Sunoco Debuts "Essence Of Racing" Campaign Executive Transactions Isiah Thomas Expected Backlash Over Hiring FanDuel Brings On Most Of Zynga Sports Team Georgia Approves Increased Athletic Budget Kentucky Adding Ribbon Boards At Rupp IndyCar Ponders How To Attract Fans Long Term Jeff Gordon Hired As Full-Time Analyst For Fox Danica's Sponsorship Status To Be Telling For NASCAR Classified Advertisements
Timberwolves Owner Glen Taylor met with the Pohlad family this week "and discussed the possibility of buying into Carl Pohlad's Twins as part-owner," according to Sid Hartman of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. Taylor: "I want to do anything I can to help the Twins get the new stadium so they can stay here." Neither party would discuss the meeting, but a source told Hartman that "while little progress was made, Taylor and Pohlad might meet again." (STAR TRIBUNE, 10/10). In Minneapolis, Jay Weiner reports that the MN Legislature's special stadium task force recommended that the state contribute $250M to stadium construction, "with slot machines at Canterbury Park racetrack and Minnesota Lottery proceeds as the main funding sources." The state's contribution would be part of a $411M retractable-roof ballpark. The host city and county would kick in a combined $50M, and the Twins would be responsible for raising $111M in private money (STAR TRIBUNE, 10/10). FROM THE VIKINGS: Meanwhile, Vikings President Roger Headrick denied an ESPN report that quoted him as saying that if the Twins get a new stadium and the Vikings don't receive any legislative help to remodel the Metrodome, the team will leave MN. Headrick: "I didn't mention anything about moving the franchise." The STAR TRIBUNE's Sid Hartman reports "talk" that MN-based Lyle Berman and Stan Taube are ready to make a bid for the Vikings (STAR TRIBUNE, 10/10).
Newly acquired Shawn Kemp has become the "centerpiece" of the Cavaliers' efforts to "revive fans' flagging interest in the franchise and to fill more seats at Gund Arena," according to Angela Hardin of CRAIN'S CLEVELAND BUSINESS. Cavs Senior VP/Sales & Marketing Jim Kahler said that Kemp's arrival puts the team "ahead" of last year's ticket sales pace, but he would not provide specific figures. With a "need to boost attendance," the Cavs are "stepping up" their marketing efforts. For the first time, the team has created a 30-minute infomercial that has aired once on local WJW-TV and three times on SportsChannel. Kahler: "It allows us 30 minutes to tell what['s] going on with the team. ... We've seen around 100 calls a show." In addition, the Cavs have boosted their telemarketing department from a staff of 10 to 30 and have joined with Cleveland based Liggett-Stashower Inc. for a new advertising campaign with the tagline, "Bring It On" (CRAIN'S CLEVELAND BUSINESS, 10/6 issue). NO BACKLASH HERE: In Minneapolis, Sid Hartman reports that the Timberwolves have sold more than 1,000 full-season tickets since signing Kevin Garnett to a $125M contract extension. Also, more than 7,000 people attended Tuesday night's free, intrasquad scrimmage at the Target Center. Overall, the team has sold almost 10,000 full-season and 5,000 partial-season tickets (STAR TRIBUNE, 10/10).
NHL: In N.Y., Marc Berman reports that Coyotes co-Owner Steven Gluckstern is expected to sign contract documents today for his $195M purchase of the Islanders. Berman's source said that Gluckstern will purchase 50% of the team; partner Howard Milstein, will get 40% and 10% will be divided among Stephen Ross and Dan Doctoroff. Milstein, Ross and Doctoroff are in real estate (N.Y. POST, 10/10). NFL: SI's Peter King reports that Oilers Owner Bud Adams "has informed club employees that he must approve all expenses of more than $200" (SI, 10/13 issue). MLB: In Miami, fewer than 4,000 tickets remain for Game Five of the NLCS on Sunday. More than 51,000 tickets have been sold for Games Three and Four (SUN-SENTINEL, 10/10).
K.C. business exec Frank Oddo and his group of local investors have "dropped out of the bidding" for the Royals, according to Charles Crumpley of the K.C. STAR. Oddo said yesterday that his group was interested in buying the team six months ago, but the Royals were not interested in selling then and members of his group "have invested their money elsewhere since then." Oddo's departure leaves two publicly known groups interested in making a bid: one led by K.C. banker and car dealer Jerry Green, and a second led by George and Bobby Brett and Bill Pereira Jr. Royals President Mike Herman said that other unnamed groups also have expressed interest in making a bid (K.C. STAR, 10/10).