SBD/August 20, 2013/Events and Attractions

A League Of Their Own: White Sox' Einhorn Preps For National Youth Baseball Classic

White Sox Vice Chair Eddie Einhorn insists he is not trying to position his National Youth Baseball Championships, beginning Thursday in Memphis, to compete with the Little League World Series. But he is presenting perhaps his best effort with the sixth edition of the event, his last before fully turning over the operational reins to partner Alan Lubell. As Little League gets increasing exposure on ESPN, Einhorn's NYBC will be televised on CBSSN and streamed on MLB.com. The 12-team tournament, using larger field dimensions and more adult-style playing rules than Little League, also is rolling out a new All-Star Game designed to heighten fan interest in the event and its 12-year-old stars. The NYBC has a presenting sponsorship this year from Hotwire.com, New Era returning as the title sponsor, and smaller deals with more than 10 other entities. Einhorn said, "Little League is like Kleenex. An icon of our time. People say Little League even when they're not really talking about Little League proper. But we think they're great. They provide an important outlet to kids. But what we're doing is providing more select and advanced competition, and something more aligned with what's happening at the higher levels of competition." Einhorn founded the tournament in '08, extending a long run of involvement in amateur sports. He said at age 77, he is stepping back from his creation after this year, allowing Lubell to assume a larger role. Einhorn: “We’ve advanced further than I ever thought with this. But it’s time for younger people to take over" (Eric Fisher, Staff Writer).

ANTE UP: YAHOO SPORTS' Dan Wetzel wrote it is "worth pointing out" that LLWS players "deserve some cut of this action." Though it would be "unpopular and unlikely to ever gain traction," the players "deserve something from this booming, expansive event, even if it is just a few grand that go directly into a college scholarship fund or some kind of trust (if they don't go to college) that can't be accessed until age 18 or 21." The LLWS' federal tax filings showed that it turned a $2.8M profit in fiscal '12 on $24.5M in revenue, and it "finished the year" with $78.5M in assets. ESPN is paying $4M to "broadcast 32 games this year," so each player would earn $750 "every time their team appeared on television." Tax filings show that the LLWS generates an "additional $6.1 million in non-broadcast revenue." Some of that "comes from nearly two-dozen major corporate sponsors, including Honda, Hilton, Chiquita Bananas, Gatorade and New York Life." Wetzel: "Paying the players wouldn't commercialize the event. The event is already commercialized. Just about everyone is making money here except the players" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 8/19).
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