SBD/14/Franchises

CLASS A ROCKIES FIRST YEAR IN PORTLAND A BOX-OFFICE SUCCESS

     The Class A Portland Rockies drew 19,658 for their home
opener, the largest Class A crowd in America this year.  Through
14 home games, the team has averaged 7,202 fans for a total of
100,823, which marks the earliest a team in the Northern League
has passed the 100,000 mark.  This is the team's first year in
Portland, after 14 years in Bend, OR.  Portland became an open
market when Joe Buzas took his Triple A team to Salt Lake City
last year, and Rockies Owner Jack Cain moved the Rockies to Civic
Stadium.
     THE RIGHT MOVES:  Part of the team's success is attributed
to S.R.O. Partners, a Portland-based consulting and training firm
specializing in tickets, sponsorship, and suite sales strategies.
Tom Leip, VP/Marketing for the Rockies, told THE SPORTS BUSINESS
DAILY that they took the "ticketing marketing program by SRO and
ran with it."  Leip said the program was "very aggressive" and
said his staff of 18-20 full and part-time employees spend their
entire day selling tickets.  Leip said the marketing program is
based on ticket sales , "if we sell our tickets, the marketing
will take care of itself."  If the stands are full, advertisers
will want to buy signage and sponsorships.  Doug Piper, President
of S.R.O. Partners, said his company helped the Rockies hire and
train an outside sales team.  S.R.O. then followed up with
training sessions, including helping develop a database. They are
also in discussions on helping with sponsorships next season.
Dwight Jaynes, columnist for the Portland OREGONIAN, told THE
DAILY that the team has been "wildly successful."  Jaynes said
baseball as a whole is not being sold correctly, but "these guys
had lots of salesman on the streets selling tickets."  Jaynes:
"People think that you can open the gates on opening night and
fans either love you or hate you.  But they worked hard. ... The
Cain's have proven that the off-season is when the work gets
done, and tickets are sold."  Rockies Owner Jack Cain, to THE
DAILY: "We are a retail business.  We just have a different
product to sell."
     COULD PORTLAND BE HOME TO EXPANSION?  When asked if Portland
was a solid baseball city, Leip said that was "an
understatement."  Leip: "Portland is as good a baseball market as
any in the country. It has a population with a large disposable
income and they will come if is a good show."  The OREGONAIN's
Jaynes agrees: "[Portland is] a great baseball town, and once it
wakes up, it could be a great potential major league expansion
city" (THE DAILY).
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Colorado Rockies, Franchises

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