SBD/3/Sports Industrialists

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  • NAMES IN THE NEWS

         The HARLEM GLOBETROTTERS are the subjects of a possible
    movie and Broadway musical.  GAIL STAYDEN is producing a musical
    based on Globetrotter founder ABE SAPERSTEIN's life called
    "Hoopz," which has a score written by SMOKEY ROBINSON.  MANNIE
    JACKSON, who is producing the untitiled movie about the team, on
    the project: "Basketball is a multimillion-dollar global
    industry.  It is the best managed and most viable sport from both
    an entertainment and economic standpoint" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE,
    3/3)....KEN DERRETT was named Dir of Marketing for Sponsorships &
    Media Programs for the Canadian Arm of NBA Properties.  Derrett
    comes from Labatts, where he was manager of sports properties
    (NBA)....  CA Public Employees' Retirement System announced that
    it has approved a $50M investment in real estate venture with
    MAGIC JOHNSON (BLOOMBERG BUSINESS NEWS/N.Y. POST, 3/3)....JAY
    FEE, the Boston attorney that represents CAM NEELY among others,
    has moved from Mahoney Hawkes & Goldings to Tillinghast Collins &
    Graham, where he will head a new sports management corporation
    (BOSTON HERALD, 3/2)....67-year-old GORDIE HOWE was drafted by
    the Motor City Mustangs in the tenth round of the Roller Hockey
    Int'l draft.  Howe: "When kids are involved, I get involved.  So
    yeah, I'll probably put the blades on then" (DETROIT FREE PRESS,
    3/2)....MICHAEL JORDAN, asked if he would play in a game with
    other retired legends against current NBA All-Stars: "Yeah, just
    for the fun and love of it, not for business or making money.
    The game has become too commercialized" (SPORT, 3/95 issue).
    

    Print | Tags: Dallas Stars, NBA, Orlando Magic, RDV Sports, Southwest Sports Group, People and Pop Culture
  • THE "I" GOES HOLLYWOOD -- SELLING A 3RD HOCKEY TEAM IN L.A.

         Greg McElroy was recently named President of the new IHL
    club in L.A.  McElroy, a native of L.A., has spent the past four
    seasons as VP of Marketing with the L.A. Kings.  Fred Comrie,
    owner of the IHL San Diego Gulls, will finish out this season in
    San Diego and then move his team to the L.A. Sports Arena.
    Yesterday, THE SPORTS BUSINESS DAILY spoke with McElroy about his
    plans for the team and his hopes for the league.  Excerpts
    follow:
         THE DAILY: What enticed you to leave a successful major
    league franchise like the Kings to do what you are doing now?
    What attracted you about the IHL?
         MCELROY:  We had really reached the pinnacle at the Kings as
    far as corporate sponsorships are concerned, maxed out is the way
    we put it.  Our radio was sold out, our signage was sold out, our
    print was as close to sold out as possible.  I needed a new
    challenge, and I thought what better place to start than in my
    own hometown where my contacts are, with the ability to start
    from scratch. ... Also, as a lot of NBA owners have proven by
    getting involved, it is a league to be with right now as far as
    growth.  I left a very good situation in the NHL because I
    believe so much in what the IHL has to offer, and I wanted to be
    part of it.
         THE DAILY:  How will this IHL team fit into the L.A. market?
    Is the market big enough for three teams?
         MCELROY:  Absolutely, and that was really the biggest
    question I had about making the transition from the NHL to the
    IHL.  I did a lot of research, I talked to a lot of different
    people, from sponsors to fans to people on the hockey side,
    asking 'Can a third team make it?'  I think it can.  One, hockey
    is exploding in Southern California.  It is no accident that the
    Ducks are a tremendous success, and I think it has to do with
    Gretzky.  It all started with Wayne coming to town six years ago.
    Rinks are being built all over Southern California and they are
    sold out 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  People can't get
    enough of the sport.  Second, we all know the prices of a ticket
    to go to the Ducks and the Kings games.  Well, for the lowest
    price Colonnade (the lowest upper level) seat at the Forum, they
    can get one of the better seats at our games.  A family of four
    will be able to come to one of our games for the price of one
    loge ticket at the Forum.  It is not only affordable, but it is
    going to be quality family entertainment as well.
         THE DAILY: How does the league balance the competing factors
    of having a major league product with quality players and keeping
    your prices affordable?
         MCELROY: One of the reasons why the league has done so well
    in the last couple of years is that we have controlled expenses.
    Through player costs and management costs, we have kept it
    manageable.  We don't have to pass on these tremendous jumps in
    our expenses to our fans.
         THE DAILY:  What do you plan with corporate community?
         MCELROY:  We have received a lot of positive feedback from a
    variety of sponsors already that are very interested in joining
    forces with us, primarily because we are going to go after a
    different market than the Kings and the Ducks.  Instead of big
    corporations owning blocks of tickets, we are going to have
    families owning those tickets.  So, we are going to design
    campaigns for our sponsors to maximize their exposure to these
    families and do various programs.
         THE DAILY:  Will the IHL ever compete with the NHL for star
    players?
         MCELROY: No, I can't see in the foreseeable future that we
    compete for the Wayne Gretzky's of the world.  That would defeat
    everything that the IHL has worked so hard to accomplish.  The
    whole thing is to keep ticket prices down, and when you are
    paying millions of dollars to a player you are going to pass
    those expenses to the fans and to the sponsors. ... There is a
    large enough market out there satisfied with seeing our brand of
    hockey at affordable prices that we don't need to do that.
         THE DAILY: Will the league be able to survive if the NHL
    pulls its developmental relationships with the IHL?
         MCELROY:  Absolutely, because I think players want to play
    in the markets the IHL has teams in, they want to be involved --
    especially with all the new owners that are coming into the
    league.  The Detroit Pistons now own a team, the Orlando Magic
    has just committed to a team for next season.  These are some big
    league owners and we play in big league cities across the
    country.  What player wouldn't want to play in front of 20,000 in
    Detroit?  What player wouldn't want to play in front of 14,000
    here in Los Angeles?
         THE DAILY:  How can a pro ice hockey team take advantage of
    the boom in in-line skating?
         MCELROY:  That is important here in Southern California, and
    there are a lot of different things we can do.  We might want to
    do a deal with the L.A. Blades and have some of the same players
    that play for the Blades play for our team, and so fans become
    accustomed and follow their favorite players.
    

    Print | Tags: Detroit Pistons, NBA, NHL, Orlando Magic, Palace Sports & Entertainment, RDV Sports, People and Pop Culture
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