SBD/Issue 243/Leagues & Governing Bodies

League Notes

Writer Notes Bernard's Task Of
Resurrecting IRL "Hasn't Been Easy"

CBSSPORTS.com's Pete Pistone wrote it "hasn't been easy" for IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard, given the task of "trying to resurrect a series that has faded, even after the celebrated open-wheel CART-IRL war ended three years ago.” With new title sponsor Izod “coming on board, there at least is some financial stability, but trying to market IndyCar racing as anything except where Danica Patrick drives has proven difficult, to say the least.” While the IndyCar Series is “filled with personable and talented individuals, there still is a name-recognition void for all but dyed-in-the-wool fans.” Pistone wrote, “If the series can’t build a following with the breathtaking racing that was on display Saturday night in Chicago, what other options are there to get back on the American motorsports map?” (CBSSPORTS.com, 8/30).

FIGHTING FOR Recognition: On Long Island, Mark La Monica wrote MMA promotion Strikeforce “is healthy as ever and remains a legitimate competitor” to the UFC and WEC. With the “backing of Showtime and CBS,” Strikeforce “just needs a few breaks.” In an "era where 'parity' has become the great buzz word of sports, fans still understand and appreciate 'champion.'" Strikeforce “needs established champions, fighters who defend their belts successfully several times, not ones who win it one night and lose it the next” (NEWSDAY, 8/29). 

STOP THE EXODUS: In Toronto, Steve Sandor writes a "big issue" facing MLS is the "loss of players to lesser European leagues that really aren't any better than MLS." Former MLS players are "littered throughout the Scandinavian leagues." Most European clubs "pay better than MLS non-DP wages, so players make the jump, even though the Scandinavian leagues don't represent a step up in terms of the product on the field." MLS also is "losing players to Mexico." Sandor: "To stop the bleeding, more and more MLS teams are going to need to use the DP spots as carrots. Stay and we'll make you rich" (TORONTO SUN, 9/1).

SIT THIS ONE OUT: The GLOBE & MAIL's Bruce Dowbiggin wrote the NHL "shouldn't go to Russia" for the '14 Sochi Olympics "unless it gets a share of the profits and more influence." The Olympic TV impact is "negligible" in the U.S., the "elite players are exhausted by the travel and it punishes the NHL regional broadcasters who must go on hiatus at a time when hockey has the stage almost alone to itself in February" (GLOBESPORTS.com, 8/29). 

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