SBD/19/Franchises

BALTIMORE NFL TEAM STARTS TO FAST-TRACK SALES EFFORT

     The greatest obstacle the Baltimore NFL team faces in terms
of getting ready for the coming season is, "pure and simple,
time," according to David Cope, recently hired as the team's VP
of Sales & Marketing.  Cope, who was General Sales Manager for
Capitol Sports from September '94 until March '96, acknowledged
there is a challenge in terms of selling PSLs to buyers who
already know they are getting a team.  Cope told THE DAILY that
PSL buyers "are not going to be sold on their dollars attracting
the team," but rather on the fact that their purchase is
necessary to cover the expenses of moving.  Cope, who said they
will stress the "investment" aspect of PSLs, added, "It is up to
us to put the proper educated word out."  On competing for
corporate dollars with the Orioles, for whom he worked as Dir of
Marketing from '91 to '94, Cope expects a "great amount" of
cross-over.  In '93, when Baltimore was going through the NFL
expansion process, Cope said he and the O's wanted "nothing to
do" with the return of the NFL to the city.  But what was clear
then and now, according to Cope, is the "passion" shown by
Baltimore's fans and the corporate community for football.
Choosing a name remains the top priority, with Cope admitting
that NFL Properties is eager for a decision.  As reported, the
short list is Ravens, Mustangs, Americans and Marauders -- with
Bulldogs an outside possibility.  A decision is expected this
week.  As for playing in Memorial Stadium, Cope said one early
concern is finding ways to accommodate premium seat holders, with
off-site entertainment options being explored (THE DAILY).
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