SBD/27/Leagues Governing Bodies

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  • ARENA FOOTBALL PURCHASES PATENT, TRADEMARK AND COPYRIGHT

              The Arena Football League (AFL) has signed a letter of
         intent to purchase the patent, trademark and copyrights
         associated with the Arena Football Game on a worldwide basis
         from Gridiron Enterprises, Inc.  Terms of the deal were not
         disclosed.  The league's purchase of worldwide rights
         follows last week's announcement that the Orlando Predators
         had purchased an increased share in the AFL, with proceeds
         of the sale directed to the purchase price, in part, for the
         worldwide rights from Gridiron (AFL).
    
    

    Print | Tags: AFL, Leagues and Governing Bodies, Nashville Predators
  • CART NEWS & NOTES

              CART has jointed with MI-based Valassis Communications
         and IL-based Marketing Events to create a FedEx
         Championships Series-themed FSI to reach more than 40
         million homes through national newspapers on July 26.  The
         FSI program is targeted toward female and family demos and
         will offer consumer package good companies the ability to
         align with CART.  CART Dir of Marketing Jeff Gooding said
         that first-time program "is part of our broader, integrated
         marketing plans for 1998."  Valassis will publish the
         consumer inserts and secure distribution while Marketing
         Events will bring advertisers into the program (CART).
              JAPANESE IMPORT: CART will race its Budweiser 400 in
         Montegi, Japan, the first time the series has held a race in
         that country.  In Indianapolis, Bill Koenig wrote that
         although some "major Japanese" companies are involved in
         CART -- including Honda, Toyota and Panasonic -- the racing
         series "sees the potential for more corporate involvement."
         Koenig: "The hope is having an annual race will get Japanese
         race fans enthused about the CART series and Japanese
         companies interested in sponsorships.  The timing, however,
         isn't the best.  Japan's economy continues a six-year slump,
         with no recovery on the horizon" (INDY STAR-NEWS, 3/24).
              GAMES WITHOUT FRONTIERS: In Chicago, Herb Gould wrote
         of CART's expansion where it is "trying to keep pace in a
         world where NASCAR has been widening the gap as the most
         popular arm of auto racing."  CART has added a street race
         in Houston for '98 and is "exploring" the possibility of
         adding a race in Germany to go with its international forays
         in Japan and Brazil.  CART is also targeting Chicago for a
         Labor Day '99 race (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 3/26). 
              COVERAGE: ESPN Int'l will air the '98 CART FedEx
         Championship Series full season schedule on its
         international networks.  ESPN Int'l also has agreements to
         syndicate the series, which began last weekend, to
         broadcasters worldwide (ESPN International).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Anheuser Busch, Champ Car World Series, ESPN, FedEx, Leagues and Governing Bodies, NASCAR, Toyota, Walt Disney
  • LEAGUE NOTES

              NBA LABOR PAINS: One NBPA "union insider" tells Peter
         Vecsey of the N.Y. POST, "What incentive do owners have not
         to lock out players?  Players may be better organized for a
         long fight and show more unity than ever before, but the
         days are gone forever when you can ask them to sit out half
         of his guarantee for the good of the next generation. ...
         The average salary is close to $3 [million], we're talking
         about losing half before the owners start to feel some pain,
         too, in lost revenue.  There's just too much at risk almost
         right away for the player and his family" (N.Y. POST, 3/37).
              SENIOR TOUR HITS 21 EVENTS: The worldwide men's senior
         tennis tour, sanctioned by the ATP Tour, will begin its
         second year in '98-99 with 21 events.  New events have been
         added in Minneapolis, Boston, Melbourne and Qatar.  In the
         U.S., the Nuveen Tour will celebrate its fifth anniversary
         with nine events.  In Detroit, the circuit will join with
         Pistons G Joe Dumars to present the Mentadent Joe Dumars
         Champions, and for its inaugural event near Boston, the
         Nuveen Tour will join the WTA Tour for a two-week "Tennis
         Fest" event at Babson College in Wellesly, MA (ATP Tour). 
     
    

    Print | Tags: ATP, Detroit Pistons, Leagues and Governing Bodies, NBA, Palace Sports & Entertainment
  • OVITZ ON THE COMEBACK TRAIL: EYEING NFL TEAM FOR L.A.?

