SBD/5/Franchises

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  • FRANCHISE NOTES

         NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue met Sunday with Seahawks
    Owner Ken Behring and Blazers Owner Paul Allen, who has an option
    to buy the team, in an attempt to "massage" the proposed sale of
    the club.  Tagliabue expressed "optimism" the sale will be
    consummated as long as a suitable stadium solution is found
    (SEATTLE TIMES, 11/4). ...Since Devils Owner John McMullen owned
    the Astros from '79-92 and knows about the Houston market, NHL
    owners will "heed what he has to say" in its expansion process.
    Neil Hohlfeld writes McMullen is now "lying low, not tipping his
    hand as to which [ownership] group he favors. But make no
    mistake, he will have a say in who owns the NHL team in Houston"
    (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 11/5).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Houston Astros, New Jersey Devils, NFL, NHL, Seattle Seahawks, Vulcan Ventures, YankeeNets
  • HORN CALLS FOR END TO STARS' PUBLIC EXECUTIONS

         Noting that by following the club's early season print,
    radio and TV ads, "you wouldn't know if the Stars play in the NHL
    or are contenders in the Ultimate Fighting Championships," Barry
    Horn of the DALLAS MORNING NEWS calls for an end to the Stars
    "tasteless" promotional campaign which focuses on catch-phrases
    like "execution" and "firing squad."  One example is "Announcing
    the Firing Squad and the Return of Public Executions."  Horn:
    "Might it be more appropriate to promote a franchise on the rise,
    not afraid to spend money to turn around 26-42-14?"  Stars
    VP/Marketing & Promotion Jeff Cogen calls the effort "cutting
    edge," and says it is designed to promote the team's "aggressive
    style of play" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 11/2).
    

    Print | Tags: Dallas Stars, Franchises, NHL, Southwest Sports Group
  • MARLINS LAUNCH MARKETING PUSH TO REEL IN MORE FANS

         In an attempt to "jump start sluggish ticket sales," the
    Marlins have begun an "aggressive marketing push" which places a
    "heavy emphasis" on South FL Hispanics, according to Anne
    Moncreiff Arrarte of the MIAMI HERALD.  The effort  will be built
    around traditional print and broadcast ads and will include
    promotional events, community activities and consumer services.
    The first step in the campaign was the hiring of Jorge Plasencia
    as the club's new Dir of Hispanic Marketing.  Plasencia, who had
    been Dir of Marketing/Sports for the team's Spanish-language
    affiliate WCMQ-AM, will work through a new Marlins ticket and
    events office located in the Little Havana-area of Miami (MIAMI
    HERALD, 11/3).
    

    Print | Tags: Miami Marlins, Franchises
  • NHL TEAM PROFILES: THE CENTRAL DIVISION

         THE DAILY continues to examine NHL club's initial marketing
    slogans, mediums of advertising and key corporate sponsors.
    Today: The Central Division (THE DAILY).
         TEAM:     Chicago Blackhawks
         SLOGAN:   "Cold Steel on Ice"
         MEDIUM:   Transit, Print, Radio, TV
         SPONSORS: Nike, AT&T, Max. House, A-B, Coca-Cola, United Air
         TEAM:     Dallas Stars
         SLOGAN:   "Announcing the Firing Squad and the Return of
                   Public Executions"
         MEDIUM:   Direct Mail, Transit, Print, Radio, TV
         SPONSORS: Dr Pepper, Miller, Southwest Air, American Air
         TEAM:     Detroit Red Wings
         SLOGAN:   "Hockey Town"
         MEDIUM:   Billboards, Print, Radio, TV
         SPONSORS: Miller, Molson, Coca-Cola, Little Caesars
         TEAM:     Phoenix Coyotes
         SLOGAN:   "The Coolest Game in the Desert"
         MEDIUM:   Billboards, Direct Mail, Print, Radio, TV
         SPONSORS: A-B, Coca-Cola, America West Airlines
         TEAM:     St. Louis Blues
         SLOGAN:   "30 Years of Memories"
         MEDIUM:   Billboards, Print, Radio, TV
         SPONSORS: Bud Ice, Pepsi, Dillards Dept. Store, Boatman's
         TEAM:     Toronto Maple Leafs
         SLOGAN:   "65th Anniversary"
         MEDIUM:   Print
         SPONSORS: Molson, GM, Coca-Cola, Midas, Canadian Air
    

    Print | Tags: Anheuser Busch, ATT, Chicago Blackhawks, Coca-Cola, Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings, Dr Pepper/7UP, Franchises, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, NHL, Nike, PepsiCo, Arizona Coyotes, Southwest Sports Group, St. Louis Blues, Toronto Maple Leafs
  • PATTON REPLACES RYAN AS PENGUINS PRESIDENT

         The Penguins have named Donn Patton to replace Steve Ryan as
    the team's President.  Patton previously was Penguins
    VP/Operations and will now oversee the club's day-to-day
    management.  Ryan will become President & CEO of Strike Ten
    Entertainment, the management, marketing and TV company for the
    bowling industry.  Also, Jack Kelley was named Exec VP/Pittsburgh
    Sports Associates Holding Company, which includes the Penguins,
    Igloo Development Associates and the club's AHL team (Penguins).
    

