08 Jun

Bust, Boom, Hope: week of 6-7-15

Bust, Boom, Hope: NFL

Bust: As originally reported by the Washington Post, but in an article found and accessed from the Sportsmanias app, the site that provides fans with real-time information on their favorite teams, the Washington Redskins have removed thousands of seats from FedEx Field for the third time in five seasons as attendance numbers continue to decline. FedEx Field once was the largest stadium in the NFL, but the Redskins have drawn fewer than 80,000 fans in each of the past four seasons.

Boom: The Atlanta Falcons have already generated $77 million in revenue from PSL sales for their new $1.5 billion stadium, scheduled to open in 2017. To date, the team has sold 54% of the stadium’s 7,500 club seats. The most expensive PSLs go for $45,000 per seat.

Hope: Yahoo is paying an estimated $10 million to live stream this year’s Jacksonville Jaguars-Buffalo Bills game, which will be played in London. The deal marks the first time the NFL is broadcasting a game for free over the Internet. The league reportedly is shopping social media rights to the game as well.

What it means: The NFL determined Yahoo’s rights fee by calculating what regular TV networks pay for a single game. In return, Yahoo has exclusive ad rights for the game. Since it’s an AFC game, CBS Sports will handle the production and provide the talent. The league said it partnered with Yahoo because it was impressed by the site’s global reach, which tops more than 1 billion monthly users.

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Bust, Boom, Hope: MLB

Bust: The Los Angeles Angels are unhappy with their stadium lease talks and have no immediate plans to resume negotiations with the city of Anaheim. The team has until 2019 to opt out of their Angel Stadium lease and must disclose their intentions by October 2018.

Boom: The Hartford has signed a deal to become MLB’s official insurance sponsor in the business insurance, homeowners insurance, and employee benefits categories. The Hartford’s marketing rights include a presenting sponsorship of the AL and NL Reliever of the Year Awards.

Hope: Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre said that MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred is open to the city hosting regular-season games in 2016. Coderre said that Manfred has been impressed with attendance at recent Montreal preseason games, and that several teams have expressed interest in playing games in the city next year.

What it means: The Expos last played in Montreal in 2004, and since then, the city has been open about wanting to bring MLB back to the city. After successful preseason in games in each of the last two years, a regular season series would be the next logical step. However, Montreal will still need a new stadium before it gets an expansion team or can convince an existing club to relocate.

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Bust, Boom, Hope: College

Bust: The NCAA has charged the University of North Carolina with five serious violations connected to the school’s long-running academic fraud scandal, including lack of institutional control. The University now must attend a hearing with the NCAA Committee on Infractions, with sanctions being announced shortly thereafter.

Boom: The SEC will distribute $31.2 million to its member schools after generating an NCAA-record $455.8 million last year. The distributions are an increase of more than $10 million per school from last year’s payout of $20.9 million per school.

Hope: As originally reported by AL.com, but in an article found and accessed from the Sportsmanias app, the site that provides fans with real-time information on their favorite teams, the University of Alabama-Birmingham is taking steps to reinstate football just six months after the school disbanded the program. While outside donors have pledged $17.2 million to cover operational costs for football, there is no known timeline for the program’s return to play.

What it means: A majority of the SEC’s revenue increase can be tied to the nascent SEC Network, and it’s amazing how big of an impact the channel has had in its first year of operation. Along with the Big Ten, the SEC is building a major revenue gap between them and the other Power Five conferences, thanks in large part to conference-owned TV networks.

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Bust, Boom, Hope: International

Bust: The Boston 2024 Organizing Committee is facing criticism for refusing to release key documents just days after vowing to be more transparent. The documents include information on the budget and political support needed to win the Summer Games.

Boom: Globecast, a service company for the radio, television and media industry, was onsite in Paris for the French Open as the technical provider for French and European distribution. Globecast also was in Berlin for the 2015 UEFA Champions League Final between Barcelona and Juventus, where the company provided a special 4k/UHD demo.

Hope: USOC Chairman Larry Probst has been appointed to lead a new panel that will oversee the launch of the IOC’s Olympic TV channel. The digital channel is projected to cost $600 million over the first seven years and will launch next April, just a few months before the 2016 Rio Summer Games.

What it means: Next up for Globecast is the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Globecast will provide 24 hours of nonstop transmission for the race. In the U.S., Globecast Americas is contributing the broadcast to the U.S. rights holder.

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Bust, Boom, Hope: NHL

Bust: The Tampa Bay Lightning have implemented policies aimed at limiting ticket sales to and apparel of Chicago Blackhawks fans at Amalie Arena during the Stanley Cup Finals. The Lightning through their Ticketmaster portal are blocking people with out-of-state credit cards from purchasing tickets.

Boom: The Arizona Coyotes are increasing their rent payments to the city of Glendale thanks to the team’s improved arena naming rights deal with Gila River Casinos. The city will receive between $7-8 million from the team this year, an increase of about 17% from what it got last year.

Hope: The NHL/NHLPA competition committee has recommended expanding instant replay to introduce a coach’s challenge for goals that may have resulted from goaltender interference or offside plays. The rule now requires the approval of the NHLPA and the NHL’s Board of Governors.

What it means: While the Lightning can restrict primary ticket sales through Ticketmaster, they are unable to block Chicago fans from purchasing seats on secondary market sites such as StubHub. StubHub said that Illinois residents made up about 20% of ticket buyers for Game 1 in Tampa, up from the usual 5-8% the home state of the visiting team usually accounts for.

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01 Jun

Bust, Boom, Hope: week of 6-1-15

Bust, Boom, Hope: NFL

 

Bust: Six Missouri state legislators have sued Governor Jay Scott and the public board that owns the Edward Jones Dome to block funding of a new NFL stadium in St. Louis.  The suit alleges that Nixon’s stadium financing plan illegally uses $250 million in taxpayer money.

 

Boom: The NFL has begun the process of establishing a relocation fee for the team of teams that might move to Los Angeles, and the cost for moving could be in excess of $500 million.  The relocation fee could vary from market to market, with the nearby San Diego Chargers paying less than the St. Louis Rams.

 

Hope: As originally reported by the Houston Chronicle, but in an article found and accessed from the Sportsmanias app, the site that provides fans with real-time information on their favorite teams, the Houston Texans will be featured on the HBO series “Hard Knocks” this season, marking the team’s first appearance on the show.  The Texans will become the 10th team featured on “Hard Knocks,” and owner Bob McNair believes the show will bring positive attention to the beleaguered NFL.

 

What it means: Even though the Rams have their sights set on L.A., it would be hard for the team to leave St. Louis if the city puts together a heavily subsidized stadium plan.  Given the time sensitivity, delays such as the Missouri legislators’ lawsuit could doom the Rams’ chances of staying put in St. Louis.

 

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Bust, Boom, Hope: Olympics

 

Bust: Boston’s 2024 Olympic bid could be in jeopardy after it was found that the city’s bid book said that the Games would require public money.  Boston 2024 has long maintained that the Olympics would be paid for entirely with private funds.

