SBD/6/Franchises

DOWN ON THE FARM: MAJOR HAPPENINGS IN THE MINOR LEAGUES

     EXCITEMENT RAINING DOWN ON TACOMA:  Since Mariners moved
their AAA affiliation from Calgary to Tacoma, there is now
renewed interest in a region "eager to play ball."  6,500 of
10,000 tickets have already been sold for tonight's Rainiers'
opener, "making a sellout likely."  Along with the renewed fan
interest, the team has sold 24 corporate sponsorships to local
and national companies for $37,500 each.  Among the sponsors:
Alaska Airlines, Domino's Pizza, Pepsi, and Boeing Co.  Rainiers
Dir of Community Relations Kevin Kalal:  "I thought we would have
trouble selling 20 corporate sponsors when we started, but now
we're looking for two more on top of the 24."  According to
Kalal, the team has also sold more caps in December '94 than all
last year (Angelo Bruscas, SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER, 4/6).  The
Tacoma AAA team was known as the Tigers in '94.
     BISONS HOPE TO HERD SOME YOUNG'UNS:  The AAA Buffalo Bisons
will be focusing on making games more enjoyable for kids this
season.  Through the corporate sponsorship of Jubilee Foods,
Independent Health, Polaroid and Putt-Putt, the team is able to
offer "Kids Korner" -- an area designated for kids -- which
includes a special concession stand serving such items as grilled
cheese and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, a photo booth
where they can get their picture taken with a favorite team
mascot or character and a new play area.  Bisons Public Relations
Dir John Isherwood:  "Bison baseball is all about the family and
kids" (Bisons).
     TAKING ONE LAST BITE OUT OF BIG MAC:  The AAA Syracuse
Chiefs, playing their last season at 62-year-old MacArthur
Stadium, have a new logo and slogan this season called "Last
Crack At Big Mac."  The slogan is being used to commemorate the
final season at MacArthur and is being used on all Chiefs printed
materials and merchandise (Chiefs).
     SPORTSCENTER COMING UP NEXT:  This Sunday will mark the
first nationally televised game in franchise history for the AAA
Phoenix Firebirds when they take on the Las Vegas Stars on ESPN.
With the national exposure, the team is sponsoring a contest to
award two season tickets to the fan displaying the most creative
Firebirds/ESPN banner (Firebirds).
     TRACKING MICK E. MOOSE:  The IHL Minnesota Moose have
announced the kick-off of the "Big Game Hunt," a "fan friendly"
program created to alleviate confusion as to where the Moose are
playing their playoff games.  Due to schedule conflicts, the
Moose will be playing their first round playoff games in the
Target Center instead of the normal St. Paul Civic Center.
Details of the "Big Game Hunt" are being broadcast on local radio
and newspapers (Moose).
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