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PORTLAND BLAZES AN ONLINE TRAIL, NBA PULLS IN REINS
Published May 23, 1995
The Blazers, the first NBA team to develop their own World Wide Web site, "may soon be tapped to create an Internet site for the [NBA] to promote all of its teams," according to the current AD AGE. The team is already advising the league on its online strategy, and a formal assignment "could cement the Trail Blazers' position as one of the most active developer of new- media applications in pro sports." The team's four-person multimedia staff has also developed "Game Ops Commander" software, which automates the video and sound effect entertainment during games, and is planning interactive kiosks at the team's new arena. The team's plans were so advanced, the NBA forced them to dismantle their Web site in March citing NBA marketing rules. Blazers VP/Marketing & Communications Larry Hitchcock: "We were just a little ahead of the game" (Charles Waltner, ADVERTISING AGE, 5/22 issue). The Blazers are owned by Starwave Corp.'s Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft.