Bust, Boom, and Hope: September 10, 2012

By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek

September 10, 2012

“Bust”: Top Five Reasons the Armageddon is Near

1. The NHL’s collective bargaining agreement expires on Saturday, and the league and players seem poised for a work stoppage. At issue is what percentage of hockey-related revenue will go to the players and a “management rights clause” that would give owners unilateral control over various subjects.

2. Office Depot will not renew its primary sponsorship of Stewart-Haas Racing and Tony Stewart’s No. 14 car after the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. The company, which has sponsored Stewart since 2009, blamed the economy for changing its business needs. It could still opt for a smaller sponsorship.

3. Mohegan Sun casino has dropped its sponsorship of Penn State football, becoming the second company to end their relationship with the program in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal. State Farm dropped their sponsorship of the team after the Freeh Report release.

4. The NFL used replacement refs for Week One games after being unable to reach a new labor deal with the NFL Referees Association. The two sides are negotiating over issues including salary and retirement benefits. The NFL last used replacement refs for three weeks in 2001.

5. Cleveland Indians closer Chris Perez publicly criticized team owner Larry Dolan for not spending as much money as division rival Detroit Tigers owner Mike Ilitch. Earlier in the year, Perez called out Indian fans for not showing up to games when the team was in first. Cleveland ranks 28th in attendance.

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

1. In the first season of a new 10-year deal, PepsiCo is expanding its NFL sponsorship to include Quaker Oats and Tropicana, joining stalwarts Pepsi, Gatorade, and Frito Lays. In addition to the league-wide deal, PepsiCo also sponsors 22 of the 32 NFL teams.

2. IMG College brokered sponsorship deals for Lowe’s and Hershey with several schools for which it holds multimedia rights. The Lowe’s deal is with all of IMG College’s properties and gives the store rights to sponsor each school’s mobile app. Hershey’s deal reportedly is for 40-45 schools.

3. Jeff Moorad is close to finalizing a deal to sell the Triple-A PCL Tucson Padres to a group of business leaders in El Paso. The team is expected to move into a new downtown ballpark, which will be a part of a $500 million downtown redevelopment.

4. Despite the NHL’s labor uncertainty, and at a time when some teams might be considering layoffs, the Florida Panthers are hiring. The Panthers decided to add employees because the team’s arena hosts several events beyond hockey, and sponsors still need their brands activated.

5. The NHRA and Coca-Cola signed a multiyear extension of their partnership, and the deal has the tour changing its title sponsor from Full Throttle to Mello Yello. The new agreement runs through 2018 and is worth $3-4 million annually. Three Coca-Cola brands have held the naming rights since 2001.

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

1. MLB will start the 2013 regular season on a Monday and end on a Sunday after tweaking its schedule over the last few years. Additionally, with the Houston Astros in 2013 moving from the NL to the AL, next season will be the first to have an interleague game scheduled every day.

2. Former college basketball player Ed O’Bannon wants his class-action lawsuit against the NCAA’s use of former athletes’ names, images and likenesses, to include current players as well. Under O’Bannon’s request, money would be set-aside in a temporary trust for athletes to access once they graduate.

3. The Philadelphia Flyers created a new internship position in honor of Jessica Redfield, the aspiring sports broadcaster who was killed in July’s movie theater shooting in Colorado. The position is for a female college student interested in working in a NHL team’s digital media department.

4. The start of the NFL season means new ads featuring some of the game’s biggest stars. Pizza Hut plans on running spots with Aaron Rodgers throughout the season, while Ugg is launching a new campaign featuring Tom Brady with the hope of expanding its men’s line.

5. Dale Earnhardt Jr. has been tapped as the cover athlete for Activision’s NASCAR video game set to be released in November. Earnhardt, a nine-time recipient of NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver award, won an online pool that generated more than 750,000 votes.

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