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The A's are investing in retail stores called "A's On Deck" with plans to open "at least" four outlets in Northern CA, according to Steve Ginsberg of the S.F. BUSINESS TIMES. Each of the merchandise stores represents an investment of "around" $100,000 and the club "expects them to become profitable quickly" (S.F. BUSINESS TIMES, 11/3 issue).
About 12,000 tickets have been sold for Saturday's Evander Holyfield-Michael Moorer fight at the Thomas & Mack Center, which is 6,000 fewer than the arena's capacity and "about" 5,000 fewer than crammed into the MGM Grand Garden to see Holyfield-Tyson II in June, according to Dean Juipe of the LAS VEGAS SUN. Promoters, however, are expecting a "decent walk-up crowd" and have already lifted the local pay-per-view ban (LAS VEGAS SUN, 11/5). THE SHOW MUST GO ON: Showtime Event TV (SET) Senior Marketing Consultant Suzan Couch said the PPV service's first major bout since Tyson-Holyfield II is "suffering none of the lingering taint" that some predicted, according to VARIETY's Ray Richmond. Couch: "Our research is telling us that the (Tyson biting incident) does not seem to have any lingering effect on the business." The first Holyfield- Moorer fight drew 650,000 PPV customers. SET predicts the coming fight will "eclipse" that, though it declines to project a number (VARIETY, 11/9). In N.Y., Richard Sandomir writes that Moorer is not a PPV "star" and that he "barely merits free TV exposure" (N.Y. TIMES, 11/7). RING NOTES: A-B's Budweiser, which has a standing relationship with Las Vegas' Mirage, will supply "part of the marketing muscle" for the fight (CABLE WORLD, 11/3). ...Showtime's boxing Web site, www.setboxing.com, contains seven sections, among them, the rematch; the hit report, which features the latest news on the fight; the ticket, which lists the bouts on the card; online voting; a "play the game" contest partially sponsored by America West Airlines; and boxing gear, which advertises showtime boxing merchandise. The site also has a link to Holyfield's Web site, www.1888holyfield.com. Holyfield's site contains five sections: one detailing his pre-fight training program; a section devoted to Holyfield's foundation; the Fan Club; Statistics on Holyfield; and a Holyfield Warrior merchandise area. The site is sponsored by SET Boxing (THE DAILY). THE MAN WHO IS KING: Don King is featured in an extensive profile by Ron Borges of the BOSTON GLOBE. Borges: "He is under indictment, under siege, under the gun. For Don King, this is not only his life but his lifestyle. ... His world, it seems, is after him, and he is old and weary, and so his enemies think they see blood in the water and believe it is his. Before this is over, that may be the case, but for now, King stands ready to fight -- which, as his longtime rivals know, is when he is most dangerous." King: "My government is obsessed with Don King. They say, 'He's in the Mob.' If I got a Mob, it's the sissiest Mob there ever was. ... The government is on my case all time. They're no longer prosecuting me, they're persecuting me." More King: "Anybody gets tired. Anybody gets worn down. But as we get into the evening of our careers, they're going to have to go to the statistics, to the achievements of my career. That they cannot deny" (BOSTON GLOBE, 11/7).
MTV is taking the "symbiotic relationship" between sports and music "a step further" this weekend with its airing of the first "Sports and Music Festival," according to USA TODAY's Sal Ruibal. The event is MTV's "answer" to ESPN's X Games, but unlike that "mostly live" event, MTV's festival is a "taped version of an event" that took place October 17-19 in Austin, TX. A crowd of "more than" 50,000 saw aggressive in-line skating, skateboarding, snowboarding and stunt-bike jumping "while live bands Wu-Tang Clan, Smashmouth and 311 wailed." Ruibal: "What MTV's festival and X Games do share is the hot pursuit of the Holy Grail of youth marketing: 18- to 24-year-olds with a bottomless appetite for hot cars, soft drinks, fast foods and action movies." The event airs on MTV tonight from 8:00-11:00 ET, and Saturday from 12:00pm-7:00 pm ET (USA TODAY, 11/7).