SBD/23/Sports Media

PORTLAND BLAZES AN ONLINE TRAIL, NBA PULLS IN REINS

     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.
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Microsoft, NBA, Media

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