SBD/13/Leagues Governing Bodies

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  • CORPORATE SUPPORT IN QUESTION FOR NEW BASKETBALL LEAGUES

              With three new start-up basketball leagues hoping to
         begin play by late '99, the BOSTON GLOBE's Gregg Krupa asks,
         "Will corporate America ante up the necessary sponsorship
         fees and other financial support to make the leagues
         viable?"  The IBL, the National Rookie League and the
         Collegiate Professional Basketball League "are scurrying to
         find out."  Woolf Associates VP Andrew Brandt: "I think
         there is a market in this country for more than the [NBA]
         and the [CBA] on a professional level, and this fills the
         void."  But most corporate spokespeople "said they would
         likely wait before signing on."  Eric Kraus, who handles
         sports marketing at Gillette: "There has been some buzz
         about these new leagues, but it is not as if there is a hot
         property out there that people are vying to jump on."  Krupa
         adds: "Each of the start-up leagues would, in their own way,
         offer some money for college education, at a time when the
         athletes are ready to attend."  So far, the NCAA's response
         "has been muted."  NCAA spokesperson Wally Renfro: "The
         leagues may in fact be a viable alternative for basketball
         players who may not be academically prepared to  handle the
         load at the college level and who want to play basketball"
         (Gregg Krupa, BOSTON GLOBE, 8/13).
              INTEREST IN IBL: Cincinnati's IBL franchise will play
         at the Crown and will be headed by IHL Cyclones and Crown
         President Doug Kirchhofer, his brother John, and Mike Smith
         of entertainment holdings company Nederlander & Associates
         (CINCINNATI POST, 8/12).  A majority owner is not in place
         in San Diego, but Ernie and Ron Hahn will own less than 10%
         of the team, as will Frank Roach.  Ernie Hall is GM of the
         Sports Arena, the team's home (UNION-TRIBUNE, 8/12). 
    
    

    Print | Tags: IBL, Leagues and Governing Bodies, NBA, NCAA
  • DETAILS OF NBC/TIME WARNER'S NEW FOOTBALL LEAGUE EMERGE

              Architects for the proposed NBC/Time Warner football
         league, which may debut in June of 2000, "are considering
         having 10 to 12 franchises, a 10-week regular season and a
         championship game around Labor Day," according to Peter King
         of SI, who cites "sources familiar with discussions." 
         Rather than "engage in a bidding war with the NFL for
         stars," the league "would create regional franchises stocked
         primarily with former collegians who have a local following
         and are willing to play for less than $100,000 a season." 
         Several "fan-friendly" elements also are being considered.
         But King writes, "the last thing America needs is a new
         sports league."  A-B Corporate VP/Media & Sports Marketing
         Tony Ponturo: "The big question is, Can NBC and Turner
         create a league that will keep the 21- to 34-year-old male
         at home on a weekend night? ... Baseball's growing stronger,
         and the growth of sports is outdistancing the growth of
         marketing dollars for advertisers.  It'll be tough for the
         new league, but certainly you'd have to give it a hearing
         because of the brains of the people involved" (SI, 8/17).
              MORE FROM THE TIME WARNER INSIDER: King also told USA
         TODAY's Rudy Martzke: "I think the league definitely will
         play.  Should the NFL fear this?  I don't think so, but they
         should have worthy respect for some of the smartest men in
         TV.  While they say revenge (for losing the NFL) isn't part
         of it, [NBC Sports Chair] Dick Ebersol and [Time Warner Vice
         Chair] Ted Turner would like to see the NFL suffer in some
         way" (Rudy Martzke, USA TODAY, 8/12).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Anheuser Busch, Leagues and Governing Bodies, NBC, NFL, Sports Illustrated, Time Warner
  • LEAGUE NOTES

              Yankees Manager Joe Torre on MLB's decision to increase
         the cost of LCS and World Series tickets: "I've always
         marveled at how much a seat costs on the floor of a
         basketball game.  And we have a long way to go before we
         reach that" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 8/13).  Also in N.Y., Speranza
         & Breen write under the header, "Fans Boo Series Tix Hike. 
         Cry Foul As Cost Doubles For Best Seats In House" (N.Y.
         DAILY NEWS, 8/13).  In Cleveland, Hoynes & Maxse report that
         "reaction was mixed" on the increase among fans attending
         last night's Rangers-Indians game (PLAIN DEALER, 8/13).
         ...Vikings Owner Red McCombs told Sid Hartman in Minneapolis
         that the blackout rule was one of the "first subjects
         discussed at the recent NFL meeting."  McCombs: "We were
         told by commissioner Paul Tagliabue that he wants the
         blackout rule strictly enforced and he will deal with any
         club that breaks it."  Hartman: "What it means is the league
         no longer wants television stations and other corporations
         to buy out a big number of tickets so games can be
         televised" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 8/13). 
    
    

    Print | Tags: Cleveland Indians, Leagues and Governing Bodies, Minnesota Vikings, MLB, New York Yankees, NFL, YankeeNets
  • MILLER REPORTS THAT IRL-CART COULD BE SMOKING PEACE PIPE

              For the "first time" since the Indy car split in '96,
         "there have been several movements recently that can only be
         viewed as positive," according to Robin Miller of the
         INDIANAPOLIS STAR-NEWS.  Last month, IRL Exec Dir Leo Mehl
         "asked his owners, collectively, how they felt about
         reconciling with CART," and at the Brickyard 400, Mario
         Andretti and Al Unser Jr. talked with IMS President Tony
         George "to pitch peace."  Miller: "Three years into its
         existence, the IRL is seriously hurting for owners, sponsors
         and fans. ... After three years without the [Indy] 500, some
         CART teams are facing contract negotiations with sponsors
         that want to be back at the Speedway -- not St. Louis -- on
         Memorial Day weekend."  IRL team Owner Fred Treadway: "My
         concept is that we come together for marketing efforts. 
         Have 31 premier races with no schedule conflicts. ... Have
         an American and National League like baseball and we come
         together for the World Series every May."  George had no
         comment, but IMS VP/Corporate Communications Fred Nation,
         said, "Yes, Tony has been listening" (STAR-NEWS, 8/12).
     
    

    Print | Tags: Champ Car World Series, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, IndyCar, Leagues and Governing Bodies
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