SBD/April 27, 2011/Franchises

Franchise Notes

On Long Island, Steven Marcus cites a source as saying that the partial sale of the Mets is "on track, and the team expects to select one of four remaining bidders next month, with the deal closing in June." The source said that there is "no front-runner among the bidders." The source "would not reveal the percentage of the team being sold but said the 'strong expectation' is that Wilpon would continue to remain in control." The Mets are "seeking $200 million for a minority share of the ballclub" (NEWSDAY, 4/27). 

IMAGE IS EVERYTHING: The FINANCIAL TIMES' Roger Blitz reports EPL club Manchester United owners the Glazers have been "working with a PR agency to improve their poor media profile and sell their global vision for the club." The Glazers in January "appointed Jon Tibbs Associates to work alongside" ManU Communications Dir Phil Townsend. Sources said that the move showed the owners "believed a chapter had closed after they paid down £220m in high-interest payment-in-kind loans in November; and that they were demonstrating their stated intention to remain the long-term owners" of ManU. However, Blitz notes the "PR impetus is unlikely to push the Glazers themselves into the spotlight" (FINANCIAL TIMES, 4/27). 

GET YOUR GAME ON, GO PLAY: The D'Backs have created a second lip dub video to promote the upcoming MLB All-Star Game at Chase Field. Following up on a holiday-themed effort in December that marked the first lip dub video by a pro sports team, the new clip is not surprisingly set to "All Star" by Smash Mouth. Among those included in the new video are Managing General Partner Ken Kendrick, President & CEO Derrick Hall, GM Kevin Towers, former MLBer Luis Gonzalez and more than 100 team front-office employees (Eric Fisher, SportsBusiness Journal).

BEHIND THE SCENES: D CEO magazine's Tom Stephenson writes under the header, "Why The Rangers Cut Chuck Greenberg." A source said that the "troubles at the top began 'not until the first of the year ... and really not until February.'" When "word leaked out that before spring had officially sprung, Greenberg had missed all or part" of a board meeting in Scottsdale -- then "failed to co-host a scheduled party for advertisers the next day -- blood was in the water." Rangers President Nolan Ryan "basically told the powers-that-be that a 'him or me' situation had developed." And Greenberg "could not win that battle" (D CEO, May/June issue). Meanwhile, in Dallas, Tim Cowlishaw noted Greenberg and his wife, Jenny, "like living in the D-FW area and have no plans to move any time soon even though his involvement with the Rangers became a thing of the past in spring training." When asked if he still watches Rangers games or if it is weird to see them play, he responded, "Yes and yes" (DALLASNEWS.com, 4/26). 
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