SBD/16/Franchises

DOWN ON THE FARM: MAJOR HAPPENINGS IN THE MINOR LEAGUES

     GONE, BUT NOT FORGOTTEN:  Nashville Sounds President & GM
Larry Schmittou will go ahead with his Michael Jordan ads this
season, even though Jordan has officially retired from baseball.
Schmittou:  "Heck.  I paid too much money for those ads not to
use them."  Schmittou hired an ad agency three weeks ago to
produce four 30-second spots when Jordan was expected to play for
the Sounds (N.Y. NEWSDAY, 3/15).
     BISONS SETTING NEW STANDARDS:  The AAA Buffalo Bisons this
season will become the first professional baseball organization
to use the "SportSoft/SQL" ticketing system.  The system,
designed by HILL Arts & Entertainment, will bring all the team's
ticket transactions and information in-house.  The team claims
immediate benefits will be better customer service and lower
rates, while long-term gains include direct mail and database
marketing (Bisons).
     EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT:  The AHL Syracuse Crunch
are sponsoring a program called "Newspapers In Education" this
season.  With the program, the team donates over 20,000
newspapers to area schools.  Teachers then use them to teach
reading, math and current events.  Crunch players also go to the
schools to talk with students about the rewards of working hard
and staying in school (Crunch).
     HERSHEY DOESN'T TAKE AMERICAN EXPRESS:  Hersheypark Arena
and the AHL Hershey Bears have announced the arrival of a new
Hershey Bears VISA card.  The card features an aerial view of the
arena and offers discounts on such things as season tickets and
admission to Hersheypark (Bears).
     HERE'S A STORY, OF A TEAM NAMED AEROS ... The IHL Houston
Aeros offered "Brady Night at the Aeros" last week.  Susan Olsen,
who played the Cindy on the original TV show, was on hand.
Anyone attending the game whose name was Mike, Carol, Greg,
Marsha, Peter, Jan, Cindy, Bobby, Alice, or Brady received a
ticket discount (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 3/10).
     HOW 'BOUT THEM GRIZZLIES:  The IHL Denver Grizzlies were on
a pace to set a Denver pro hockey attendance record during their
game last night against the Kansas City Blades.  The Grizzlies
will surpass the NHL Colorado Rockies' previous record of 391,535
in '79-80.  The team has also sold over $1 million in merchandise
(IHL).
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