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SBD/17/Leagues Governing Bodies
STERN SAYS GETTING A DEAL IS WHAT'S BEST FOR SPONSORS
Published August 17, 1995
In yesterday's media teleconference, NBA Commissioner David Stern said a deal is the best way to protect the NBA's sponsors and the league's continued growth. Stern: "We are absolutely, flat-out poised for extraordinary growth. The recent Disney acquisition of ABC, with a reference to the importance of ESPN; the fact that an NBC would sort of step up and make its statement by acquiring a sports property such as the Olympics; the fact that CBS further cements its growth by focusing on NCAA basetball; the fact that the Fox network focuses on the NFL and hockey to improve its status; this all speaks well for enormous potential growth of our league. And we think the best way to come up with a collective bargaining agreement is to promise player and owner alike that they will share in that growth. That's why we reached out to the players with the second deal and that's the soft message, in effect, that we're sending both to our sponsors and our players. We understand both the opportunity and the risk and we'd like to take advantage of the opportunity and avoid the risk" (THE DAILY). ARMATO ON "MONEYLINE": Leonard Armato, agent to Shaquille O'Neal, on CNN last night: "A lot of people don't understand just how important it is to companies involved in the sport to be able to plan their marketing themes. And what happens sometimes when there's labor unrest is that those companies start to get a little nervous, and that tends to take money out of the sport. Basketball has been such a fast growing sport and captured the imaginations of fans and sponsors and people all over the world, I think it's dangerous to mess with that right now -- particularly in light of the most recent round of labor negotiations. So, right now before I have analyzed in full detail the proposals that are on the table, my initial indication is that it is best for all to simply settle their differences in connection with the current agreement" (CNN, 8/16).