SBJ/September 30 - October 6, 2002/International

Who could see this one coming?

A chain of opticians, SpecSavers, has signed a sponsorship deal that will pay the referees of the Scottish Premier League $1.5 million over four years. The SpecSavers logo will appear on the shirts of all Scottish Premier League referees and also in other leagues in Scotland.

DESTINATION: NASCAR: Britain's Motorsport Industry Association is organizing a trade mission to North Carolina in February to help U.K. companies get some of the millions spent each year by NASCAR teams on racing technology. Those attending will be eligible for travel grants worth $525.

PORTUGUESE SUPPORT: Preparations for the European Soccer Championships, starting in June 2004, have been made more difficult by the financial difficulties of some of Portugal's leading clubs, but UEFA President Lennart Johansson said Portugal is facing only "traditional problems" faced by all tournaments. "It seems to me that things are under control and they will be ready by the end of next year, in due time," he said.

SEASONAL INCREASE: Milan's rival soccer clubs have enjoyed increased season-ticket sales for the new Italian League season, which kicked off Sept. 15. Pre-sold seats have accounted for more than 60 percent of capacity. Internazionale's season-ticket base has climbed 13.1 percent from last season to 49,212, and AC Milan's is up 7.4 percent to 49,748. The teams share the Stadio Meazza, which holds 81,700.

CRICKET CUISINE: Indian cricket superstar Sachin Tendulkar is 51 percent partner in Tendulkar's, a new restaurant scheduled to open in Bombay in October. Partner Sanjay Narang, a Cornell University hotel school graduate who is the hands-on manager of the venture, said the plan is to open other branches of Tendulkar's, serving a contemporary international menu, in Delhi, Bangalore, Madras and Calcutta over the next year or so.

— Jay Stuart

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