NBA Teams Appeal to Ethnic Groups to Fill Seats

January 19, 2011  |  

(Wall Street Journal) — Salih Eroglu prepared carefully for the Los Angeles Clippers’ big day-after-Christmas basketball game.  The 33-year-old gathered Turkish baklava pastries, sparkling “evil eye” pendants and sunflower seed snack packs. He ordered 1,000 red “Turkiye” baseball caps and 1,000 T-shirts emblazoned with images of Hedo Turkoglu, Istanbul-born forward of the visiting team, the Phoenix Suns.  On hand, too, were Turkish dancing girls, a Turkish pop star to sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” and raffle stubs for an airline ticket to Istanbul.

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