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Bust, Boom, and Hope: March 18, 2013

By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek

March 18, 2013

“Bust”: Top Five Reasons the Armageddon is Near

1. The NHL and NHLPA have agreed to increase this season’s escrow rate to 20%, up from the 10% the two sides agreed to during labor negotiations. The change comes as the league anticipates lower than initially projected hockey related revenues during the shortened season.

2. The ultimate reckless spenders in MLB, the New York Yankees are trying to move under the league’s $189 million luxury tax threshold next season. The Yankees had a $19 million luxury tax bill last year, and expect to have a $15 million bill this season.

3. The Washington Redskins are without $18 million in salary cap space this year as a penalty for frontloading contracts in the uncapped 2010 season. The Dallas Cowboys lost $5 million in cap space for the same violation. Appeals by both teams to have the cap space restored were denied by the league.

4. Arizona State University has received backlash from students and alumni over the new Disney-designed costume of the school’s “Sparky” mascot. The new costume is more superhero than Sun Devil, and is meant to appeal to a younger generation of ASU fans.

5. The 2013 Izod IndyCar Series season starts next weekend amid concerns that the six-month break cost the series a lot of momentum. Rather than promoting last season’s American-born champion Ryan Hunter-Reay, most of IndyCar’s offseason headlines dealt with former CEO Randy Bernard’s firing.

“Boom”: Top Five Reasons that Prosperity is Right Around the Corner

1. The San Francisco 49ers have generated an estimated $800 million in revenue from season ticket and suite sales at their under construction $1.2 billion stadium. The team already has sold 75% of seats at the new facility, and is well ahead of schedule to sell out before the building opens in 2014.

2. The new Big East Conference, formerly known as the Catholic 7, has reached a 12-year, $500 million TV rights deal with Fox Sports. The deal’s value could increase to $600 million if the conference grows to 12 teams. Big East games will be a primary component of Fox Sports 1’s programming.

3. Go Daddy received $2.9 million in media value during the Daytona 500 through its sponsorship of Danica Patrick, according to the research firm Repucom. Patrick had more than 971 million Twitter mentions in the eight days from becoming the first woman to capture the Daytona 500 pole through the race.

4. The Cincinnati Reds gave Great American Ballpark a $2 million renovation this offseason in an effort to boost luxury suite renewals and prepare the stadium for the 2015 MLB All-Star Game. The Reds also added a 90-seat, outfield bar as part of their new multiyear sponsorship deal with Budweiser.

5. Carolina Hurricanes attendance at PNC Arena is up 12% over last season. The team’s attendance increase is the best in the NHL’s Eastern Conference, and is partially responsible for the league’s overall attendance being up 2% on the season.

“Hope”: Top Five Reasons That Creativity is the Key to Economic Survival

1. Because of increased interest in the NFL’s first New York Super Bowl, the league is encouraging its licensing partners to make merchandise available to fans earlier than usual, according to Terry Lefton of SportsBusiness Daily. Super Bowl products will go on sale in late April, as opposed to July or August in most other years.

2. The new college football championship game will not have a title sponsor, according to BCS executive director Bill Hancock. Hancock cited the Final Four, The Masters, and the Super Bowl as marquee events without corporate naming rights. The game’s official name will be announced next month.

3. NASCAR star Jeff Gordon appeared in a new Pepsi Max commercial in which he dresses in a disguise and takes a Chevy Camero for a test drive. Pepsi Max previously disguised NBA guard Kyrie Irving in a pickup basketball game. The spot featuring Gordon has been well received on Twitter.

4. The NHL recently met with the Los Angeles Kings to assess the feasibility of hosting an outdoor game in the city next year. Interest amongst NHL executives has been divided, but the league’s portable rink can be set up in a warm climate. Dodger Stadium is the frontrunner to host an L.A. game.

5. The Houston Astros are considering relocating their Spring Training site from Central Florida to somewhere on the state’s east coast when their current lease expires in 2016. The Astros could end up as far south as Ft. Lauderdale, which hasn’t had a Spring Training team since the Orioles moved in 2009.

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Beyond the Scoreboard
Rick Horrow, America’s leading expert in sport business, and coauthor Karla Swatek give fans an inside look at the multibillion-dollar world of professional sport.
Beyond the Scoreboard eBook
Rick Horrow, America’s leading expert in sport business, and coauthor Karla Swatek give fans an inside look at the multibillion-dollar world of professional sport.
Beyond the Scoreboard: Chapter 1. The Mega-Master Super Series XLXL eBook chapter

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