While perhaps a billion people watched the U.S. and China meet in basketball at the Olympics, Sports Business Daily says that few had more riding on the game than the NBA and Phil Anschutz's AEG, owners of Staples Center, the Los Angeles Kings, Kodak Theater, Nokia Theater, L.A. Live, the L.A. Galaxy...you get the picture. AEG and the NBA will market, program and operate the arena in Beijing after the Olympics are over. First up is China's first naming-rights deal:
The AEG sales team hopes to have a naming-rights partner within 35 days. It is approaching companies in the traditional categories of telecom, auto, finance, banking and apparel about naming rights and founding partnerships.
To date, AEG has met with the 100 top multinational companies and Chinese state-owned entities. It envisions selling five founding partnerships to multinational corporations and three to Chinese state-owned entities, said [Sam] Piccione, who’s leading the effort on the ground in Beijing for AEG.
Meanwhile, the Kings finished 29th in a 30-team league last season and look worse heading into the coming season. And today, the Galaxy fired GM Alexi Lalas and accepted the resignation of coach Ruud Gullit.