              The "inevitable comeback" of Michael Ovitz is
         "underway," according to Bruce Orwall of the WALL STREET
         JOURNAL.  Ovitz is joining with OH-based Glimcher Realty
         Trust on a plan to build malls with sports and entertainment
         themes in areas "such as" Columbus, OH, and Newark, NJ. 
         Ovitz has also put together a group looking to land an NFL
         team in L.A. with plans to build a stadium adjacent to a
         Glimcher mall in Carson, CA.  Glimcher Chair & CEO Herb
         Glimcher declined comment on whether he would be involved in
         the NFL project.  Orwell writes that two weeks ago, Ovitz
         and his partners presented the league with a plan backed by
         $750M in prospective financing from Bank of America. 
         Previously, Ovitz was in talks to join with investors led by
         NHL Kings co-Owner Ed Roski to bring an NFL team to the L.A.
         Coliseum.  But "those discussions ended recently."  Roski:
         "I guess he decided he would like to go in his own
         direction."  So Ovitz began working with "entertainment
         architect" David Rockwell on the Carson site and the two put
         together a design for a $350M privately financed stadium
         near the mall complex. Orwell adds that the effort to bring
         an NFL team back to L.A. "is putting Mr. Ovitz's famed deal-
         making skills to the test" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 3/27).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Bank of America, Leagues and Governing Bodies, Los Angeles Kings, NFL
  • THE GILDED AGE: FOUR TEAMS TOP $70M IN MLB PLAYER PAYROLL

              As MLB opens its season on Tuesday, the "gulf between
         the sport's have and have-not franchises is wider than
         ever," according to Mark Maske of the WASHINGTON POST. 
         Today in MLB, "you have to spend big to win big."  Tigers GM
         Randy Smith: "I don't think you have to spend $60 million or
         $70 million to win.  But it's clear that in order to get
         into the playoffs, you're going to have to spend, and spend
         pretty big."  Maske notes that no MLB club had a winning
         record last year with a player payroll of less than $40M. 
         Acting Commissioner Bud Selig: "There's no sense in deluding
         one's self.  You could see this coming five to eight years
         ago."  Selig added, "We just need to improve the system. ...
         One could make a convincing case here that there's just not
         enough cost restraint built into the system."  Maske lists
         MLB team player payrolls for the '98 season.  The figures
         use the "payroll-calculation method" used by management's
         Players Relations Committee.  The method includes the
         salaries of all players on the 40-man roster, bonuses and
         benefits.  For players with multiyear deals, the average
         annual value of the contract is used.  The MLBPA does not
         include benefits in payroll calculations.  Player payrolls
         of MLB's 30 teams (WASHINGTON POST, 3/27): 
         
         
    TEAM PAYROLL
    TEAM
    PAYROLL
    BALTIMORE
    $74,303,497
    MILWAUKEE
    $48,753,716
    ATLANTA
    $71,639,725
    HOUSTON
    $48,403,250
    BOSTON
    $71,318,403
    CHI. WHITE SOX
    $45,887,914
    N.Y. YANKEES
    $70,583,730
    ANAHEIM
    $45,479,584
    CLEVELAND
    $66,850,303
    ARIZONA
    $43,565,417
    TEXAS
    $64,154,180
    PHILADELPHIA
    $42,065,084
    COLORADO
    $62,179,513
    FLORIDA
    $40,917,001
    CHICAGO CUBS
    $59,391,084
    TAMPA BAY
    $39,872,584
    TORONTO
    $58,494,370
    KANSAS CITY
    $39,089,251
    SEATTLE
    $58,017,231
    DETROIT
    $37,390,084
    LOS ANGELES
    $57,642,751
    MINNESOTA
    $34,883,022
    N.Y. METS
    $57,378,501
    CINCINNATI
    $32,467,793
    ST. LOUIS
    $56,204,396
    OAKLAND
    $26,646,584
    SAN DIEGO
    $52,292,624
    PITTSBURGH
    $24,407,251
    SAN FRANCISCO
    $50,318,200
    MONTREAL
    $16,031,584

    MORE MLB NOTES: In Boston, the GLOBE features an extensive series on MLB's search for talent in international markets, including Asia, Australia, Cuba and the Dominican Republic. Red Sox GM Dan Duquette: "It's hard finding talent in the States because kids just aren't playing enough baseball. You have to explore every avenue for talent, and the international market is now a critical avenue" (BOSTON GLOBE, 3/27)....USA TODAY's BASEBALL WEEKLY editors interview MLBPA Exec Dir Don Fehr and MLB COO Paul Beeston in the current issue. Beeston, on attracting more fans of color: "We're trying to do it. ... You can't say we're not advertising. Can't say we're not out there." Fehr, on the image of the players: "I think since the strike ended there has been a sustained effort to reach out, to do more, to incrementaly rehabilitate the image of the players and the image of the game" (BASEBALL WEEKLY, 3/25 issue).

    Print | Tags: Anheuser Busch, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Detroit Tigers, Leagues and Governing Bodies, MLB, New York Mets, New York Yankees, YankeeNets
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