Brand Buster: Dodger's Frank McCourt

Date: June 28th, 2011

Company: Los Angeles Dodgers

CEO: Frank McCourt

Source: NBC Sports

Synopsis: Just days before the team’s payroll becomes due, Dodgers’ co-owner and Chairman Frank McCourt has filed for bankruptcy.  This decision has come as a result of many factors that have affected McCourt personally, as well as the Dodgers organisation; McCourt’s messy divorce in 2009 (from which his wife still claims co-ownership); a scandal involving the “Dodger’s Dream Foundation”; the MLB appointing a representative to oversee the day-to-day operations of the franchise; and a report that claimed McCourt had received a personal loan from Fox to cover the team’s payroll in April and May.

Brand Buster: McCourt is clearly trying to put a halt on the MLB’s attempts for a franchise takeover with the filing.  As soon as he decided to declare bankruptcy, it temporarily stopped the MLB from pursuing further legal action.  This is clearly a last-ditch effort from a desperate man.  And even if he does get through bankruptcy court in possession of the team, I doubt he will be in control for very long.  The filing solidifies McCourt as a failed owner, and his statements about the commissioner (claiming he “turned his back on the Dodgers”, putting them in the current situation) hurt his brand further.

Prediction: My guess is that the Fox deal that McCourt has been waiting on will fall through, and the Judge will order that the team be auctioned off to the highest bidder.  At this time next year, the Dodgers will inevitably be under new ownership.  And in a bidding scenario, the league will have no say in the matter.  Turning the Dodgers saga into a court issue, rather than an MLB issue is not good for McCourt, or the league itself.

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