March madness hits the workplace

By Liz Farmer
Daily Record Business Writer

Upper Marlboro attorney Richard Jaklitsch, who is also president of the Terrapin Club, says that in prior years when Maryland has had a game during working hours, his firm has taken off to a nearby watering hole called ‘The Office’ to watch.They call it March Madness for a reason — and it’s not always about what happens on the basketball court.

During the first two days of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, which started Thursday, offices around the country are transformed, and otherwise normal employees can become strangely insane.

Conservative business attire is ditched for unfashionably bright team colors, pizza and other junk food replaces the well-rounded lunch, and the only conferences going on in conference rooms are during commercial breaks to discuss how everyone’s bracket predictions are faring.

The tournament can create quite a dilemma for people when normal life interferes with their alma maters’ games.

New complex will help Coppin share the wealth

By Liz Farmer
Daily Record Business Writer

Derrick Ramsey, Coppin State UniversityWhen Coppin State University’s basketball team tips off against local rival Morgan State University in its new home Saturday, the crowd will be louder, the lights brighter and that new-building smell may still linger in the air.

After more than 20 years in Coppin Center, the team is debuting its state-of-the-art arena — part of a $130 million physical education complex many hope will not only help recruiting but will lift the school and its Northwest Baltimore community’s revitalization.

“This is an opportunity for the people in the community to share in the wealth of the building,” said university President Reginald S. Avery, adding the new buildings could host concerts, town halls and other events. “This is not only Coppin’s building but the community’s as well.”

For Univ.of MD., keeping Friedgen the safe business move

By Liz Farmer
Daily Record Business Writer

Maryland’s football team has a 66-46 record in nine years under Ralph Friedgen, but four of the last six seasons have been sub .500.On the heels of a 2-10 season, one high-profile college football coach being fired and another resigning under pressure, University of Maryland’s Ralph Friedgen was given another shot Tuesday in what many are calling the safer business decision.

Friedgen, who has $4 million and two years left on his contract as head coach of the Terrapins, said he was thankful for the opportunity to continue as coach and was optimistic for the future of the program.

“Hope I wasn’t just judged on this year, and I think this shows the confidence the administration has in me,” he said.

But it’s likely a short leash he’s been given.

At Morgan State - turning March Madness bid into bucks

Daily Record Business Writer
March 16, 2009 7:53 PM

The school pride in Morgan State University’s first-ever March Madness appearance is one of those intangibles sports marketers say can translate later into cold hard cash — but only if the school takes action now.

Morgan State Director of Athletics Floyd Kerr: ‘The excitement on campus is phenomenal…our kids are creating their own ‘good old days.’ I think the residual impact will be more clearly defined after the school year.’“When enthusiasm is high, people make the mistake of saying that’ll do it all by itself,” said Bob Leffler, a Baltimore-based sports marketer and a Morgan State alumnus.

“[Morgan] has a new stadium, a new [basketball] coach and they’re winning — you’ve got to grab that by the neck and spend money and make it happen,” he said.

For a small school like Morgan State, those crowd-pleasing rewards to making the NCAA Division I basketball tournament are the ones that can really represent big bucks.

“The excitement on campus is phenomenal ... our kids are creating their own ‘good old days,’” said Floyd Kerr, the university’s director of athletics. “I think the residual impact will be more clearly defined after the school year.”

In the meantime, Morgan’s marketing company plans on doing a promotion for 2009-10 basketball season ticket sales around the tournament appearance and is creating other athletics department promotions based on the berth, according to Kerr.

NCAA lacrosse Final 4 coming back to Baltimore in 2010, 2011

Daily Record Business Writer
February 6, 2009 3:01 PM

The men’s NCAA lacrosse Final Four will return to Baltimore in 2010 and 2011, the Maryland Stadium Authority announced Friday afternoon.

Baltimore last hosted the championship at M&T Bank Stadium in 2007 and notched a then-record total attendance of 123,215 people for the three-day event.

“We are elated the NCAA Lacrosse National Championships will be returning to Maryland,” said Gov. Martin O’Malley in a statement. “Our state is recognized nationally as the cradle of lacrosse with its storied history, perennial powerhouse teams and loyal fan base.”

Baltimore was awarded two out of the three years it bid for. Boston, New Jersey and Denver also submitted bids last year to host the championship for years 2010–2012. Boston will host in 2012.

The state’s newly created Office of Sports Marketing, and its director, Terry Hasseltine, also added a new face to Baltimore’s bid for the championship. Hasseltine, the former deputy executive director of the Kentucky Sports Authority, arrived last August.