    Print | Tags: AHL, Franchises, Pittsburgh Penguins
  • SIZING UP THE FINANCIAL SITUATION IN SOUTH FLORIDA

         The four pro teams in South Florida and their inability to
    "turn a profit" are profiled by Barry Jackson of the MIAMI HERALD
    in a piece entitled, "Winning Teams, Losing Bottom Lines."
    Panthers/Marlins/Dolphins Owner Wayne Huizenga: "Sports is
    different from other businesses.  It's a unusual thing.  When
    you're in other businesses people expect you to operate a
    profitably.  But in sports, people perceive it as a negative when
    a team makes money.  There is a double standard.  If I had to do
    it all over again as far as going into sports, that would be a
    real tough decision.  But now, that we are in sports, we will
    stay in it. ... In hindsight, it might be better off not getting
    into it."  Huizenga notes with the Panthers, "we know it will
    turn around with the new arena.  The Marlins are the ones we
    don't see the light at the end of the tunnel."  The MIAMI HERALD
    examined the financial status of each South FL team.
         MARLINS:  The Marlins had total revenue of $53M and a net
    loss of $17M.  For the team, financial "woes have everything to
    do with attendance."  Season tickets have dropped to 12,500 this
    season after 20,000 in '93.  Huizenga said he would consider
    selling the team if the Marlins win and still have trouble
    drawing fans.  Huizenga: "Nobody would buy this team in the
    condition we're in, unless there's a change in attendance or a
    new venue."
         DOLPHINS: The Dolphins had $65M in total revenues, mostly
    from network TV deals and ticket sales.  But the team had a $45M
    payroll and $20M in expenses to "merely break even."  Dolphins
    management say they expect to make a profit, but "wouldn't
    project how much they plan to make."
         PANTHERS: The Panthers earned $30M in total revenue with a
    net loss of $11M.  They lose money annually as their lease at
    Miami Arena is "among the worst in sports."  They paid $849,982
    in rent in '95, while the Heat paid $219,031.  The Panthers
    receive no skybox revenue and earned "just" $5M in national and
    local TV/radio revenue in '95.
         HEAT:  Heat Owner Micky Arison said the team broke even in
    '95 with a payroll around $2M less than '96.  Although more than
    90% of season-ticket holders have renewed for this season, "new
    sales have lagged."  Arison: "Even with a new arena, breaking
    even is the best we can hope for for a long time" (MIAMI HERALD,
    11/3).
    

    Print | Tags: Miami Marlins, Franchises, Miami Dolphins, Miami Heat
  • WILL RAPTORS BECOME ALL IN THE FAMILY? BITOVE SR. EYES ROLE?

         Some "intriguing names are surfacing" as possible investors
    in the Raptors, as team President John Bitove Jr. attempts to buy
    out partner Allan Slaight, according to Craig Daniels of the
    TORONTO SUN.  Daniels quotes one unnamed source who says John
    Bitove Sr. is "taking a lead" in the effort while a second
    anonymous source adds that both Bitoves have met over the last
    week with Bill Ballard, who along with partner Michael Cohl, was
    behind one of the failed bids to win the Raptors franchise.  The
    source suggested that Ballard would "convince the Leafs to come
    as partners with the Raptors at Air Canada Centre ... in exchange
    for Ballard dropping" a lawsuit against the Leafs ownership.  A
    third unnamed source said "there has been talk" that L.A.-based
    MCA Corp. is interested in the team while Albuquerque businessman
    Gavin Maloof's interest in the team is "dropping by the minute"
    (TORONTO SUN, 11/5).
         GARDENS WON'T BE RAVAGED:  Maple Leafs Chair Steve Stavro
    said yesterday Maple Leaf Gardens will not be demolished when the
    club moves to a new arena.  Stavro:  "We're not going to knock it
    down -- my personal opinion is that it's a shrine" (Lance
    Hornsby, TORONTO SUN, 11/5).       STERN WORDS: Noting the "high
    and mighty commissioner of the NBA acted ... like a kid who had
    his Halloween candy stolen," Jim Hunt of the TORONTO SUN notes
    NBA Commissioner David Stern's critical comments Friday against
    the Maple Leafs for insisting on complete control over a shared
    arena with the Raptors.  Hunt: "Stern is trying to save the NBA's
    butt for a bad decision.  It goofed when it awarded the [Raptors]
    to John Bitove and his gang" (TORONTO SUN, 11/5).
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, NBA, Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Raptors
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