"Walking Dead" Sends "Lucille" To MLBers Daily Digit Braves Launch New SunTrust Park Campaign NBA All-Star Game Viewership Highest Since '13 Roger Federer Defends Laver Cup Boston College AD Bates Resigns To Take CSA Job SBJ In-Depth: March Madness / College Basketball Turner Sports Selling Single-Sponsor Ad Breaks Silver Wants NBA All-Star Game In Charlotte Marlins' Talks With Kushners Over For Now
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Nets Will Play At Newark's Prudential Center
For Next Two Seasons, Perhaps Also '12-13
Newark Mayor Cory Booker on Friday said that he "intends to at least try to bring NBA basketball back to the city once the Nets take up full-time residence in Brooklyn," according to Julian Garcia of the N.Y. DAILY NEWS. Booker joined NBA and Nets officials Friday to formally announce that the team will move from Izod Center to Prudential Center for the '10-11 and '11-12 NBA seasons, with speculation that it "could stay there for one season beyond that since construction" on Barclays Center in Brooklyn has yet to begin. Booker said, "This is a city that should have basketball in it." A Nets source denied that the team will play its "final two home games of this season" at Prudential. Garcia noted the team launched a new Web site Friday, www.netsallnew.com, with a new slogan, "It's All New." The site features a link that fans "can click on to purchase season-ticket plans for games at the Rock." The Nets have "set aside 500 season tickets that can be purchased for $299 each." NBA Deputy Commissioner & COO Adam Silver during Friday's press conference also revealed that Mikhail Prokhorov "should be approved as new owner of the Nets in early-to-mid-April" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 3/6). Nets President & CEO Brett Yormark said of the relocation, "For us, the time was right for a change before we make our move to Brooklyn in two years." In New Jersey, David Giambusso noted the deal is a "major victory for Booker, who has been fighting for the move" since Prudential opened in '07. Booker: "You can't discount the tangible impact those two to three years are going to have. It will bring millions of dollars to our city -- it will bring millions of visitors to our city" (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 3/6). He added, "Newark is America's No. 1 comeback city. ... We're starting to show this nation what's possible" (N.Y. POST, 3/6).
A WIN-WIN SITUATION? In N.Y., Filip Bondy noted the Nets are scheduled to break ground on Barclays Center this Thursday, and the move to Brooklyn is "absolutely great" for the NBA team. But Bondy added, "I'm just not sure it's so great for the borough. If you are the Nets, you may now have a real recruiting carrot. And if you are the Knicks, you ought to fret that your backyard has been sliced by half." Should the Nets "turn things around in the next two years while the Knicks fail to sign impact free agents, then it is not so very hard to imagine that Brooklyn will be a much hotter ticket" than MSG (NYDAILYNEWS.com, 3/7).
SMI on Friday announced that it is extending its long-term partnership with Coca-Cola North America through '15. Coca-Cola brands will continue to be the official soft drink, sparkling beverage, water, sports drink and enhanced water for six of SMI's tracks. The agreement includes title sponsorship of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway through '15 (SMI). The six tracks to have a deal with Coca-Cola are below:SMI TRACKS TO HAVE DEAL WITH COCA-COLA
AtlantaMotor Speedway Las VegasMotor Speedway Charlotte Motor Speedway New HampshireMotor Speedway Infineon Raceway TexasMotor Speedway
CRUISE CONTROL: Coca-Cola Senior VP/Integrated Marketing Bea Perez said that despite declines in attendance, NASCAR sponsorships "remain valuable." Perez: "We don't worry, because what we know is, people are just consuming it differently. People are struggling and they may not be able to come out to the races. But even if they don't come to the races, they're watching it at home. And more often than not, they're watching it with their families" (AJC.com, 3/5). SMI President & COO Marcus Smith noted that SMI and Coca-Cola have a 25-year partnership and said that the "extension of the partnership will include special advertising and promotions for fans and racing teams" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 3/6).
