SBD/April 29, 2011/People and Pop Culture

This Week's Newsmakers: Hillis Voted As Cover Athlete For "Madden" Video Game

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: PEYTON HILLIS -- The Browns RB receives national attention after winning a fan vote to grace the cover of EA Sports’ “Madden NFL 12” video game. Hillis, buoyed by an aggressive get-out-the-vote campaign by the Browns, easily defeats MICHAEL VICK to become the first Browns player on the cover of the popular game. The increased exposure should lead to more off-the-field opportunities for Hillis, who has already parlayed his newfound fame into an appearance on Thursday’s “Late Show.”

LOSE: YANKEES -- The Bronx Bombers' front office gets a PR black eye this week after inadvertently sending an e-mail with fans' personal information to hundreds of ticket holders. A file attached to the e-mail contains names, addresses, phone numbers, fax numbers and e-mail addresses on about 17,000 season-ticket accounts. While no financial information is leaked, the team is forced to apologize in a letter to all ticket holders.

DRAW: MLB -- Much has been written about the league's attendance slump to start the season -- and for good reason. MLB saw a sharp decline at the gate over the first month of play compared to the same period a year ago. But while empty seats have plagued several markets, fans are still tuning in on the tube. Fox's Saturday MLB game viewership is up 5% year-over-year, while ESPN's "Sunday Night Baseball" viewership is up 20%.

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