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On 45th Anniversary of Name Change, Astros to Wear Special Uniforms PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Wednesday, 24 March 2010 11:24

Astros jersey

On Saturday, April 10, Houston will commemorate the 45th anniversary
of the change from Colt .45s to Astros by wearingthese unis similar to
the ones first worn on April 12, 1965 in the Astrodome vs. Philadelphia

The 2010 season marks the 45th Anniversary of the Houston franchise being renamed the Houston Astros. To commemorate the occasion, on Saturday, April 10, both the Astros and visiting Phillies will wear 1965 uniforms similar to the ones worn during the first regular-season game Houston played as the Astros on April 12, 1965 in the Astrodome vs. Philadelphia.

The Astros uniforms will feature the original shooting star jersey top and navy blue cap with orange star. A 1965 replica Astros jersey, sponsored by AT&T, will be given away to the first 10,000 fans in attendance.

The day will also include ballpark entertainment features from the 1965 season and a special pregame ceremony featuring several members of the original 1965 Astros team, including Bob Aspromonte, Ronald G. Brand, Danny Coombs, Larry Dierker, Mike White, and Jimmy Wynn, as well as former Astros radio broadcaster Gene Elston. Some of those returning members from the historic team will also sign autographs at Minute Maid Park prior to the game.

As part of the April 10 anniversary celebration, the Astros have set aside 1,965 tickets in the View Deck II and Outfield Deck sections to be offered at $3.50, which is the same as the 1965 price of Astrodome tickets for box seats and several upper level sections. This special pricing is only available online at www.astros.com while supplies last. Special pricing for food and beverages will be offered as well, including $1.00 hot dogs, compliments of Classic Foods, and $1.00 Coca-Cola Classic fountain sodas (while supplies last).

Source: Houston Astros


OTHER NEWS FROM THE BUSINESS OF SPORTS NETWORK

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Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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Green Cubs PJs? Orange and Green Yankees Cap? It Must Be St. Patrick's Day PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Wednesday, 17 March 2010 00:59
Cubs PJ bottoms
Green Cubs PJs?
Click for larger view

Green Cubs pajamas? A green and orange Yankees hat? Purists may turn up their nose, but hey... It must be St. Patrick's Day.

Fans of all 30 Major League Baseball teams looking for an edge can try to tap into the “Luck o’ the Irish.” In celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, MLB is once again creating special St. Patrick’s Day products. Shamrocks and other St. Patrick’s Day imagery will make their way on to fun items including MLB pins, pennants and flags. Other popular items that tout St. Patrick’s Day themed iconography include novelty baseballs, mini-bats, golf balls, drink ware and more.

St. Patrick's Day Yankees hatFans can also purchase hats, tees, hoodies, jerseys, track jackets, pajama pants, onesies and other items to be outfitted with St. Patrick’s Day flair.

These and other St. Patrick’s Day themed products are now available at MLB.com and through assorted local retailers in key MLB markets.

Source: Major League Baseball


OTHER NEWS FROM THE BUSINESS OF SPORTS NETWORK

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Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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Victoria's Secret Partners with Major League Baseball on Clothing Line PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 15 March 2010 11:20

Victoria Secret MLB Shirts
UPDATE FOR 2011: SEE THE EXPANDED CLOTHING LINE WITH MORE TEAMS
Wth Spring Training underway, Major League Baseball Properties and Victoria ’s Secret (VS) PINK are introducing a new way for female fans to display their team pride and celebrate the upcoming season in style.

The MLB and VS PINK co-branded collection will fashionably feature names and logos of 11 MLB teams including the Angels, Cardinals, Cubs, Dodgers, Mets, Padres, Phillies, Red Sox, Twins, White Sox and Yankees.

The collection showcases VS PINK’s highly recognizable brand iconography with fun sayings like “I only kiss Padres fans” or “Love Love Love Twins”, and boasts cute zip-pocket tees, crystallized caps, baseball jerseys, as well as stylish and comfortable hoodies, tanks, sweats, shorts and more.