Bruton Smith Confident Kentucky Speedway
Will Get A NASCAR Sprint Cup Race In 2011
FEELING LUCKY IN KENTUCKY: SMI Chair & CEO Bruton Smith Friday said that he is "confident that Kentucky Speedway will get a Sprint Cup date in 2011." In order for that to happen, Smith still "needs track co-founder Richard Duchossois to agree not to appeal" the verdict in his federal antitrust case against NASCAR and ISC to the Supreme Court. Smith: "I think eventually Duchossois will get tired of trying to do something that he can't get done. I think that (his dropping the suit) will happen. ... I'm very confident" (SCENEDAILY.com, 3/6). SI.com's Tom Bowles noted if Kentucky Speedway lands a Cup race, Atlanta Motor Speedway seems likely to "lose a date." The SMI track is "part of NASCAR's Solid South, near its core fan base but also within 500 miles of a half-dozen tracks." That makes it an "ultra competitive market for fans who could just as easily spend their money on more prestigious events at Daytona, Darlington, Talladega or the short track in Bristol." Bowles noted Infineon Raceway and Las Vegas Motor Speedway, which each own one Cup date, "are not likely to get the ax, since Smith would not pull the plug on their only chance to make big bucks this season." Bristol and Texas have two dates each, and as "leaders in NASCAR attendance, they won't be going anywhere." That leaves Smith "picking between three ovals with two sanctioned Cup dates: Atlanta, New Hampshire and Charlotte" (SI.com, 3/5).
BRUT-AL HONESTY: Smith said investing in Motorsports Authentics was the "worst decision that I have ever made in my business life." Smith: "I refused to do it for five years and finally got talked into it and should have never done it. ... It was a sorry-run company and the due diligence was not done properly and the company had a lot of crap out there" (SCENEDAILY.com, 3/6).
Cowboys Began Experimenting Last Month
With Unguided Tours Throughout Stadium
Cowboys Exec VP & COO Stephen Jones said that much of the team's "focus this year, aside from preparing" to host Super Bowl XLV, will be "making everything run more smoothly" at Cowboys Stadium, according to Jeff Mosier of the DALLAS MORNING NEWS. Jones said that LED screens with scoreboard data "have been added in each end zone for fans," and there will be "Wi-Fi access points in the stadium's seating area" for those with AT&T smart phones. In addition, stadium tours are "likely to evolve during the Cowboys' second year" in the facility. Cowboys Exec VP/Brand Management and President of Charities Charlotte Jones Anderson said that the team "started experimenting last month with unguided tours as a potential addition to the traditional tours." A planned art tour of the Stadium "has been introduced, but it was done quietly," and so far is "just by appointment only." The team has been "waiting for the installation of the last piece" of art before "making the tours a regular offering." Meanwhile, Mosier noted one of the "biggest changes to Cowboys Stadium this year is what won't open." A planned Cowboys HOF & Museum was "initially expected to open this year, but that time frame has been scrapped." Team officials said that they are "still planning the attraction, but there is no start or completion date." They have been "touring sports halls of fame and nonsports museums nationwide to seek inspiration." Cowboys Dir of Corporate Communications Brett Daniels said that the team is "looking to other museums for inspiration about making exhibits interactive and uses of technology in addition to less glamorous details such as tips for queuing and foot traffic flow" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 3/7).
STADIUM, MEET WORLD: Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones said Saturday's Manny Pacquiao-Joshua Clottey boxing match at the stadium is a "very logical way to introduce our stadium to the world and lift its aura." Jones and Top Rank Chair Bob Arum "agree that they will both make money" on the fight. But Jones said, "Even if we didn't make a dime, in the context of exposure worldwide for our stadium and opening it up to the small guy who can't buy Cowboys tickets, this will be a successful promotion." Jones believes Cowboys Stadium "can compete with Las Vegas" for big fights. Jones: "I can hold my head up high, keep my credibility and say that. I can and I will." Arum said that talks "already are under way for a bye-week fight at Cowboys Stadium during the football season" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 3/7).