SBJ/March 27 - April 2, 2000/No Topic Name

Manchester United opens store in Singapore

Manchester United International opened a 15,000-square-foot Manchester United store and Internet-related Red Café in Singapore. The international arm plans to open a similar store in Kuala Lumpur during the spring. A three-story store in Dublin will open in June.

POOLS ON THE WEB: Littlewoods, a leading company in the "football pools," a lottery-like betting tradition in Britain for decades, launched www.Bet247.co.uk, a betting and gaming Internet site. The site includes a link-up with BT Cellnet that will allow customers to make live bets and play the pools through mobile phones. A link with Sky Sports offers the chance to bet on statistics such as total goals. The service launched March 18 for the Everton vs. Newcastle game in the Premier League.

TRIATHLON PARTNER: The International Triathlon Union signed an exclusive marketing and media deal with London-based Sportsworld lasting through the Athens Olympic Games in 2004. Sportsworld's youth sports subsidiary, SSM Freesports, whose specialties include windsurfing and surfing, will be responsible for production. Triathlon makes its debut as an Olympic sport in Sydney this year. The women's event will open the Games, starting from the steps of the Sydney Opera House.

BRAZILIAN FAIR: The Brazilian Football Confederation and British company World's Fair Exhibitions are organizing the South American Football Exhibition Dec. 3-5 in São Paulo. Pele Sports & Marketing, the company of Brazilian soccer legend Pele, and British Airways are marketing partners in the event, which is designed to help meet the needs of Brazilian soccer after approval of the Pele Law, which requires all amateur clubs that supply Brazilian professional clubs with players to bring their operations and facilities up to standards acceptable to FIFA, the international governing body. Brazil wants to use the event to attract international companies and consultants who can help undertake this transformation. The Brazilian Football Confederation will also use the exhibition to launch its bid for the 2010 World Cup. Brazil is already bidding for the 2006 World Cup, obviously without much confidence. The FIFA inspection team visiting the bidding countries has just finished touring South Africa. A decision on the host country is due July 6.

SOCCER SURFING: Pay TV is making strides to deliver the instant score experience. In Spain, Audiovisual Sport has developed a new pay-per-view interactive package, Multifútbol, enabling viewers to zap from game to game among the eight live games airing simultaneously on the Canal Satélite Digital, Via Digital and ONO services. The option costs $6 and is available to customers who first buy a game on ordinary PPV, also costing $6 for most games. Whenever a goal is scored in any game, a message appears on screen with the new score. The viewer can then zap to the Multifútbol option and see the goal with a 30- to 40-second delay.

SWIMMING HIGH DOWN UNDER: The Pan-Pacific Swimming Championships event of last August appears seven times (seven different days), more than any other sport, in the Top 20 list of Australian sports television hits of 1999. The fifth day of the swimming event, on Nine Network, was the No. 2 sports event of the year, with 2.5 million viewers in the five top cities (the Australian measurement standard), just behind the last day of the Cricket World Cup, also on Nine, with 2.9 million. Cricket appears six times on the list and rugby league five.

— Jay Stuart

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