The collection will launch on March 16 in more than 100 Victoria ’s Secret stores spanning each of these teams’ markets, as well as on www.victoriassecret.com. Victoria ’s Secret PINK is a fully articulated and internationally recognized lifestyle collection specifically for young women.

This new product line is the latest effort by Major League Baseball to provide its extensive female fan base with new and fashionable ways to support their favorite team.

According to ESPN Sports Poll, Major League Baseball has had the largest percentage of female fans (45% of its total fan base in ’09) among the major sports leagues since 2006. This collaboration marks the first professional sports relationship for VS PINK

Source: Major League Baseball


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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The Top Promotions in MLB for 2010 PDF Print E-mail
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Sponsorships, Promotions
Written by Maury Brown   
Monday, 08 March 2010 13:24
Italian Sausage Bobblehead
Mamma Mia! The Klement's Italian
Sausage Bobblehead that the Brewers
are giving away this season is but
one of the unique promotion items
in MLB for 2010

If there’s one thing that MLB has figured out in a down economy, it’s that fans will come to the game in droves if there’s a good promotion involved. Maybe they’re not on the level Bill Veeck would have had, but there are still some good ones out there.

As clubs prepare for the start of the 2010 season, here’s some of the promotions that we’ve come across that rank at the top.

Lawyers Appreciation Night with the Marlins – We can’t help ourselves… Was this promo concocted as part of the Marlins being forced to raise payroll due to misuse of revenue-sharing funds? Bill your clients at the ballpark on May 13th and find out.

Autism Awareness Night with the Marlins – OK, the comment on the promo before wasn’t nice, but this promo night from the Marlins is on April 30th against the Nationals. Help promote Autism awareness on the last day of International Autism Awareness month.

Garden GnomeD-backs Garden Gnome Figurine on 70s Night – Baseball? Garden Gnome? Diamondbacks? This we’ve gotta see. Attend the Saturday, May 22nd interleague game with the Blue Jays to pick one up in your bellbottoms or hip-huggers.

Sausage Bobble? – As part of this year's 40th Anniversary season, the Brewers will celebrate four Retro Weekends to honor each decade in franchise history. With it, there will be bobblehead giveaways highlighting the likes of Hank Aaron, Robin Yount, and even though he played for a short period, C.C. Sabathia. Our suggestion? Go to the Sunday, August 8 against the Astros and get the Klement's Italian Sausage Bobble. Insert your Beavis and Butthead comments on your own.

Dodgers Star WarsEmpire Strikes Back Night at Dodger Stadium – Last year, it was simply “Star Wars Night”. Why stop there? The Dodgers will ask you to go to the Dark Side with a commemorative poster celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the movie’s release on May 21st.

When You’ve Been Losing… (Orioles Version) – Let’s face it, the Orioles haven’t had much of anything to crow about for some time. But, you can relive the glory days on Saturday, June 27 against the Nationals when they celebrate the 40th anniversary of the 1970 World Champions Orioles by having numerous members of the '70 World Series Champs. The following day, the first 20,000 fans 15 and over will receive a 1970 O's 40th Anniversary Cap. Finally, a Hall of Fame Oriole and member of the 1970 Orioles' World Championship team, Brooks Robinson, will be featured in a giveaway on Saturday, July 17. The first 25,000 fans 21 and over will receive a Robinson replica jersey.

Verlander K-CounterBut Will He Keep Longo From Going "Longo"? - This is a late add in. Justin Verlander landed the biggest salary arbitration contract in early 2010, and with that, you can bank on something different from the Tigers. How about at Justin Verlander "K-Counter" Bobblehead, a one-of-a-kind interactive bobblehead that includes a three-digit counter which will allow fans to keep tally of Verlander's yearly strikeout total.?  The first 10,000 can land one on Friday, April 30.

When You’ve Been Losing… (Royals Version) – Same drill as the Orioles: no winning, so let’s relive the past by celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the 1985 World Series throughout the entire month of May. On Saturday, May 22, the Willie Wilson Classic takes place and will feature the 1985 World Series Royals Alumni in a softball game against members of the 1985 St. Louis Cardinals prior to the Royals-Rockies 3:10 p.m. matchup. Other promos that month include Promotions will also include a 1985 25th Anniversary T-Shirt, a Bret Saberhagen bobblehead, a Build-A-(Polar) Bear (whatever that is) and a Salute to the 1985 World Series poster.

