Bust, Boom, Hope: April 21, 2014

Bust, Boom, Hope: Golf

Bust: A lack of drama and the absence of Tiger Woods contributed to the lowest final round TV ratings at The Masters since 2004. The 7.8 overnight rating CBS earned for Masters Sunday was down 24% from last year’s tournament. Saturday’s coverage was down 30% from the previous year.

Boom: Jordan Spieth’s second-place finish at The Masters is a huge win for Under Armour, which outfitted the 20-year-old from head-to-toe. Spieth’s strong performance also will pay dividends for his agents at Lagardere Unlimited, who should have an easy time finding brands wanting to sponsor the breakout star.

Hope: Masters champion Bubba Watson celebrated his second green jacket with a late-night trip to Waffle House. The meal, on which Watson tipped $148, generated lots of positive PR for the chain. Watson in the past has joked about serving Waffle House at a Masters Champions Dinner.

What it means: Spieth’s potential rise couldn’t come at a better time for the PGA Tour. While it’s too early to call Spieth the heir to Tiger Woods, the 2013 Rookie of the Year has risen to ninth on the PGA Tour in just his second year as a pro. It’s safe to say the sky is the limit for Spieth.


Bust, Boom, Hope: College Sports

Bust: Kentucky men’s basketball coach John Calipari says the NCAA could crumble if it doesn’t embrace reform. Calipari, in his upcoming book, accuses the NCAA of selectively enforcing its rules, and envisions a scenario where college athletics are ruled by “super-conferences” instead of the NCAA.

Boom: The SEC in its first full fiscal year with Missouri and Texas A&M as member schools posted $314.5 million in revenue, up more than $40 million from the previous year. SEC schools received nearly $21 million apiece from conference disbursements, while Missouri and Texas A&M took home $19.5 million each.

Hope: Arkansas State auctioned off the right to coach the school’s spring football game to a bidder who paid $11,700 on eBay. The winner, a 25-year-old Silicon Valley CEO, has no affiliation with the school, but thought coaching the game would be a fun way to engross himself in college football.

What it means: Even without getting a full share of conference revenue, the $19.5 million Missouri and Texas A&M did receive is significantly more than the $12 million they got in their last year as members of the Big 12. Aggregate SEC revenue will only increase once the conference’s TV network launches later this year.


Bust, Boom, Hope: NBA

Bust: The Philadelphia 76ers have scrapped plans to build a new state-of-the-art practice facility at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. The Sixers, who currently train at the gym at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, are the last team in the NBA without their own facility.

Boom: The Portland Trailblazers’ Damian Lillard signed a massive shoe deal with Adidas, making him one of the NBA’s highest-paid endorsers. Believed to be for up to 10 years and $100 million, Lillard’s deal is the biggest since Derrick Rose signed a 13-year, $185 million deal with Adidas in 2012.

Hope: Boston’s TD Garden in integrating LinkedIn into its new B2B program, according to Christopher Botta of SportsBusiness Journal. The program, called the TD Garden Business Network, is free to partners of the Bruins and Celtics, and comes with invitations to attend networking events in the arena’s newly designated LinkedIn Lounge.

What it means: It was particularly important for Adidas to keep Lillard given the uncertainty surrounding Rose’s future. The risk of losing one of their top endorsers resulted in Adidas giving Lillard such a lucrative contract, despite playing in a small market and having moderate popularity outside of the Pacific Northwest.


Bust, Boom, Hope: NFL

Bust: The city of San Francisco and the 49ers are at odds over, of all things, a Paul McCartney concert. San Francisco wants McCartney to headline a sendoff concert at Candlestick Park, where the Beatles played their final paid show in 1966. However, the 49ers are negotiating with McCartney’s team to have him play the first show at Levi’s Stadium, which opens later this year.

Boom: Expect a high-profile bidding war for the Buffalo Bills, as several prominent individuals are interested in buying the team. Among the potential bidders are Donald Trump, musician Jon Bon Jovi, Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs, and Buffalo Sabres owner Tom Golisano.

Hope: The St. Louis Rams announced their first-ever “Guess Our Games” contest, offering fans the chance to win $100,000 if they correctly predict all 17 weeks of the team’s 2014 regular season schedule. In order to win the prize, contestants must correctly pick the date, location, and opponent for each week.

What it means: It’s only so often an NFL team becomes available, so don’t be surprised if the Bills fetch upwards of $1 billion. In this case, several of the potential bidders might have to overcome ownership rules obstacles: Bon Jovi might want to move the team to Toronto, Trump would have to divest casino interests, and Jacobs owns pro sports teams in another market.


Bust, Boom, Hope: MLB

Bust: The Texas Rangers and Globe Life Insurance agreed to come up with better-looking signage for Globe Life Park after receiving complaints from local residents. Fans were unhappy that Globe Life’s contemporary logo didn’t align with the stadium’s throwback look.

Boom: Atlanta Braves revenue last year jumped to $261 million from $225 million thanks to a reworked TV deal, which allowed the team to move 45 games onto Fox Sports regional networks. The Braves said the restructured deal puts them in the middle third among MLB teams for local TV revenue.

Hope: MLB is launching a new three-part plan aimed at increasing African-American participation in baseball. The initiative includes expanding MLB’s current inner-city development programs, improving the quality of youth coaching, and implementing marketing campaigns in urban communities.

What it means: MLB deserves credit for so aggressively trying to halt the dearth of African-American players. Only 8.3% of players on Opening Day rosters identified themselves as black. According to Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia, one reason so many African-Americans are playing other sports is because of financial reasons.

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