SBD/April 1, 2011/People and Pop Culture

This Week's Newsmakers: Maryland Jockey Club Walks Fine Line With Kegasus

THE DAILY each Friday offers our take on the performances over the past week of people and entities in sports business. Here are this week's newsmakers:

WIN: MLB -- With the NFL locked out and the NBA heading that way, it's refreshing to see MLB kick off its '11 season as the model of labor consistency for professional sports. While the MLB CBA expires in December, comments at this week's IMG World Congress of Sports from both BUD SELIG and MICHAEL WEINER add to the growing sentiment that baseball should breeze through the upcoming negotiations. With labor on everyone's mind in the sports business industry, MLB -- not too long ago struggling through decades of CBA strife -- can provide the blueprint for peace that the NFL, NBA and (perhaps soon) NHL should follow.

LOSE: FIESTA BOWL -- The NCAA is demanding the Fiesta Bowl explain why it should remain in the BCS rotation after a damning 276-page report reveals spending irregularities and potentially illegal employee conduct. The findings cost President & CEO JOHN JUNKER his job and cast a dark cloud over the prominent game. Fiesta Bowl officials, for their part, have instituted reforms in an attempt to curb future improprieties, but with the Cotton Bowl and others eager for an opportunity to join the BCS, it may be too little too late.

DRAW: MARYLAND JOCKEY CLUB -- The organization that runs the Preakness Stakes is at it again, creating the controversial "Kegasus" character to drive attendance for the infield party during the second Triple Crown race. The campaign is already achieving its goal of raising awareness for the race, as Baltimore-area residents and politicians are discussing the Preakness six weeks before it occurs. However, on the heels of last year's similarly divisive "Get Your Preak On" effort, is the MJC going too far in promoting the party aspect of the Preakness instead of the actual horse racing?
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