SBJ/August 12 - 18, 2002/Coast To Coast

Coast to Coast


Blue Sky to lead Peach Bowl campaign
The Atlanta-based Blue Sky Agency has been tapped to lead the ad campaign for the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl this year and next. The campaign for this year's game will kick off Oct. 1 and will include outdoor, print, TV and radio ads. The Peach Bowl is set for 7:30 p.m. New Year's Eve at the Georgia Dome. Blue Sky replaces Fitzgerald & Co., which led the Peach Bowl's ad campaigns for the past five years.


Boston Breaker Kate Sobrero juggles a soccer ball for kids at a soccer clinic.

Breakers players offer tips to kids
Kate Sobrero and Jena Kluegel of the Boston Breakers worked with the city's Parks Department to give soccer tips and instruction to more than 100 children in summer programs. The free soccer clinic, held on Boston Common, was sponsored by Gillette for Women Venus. The program benefits designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in WUSA markets including the Dana Farber Institute in Boston. The "Ultimate Soccer Goddess" initiative is part of the Gillette league sponsorship of the WUSA.


Mountain Sports buys Warren Miller Films
Boulder-based Warren Miller Films, which produces ski and snowboarding-related movies, has been sold to Mountain Sports Media, which publishes Ski, Skiing, Freeze and TransWorld Snowboarding magazines, which are also based in Boulder. Sale terms weren't disclosed.


Canisius, Niagara to host hockey tourney
Canisius College and Niagara University will jointly host the Xerox College Hockey Showcase at HSBC Arena Oct. 11-12. The University of Michigan and University of North Dakota also will participate in the tournament. Canisius will play North Dakota while Niagara faces Michigan on Oct. 11, with the winners meeting in the championship the following day.


New theme for Jackets' season
The Columbus Blue Jackets have adopted the theme "Ignite" for their 2002-03 season, beginning with the home opener Oct. 10 against the Chicago Blackhawks. The theme replaces last year's "All Out. All Season." It will be used in conjunction with the permanent "Your Team" tag line that emphasizes the club's connection to the community.


Sports Page launches soon
Dallas will get its third new local sports publication of 2002 when The Sports Page hits the racks in a few weeks. Launched by two individual investors, the publication will feature analysis and opinions from fans and its staff on professional, college and high school teams in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The first edition will have 32 to 40 pages and a 40,000-copy press run. The Sports Page will be circulated free at bars, restaurants and similar locales, as will DFW Sports Weekly, which was started by a group of former Dallas Cowboys players to give athletes a voice without a media filter. Dallas Mavericks Weekly, which gives fans a close-up glimpse of players of that team, was launched during the spring playoffs.


NCAA suing Coors over ticket promotion
The NCAA is suing Golden, Colo.-based Coors Brewing Co. in Indiana because the brewer used the last two men's Final Four basketball tournaments as a ticket promotion. "Our primary focus" for the lawsuit, said NCAA spokeswoman Melody Lawrence, "is to get Coors to stop using Final Four tickets in promotions without the NCAA's permission." She said the back of the tickets say that unless authorized by the NCAA, "this ticket may not be offered in a commercial promotion or as a prize in a sweepstakes or contest." A representative of Coors said the claims are without merit.


Tigers score with women's program
The Detroit Tigers have introduced a new discussion-oriented program designed for female fans prior to selected Wednesday night games. The first event, July 24, featuring Heather Nabozny, the Tigers' head groundskeeper and the major leagues' first female head groundskeeper, was attended by about 100. Katy Feeney, vice president of scheduling and club relations for Major League Baseball, is scheduled to appear Aug. 21, and Christy Stancil of the Major League Scouting Bureau is scheduled for Sept. 18.

Palace makes deal for job board
Palace Sports & Entertainment has signed a licensing agreement with TeamWork Online to provide integrated job board and recruiting system software to post job openings on the Internet for the Detroit Pistons, Detroit Shock, Detroit Fury, Palace of Auburn Hills, Meadow Brook Music Festival and DTE Energy Music Theatre. Using TeamWork Online's recruiting system, applicants can send their credentials to the appropriate hiring manager and receive notification of specific job openings free of charge.

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. makes deal with Sports Authority in Costa Mesa, Calif., and Fort Lauderdale-based The Sports Authority have entered into a multiyear retail distribution partnership. Under the agreement, began selling tickets at selected Sports Authority locations in July. Tickets will be sold at 14 stores in the Chicago market and eight locations throughout Arizona for's area clients.


Fresno State programs under investigation
The NCAA is investigating three Fresno State athletic programs, including its basketball program formerly coached by Jerry Tarkanian. At the heart of the investigation is whether a local Japanese restaurant fed basketball players for free and whether a sports agent provided benefits to a basketball player. The restaurant owner told the Fresno Bee it gave out $3,000 worth of free meals "to every player on the basketball team at one time or another" since 1993. Fresno State's women's basketball program is being investigated for a recruiting violation, and its soccer program is being looked at for allegedly receiving improper athletic aid.


