SBD/9/Leagues Governing Bodies

HOCKEY HELD HOSTAGE I: ALL-STAR GAME CANCELED

     The NHL announced the cancellation of the All-Star Game
which was scheduled to be played on January 21 in San Jose.  In
September, the NHL announced its deal with Fox Sports to carry a
limited number of games, and that Nike and Anheuser-Busch were
signing on as marketing partners.  The Fox deal was to have
started with the San Jose All-Star Game.  Maple Leafs President &
GM Cliff Fletcher:  "The Fox Network needs a lot of lead-in time
to promote this game.  With all of the uncertainty, there was no
alternative but to cancel it" (David Shoalts, Toronto GLOBE &
MAIL, 12/9).
     REAX:  Fox execs "downplayed the significance of the loss of
the game and the league will likely have to offer some sort of
rebate to the network" (Cox & McKenzie, TORONTO STAR, 12/9).
Nike Sports Marketing Divisional Manager Doug Stamm told THE
SPORTS BUSINESS DAILY: "We're still committed to the NHL. ... We
still believe in the strength of hockey."  Stamm said Nike
considers itself "partners" with the NHL and notes that their
deal is "three-prong" -- media, the international game and street
hockey programs.  Stamm made a point to stress that Nike is
committed to increase participation in street hockey programs
(THE DAILY).  Fox Sports President David Hill, asked if he was
upset about the cancellation:  "Now I can schedule a firm time
for the All-Madden team" (Richard Sandomir, N.Y. TIMES, 12/9).
In Boston, Jim Baker notes -- if there is a season -- that Fox
won't have its first hockey telecast until regional coverage on
the season's last two Sundays (BOSTON HERALD, 12/9). Tony
Ponturo, VP/Corporate Media & Sports Marketing for Anheuser-
Busch, would not comment on the cancellation, but released the
following: "We remain tremendously excited about the association
that Ice Draft and Ice Draft Light will have with the NHL.  The
NHL is the No. 1 marketing activity that we have planned for our
Ice Draft brands" (A-B)
     OTHER DEALS?  In New York, Neal Travis reports another
potential deal with a major corporation could be in jeopardy if
the NHL cancels its season.  Travis cites rumors that
MCA/Universal was interested in buying the Lightning and moving
the team to its entertainment complex in Orlando, but may
reconsider in light of the lockout (N.Y. POST, 12/9).
     MEANWHILE, OVERSEAS ... While announcing that a seventh game
had been added to his all-star team's tour of Europe, Wayne
Gretzky predicted there would be a European division of the NHL
"within the next 10 years."  Peter Gudmunsson, GM of Swedish club
Djurgarden:  "When I listen to Wayne talk about the NHL in
Europe, I think the time has come" (CP/ Toronto GLOBE & MAIL,
12/9).  Team Gretzky coach Doug Wilson:  "This tour may never
end" (TORONTO STAR, 12/9).  Mark Messier told the N.Y. POST that
he guarantees a new league will form if the NHL cancels the
season.  Messier:  "And it won't be next year.  It will be in
February or early January. ... We'll be looking at an
interlocking schedule with Canada, the U.S. and Europe.  It has
been a surprise to come here and see the response the teams are
getting" (Mark Everson, N.Y. POST, 12/9).
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