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  • BILLS LOOK TO OFFER ROCHESTER FANS A BAG OF HALLOWEEN GOODIES

              The Bills have "kicked off a fan-friendly marketing game
         plan" for Rochester, NY, according to Roth & Maiorana of the
         Rochester DEMOCRAT & CHRONICLE.  A Rochester ticket and
         corporate sales office, which may include a team merchandise
         shop, could also open by the end of this season.  The Bills'
         plan may also include a "possible" training camp intra-squad
         scrimmage next summer, with Brockport State's 10,000-seat
         Special Olympics Stadium "the leading venue."  Currently, 20%
         of the team's season ticket and luxury-seat owners come from
         the Rochester area (DEMOCRAT & CHRONICLE, 10/30).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Buffalo Bills, Franchises
  • BLAZERS STIR THE POT TO COME UP WITH POTION FOR NEW REVENUES

              After a "slow start," the Trail Blazers' corporate
         division that sells advertising at Portland Int'l Airport
         (PDX) is turning a profit and selling 96% or more of the PDX
         ad sites during any one month, according to Robert Goldfield
         of the PORTLAND BUSINESS JOURNAL.  Gross revenues from PDX
         sales will exceed $1M this year, officials said.  Moreover,
         the Blazers' ad division has since signed a contract for the
         airport in Burbank, CA, "and is a finalist for the job at the
         San Diego airport."  Steve MacKelvie, Dir of the Blazers'
         Airport Division: "We've proven that a themed concept to
         airport advertising and design works.  We're starting to get
         calls from around the country" (BUSINESS JOURNAL, 10/24).
              ROSE GARDEN DEALS: Goldfield also reports that the
         Blazers "recently scored on corporate sponsorship deals that
         promise to deliver an extra" $2.5M annually.  Coors Brewery
         agreed to use the fourth and final "media totem" on the
         concourses of the Rose Garden and five companies will place
         their names on new rotating signs that will ring the arena's
         seating bowl.  Coors joins Coca-Cola, Panasonic and Visa on
         the media totem.  The totems' original price are $395,000 a
         year over 10 years, with 10% jumps in the fourth and seventh
         years, but Visa and Coors are paying "slightly less" each
         year in five-year deals "largely" because they lack
         exclusivity agreements with the arena.  Thomason Auto Group,
         Airtouch Cellular, Henry Weinhard's, Southwest Airlines and
         Godfather's Pizza appear on the rotating signs.  Blazers VP/
         Sponsor Sales & Client Services Erin Hubert said that the
         sign system will generate $1-1.5M in ad revenue this fiscal
         year and could produce more than $2M in succeeding years
         (Portland BUSINESS JOURNAL, 10/24 issue).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Coca-Cola, Franchises, Portland Trail Blazers, Southwest Airlines, Visa, Vulcan Ventures
  • CELTICS, PITINO STIR UP NEW MARKETING BREW

              In a program co-sponsored by Stop & Shop grocery, the
         Celtics will set aside 1,000 seats for each FleetCenter game
         this season and sell them for $10 each, compared with an
         average ticket price of $50, according to Chris Reidy of the
         BOSTON GLOBE.  In other news, Celtics Exec VP/Marketing &
         Sales Stuart Layne said that since Rick Pitino was named
         coach of the team, season-ticket holders "have increased by
         2,400 to 13,400."  Layne: "If we hadn't gotten Pitino, we
         would have lost 2,500 season tickets, so Pitino's impact
         represents a swing of about 5,000 seats.  That works out to
         be about $10 million a year in ticket sales alone" (BOSTON
         GLOBE, 10/31).  Also in Boston, Richard Kindleberger writes
         that a St. Louis developer is negotiating with Polaroid Corp.
         to acquire a Waltham, MA, site on which to build a $20M
         training facility, medical center and fitness club for the
         Celtics.  New England Baptist Hospital, a marketing partner
         of the Celtics, would partner with the team if the facility
         is built (Richard Kindleberger, BOSTON GLOBE, 10/31).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Boston Celtics, Franchises
  • FRANCHISE TRICKS & TREATS

              NFL Oilers Owner Bud Adams said he will change the name
         of his team "if the right name can be found."  He also added
         that the idea to play in Memphis was TN Gov. Don Sundquist's
         (NASHVILLE BANNER, 10/30)....The U.S. Government won't appeal
         a U.S. Tax Court decision "absolving the heirs" of Bengals
         founder Paul Brown of $40M "plus in estate tax deficiency." 
         The decision "effectively ends a 21-year crisis for the
         Browns in which the family's ownership of the Bengals was
         jeopardized" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 10/30)....In MN, Charley
         Walters notes that Twins Owner Carl Pohlad "has been
         considering establishing a nonprofit charitable foundation
         ... as a way to donate the Twins to Minnesota through a
         trust" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 10/31). 
    
