SBD/Issue 235/Franchises

Franchise Notes

In Cincinnati, Steve Watkins reports the Bengals' "season ticket sales are falling, and a more than five-year streak of sellouts" at Paul Brown Stadium "is in jeopardy." The Bengals this year sold single-game tickets, the first time since '04 the team has "sold anything other than season tickets." The team "had a waiting list for season tickets, but those people have now had their chance and there's still a shortfall." Bengals Dir of Sales & Public Affairs Jeff Berding said there are a "couple thousand tickets (per game) still available." Berding also noted that the team has a "few suites available for the first time in about five years" (BUSINESS COURIER OF CINCINNATI, 8/21 issue).

THE POWER OF CHEESE: The Packers and Verizon Wireless have reached a five-year extension of their partnership through '13, under which the company will continue as the official wireless service provider for the team and Lambeau Field. Verizon will maintain its gate sponsorship at Lambeau, and also will gain prominent signage throughout the stadium. Verizon retains exclusive rights to the Packers' team marks for both permanent and non-permanent POS advertising materials (Packers).

Falcons-Themed Boeing 747 Part Of AirTran
Airways, Falcons' Multi-Year Partnership
GEORGIA ON MY MIND: AirTran Airways has reached a multi-year partnership with the Falcons. The deal includes joint promotions, prominent signage at the Georgia Dome, and a Falcons-themed Boeing 747. In addition, AirTran will use Falcons players for billboards and other advertising. AirTran already has partnerships with several Falcons players, including QB Matt Ryan. The airline's principal hub is at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Int'l Airport (AirTran Airways).

THE DEVILS MADE ME DO IT: A Newark STAR-LEDGER editorial stated the Devils' newest billboard ad campaign is the "latest gotcha in an intramural feud with the Nets," who "deserved the dig." The Nets this season are removing "New Jersey" from their road uniforms, and the Devils' billboard reads in part, "We proudly wear our state on our jerseys." The editorial stated while New Jersey "pours millions of tax dollars into Izod Center to prop it up for the Nets, the NBA team repays the state with disrespect" (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 8/24).

rockets in flight: In Houston, Richard Justice ranked the Rockets as the "smartest professional sports franchise" in the city. Rockets GM Daryl Morey is the "smartest guy in town by miles," and Owner Les Alexander's "passion and commitment to winning make him the best owner by miles." Justice ranked the Texans No. 2, as Owner Bob McNair is the "blueprint for what an owner should be," while the Astros are No. 3, as Owner Drayton McLane sometimes "seems more interested in talking about being good instead of being good" (CHRON.com, 8/24).

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