Thursday, April 26, 2012

Entry #58 - Prime Sports

Before Fox Sports existed, there was a bunch of regional sports networks that did the local broadcasting on cable for local sports teams. There were networks like HSE, SportsChannel, PASS, and Prime Ticket.

Prime Ticket was the Los Angeles regional network, with it's marquee product the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Kings. Dr. Jerry Buss was a founding investor in Prime Ticket, and at the time of Prime Ticket's formation, Dr. Buss not only owned the Lakers, he was also majority owner of the Kings. In 1994 Dr. Buss and Dr. Bill Daniels (the other founding owner) sold Prime Ticket to Liberty Media, who lumped it into it's Prime Sports network. Two years later, Liberty sold its Prime Sports to News Corp, who were creating FSN-Fox Sports Network. Since then, Prime Ticket has been called Fox Sports West 2, FSN Prime Ticket, and today, back to Prime Ticket.

This jacket comes from a tiny slice of time-after News Corp acquired Prime Sports in 1996 (by the way, Star TV is also a News Corp company, and was based in Hong Kong, which is where this jacket was made) but hadn't yet changed the name to Fox Sports West 2, which happened in January of 1997.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Entry #57 - Ugly But Deadly

In the first Urban Jungle Gym entry I embedded a couple of the classic Nike Urban Jungle Gym commercials.

In this one, we're gonna get Ugly But Deadly.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Entry #56 - Michael Jordan Golf

In Entry #15 you may have read it and asked yourself, why were there Michael Jordan bowling balls? Because AMF bought Michael Jordan Golf. Huh?

Michael Jordan held a press conference in 1993 to announce the formation of Michael Jordan Golf, a company that was going to build upscale driving ranges, with their own pro shops, grill, miniature golf course, and country club feel. First one was opened in 1996 in the Chicago area, and before the second was finished in Charlotte, AMF purchased the company.

Then some strange things started happening with Michael Jordan and bowling, like Michael Jordan bowling balls, "The Michael Jordan Scholars," a sports scholarship program funded by an annual weekend Michael Jordan Bowl-A-Thon, and Michael Jordan Golf gear showing up in AMF Bowling Center Pro Shops.

Gear like the golf shirt pictured here.

Early in 2002 AMF found itself in Chapter 11, and an increase on the lease for the land in Chicago was looming, so that range was closed. The Charlotte range was doing better and it was sold, going on to become Leatherman Golf.

And that was the end of Michael Jordan Golf.