By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek
November 12, 2012
“Bust”: Top Five Reasons the Armageddon is Near
1. London’s Olympic Stadium may not reopen until at least 2016, as the London Legacy Development Corporation continues weighing bids for the facility’s long-term future. Retrofitting the building for EPL soccer or possibly even a NFL team will require a substantial renovation.
2. Several pieces of black tarp fell from the Sleep Train Arena rafters during a Sacramento Kings game last week. The tarp incident is the latest in a series of embarrassing moments for the Kings, who have publicly feuded with the city over a new arena and are looking to relocate.
3. MLS club Sporting KC is reevaluating its relationship with the Livestrong Foundation following the most recent Lance Armstrong’s revelations. As part of Sporting KC’s unique stadium naming rights deal, the club each year donates money to Livestrong, rather than receiving annual payments for the rights.
4. NASCAR drivers are half as likely as other athletes to interact with fans on social media, according to a study cited by Tripp Mickle of SportsBusiness Journal. NASCAR sponsors historically have focused on personal appearances in race markets, and have been slower to activate driver engagement online.
5. Much to the disappointment of his team’s fans, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones says he won’t give up his role as general manager. Jones last week told NBC’s Bob Costas that he would have fired a GM with the same record as his. The Cowboys last made the Super Bowl in 1996.
“Boom”: Top Five Reasons that Prosperity is Right Around the Corner
1. The Ontario Municipal Board rejected all appeals against the proposed $400 million Canadian Motor Speedway, paving the way for the facility to begin construction. Track officials will try to attract NASCAR races, rock concerts, and an outdoor NHL game.
2. The U.S. Olympic Committee generated a record $115 million in retail sales through the London Games, easily topping its goal of $100 million. Sales were boosted by new licensing deals, which helped increase the USOC’s distribution from three major outlets during the 2010 Vancouver Games to eight for London.
3. NBA licensing revenue for the league’s 2012 fiscal year was up over the previous season despite a lockout and 16 fewer games per team. League executives, who expected revenue to fall 25%, attributed the growth to the Jeremy Lin phenomenon and improved play of big market teams.
4. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell reaffirmed his optimism that the Atlanta Falcons will get a new retractable roof stadium to replace the Georgia Dome. The Falcons are negotiating with the city and state to receive partial public financing for the proposed $1 billion stadium.
5. MLS teams averaged 18,807 fans per game over the 2012 regular season, up 5% from last year and marking the league’s best ever attendance. Eleven teams posted year-over-year gains, with the Houston Dynamo experiencing an MLS-best 18.8% growth in the club’s first season at BBVA Compass Stadium.
“Hope”: Top Five Reasons That Creativity is the Key to Economic Survival
1. An arbitration hearing regarding the St. Louis Rams’ Edward Jones Dome lease has been set for January. The three arbitrators will be charged with determining what renovations are required for the dome to be considered a “first-tier” NFL facility. If Edward Jones Dome isn’t one of the top eight stadiums in the league by the end of the 2014 season, the Rams are free to break their lease and move.
2. USA Luge agreed to a promotional partnership with Valiant Entertainment that will have the comic book company design the team’s practice and competition suits through the 2014 Sochi Olympics. The deal marks the first time an entertainment company has outfitted a national sports organization with uniforms inspired by a comic book character.
3. The NBA and Sony Six reached a multiyear TV deal that makes the network the league’s exclusive broadcast partner in India. The deal includes rights to live games, grassroots basketball events, and an effort to create local programming featuring Bollywood stars.
4. NASCAR in partnership with the Arizona Small Business Association debuted a new networking platform to connect Arizona-based business with official NASCAR sponsors. Phoenix follows Charlotte as the second NASCAR city to roll out a “Business Series” event.
5. New field-level digital boards at Mexican national team soccer matches has helped generate new revenue for Soccer United Marketing, the team’s marketing rights holder, according to Christopher Botta of SportsBusiness Journal. Sources estimate the digital signage generate $20,000 per minute for SUM.