By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek
July 9, 2012
“Bust”: Top Five Reasons the Armageddon is Near
1. The Pittsburgh Penguins can’t insure themselves against a career-ending head injury to Sidney Crosby in his new fully guaranteed 12-year, $104 million contract. Crosby has missed all but 63 games over the last two seasons because of concussions, which insurance companies won’t cover as preexisting.
2. Despite fixing the traffic and parking problems that plagued its NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race last year, Kentucky Speedway saw attendance fall at this year’s Quaker State 400. The Speedway and the state spent $11 million over the past 12 months to improve traffic flow around the track.
3. Implicated Saints “BountyGater” Jonathan Vilma has sued the NFL in federal court, claiming NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell “failed to make a timely appeal ruling” on his suspension. The suit asks for a temporary restraining order to allow Vilma to play.
4. Shoe companies reportedly are bothered by how closely aligned Nike is with Eugene, Oregon and USA Track & Field. Nike is the only gold-level sponsor of the track trials, spending millions of dollars to promote the event. Eugene, nicknamed Track Town USA, has hosted the last two Olympics trials.
5. The Houston Astros could get rid of the train above the left field wall and the hill in center field at Minute Maid Park before next season. The changes would coincide with the team’s rebranding, their move to the American League, and a new sponsor initiative.
“Boom”: Top Five Reasons that Prosperity is Right Around the Corner
1. After years of public criticism, the NFL is relaxing its TV blackout rule, which restricts local broadcasts for games that aren’t sold out. Under the new rule, NFL games will be shown in local markets as long as 85% of tickets are sold. The change comes despite league attendance being down 4.5% since 2007.
2. British Prime Minister David Cameron believes the London Olympics will result in $20 billion pumped into the country’s economy. Cameron expects 4.5 million extra tourists to visit Britain after the Games, plus $15 billion in extra business over the next four years.
3. Boosted by a surge in single-game sales, MLB attendance heading into the All-Star break is up 7.4% compared to the same point last season. Additionally, online ticket sales are up 24% over last year. If the projections hold, MLB will finish with its best total attendance since 2008.
4. In the second year of their licensing deal, NASCAR merchandise sales at Wal-Mart have increased 25% over the same period in 2011, according to Tripp Mickle of SportsBusiness Journal. The growth is being attributed to an expanded product line, marketing, and a better understanding of NASCAR fans.
5. The Nashville Sports Authority has unanimously approved a new Bridgestone Arena lease for the Predators. Under the previous deal, the city paid the team $7.8 million annually. The new terms call for the city to pay $6.1 million a year, with another $2.3 million in state sales tax dollars going to the team.
“Hope”: Top Five Reasons That Creativity is the Key to Economic Survival
1. To activate their Summer Olympics sponsorship, Heineken is painting 150 London bars green. The participating bars will be filled with various Olympic-branded products. Heineken expects to sell an extra 2.2 million pints of beer in London during the Games.
2. Roger Goodell has given teams guidelines and ground rules for possible relocation to Los Angeles. Teams interested in relocating must submit an application to league within the first six weeks of 2013. According to Goodell, the league, not an individual team, will control the relocation process.
3. The National Rifle Association and its NRA American Warrior magazine will sponsor the NASCAR Nationwide race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in September. The NRA decided to sponsor the race because of its proximity to military bases, and is giving away 25,000 tickets to people who sign up for the digital magazine.
4. Boston Red Sox star David Ortiz is relaunching his own salsa brand, Big Papi’s Kitchen Fresh Salsa. The new version is being touted as healthier and fresher than its predecessor, a refrigerated jar version that went on sale in 2010. The salsa is available in retail locations around Boston.
5. The Buffalo Sabres want to build two indoor ice rinks, a hotel, and other facilities as part of a multi-use real estate project. The proposal, submitted by Sabres owner Terry Pegula and his wife, Kim, is one of three bids the city received to redevelop a public park.