on bond financing that we had anticipated implementing in
    the future" ("Moneyline," CNN, 12/8).  Save the Rams spokesperson
    Leigh Steinberg: "Is the timing unfortunate?  Of course. ... We
    intend to keep on battling to save the Rams."  But in St. Louis,
    Bernie Miklasz reports indications that Save the Rams "is about
    to turn up the pressure" on Rams Owner Georgia Frontiere.  "Be on
    the lookout for a flurry of nuisance lawsuits designed to make
    Frontiere cower from a legal challenge" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH,

    Print | Tags: Franchises, LA Rams

         The Raptors took a major step in solidifying their franchise
    when they announced a multi-year, multi-million dollar
    partnership with Ford Motor of Canada.  The deal includes TV and
    radio advertising, stadium displays and signage and a series of
    promotional events.  Ford is the first major marketing partner
    signed on by the expansion franchise.  As part of the deal, Ford
    will have a leading presence on Raptors broadcasts carried by
    City-TV and the New VR that will cover the 41-home games.  Ford
    will also play a major part on radio, courtside and stadium ads.
    Raptors President John Bitove:  "Bringing on board a quality
    company such as Ford was literally our 'job 1' when it comes to
    the launch of our Raptor partnerships" (Raptors).
         DETAILS: The deal will reportedly pay the Raptors $3.5M per
    season over the next ten years.  Ford Canada National Advertising
    Manager Ron Dodds said Ford "saw the NBA as a wholesome target to
    attract to Ford products.  It's a little more youthful and
    relatively affluent."  The deal does not include naming rights to
    the Raptors' proposed arena, but it "instantly" puts the team in
    the black on its recent TV deal.  Last month, the Raptors bought
    air time on two stations for $2M, and still has 85%-90% of its TV
    ad-slots open.  Plus, the Raptors can still sell naming rights
    when the team's arena is finally announced (Craig Daniels,
    TORONTO SUN, 12/9).  Ford also has the right to use the Raptors
    logo in its ads and becomes the official automobile of the team.
    Bitove: "The deal is kind of unprecedented in terms of the size
    and the length of the deal. ... As more of our buisness becomes
    public, people will understand the rumors (of financial trouble
    in Raptorland) were never accurate" (Jim Beyers, TORONTO STAR,
         WHAT ABOUT GM?  General Motors had been negotiating with the
    Raptors in hopes of "wrapping up the pro basketball scene in
    Canada.  However, GM finally backed out believing that the
    sponsorship deal wasn't worth the money if the naming of the
    team's arena wasn't included" (Craig Daniels, TORONTO SUN, 12/9).
    Vancouver's arena is called GM Place.
         SPECIAL PROFILE:  Today's Toronto GLOBE & MAIL includes an
    extensive piece on the Raptors.  On the NBA mandated-minimum of
    12,500 season-tickets by December 31, Dir of Ticketing Mark
    Lavaway said, "Momentum seems to be on our side.  We're on a pace
    of between 175 and 250 tickets per day" (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL,

    Print | Tags: Franchises, General Motors, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, NBA, Canucks Sports and Entertainment, Toronto Raptors
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