SBJ/January 29 - February 4, 2001/Coast To Coast



Marathon plan to be revealed
Organizers of the resurrected Baltimore Marathon plan to introduce their sponsors and unveil the race's course next month. Completing the plans has taken a back seat to work related to the Baltimore Ravens' playoff run and the city's tentative plans for a postseason parade. The race, scheduled for Oct. 20, will be the first marathon held in Baltimore since 1989.


UConn coach inks marketing deal
Locally based sports marketing firm Woolf Associates signed University of Connecticut men's basketball coach Jim Calhoun to a marketing deal. The agreement calls for Woolf to develop speaking engagements and appearances for Calhoun.

Soccer matches set for Foxboro
Foxboro Stadium was selected by the United States Soccer Federation to host two qualifying matches for the U.S. men's team leading up to the 2002 World Cup. The U.S. team will play Trinidad & Tobago on June 20, followed by an MLS game between New England and Colorado. The second qualifying match will pit the U.S. team against Jamaica on Oct. 7.


Bills sign new radio deal
The Buffalo Bills signed a new four-year deal with WGRF-FM to continue to broadcast the team's games. The station is operated by Citadel Communications Corp.

Destroyers form speaker's bureau
The Buffalo Destroyers of the Arena Football League are forming a speaker's bureau to address local groups. Destroyers coach Ray Bentley, who also works for Fox on NFL broadcasts, will headline the team's list of speakers.


Roberts leaving for Fox Sports Net
Sports anchor John Roberts is leaving local CBS affiliate WBTV for a job at Fox Sports Net. Roberts will host "NASCAR This Morning" from 10:30 a.m. to noon ET and "NASCAR Prime Time" from 9-10 p.m. ET on Sundays starting Feb. 11.


Hospital group extends Fire deal
Catholic Health Partners agreed to a two-year extension of its partnership with the MLS Chicago Fire. The group represents the city's Columbus, Saint Anthony and Saint Joseph hospitals. CHP will continue in its role as the team's official hospital and title sponsor of the Fire's YMCA program.


Warrick deal will put him in ads
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Peter Warrick soon will be appearing in commercials and on posters and ads as part of a deal with Toon Art Inc. of Forest Park, Ohio. James Gould of Management One LLC, which negotiated the deal for Warrick, declined to provide details, but the arrangement will pose Warrick with Warner Brothers characters such as Bugs Bunny and the Tazmanian Devil.


Rockers sponsoring essay contest
The WNBA Cleveland Rockers are holding an essay contest on their Web site,, in advance of National Girls and Women in Sports Day on Feb. 7. Participants are asked to write 500 words on one of two topics. The winner, selected by the team, will get lunch with Rockers forward Eva Nemcova.


Blue Jackets unveil mobile displays
The Columbus Blue Jackets unveiled two mobile fan-interactive displays earlier this month. The trucks, developed through deals with Bank One and Pontiac-GMC, will be used for hockey clinics and special events throughout central Ohio.

Team offering house for prize
The Blue Jackets launched a home giveaway promotion in conjunction with team sponsor Dominion Homes. One winner will be selected at the team's regular-season finale on April 8 from eight previously selected finalists to win the home.


Skate park under construction
The city of Grand Prairie started construction on a $1.2 million skate park, located at the Lone Star Park horse-racing facility in that city. Completion of the Dallas-Fort Worth area skate park is set for March. It is scheduled to host an X Trials event in May. Lone Star Park will run the 40,000-square-foot facility, which will have room for skateboarding, in-line skating, bicycling and roller hockey.

All-stars to debut Mavericks logo
The Dallas Mavericks began the unveiling process for their new logo. The image, which was first discussed last year, will be displayed by any Dallas player taking part in next month's NBA All-Star Weekend. The team, though, will not begin wearing its newly designed uniforms until next season.


Avalanche, law firm promote academics
The Colorado Avalanche teamed with local law firm Holland & Hart LLP to launch an initiative dubbed the 180 Degrees Program. The program will reward students displaying improved performance in their academics, attitude and community service with a trip to an Avs practice.


