SBD/October 30, 2012/NBA Season Preview

Grizzlies See Uptick In Corporate Sponsorships And Ticket Sales

The Grizzlies are “netting an increase in corporate sponsorships and ticket sales thanks to momentum from last season,” according to Michael Sheffield of the MEMPHIS BUSINESS JOURNAL. The Grizzlies have “new sponsorship deals with Chick-Fil-A, which will give away chicken sandwiches as part of the ‘Grizzlies Win, You Win’ promotion that will still include free offers from Sonic, Golf & Games Family Park and Jason’s Deli.” The team also has “finalized a deal with Charlie Vergos’ Rendezvous Charcoal Ribs to provide barbecue in FedExForum.” adidas also will have “branded souvenir stands” in the arena. Grizzlies VP/Corporate Sales & Service Chad Bolen said that playoff runs during the last two seasons have “spurred more local interest from corporate sponsors.” The Grizzlies “don’t release exact ticket sales numbers, but the team has reportedly increased season ticket sales by about 1,200 in the last year.” After the ‘10-11 playoff run, the team “increased ticket sales by about 2,600.” Grizzlies VP/Ticket Sales & Service Dennis O'Connor said that the Grizzlies “had their highest renewal rate in team history this summer, hitting about 90 percent.” Grizzlies President of Business Operations Greg Campbell said that the team is “close to matching its all-time high for season ticket sales in the 2004-05 season when it first moved into FedExForum” (MEMPHIS BUSINESS JOURNAL, 10/26 issue).

MAKING IT OFFICIAL: In Memphis, Ronald Tillery reports Robert Pera “is officially the Grizzlies' majority owner.” Sources yesterday said that Pera “closed his deal to buy the NBA franchise from Michael Heisley.” A source said that Pera's purchase price was “recorded at $377 million in documents presented last week” to the NBA BOG. Tillery notes Pera is “expected to speak publicly soon about the purchase now that the deal has closed.” He has “made no public comments about the Grizzlies since agreeing to purchase the team on June 11.” NBA Commissioner David Stern said that he “expects to be in Memphis on Nov. 5, the date of the team's home opener, suggesting that the team may also be introducing Pera then" (Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 10/30).
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