 

Boom: The USOC reported $270 million in revenue in 2014, a 7.6% increase over 2010, the previous time the Winter Games were held.  The growth was attributed to a $29 million gain in rights and licensing fees, according to an IRS form.

 

Hope: Kazakhstan has tabled a proposed antigay legislation that could threaten the country’s hopes of hosting the 2022 Winter Olympics.  The decision came after several sports stars urged the IOC to reject Kazakhstan’s bid because of its stance on gay rights.

 

What it means: While the USOC’s revenue increased, expenses grew at twice the rate, up 15.6% to $222 million.  The federally chartered nonprofit finished 2014 with a $48 million surplus, down for a $59 million surplus in 2010.

 

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Bust, Boom, Hope: MLB

 

Bust: As originally reported by the Miami Herald, but in an article found and accessed from the Sportsmanias app, the site that provides fans with real-time information on their favorite teams, fans criticized the Miami Marlins after no players showed up to the team’s charity casino night.  While the players denied that the absence was an organized protest against the team’s recent manager change, the news comes amid reports of growing discontent in the Marlins clubhouse.

 

Boom: Charter Communications within the next few weeks will begin carrying the Time Warner Cable-owned regional sports network SportsNet LA.  Distribution of SportsNet LA has been limited since its February 2014 launch as TWC and cable operators have argued over the channel’s high subscriber fee.

 

Hope: MLB is conducting an economic impact study on shortening the season to 154 games.  Among the revenue and expense streams that are being reviewed are ticket sales, concession sales, TV rights, and the cost savings of not needing stadium workers for four home games.

 

What it means: Charter has promised to carry SportsNet LA in its 300,000 Southern California homes, regardless of whether its $55 billion Time Warner Cable acquisition goes through.  While Charter’s LA-footprint is just a fraction of the market, the move could put pressure on other distributors to end their yearlong negotiation impasse.

 

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Bust, Boom, Hope: Soccer

 

Bust: The U.S. Justice Department charged 14 people affiliated with FIFA of corruption and bribery.  The allegations go back more than two decades, including $110 million in bribes linked to the 2016 Copa America tournament, which will be held in the U.S.

 

Boom: Orlando City SC announced that it will be privately funding the entirety of its new downtown Orlando stadium, as well as increasing the stadium’s expected capacity.  The decision comes after stadium construction was setback following a delay in $30 million of funding from the Florida Legislature.

 

Hope: New England Revolution Owner Robert Kraft reportedly is making progress in his bid to build a soccer-specific stadium in Boston.  Kraft has met several times with Boston Mayor Martin Walsh, and he has assured city officials that he would structure the deal so Boston would not be at risk for any costs.

 

What it means: FIFA President Sepp Blatter wasn’t charged in the case, but his 17-year tenure as the head of soccer’s governing body has been marred with corruption.  Allegations about the 2018 and 2022 tournaments began almost immediately after the host countries were announced.  Now the question is if the scandal will result in either tournament being relocated.

 

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Bust, Boom, Hope: NBA

 

Bust: The Golden State Warriors and Ticketmaster filed motions to dismiss a federal antitrust lawsuit brought by StubHub.  StubHub alleges that the pair illegally conspired to force season-ticket holders to use only the Ticketmaster-powered NBATickets.com platform for resale.

 

Boom: The Golden State Warriors’ Western Conference Finals-clinching win over the Houston Rockets averaged 8.9 million viewers, making it the most-watched NBA game on ESPN the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals.  The game also marked ESPN’s second-most viewed telecast of the year behind the CFP Championship.

 

Hope: The Brooklyn Nets unveiled a new TV studio at the Barclays Center, believed to be the first full-time news desk at a pro sports facility.  The studio is a part of a three-year, seven-figure sponsorship deal between the Nets and WPIX, an independent station owned by Tribune Broadcasting.

 

What it means:  Both on and off the court, the Warriors are facing big opponents: on the court against the Cavs in the NBA Finals, off it potentially in federal court against StubHub.  The motion to dismiss StubHub’s suit is scheduled to be heard on July 31 in San Francisco, with ruling likely to help define the terms of a ticket long term.

 

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24 May

Bust, Boom, Hope: week of May 24

Bust, Boom, Hope: NFL

Bust: As originally reported by ESPN, but in an article found and accessed from the Sportsmanias app, the site that provides fans with real-time information on their favorite teams, the NFL has rejected the NFLPA’s request to have Commissioner Roger Goodell recuse himself from hearing Tom Brady’s appeal of his four-game suspension. The NFLPA wanted a neutral party to serve as an arbitrator since Goodell was the one who levied Brady’s penalty.

Boom: San Diego’s proposal for a new football stadium includes funding from the city, the Chargers, and the NFL. Under a plan released by the city’s stadium task force, the league and team would contribute a combined $500 million to the $1.1 billion project. The plan also calls for the Chargers to pay $10 million in rent each year.

Hope: The NFL could begin hearing relocation requests as early as late in the 2015 regular season with a vote of the league’s 32 owners coming a few weeks later. Rams, Chargers, and Raiders officials in June will make presentations on the progress of their respective projects to the NFL’s L.A. committee.

What it means: Goodell has acknowledged that the league is further along in the L.A. process than at any other point in his tenure as Commissioner. At this point, it feels like only a matter of time before the NFL is back in L.A., however it’s still unclear which team is the frontrunner to move.

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Bust, Boom, Hope: College

Bust: The University of North Carolina has received a notice of allegations from the NCAA regarding the re-opening of its academic fraud investigation. UNC has 90 days to appeal the notice of allegations, after which they would await a hearing before the NCAA. The case originally began in 2011.

Boom: The Pac-12 topped all college conferences by generating $374 million in revenue during the 2014 fiscal year. The total revenue includes income from the conference-owned Pac-12 TV network and the conference’s marketing and media division. The conference distributed $21 million to each member school.

Hope: The Pac-12 is considering forming its own in-house, multimedia sales team, which would cut out rights holders such as IMG College and Learfield and generate an extra $2 million per year per school. It’s uncertain how long the conference will take to determine whether or not to pursue the model.

What it means: Forget there being an East Coast bias. Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott is one of the most innovative executives in all of sports. His plan to bring multimedia rights sales in-house could be a huge disruptor for the college sports business, and will continue to keep the Pac-12 on par with the Big Ten and SEC as the nation’s top conferences.

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Bust, Boom, Hope: Soccer

Bust: FIFA sponsors Adidas, Coca-Cola, and Visa have expressed concerns about the safety of migrant workers at stadiums being built for the 2022 Qatar World Cup. Since the 2010 vote that awarded the tournament to Qatar, FIFA has faced allegations of corruption and calls for improved labor conditions.

Boom: MLS expansion team LAFC announced plans to build a privately financed, $250 million soccer stadium. When the building opens in 2018, the 22,000-seat stadium will be the first open-air professional sports venue built in L.A. since Dodger Stadium in 1962.

