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PISTONS WINNING SEASON PAYING OFF? NO SMOKES FOR METS?
Published January 9, 1997
The Pistons early season success is "translating into big gate and television returns for the team," according to David Barkholz of CRAIN'S DETROIT BUSINESS. Pistons President Tom Wilson said that following the team's 16th home game, paid attendance was up 1,900 a game, a 15% increase over last year. The Pistons have had nine sellouts this year, compared to ten in all of '95-96. Soon after the Pistons' strong start, Northwest Air, Taco Bell and Montgomery Ward filled the unsold TV spots. The Pistons also locked up two "key" sponsorships just before the season, with Budweiser and a "coalition" of the Metro Detroit Ford Dealers and GM. Pistons Exec VP Dan Hauser said Budweiser's deal was a new four-year agreement to replace a four-year deal that had expired. The car coalition replaces Chrysler Corp., which had a 12-year affiliation with Pistons TV. In an effort to promote separate brand identity among products, Chrysler decided to leave buying spots up to the various Chrysler divisions. The Pistons are also experiencing more merchandise sales, with game day sales at the Palace up nearly 50%, partly due to higher attendance and changes this season to the team's colors and logo (CRAIN'S DETROIT BUSINESS, 1/6 issue). METS CUT MARLBORO MAN: The Marlboro Man "is gone" from Shea Stadium, according to Marty Noble in NEWSDAY. The five-year deal between the Mets and Philip Morris USA expired last season, and Philip Morris declined to exercise its option for another five-year term. The location of the Marlboro sign, "and the number of times" the sign appeared in TV shots, "had become issues in recent years." The Mets will "not seek new tobacco advertising" (NEWSDAY, 1/9).