SBD/Issue 82/Leagues & Governing BodiesPrint All
Blatter Taking Criticism For
Remarks About Women’s Soccer
After FIFA President Sepp Blatter said last week that women's soccer players should wear sexier uniforms to bring more attention to the game, FIFA Media Dir Andreas Herren said, "The remarks were by no means meant to be offensive not at all. Whatever he said, it was more a general remark, 'Let's take a look at that.' But it's not the ultimate recipe to salvage the women's game because he went on to say women's football has established itself and it has a future" (AP, 1/17).
REAX: U.S. Women's National Team member Brandi Chastain said of Blatter, "Anyone who thinks that a uniform will draw people to the game is severely off base. The game of football itself is what brings people to the stadium, not what the players are wearing. He should continue to focus on the development of the women's game rather than trying to sexualize it." U.S. Women's National Team member Julie Foudy: "Instead of talking about tight shorts, FIFA should be focusing on increasing its support for the women's game" (AP, 1/17). During a panel discussion at the National Soccer Coaches Association of America's annual convention in Charlotte, NC, former U.S. Women's National Team member Tracy Ducar said, "I think the real question is who are you marketing yourself to? Are you marketing yourself to little girls ... or are you marketing yourself to the guy who wants to see the woman? I think we need to present ourselves as feminine off the field. ... I don't think on the field we need to wear tighter clothing." DC United President & CEO Kevin Payne: "I would find it offensive that the only way some people thought the league could survive is to somehow objectify the women. ... I can't imagine what President Blatter, who has actually been a very strong supporter of women's soccer, ... was thinking when he said that" (THE DAILY). Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women & Sport Exec Dir Karin Lofstrom said players "want to be taken as an athlete first, and if you have a uniform that's inappropriate, people think it's sex that's selling it." Canadian Women's National Team coach Even Pellerud: "If FIFA or soccer nations are not able to sell [women's soccer] ... maybe there's another problem than how the players look" (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 1/17).
WUSA Committee Planning
Festivals To Drum Up Support
By Josh Rosen, Staff Writer, The Sports Business Daily
Former WUSA Boston Breakers President & GM Joe Cummings, a member of the committee trying to revive WUSA, said Saturday during a panel discussion at the National Soccer Coaches Association of America's annual convention in Charlotte, NC, that his committee is planning three "soccer festivals" to be held in three different cities the weekends of June 11-13, 18-20 and 25-27. Cummings: "The festivals will showcase the players from the past WUSA rosters. ... We will be bringing all of the players in each weekend, so that any city hosting one of these festivals would know that they would have access to these players. There would be 64 players that would be playing in the festival matches, and another 26 players, or upward of 26 players, that would be available for all of the events around the matches." Cummings said the group has 22 RFPs out to communities, stadiums and organizing committees interested in hosting the festivals. Cummings said players will likely arrive in the cities on Thursday evening, with media opportunities and sponsor luncheons on Friday. Saturday would feature clinics during the day, followed by evening doubleheaders, with the players returning to their homes Sunday. Cummings: "It gives cities across the United States the opportunity to see that the WUSA is alive again in some form ... and we can keep the branding and the energy going of the league."
FUTURE: After the panel discussion, Cummings told THE DAILY that while WUSA teams will not have offices or a playing presence in their respective home cites, the team, "as an entity, the business component of it camps and clinics and youth teams and all of that is still in existence." Meanwhile, WUSA Founder John Hendricks will continue to make sponsorship presentations over the next four to five months, and Cummings said the league and teams will reopen their offices "if we find out that we're at a threshold as far as dollars." Cummings added that even if no sponsorships are sold, "We're still doing these festivals in '04. But that would be the end of the WUSA" (THE DAILY).
League Proposal Seeks $930M
Aggregate Spent On Salaries
After exchanging e-mails with NHL Exec VP & CLO Bill Daly, the N.Y. POST's Larry Brooks wrote the NHL's standing CBA proposal to the NHLPA "does not call for a literal cap of $31[M] per team," but would "mandate `targets' of $31[M] per and an aggregate $930[M] to be spent on payroll by" all NHL teams. Daly stated a payroll or luxury tax would be "meaningful enough to catch the attention of even the Rangers." One NHL official, "perhaps facetiously," noted that the payroll tax "might be as high as $4 for every $1 over the $31M." Beyond the team tax, the NHL "would guarantee `cost certainty' by imposing a tax on the union should aggregate league payrolls exceed" the $930M. Daly wrote, "If spending is still screwy despite everyone's best intentions, players will pay back to the clubs the full amount of any overage" (N.Y. POST, 1/18).
“It’s On,” Says Bernie Ecclestone
Of The French Grand Prix
In Columbia, SC, David Newton cited NASCAR sources who said that under the new Nextel Cup points format, which will be unveiled tomorrow, the "top 10 drivers in points and anyone within 400 points of the lead after 26 races will compete for the Nextel Cup title in the final 10 races." The new system "will include giving the leader at 26 races about 100 points, ... with the other drivers given points in decreasing increments" (Columbia STATE, 1/17).
F1: The French Grand Prix will be run in '04, meaning there will be an all-time high 18 races on the Formula One schedule. The race was listed as provisional on F1's original '04 schedule (REUTERS, 1/17).
CART: In St. Petersburg, Brant James noted Open Wheel Racing Series, which is trying to buy CART, "long has expressed a desire to merge with the IRL." But McAlpine & Associates analyst Dennis McAlpine said that IRL's bid for CART's assets "could be a sign that the IRL has no such intentions." McAlpine: "There is nothing to be gained by merging. From their point of (view), they can push up the price Open Wheel has to pay and sit back and wait for it to collapse and pick up the pieces" (ST. PETE TIMES, 1/17). G.I. Joe's President Norm Daniels said that his company, a 20-year sponsor of CART's race in Portland, "will not pledge money" to the tentative '04 CART race in the city. Daniels: "We will look at a CART sponsorship if and when there is a firm commitment to come to Portland, and if the new national sponsor (OWRS) is a compatible partner with G.I. Joe's" (PORTLAND TRIBUNE, 1/16).