Shoe and apparel maker adidas just announced that they acquired Philadelphia-based Mitchell & Ness, the company behind the retro jersey craze that likely reached its height around the 2003 NBA All-Star Game in Atlanta.
Although I haven't seen recent sales numbers nor terms of the sale, I have to believe that owner Peter Capolino waited about two years too long to sell the business. That also means of course that it could be a good value for adidas, but they'll have to figure out how to deal with what has been a flooding of the retro marketplace over the past two years.
For Capolino's sake, I should also say that while it might have cost him millions to hang on, I appreciate how he was a guy who just created the retro business for old guys in their 50s and still had the same love for the business when the rappers and entertainers took it for a ride and made the brand a legend and made him a rich man.
He's genuinely one of the nicest guys in the business.
NBA Ticket Prices
The NBA season is off and running and the folks at Team Marketing Report have unveiled their Fan Cost Index. Here's what you have to know:
There's no sexual harassment tax at Madison Square Garden, where the New York Knicks at least haven't raised, or lowered, ticket prices. The average Knicks game ticket will cost you $70.51 a seat, the TMR people say. That will be cheap to some people. MSG sold these lower bowl VIP boxes, according to the Sports Business Journal, for $800,000 each.
Break it down by seat and that's $1,220 per seat per regular season home game. By the way, as I told you last month, attendance at the Garden this year will be performance-based. First indication? The Knicks sold out their first two home games for the first time in a long time.
Sure, the Cleveland Cavaliers made it to the Finals last year, but we're wondering if the 12.2 percent bump from last year's prices--the third largest increase in the game--is a result of the greater demand to see LeBron and his boys or whether its owner Dan Gilbert (Quicken Loans) hitting fans with a "Sub-Prime Fine." Gilbert previously has denied connections between the mortgage lending business and the Cavs' ability to sign free agents.
Three teams figure to be up for my "Best Bang For The Buck" award. You can't avoid New Orleans, which has the cheapest average ticket in the league by $4.50 ($24.58) and the Wizards are a playoff team with the talented and outspoken "Agent Zero" Gilbert Arenas, but the average seat is $30.89 in Washington, $18 off the league average.
And I'm also considering Orlando. Is it a great place to see a game? No. But Dwight Howard is a tremendous player and, at $38.46 per seat, it's the seventh cheapest in the league.
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