Bureau launches sports marketing arm
The Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau has created a wholly owned subsidiary to act as its sports marketing arm. The new Detroit Metro Sports Commission is charged with bringing amateur sporting events to the area.

AAU Junior Olympics coming in 2003
Detroit was selected to host the 2003 Amateur Athletic Union Junior Olympic Games. The two-week event represents the largest multisport event conducted annually for youth in the United States, traditionally attracting 15,000 athletes.


College tennis event canceled
The 25th annual National Collegiate Tennis Classic, scheduled for earlier this month at The Woodlands Resort & Conference Center, was canceled because not enough top-level teams could attend. Robert Cannon, NCTC's vice president and CFO, said players on various teams could not attend because they were academically ineligible, had injuries or were unable to return from vacations in time. The event features eight men's and eight women's teams each year, usually drawing from the top teams in the country. The tournament usually is held near the West Coast because many of the top teams come from California universities. It was scheduled for The Woodlands this year, Cannon said, because of the Houston area's large tennis community. It marks only the second time the event has been canceled, Cannon said, the first coming 16 years ago.


Penske back at Indy 500
Team Penske, winner of a record 10 Indianapolis 500s, plans to return to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to compete in the 85th edition of the race on May 27. Team President Tim Cindric said the team also will race in the Pennzoil Copper World Indy 200 at Phoenix International Raceway on March 18, the season opener of the Indy Racing Northern Light Series, as a warm-up for the Indianapolis 500. The team features drivers Helio Castroneves and 2000 CART champion Gil de Ferran.


AT&T sponsors rugby showcase
AT&T Broadband signed as a promotional sponsor of Saturday's Sunshine State Challenge, which will pit three British rugby teams against the American Tomahawks of the Jacksonville-based United States Rugby League. AT&T Broadband's Jacksonville office has produced television commercials and online promotions valued at $40,000 for the event. The event will cap a 10-day training camp for the British teams and is designed to promote northeast Florida as an international training ground for rugby clubs.


Knights take to the air 30 times
The Kansas City Knights of the American Basketball Association will broadcast 30 of their games on KCXL-AM and its sister station KCWJ-AM during the remainder of the current season. Bob Rennison will call the 23 home games covered in the deal. The other seven games are road games, for which the home team's broadcast will be used.

Kemper to host AFL contest
An Arena Football League game between Grand Rapids (Mich.) and New Jersey has been scheduled for March 29 at Kansas City's Kemper Arena. The event will be staged by the same group that had planned an AFL game locally last year but saw the game canceled due to the league's labor battle.


Shaq takes a piece of Dreams
Shaquille O'Neal signed a deal with Dreams Inc. for the Sunrise, Fla.-based company to develop and market memorabilia and collectibles for the Los Angeles Lakers star. The deal provides O'Neal with an ownership stake in Dreams and a spot on the company's advisory board.


Lynx sales aid breast cancer research
One dollar from every Minnesota Lynx ticket sold during the upcoming WNBA season will again be donated to breast cancer research through the Minnesota Lynx Community Foundation. During the team's first two seasons, the Lynx raised almost $300,000 for breast cancer research.

Area firm a winner at Super Bowl
Jostens Inc. of suburban Bloomington, Minn., is designing and manufacturing this year's Super Bowl rings. It will be the 23rd time the company has made the rings for the winner of the game.


CART series plans 5-year run
CART plans to debut a FedEx Championship Series race in Montreal beginning in August 2002. Under terms of a five-year agreement, the race will be run as the Molson Indy. Molstar Sports and Enter-tainment, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Molson Canada, is the rights holder for CART racing in Canada.


Blue-Gray game loses title sponsor
Kelly Tires ended its title sponsorship of the annual Blue-Gray All-Star Football Classic college game after 14 years. The Christmas Day matchup airs on ABC. Officials with the game said they hope to have a new sponsor signed this spring. The move by Kelly Tires, a subsidiary of Goodyear, was attributed to an overall assessment by the company of its operations.


