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SBD/May 13, 2011/People and Pop Culture
This Week's Newsmakers: Leonsis Draws Great Reviews For Wizards' Rebrand
Published May 13, 2011
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: WIZARDS -- On the heels of another disappointing playoff exit for his Capitals, TED LEONSIS gets a very positive response to the old school rebrand of his NBA squad, bringing back the red, white and blue colors of yesteryear. The redesign of the Wizards' logo and uniforms had been a priority for Leonsis since purchasing the club, and syncs up the color scheme for all the DC clubs within Monumental Sports & Entertainment. While the throwback look is meant to give fans a greater connection to the team's past, Leonsis stops short of bringing back the Bullets moniker, a classy move that shows he still has the highest respect for former Owner ABE POLLIN.
LOSE: RORY SABBATINI -- It's not often that we call out athletes, but at a time when the PGA Tour needs its players to be as consumer/media friendly as possible, Sabbatini’s move to place restrictions on a potential post-round interview with rights holder CBS gets an immediate thumbs down. Kudos to the network for not playing Sabbatini’s game.
DRAW: KENTUCKY DERBY -- The 137th "Run for the Roses" set an attendance record at Churchill Downs last Saturday, besting a mark set in '74. All-sources handle for the race also sees a bump from last year and marks the third-best figure all-time. But on TV, NBC sees its audience drop significantly from last year's win by Super Saver. Without an NHL Stanley Cup Playoff game lead-in this year, the race segment draws 14.5 million viewers, down 12% from last year.