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Playoff-or-payoff guarantees back after layoff

Updated: October 26, 2002, 4:23 PM ET
By Darren Rovell | ESPN.com

Tom Rooney thought his boss was crazy.

After all, there is a difference between marketing and magic. But when Pittsburgh Penguins owner Ed DeBartolo Sr. decided to raise ticket prices despite the team's five-year playoff drought, Rooney faced the challenge of selling the price hike to season-ticket holders.

"We're not going to be very popular," Rooney said.

Days later Rooney, then the Penguins' vice president of marketing, had dreamed up a solution. Instead of hoping the 5 percent ...

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