By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek
August 13, 2012
“Bust”: Top Five Reasons the Armageddon is Near
1. New Jersey Devils owner Jeff Vanderbeek is still short millions of dollars on an $80 million loan repayment due August 14. Vanderbeek, who already had the deadline extended from last September, could lose control of the team if he can’t come up with the money.
2. Prospective Memphis Grizzlies owner Robert Pera’s company, Ubiquiti Networks, is facing scrutiny at an inopportune time, as Pera tries to finalize his purchase of the team. Ubiquiti’s stock price has fallen 60% since May, leaving some to wonder whether Pera has the money necessary to complete the deal.
3. Arguably the biggest disappointment of the London Olympics is the mascots, Wenlock and Mandeville. The awkward, one-eyed, alien-looking blobs have been called the worst mascots in the history of the Olympics, and dolls of the duo are being sold for up to 80% off throughout London.
4. The financial problems continue for Louisville’s KFC Yum! Center. The arena is supposed to set aside millions of dollars each year for a renovation fund, but the account has dropped from $3 million to just $4,000 since April. Arena officials needed to use the money to cover debt payments.
5. After 257 games, the Philadelphia Phillies’ home sellout streak has come to an end. The streak, which had been the third longest in MLB history dated back to July 7, 2009. At various points over the last few years, the team held different sales promotions to keep the streak going.
“Boom”: Top Five Reasons that Prosperity is Right Around the Corner
1. A group led by former Los Angeles Dodgers owner Peter O’Malley has purchased the San Diego Padres from John Moores for $800 million. The deal is for 100% of the team, Petco Park, and a 21% stake in the regional sports network FS San Diego. Golfer Phil Mickelson is part of the ownership group.
2. Gold medal-winning gymnast Gabby Douglas is poised to be the biggest marketing winner from the Olympics. Douglas already has endorsement offers from several companies, including some in the Fortune 100. She could expect to earn up to $12 million over the next four years.
3. Air Force is moving forward with plans for a $20 million renovation of the school’s football stadium. Though the project isn’t official, Air Force AD Hans Mueh hopes it will get underway within a few months. The renovation would add suites, expand the press box, and reduce the stadium’s seating capacity.
4. The Sacramento Kings reportedly are negotiating with at least five companies to sell naming rights to their arena. The rights became available after the previous sponsor, Power Balance, filed for bankruptcy. The Kings expect to have a new naming rights deal in place before the start of the NBA season.
5. The NHL and Quiksilver reached a multiyear merchandising deal to produce co-branded boardshorts. The collection will be available in both U.S. and Canadian stores in time for the holiday season. Quiksilver has similar deals with both the NBA and NFL.
“Hope”: Top Five Reasons That Creativity is the Key to Economic Survival
1. A waterfront site in Oakland has reemerged as a possibility for a new A’s stadium. Howard Terminal was one of the first locations the team considered when it began its stadium search more than a decade ago. The A’s want to move to San Jose, but the Giants have been reluctant to cede territorial rights.
2. The IOC is considering adding the social and digital media category to its TOP sponsorship program, and could seek to become the first sports property to sign a deal with Google or Facebook. The IOC worked with both companies in advance of London on comprehensive Olympic platforms.
3. The SEC and Big 12 conferences sent RFPs to ten cities they’re interested in hosting the newly created Champions Bowl. Among the cities considered favorites to win the bid are Atlanta (backed by the Chick-fil-A Bowl), New Orleans (backed by the Sugar Bowl), and Dallas (backed by Jerry Jones).
4. Several NBA players will attend an August 22 fundraising shoot-around for President Obama’s reelection campaign. Additionally, NBA Commissioner David Stern and Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan are co-hosting a $20,000-per person fundraising dinner with the president later that evening.
5. The Pittsburgh Penguins this season will open an upscale merchandise shop at Consol Energy Center, according to Christopher Botta of SportsBusiness Journal. The store, which will cater to the Penguins’ premium seat holders, will have merchandise similar to a country club pro shop.