Pena promo
Promo of the Year: The Carlos
Peña toothbrush holder, still in
development. Toothbrush goes
in the end of bat.
(Click to see larger view)

The Best Series of Promos Goes to.... - The Tampa Bay Rays. On pure originality, they have the best promo nights of the year. Check these out.

  • April 25 vs. Blue Jays: Zorilla Gorilla Webkinz, a collectible stuffed animal bearing Rays Manager Joe Maddon's nickname for Ben Zobrist.
  • May 2 vs. Royals: Flying Carl Crawford action figure equipped with a parachute.
  • August 1 vs. Yankees: Growth chart featuring the tallest Ray, 6-foot, 9-inch Jeff Niemann.
  • Wednesday, April 7 the first 10,000 fans will receive a pair of Joe Maddon glasses.

The one Rays promo we could probably do without? On Thursday, April 8, the first 10,000 fans will receive a Rays Super Cowbell, an oversized version of the Rays signature noisemaker equipped with a special hand grip. “More cowbell! Don’t fear the reaper!”

And the Promo of the Year goes to.... - The Rays get this one, as well. On May 30 vs. the White Sox it’s Carlos Peña action figure toothbrush holder giveaway night. The item is the first produced by a major league team.  Remember kids, brush your teeth and you too can avoid cavities and one day, with hard work, win a Gold Glove.


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

Follow Maury Brown on Twitter Twitter

Follow The Biz of Baseball on Twitter Twitter

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Scotts Becomes the "Official Lawn Care Company of Major League Baseball" PDF Print E-mail
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Sponsorships, Promotions
Written by Maury Brown   
Wednesday, 20 January 2010 16:16

Turf

Major League Baseball Properties (MLBP) and The Scotts Company LLC announced today a multi-year relationship encompassing sponsorship, licensing, national MLB-themed advertising, and local Club partnerships, that designates Scotts as the “Official Lawn Care Company of Major League Baseball.” The relationship is the first of its kind for MLBP and the largest sports relationship for Scotts, the market leader in lawn and garden care products.

Fans will now be able to purchase grass seed blends and fertilizers featured in some of the most iconic Major League ballparks. These products, designed by Scotts in consultation with the head groundskeeper at each ballpark, utilize the same Scotts varieties and technology used on the fields. Grass seed blends and fertilizers will debut in 2010 for fans of the Boston Red Sox (Fenway Park), Chicago Cubs (Wrigley Field), Cincinnati Reds (Great American Ballpark), Philadelphia Phillies (Citizens Bank Park) and St. Louis Cardinals (Busch Stadium).  Other future club-specific products are in development.

“The grass on the field of play is part of the very foundation of baseball, so this deal with Scotts, the worldwide leader in lawn care, is a natural fit for Major League Baseball,” said Tim Brosnan, Executive Vice President, Business, Major League Baseball.  “Now with the help of Scotts, our fans can challenge their local Clubs for the title of who has the ‘best lawn in the neighborhood.’”

“This is a partnership between two great American brands – the overlap between baseball fans and homeowners is immense,” said John Price, Brand Manager, Lawns Marketing at The Scotts Company. “Now fans can use the same Scotts technology and seed varieties used on Major League Baseball fields to achieve premium results on their home lawns.”

In addition to the licensed products, Scotts has negotiated sponsorship agreements with the Atlanta Braves, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Philadelphia Phillies, St. Louis Cardinals and Texas Rangers. Scotts will have in-stadium exposure as well as the ability to feature Club logos in local advertising and promotions for these markets.

As part of its national sponsorship commitment, Scotts made significant media commitments to national Major League Baseball television rightsholders, as well as to other MLB-produced programming.  Scotts will air MLB-themed commercials, and the MLB and Club logos will be prominently featured on a wide range of in-store marketing materials throughout the year. Scotts will also sponsor a premiere attraction at All-Star FanFest.

