Newcastle branch out

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The Independent Online
Basketball

Sir John Hall has expanded his North-east sporting empire by snapping up Newcastle Comets basketball team. The deal, which will take two weeks to complete, will mean a change of name and team colours for the Premier League side.

They will become part of the Newcastle United Sporting Club alongside the Premiership football team, Newcastle RU Club and the Wasps ice hockey team.

Sir John said the move reflects the importance the organisation attaches to basketball and will allow marketing and merchandising in the club to improve.

Comets' general manager, David Elderkin, said: "I believe that Newcastle United's resources and marketing strength will enable the team to become the leading club in the League next year."

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