The '99 Women's World Cup Organizing Committee said
yesterday that it has sold 260,000 tickets to the int'l
soccer event held this summer in the U.S. and has been
averaging over 10,000 ticket sales a week since the Final
Draw was announced on February 14. Officials stated that if
the event were to start today, enough tickets would have
been sold for an average of nearly 15,300 per playing date.
WWC President & CEO Marla Messing said the tournament is
"well beyond where we expected to be" in ticket sales: "We
believe that it is really a sophisticated soccer audience
that is buying the tickets and that doesn't really need to
see a lot of advertising to make them buy." Messing
speculates the event will have final ticket sales of
"between 400- and 500,000," even though earlier event
projections were "closer to 380,000" (THE DAILY).
Some "might consider TVKO mad to schedule" Saturday's
Evander Holyfield-Lennox Lewis fight during the opening
weekend of the NCAA basketball tournament, but Time Warner
Sports President Seth Abraham says that "there's a plan
behind [the] madness," according to USA TODAY's Rudy
Martzke. Abraham: "We scheduled this fight with an eye of
being up against the NCAA's. ... We'd rather be up against
college basketball than the NBA playoffs. Would we go
against the Final Four? No." Martzke writes that "instead
of treating the NCAA's like an enemy," TVKO is "joining
them" by running ads for the $49.95 PPV event during CBS's
hoops coverage. HBO Exec Producer Ross Greenburg: "Our ads
should attract the casual sports fans needed to push this
fight to the seven-figure [PPV] mark" (USA TODAY, 3/12).
HOW BIG WILL THE CHECKETTS BE? In N.Y., Anthony Gargano
writes that "there is a buzz" around Saturday's fight at
MSG, and the bout is "expected to turn a profit of nearly"
$1M, as $1.5M in sponsorship were sold. MSG President Dave
Checketts: "You should see who we had to turn down for
tickets because they called at the last moment" (N.Y. POST,
3/12). MSG Sports VP Kevin Wynne: "We're going to make a
substantial profit on this fight" (USA TODAY, 3/12).
NEW SPONSOR: GTC Telecom is sponsoring the event and
will have its name displayed on the fight clock throughout
the PPV broadcast. The company will also have a full-page
ad in the fight program (GTC Telecom).