SBD/Issue 234/Leagues & Governing Bodies

League Notes

Busch's Presence In Chase Would
Be Huge Boost For NASCAR
In Charlotte, Tom Sorensen writes there “might be no cure” for NASCAR’s Car of Tomorrow, but driver Kyle Busch gives "hope for stock car racing.” Since the cars “aren’t going to become any more exciting, the drivers will have to be,” and "nobody is more exciting" than Busch. He is the only driver in contention on a weekly basis "who is capable of giving NASCAR a necessary jolt” because he is “so unpredictable, so talented and so daring.” If he does not make the Chase for the Sprint Cup, NASCAR “loses big” (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 8/24).

MAJOR ISSUE: ESPN.com’s Peter Bodo noted the Olympus U.S. Open Series is “having trouble sustaining the kind of traction that the bigwigs at the USTA anticipated” when they created the concept in '04. The idea “was and remains terrific: link up all the North American tournaments that take place in a compressed, orderly fashion leading up to the U.S. Open; give the players a huge financial incentive to win the Series.” However, the "summer hard-court circuit is about maintaining, rather than achieving,” for many top players. It is becoming more “clear that the only tournaments that really matter are the majors” (ESPN.com, 8/21).

STAYING IN THE GAME: In N.Y., Brian Heyman wrote despite “hitting a few bumps along the way,” the WNBA “has shown the staying power that its forerunners did not.” Average attendance is “on the rise for the third straight year,” and merchandise sales at NBAStore.com are up 10% from '08. Sparks F Lisa Leslie, who is retiring at the end of this season, said, “We’ve just truly evolved, by players individually, our individual talent level has risen, as well as our numbers and our fan support, as well as our corporate sponsorship. I feel very confident about where I’m leaving the game in the hands of these young players like Candace Parker, Sylvia Fowles and Sue Bird. I think it’s only going to continue to get better” (N.Y. TIMES, 8/23).

GROWING THE GAME ABROAD: Tiger Woods said of Y.E. Yang becoming the first Asian-born player to win one of golf’s major championships, "It will be incredible for, not only the people of South Korea, but I think for all of Asia -- that a person who started the game very late in age … has the success he's had, won on our tour, has won overseas, and now ultimately winning a major championship." Golfer Notah Begay III added, "Golf has a tremendous opportunity to reach out to different countries and cross over a lot of socioeconomic barriers" ("Money for Breakfast," Fox Business, 8/24).

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