Bears, Oilers team up for coming season
The Hershey Bears have reached a working agreement with the Edmonton Oilers for the 2002-03 season. As part of the agreement, the Oilers will assign two or three contracted players to the Bears. The Oilers will determine which players will be designated for assignment when Edmonton opens its training camp in September.


Super Bowl panel unveils logo
Officials with the 2004 Houston Super Bowl XXXVIII Host Committee have unveiled the logo that will be used in promoting the big event, about a year and a half away. The navy, red and tan logo prominently features the city's name, and the Texas flag.

Astros hold Harry Potter night
The Houston Astros held a "Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire" Night at Minute Maid Park last Tuesday in celebration of the paperback release of the newest book in the series. The first 15,000 children 14 and younger received a free Harry Potter birthday button from Scholastic Inc.; 150 copies of the new book were given away throughout the game; and a Harry Potter Look-Alike Contest and Harry Potter Trivia Contest were held.


Indians attempt stock buy-back
The Indianapolis Indians are trying to buy back their common stock for $9,200 a share, according to the Class AAA team's officials, to reduce the team's tax liability. If at least 181 of the corporation's 256 stockholders sell their stock to Indians Inc., the company would be able to change its corporate tax status and avoid what team President Max Schumacher, who owns 34.4 percent of the team's stock, calls "double taxation." Indians Inc. must pay federal tax on its income, then shareholders must pay tax on their dividends. If the corporation cuts the number of shareholders to 75 or fewer, only shareholders would have to pay taxes.


Jaguar Kyle Brady weighs in against a huge spoonful of Chunky Soup.

Jaguars weigh in for donation
Jaguars defensive tackle Marcus Stroud and rookie offensive tackle Mike Pearson represented the team at the Campbell's Chunky/NFL Tackling Hunger weigh-in at the Radisson Riverwalk Hotel in Jacksonville last week. Stroud and Pearson weighed in on an oversized soup-spoon scale. Campbell Soup Co. will donate 10 times their combined weight in cans of soup to Jacksonville's Lutheran Social Services Second Harvest Food Bank. Campbell's total donation, 8,076 cans, was based on the weight of the players and media members. The donation for the two players' weights was 6,600 cans. The total media donation was 1,476 cans.


Admirals to air live on AM station, Internet
The Milwaukee Admirals have reached a two-year agreement for WJYI Radio (Joy 1340-AM) to broadcast the team's hockey games. The team also has a deal with to provide Internet broadcasts of all 80 of the team's games.


Timberwolves to play in Dominican Republic
The Minnesota Timberwolves will travel across the border for a preseason game against the Miami Heat. The Oct. 11 game, which will be held at the Palacio de los Deportes in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, will be co-presented by longtime NBA product licensee Grupo Uno of Santo Domingo.

No nibbles on purchase of Twins
Ralph Strangis, the attorney appointed by Minnesota Twins owner Carl Pohlad to find a buyer, has not been approached by anyone showing interest, according to media reports. Different reports attribute to Sportscorp President Marc Ganis statements that Minnesota Vikings owner Red McCombs could get as much as $700 million for selling his team if a bidding war ensues.

Vikings make deal with Miller
The Minnesota Vikings are one of four NFL teams to have signed exclusive agreements to sell Miller beer. Miller pours at 20 of the league's 32 stadiums. Anheuser-Busch Cos., which makes Budweiser, is in 28 stadiums and has exclusive arrangements with six of them, according to reports.


Senior Softball coming in 2003
Mobile has been chosen to host the 2003 Senior Softball World Championships Oct. 16-26 at Medal of Honor Park and West Mobile County Park. The Mobile Area Sports Commission, with help from the Mobile County Hotel Marketing Fund and the Mobile Convention & Visitors Corp., led the nearly yearlong bid process.


ESPN, Music City Bowl re-sign for 7 years
The board of directors for the Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl has approved a new seven-year contract with ESPN to broadcast the game. This contract, which replaces a previous one that expires in 2003, extends the contract through the 2008 game with an additional option for 2009. In addition, has also obtained the exclusive right to carry live audio of the game.


Disney hosting NFL training camp
For the first time, Walt Disney World's Wide World of Sports is hosting a National Football League training camp for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Although Disney has hosted Major League Baseball's Atlanta Braves spring training and practicing for the NBA's Orlando Magic, it hasn't opened its gates to the NFL until now. The reason: Disney hopes to capitalize off the popularity of its other events, such as Braves spring training, which has drawn as many as 130,000 spectators to Disney's Wide World of Sports. Bucs training camp runs July 29 through Aug. 21.


Charge, Breakers to play Hall of Fame Game
The Philadelphia Charge and the Boston Breakers have agreed to play in the 2002 WUSA Hall of Fame Game on Oct. 14 at At-A-Glance Field on the campus of the National Soccer Hall of Fame in Oneonta, N.Y. The contest will take place during the Soccer Hall of Fame's 2002 Induction Weekend. Joining the Hall of Fame in October are Adolph Bachmeier of the U.S. National Team and the Chicago Mustangs and Kickers, Vladislav "Bogie" Bogicevic of the New York Cosmos and the Yugoslavian National Team, and Shannon Higgins-Cirovski of the 1991 World Champion U.S. Women's National Team.