Source: MLB Properties


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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Shane Victorino Releases Clothing Line Through Silver Star Casting Co. PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 14 January 2010 18:51

Victorino - Clothes

Fresh off the field from the 2009 World Series, Shane “The Flyin' Hawaiin” Victorino has signed a clothing deal for a full collection with lifestyle apparel brand Silver Star Casting Company. The switch hitting center fielder has helped the Philadelphia Phillies reach the World Series the past two seasons and was also a member of Team USA in the 2009 World Baseball Classic. Victorino is a two time Rawlings Gold Glove winner (2008, 2009) and in July of 2009, Victorino received a record 15.6 million votes and was named to the National League All-Star Team.

“I have been a fan of the Silver Star brand for a long time and to be fortunate enough to have my own collection is a real honor for me. I look forward to a great relationship with Silver Star," said Philadelphia Phillies' Shane Victorino.

“Silver Star is thrilled to welcome our first Major League Baseball player to the fold,” said Silver Star Casting Company president and CEO, Luke Burrett. “We couldn't have asked for a better combination of professional and personal champion, and we will work with Shane to give fans an awesome selection of apparel.”

For more see: www.silverstarnow.com

Source: Silver Star Clothing Company


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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Topps Inks Nationals P Stephen Strasburg to Exclusive, Multi-Year Deal PDF Print E-mail
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Wednesday, 23 December 2009 13:38

StrasburgNationals pitching prospect, and first overall pick in the 2009 amatur draft, Stephen Strasburg has signed an exclusive multi-year endoresement deal with the Topps Company, that will give them rights for autographed cards, game-used memorabilia cards and Strasburg’s image use on packaging and advertising. Topps will also offer a limited edition line of autographed memorabilia items. It is Strasburg's first major endoresement deal.

“I can’t wait to see myself in uniform on my first Topps card,” said Strasburg.  “That’s when I know I will have truly made it as a baseball player.”

Strasburg went 13-1 with a 1.32 ERA at San Diego State University in 2009 and won the Golden Spikes Award tabbing him the best amateur baseball player in the country.

“Stephen is a very special talent,” said Warren Friss, GM, Topps Sports & Entertainment.  “When a phenom like him comes along, you do whatever you can to make them part of your team.”

In the coming weeks, Topps will unveil card designs and products featuring Strasburg.

Earlier this year, Topps became the first exclusive baseball card company of Major League Baseball in nearly 30 years. Topps is also the exclusive card company of Minor League Baseball.


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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Firestone Enters Major Sponsorship Agreement with MLB PDF Print E-mail
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Friday, 18 December 2009 10:36

FirestoneIn a sign that the cold recession might be thawing some, baseball lands a major sponsorship agreement:

Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, LLC (BATO) and Major League Baseball Properties (MLBP) today announced they have entered into a multi-year integrated marketing partnership that designates the Firestone brand as the first “Official Tire of Major League Baseball.” The agreement also marks the largest sports sponsorship for the 109-year-old Firestone brand outside of motor sports.

Financial terms were not released.

MLB adds that, "The agreement comes on the heels of a strong year for Major League Baseball (MLB), which saw the fifth-highest attendance figure in its history and the highest World Series TV ratings in five years." Under the agreement, Firestone will become the exclusive sponsor of in-stadium All-Star Game balloting.

Firestone will partner with MLBP via numerous additional promotional opportunities, including the title sponsorship of an officially sanctioned All-Star Week hospitality event and presenting sponsorship of a premiere attraction at MLB All-Star FanFest.

This agreement also formally brings together two American brands – each over 100 years old – which have informally crossed paths many times over the years.  Firestone founder Harvey S. Firestone was a noted baseball enthusiast and helped build Firestone Stadium in Akron, Ohio in 1925, which played host to a number of travelling MLB players over the years and is still used today for area youth baseball and softball leagues.

“This relationship with MLB brings together two iconic American brands. Aligning the 109 year old Firestone brand with America 's National Pastime is a great combination,” said John Baratta, President of Consumer Tire Replacement Sales, BATO. “MLB has a vast and loyal fan base who demand a great performance from their Clubs and great value from the products they support.  These fans are a perfect fit for the Firestone brand.”