Hope: David Beckham is in talks with the University of Miami about partnering on a stadium for both college football and professional soccer. Beckham has had trouble finding a stadium site for his MLS expansion team, while UM would like to play football in a venue smaller than Sun Life Stadium.

What it means: If only Beckham was having as much success with his stadium plans as Peter Guber and LAFC are having with theirs. Even though Beckham has a possible stadium partner in the Miami Hurricanes, the school would have to find a way out of its lease at Sun Life, which runs for another 17 years.

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Bust, Boom, Hope: NBA

Bust: The WNBA Board of Governors could reject Isiah Thomas’ effort to become part owner of the New York Liberty. In 2007, a jury ruled that the Knicks improperly fired a former executive after she accused Thomas of sexual harassment. MSG settled the case for $11.5 million.

Boom: The NBA is expected to approve Tony Ressler’s ownership of the Atlanta Hawks and Philips Arena by the end of next month. Ressler’s $730 million purchase is contingent on approval by the NBA, which will vet all aspects of the transaction before submitting it to the BOG for a vote.

Hope: T-shirt giveaways are becoming an increasingly popular way for NBA teams to engage fans. All four NBA semifinalists at playoff home games are giving away shirts, which can cost teams around $100,000 for 20,000 if they do not have a co-sponsor.

What it means: While Ressler’s ownership will be approved without issue, Thomas faces a tough uphill battle. The Women’s Sports Foundation already is circulating an online petition opposing Thomas’ small stake in the Liberty. Thomas claims to have spoken with his Liberty players about his history of sexual harassment.

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Bust, Boom, Hope: NHL

Bust: Verizon is not renewing its naming rights sponsorship of the Washington Wizards and Capitals’ D.C. arena when the deal expires in 2018. Verizon inherited the entitlement in 2006 after it purchased previous sponsor MCI out of bankruptcy.

Boom: As originally reported by the Toronto Star, but in an article found and accessed from the Sportsmanias app, the site that provides fans with real-time information on their favorite teams, the Toronto Maple Leafs made Mike Babcock the highest-paid coach in NHL history with an eight-year deal worth $6.25 million annually. Babcock was the subject of a bidding war between the Leafs, Buffalo Sabres, and Detroit Red Wings, whom he coached for the past 10 seasons.

Hope: A coconut water brand created by a Chicago Blackhawks staffer is gaining popularity throughout the NHL. Coco5 was created in 2009 as an alternative to Gatorade. At present, 18 NHL teams or their minor-league affiliate buy the drink for their players.

What it means: Babcock’s contract with the Leafs could alter the landscape for coaching salaries moving forward. Given the incredibly high expectations, Babcock says he’s ready for the media scrutiny and the rebuilding efforts associated with the job.

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18 May

Bust Boom Hope week of 5-17-15

Bust, Boom, Hope: NFL

 

Bust: NFL teams reportedly received millions of tax dollars to hold military tributes at games.  From 2011 to 2014, the government paid $5.4 million to 14 NFL teams for what it termed advertising and recruiting tactics.  Senator John McCain called the teams disgraceful for taking military money.

 

Boom: Online retailers are seeing a major spike in sales of Tom Brady’s number 12 jerseys since the New England Patriots QB was suspended for his role in Deflategate.  Brady merchandise on Fanatics.com has increased 100% following the release of the Wells Report.

 

Hope: New York Giants WR Odell Beckham was named the winner of the cover vote for EA Sports’ upcoming “Madden NFL 16” video game.  Beckham garnered 52.5% of the final vote against Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski, becoming the first Giants player and the youngest player ever to appear on the cover of Madden.

 

What it means: The National Guard insists that the organization’s contracts with NFL teams and other sports groups were never intended to pay for salutes to the troops.  The Guard is reducing future payouts to teams because of resource constraints and budget cuts.  However, whether or not these were sponsorship deals that never should have been made or just a big misunderstanding, the story represents another PR nightmare for the NFL.

 

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Bust, Boom, Hope: College

 

Bust: Average attendance at FBS college football games in 2014 was 44,603 fans, down 2.3%, or more than 1,000 fans per game from the previous season.  The total marks the worst average attendance for FBS schools since 2003.  A poor season resulted in Michigan losing the attendance title for only the second time since 1974.

 

Boom: As originally reported by The Coloradoan, but in an article found and accessed from the Sportsmanias app, the site that provides fans with real-time information on their favorite teams, Colorado State is using the $7 million buyout it received when the University of Florida hired Jim McElwain to fund cost of attendance scholarships of student-athletes.  The buyout will cover the cost of attendance stipends for the next three-to-five years.

 

Hope: As originally reported by The Tacoma News Tribune, but in an article found and accessed from the Sportsmanias app, the site that provides fans with real-time information on their favorite teams, the Pac-12 Conference announced plans to play a second basketball game in Shanghai in 2016.  The conference also has agreed to a two-year deal with Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group to sponsor the Pac-12 China Games in Shanghai in 2015 and 2016.

 

What it means: Unlike the rest of the Mountain West Conference, of which Colorado State is a member, the University of Nevada won’t offer the full cost of attendance to its student-athletes during the 2015-16 school year, but plans to do so starting in 2016-17.  Nevada estimates its full cost of attendance at $4,800 per scholarship.

 

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Bust, Boom, Hope: MLB

 

Bust: Former baseball star Barry Bonds plans on suing MLB, claiming collusion by team owners ended his playing career in 2007.  Bonds has long considered taking action against MLB, but postponed filing a lawsuit until his legal issues related to the BALCO case were resolved.

 

Boom: Hot starts for the New York Mets, New York Yankees, and Chicago Cubs have resulted in good TV ratings and profitable broadcasts for Tribune Co.  The media conglomerate has a positive outlook for this year’s second and third quarters, when the full impact of baseball will hit the bottom line of stations in New York and Chicago.

 

Hope: MLB Advanced Media has reached an agreement with Snapchat to create regular, curated content on the popular mobile app.  The deal does not involve any money changing hands, but does help put MLB content in front of younger fans.

 

What it means: MLB’s content will appear on Snapchat’s “Our Stories” feature.  In addition to this new arrangement, Snapchat also has worked on initiatives with the NBA, NFL, and ESPN.

 

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Bust, Boom, Hope: Soccer

 

Bust: With the FBI investigating FIFA for corruption issues related to the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding process, FIFA President Sepp Blatter reportedly is too afraid to enter the U.S.  According to ESPN’s Jeremy Schaap, the last time Blatter stepped foot on American soil was in 2011.

 

Boom: FedEx signed a three-year deal to become the main sponsor of the Europa League starting with the 2015-16 season.  Valued in the high-seven figures annually, the deal is among the company’s biggest sports sponsorships after the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup, and is its biggest global soccer partnership.

 

Hope: MLS signed a partnership with Chinese digital sports broadcast platform Letv to provide live coverage of league matches in China. The platform will live stream at least two MLS games each week, as well as the MLS All-Star Game, all MLS Cup Playoffs games, and MLS Cup.

