SBD/23/Leagues Governing Bodies

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  • FOR STERN, ENTERTAINMENT IS A THREE- LETTER WORD -- NBA

         The recent McDonald's spots mixing NBA stars and Warner
    Brothers characters is a "snapshot" of NBA Commissioner David
    Stern's vision for the league.  In an interview in the latest
    ADVERTISING AGE, Stern calls the McDonald's spots the "best-
    crafted NBA (related) ad campaign I've ever seen.  And it might
    give you an idea where we're headed."  Stern's "stated ambition"
    is to make the NBA "a poor man's Disney" with the league is using
    its basic format as a professional sports league "as a
    springboard" to become a global provider of "entertainment
    content," whether it be programming or licensed products.  Stern
    has offered the services of NBA Entertainment, a "key element" of
    his vision, to Hollywood studios to assist in developing
    "basketball-themed movies"   -- including an upcoming Warner
    Jordan-Bugs Bunny film.  Stern is also working toward
    establishing an NBA site on the World Wide Web, and has had
    "discussions" with Pacific Telesis and Bell Atlantic about
    participating in video dialtone network tests.  All of this
    outreach is geared toward "establishing the NBA as a global
    brand."  Stern: "We're determined to make the NBA a global
    marketing vehicle for global marketers" (Jeff Jensen, ADVERTISING
    AGE, 5/22).
         FROM PHOENIX TO HOLLYWOOD?  One of the projects NBA
    Entertainment is providing support for is the upcoming Disney
    movie "Celtic Pride."  According to the BOSTON HERALD, Disney
    officials are trying to sign Charles Barkley for the lead (Fee &
    Raposa, BOSTON HERALD, 5/22).
    

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, McDonalds, NBA, Walt Disney
  • MOUNTAIN BIKE LEAGUE TO LAUNCH INAUGURAL SEASON

         The Professional Bicycle League (PBL) will kick off its
    inaugural season on the weekend of July 8 with a race between the
    New York Tribe and the Miami Manatees.  All races will take place
    on 1200 foot oval courses to be held outdoors at major sports
    facilities throughout the world.  PBL's "principle" arenas
    include New York's Shea Stadium, Chicago's Soldier Field,
    Pasadena's Rose Bowl, and London's Wembley Stadium.  The league
    will get broadcast coverage from ESPN2 and ESPN International,
    and initial charter sponsors include American Airlines, GT
    Bicycles and WINNING magazine (Professional Bicycle League).
    

    Print | Tags: American Airlines, ESPN, Leagues and Governing Bodies, Walt Disney
  • ROLLER HOCKEY INTERNATIONAL GOES ON A EUROPEAN VACATION

         Roller Hockey International held organizational meetings in
    Zurich, Switzerland last weekend and committed to six tour dates
    in Europe.  League officials say "the climate looks very
    positive" for league play in '97.  The tour will feature North
    American All-Stars against European All-Stars and will be
    scheduled between April 25-May 12, 1996.  RHI-Europe Chair Dennis
    Murphy: "We have great partners in Europe, they are leaders in
    the ice hockey industry and have indicated the best exhibition
    buildings are open to us" (RHI).
    

    Print | Tags: Dallas Stars, Leagues and Governing Bodies, Southwest Sports Group
  • SOURCE SAYS BETTMAN MAY CONVINCE TURNER TO TAKE TEAM IN '96

         Following reports that the NHL will award expansion
    franchises to Denver and Atlanta to begin play in the '96-97
    season, Ted Turner has told the ATLANTA CONSTITUTION that "he
    doesn't want a team before the 1997-98 season and hopes the
    league won't announce anything this summer."  Turner says he
    wants a new arena in place before a new team comes to Atlanta,
    and does not want to market a new team during the '96 Games.
    League sources told the TAMPA TRIBUNE that NHL Commissioner Gary
    Bettman "could make concessions to convince Turner to join the
    league in 1996-97."  In Tampa, Tom Jones writes that "with new-
    found popularity, the NHL wants to capitalize on the momentum and
    expand as quickly as possible.  Announcing two expansion teams --
     50 new jobs for players -- this summer would also help the
    bargaining agreement.  And the board of governors will welcome
    expansion money."  The TRIBUNE lists other scenarios for
    expansion: If Quebec moves to Denver, the NHL would expand to
    Atlanta and another city -- Portland, Phoenix or Seattle -- for
    '97-98; or, the NHL could award expansion franchises to Denver
    and another city for '96-97 and then expand to Atlanta "one or
    two years after that" (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 5/23).
    

