SBD/Issue 72/Franchises

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  • Sutton, Irwin Expand Sports Sales Combine To Three New Cities

    Sports Sales Combine Back
    For Second Year
    After a “successful first year, the Sport Sales Combine will be rolling out in at least three new cities beginning in January, including a stop next month with the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden,” according to Tim Lemke of the WASHINGTON TIMES. The combine also will head to Phoenix and Orlando in February, “with a possible stop” in Chicago later in the year. The program, created by sports business execs Bill Sutton and Richard Irwin, “includes three days of training and evaluation in everything from making the pitch to closing the sale and offers teams a chance to examine candidates in a real-world setting.” The addition of three new dates follows combines at Philips Arena in Atlanta and PNC Park in Pittsburgh in '09. Sutton, the associate director of the DeVos Sport Business Management Graduate Program at the Univ. of Central Florida, said, “I don't think we thought about this when we first did it, but it looks like it's a pretty cost-efficient way of doing it because you're interviewing somebody that you've already observed doing the things you need to have them do." Lemke wrote the “whole premise behind the combine is to find out things about candidates that might not be apparent in a traditional job interview.” During the combine, candidates "seek out sales leads during a live game, collect surveys from fans and then follow up with calls the next day." Candidates also will "meet with sales professionals from the teams hosting the combines." Sutton: "The combine is like an audition.” Details on the “combine curriculum -- as well as some entertaining YouTube clips of candidates in action -- are posted on sportsalescombine.com.” At least 15 teams from the NBA, NHL and MLS are scheduled to attend the combine to look for sales staff (WASHINGTON TIMES, 12/25).

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  • Franchise Notes

    Writer Says Gibbs (r) No Longer
    Involved With Snyder, Redskins
    In DC, Mike Wise reports Joe Gibbs “has nothing to do with the Redskins anymore. Not as an unpaid consultant. Not as a special adviser to Daniel Snyder -- nothing.” Gibbs: “For me, personally, I haven’t talked to Dan about major decisions or anything. So for me, when I talk to him, it’s kind of a friend” (WASHINGTON POST, 12/28). Gibbs said that he is “too involved with his family and his NASCAR team to consider yet another return to the club in any capacity” (WASHINGTON TIMES, 12/28).

    KICKING IT UP A NOTCH: In St. Paul, Charley Walters reported Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission Finance Commission Chair Paul Thatcher at a recent commission meeting said that the Vikings are “interested in buying a Major League Soccer team for Minneapolis” (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 12/24).

    NORTHERN EXPOSURE: In Boston, Albert Breer wrote the NFL’s “foray into the Great White North hasn’t exactly been a roaring success.” Even with a “slew of ticket giveaways," the Bills-Jets game at Toronto’s Rogers Centre on Dec. 3 "attracted just 51,000 fans." But the “idea is a long-term one, meant to grow the team’s base” in Toronto and “preserve its future in Western New York.” Bills LB Chris Draft: “The NFL and the Players Association, we’re always looking to push the game” (BOSTON GLOBE, 12/27).

    SHOWING HIS RANGE: In Ft. Worth, Jeff Wilson wrote Penguins employees who worked with prospective MLB Rangers Owner Chuck Greenberg when he represented a group that purchased the hockey club in '99 were impressed by his “tireless work ethic, skill as a negotiator, creativity in finding a solution, and his depth of knowledge in a wide range of facets." Penguins President David Morehouse: “What Chuck brings to the table in negotiation is a broader view than other people have. He looks 360 degrees around the issues and prepares tremendously.” Morehouse added, “He’ll make sure he has the best people available that are baseball people, and he’ll let them make decisions. I don’t think he’s going to be a meddler” (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 12/24).

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