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A new MBA elective course, titled "The Business and Economics of the Sports Industry," is the "hottest ticket" at the Univ. of Chicago. Topics include "Franchise Movement," "Pay and Performance" and "Labor Relations" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 1/8)....Jon Bain, who founded Run N' Shoot health clubs, was profiled by Eleena De Lisser in the WALL STREET JOURNAL. The gyms are 78,000-square-feet, "nearly eight times bigger than the average health club," and open 24 hours a day. Customers also pay by the visit. Bain hopes to raise $5M to expand the concept to other cities and has hired former Family Golf Centers exec Michael Kelly to help find investors (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 1/7)....Millennium Entertainment Group, which has partnered with the NFLPA on the Players' Grill restaurant in Orlando, is profiled in the ORLANDO BUSINESS JOURNAL. The licensing deal with Players Inc stipulates that the restaurant's bar will be the "exclusive showplace" for NFL player memorabilia in 12 separate areas across the country (ORLANDO BUSINESS, 1/5).
The biggest crowd "so far" at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships held at the CoreStates Center was last night's 6,453, but "neither the local organizing committee nor CoreStates people are concerned," according to Edward Moran of the PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS. CoreStates Complex President Peter Luukko said "he expects the final total attendance to be the largest ever" for the event, topping the record of 114,444 in San Jose in '96. He added that bigger crowds are expected for the Men's and Ladies' finals, which are tonight and Saturday night (DAILY NEWS, 1/8). TALK SOUP: Campbell's has "cooked itself into a mini- controversy" by announcing it will feature U.S. champions Tara Lipinski, Michelle Kwan and Nicole Bobek on 140 million soup can labels and TV spots to run during the Nagano Games. While Lipinski and Kwan "are sure things" for the Games, the third spot will be decided today and Saturday at the Championships. Challenger Tonia Kwiatowski: "Anything can happen in skating, and you never know what. So, for them to announce that, that's their choice. But let's see if I can mix things up" (Phil Rosenthal, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 1/8). TWO STARS: Kwan and Lipinski are featured in THE NEW YORKER by John Seabrook, who writes the two "seem prepared for ice-princesshood in ways that Nancy Kerrigan and Oksana Baiul did not. Both are named after mass-culture commodities -- Michelle for the Beatles song, Tara for the plantation in 'Gone with the Wind'" (NEW YORKER, 1/12).
LL Cool J, Tyra Banks, Summer Sanders, Salt-n-Pepa and Brandy are among the headliners for the NBA TeamUp Celebration, scheduled for February 7 as part of the NBA All-Star Weekend. The one-hour special will be hosted by Ahmad Rashad and Willow Bay at MSG and will be simulcast on seven networks - NBC, TNT, Nickelodeon, BET, Telemundo, and MSG in the U.S, as well as YTV in Canada (NBA). SOUNDS CLEAR TO US: Sony will sponsor the Million Dollar Shot during All-Star Weekend. The Sony MD Million Dollar Shot will be offered to the grand-prize winner of an in-store promo this month at 14 New York metropolitan area Ciruit City stores, and will be televised live on TNT and TSN as part of All-Star Saturday night (NBA).