SBD/March 17, 2011/Franchises

Franchise Notes

Deal to sell Coyotes to Hulsizer is edging closer to completion's Scott Burnside reported despite "advanced rhetoric from the Goldwater Institute, there remain signs that the municipal bonds crucial to the sale of the Phoenix Coyotes to Chicago businessman Matthew Hulsizer are edging closer to completion." Sources indicated that the bonds, needed to generate $100M that will go toward the purchase price of the team from the NHL, "were moving forward, in spite" of Goldwater's threat to sue the City of Glendale if a deal closes. Sources noted that Goldwater "has actually been in a position to file suit against the City of Glendale since the council approved the lease agreement with Hulsizer but has not" (, 3/16). 

BODY OF WORK: Whitecaps Dir of Marketing Kim Jackman said response to the MLS club's body-painting promotional video "has been overwhelmingly good," despite some public criticism from lead sponsor Bell Canada. Jackman: "The body painting was our way of trying to tap into a soccer tradition -- they sing songs, they chant, they paint their faces, and, yes, they paint their bodies." Jackman said that "most of the negative reaction came because of the accompanying newspaper ads -- featuring the same body-painted model in a sultry pose, wearing only a strategically placed Whitecaps scarf." But Jackman added, "You could look in a Victoria's Secret catalogue -- or even a Bay catalogue -- and see more exposed people" (Vancouver PROVINCE, 3/17).

FOOTBALL MEETS FUTBOL: Sporting K.C. and Chad Ochocinco revealed yesterday that the Bengals WR will join the MLS club for a "four-day trial," starting next Tuesday. Sporting K.C. coach Peter Vermes said, "Look, we need as much publicity in this sport as we can (get). If he’s serious and we wind up getting publicity for it, then that’s great for the organization. It’s great for the game. Let’s go." In K.C., Terez Paylor notes the idea "was a home run" for the MLS club. A "quick Google search of 'Sporting KC' and 'Ochocinco' Wednesday afternoon yielded over 30 pages of results -- and the news had only been out for five hours" (K.C. STAR, 3/17). ESPN's Michael Wilbon said of Ochocinco's trial with the club, "It's pandering. They're doing it for PR. Chad Ochocinco comes in, he tries out, you got all of the cameras out there from the local news stations. You get all the people tweeting" ("PTI," ESPN, 3/16).

SAYING GOODBYE: Former MLB Rangers Managing General Partner & CEO Chuck Greenberg yesterday posted a "message of thanks to the fans of his facebook page," five days after his resignation from the team. Greenberg wrote in part, "I want to extend a heartfelt thanks to everyone for your unwavering support over the last year and a half -- especially the past few days." Greenberg has changed his Twitter account from @ChuckRangers to @ChuckGreenberg, though he has not tweeted since before his resignation (, 3/16).
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