 

What it means: As criticism continues to mount against Blatter, in particular for the 2022 Qatar World Cup scandal, the FIFA President wants to implement a new rule that would prevent Europe from bidding in 2026.  With European countries out of the picture, the U.S. would be favored to host the tournament.

 

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Bust, Boom, Hope: NBA

 

Bust: Michael Jordan is taking his trademark dispute with a Chinese sports firm to China’s supreme court.  Jordan sued Qiaodan Sports in 2012, saying the sportswear firm built its business around his Chinese name and “23” jersey number without his permission.

 

Boom: California Governor Jerry Brown has granted a fast-track environmental review for the Golden State Warriors’ proposed arena.  If approved, the $500 million, 18,000-seat arena would be entirely privately financed, and would open in time for the 2018-19 NBA season.

 

Hope: Turner Sports has signed multiyear contract extensions with “Inside The NBA” studio talent Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Shaquille O’Neal.  The extensions are for eight to ten years each and are designed to line up with Turner’s NBA rights that last through the 2025 season.

 

What it means: The NBA is Turner’s signature sports property, and now its top talent is locked up through mid-next decade as well.  Don’t be surprised if the company makes another big splash in the talent pool and makes a run at outgoing ESPN personality Bill Simmons.  Simmons has a well-known affinity for the NBA, and Turner’s Bleacher Repot website would give him an online platform for his popular commentary.

 

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11 May

Bust, Boom, Hope week of May 10

Bust, Boom, Hope: NFL

 

Bust: Tom Brady’s off-field brand image could take a big hit after the New England Patriots QB was implicated in the “Deflategate” scandal.  Forbes last year listed Brady’s endorsement income at $7 million through deals with Dodge, Ugg Australia, and Under Armour.

 

Boom: Arguably no sports agency had a better class of prospects taken in the NFL Draft than Lagardere Unlimited.  Lagardere had a total of 10 players drafted in the first four rounds, plus three undrafted players who ended up signing deals with teams.  The headline of Lagardere’s draft class was Alabama WR Amari Cooper, who was selected fourth overall by the Oakland Raiders.

 

Hope: DC Mayor Muriel Bowser has reached out to the Washington Redskins about bringing the team back to the District.  Bowser said DC is working on a number of scenarios at the RFK Stadium site, including a new stadium with park space and other surrounding development.

 

What it means: Brady’s Q Score last month ranked him with Broncos QB Peyton Manning as having the highest consumer appeal among NFL players.  While it’s unlikely Brady would lose sponsors as a result of the scandal, it’s much more probable that he won’t get any new deals in the short-term and that his existing partners will scale back any advertising plans.

 

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Bust, Boom, Hope: Soccer

 

Bust: As David Beckham’s Miami stadium efforts continue to stall, MLS Commissioner Don Garber said it is no guarantee that the market will land an expansion team.  Garber is expected to travel to Miami in the near future to help Beckham negotiate a stadium deal.

 

Boom: As originally reported by Toronto Sun, but in an article found and accessed from the Sportsmanias app, the site that provides fans with real-time information on their favorite teams, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment unveiled a $99 million renovation of BMO Field that the company says puts the Toronto soccer stadium on par with NFL facilities.  The renovation expanded the stadium’s capacity to 30,000 seats, making it the biggest soccer-specific venue in MLS.

 

Hope: DC United is using the mobile dating app Tinder to sell discounted tickets.  The team says it has been exploring emerging social media channels as a way to grow its fan base.  The Atlanta Hawks held a Tinder promotion this year, but that was focused on helping fans meet each other while at a game.

 

What it means: As Beckham’s group continues to seek a viable stadium plan, they could have an ally in the University of Miami.  Outgoing UM President Donna Shalala said that Sun Life Stadium is too large for the school’s football team, and a joint stadium with Beckham’s potential MLS club is worth pursuing.

 

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Bust, Boom, Hope: MLB

 

Bust: As originally reported by ESPN New York, but in an article found and accessed from the Sportsmanias app, the site that provides fans with real-time information on their favorite teams, the New York Yankees refuse to pay Alex Rodriguez a $6 million marketing bonus for hitting his 660th career homerun.  The Yankees believe they are not obligated to pay Rodriguez since he has admitted to PED use and was suspended for the 2014 season.

 

Boom: MLB Advanced Media is exploring spinning off its third-party digital video streaming business, according to Eric Fisher of SportsBusiness Journal.  While specific figures aren’t available, the third-party part of MLBAM is valued at at least several billion dollars.

 

Hope: With the current collective bargaining agreement between MLB and the MLBPA set to expire after the 2016 season, the union has expressed interest in shortening the regular season to 154 games.  The current 162-game schedule has been in place since 1962.

 

What it means: Among the scenarios being considered by MLB for MLBAM are minority equity investments, partnerships with existing media entities, a public offering, or an outright sale.  MLBAM has been one of the league’s most successful initiatives ever, having been founded in 2000 with a $3 million investment from each of the league’s 30 teams.

 

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Bust, Boom, Hope: College

 

Bust: Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed the “Todd Gurley Bill,” making it illegal to entice student-athletes to break NCAA rules for money.  The law’s name references the ex-University of Georgia star who was suspended last year after accepting $400 in exchange for autographs.

 

Boom: The UAB Athletics Assessment Task Force has raised nearly $6 million in pledges to help reinstate the school’s football, bowling, and women’s rifle programs.  The next step is converting the pledges into official UAB gift agreements.

 

Hope: The NCAA has approved three new college football bowl games for the 2015 season.  The new games in Austin, Orlando, and Tucson, brings the number of bowls up to 42, more than double the total from 20 years ago.  Approximately 64% of FBS schools will participate in bowl games.

 

What it means: Critics frequently complain that there are too many bowl games, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to find teams that are bowl eligible.  However, the counter-argument is that more games give more student-athletes the opportunity to participate in college football’s postseason, and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

 

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Bust, Boom, Hope: NBA

 

Bust: Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker said a financing plan for a new Milwaukee Bucks arena is being put on the backburner while the state deals with bigger issues.  The team hopes to receive nearly half of the proposed arena’s $500 million cost from the state.

 

Boom: Bayer’s Dr. Scholl’s brand signed a three-year deal to become an NBA promotional partner and will use league marks to market its foot-care products, according to Terry Lefton of SportsBusiness Journal.  Bayer’s hopes to use its NBA partnership to gain incremental sales in large sporting goods retailers.

 

Hope: Under Armour announced a special edition shoe to commemorate endorser Stephen Curry being named the NBA MVP.  The black, white, and gold shoe is called the “MVP Limited Edition” and will launch on Under Armour’s website and select retail locations in June.

 

What it means: In addition to his deal with Under Armour, Curry also has endorsements with State Farm, Degree, JBL, Kaiser Permanente, Cytosport and Express.

