Hoop dreams in Charlotte
BET's founder and chief executive officer, Robert L. Johnson, was approved by the National Basketball Association Committee to operate and own a new basketball franchise in Charlotte, North Carolina. This decision, assuming the committee agrees to expand the 29 NBA member teams to 30 in mid-January, would make Johnson the first black majority owner of a major professional sports team.
Although Johnson, who beat out basketball's hall-of-famer Larry Bird in the competition to own the NBA's new Charlotte franchise, reportedly did not use his race to score points during his expansion committee presentation, there are those who say Johnson's race helped his case. But according to a statement from Jerry Colangelo, the NBA Board of Governors chairman and Phoenix Suns owner, Johnson's experience and wealth, which landed him the 149th spot on Forbes Magazine's richest Americans list, spoke volumes. Says Colangelo, "We are confident that Mr. Johnson's background, resources and track record of success in the entertainment industry will make him an outstanding NBA owner."
The new players are scheduled to hit the court in the 2004-05 season. They will replace the NBA's old Hornets, which relocated from Charlotte to New Orleans in response to declining attendance and unsuccessful attempts to get a new arena.
Once lost, now found
The National Abandoned Property Processing Corporation (NAPPCO) released its fifth edition of The Little Book About Abandoned Property. The pocket guide, targeted at accountants, attorneys and corporate executives, includes the states abandoned property laws and reporting requirements so that businesses can help true owners connect with unclaimed property such as forgotten bank accounts, payroll checks, stock, interest, customer deposits, and other assets. The free publication can be requested by calling NAPPCO directly (212-826-8370) or logging on to www.missingmoney.com, a NAPPCO site that provides information for both business owners and consumers.
Pepsi picks up Spike Lee
Pepsi-Cola North America (PCNA) selected Spike DDB for its multicultural advertising. Although Spike DDB will start with a television ad featuring Destiny Child's Beyonce Knowles early this year, the new arrangement is also expected to include print, radio and Internet content. "Pepsi has a long history in its commitment to developing a relationship with the African-American cultural communities," comments the agency's chairman and chief creative officer Spike Lee in a statement. General market advertising will continue to be run by BBDO New York while Pepsi's Latino advertising will be managed by Dallas-based Dieste Harmel & Partners.