SBD/10/Franchises

TEXAS TWO-STEP: STARS EXEC NAMED TO RANGERS POST, TOO

          Stars President Jim Lites was named MLB Rangers
     President and is now just one of five people to lead two
     sports franchises, according to Gerry Fraley of the DALLAS
     MORNING NEWS.  Lites, who replaces Tom Schieffer, "is
     expected to bring about significant changes" in the Rangers'
     marketing campaigns to ticket buyers and advertisers. 
     Rangers Owner Tom Hicks: "What we didn't want anybody to
     worry about was that I was going to unleash a bunch of
     business suits into the sports business.  We don't do that. 
     We get the best possible people to do the job and let those
     people do their job.  Sports people will be in charge of
     sports."  Fraley reported that Lites' sports background,
     with 17 years in hockey with the Stars and the Red Wings,
     "figured" in Hicks' decision.  Hicks, however, will
     "represent" the Rangers at MLB and AL meetings, with
     Southwest Sports Group Exec VP/Finance & Operations John
     McMichael, who was recently promoted from Rangers Exec
     VP/Business Operations (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 5/8). 
          NEW MODEL: In Dallas, Richard Alm wrote that the Stars
     and Rangers are "becoming one, forging the next generation
     of sports enterprise."  Southwest Sports Group CEO Michael
     Cramer: "All the ticket sales will be run through one
     person.  All sales of corporate sponsorships will be run
     through one person.  All marketing will funnel through one
     person."  Stars Marketing Dir Jeff Cogen, who has led the
     Stars' string of 40 straight sellouts, is taking over ticket
     sales for both teams (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 5/8).
          THE LITES STUFF? In Dallas, Tim Cowlishaw wrote that
     with the Lites announcement, the "mom-and-pop organization
     ... is no more."  Lites, on making changes to the Rangers'
     operations: "I think there are opportunities here that have
     not been maximized.  You might see different things in the
     way the game looks and sounds.  I anticipate those things
     changing a bit" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 5/8).
          CAPITAL GAIN: In N.Y., Kevin Sack detailed former
     Rangers Owner George W. Bush's stewardship of the team.  The
     TX Gov. saw his $606,000 investment turn into a $14.9M
     payday when his group sold to Hicks in '98.  Sack: "There's
     no denying the Rangers' success during Mr. Bush's tenure,
     both on the field and in the stands" (N.Y. TIMES, 5/8).

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