By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek
August 8, 2011
“Bust”: Top Five Reasons the Armageddon is Near
1. Nassau County residents rejected a $400 million bond issue that would have built a new hockey arena and minor league baseball stadium. With the chances of landing a new arena all but dead, New York Islanders owner Charles Wang has indicated that the team likely will relocate when its Nassau Coliseum lease expires in 2015.
2. The NBA filed two claims against the players association – a federal lawsuit to declare that the lockout is lawful and an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board. The league alleges that the NBPA hasn’t been negotiating in good faith because the union has made several threats to dissolve.
3. LeBron James’ and Dwyane Wade’s marketability dropped significantly after the NBA Finals, according to data released by Nielsen and E-Poll. Neither Heat star finished in the top ten NBA players based on N-score, which measures name awareness, appeal, sincerity and other attributes. James’ score dropped 80%, while Wade’s score fell 71%.
4. Speedway Motorsports Inc. reported a second quarter 2011 net loss of $28.3 million, down from $23 million in net income from the same quarter last year. SMI attributed the sharp decline to having fewer races in the quarter, the economy and rising fuel prices.
5. The Texas Longhorns have been banned for at least one year from televising high school sporting events on its new TV network. The Big 12’s ADs unanimously approved the decision, believing showing high school sports give the Longhorns an unfair recruiting advantage.
“Boom”: Top Five Reasons that Prosperity is Right Around the Corner
1. Tennis star Li Na could become the highest-earning woman in pro sports as early as this year, according to Malcolm Moore of the London Telegraph. Because of Li’s immense popularity in her native China, the French Open winner has signed more than $40 million in sponsorship deals this year with Mercedes-Benz, Rolex and Haagen Dazs.
2. U.S. women’s goalie Hope Solo signed a multiyear marketing partnership with Gatorade, her second major endorsement deal since the Women’s World Cup ended. Solo and teammates Abby Wambach and Alex Morgan recently signed deals with Bank of America.
3. NFL Network grew to 60 million from 57 million subscribers after signing a carriage agreement with Charter Communications. The deal, which will be implemented in time for the start of the NFL season, puts the network on seven of the top eight TV providers.
4. Adidas is raising its yearly forecast after reporting strong sales in the first half of the year. The company’s Q2 net profit was $200 million, up 10% from the same period in 2010. Some of the growth is attributed to sales of Reebok’s ZigTech shoes.
5. Sprint has signed a deal to become one of Notre Dame’s biggest corporate partners and will be presenting sponsor of the school’s neutral-site football game against Maryland this season. Though terms of the deal weren’t released, most top-level Notre Dame sponsorships run in the low to mid-seven figures annually.
“Hope”: Top Five Reasons That Creativity is the Key to Economic Survival
1. With the NFL lockout in the books, Commissioner Roger Goodell is turning his attention towards selling a Thursday night TV package, according to John Ourand of SportsBusiness Journal. The eight-game package is expected to fetch about $700 million. A deal could include an equity stake in the league-owned NFL Network.
2. The Los Angeles Angels are partnering with T-Mobile on a tablet computer rental program at Angel Stadium. Fans will be able to rent the tablets for $10 a game. T-Mobile has been working with the team to improve its wireless network inside the stadium.
3. EA Sports is rolling out a new promotion aimed at giving fans early access to games and free content. The "EA Sports Season Ticket” costs $24.99 per year and is built around EA Sports’ five most popular games: FIFA, Madden NFL, NCAA Football, NHL and Tiger Woods PGA Tour.
4. The Charlotte Bobcats are the first NBA team to give season ticket holders “smart cards” instead of printed tickets. The technology allows the Bobcats to save on printing costs, while putting food and beverage credits on the card. The smart cards will save the team hundreds of thousands of dollars.
5. NBC is rebranding Versus as the NBC Sports Network effective January 2. The long-rumored move coincides with NBC’s broadcast of the NHL Winter Classic. NBC doesn’t have any immediate plans to rebrand its other sports channels or Comcast’s regional sports networks.