 

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10 May

Bust, Boom, Hope week of May 10

Bust, Boom, Hope: NFL

 

Bust: Tom Brady’s off-field brand image could take a big hit after the New England Patriots QB was implicated in the “Deflategate” scandal. Forbes last year listed Brady’s endorsement income at $7 million through deals with Dodge, Ugg Australia, and Under Armour.

 

Boom: Arguably no sports agency had a better class of prospects taken in the NFL Draft than Lagardere Unlimited. Lagardere had a total of 10 players drafted in the first four rounds, plus three undrafted players who ended up signing deals with teams. The headline of Lagardere’s draft class was Alabama WR Amari Cooper, who was selected fourth overall by the Oakland Raiders.

 

Hope: DC Mayor Muriel Bowser has reached out to the Washington Redskins about bringing the team back to the District. Bowser said DC is working on a number of scenarios at the RFK Stadium site, including a new stadium with park space and other surrounding development.

 

What it means: Brady’s Q Score last month ranked him with Broncos QB Peyton Manning as having the highest consumer appeal among NFL players. While it’s unlikely Brady would lose sponsors as a result of the scandal, it’s much more probable that he won’t get any new deals in the short-term and that his existing partners will scale back any advertising plans.

 

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Bust, Boom, Hope: Soccer

 

Bust: As David Beckham’s Miami stadium efforts continue to stall, MLS Commissioner Don Garber said it is no guarantee that the market will land an expansion team. Garber is expected to travel to Miami in the near future to help Beckham negotiate a stadium deal.

 

Boom: As originally reported by Toronto Sun, but in an article found and accessed from the Sportsmanias app, the site that provides fans with real-time information on their favorite teams, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment unveiled a $99 million renovation of BMO Field that the company says puts the Toronto soccer stadium on par with NFL facilities. The renovation expanded the stadium’s capacity to 30,000 seats, making it the biggest soccer-specific venue in MLS.

 

Hope: DC United is using the mobile dating app Tinder to sell discounted tickets. The team says it has been exploring emerging social media channels as a way to grow its fan base. The Atlanta Hawks held a Tinder promotion this year, but that was focused on helping fans meet each other while at a game.

 

What it means: As Beckham’s group continues to seek a viable stadium plan, they could have an ally in the University of Miami. Outgoing UM President Donna Shalala said that Sun Life Stadium is too large for the school’s football team, and a joint stadium with Beckham’s potential MLS club is worth pursuing.

 

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Bust, Boom, Hope: MLB

 

Bust: As originally reported by ESPN New York, but in an article found and accessed from the Sportsmanias app, the site that provides fans with real-time information on their favorite teams, the New York Yankees refuse to pay Alex Rodriguez a $6 million marketing bonus for hitting his 660th career homerun. The Yankees believe they are not obligated to pay Rodriguez since he has admitted to PED use and was suspended for the 2014 season.

 

Boom: MLB Advanced Media is exploring spinning off its third-party digital video streaming business, according to Eric Fisher of SportsBusiness Journal. While specific figures aren’t available, the third-party part of MLBAM is valued at at least several billion dollars.

 

Hope: With the current collective bargaining agreement between MLB and the MLBPA set to expire after the 2016 season, the union has expressed interest in shortening the regular season to 154 games. The current 162-game schedule has been in place since 1962.

 

What it means: Among the scenarios being considered by MLB for MLBAM are minority equity investments, partnerships with existing media entities, a public offering, or an outright sale. MLBAM has been one of the league’s most successful initiatives ever, having been founded in 2000 with a $3 million investment from each of the league’s 30 teams.

 

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Bust, Boom, Hope: College

 

Bust: Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed the “Todd Gurley Bill,” making it illegal to entice student-athletes to break NCAA rules for money. The law’s name references the ex-University of Georgia star who was suspended last year after accepting $400 in exchange for autographs.

 

Boom: The UAB Athletics Assessment Task Force has raised nearly $6 million in pledges to help reinstate the school’s football, bowling, and women’s rifle programs. The next step is converting the pledges into official UAB gift agreements.

 

Hope: The NCAA has approved three new college football bowl games for the 2015 season. The new games in Austin, Orlando, and Tucson, brings the number of bowls up to 42, more than double the total from 20 years ago. Approximately 64% of FBS schools will participate in bowl games.

 

What it means: Critics frequently complain that there are too many bowl games, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to find teams that are bowl eligible. However, the counter-argument is that more games give more student-athletes the opportunity to participate in college football’s postseason, and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

 

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Bust, Boom, Hope: NBA

 

Bust: Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker said a financing plan for a new Milwaukee Bucks arena is being put on the backburner while the state deals with bigger issues. The team hopes to receive nearly half of the proposed arena’s $500 million cost from the state.

 

Boom: Bayer’s Dr. Scholl’s brand signed a three-year deal to become an NBA promotional partner and will use league marks to market its foot-care products, according to Terry Lefton of SportsBusiness Journal. Bayer’s hopes to use its NBA partnership to gain incremental sales in large sporting goods retailers.

 

Hope: Under Armour announced a special edition shoe to commemorate endorser Stephen Curry being named the NBA MVP. The black, white, and gold shoe is called the “MVP Limited Edition” and will launch on Under Armour’s website and select retail locations in June.

 

What it means: In addition to his deal with Under Armour, Curry also has endorsements with State Farm, Degree, JBL, Kaiser Permanente, Cytosport and Express.

 

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04 May

Bust, Boom, Hope – 5-4-15

Bust, Boom, Hope: NFL

 

Bust: The NFL has opted to transition away from its tax-exempt status, which NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell called a distraction to the league. Goodell said the move would not change the function or operation of the league office, but the Commissioner will no longer have to publicly disclose his salary.

 

Boom: The task force working on a new St. Louis football stadium expressed confidence that they will have a plan in place for NFL approval this fall. The group is hoping to get $400 million in public money, plus $450 million from the team and league and $150 million from PSL sales.

 

Hope: Sports and entertainment agency Lagardere Unlimited had a strong showing in the NFL Draft. The Oakland Raiders with the 4th overall pick selected wide receiver Amari Cooper out of Alabama. Cooper was a 2014 Heisman trophy finalist and a consensus All-American. Another Lagardere client, cornerback Kevin Johnson, went 16th overall to the Houston Texans, while defensive end Arik Armstead of Oregon was chosen 17th overall by the San Francisco 49ers.

 

What it means: The NFL dropping its tax exemption won’t cost the league as much money as people think. Most league revenue is distributed to teams, which do pay taxes. What will be taxed for the first time is the couple hundred millions of dollars the teams pay NFL headquarters to operate the league. With the NFL’s move, the NHL is the only Big Four sports league with tax-exempt status.

 

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Bust, Boom, Hope: College

 

Bust: Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby acknowledged that his conference is at disadvantage in being selected for the CFP by not having a conference championship football game. Bowlsby recently spoke with CFP officials about the significance of the extra game in their deliberations.

