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In Edmonton, NHL Oilers local investors have raised C$55M now with the addition of a C$1M share from business exec Dave Addie and an anonymous Lloydminster investor. The group is looking for C$60M in equity by April 27 (EDMONTON JOURNAL, 4/9)....In S.F., 13 players from the MLB Giants' farm team in the Dominican Republic have filed suit in federal court against the Giants, longtime scout Luis Rosa and Dir of Player Development Jack Hiatt. The players allege that they were subjected to "unwanted sexual advances" by Rosa and that "top management new of the problem but did nothing to stop it." Giants VP & General Counsel Jack Bair said in a statement that team has a "strong policy prohibiting sexual harassment," and that anyone who engages in it may be fired (S.F. EXAMINER, 4/8).
The Blue Jays' new marketing campaign, which targets women and children by projecting "a warm, caring image," is examined by Solange De Santis of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. As part of the campaign, the Blue Jays are promoting players' links with charities through eight new PSAs, scheduling games earlier in the evening at 7:05pm ET "to avoid interfering with children's bedtimes" and running radio spots of players reciting poems about baseball. Bensimon Byrne DMB&B Account Exec Graham Farrell, who handles the team's campaign: "We tried to endear the sport to a wider cross-section of the population than the male- age-18-to-55 community" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 4/9). NO BEER ON GOOD FRIDAY, BEEF IS NO PROBLEM: With the Red Sox banning the sale of beer at their home opener tomorrow in observance of Good Friday and Passover, the WALL STREET JOURNAL's James Hirsch writes, "[N]ever before has [the team] been the subject of an ecclesiastical compromise." Rev. Diane Kessler, Exec Dir of the MA Council of Churches: "In some ways, it's tokenism. But then again, tokenism isn't all that bad in a society that isn't sufficiently mindful of religion" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 4/9). In Providence, a JOURNAL-BULLETIN editorial supports the move, "[M]aybe a few other sudless games should be planned for the rest of the season" (JOURNAL-BULLETIN, 4/9).
Just weeks after the Packers announced they had generated $24M from a public stock sale, Packers Corporate Treasurer John Underwood declared FY '97 as the team's "best ever," according to Tom Silverstein of the MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL. For the FY ended March 31, Underwood "anticipates" that profits will have exceeded the all-time mark of $5.8M set last year. It will mark the third consecutive year that the Packers have pulled in more than $5M in profit, and will push their total take over that three-year period to around $17M. Silverstein reports that in addition to the profits and money from the stock sale, the team has another $26M in cash reserves to use for signing players. An increase in ticket prices accounted for an additional $1.7M this season, while road game revenue increased $1.1M and marketing generated an additional $1.5M, "mostly on the strength" of the Packers' victory in Super Bowl XXXI and increased local and national ad deals (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 4/9).
The Sabres have dismissed President & CEO Larry Quinn. Empire Sports Network VP/GM Ron Bertovich will act as interim GM of Administration for the team, overseeing day- to-day non-hockey administration functions. Sabres GM Darcy Regier will continue to lead the hockey department. Both will report directly to new Sabres CEO Timothy Rigas, son of new Sabres Chair John Rigas. John Rigas: "With new ownership ... comes different management philosophies" (Sabres). Tim Rigas said the post of team president "will remain open for the time being" (BUFFALO NEWS, 4/9). REAX: In Buffalo, Jim Kelley wrote that Quinn, who won out "in a bitter struggle for power within the organization" to become President in November of '96, "had a controversial term." Some 1,600 season tickets were not renewed after last season. Quinn's "right hand man," Sabres Exec VP/ Sports & Arena Operations Dan DiPofi, also resigned (BUFFALO NEWS, 4/8). In Toronto, David Shoalts: "Quinn's tenure was marked by a series of public relations disasters, not all of them of his own making" (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 4/9). In Toronto, Damien Cox writes that Quinn's dismissal "may have ended the most contentious, hateful chapter in the history of this 28-year-old franchise" (TORONTO STAR, 4/9).