NBA Poised For Big Season With Eyes On Superteams Under Armour Has Slowest Sales Growth In Six Years Axe Bat Completes Corporate Realignment Knight Commission Chair Predicts Grim FBS Future World Series Tickets Still Setting Price Records Yankee Stadium Adding Social Gathering Areas Dolan, Manfred To Discuss Chief Wahoo Logo Cubs Poised For Marketing Opportunities MLB Postseason Viewership Down 8% NHL, Players Set Escrow Withholding Rate At 15%
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The Coyotes promoted BRENDA TINNEN to Senior VP/ Marketing & Sales from VP/Sales & Service; TIM WEIL to VP/Corporate Sales from Dir of Corporate Sales; and MARK HULSEY to VP/Broadcasting from Dir of Broadcasting (Coyotes)....ScheerSports, which owns the ECHL Greenville Grrrowl, named JOHN SCHLANSKER Account Exec (ScheerSports).
WAYNE KNIGHT, who plays Newman on "Seinfeld," will throw out the first pitch at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, the night before NBC's "Seinfeld" finale (N.Y. POST, 5/10). ...Patriots VP/Player Personnel BOBBY GRIER, Northeastern Univ. Center for Study of Sport Founder RICHARD LAPCHICK and Celtics Exec VP/Corporate Development M.L. CARR were honored by the Organization for a New Equality for "their commitment to helping minorities and women excel economically off the playing field" (BOSTON HERALD, 5/10)....Kentucky Derby- winning jockey KENT DESORMEAUX has retained LARRY FELDMAN as his agent. Feldman has been D. WAYNE LUKAS' agent since '96, and will seek endorsements and speaking engagements for Desormeaux (Mult., 5/8)....ALAN EAGLESON was charged with misconduct in jail, after signing a sports calendar for another prisoner, despite being warned earlier not to sign autographs (GLOBE & MAIL, 5/11)....Patriots DE WILLIE MCGINEST has started an entertainment company, 55 Entertainment, that promoted a show last Thursday at the Wonderland Ballroom in Boston (BOSTON GLOBE, 5/10).
MAGIC JOHNSON was profiled by Leslie Stahl on "60 Minutes" and discussed his battle against HIV, his feelings about today's NBA and his burgeoning business empire. Johnson, on MICHAEL JORDAN's domination of today's younger players: "We love to play. We love to compete. Most of these guys, they'd rather have a shoe commercial on TV than win a championship." Stahl: "Magic worked to make a bundle from basketball and endorsements, which he has now parlayed into a business empire and a personal fortune estimated at $100 million. His latest project is to bring upscale stores and services to the inner-city." Johnson, on joining with Sony to open a 15-screen multiplex movie theater in South Central L.A.: "Minorities used to [be], or still are, the number one moviegoers of any group of people, but they don't have any in their neighborhoods." With the movie theaters, Johnson said he and Sony have "changed Hollywood, I think, a little bit, and their mindset." Stahl reported that other companies "are clamoring" to be Johnson's partner, from TGI Friday's to Starbucks. Stahl: "Magic says he's showing that black customers are eager to support businesses owned by blacks and staffed by blacks" ("60 Minutes," CBS, 5/10).
MICHAEL JORDAN's unwillingness to discuss social and political issues was examined by Gare Joyce of the Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, who wrote that Jordan is "an idol to some," but to others he "is a fallen hero for not endorsing social causes." Joyce: "Where does he stand on affirmative action? On Nike's exploitive sweatshops in East Asia where Air Jordans are manufactured? Nobody knows. ... It's hard to miss what was never there, yet Jordan's silence is conspicuous. We know everything there is to know about him, except what he believes in and what is in his heart." Author JOHN HOBERMAN: "He's thoroughly a corporate phenomenon with no apparent social or political conscience." Chicago high school basketball player DANNY GRAVES, on Jordan: "What's Jordan do? Man, he spends all his time golfing, living high and everything and doing commercials. Do we like him? No. Do we want to be like Mike? Sure. Rich and out of here. He sure doesn't want to be like us." But journalist DAVID HALBERSTAM says he respects Jordan's right "to not have an agenda." Halberstam: "There are too many ... celebrities who have opinions and political causes without a lot to back them up" (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 5/9). MJ & THE FALK-MAN: In N.Y., Mitch Lawrence reported that DAVID FALK's sale of FAME is "the first sign that Michael Jordan is heading for exit." Lawrence added that Falk's "top money man," CURTIS POLK, was "in disbelief" over the $120M deal. The Falk group expected to receive "only" $70M from the sale (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 5/10).