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              Speedway Motorsports President Humpy Wheeler, who says
         NASCAR's "popularity" has "about eight years left in the
         power curve," is "rushing to build his business before that
         power curve flattens a little," according to Clifford
         Glickman of the CHARLOTTE OBSERVER.  Although the company
         has most recently added more seats to its group of speedways
         Wheeler added, "There's a couple of other things we got in
         the hopper."   Wheeler: "I think in '98 you'll see the first
         couple of tracks break through with naming rights."  While
         Wheeler said that he is talking to "traditional" NASCAR
         sponsors, "he thinks the most likely sponsor might be
         someone new to NASCAR."  Wheeler also said that new TV
         rights fees will bring in more revenue.  Most of the TV
         contracts for Speedway tracks "don't expire until 2000, and
         Wheeler wants to consolidate all Winston Cup events into a
         single contract."  Currently, most tracks negotiate TV deals
         individually (Clifford Glickman, CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 11/24).

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, NASCAR

              In possibly her final news conference as the WTA Tour's
         CEO, Anne Person Worcester discussed the state of the Tour
         before the Chase Championship finals yesterday.  
              WHO'LL FOLLOW THIS LEADER? Regarding the search for a
         new CEO, Person Worcester said that a search committee will
         put forward candidates in the next two weeks for review by
         the Tour board.  Person Worcester: "We are very confident
         that a new CEO will come out of those meetings."  If a new
         CEO is unable to start by January 1, board member Bob Arrix
         will handle interim duties.  But Person Worcester reported
         that the board has eliminated the requirement for unanimity
         in its CEO search.  The new CEO vote now requires only a
         "super majority" of seven of 10 affirmative votes.  Person
         Worcester, asked why the search has taken so long: "There's
         clearly been different opinions about whether the person
         should be an insider or an outsider. ... I completely
         believe an outsider could do this job.  The staff is very
         strong.  The board has plenty of tennis experts on it.  I
         think a fresh perspective would be healthy for this sport. 
         So I don't share the view that an outsider could not do this
         job.  I also happen to have believed along the way that
         there were some insiders who could do the job.  The search
         committee didn't share my view" (THE DAILY).
              TITLE SPONSOR: IMG will conduct a search for a title
         sponsor to replace Corel, who will end its three-year, $12M
         sponsorship at the end of '98.  Person Worcester noted that
         IMG holds the exclusive marketing rights to the Tour through
         '99, at which point the Tour board will decide "whether they
         want to continue with" IMG or "perhaps take the marketing
         and television in-house or do it partly with an agency and
         partly in-house."  While "very confident that we will find a
         Tour sponsor," Person Worcester added "the financial
         viability of the WTA is not based on a Tour sponsor. ... The
         Tour is in very, very, stable financial health" (THE DAILY).
              TV TIME: CNBC's Garrett Glaser examined the Tour's
         search for a title sponsor.  While Chase Manhattan, "along
         with 10 other sponsors will spend more than $1 million" on
         the WTA Tour -- "a record" -- it is "facing an uncertain
         future."  Tennis Week Publisher Eugene Scott: "Surely the
         WTA is anxious about replacing such a grand sponsor as Corel
         ... and you will find that you need at least two years,
         maybe three years, to replace an underwriter of that
         magnitude."  Glaser: "Part of the problem, some say, is that
         today's tennis lacks the personalities and rivalries of past
         seasons. ... The WTA's solution?  Build name recognition and
         popularity of the players through autograph sessions,
         clinics with sponsors and fans [and] community outreach,
         where strong female players are presented as role models."
         WTA Tour Dir of Communications Joe Favorito: "We have no
         concerns about competing for dollars because we know that
         women's tennis has a niche that no other organization has. 
         We have the history, we have the 25 years, we have the
         Martinas and the Billie Jeans.  And it's something that
         other sports have been aspiring to."  Glaser reported that
         "it appears Tour strategy is on target" for now, as the WTA
         Tour has $100M in worldwide sponsorships, "more than three
         times the WNBA's reported $30 million" (CNBC, 11/21).

    Print | Tags: IMG, Leagues and Governing Bodies, WNBA

              NFL: In N.Y., Mike Freeman reported that Giants GM
         George Young "is expected" to take a high-ranking NFL front
         office job for next season.  The position will be similar to
         a VP or Deputy Commissioner (N.Y. TIMES, 11/23)....NFL
         Commissioner Paul Tagliabue "apparently is getting nowhere
         in his efforts to get owners and players" to extend the CBA
         to seven or eight years "and use it to get more money" from
         TV (Will McDonough, BOSTON GLOBE, 11/23). 
              GENERAL: Univ. of TN junior Chamique Holdsclaw, the
         "greatest player in women's college basketball," was
         profiled by Jere Longman of the N.Y. TIMES.  Although both
         the WNBA and ABL have criteria against drafting college
         players, ABL CEO Gary Cavalli said it would be "hard to
         speculate how one would react" if Holdsclaw left school
         early.  Cavalli: "At the point Chamique made her decision,
         we would re-evaluate" (N.Y. TIMES, 11/23)....NBPA Exec Dir
         Billy Hunter said it would challenge the fine and three-game
         suspension imposed by the NBA on Blazers G Isaiah Rider for
         allegedly spitting on a fan while in Detroit.  Hunter
         claimed Rider was provoked by a drunken fan who "threatened"
         Rider and his family.  Hunter: "While no one condones
         spitting, the League must behave responsibly by fully
         investigating the circumstances, rather than acting first
         and asking questions later" (NBPA).

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, NBA, NFL, WNBA
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