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Volume 25 No. 62
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Closing Bell, July 5, 2006

Turner Sports Extends Media Agreement With NASCAR
Bridgestone Corp. To Be Official F1 Tire Manufacturer Through 2010
•  Lance Armstrong Drops All Defamation Lawsuits In France
ITF Says No Tennis Players Involved In Spanish Doping Investigation

TURNER SPORTS EXTENDS MEDIA AGREEMENT WITH NASCAR

Turner Sports New Media has completed an agreement with NASCAR under which it will continue to operate NASCAR.com.  The deal also allows for Turner’s TNT to distribute race telecast highlights across Time Warner’s family of properties.  Under NASCAR’s new eight-year TV deal beginning next season, TNT will air six Nextel Cup races consecutively during the summer, including the summer race at Daytona Int’l Speedway (Turner Sports).


Bridgestone To Be Sole F1
Tire Supplier Through 2010

BRIDGESTONE TO BE OFFICIAL F1 TIRE SUPPLIER

Bridgestone has signed on as the official tire manufacturer for F1 from 2008-2010, and will be the series’ sole tire supplier.  Michelin decided to drop out of the series following this season.  Bridgestone and Michelin had competed in F1 since ’01, but last October, F1 teams “agreed to a proposal by the FIA to have only one tire supplier” starting in ’08 (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 7/5).


LANCE ARMSTRONG DROPS ALL DEFAMATION SUITS IN FRANCE

Donald Manasse and Christian Charriere-Bournazel, attorneys for Lance Armstrong, said in a statement that he “has dropped all defamation lawsuits in France” related to allegations that he used performance-enhancing drugs.  The statement said that Armstrong made the decision “after being vindicated by three other recent rulings in his favor.”  A defamation suit against former sportswriters David Walsh and Pierre Ballester, authors of “LA Confidential: The Secrets of Lance Armstrong,” had been scheduled to start yesterday in Paris (AFP, 7/5).


ITF SAYS NO TENNIS PLAYERS INVOLVED IN SPANISH DOPING INVESTIGATION

The Int’l Tennis Federation (ITF) today said that “it had been assured” by the Spanish Ministry of Education & Science that no tennis players are involved in the doping investigation known as Operation Puerto.  A French paper earlier in the week had claimed that “leading tennis and soccer players” were part of the inquiry.  Eufemiano Fuentes, the doctor who is the subject of the probe, continued insisting today that he “had treated [soccer players], athletes and tennis players as well as cyclists” (REUTERS, 7/5).


BUZZER BEATERS….

Collegiate Pacific (CP) and New Era Cap Co. have agreed to a multi-year marketing and distribution deal under which CP will launch its New Era Team Sports Division on July 15.  CP will handle marketing, order processing and distribution to the institutional and team sporting goods markets on behalf of New Era (Collegiate Pacific).

The Mets and the MTA have launched a co-branded Mets MetroCard in an effort to encourage fans to take mass transit to games at Shea Stadium.  The team will hold a “Ride Home on Us” promotion, in which a fan will receive a MetroCard with a predetermined cash value and team merchandise, at all remaining games this season (Mets).

For the first time in WNBA history, players competing in the league’s July 12 All-Star Game will wear “East” and “West” uniforms rather than their team jerseys.  The WNBA is celebrating its 10th anniversary season (WNBA).

Independence Bowl Exec Dir Missy Setters said that a “worldwide” company “involved in prior discussions about sponsoring” the December 28 game has showed a renewed interest in a title sponsorship (AP, 7/5).

ESPN/ABC analyst and former NASCAR driver Rusty Wallace will serve as a consultant to Reality Racing Inc.’s “Reality Racing – The Rookie Challenge” TV series (Reality Racing).


QUICK HITS....

“Believe me, we’re conservative about these things, but we feel very confident we will have a deal in place by then” – Team Services co-Founder Fred Fried, whose company was hired to market the naming rights to Charlotte Bobcats Arena, on the venue having a new corporate name by the start of the ’06-07 NBA season (CHARLOTTE BUSINESS JOURNAL, 6/30 issue).

Kahne Giving Puma's
Motorsports Line Boost

“It’ll be a Mecca for basketball this summer” – USA Basketball Men’s Senior National Team Managing Dir Jerry Colangelo, on Las Vegas hosting three prep tournaments, an NBA summer league and two national team training sessions (LAS VEGAS SUN, 7/5).

