Ridiculously photogenic Ben Davis lookalike Devils and Sixers CEO Scott O’Neil spoke with the Philadelphia Business Journal about the business aspects of running a team that, at the moment, is actively trying to be the worst in professional sports. He didn’t say anything too Earth-shattering, but he did reveal that a new mascot is currently being tested by focus groups of small children:
PBJ: Will the team finally have a new mascot this year?
O’Neil: It looks like we will. That’s in development right now. We have kids coming in as part of focus groups to help with the design and the name. We’re looking at a November or December launch.
Guessing the market research is almost complete, what with summer vacation drawing to an end and all.
O’Neil also talked about two additional big-time sponsorships the Sixers are working on:
PBJ: And sponsorship deals?
O’Neil: The corporate support is there. We are involved in three of the biggest sponsorship deals in the franchise’s history. [The first of which with PartyPoker.com was activated last season ]. Two haven’t been finalized yet, but they are coming.
You can’t help but wonder if, like the Party Poker deal, these are hybrid deals involving the Sixers and their sister team, the New Jersey Devils. This sort of thing makes my mouth taste bad, but I’d be lying if I said Harris and his pragmatic approach wasn’t growing on me. I may have been wrong about him.