 

Boom: A record $263 million was gambled in Las Vegas during the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. In total, $375 million was gambled in March on professional and college basketball games, up from the previous record of $344 million last year.

 

Hope: As originally reported by NBC Sports, but in an article found and accessed from the Sportsmanias app, the site that provides fans with real-time information on their favorite teams, the UNLV football team unveiled their new Nike uniforms, which feature several references to the city of Las Vegas. The school’s football helmet will include a three-inch sticker of the “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign, while their football pants will either say “Las Vegas” or have the iconic Stardust hotel sign.

 

What it means: The Big 12 infamously was left out of the inaugural CFP, in no small part because conference rivals Baylor and TCU finished the season as co-champs. While the conference plan to implement a new tiebreaker prior to the upcoming college football season, it could be a while before they have a title game. Current NCAA rules restrict conferences with just 10 teams from holding a championship.

 

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Bust, Boom, Hope: NASCAR

 

Bust: GoDaddy announced it is leaving NASCAR at the end of the 2015 season and will not renew its primary sponsorship of driver Danica Patrick’s No. 10 Chevy car with Stewart-Haas Racing. GoDaddy has sponsored Patrick since the 2007 IndyCar season, and the company remained her primary sponsor as she transitioned into NASCAR.

 

Boom: California-based IT firm Avaya signed a sponsorship deal with Team Penske that extends to the organization’s NASCAR and IndyCar teams. As part of a joint venture with HP, Avaya will sponsor Sprint Cup Series driver Brad Keselowski’s No. 2 Ford for one race this season. The deal is valued in the low-seven figures.

 

Hope: NASCAR is in advanced talks with daily fantasy sports operator DraftKings about the possibility of launching a new game. A deal with Draft Kings would add to NASCAR’s existing user base of about 250,000 for its traditional fantasy game, which is available on NASCAR.com.

 

What it means: While GoDaddy plans on ending its NASCAR spend, the company could still keep Patrick as an endorser. The company attributed its decision to a shift in global strategy, as it focuses more on small business and international markets. GoDaddy’s exit is a big blow to NASCAR, can only be partially eased by the new Avaya-HP sponsorship. The sport traditionally has had a difficult time finding tech sponsors.

 

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Bust, Boom, Hope: NBA

 

Bust: An anonymous group of donors to the University of California-S.F. has come out against the Golden State Warriors’ plan to build a new arena in San Francisco’s Mission Bay. The emergence of the opposition group comes just a month before an environmental impact report about the arena will be released.

 

Boom: As originally reported by The Oklahoman, but in an article found and accessed from the Sportsmanias app, the site that provides fans with real-time information on their favorite teams, Oklahoma City Thunder signed former Florida Gators head coach Billy Donovan to a five-year, $30 million deal. The contract makes Donovan one of the highest-paid coaches in the NBA, trailing only Clippers coach Doc Rivers at $10 million a year and Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy at $7 million annually.

 

Hope: The NBA announced a multiyear deal making Stance the league’s official on-court sock provider beginning next season. The Stance logo will appear on all on-court sock designs, marking a first for the NBA. Stance endorsers include Klay Thompson, Dwyane Wade, and Chandler Parsons.

 

What it means: Stance’s official NBA socks will make their debut at the Draft Combine later this month. The company will make limited-edition socks for marquee events and holiday games. Stance will pay the NBA a guaranteed royalty, which is standard for the league’s licensing deals.

 

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Bust, Boom, Hope: MLB

 

Bust: The Baltimore Orioles took a financial hit in having to move its weekend series against the Tampa Bay Rays to Tropicana Field. As a result of the Freddie Gray riots in downtown Baltimore, the Orioles will lose revenue from three home games as well as incur additional travel expenses.

 

Boom: Allstate’s Esurance brand has signed on as MLB’s new auto insurance partner. The online insurance company will title sponsor fan balloting for July’s All-Star Game in Cincinnati, whose balloting this season is being conducted entirely online for the first time. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

 

Hope: MLB’s new pace-of-play initiatives have been so effective that the league and players’ union will not implement a series of fines that were to go into effect last week. Average games this season are being completed nearly 8 ½ minutes quicker than last year.

 

What it means: Among the new pace-of-play rules are mandating that managers stay in the dugout during replay challenges, that hitters keep at least one foot in the batter’s box during at-bats, a prompt return to play after TV commercial breaks and timed pitching changes. If the average game time holds up, it will be the biggest year-over-year decline in game time since 1963.

 

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27 Apr

Bust, Boom, Hope for the week of 4 – 26 – 15

Bust, Boom, Hope: NFL

 

Bust: As originally reported by the Dallas Morning News, but in an article found and accessed from the Sportsmanias app, the site that provides fans with real-time information on their favorite teams, the NFLPA could sue the NFL over the suspension the league levied against new Dallas Cowboys DE Greg Hardy. At issue for the union is that the league did not mention domestic violence in its announcement, which would have triggered a six-game suspension. Instead, Hardy got 10 games for conduct detrimental to the league.

 

Boom: YouTube is seeking a $10 million commitment from advertisers interested in the company’s new NFL channel. YouTube is asking for $5.2 million for a full football season’s worth of ads, as well as an equal spend on non-football content.

 

Hope: DirecTV on signed Colts QB Andrew Luck and Cowboys QB Tony Romo to multiyear deals to endorse its NFL Sunday Ticket package. The pair will join Broncos QB Peyton Manning and Giants QB Eli Manning in a variety of PR, advertising, and marketing activations to promote the satellite TV provider’s exclusive subscription service.

 

What it means: The NFL and Google in January reached a multiyear deal to launch the YouTube channel. The deal includes in-game highlights and NFL promotions on Google search pages.

 

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Bust, Boom, Hope: College

 

Bust: The Rose Bowl has decided not to bid on hosting the 2020 College Football Playoff title game. The Rose Bowl, which currently is one of six bowls that can serve as a semifinal in the College Football Playoff, spent months studying the feasibility of hosting.

 

Boom: The University of Cincinnati signed a lucrative new apparel deal with Under Armour. The 10-year agreement includes more than $11 million in cash and more than $36 million in equipment. The school’s expiring deal with Adidas is worth about $2.7 million annually.

 

Hope: The University of Texas athletic department sent representatives to Dubai to explore ways to grow the brand internationally. Texas officials also are looking at hosting a future football game in Mexico and will open its basketball season with a game in China.

 

What it means: Unlike the BCS, which rotated the national championship amongst four bowls, the College Football Playoff bids out its title game. The host of the 2018, 2019, and 2020 National Championship Games will be awarded this year.

 

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Bust, Boom, Hope: NBA

 

Bust: NBA regular-season viewership fell on cable TV during the 2014-15 NBA season, with TNT’s games down 12% from last year and ESPN’s down 10%. The drop in national viewership was attributed to the struggles of big-market teams and star players suffering season-ending injuries.

