By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek
July 30, 2012
“Bust”: Top Five Reasons the Armageddon is Near
1. Following the NCAA’s decision to punish Penn State for the Jerry Sandusky scandal, State Farm decided to drop its sponsorship of the school’s football team for the upcoming season. State Farm will remove all of its signage from Beaver Stadium and pull its ads from TV and radio broadcasts.
2. Greek triple jumper Voula Papachristou was kicked out of the Olympics for an offensive Twitter comment she made about African immigrants. The IOC has strict social media guidelines for athletes, and Papachristou is the first athlete to be expelled from the games for inappropriate social media use.
3. Twenty years after the Dream Team boosted the popularity of basketball globally, all indications are that basketball’s showcase event will shift from the Olympics to a World Cup-style tournament. Under the proposal, only basketball players 23-and-under would participate in the Olympics.
4. Minor League Baseball’s 160 affiliated teams this year are averaging 3,933 fans per game, down 2.7% from the same period last season. Of all the minor leagues, the Single-A New York-Penn League is experiencing the worst year-over-year decline at 7.4%.
5. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers no longer will use iPad playbooks after a series of unforeseen issues. While most players and coaches liked the concept, players often times forgot to charge their iPads overnight or update them when they got to practice. The Bucs were one of the first teams to adopt digital playbooks.
“Boom”: Top Five Reasons that Prosperity is Right Around the Corner
1. The IOC already has generated $3.6 billion in broadcasting revenue for the 2014-16 Olympic quadrennial, and IOC President Jacques Rogge expects the total to exceed $4 billion. Additionally, TOP sponsorship revenue for the upcoming quadrennial likely will top $1 billion for the first time.
2. Lenovo, the world’s number two PC manufacturer, has signed a three-year deal to replace IBM as the NFL’s official technology sponsor. Lenovo will hold exclusive category rights for PCs, laptops, and workstations. The NFL has been a Lenovo customer since 2007.
3. The Louisiana State Bond Commission approved $75 million in privately funded borrowing to expand LSU’s Tiger Stadium. The project is expected to increase Tiger Stadium’s seating capacity from 92,000 to 100,000, making it the third largest stadium in the SEC.
4. MLB Advanced Media has topped 5 million downloads for this year’s version of its At Bat mobile application, according to Eric Fisher of SportsBusiness Journal. The total tops the 3.9 million downloads in 2011, setting a company record for the third consecutive year.
5. American Express signed a five-year deal, worth more than $2 million annually, to become a founding partner of the Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center. Amex gets naming rights to the box office and 40/40 Club at Barclays Center, as well as exclusive rights in the payments category.
“Hope”: Top Five Reasons That Creativity is the Key to Economic Survival
1. The NBA Board of Governors supports a plan to put sponsor logos on game jerseys beginning in 2013. While official guidelines aren’t expected until September, the deals likely will have to be for multiple years. The NBA is the first of the four major U.S. pro sports leagues to put corporate logos on jerseys.
2. Twitter is partnering with NBC Sports on an Olympics hub that will offer a feed of the most popular posts from live events. The two entities are working together in London to make sure fresh and relevant news shows up on the Twitter page. Twitter execs hope the Olympics will help expand their international audience.
3. Louisville men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino publicly endorsed ESPN analyst Jay Bilas as his choice for the next Big East Conference commissioner. Bilas, a former Duke basketball player, also has a law degree. The Big East hopes to have a new commissioner by September.
4. The Arizona Diamondbacks are working on a deal to transfer Chase Field ownership from Maricopa County to the city of Phoenix. Under the proposal, the team would have more control over the stadium and would be able to host more non-baseball events, thus generating more revenue.
5. The Buffalo Bills are hosting a “Junior GM for a Day” contest, open to local children ages 8-12. Entrants must submit a 100-word essay saying why they’re qualified to be the team’s “Junior GM.” Bills employees will interview 12 finalists, with one winner getting the opportunity to spend a day with team GM Buddy Nix.