SBD/December 18, 2012/Franchises

Dodgers' Ownership Looking For International Marketing Partnerships

Antonio Cue and brother Lorenzo eyed a partnership with the Dodgers
Former MLS Chivas USA co-Owners Lorenzo and Antonio Cue in April "pitched a marketing partnership between Chivas and the Dodgers" as well as a "new soccer stadium adjacent to Dodger Stadium" to Guggenheim President and Dodgers co-Owner Todd Boehly, according to Bill Shaikin of the L.A. TIMES. While the idea of "committing to a new home for Chivas -- or anything else -- on the Dodger Stadium parking lot would not work" for Boehly, the "marketing deal would." Boehly in an e-mail to the Cue brothers wrote, "I think we need to find a strategic Mexican partner first (and) foremost, to help us speak to our existing Mexican fan base and to help us grow our Mexican fan base and grow merchandise opportunities throughout Mexico." In the e-mail, Boehly asked that the Cues "consider becoming that 'strategic Mexican partner' and, as such, to invest $50 million to $100 million toward a share of Dodgers ownership." Guggenheim Partners also "talked with the chairman" of South Korean retail giant E-Land "in the hope of adding a Korean perspective." But neither deal "came to fruition." Boehly said, "We are not interested in just getting capital. It is all strategic. And we want to make sure it is strategic, because we want to reflect the community in which we are operating" (LATIMES.com, 12/17).

PROCEED WITH CAUTION
: In L.A., Bill Dwyre writes the recent signings of P Zack Greinke by the Dodgers and LF Josh Hamilton by the Angels should be "greeted with applause and caution." They are "exciting because both ownership groups are trying to get the best team on the field." They are "cautionary because anything that looks too good to be true often is." Dwyre: "Will ticket-buying fans start to understand, and react to, the reality that sports teams are rapidly becoming TV shows first and foremost; that fans' presence in the stadium is nice window dressing for the telecasts, but that TV rights fees drive the bus now and ticket revenue is decreasingly essential?" Financial "extravagance and marketing pizzazz are the domain of team owners." Sign Greinke and Hamilton and "watch the headlines get big and the talk shows go crazy and see the tickets flying out the door. Good for both teams" (L.A. TIMES, 12/18).
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