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SBD/March 12, 2012/Franchises
Published March 12, 2012
BROTHERLY LOVE: In N.Y., Belson & Lattman noted since taking over the 76ers, Owner Josh Harris and his team have "cut ticket prices, jazzed up the in-game presentation, began a new marketing campaign and spoke openly and often to fans." Combined with the 76ers’ "improved play, the steps have helped turn the team into one of this season’s feel-good stories and the sports darlings of a city best known for its bare-knuckle fans." Harris said, "I got into it for the business challenge. The Sixers were an undermanaged and undervalued asset that wasn’t connecting with its fans and was heading into a lockout. We approached the investment in the same way that we would at a private equity firm." 76ers CEO Adam Aron said sales for the rest of the season "are through the roof." The team expects to "sell more tickets during the 33-game home part of the season than they did last year, when they played all 41 home games." TV ratings through the All-Star break were 93% "higher than last season" (N.Y. TIMES, 3/11).
TIS THE SEASON: In Ft. Lauderdale, Craig Davis notes the Marlins "plan to continue selling season-ticket packages through May." Team President David Samson said that even if demand "continues to grow, they will cap it at about" 18,000. Samson said, "Sellouts breed sellouts. Miami is very much a buzz town. Which is part of the all-in strategy of raising the payroll, signing some free agents and rebranding, relaunching, because it creates that buzz. Now with that buzz you combine it with a team that performs, and then you start building and building. Then hopefully it keeps going" (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 3/12).
DIGGING FOR DOLLARS: In New Jersey, John Brennan noted the NFL Jets have filed a $1M lawsuit against Super Metals Mining Inc., "one of their MetLife Stadium luxury suite holders -- a Canadian copper mining company -- for alleged failure to pay the bill for their suite last season." The suit seeks a judgment of $1.1M "plus attorney fees and other litigation expenses" (Bergen RECORD, 3/11).