Winners and Losers--June 14, 2013

By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek

June 14, 2013


Winner: The Philadelphia Eagles announced plans to privately finance a $125 million renovation to Lincoln Financial Field over the next two years. The renovation includes a seating expansion, two new high-definition video boards, upgraded amenities, and WiFi installation.

Loser: The NFL’s TV partners reportedly are unhappy about the league’s new sponsorship deal with Verizon, which includes mobile streaming rights. The network executives are upset that making games available in more places dilutes the overall product and will hurt their ratings.

What it means: The NFL has heard these dilution complaints from TV network before, particularly when the league launched the RedZone channel and created a Thursday night package for NFL Network. Despite it all, the NFL remains the most popular program on TV, and mobile streaming isn’t going to change that.


College Sports

Winner: The University of Kansas and Adidas signed a six-year extension of their footwear and apparel deal that will last through 2019 and be worth at least $26 million. Adidas initially signed an eight-year deal with Kansas in 2005. The deal is one of the richest in Adidas’ college sponsorship portfolio.

Loser: The KFC Yum! Center, home of the Louisville Cardinals men’s and women’s basketball teams, saw its event revenue drop more than $4 million last year, according to the Louisville Arena Authority’s financial statements. The authority is responsible for paying off the arena’s $349 million bonds.

What it means: Of that $26 million total, Kansas will receive $10 million in cash and $16 million worth of product. In addition to Kansas, Adidas has apparel deals with UCLA, Nebraska, Michigan, N.C. State, Louisville, Texas A&M and Wisconsin.



Winner: NBA officials next season are allowing teams to sell advertising space on the court in front of benches and on top of the backboards, according to John Lombardo of SportsBusiness Journal. The ads are expected to bring in anywhere from the mid-six figures to $2 million annually.

Loser: Through the first two games of the Miami Heat-San Antonio Spurs NBA Finals, TV ratings are down double-digit percentages compared to last year’s Finals. Game 1 saw ratings drop 10% from last year’s opener, while ratings for Game 2 fell 14%.

What it means: Though the NBA still hasn’t been able to figure out jersey sponsorships, teams are thrilled about having the opportunity to sell the potentially lucrative inventory on the court and backboard. Until now, those spaces had been limited to team branding only.



Winner: San Jose city officials have sold the naming rights to the arena formerly known as HP Pavilion to German software company SAP for $16 million over five years. SAP replaces Hewlett-Packard, which recently backed out of its deal after reevaluating its marketing expenditures.

Loser: The Carolina Hurricanes could face a steep fine from the NHL if they’re unable to resolve a scheduling dispute with N.C. State University over event dates at PNC Arena. If the NHL has to change Hurricanes game dates after the league schedule is released next month, the team could be fined $100,000 for each infraction.

What it means: The SAP Center at San Jose is owned by the city, but operated by the Sharks. As such, the sides have agreed to split revenue evenly. The deal with SAP is about the same in value as the one with HP.


Auto Racing

Winner: Taking into account fan feedback, Iowa Speedway this year altered its race schedule to hold more events in June instead of in May. According to the track’s CEO, the schedule change resulted in strong ticket sales for last weekend’s NASCAR Nationwide Series DuPont Pioneer 250.

Loser: Coming off the most-watched Daytona 500 since 2008, NASCAR has been unable to maintain the TV momentum through the first few months of the Sprint Cup season, according to Tripp Mickle and John Ourand of SportsBusiness Journal. Fox averaged 7.8 million viewers through the first 13 races this season, down from 7.9 million viewers through the same point last year.

What it means: It’s amazing what can happen when you listen to your constituents. Iowa racing fans preferred summer events because they have fewer scheduling conflicts. A few changes by Iowa Speedway CEO Doug Fritz and sales have increased accordingly.

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