SBD/11/Leagues Governing Bodies

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  • LOOKING TO TISCH: GIANTS CO-OWNER THE "POINT MAN" ON NFLX

              NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue has asked Giants co-
         Owner Bob Tisch to be the "point man" on the league's new
         NFLX interactive entertainment centers, according to Mike
         Freeman of the N.Y. TIMES.  The venture, which the league
         has plans to place in seven to 10 cities, "could cost more
         than" $50M, but "is expected to produce a lot more revenue
         than that."  Freeman wrote that it "should come as no
         surprise that Tagliabue looked to Tisch," as he served on
         the league's Finance and Super Bowl committees, "two of the
         most important in the league."  Freeman added that Tagliabue
         "trusts" Tisch, who "has quietly developed into a major
         player in the N.F.L., one of the most respected owners in
         the league" (Mike Freeman, N.Y. TIMES, 5/10).  
              NFLX: The league has partnered with St. Joe Corp. on
         NFLX and St. Joe VP/Corporate Communications Jerry Ray said
         the centers "will probably be in both suburban and urban
         locations and will contain restaurants, retail shops,
         entertainment, and some museum-type elements."  The centers'
         trial run will be in N.Y., followed by S.F., Orlando and
         Boston (Lisa Krakowka, AMERICAN DEMOGRAPHIC, 5/98 issue).
    
    

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  • NO LEAGUE AVOIDS BARRA'S WRATH: NHL "ITS OWN WORST ENEMY"

              "There is a simple, irrefutable fact about hockey that
         the past year in broadcasting ought to have made obvious
         even to TV executives, and it's this: Americans really don't
         like hockey very much," according to Allen Barra who
         contributed for NEWSDAY's "Culture Watch."  Noting this
         year's low TV ratings, Barra questioned NHL Senior VP Steve
         Solomon calling this year's ratings "a one-year blip."
         Barra: "How about calling hockey's entire history on
         television a half-century blip."  Barra wrote that after the
         Rangers won the Stanley Cup, "hockey blew its first great
         shot at moving out of the low-rent district" with its work
         stoppage in '94.  He criticized the league's expansion
         process and its post-season criterion, and said the
         "playoffs-for-everyone policy not only fails to punish
         indifferent regular season play; it encourages it."  Barra
         added the NHL could "do away with its goon image overnight,"
         but it "continues to pander to the ugliest fan element in
         sports."  Barra: "I love the NHL's current post-season
         promotional slogan, 'Not hockey, but playoff hockey.'  I
         take that to mean, 'Not the same dross we've been giving you
         all season long.'  For the sake of the league -- and the
         rest of us -- it better not be" (NEWSDAY, 5/10).  
              SUPPORT TEAMS: In Canada, George Gross supports
         government assistance for Canada's NHL teams and wrote that
         "shortsighted critics didn't see the far-reaching
         repercussions that could impact Canadian small-market teams
         if the Canadian government doesn't intercede."  Gross: "[T]o
         hell with the knockers" (George Gross, TORONTO SUN, 5/10).  
    
    

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, NHL
  • PHOENIX LIFE INSURANCE EYES SPONSORSHIP OF SILVER BULLETS

              Phoenix Home Life Mutual Insurance Co. has contacted
         Silver Bullets co-Owner Bob Hope about becoming the primary
         sponsor of the women's baseball team, according to Jeff
         Jacobs of the HARTFORD COURANT.  Hope: "We've been told
         Hartford wants to be the women's sports capital and we feel
         we could be a strong part of this."  The Silver Bullets
         announced last month that they would not play this summer
         after being unable to find a primary sponsor since Coors'
         decision not to renew last year.  But Hope said that if
         Phoenix supports the league, the team could play this
         summer.  Hope was contacted by the Hartford Women's Sports
         Council and he forwarded the team's financial data to
         Phoenix.  He was told that New Britain, CT, would serve as
         the team's initial home, but a site in Hartford could be
         "used in the future."  It will cost about $1.5M a year to
         sponsor the team (Jeff Jacobs, HARTFORD COURANT, 5/9).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies
  • TELL IT TO THE KING: LARRY HAS A SCOOP ON SELIG

              In his Monday column in USA TODAY, Larry King writes,
         "Look for Bud Selig to be named the permanent commissioner
         of baseball. ... We should have an announcement before the
         end of the year" (Larry King, USA TODAY, 5/11).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Anheuser Busch, Leagues and Governing Bodies
  • THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS: NBA DRAFT DEADLINE LOOMS

              The "frenzied recruitment" of NJ high school basketball
         player Al Harrington will end today when he holds a news
         conference to declare his intentions, according to Lenn
         Robbins of the N.Y. POST, who reported that Harrington will
         announce he is making himself eligible for the NBA Draft.  A
         source "very close to the family" said Harrington was
         "making the big jump" (N.Y. POST, 5/9).  On Saturday,
         UConn's Richard Hamilton said he would return to school for
         his junior year.  He said that a potential NBA lockout had
         "little impact on his thinking."  Hamilton: "Now I can sit
         back and relax.  I don't have to worry about growing up too
         fast, worry about all these business decisions and things
         like that" (Michael Arace, HARTFORD COURANT, 5/10).
              PLUTO SAYS LET 'EM GO: In Akron, Terry Pluto writes
         under the header, "Let Them Learn The Hard Way About The
         NBA.  Once Prep Stars Fall, Then They'll Understand Why They
         Needed College."  Pluto writes that student-athletes with
         the NBA "on their minds" don't "belong in the same classroom
         as those who really are there to learn," adding that the
         average "18-year-old has about as much interest in college
         as your average NBA player does in botany.  So let 'em go
         pro."  Pluto: "Let those who aren't the next [Kevin] Garnett
         or [Kobe] Bryant learn a real lesson in life.  Then, one
         day, some might decide it's time to go back ... [and] take
         their education seriously" (AKRON BEACON JOURNAL, 5/11). 
              AND WHAT OF THE LEAGUE? In N.Y., William Rhoden wrote
         on the NBA's veteran stars who will leave the league in the
         next three years: "Soon we will see what the league has
         really become: style over substance, individual over the
         team.  Plucking young people off the vine ahead of their
         time, lavishing them with millions. ... The N.B.A. is about
         to reap what it has sown" (William Rhoden, N.Y. TIMES, 5/9).
              STILL GOT GAME: Spike Lee's "He Got Game" fell to third
         place in this weekend's box office returns, earning $3.8M. 
         Through its first ten days in release, the film has grossed
         $11.4M (THE DAILY).  In Sacramento, Ailene Voisin wrote the
         film is a "must-see movie for anyone who follows basketball
         and gives a hoot about the game, the people in the game, and
         what has become of the game" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 5/10).   
              ROOKIE CAP: In Cincinnati, Mike DeCourcy wrote that the
         rookie salary cap, introduced in '95 "as a cost-control
         device for the league," is "viewed by many as having cut
         loose the flood of inexperienced players who entered the
         draft in recent seasons."  The cap "does not appear to have
         been a good deal for basketball at the high school, college
         or professional levels."  NBA Deputy Commissioner Russ
         Granik admitted the cap hasn't "done as much as we would
         have liked," but said it has prevented contract holdouts and
         "avoided long-term, very expensive, contracts for guys who
         really aren't worth it" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 5/10). 
    
    

    Print | Tags: Dallas Stars, Leagues and Governing Bodies, NBA, Southwest Sports Group
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