    

    Print | Tags: Anheuser Busch, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Edmonton Oilers, Franchises, Minnesota Twins, NFL
  • INTERBOO! BLUE JAYS OWNER PULLS TEAM FRUM OPEN MARKET

              Interbrew SA announced yesterday that the Blue Jays are
         no longer for sale "because lengthy wrangling over a sale was
         causing uncertainty and distracting the team," according to
         Van Alphen & Byers of the TORONTO STAR.  The move comes after
         Interbrew's board "rejected" a bid led by real estate
         developer Murray Frum and "decided not to wait for a pending
         bid" from a consortium led by Toronto lawyer Lawrence Dale. 
         Interbrew Dir Alan Chapin: "We decided that this prolonged
         process of trying to find local partners was no longer in the
         best interests of the team or its fans."  In addition to its
         90% stake in the Jays, Interbrew will retain the CFL
         Argonauts and a 49% stake in the SkyDome.  Van Alphen & Byers
         report that "insiders" say the deal with Frum "collapsed
         because Interbrew could not guarantee its stake in the
         SkyDome would be part of the deal," since the other SkyDome
         partners get the first chance to buy any owner's share "and
         several had indicated they wanted Interbrew's stake."  Frum:
         "I'm very disappointed" (TORONTO STAR, 10/31).  Dale said he
         and his group, which entered the bidding two weeks ago, are
         still interested in the Jays.  But Chapin said, "It's off the
         market, period.  How long, it's not useful to speculate. 
         We're not going to be talking to the Frum group any longer or
         the Dale group" (James Christie, GLOBE & MAIL, 10/31).  
              TRICK OR TREAT? In Toronto, Janet McFarland reports that
         analysts yesterday said Interbrew's decision to keep its
         teams "is not evidence of a long-term commitment" to them. 
         They believe Interbrew "was unhappy with the price it was
         offered for its sports assets and has decided to hold on
         until they recover some of their value" (GLOBE & MAIL,
         10/31).  Columnist Stephen Brunt speculates that the deal
         with Frum "fell apart because in the end, when forced to put
         up or shut up by the appearance of a rival bidder, Frum and
         his partners simply didn't have the money" (GLOBE & MAIL,
         10/31).  Also in Toronto, Mike Rutsey writes that the value
         of the Jays "has plummeted" since Interbrew took over.  But
         Chapin disputed such talk, claiming a sports franchise has an
         "intrinsic value that bears little relationship to its
         performance on the field" (Mike Rutsey, TORONTO SUN, 10/31).
         
    

    Print | Tags: CFL, Franchises, Toronto Blue Jays
  • KARMANOS DISMISSES DISCOUNTED TICKETS AS BUNCH OF HOCUS-POCUS

              Between negative press and "an unrelenting owner" in
         Peter Karmanos, the city of Greensboro, NC, "is trapped in
         the middle of a marketing maelstrom surrounding" the
         Hurricanes, according to Scott Michaux of the Greensboro NEWS
         & RECORD.  Peter Reichard, Dir of the Greensboro Area Chamber
         of Commerce: "[T]he community ego has taken a bit of a
         bruising here.  It would be very good to have (the
         Hurricanes) acknowledge that and try to fix it."  Team
         officials, however, say "they are unlikely" to discount
         tickets, which average $38, to increase attendance.  The team
         has offered $99 family plans and $15 student seats and is
         planning another cost-cutting program for later in November. 
         As a "show of appreciation" to the 3,089 season-ticket
         holders, the team is also giving each an extra ticket to
         every home game.  Hurricanes Owner Peter Karmanos: "I don't
         care what anybody says.  You don't cut.  I'm never going to
         discount season tickets because I've grown up in a market
         that has never discounted tickets" (NEWS & RECORD, 10/30).
    
    
    

    Print | Tags: Carolina Hurricanes, Franchises, Gale Force Holdings
  • ONE VIKINGS OWNER SAYS HE WANTS TEAM TO STAY IN MN

              Wheelock Whitney, one of the Vikings' ten principal
         owners, said yesterday that he "expects local interests to
         step forward and buy the team," according to Don Banks of the
         Minneapolis STAR-TRIBUNE.  Whitney said that "now that the
         owners' intentions to sell the team have become public," he
         thought "some local buyers would enter the picture." 
         Whitney: "[T]here are a lot of people who either have the
         money or could put a group together locally.  But who they
         are, I really would feel uncomfortable speculating on."
         Currently, former Vikings GM Mike Lynn and former Spurs Owner
         Red McCombs are the only bidders interested in "buying the
         Vikings and keeping them" in MN.  Meanwhile, Timberwolves
         Owner Glen Taylor said Thursday that he has "virtually no
         interest" in the Vikings (Minneapolis STAR-TRIBUNE, 10/31).
              NO PLACE LIKE DOME: Vikings President Roger Headrick
         said yesterday that the team has "rejected" plans to renovate
         the Metrodome and wants to "share a dual-purpose stadium with
         the Twins or play in a new football stadium," according to
         Seidel & Sweeney of the ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS.  The remark
         "appears to forcefully interject" the Vikings into the debate
         over building a new Twins stadium (PIONEER PRESS, 10/31).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Franchises, Minnesota Timberwolves, Minnesota Twins, Minnesota Vikings, San Antonio Spurs
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