Heinz Field to get 2 Coke signs
The Pittsburgh Planning Commission approved the placement of two large Coca-Cola signs at Heinz Field, the home of the Pittsburgh Steelers. The first sign will be a 15-foot by 21-foot banner that will be placed outside the stadium's Great Hall. The second sign will be 8 feet high and 38 feet long. It will be placed on top of the main entrance to the Great Hall. Last year, the Steelers agreed to a five-year, $5 million deal with Coca-Cola to name the stadium's Great Hall — an area where the fans gather before the games — as the Coca-Cola Great Hall. The deal was put on hold, however, because of the signs. Previously, the city prohibited the sale of naming rights unless a product was made at the location.


Chargers to wear old uniforms
The Chargers will wear their popular baby-blue throwback uniforms for their Nov. 3 game at Qualcomm Stadium against the Jets. The last time the team donned the Lance Alworth-era look was during a nationally televised 15-13 loss to the Raiders on Oct. 29, 2000.

Padres' ratings down 24% from last year
Two-thirds through the season, Nielsen ratings for Padres telecasts on Cox Communications' Channel 4 San Diego are down 24 percent from the same period last year. The team's lack of success on the field has translated to a 5.3 rating through 93 telecasts, down from 7.0 for the first 91 telecasts in 2001, when the final season average was 6.6. Since Channel 4 San Diego began its Padres coverage in 1997, the lowest average for a full season has been 5.4 in 2000.


Seahawks having a good year on paper
The glow from the new Seahawks stadium has been enough to rally the club's balance sheet, putting the franchise on track for perhaps its best financial year ever. Sponsorship revenue this year has increased by 44 percent over 2001. So far, 126 corporate sponsors are in the Seahawks fold, six fewer than last year, but still enough to pump $12 million to $14 million into the club. Sales of luxury suites have kicked in about $7 million. The Seahawks haven't been profitable since 1999, when the club squeaked out a profit of $544,000, according to research by Forbes magazine.


Library joins ticket promotion
The Syracuse Crunch and the Onondaga County Public Library system are sponsoring a "Crunch Into Reading" program that includes 13 visits to Onondaga County libraries July 9 through Aug. 28. At each appearance, Al, the Crunch's ice gorilla mascot, and a Crunch staff member will read hockey books to the children. Children 14 and younger who use their library cards during the month of October at an Onondaga public library will receive a free ticket to a Crunch home game in November. Parents will receive a discounted ticket.


A sculpture called "I Got It!" is now on display at Fifth Third Field.

Fifth Third Field gets new artwork
Art chosen by the Art in Public Places Committee of the Arts Commission of Greater Toledo and its Design Review Board is being installed as public art at Fifth Third Field, home of the Mud Hens. More than 40 artists submitted proposals from across the country and as far away as Amsterdam. Frank Gaylord of Barre, Vt., created "I Got It!" The bronze sculpture features three life-sized boys competing for a fly ball. A piece by Emanuel Enriquez of Bowling Green, Ohio, "Who's Up? — Depicting a Knothole Gang," is scheduled to be dedicated at the park Sept. 2. This sculpture depicts four life-sized bronze children vying for a look through the knotholes of a bronze fence to see who's at bat.


Governments pledge $6.4M for facility
Tennis Canada's plans for a new national tennis facility at York University got a huge boost with the provincial and federal governments committing a combined $6.4 million toward the $22.5 million project. Tennis Canada has some $6.5 million of its own money already earmarked, leaving about $6 million to be raised through naming rights and other sources. The facility, featuring a 12,500-seat center court main stadium and 5,000-seat grandstand stadium, is slated to be ready by the summer of 2004.

CFL ratings up 15% over last year
A month into the Canadian Football League schedule, ratings on TSN are up 15 percent over 2001, putting the league in a good position as its television contracts with TSN and CBC expire after this season. If ratings hold, the league will post an 80 percent audience increase over the course of its five-year deal with TSN.


Redskins branch out to Richmond
The Washington Redskins' chain of official retail outlets expanded to Richmond, Va., Aug. 3 with an opening at Chesterfield Towne Center mall. Grand opening hoopla included the Redskins cheerleaders, free hats for kids and a drawing for tickets to this year's Redskins-Cowboys game Dec. 29. This is the fifth Redskins-owned-and-operated retail outlet. The team plans to open seven more retail stores in the region over the next month.


Blue Rocks to auction jerseys for charity
The Wilmington Blue Rocks, in a

Blue Rocks infielder Darren Fenster wears a jersey being auctioned on eBay.
fund-raising effort for the United Cerebral Palsy of Delaware's Respite Program, wore special black jerseys for their Aug. 7 game against the Winston-Salem Warthogs and their Aug. 9 game against the Frederick Keys. The black jerseys are being auctioned off on eBay. The auction will end on Saturday. The money raised by the Blue Rocks, the Class A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals, will benefit Camp Manito of Wilmington and Camp Lenape of Sussex County.

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