SBD/Issue 135/Front Page

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    The golf season kicks into high gear today, as the 69th edition of The Masters tees off amid rainy weather at Augusta National. Sponsors return to the tournament for the first time since Martha Burk’s public crusade against the club’s all-male membership policy in ‘03, and SBC, IBM and ExxonMobil are expected to pump about $14M into Augusta’s coffers. CBS and USA Network are as bullish as ever on the event, with 90 additional minutes of coverage this year, as CBS eyes another big weekend to follow its stellar ratings performance for the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. Meanwhile, THE DAILY begins our two-day listing of endorsement deals for the world’s top golfers who are competing this weekend.

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    Rights & Wrongs
    Fox Network Group President & CEO Tony Vinciquerra not happy with MLB selling streaming wireless content.

    Green Acres
    Re-examination of land acquisition costs for Nationals’ ballpark could lead to delays or even force DC to find another site.

    The People’s Champion
    NBA inks China Mobile as official telecommunications provider in China.

    The Last Temptation
    Cubs choose dollars over tradition, become last MLB team to install rotational signage behind home plate.

    Charlie’s Angel
    Pacific Life Open co-owners reach deal to buy out IMG’s 50% interest in tourney.

    Yankee Candle
    Average MLB player salary hits record high after last year’s drop.

    Grass Roots
    Sirius adds four years of live Wimbledon coverage to roster of sports properties.

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    “They’re trying to build the league around him and he has not spoken a word in a commercial. Nike needs to showcase his personality, and I’d like to know more about him.”

    — TNT’s Charles Barkley, on Nike endorser and Cavaliers F LeBron James (The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch,” CNBC, 4/6).

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