 

Boom: As originally reported by the Atlanta Journal Constitution, but in an article found and accessed from the Sportsmanias app, the site that provides fans with real-time information on their favorite teams, a group led by Tony Ressler has agreed to purchase the Atlanta Hawks and Philips Arena for $750 million. The sale price is the second highest in NBA history behind Steve Ballmer’s $2 billion purchase of the Los Angeles Clippers last year.

 

Hope: The NBA will test for HGH under the league’s anti-drug program beginning next season, with stiff penalties for positive results. Players will receive a 20-game suspension for the first positive test, 45 games for a second positive test, and dismissal from the NBA after the third.

 

What it means: While national TV numbers were down on the season, ratings and viewership on regional sports networks were up compared to last year. Teams saw 4% growth on RSNs, with the Milwaukee Bucks experiencing the biggest year-over-year gains.

 

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Bust, Boom, Hope: NHL

 

Bust: The decline in value of the Canadian dollar against the U.S. dollar has hurt the value of the NHL’s TV rights contract with Rogers Media. The deal is paid in Canadian dollars, and Commissioner Gary Bettman declined to say if any hedging was done to minimize losses.

 

Boom: NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman suggested than the expansion fee for a new Las Vegas franchise could be around $500 million. That would mark a significant increase from the $80 million price tag Nashville, Atlanta, Columbus, and Minnesota paid when the NHL last expanded in the 1990s.

 

Hope: The NHL and NHLPA have opened negotiations with at least four apparel companies interested in supplying jerseys for the World Cup of Hockey. Reebok, Nike, Bauer, and Under Armour are all interested in winning the contract, which could be worth $6 million for the league and union.

 

What it means: A season-ticket sales drive being conducted by prospective Las Vegas owner William Foley could end up reaching 13,000 commitments. It’s believed that a team could begin play in the city by 2017. While there are no formal plans to vote on expansion, the NHL could discuss the topic at its Board of Governors meeting in June.

 

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Bust, Boom, Hope: TV

 

Bust: Comcast has dropped its plans to acquire Time Warner Cable due to pressure from regulators. The failed merger has implications in the sports world, as Los Angeles Dodgers execs previously said that the TV impasse with SportsNet LA would be resolved once the Comcast-TWC deal went through.

 

Boom: Through their global reach and local presence on each continent, Globecast’s “one stop shopping” allows broadcasters to get mobile and fixed satellite uplink/downlink, multicast distribution on any screen, including an IP feed broadcast who can be embedded into any web portal during the event.

 

Hope: BET has partnered with Roc Nation Sports to air up to nine live, two-hour telecasts of boxing events in the next 18 months. In addition to the actual boxing matches, telecasts will be supplemented with a live musical performance as well as a DJ.

 

What it means: Globecast is a subsidiary of the Orange Group, with a worldwide presence.   The company manages and transports over 10 million hours of video and rich media each year, across five continents.  The company is the largest independent teleport operator and broadcast solutions provider, with a global coverage on occasional use satellite capacity, a worldwide dedicated video fiber network, 70 vehicles and fly-aways, 12 teleports and 7 booking centers.

 

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19 Apr

Bust Boom Hope week of 4/20

Bust, Boom, Hope: NBA

 

Bust: The NBA and Coca-Cola have ended their partnership after 29 years.  Coke used its NBA league sponsorship to help revive its Sprite brand in the 1990s.  The NBA has already reached a five-year deal with Pepsi to take over rights to the sponsorship category.

 

Boom: The NBA averaged a league record 17,826 fans per game this season, as almost 22 million fans attended games.  NBA teams also had 700 sellouts, passing the previous record of 676 sellouts from 20 seasons ago.  The Chicago Bulls led all teams with 21,866 fans per game.

 

Hope: Nike is close to reaching a deal with the NBA to become the league’s new apparel partner.  While the framework of an agreement reportedly has been reached, there are still several details that need to be finalized before signing a deal.  Nike’s new on-court rights will take effect before the 2017-18 season.

 

What it means: Between Pepsi taking over for Coke and Nike taking over for Adidas, the NBA will be getting sizable revenue increases from two of its most important sponsorship categories.  Whereas the Nike deal isn’t official and won’t go into effect for several years, the Pepsi deal begins July 1.

 

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Bust, Boom, Hope: MLB

 

Bust: As originally reported by the L.A. Times, but in an article found and accessed from the Sportsmanias app, the site that provides fans with real-time information on their favorite teams, the MLBPA is preparing for a fight with the Los Angeles Angels should the team try to recoup money from Josh Hamilton.  Hamilton is set to make $23 million this season, but he might not play for at least another month while he recovers from substance abuse issues.

 

Boom: MLB’s new pace of play rule changes have proved successful thus far, with the average game this season being completed nearly ten minutes faster than last year.  Among the changes that were implemented are a between-innings clock and making hitters keep a foot in the batters’ box.

 

Hope: Taking advantage of MLB’s shift on liquor sponsorships, the Kansas City Royals signed a multiyear deal with McCormick Distilling to produce limited-edition Royals-branded bottles of its 360 Vodka.  The Royals join the Cubs as the only two teams licensing its logo for liquor packaging.

 

What it means: Hamilton’s contract with the Angels includes a clause that protects the team should he suffer a drug relapse.  As notes on Sportsmanias, Hamilton has put his Newport mansion up for sales.  It’s unclear whether the move has anything to do with his personal issues or with his baseball career.

 

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Bust, Boom, Hope: NFL

 

Bust: The NFL and Harris County are at odds over NRG Stadium improvements in advance of Super Bowl LI.  The NFL wants the luxury boxes and club seats at NRG Stadium to undergo a $50 million upgrade at the county’s expense, but county commissioners say the use of public money is a non-starter.

 

Boom: A new study from the National Bureau of Economic Research found that just 16% of NFL players go bankrupt within 12 years of retiring.  While the number is troublesome, it’s far less than a 2009 Sports Illustrated report that said 78% of players are bankrupt or in financial trouble within two years of retiring.

 

Hope: As originally reported by the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, but in an article found and accessed from the Sportsmanias app, the site that provides fans with real-time information on their favorite teams, the Browns unveiled new Nike-designed uniforms with the word “Cleveland” displayed prominently on the front, making them the only team in the NFL with just the city name on front of the jersey.  Besides the city name, the Browns will be the only NFL team with its nickname on the pant leg.

 

What it means: The Browns’ new uniforms consist of nine jersey-and-pant combinations featuring the traditional orange, brown and white colors.  Redesigning the uniforms was a two-year collaborative process between the Browns, Nike, and the NFL.

 

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Bust, Boom, Hope: College

 

Bust: National College Players Association Founder & President Ramogi Huma said he expects more lawsuits to be filed against the NCAA given how frequently lawyers approach him with ways to protect players.  According to Huma, $1.2 billion in new revenue flows into college sports each year.

 

Boom: Georgia Tech is hosting a Rolling Stones concert at Bobby Dodd Stadium as a way to generate additional revenue to help cover the full cost of attendance.  Georgia Tech AD Mike Bobinski estimates that holding the concert could add an extra $500,000 to the school’s athletic department budget.

