By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek
February 27, 2012
“Bust”: Top Five Reasons the Armageddon is Near
1. NASCAR is the sports property most likely to sign a smaller TV rights deal in the next 10 years, according to 45% of sports executives that responded to a Turnkey Sports poll. NASCAR currently makes $560 million per year from TV deals with ESPN, Fox, and Turner. The contracts expire in 2014.
2. As they scramble to put together a financing package for a new arena, the Sacramento Kings filed a bankruptcy claim for $8.3 million against Power Balance, the team’s current arena naming rights partner. The naming rights deal was supposed to run through 2016, but Power Balance filed for bankruptcy last year.
3. Home attendance at ACC men’s basketball games is poised to drop for the fifth straight season. Including the conference’s postseason tournament, the ACC’s 14% attendance decrease since 2004 is the largest of any of the six major college conferences.
4. The Buffalo Bills’ 2012 “Toronto Series” preseason game is being moved back to Ralph Wilson Stadium because of a scheduling conflict at Rogers Center. The change will not prevent the Bills from playing a regular season game at the stadium next season.
5. Former NHLPA Executive Director Paul Kelly resigned as head of College Hockey Inc. after two years in the position. An “erosion of trust” between Kelly and the commissioners of college hockey’s five Division I men’s leagues reportedly led to the resignation.
“Boom”: Top Five Reasons that Prosperity is Right Around the Corner
1. The Minnesota Vikings reportedly reached a tentative agreement with the state and Minneapolis to build a new $975 million stadium at or near the current Metrodome site. Per the deal, the Vikings would pay $427 million, the state would contribute $398 million, and the city would add $150 million. The Vikings would play at the University of Minnesota’s TCF Bank Stadium while their new facility is under construction.
2. Southeastern Conference member schools received an average $19.5 million in conference payouts last year, up $1.2 million from the average payout in 2010. The SEC reported $158.3M in revenue from “television and other production” for its fiscal year ending August 31, 2011.
3. NASCAR signed a multiyear sponsorship deal with Florida-based Creative Recycling Systems, a company that specializes in reuse and recycling end-of-life electronics. The sponsorship is the second in the “green category” NASCAR created last year.
4. After more than two years of owning the Phoenix Coyotes, the NHL is close to selling the team to a group led by former San Jose Sharks President & CEO Greg Jamison. The league is trying to keep the sale price near $170 million in part to help the value of other NHL franchises.
5. Boosted by strong on-court play, Philadelphia 76ers ticket sales are up 30% and local TV ratings are up 33% from last season. Apollo Global Management Director Joshua Harris is in his first year as 76ers owner after buying the team for $280 million last summer.
“Hope”: Top Five Reasons That Creativity is the Key to Economic Survival
1. Nike reportedly extended its endorsement deal with New York Knicks G Jeremy Lin. Lin’s original Nike contract wasn’t set to expire until next year, but his sudden rise to superstardom had several Chinese companies, including Li Ning, Peak Sports and Qiaodan Sports prepared to bid on him.
2. New Jersey Devils owner Jeff Vanderbeek is working on a deal to have an investor pay the team’s $80 million in overdue debt. Per the agreement, Vanderbeek has until next season to raise new capital, or else he’ll have to sell the team.
3. FanVision, the multimedia handset company owned by Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, signed a five-year deal with NASCAR to make the devices available at all Sprint Cup Series races. The devices include access to multiple camera angles, instant replays, and live stats, among other features.
4. Arizona State University is close to building a new football stadium after Maricopa County formally authorized creating an athletics district to finance the project. Other funding mechanisms that could be used for the $150-250 million stadium are donations, premium seating, and Pac-12 media rights.
5. Projected top five NFL draft pick Robert Griffin III signed a multi-year endorsement deal with Adidas. To promote the signing, Adidas bought a promoted “#RG3” hashtag on Twitter. Adidas will use Griffin in marketing platforms for football, running and training apparel and footwear.