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, NHL
  • UBL LOOKING TO START IN '96, BUT STILL LACKS ESSENTIALS

         In Washington, Leonard Shapiro examines the state of the
    United Baseball League and writes that with less than a year to
    go before they begin play, UBL organizers "have yet to announce
    the identity of a single franchise owner, club executive or
    player, let alone what stadiums they've secured and whcih
    television entities -- if any -- will broadcast their games."
    UBL co-founder Robert Mrazek, who promises details "in due time":
    "I don't want to sound as if we're bewildered or befuddled
    because we're not.  We're making progress.  It's do or die for us
    in '96.  We think the opportunity is there.  We have an abundance
    of solid, serious investors.  We'll be able to hire major league
    players.  The most difficult problem is with stadiums."  Shapiro
    notes, "With the new TV networks being formed by Paramount and
    Time Warner, with CBS out of the NFL, NBA, and major league
    baseball picture and with a 500-channel cable universe a virtual
    certainty, UBL officials are confident they can provide
    attractive programming."  Agent Leigh Steinberg believes that
    cable outlets and some networks will be interested, but adds,
    "The key is do they have adequate money to cover their losses and
    have enough deep-pocketed owners who won't panic?" (WASHINGTON
    POST, 5/20).
         VIRGINIA BASEBALL THREATENED BY UBL?  Virginia Baseball
    officials are reportedly "working behind the scenes, trying to
    get where St. Petersburg was in the most recent major league
    baseball expansion process -- in a secured position to be awarded
    the next team."  The group is also pursuing the possibility of
    luring an existing team to the area.  If that happens, RFK
    Stadium would be used as a temporary home until a new stadium is
    built.  But RFK officials have been involved in negotiations with
    the UBL, which hopes to lease the stadium for its Washington
    franchise.  Privately, DC officials "acknowledge that the best
    chance to bring baseball back to the Washington area is through
    Virginia Baseball, and they will be reluctant to make a deal"
    with the UBL if it endangers Virginia Baseball's chances of
    bringing a franchise to the Washington area.  DC Sports
    Commission Dir Jim Dalrymple said he has had little contact
    recently with the UBL:  "There's nothing really moving on that
    front" (Thom Loverro, WASHINGTON TIMES, 5/20).
    

    Print | Tags: CBS, Leagues and Governing Bodies, NBA, NFL, Time Warner, Viacom
  • USA TODAY EXAMINES THE LOST BASEBALL FAN

         As part of a week-long series, USA TODAY ran a poll on where
    the four major sports rank as fans' favorites, and charted the
    revenue-payroll performance of American League teams compared to
    '94.  Look for both the AL and NL revenue and payroll numbers in
    THE SPORTS BUSINESS DAILY tomorrow.
         BREAKING DOWN U.S. SPORTS FANS:  According to CNN/USA
    TODAY/Gallup surveys, the number of "so-called true baseball fans
    is at a two-year low" (USA TODAY, 5/23).
    
          
    DATE
    ALL
    18-29
    30-49
    50+
    14-May-95
      35%
      36%
      38%
      31%
    26-Feb-95
    37
    38
    35
    38
    7-Sep-94
    35
    38
    35
    34
    9-Aug-94
    35
    39
    36
    31
    May-93
    39
    40
    41
    35
    FOR ALL AGES? In an April CNN/USA
    TODAY survey, fans were asked to name their
    "favorite sport" (USA TODAY, 5/23).
    SPORT
    ALL
    18-29
    30-49
    50-64
    65+
    Football
      32%
      41%
      31%
      33%
      23%
    Baseball
    16
    10
    17
    15
    23
    Basketball
    15
    18
    16
    12
    12
    Hockey
    3
    5
    4
    3
    2

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, Time Warner
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