SBD/October 21, 2011/People and Pop Culture

This Week's Newsmakers: Gumbel's "Overseer" Comparison Proves Unnecessary

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: 76ERS -- Strong opening for the new ownership group led by JOSHUA HARRIS, as he and new CEO ADAM ARON unveil their first phase of changes for the club. The moves include reductions in ticket prices, a new slogan and a website dedicated to opening communication between fans and ownership -- bold strokes which are a good start in an effort to bring fans back to supporting basketball in what could be one of the cities with the biggest NBA upsides.

LOSE: BRYANT GUMBEL -- Gumbel saying something provocative is nothing new in the sports world, but comparing the NBA Commissioner to a "modern plantation overseer" is a poor analogy. Any valid points he may have made were completely overshadowed when grouping together DAVID STERN and slavery. Yes, it got him a few days of publicity and headlines, but for all the wrong reasons.

DRAW: WORLD SERIES -- Two games into the Fall Classic and we've had two great games between two great teams with some other fun subplots along the way (see the rally squirrel). While some say "who cares about the ratings," everyone in sports business does care, and early numbers indicate that MLB has some difficulty garnering national eyeballs and scale when its top markets aren't involved.

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