Arena sets attendance milestone
The Gaylord Entertainment Center welcomed its 5 millionth guest earlier this month when the Nashville Predators hosted St. Louis. Fan No. 5 million, Gordon Holmes, received a seat upgrade and a ride on the Zamboni during the game, along with a prize package that included two tickets to the Predators' remaining games this season, four season tickets for the Arena Football League's Nashville Kats, autographed Kats and Predators jerseys, and four tickets to 10 Gaylord Entertainment Center events of his choice. The Kats and Predators are major tenants of the arena, which opened in December 1996.


Time-share unit takes to RDV
Marriott Vacation Club International reached a marketing agreement with RDV Sports, parent company of the Orlando Magic, WNBA Miracle and International Hockey League Solar Bears. The two-year deal calls for the Orlando-based time-share venture to be featured prominently during RDV Sports teams' games, including via advertising in the official team publications, team-specific promotions and logos on each team's Web site. It's the first venture into sports marketing by the time-share company.


Coyotes promotion goes to CD-ROM
Locally based software developer NeoPlanet Inc. and the Phoenix Coyotes are teaming to issue a CD-ROM product. The disc features a Coyotes screensaver, a highlight video from the first half of the team's current season and electronic player trading cards. This is the second year NeoPlanet has teamed with the Coyotes for this type of promotion.

Sports-talk host Jacobs returns
Bruce Jacobs has returned to local sports-talk station XTRA Sports 910 after a year-and-a-half hiatus. Jacobs is broadcasting in the station's 7-11 p.m. slot on weekday evenings.


Lawsuit challenges new stadiums
Several local organizations and individuals, claiming Philadelphia City Council did not follow proper procedures when approving funding plans for two new sports stadiums, jointly filed a lawsuit against the city seeking to nullify the legislation passed last month on the project. The stadium plan provides for new venues for the Philadelphia Eagles and Phillies at a cost of more than $1 billion. The effort is being funded through a combination of funds from the teams and from state and city subsidies. City and team officials said they believe the lawsuit is without merit.


Angels affiliate will use BYU field
The local Class A affiliate of the Anaheim Angels will begin play this year as the Provo Angels. The team is owned by Rob Owens and Linda Gach Ray and will play at Larry H. Miller Field at Miller Park on the campus of Brigham Young University, pending construction of its own venue.


Lack of sponsor kills tennis event
Raleigh has been scratched from the 2001 Success Magazine Tour tennis schedule because of a lack of corporate financial backing for the local stop. Organizers of the local event have been unable to find a replacement for sponsor BTI, a Raleigh-based telecommunications company, which opted not to continue its sponsorship of the event, scheduled for May. The tour, featuring some of tennis' all-time greats, made its first stop in Raleigh in 1998.

Radio show returns for tournament
Radio personality Tom Joyner plans to bring his "Tom Joyner Morning Show" back to Raleigh this year during the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association men's and women's basketball tournaments, scheduled for Feb. 25-March 3 at the Raleigh Entertainment & Sports Arena. The live radio show broadcast returns to the tournament's entertainment lineup as a feature following a similar appearance last year. The CIAA features 12 historically black colleges in states across the Southeast.


AF2 team picks name, logo
The local AF2 team scheduled to begin play this year will be known as the Rochester Brigade. The team's logo was designed by Joe Bosack Graphic Design Co. of Pipersville, Pa.


Site picked for tennis academy
Granite Bay, an upscale suburb of Sacramento, was selected as the site for a new student tennis academy that will be the first live-in tennis training facility in the Sacramento area. Tennis coach Vitaly Gorin, a native of Ukraine who grew up in the United States, plans to move his Gorin Tennis Academy from Napa, Calif., to the Granite Bay Tennis Club where he will team up with club owner and tennis coach Robert Clauson. The club, with 35 members, will remain a membership club in addition to being a tennis academy. The academy will charge approximately $24,000 annually. Gorin's best-known student is 18-year-old Russian player Dmitri Tursunov.