 

Hope: Army has rebranded its athletic department and will now be known as “Army West Point.”  The school collaborated with Nike for 18 months on the rebranding, but also consulted the U.S. Army and Academy leadership, current and former cadet-athletes, coaches, historians, and West Point graduates.

 

What it means: Georgia Tech’s Rolling Stones concert will be the first at Bobby Dodd Stadium since Pink Floyd in 1994 and then 10th in the stadium’s history.  While the concert will add to the school’s coffers, the bigger issue is finding revenue to cover the added costs every year.

 

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Bust, Boom, Hope: NHL

 

Bust: Both NBC and NBCSN saw viewership figures decline during the 2014-15 NHL regular season.  NBCSN averaged 349,000 viewers for 91 games, down slightly from 351,000 viewers last year, while NBC saw a 9% drop for games on the broadcast channel.

 

Boom: The Chicago Blackhawks once again led all NHL teams in average attendance with 21,769 fans per game at United Center, up slightly from last year.  The Blackhawks also were at 110% capacity at their home venue.  Overall, NHL teams averaged 17,444 fans per game, down slightly from last year.

 

Hope: Hartford Whalers merchandise is still drawing interest from fans despite the team having not played in the city for 18 years.  Because of the team’s popularity, Reebok has expanded its product offerings to include Whalers logos from different eras.

 

What it means: Even though viewership fell on NBCSN, the audience still marked the cable net’s third-best audience since acquiring NHL rights in 2005.  NBC however finished the year with its lowest season average for the NHL since the introduction of the Winter Classic in 2008.

 

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13 Apr

Bust Boom Hope week of 4-13-15

Bust, Boom, Hope: NFL

 

Bust: NFL owners will not vote on which L.A. stadium plan to support at their May meeting despite the significant progress in recent months in both Carson and Inglewood.  It could be a minimum of six months before the league decides which plan it will support.

 

Boom: The NFL said it would likely contribute $200 million toward a new Chargers stadium in Mission Valley.  With all parties trying to come up with a financing plan, the city of San Diego and San Diego County have agreed to jointly pay for experts to help negotiate a stadium deal with the team.

 

Hope: Seattle Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch has begun selling “I’m just here so I won’t get fined” T-shirts on his website.  Lynch in February sought to trademark the phrase, which he unintentionally made famous during Super Bowl XLIX Media Day.

 

What it means: With the NFL waiting until the end of the year to potentially make a decision on Los Angeles, the three cities at risk of losing their team – San Diego, Oakland, and St. Louis – have time to negotiate new stadium deals.  As much as the NFL wants to be in L.A., the league doesn’t want to move a team unless it absolutely has to.  If San Diego, for instance, can put together a viable proposal, expect the Chargers to stay put.

 

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Bust, Boom, Hope: College

 

Bust: The University of Oregon is dropping ticket prices for men’s basketball games by an average of 34% after posting its worst home attendance in 20 years.  Oregon averaged just more than 6,200 fans per home game this season, which barely is half of Matthew Knight Arena’s capacity.

 

Boom: The NCAA Tournament finished with an average of 11.3 million viewers across CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV this year, marking the best average for the event since 1993, when 12.7 million viewers watched. The average in 2015 also is up 8% from 10.5 million viewers last year.

 

Hope: The NCAA by 2016 is expected to pass legislation allowing for the deregulation of college football conference championship games.  The move would directly impact the Big 12, which is the only Power Five conference without a championship game.  Current NCAA rules state that a conference must have at least 12 teams in order to play a title game.

 

What it means: As strong as the tournament was on TV, mobile saw even bigger growth in year-over-year consumption.  March Madness Live drew 80.7 million live video streams and 17.8 million hours of live video consumption during this year’s tourney. Both figures are a record for MML and up 17% and 19%, respectively, from last year.

 

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Bust, Boom, Hope: NBA

 

Bust: Miami Heat officials are angry that the NBA did not inform the team about its plans to develop a relationship with Cuba before the news was made public.  The NBA will become the first U.S. pro sports league to visit the island now that diplomatic relations has been re-established.

 

Boom: Milwaukee Bucks co-owner Wes Edens said that he plans to personally invest in some of the ancillary development around his team’s proposed $500 million arena.  Between the arena and a mixed-use entertainment district, the total cost of the plan is $1 billion.

 

Hope: NBPA Executive Director Michele Roberts issued an internal memo announcing the “2015 Players Choice Awards.”  The program was created at the request of players who wanted a say in year-end award voting.  The media has voted on NBA awards since 1981.

 

What it means: The NBA will hold a four-day men’s and women’s basketball clinic in Havana from April 23-26.  The league moved quickly to arrange a visit once relations between the U.S. and Cuba were restored. Heat executives questioned whether the NBA-Cuba development was a political move because of league ties to the White House and President Obama.

 

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Bust, Boom, Hope: MLB

 

Bust: Shake Shack abruptly had to end a Baltimore Orioles promotion due to copyright objections from MLB.  The restaurant was offering free custard to anyone dressed in Orioles gear on Friday, the team’s home opener.  MLB contacted the eatery that use of the word “Orioles” was prohibited.

 

Boom: MLB Advanced Media delivered a record 60 million video streams to fans on Opening Day across its digital platform, a 60% increase over last year.  Baseball fans also accessed MLBAM’s At Bat mobile app 9.1 million times on Opening Day, up 40% from the previous single day record.

 

Hope: MLB and the MLBPA have agreed to a deal that forbids players from playing in daily fantasy baseball games that involve a prize, but still allows them to endorse these companies.  The deal does not preclude players from partaking in fantasy baseball when something of value is not involved.

 

What it means: MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred is expected to implement a similar prohibition on daily fantasy wagering that would cover all non-playing personnel.  Violators of the new rule will be subject to discipline from the league office.

 

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Bust, Boom, Hope: Golf

 

Bust: Caddies’ contentiousness with the PGA Tour continues to grow due to a perceived inconsistent dress code.  More than 160 caddies have filed a class-action lawsuit against the Tour wanting a piece of the sponsorship revenue derived from the bibs they are required to wear.

 

Boom: Golfer Rickie Fowler has signed a long-term partnership with Quicken Loans in which he will serve as a spokesperson for the company.  The Quicken Loans logo began appearing on Fowler’s golf bag beginning with the opening round of The Masters.

 

Hope: Augusta National filed for two trademarks for CBS broadcaster Jim Nantz’ “A Tradition Unlike Any Other” phrase.  While ESPN and CBS televise The Masters, Augusta National actually owns the broadcast, and by extension, the phrase.  Nantz is believed to have first used the phrase before the 1986 Masters.

 

What it means: One trademark is to use the phrase on a variety of consumer products, including shirts, dresses, pants, sleepwear, and headwear.  Augusta National sold at least one item bearing the phrase in its merchandise tent this year.

 

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