By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek
December 19, 2011
“Bust”: Top Five Reasons the Armageddon is Near
1. Ryan Braun’s marketability is taking a hit in the aftermath of alleged PED use. Industry insiders say Braun’s agents had been pitching him to potential endorsers in the weeks leading up to his positive test. Even if Braun wins on appeal, steroid suspicions will follow him for the rest of his career.
2. The NHL and NHLPA still haven’t agreed on final revenue figures from last season, which has prevented the league from disbursing revenue-sharing payments to teams and escrow refunds to players. The escrow pool has about $200 million, or 12.4% of total salaries, in it. The money hasn’t ever been returned to the players later than the end of October.
3. Erie County, New York is seeking $100 million in state money to renovate Buffalo’s Ralph Wilson Stadium, but Governor Andrew Cuomo won’t commit to the funding. The Bills play in one of the NFL’s oldest stadiums and smallest media markets.
4. Penn State University announced it will no longer license Joe Paterno’s name and likeness for merchandise because of the school’s ongoing sex abuse scandal. Even though Paterno can license his name himself, he cannot associate it with the school or its football program.
5. NBA players are upset with Commissioner David Stern over a crammed training camp schedule, which gives teams only two weeks to practice together before playing a 66-game regular season. One of the most outspoken teams is the Boston Celtics, whose stars Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen have all publicly voiced their displeasure.
“Boom”: Top Five Reasons that Prosperity is Right Around the Corner
1. The NFL extended TV rights agreements with CBS, Fox and NBC for a total of $27 billion over the next nine years. The league previously extended ESPN’s Monday Night Football contract for $15 billion over eight years. Annual NFL TV revenue is expected to reach $7 billion a year by 2014.
2. The NBA last week renewed sponsorships with A-B InBev, AutoTrader.com and Gatorade in advance of the 2011-12 season. The league also finalized a four-year, $250 million deal to make Sprint its official wireless provider. The league didn’t lose any corporate partners because of the four-month lockout.
3. Atlanta-base furniture store Aaron’s has signed a deal to sponsor 30 different college athletic departments. The deal, which was negotiated by IMG College, includes rights to Duke, Florida and Michigan. IMG College brokered a similar 68-school, $120 million deal with UPS earlier this year.
4. The Arizona Diamondbacks can expect to save up to $12 million over the next five years by buying back bonds sold to finance Chase Field, according to Daniel Kaplan of SportsBusiness Journal. The team says the money will be reinvested into the stadium, payroll or scouting.
5. The Florida Panthers are selling plastic rats in the team store at BankAtlantic Center as part of their “Revival of the Rats” promotion. The rats pay homage to the Panthers’ 1995-96 season, when a locker room incident sparked the team’s trip to the Stanley Cup Finals. Though the NHL doesn’t allow things to be thrown on the ice during games, fans can toss the rats after games.
“Hope”: Top Five Reasons That Creativity is the Key to Economic Survival
1. Qualcomm Stadium temporarily has changed its name to Snapdragon Stadium through next Wednesday. Qualcomm made the decision to promote Snapdragon, one of its chip brands, during the stadium’s busiest period of the year. More than 30 million people are expected to watch the two bowl games and San Diego Chargers game at the stadium over the next week and a half.
2. Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott is visiting China to expand the conference’s presence internationally. Though China is Scott’s priority, he also has long-term plans to increase the conference’s visibility in Central America, South America, India and other Asian nations.
3. Some New York Mets fans that purchased a 50th anniversary five-game package last week had the tickets delivered by the team’s mascot, Mr. Met. Poor ticket sales last season contributed to the Mets losing nearly $70 million on the year.
4. The Charlotte Bobcats have outsourced their season ticket sales process because the team laid-off half its sales staff during the lockout. In its deal with Get Real Sports Sales, the Bobcats have four sales reps making calls to Charlotte-area residents. The reps make $1,000-$1,500 a month plus a 20% commission.
5. Buffalo Sabres owner Terry Pegula has acquired control of NFL agency France AllPro Athlete Management. Pegula had been backing another NFL agent prior to buying FAAM. Among FAAM’s 50+ clients are Baltimore Ravens RB Ray Rice and Kansas City Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe.