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WORLD CUP NOTES
Published June 11, 1998
The U.S. World Cup team will earn more than $415,000 each should they win the event, according to the team's CBA with the U.S. Soccer Federation, according to Amy Shipley of the WASHINGTON POST. If the U.S. team fails to win or even tie any of its three first-round matches, the 22 players will take home $35,000 each. As the U.S.'s "only unionized national team," the U.S. soccer team "has grown into an increasingly powerful group." By contrast, German players would each earn "the equivalent of about" $86,000 for winning the World Cup (WASHINGTON POST, 6/11). NOTES: In Boston, Howard Manly reports that ESPN "has done the impossible -- made soccer exciting to the American fan." Manly credits ESPN for showing "close up action," during yesterday's opening round match between Brazil and Scotland (BOSTON GLOBE, 6/11)....A REUTERS report says that tickets for yesterday's opener were going for $2,500 (CBS SportsLine, 6/11)....Although it hasn't "gone out of its way to advertise the fact," FIFA has bought insurance for all 2.5 million World Cup ticket holders. A FIFA official: "We had no obligation to do so, but you can do good things without making them public" (FINANCIAL TIMES, 6/11)....Cup sponsors have 48 hours before matches to inform the French Organizing Committee of the sideline advertising billboard they will display. In examining the sponsorship packages, GM's Dir of Int'l Sports Communications & Sponsorships Jim Latham said that game tickets are "the most important aspect" of their sponsorship (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 6/11). U.S. BLUES? A SACRAMENTO BEE editorial stated, "For Americans to stand aloof from the World Cup, the greatest global sporting event, seems no more tenable in the long run than for the rest of the world not to learn English as the language of business" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 6/10). In Greensboro, Ed Hardin wrote, "Americans don't know what World Cup means, therefore it has no meaning" (NEWS & RECORD, 6/10). On the "Late Show," David Letterman offered his "Top Ten Ways To Make Soccer More Exciting For Americans." Among them: 10) Foreign countries play for the right to nuke each other; 9) Every five seconds, goal or no goal, have that nutty Spanish guy scream: "Gooooooooooooal"; 5) Get all them damn foreigners off the field; 4) How 'bout some cars gettin' smashed up real good?; 3) Lewinsky; 2) Replace ref with Jerry Springer and let the fun begin!; 1) Less corner- kicking, more coach-choking (CBS, 6/10).