“Firestone is a proven leader in their industry as well as one of the truly renowned brands in America ,” said Tim Brosnan, Executive Vice President, Business, Major League Baseball. “We are proud to welcome Firestone into the MLB family and look forward to bringing our fans and their customers closer together through exciting and innovative programs.”

The sponsorship agreement also includes trademark rights and broadcast media elements. Firestone plans to support the MLBP partnership with an integrated marketing plan including national advertising and consumer marketing programs and promotions.

“This is a tremendous opportunity to elevate the Firestone brand to new heights of consumer awareness and visibility,” said Baratta. “To be able to partner with a sport as dynamic and successful as baseball opens up a new world of possibilities to continue to strengthen our brand loyalty, bolster our marketing support for our family of retailers and reach out to millions of new consumers who are loyal to MLB and its prestigious roster of official sponsors.”

In addition to its new national partnership with MLBP, the company’s Firestone brand has a long tradition of high-profile sports sponsorships tied to racing, including the Official Tire of the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race, as well as the IZOD IndyCar Series and IndyPro Series.

Source: Major League Baseball


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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Yankees World Series Merchandise Sales Pacing at Second-Highest Ever PDF Print E-mail
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Thursday, 12 November 2009 01:46
Yankees World Series merchandise
Yankees World Series merchandise is flying off the shelf at a rate that should make it the
second hottest World Series seller of all time
, ranking behind only the '04 Red Sox

With the Yankees winning their 27th World Series, the Bronx Bombers aren’t the only ones celebrating. Sales of Yankees World Series merchandise sales are on pace to be the second highest “hot market” sales ever, ranking behind only the 2004 Boston Red Sox according to this week’s SportsBusiness Daily.

"It looks like this is going to be our second-biggest [hot market] ever after the Red Sox in 2004," said John Killen, President & CEO of hard-goods licensee Wincraft . "Demand has been very strong and it’s not just in New York or the Northeast."

The key has been the Yankees strong brand appeal, both nationally and internationally.

The Red Sox hot merchandising sales numbers were due to the team breaking an 86 year futility record for the World Series. To date, the second highest sales came from the Subway Series between the Yankees and Mets in 2000, a testament to the power of the New York market (the Series had low television ratings nationally).

“This will be a top-three, possibly top-two market," said MLB Senior VP/Licensing Howard Smith, “It depends on how long this lasts and we’re already planning for [Yankees championship] holiday and St. Patrick’s day collections."

As to whether the Yankee faithful have become snobbish compared to their other 29 brothers in MLB, Modell's Sporting Goods President Seth Horowitz may describe it best.

“Sales were relatively soft [in N.Y.] going into the World Series, and then they exploded," Horowitz said. “It was almost as if the fans wanted the championship and nothing else."


OTHER NEWS FROM THE BUSINESS OF SPORTS NETWORK

(THE BIZ OF FOOTBALL)

(THE BIZ OF HOCKEY)

(THE BIZ OF BASKETBALL)

(SPORTS BASH)


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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Mary J. Blige to Sing National Anthem Prior to Game 6 PDF Print E-mail
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Wednesday, 04 November 2009 19:10

Mary J Blige

First, it was JAY-Z and Alicia Keys performing for Game 2 of the World Series, and tonight it will be Mary J. Blige.

Blige, a Bronx native, will perform the National Anthem prior to first pitch of the World Series Game 6 from Yankee Stadium, tonight. Broadway actress Kelli O'Hare will sing God Bless America during the 7th inning stretch.

In other pregame news, former Yankee and 1998 World Series MVP Scott Brosius will throw out the ceremonial first pitch for tonight's game.

Game 6 starts at 7:57 ET on FOX (as well Game 7, if nessecary). As to why the games start at 7:57, here why.


OTHER NEWS FROM THE BUSINESS OF SPORTS NETWORK

(THE BIZ OF FOOTBALL)

(THE BIZ OF HOCKEY)

(THE BIZ OF BASKETBALL)

(SPORTS BASH)


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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