By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek
October 29, 2012
“Bust”: Top Five Reasons the Armageddon is Near
1. The UFL has suspended the rest of the 2012 season amid poor finances. The league, which has lost more than $120 million in the last four years, blames the high cost of workers compensation insurance for its money problems. League officials hope to conclude the regular season in the spring.
2. PepsiCo is cutting its NASCAR spending by an estimated $20 million a year for the next three years, according to Tripp Mickle of SportsBusiness Journal. Pepsi had been paying Hendrick Motorsports up to $30 million annually to sponsor Dale Earnhardt Jr., but the company and team are finalizing a smaller deal worth approximately $10 million per season. The new agreement leaves Earnhardt, NASCAR’s most popular driver, without a main sponsor.
3. ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy thinks the NBA blocked his brother from getting a job with the network. Stan Van Gundy reportedly had agreed to a deal with ESPN before the offer was rescinded, presumably because of his tenuous relationship with NBA Commissioner David Stern.
4. The PGA Tour Tampa Bay Championship has been unable to find a new title sponsor since Transitions Optical decided not to renew its contract beyond this year. The Tour will incur any costs not covered by sponsors for next year’s tournament, but without a title partner, the event’s future after 2013 is uncertain.
5. Texas football coach Mack Brown doesn’t like the school’s Longhorn Network because he feels the channel gives opponents a competitive advantage. Brown says he spends at least six hours a week away from his team because of LHN commitments, and their televised practices provide opponents with ancillary footage to analyze.
“Boom”: Top Five Reasons that Prosperity is Right Around the Corner
1. Rory McIlroy is rumored to be joining Nike in a 10-year, $250 million deal when his endorsement contract with Titleist/Footjoy expires at the end of this year. With Tiger Woods still the face of Nike, it’s unclear whether McIlroy will share top billing or if he’s being groomed to take over for Woods.
2. The Teachers’ Retirement System of Texas has reached a preliminary deal to buy 3% of Formula 1 for $200 million from the estate of Lehman Brothers. If finalized, it would be the first reduction in Lehman’s 15% F1 stake since the bank collapsed in September 2008.
3. The University of Southern Cal posted a school record $84.2 million in athletic department revenue during the 2011-12 academic year. Increased donations and corporate sponsorships were cited for the revenue growth, which came despite NCAA sanctions and a football bowl ban.
4. Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores has committed to spending $25 million over the next three years on capital improvements at the Palace of Auburn Hills. Among the expected projects are a new blue-and-silver color scheme and renovation of 40 corporate suites.
5. The Washington Redskins signed Bon Secours Health System to be the title sponsor of a new $10 million training facility the team plans on building in Richmond, Virginia. The facility will be built on state land in exchange for an eight-year pledge from the Redskins to hold training camp in Richmond.
“Hope”: Top Five Reasons That Creativity is the Key to Economic Survival
1. While the Buffalo Bills are working on extending their Ralph Wilson Stadium lease, the Greater Buffalo Sports & Entertainment Complex presented a proposal to the city council to build a new $1.4 billion retractable-roof stadium that would double as a convention center. The proposal doesn’t yet have the backing of the Bills, the NFL, or local politicians.
2. Tiger Woods has broken ground on a golf course in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, and when the project is finished in the spring of 2014, it likely will be Woods’ first completed course. Woods previously was attached to courses in Ashville, North Carolina, and Dubai, both of which fell victim to money problems.
3. IndyCar driver Ryan Hunter-Reay believes the circuit could have a street race near Ft. Lauderdale Beach as soon as next fall. The Izod IndyCar Series for the last year-and-a-half has been exploring a race in Ft. Lauderdale, having last visited South Florida at Homestead Motor Speedway in 2010.
4. The WNBA-champion Indiana Fever and Finish Line reached a sponsorship deal that includes putting the retailer’s logo on Fever jerseys. The Fever is the sixth WNBA team to land a jersey sponsor, joining the Liberty, Mercury, Mystics, Sparks and Storm.
5. A report released by the Association of Governing Boards of Colleges and Universities called on university presidents and trustees to take a more active role in governing college sports. The report also called on school administrators to take a closer look at the role of the NCAA.