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Volume 25 No. 50
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Morning Buzz, September 14, 2006

IMG Taps Pair Of Marvel Entertainment Licensing Execs
Frito-Lay Turning To Consumers To Help Create Super Bowl Ad
U2, Green Day To Headline Pregame Show Before First Saints Home Game
Falcons To Discuss Upcoming Renovations To Georgia Dome

IMG TAPS PAIR OF MARVEL ENTERTAINMENT LICENSING EXECS

By Terry Lefton, Editor-at-Large

Tim Rothwell and Bruno Maglione, two of Marvel Entertainment’s top licensing execs, have joined IMG as Exec VPs and co-Managing Dirs of Worldwide Licensing & Consumer Products. They will report to IMG Sports & Entertainment President Geoge Pyne. Rothwell will be based in L.A.; Maglione in London. The move is a sign that IMG considers licensing a key growth area -- especially entertainment-based licensing. “The margins in licensing definitely got my attention,” said IMG Chair & CEO Ted Forstmann. IMG Licensing Senior VP & Founder Rick Isaacson will continue to work with the company’s sports clients and will report to Rothwell and Maglione.


FRITO-LAY SPONSORING ONLINE CONTEST TO CREATE SUPER BOWL AD

Frito-Lay today will “invite consumers to enter their own 30-second ads for Doritos in an online competition,” with the winning entry being broadcast during Super Bowl XLI on CBS.  The promotion “launches a year-long schedule of consumer-driven marketing by Doritos.”  Participants will be required to work from a “creative brief” by S.F.-based ad agency Goodby Silverstein & Partners. Doritos marketers will choose five finalists who will win a trip to the Super Bowl in Miami (USA TODAY, 9/14).


U2, GREEN DAY TO HEADLINE PREGAME SHOW BEFORE FIRST SAINTS HOME GAME

U2 To Play Before Saints' First Game In
Superdome Since Hurricane Katrina

U2 and Green Day will perform during an official NFL pregame show at the Superdome before the Falcons-Saints “MNF” game on September 25, the first sporting event at the venue since Hurricane Katrina (USA TODAY, 9/14). 

Meanwhile, the “first phase of the $185[M] renovation of the Superdome is essentially complete,” as "minor repairs" are the only things left to finish before the game.  SMG Regional VP Doug Thornton said, “I am not worried about anything.  A week is a lifetime in the construction business” (New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE, 9/14).  



FALCONS TO DISCUSS UPCOMING RENOVATIONS TO GEORGIA DOME

Falcons Owner Arthur Blank and President & GM Rich McKay have scheduled a news conference today to discuss renovations to the Georgia Dome.  The team is “considering investing [$30-40M] in short-term improvements,” according to minutes of meetings of the Georgia World Congress Center Authority’s (GWCCA) Dome committee.

Meanwhile, the GWCCA and the Falcons have discussed selling naming rights to the facility, and GWCCA Exec Dir Dan Graveline said that consulting firm Barrett Sports Group has been hired to “analyze the possibility.” If the GWCCA decides to sell the naming rights, Graveline said that the “idea likely would be taken to the state Legislature next year.” One condition "could be to keep 'Georgia' in the new name" (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 9/14).


CHASE FOR NEXTEL CUP DRIVERS ON MEDIA TOUR IN N.Y.

The ten drivers who qualified for NASCAR’s Chase for the Nextel Cup are embarking on a media tour in N.Y. that kicked off yesterday with the drivers delivering the Top Ten list on CBS’ “Late Show".  Today’s activities include a print media roundtable at the Peninsula Hotel and Fan Q&As throughout the day at the ESPN Zone and several appearances on radio stations in major markets. Below is a list of some notable appearances and interviews:

NATIONAL MEDIA APPEARANCES & INTERVIEWS

DRIVERS

NETWORK/PROGRAM

Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kasey Kahne, Mark Martin

CBS’ “Early Show”

Jeff Gordon

“CNN American Morning”

Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth

“Live with Regis & Kelly”

Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth, Mark Martin

ESPN2’s “Cold Pizza”

Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth

ESPNews interviews

Jeff Gordon, Denny Hamlin, Mark Martin,

Fox News’ “Dayside On Fox”

Denny Hamlin

CNN Headline News

Jeff Gordon

ESPN Radio’s “The Herd with Colin Cowherd”

Kasey Kahne

Fox Sports Radio’s “First Team On Fox”

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Fox Sports Radio’s “Out Of Bounds”

Kevin Harvick

Premiere Radio Network’s “The Jim Rome Show”


AD WATCH: NHL, TARGET AND GM GOODWRENCH

The NHL runs a full-page ad in USA Today promoting tickets going on sale Saturday on NHL.com.  The ad features 12 action shots of several NHLers with the copy, “Get in now!” (THE DAILY).

