By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek
April 2, 2013
“Bust”: Top Five Reasons the Armageddon is Near
1. MLB is suing the South Florida clinic alleged to have provided players with performance enhancing drugs. The league accuses Biogenesis of America of damaging the sport by giving players such as Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun illegal substances. Legal experts are skeptical the suit will be successful.
2. Hewlett-Packard reportedly is deep into negotiations with the San Jose Sharks to prematurely end their arena naming rights deal. The 15-year, $47 million agreement expires in 2016, but H-P is in the process of a global reevaluation of its marketing and sponsorship spending.
3. The Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens will open next season on the road after being unable to resolve a scheduling conflict with the Orioles. The Ravens will be the first reigning Super Bowl champions to open on the road since the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2003.
4. Chinese sportswear company Li Ning posted its first annual loss in nearly a decade, despite having recently activated an endorsement deal with Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade. The company plans to scale back its inventory and overhaul its image in order to improve its bottom line.
5. The Florida Atlantic University Faculty Senate passed a resolution formally opposing the school’s football stadium naming rights deal with GEO Group, a for-profit prison. The senate says the highly criticized deal has hurt the school’s reputation.
“Boom”: Top Five Reasons that Prosperity is Right Around the Corner
1. The Sacramento City Council approved a nonbinding term sheet for a $448 million downtown arena. The city will contribute $258 million to the project, with a group of prospective Sacramento Kings owners paying the $190 million balance. NBA owners on April 18 will vote on keeping the Kings in Sacramento or relocating the team to Seattle.
2. The Buffalo Bills signed a new 10-year lease agreement that keeps the team at Ralph Wilson Stadium through 2023. The deal includes $130 million in renovations to the stadium, with the cost being split amongst the team, Erie County, and the state. The Bills’ lease was set to expire this July.
3. Twenty-one of the 22 U.S.-based NHL teams with available data have posted local TV ratings increases this season, according to John Ourand and David Broughton of SportsBusiness Journal. Additionally, NBC Sports Network is on pace to post its record-high NHL viewership this season.
4. Tickets for Detroit Tigers home games are selling for an average of $111 on the secondary market as the team comes off a World Series appearance. The prices are 68% than at the same point last year, according to data by TiqIQ. The Blue Jays and Yankees are the only other teams with tickets being resold over $100.
5. The University of Alaska-Anchorage signed a 10-year, $6.3 million naming rights deal with Alaska Airlines for the school’s new $109 million arena, scheduled to open in 2014. Alaska Airlines has sponsored UAA athletics for more than 30 years, and helps defray some of the school’s athletics travel costs.
“Hope”: Top Five Reasons That Creativity is the Key to Economic Survival
1. The Milwaukee Brewers have unveiled the “Chance 2 Advance” ticket plan. For $99, fans get tickets to nine select Tuesday night games. The seats start in the cheapest section, but every time the Brewers win, fans can pay an extra $2 to upgrade to the next best seating area. If the Brewers were to win all nine games, fans would end up in the rows right behind the dugouts.
2. Jeans maker Levi Strauss reportedly bought several Internet domain names ending in “Stadium,” “Field,” and “Park,” leading some to speculate the San Francisco-based company could buy the naming rights at the 49ers’ new stadium. The sponsorship could cost more than $10 million annually.
3. A year-and-a-half removed from a child sex abuse scandal, Penn State is starting to see advertisers come back to its football program, according to Michael McCarthy of Ad Age. Cars.com returned to Penn State telecasts last season, while Chevy and State Farm, which sat out last year, are considering spending on ads this year.
4. Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan is pushing his team to become more involved in the local community. The team has a reputation for not being socially active dating back to former owner Bob Johnson. Community appearances are particularly important for the Bobcats, by far the NBA’s worst team over the last two seasons.
5. The St. Louis Blues have entered into a partnership with social media company LockerDome to launch a social media network for fans. The Blues LockerDome Network will give fans the opportunity to win tickets and other prizes.