Bust, Boom, and Hope: May 28, 2012

By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek

May 28, 2012

“Bust”: Top Five Reasons the Armageddon is Near

1. Despite being the third-biggest Super Bowl advertiser over the last decade, General Motors announced it would not run commercials in next year’s game because spots are getting too expensive. CBS reportedly is selling 30-second ads in the broadcast for $3.8 million, up 9% from what NBC averaged during the 2012 Super Bowl.

2. Congress could eliminate military sponsorships of sporting events as part of a $608 billion defense bill that’s been passed by the House. The National Guard will spend $26.5 million this year on NASCAR sponsorships, and has spent $136 million over the last five years to sponsor driver Dale Earnhardt Jr.

3. Ohio State has admitted to 46 secondary violations over 21 sports dating back to May 2011. Among the most absurd violations: one assistant football coach used chewing tobacco on the sidelines during games last season, while another assistant coach responded to a text message from a recruit’s parents asking which gate they should use to enter Ohio Stadium.

4. The Boston Red Sox’ on-field struggles over the last two years have led season-ticket holders to opt against renewing their seats. After last season, the team’s season-ticket renewal rate dropped from 98% to 96%, a noticeable decrease for a team with an 8,500-person waiting list.

5. The Orlando Magic fired head coach Stan Van Gundy and mutually parted ways with GM Otis Smith after a tumultuous season in which they publicly feuded with star Dwight Howard. It remains unclear whether the team let go of Van Gundy and Smith to keep Howard, or if Howard will be dealt in the offseason.

“Boom”: Top Five Reasons that Prosperity is Right Around the Corner

1. The Golden State Warriors unveiled plans to move to San Francisco from Oakland’s Oracle Arena, which is the oldest venue still in use in the NBA. The team wants to build a privately financed, $500 million arena on Piers 30-32 in time for the 2017-2018 NBA season.

2. Sales of Nike-brand NFL jerseys are off to a hot start since coming to market at the end of April. According to SourceOneSports, jersey sales were nearly 100% higher in the first week of availability, and up about 150% in the second week, compared to the same periods last year.

3. The SEC and the Big 12 Conference reached a five-year deal to have their champions meet in a bowl game beginning in 2014. With the two conferences starting the bowl from scratch as equal partners, they could reap a financial windfall from TV revenue, sponsorships, and bidding out the game.

4. Charlotte Motor Speedway during Speedweeks 2012 saw corporate display revenue for onsite activation increase 21% over last year, while ad and signage sales were up 28%. The racetrack also unveiled and sold out six pit road VIP suites, which cost $45,000 annually.

5. The 160 affiliated Minor League Baseball teams generated a combined $52.2 million in apparel and novelty sales last year, up 2% from 2010, according to David Broughton of SportsBusiness Journal. The total trails only 2008 as MiLB’s highest revenue total ever.

“Hope”: Top Five Reasons That Creativity is the Key to Economic Survival

1. The Los Angeles Angels next weekend will attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the largest gathering of people wearing cowboy hats. Fans attending the team’s game against the Texas Rangers will receive an Angels cowboys hat presented by team sponsor Yokohama. The current record gathering is 500 people.

2. Replicating a model that’s worked for rival EA Sports’ Madden, NHL, and NCAA Football franchises, Activision is asking NASCAR fans to vote for the cover driver of its new racing game. The promotion features 32 drivers, with voting taking place over four rounds through a Facebook application. It’s Activision’s first consumer campaign.

3. Having added Texas A&M and Missouri in realignment, the SEC in coming weeks will begin renegotiating its rights deals with CBS and ESPN, and the talks are expected to include the possibility of a conference TV network. The goal reportedly is to have a SEC-branded network up-and-running by the 2014 college football season.

4. The San Francisco 49ers plan to build a 15,000-square-foot Hall of Fame next to the their under construction Santa Clara stadium. The team has hired consultants to meet with local journalists, season-ticket holders, students, teachers, and famous 49ers to establish a concise vision for the museum.

5. The Philadelphia 76ers this July will be able to sell its own marketing assets following 15 years in which a subsidiary of former team owner Comcast-Spectacor sold sponsorships, according to Terry Lefton of SportsBusiness Journal. The team currently is building a sales staff in anticipation of the shift.

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