Target runs a full-page ad in USA Today congratulating IRL drivers Dan Wheldon and Scott Dixon on their seasons.  The ad also features the logos of Target’s 14 vendor partners (THE DAILY).

GM Goodwrench runs a full-page ad in USA Today congratulating NASCAR driver Kevin Harvick for his Nextel Cup Chevy Rock & Roll 400 victory last Saturday at Richmond Int’l Raceway (THE DAILY).


SPEED READS….

The Penguins “could be close to signing a new letter of intent” with one of the groups bidding for the team.  Real estate developer Sam Fingold, the group lead by Medallion Financial Corp. President Andrew Murstein, AFL Destroyers Owner Jim Renacci and a Canadian group are still in the running, but Northland Investment Corp. CEO Lawrence Gottesdiener reportedly “has fallen out of the picture” (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 9/14).

Cardinals Surpass Three Million
Attendance Mark For Season

The NHL Panthers today begin an 11-day, 10,000-mile road trip that “includes stops from northern Alberta to Puerto Rico.”  The team’s training camp consists of two days of workouts in Eagle, Colorado, and exhibitions in Calgary, Edmonton, Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit and San Juan, Puerto Rico, where they face the Rangers in “the first NHL game staged in the Caribbean” (PALM BEACH POST, 9/14).

The MLB Cardinals surpassed the three-million mark in season attendance for the tenth time in team history with yesterday’s crowd of 40,459 for their game against the Astros (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 9/14).

Charlotte’s WFNZ-AM yesterday closed a multi-year deal to carry Univ. of North Carolina football and basketball games, and “has renewed its broadcast rights with UNC Charlotte” for men’s basketball (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 9/14).


QUICK HITS….

“Some of us are born with 4 cylinders, and some of us are born with 12” – Lance Armstrong, on the reason for his cycling success (N.Y. TIMES, 9/14).

“The person would likely be divorced if they didn’t have the device because they wouldn’t leave the house” – ESPN VP/Product Development John Zehr, on video technology available on ESPN Mobile (CABLEFAX DAILY, 9/14).

“I remember when a lot of games were like this.  I hope we don’t get back to that” – Braves fan David Calhoun, on there being fewer than 500 fans at the beginning of the first game of a doubleheader against the Phillies at Turner Field (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 9/14).

“I don’t see nothing local about being on ‘Good Morning America,’ being on CNN, the shoe being shown on BBC, in Newsweek and Time Magazine” – Knicks G Stephon Marbury, on one reporter calling the Starbury Movement Tour a local story (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 9/14).

“I would like to be in the office hitting somebody, but I’ll let somebody else judge that” –Chargers LB Shawne Merriman, on how he would like to be featured in a "SportsCenter" ad ("The Hot List," ESPNews, 9/13).


THE BACK PAGES….

The Morning Buzz offers today’s back page sports covers from some of the nation’s major metropolitan tabloids:

N.Y. Post
N.Y. Daily News
Philadelphia Daily News
Boston Herald

TODAY’S EVENTS….

The NJSEA BOD today is expected to approve the transfer of control of the Xanadu project to L.A.-based Colony Capital from Mills Corp., Mack-Cali and Kan Am.  The transfer would “pave the way for a formal agreement to be completed and signed by all parties within the following seven days” (Bergen RECORD, 9/12).


IN OTHER NEWS….

CBS Corp. President & CEO Leslie Moonves, who will deliver the keynote speech today at the Royal TV Society conference in London, said that he is “not interested” in buying U.K-based Endemol or commercial broadcaster ITV, “signaling that the broadcast group is more interested in such acquisitions as social networking” Web sites or cable channels.  Moonves cited the recent $325M acquisition of CSTV “as an example of a strategic fit” and said that CBS was considering “the launch of its own cable channels” (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 9/14).

TV producer Mark Burnett and AOL have created an online game called “Gold Rush,” in which contestants answer pop-culture questions.  The show will “give away $100,000 in gold twice a week for seven weeks, and will culminate” in a $1M contest.  Burnett said that the game “represented a new outlet for” his production company, which is “increasingly a multimedia company rather than one focused” on TV (N.Y. TIMES, 9/14).

Disney has reached a deal with ABC affils “to include local advertising in the network’s online offering of seven prime-time TV series,” including “Desperate Housewives” and “Lost” (REUTERS, 9/14).


