By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek
March 26, 2012
“Bust”: Top Five Reasons the Armageddon is Near
1. Bank of America has dramatically cut its NASCAR spending in recent months, deciding not to renew sponsorships at nine racetracks, discontinuing NASCAR-themed cards, and ending loyalty programs. The Charlotte-based bank is working on cutting expenses and refocusing customer outreach.
2. The University of North Carolina’s college football bowl ban could have far-reaching implications for the athletic department. Contracts with Nike and Learfield Sports, two of UNC’s biggest sponsors, include clauses that allow the companies to pay the school less for a postseason ban. A cut from either company would put UNC’s athletic department in the red.
3. Fry’s Electronics has expressed concerns over continuing its sponsorship of the PGA Tour’s Frys.com Open because of the tournament’s status. PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem is considering a proposal to award only half-FedEx Cup points for events in the Tour’s Fall Series.
4. Former Houston Astros first baseman Lance Berkman feels MLB Commissioner Bud Selig “extorted” new owner Jim Crane into moving the team to the American League. Public perception is that the league held up Crane’s purchase of the Astros until he agreed to the move.
5. Fans at Oracle Arena booed Golden State Warriors owner Joe Lacob during a ceremony for Hall of Famer Chris Mullin for trading star Monta Ellis. Both Mullin and fellow HOFer Rick Barry tried calming the crowd, but every time Lacob spoke, boos returned.
“Boom”: Top Five Reasons that Prosperity is Right Around the Corner
1. The Hornets’ future in New Orleans is secure after the team signed a binding lease with the city through 2024. Additionally, the NBA, which owns the team, has narrowed down the field of buyers to two groups, with a $350 million sale expected within the next month.
2. TaylorMade-adidas announced plans to buy all of the outstanding shares of Adams Golf for $70 million. The deal represents a 71% premium to the share price prior to Adams’ announcement in January that it was examining strategic alternatives. The deal is expected to close later this year.
3. MLB teams spent nearly $90 million last year on international signing bonuses, up 12% from 2010, according to Baseball America. The total excludes Cuban defector Yoenis Cespedes and Japanese pro Yu Darvish. Texas led all teams with $13 million in international signing bonuses.
4. The University of Texas can expect to make $400,000-500,000 next March by hosting second and third round NCAA tournament games. Schools get to keep up to 20% of ticket and novelty sales, while the NCAA pays team expenses. In the past, early round tournament games have conflicted with Austin’s South by Southwest Musical Festival.
5. Fast-food restaurant Bojangles has signed a five-year deal to title sponsor the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway. The race had been without a long-term naming rights partner since Dodge pulled its title sponsorship in 2009. As terms of the deal, Bojangles will serve its food at five ISC-owned tracks.
“Hope”: Top Five Reasons That Creativity is the Key to Economic Survival
1. The PGA Tour announced changes to its qualifying structure, making the Nationwide Tour the primary feeder system. Beginning in 2013, all 50 PGA Tour cards will be awarded via a three-tournament series featuring the top 75 Nationwide golfers and PGA Tour pros ranked 126-200 in FedExCup points.
2. Canada’s OMNI Television chose last Friday’s Toronto Raptors-New York Knicks game for its first full-Mandarin broadcast. Canada has seen rapid growth in its Chinese population in recent decades, and the game was a natural choice given Knicks PG Jeremy Lin.
3. NASCAR is seeking a new advertising agency that can help increase the sport’s youth and multicultural fan bases. The project’s budget is expected to be much more than the $24 million NASCAR spent on measured media in 2011.
4. ESPN and Fox Sports are expected to share broadcast and cable programming rights for Big 12 football when a new TV deal is announced in coming weeks, according to Michael Smith and John Ourand of SportsBusiness Daily. The deal will be similar to how ESPN and Fox Sports share Pac-12 rights.
5. Los Angeles Lakers investor Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong has joined SAC Capital’s Steven Cohen’s bid for the Dodgers. Meanwhile, a group led by Shamrock Holdings President & CEO Stanley Gold and the Disney family was reinstated into the Dodgers bidding, leaving five groups in contention for the team.