“Hopefully if we win a bunch of races in the future I’ll get my own shoe” – NASCAR Nextel Cup driver and Puma endorser Kasey Kahne, on the growing relationship between the company and auto racing (RACINGONE.com, 7/5).



A LIGHTER BUZZ….

Nearly 60 pairs of Ralph Lauren pants worn by Wimbledon officials “have split open under duress,” according to English tabloids.  The Sun ran a photo of one linesman “grabbing his rear end so as not to expose the tattered seam.”  Umpire Stuart Taylor: “It was embarrassing.  There were lots of accidents and ripping sounds.”  A Ralph Lauren spokesperson “acknowledged the crisis and promised breezier times ahead” (S.F. CHRONICLE, 7/1).


ARTICLES OF INTEREST….

An L.A. TIMES editorial on the FIFA World Cup reads, in part, “Soccer’s biggest problem is disciplinary. … The card system is clearly broken; it’s no deterrent” (L.A. TIMES).

Yale Univ. Law School Professors Ian Ayres and John Donohue III write in a N.Y. TIMES Op/Ed that the Knicks’ firing of coach Larry Brown “may be signaling a new willingness by corporations to start asserting their legal rights to sidestep, or reduce through negotiations, huge severance packages” (N.Y. TIMES).

Also:

  • Aging former pro football players seeking financial support from NFL.
  • South Africa looks ahead to hosting 2010 FIFA World Cup.
  • Has U.S. Cellular Field overtaken Wrigley Field for Chicagoans?
  • Q&A with Discovery Networks USA President Billy Campbell.

See the Articles of Interest section for more sports business-related links.


$TREET WATCH….

The following companies are scheduled to report earnings this week:

COMPANY DAY
Int’l Speedway Corp. Thursday

See $treet Wrap in Friday’s Closing Bell for highlights of the earnings reports.


CHANNEL SURF….

The Travel Channel will premiere “Professional Poker Tour” at 9:00pm ET. The show, which will feature professionals qualifying through their World Poker Tour accomplishments, will be hosted by poker player Mark Seif and actor Matt Corboy, along with reporter Kaye Han.


HEADLINERS….

 Here are tonight’s headline guests on the following talk shows:

“Late Show” Halle Berry (r)
“The Tonight Show” Jack Black (r)
“Late Night” Reese Witherspoon (r)
“The Late Late Show” Laurence Fishburne
“Jimmy Kimmel Live” Jaime Pressly (r)

CLOSING STAT: N.Y. TIMES BESTSELLING NONFICTION

The following presents bestselling nonfiction books for the week ending June 24 (NYTIMES.com, 7/5).

N.Y. TIMES BESTSELLING NONFICTION
RK
HARDCOVER NONFICTION
1) GODLESS, Ann Coulter (Crown Forum)
2) WISDOM OF OUR FATHERS, Tim Russert (Random House)
3) MARLEY & ME, John Grogan (Morrow)
4) DISPATCHES FROM THE EDGE, Anderson Cooper (HarperCollins)
5) THE ONE PERCENT DOCTRINE, Ron Suskind (Simon & Schuster)
6) THE WORLD IS FLAT, Thomas L. Friedman (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
7) MAYFLOWER, Nathaniel Philbrick (Viking)
8) MYTHS, LIES, AND DOWNRIGHT STUPIDITY, John Stossel (Hyperion)
9) FREAKONOMICS, Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner (Morrow)
10) MY LIFE IN & OUT OF THE ROUGH, John Daly with Glen Waggoner (HarperCollins)

NOTES & QUOTES FROM THIS DAY IN SBD HISTORY….

2001
The NCAA and ESPN announce that the net will carry all 63 games of the NCAA women’s basketball tournament beginning in ’03, under a deal where ESPN’s rights to televise the tournament are extended through 2013.  The 11-year renewal expands coverage from the current 30 games offered by ESPN.

2000
“It looks like he can file as many briefs as he wants, but it won’t hold up in court” – An MLB source, after league attorneys determine that Orioles Owner Peter Angelos would have no legal grounds to block a team from moving to DC.


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editorial@sportsbusinessdaily.com.

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