FINAL JEOPARDY!

Last night’s “Final Jeopardy!” category was “Vice Presidents.”

“The two GOP vice presidents who succeeded to the presidency and were later elected president in their own right.”

Last night’s edition of “Jeopardy” featured the category “’Bio’ Science” which included a video answer from Clue Crew member Jon Cannon, who was at the Nike Campus in Oregon.  Cannon was pictured next to a machine twisting a sneaker back and forth, where he said, “The three main areas studied at the Nike Sport Research Lab are physiology, sensory perception and this, defined as the way forces act on the body.”


LAUGH TRACK….

THE MONOLOGUES:

CBS’ David Letterman: “Autumn is here.  As a matter of fact, last night we had a real autumn audience.  Honest to God, you could watch them turn.  It’s Fashion Week here in New York City.  I was walking through Central Park today on my lunch hour, and I saw an old lady tossing bread crumbs to the supermodels. ... I don’t know anything about fashion, and from looking at you folks, neither do you. But these fashion people – I believe they are called fashionistas -- can be very nasty. They can be snotty, they can be downright bitchy, and so I ran into a fashionista today, and I said, ‘Oh hi, maybe you could help me out. Who do I call to see about getting a complete fashion makeover?’  And the guy said, ‘FEMA.’ ... There was a guy on a flight from [L.A.] to Washington and he gets up out of his seat ... and he goes over to the exit [door] and he tries to open the exit of the plane.  They’re like 30,000 feet in the sky.  Thank God, he was restrained by a bunch of snakes” ( “Late Show,” CBS, 9/13).

NBC’s Jay Leno: “It seems President Bush’s approval rating dropped another 3%.  In fact, he is so unpopular now, the Democrats are going to have to work really, really hard to screw up this election.  In a speech to the nation this week, President Bush said we have to fight against people who reject tolerance and despise dissent, and anyone who disagrees with that is a traitor. ... In Gettysburg [PA], a mom has plead guilty to letting her 13-year old son smoke marijuana with her if he did his homework, and it worked.  The kid can’t remember doing it.  How spoiled are our kids getting?  You’d think having sex with the teacher would be enough of a reward. ... The big surprise on TV this week was the success of NBC’s NFL football.  It beat everything in the ratings.  It was huge.  So you know what that means?  Coming soon on NBC, ‘NFL Football: Criminal Intent’ and ‘NFL Football: Special Victims Unit’” (“The Tonight Show,” NBC, 9/13).

LATE NIGHT LAUGHS

Last night’s Top Ten list was “Top Ten Things Never Before Said By A NASCAR Driver.”  The list was read on-stage by the ten Nextel Cup drivers who qualified for NASCAR’s “Chase for the Nextel Cup” (“Late Show,” CBS, 9/13).

10) “Anyone know how to drive a stick?” (Kasey Kahne).
9) “Does this gas taste funny to you?” (Jeff Gordon).
8) “I don’t care much for country music or beer” (Jeff Burton).
7) “Switch the ‘R’ and ‘C’ in ‘racing’ and you get ‘caring’” (Mark Martin).
6) “Wow, Letterman looks so young in person” (Dale Earnhardt Jr.).
5) “You’re looking at a guy who can drive 500 miles without taking a leak” (Denny Hamlin).
4) “A truly great driver doesn’t mind asking for directions, am I right, ladies?” (Kyle Busch).
3) “It would be nice if the guys in the pits occasionally surprised me with a piece of carrot cake or something” (Kevin Harvick).
2) “The Nextel Cup is great, but what I’m really excited for is the ‘Late Show Ventriloquist Week’” (Jimmie Johnson).
1) “If you think I’m fast in my car, you should see me in the bedroom” (Matt Kenseth).

LAST NIGHT’S TV MONITOR….

Net Show Lead Next Items
ESPN “Around The Horn” Best team in NFL Yankees a lock to win World Series?; Panthers WR Steve Smith
ESPN “PTI” Twins P Francisco Liriano’s injury Will White Sox miss the playoffs?; Fight in Royals dugout
ESPN “SportsCenter” A’s-Twins Twins P Francisco Liriano injury update; White Sox-Angels
FSN “BDSSP” Cowboys QB controversy Giants DE Michael Strahan interview; college football
FSN “FSN Final Score” White Sox-Angels Rangers-Tigers; Francisco Liriano

FINAL JEOPARDY ANSWER….

“Who were Theodore Roosevelt and Calvin Coolidge?”

“What is bio-mechanics?”


If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please let us know at:
dailyinsider@sportsbusinessdaily.com

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