Holt would like bigger piece of Spurs
San Antonio Spurs Chairman Peter Holt said recently that he would like to increase his ownership stake in the franchise, but added that he considers the other members of the team's ownership group to be happy and expects them to retain their stakes in the club. Holt, with his wife, Julianna, owns about one-third of the team. He bought into the Spurs in 1996 and was named the team's chairman in July of that year.


SDSU broadcasts hit the Web
San Diego State University plans to broadcast about 50 of its baseball games this season on the school's athletics Web site, KFMB-AM sports producer Alan Horton will provide play-by-play coverage of the games.


Giants endorse waterfront project
The San Francisco Giants are backing a $120 million recreation complex proposed by New York's Chelsea Piers that would stretch along San Francisco's waterfront. The franchise won't fund the project, Giants COO Larry Baer told the San Francisco Chronicle, but he hopes to use a two-block-long field house within the project to run youth baseball leagues and other athletic programs. Giants employees also are serving as paid consultants for the overall project. Chelsea Piers is competing with Mills Corp. of Arlington, Va., for the 19-acre waterfront site. Mills has proposed a $200 million recreation complex. The Port of San Francisco, which owns the property, could choose a developer as early as March.


Lawsuit over fake memorabilia trashed
San Diego Superior Court Judge Linda B. Quinn threw out a class-action lawsuit against locally based online auction venture eBay Inc. for the sale of fake sports memorabilia on its site. Quinn ruled that even though phony sports items were sold on eBay, the company was not required to ensure their authenticity. The suit was filed against eBay and nine individuals for the sale of sham sports memorabilia.


World swimming event finds sponsor
The Sports and Events Council of Seattle-King County signed as a sponsor of the 2001 World Synchronized Swimming Championships. The event is scheduled to be held at the King County Aquatic Center in August.


Arena lands AHL All-Star Game
The St. John's Maple Leafs were picked to host the 2002 American Hockey League All-Star Game and related events. The events will center on the team's new Mile One Stadium, which is scheduled to open in the spring.


Civic leaders look to 2002 NCAA bid
Local business and civic leaders have developed a bid to host the 2002 NCAA Men's Final Four in the event it is taken from Georgia amid the controversy over the Confederate emblem being used in the design of the Georgia state flag. NCAA spokesman Wally Renfro said the association will meet in April to review its Final Four plans and contingency plans, if necessary. New Orleans, Indianapolis and Minneapolis also are seeking the 2002 event.


XO Club draws admiring looks
The Tampa Bay Lightning is getting attention from other pro teams for the success of its corporate seating area in its Ice Palace home. The 421-seat XO Club has an annual cost of $4,000 per seat, with most companies having bought two or three seats. The price includes an all-you-can-eat buffet, leather seats facing the ice, and the club's own liquor and cigar bars. XO Communications Inc. is the title sponsor of the section. Among the teams that have looked at the concept are the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Texas Rangers, Chicago Bears, St. Louis Rams, Dallas Stars and Carolina Hurricanes.

Area working on high school showcase
The Tampa Bay Sports Commission is working with the Florida Athletic Coaches Association to bring the state's North vs. South high school football all-star game to Tampa. The game, in its 13th year, has been known as the Florida Shrine Bowl and previously has been played in Jacksonville. This year's game is tentatively scheduled, pending signing of a corporate sponsor, for June 9 at Raymond James Stadium.


Waterfront plan called key to Olympics
John Bitove, CEO of TO-Bid, the group seeking to bring the 2008 Summer Olympics to Toronto, said the city needs to complete its waterfront development plans by the time International Olympic Committee officials visit in March. The waterfront area is scheduled to undergo a massive clean-up and development to make it suitable for several proposed Olympic venues, including the Games' athletes village. Bitove made his comments in the wake of the Toronto bid committee submitting its official bid for the Games to the IOC this month. Beijing; Paris; Osaka, Japan; and Istanbul, Turkey, also are bidding for the Games.


Drillers strike anniversary logo
The Tulsa Drillers unveiled a commemorative logo for their 25th anniversary season this year. The team is the Class AA affiliate of the Texas Rangers.

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