Sports Biz with Darren Rovell

Champion Air Exec, Big Brown, Zamboni: The Emails I Get

I haven't published some of your thoughts in a while, so it was time to air some of your comments/complaints.

The first comes from Cory Duke, an executive at Champion Air, who took offense to my tone in yesterday's blog about the NBA teams flying their charter:

"While I understand the need to propagate the "doom-and-gloom" scenario to the public, there should also be a responsibility on your part to propagate it within reason and certainly within the boundaries of fact. While it is true that we will be closing our doors at May's demise, it has no impact on contractual obligations nor performance. To fulfill our obligations, Champion Air will be paying for all costs accrued to sub-service flights for all teams involved. Of course part of the reason for our closure is the loss of our contract with the NBA, perpetuated by the NBA. I suppose when you spoil such "precious cargo", as you so eloquently put it, they want the next best thing, which is of course not 40-year old tri-engine aircraft. If records were investigated and appropriate individual source interviews conducted (The San Antonio Express is hardly an example of such a credible source) then it would be understood that our on-time performance and mechanical record is second-to-none not only within the ad hoc community, but part 121 operations as a whole. Funny how the Spurs are our only problem children.

While it is regretful that the team had to sleep on a plane (which they probably would have done in-flight anyway) a few items should be noted. First, the chairs on our VIP aircraft are probably more comfortable than the beds us lesser folk have in our homes and second, there is nothing anyone can or could do to obtain hotel rooms when none exist. The Spurs may be a basketball team, but they hold no greater importance in this world than the next guy so good luck getting a hotel to kick out 50 some-odd paying guests to accommodate a basketball team. Life happens, deal with it."

C. M. Duke, Champion Air, Crew Scheduling

In response to my article about Big Brown's owners selling the breeding rights to the horse, reader Dean Rothemeier led me to a recent article in Bloodhorse that disclosed more of the relationship.According to the article, Big Brown's owners have only sold a minority stake in the horse to Three Chimneys Farm owner Robert Clay.

Rothemeier wrote: "The only asset at stake in the deal with Three Chimneys is the horse's breeding rights, so they have only secured a minority of those, judging by what has been released. This still leaves IEAH with a majority share in the horse when it goes to stud, however they will hand over management of the animal to Three Chimneys. This is not untypical of many stallion deals where the original owner does not want to sell the horse away. So, IEAH's fortunes still stand to increase when/if the horse wins the Belmont. They are still "in" the horse, as it were. Whether or not they further syndicate their majority interest in the horse is yet to be seen."

Now this is a really strange, but perceptive observation from reader Brian Feener, who provided us with the screengrab.

Feener writes: "I think it's pretty obvious why Kobe isn't being featured on the adidas monthly newsletter (being a Nike guy and all), but the bigger question is Why Jordan Farmar?!?"Not only is Farmar in the email newsletter, but he's also in a banner ad on the main adidasshop page!

I checked out the main site and their basketball section is featuring the UCLA alum as well. Adidas has Duncan and Gilbert on the roster and they choose a backup point guard for their NBA Playoffs crunch-time campaign? What's going on here?"

This blog must really get around. How do I know. Because the fine people at Zamboni wrote me regarding my Gillette Zamboni post:

"The machine pictured at the bottom of the article and referenced in connection with the Schick promotion was not manufactured by the Zamboni Company and is not a Zamboni® ice resurfacing machine. The use of the name ZAMBONI in connection with this promotion is confusing to the public and can result in damage to the strength of our trademarks. Improper references (particularly use as a generic reference to a non-Zamboni® product) contribute to the dilution of our federally and internationally registered trademarks. Our trademark is always a capitalized adjective (…a Zamboni ice resurfacer), never a noun (…the zamboni) and should never be used to describe machines produced by another manufacturer."

Paula Coony, Zamboni Merchandising

Questions, Comments?