SBD/Issue 238/Franchises

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  • Andell Holdings Completes $35M Purchase of MLS Fire

    Andell Holdings Nearing Close
    Of $35M Purchase Of Fire
    Andell Holdings, an L.A.-based private investment group, is expected to announce today the completion of its acquisition of MLS's Chicago Fire from AEG. The purchase, which sources put at $35M, has been approved by MLS BOG. "The team has a deep history and strong fan base for such a young team," Andell Chair & CEO Andrew Hauptman said when explaining the purchase during a telephone interview yesterday. "That was something we felt we could build upon." Hauptman will oversee the ownership of the team, bringing with him an extensive background in business, entertainment and sports. He sits on the BOD of Canyon Ranch Holdings and has produced several films, including Robert Redford's upcoming "Lions for Lambs." He also recently signed a deal to produce a Vince Lombardi biopic. His wife, Ellen Bronfman Hauptman, is the daughter of Charles Bronfman, who owned the Expos from '68-'90. Hauptman said he will leverage experience in all of those areas to benefit the Fire. "We view this as a long term investment and expect to provide it with all of the resources necessary for it to reach its potential," he said (Tripp Mickle, SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL).

    FIRE SALE: In Chicago, Nick Firchau reports Hauptman “won’t be relocating to Chicago anytime soon,” but he will attend three of the Fire’s five games in September and "provide the hands-on ownership approach of a soccer fan finally at the helm of his own team.” Hauptman: “We’re not absentee landlords. We’re expecting to be active. We expect to be engaged."  Hauptman said, “We believe in soccer here in the United States. We’ve spent some time at Toyota Park, and we’ve seen some games, and the fans truly love their team. The opportunity to do this in one of the great sports cities in the country was very attractive for us.” He added, “We have to continue to create a great fan experience. The fans are there; it just has to be our vision to give them what they want”  (DAILY SOUTHTOWN, 9/6).

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  • Penguins' New Reebok Uniform Remains Largely Unchanged

    The logo and colors on the Penguins' new Reebok uniforms "remain unchanged, and the uniforms look pretty much the same except for slightly altered striping in places," according to Dave Molinari of the PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE.  The design “drew favorable reviews from four players" attending yesterday's unveiling.  D Ryan Whitney said, “I like it. It’s tighter fitting, but it’s not too tight where you can’t move" (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 9/6). In Pittsburgh, Keith Barnes notes the uniforms feature “several minor alterations with the striping on the sleeves and removal of the art-deco Penguin logo -- a throwback from the Howard Baldwin ownership era -- from the shoulders” to be replaced this season with a patch commemorating the city's 250th anniversary. In addition to the jersey being more tapered, the sides have been cut up along the hips to “almost give the tail the look of a tailored dress shirt” (Pittsburgh TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 9/6).

    Penguins Make Slight Variations In New Uniforms

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  • Carolina Blue: Bobcats Look To Revamp Image With Campaign

    Bobcats To Switch Team's Primary
    Color From Orange To Blue
    The Bobcats are launching a new marketing campaign under the theme "Elevate" that includes billboards, radio, TV ads and a new Web site as part of a focus "on building an entirely new image,” according to Erik Spanberg of the CHARLOTTE BUSINESS JOURNAL. The campaign, via Charlotte-based Boone/Oakley, "emphasizes a commitment to improving the Bobcats’ on-court performance while also stressing a growing connection with fans and the community.” The Bobcats will move from orange to blue "as a primary color for the franchise,” and by ’08-09, blue will be the “main color used in team apparel, marketing and elsewhere.” Bobcats Arena will also “sport a cleaner look this season.” All the changes are “aimed at establishing the Bobcats as a franchise with deep Carolina roots while paying homage to the region’s affection for no-frills tradition similar to what can be found in college basketball” (CHARLOTTE BUSINESS JOURNAL, 8/31 issue).

    GOOD CHARLOTTE: In a Q&A with CHARLOTTE OBSERVER's Leigh Dyer, Bobcats President & COO Fred Whitfield said of the team’s search for an arena naming-rights partner, “We’re going out looking for the right corporate partners that can afford, No. 1, to be involved that long with a substantial amount of money; and No. 2, share the same core values with us. And we feel confident we’ll find that in the not-too-distant future.” He added of the support in Charlotte, “It’s been exciting to watch us finally start to create some scarcity with our tickets and completely sell all of our floor seats out for the coming season. It’s exciting to see that people are willing to pay full-market value for our product” (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 9/5).

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