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Sports News / Dealmaking / Business / Marketing / Endorsement / Legal Issues for the week of August 18

Sports News / Dealmaking / Business / Marketing / Endorsement / Legal Issues for the week of August 18

By Rick Horrow and Karlaw Swatek
August 18, 2014

  1. Steve Ballmer has officially taken ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers, seemingly putting to end the tumultuous Donald Sterling saga. Ballmer’s $2 billion purchase price is a record for an NBA team. The former Microsoft CEO insisted he has no interest in moving the team to Seattle.
  2. Most Stewart-Haas sponsors have withheld comment since Tony Stewart accidentally killed a fellow racecar driver. Stewart could begin to lose sponsors even without criminal charges being pressed against him. Among Stewart’s sponsors are blue chip companies such as Coca-Cola, Chevrolet, and Mobil
  3. Basketball Hall of Famer Magic Johnson expects L.A. to have an NFL team in the next two years. Between Farmers Field and Ed Roski’s project, the region has two stadium options. Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis whose team doesn’t have a stadium lease beyond this season, recently met with city officials.
  4. Philadelphia-based hedge fund manager Andrew Barroway is suing New York Islanders owner Charles Wang for reneging on a deal to sell the team. Barroway says he agreed to buy the team for $420 million before Wang changed his mind and demanded $548 million.
  5. U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch is threatening congressional review against the NCAA over concerns that the body’s new governance structure could create an uneven playing field. The NCAA D-I BOD last week voted to give increased autonomy to the Power Five conferences: the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac 12, and SEC.
  6. The University of Maryland has agreed to pay the ACC $31 million to settle its move to the Big Ten. The sum is a record for a realignment exit fee, but less than the $52 million the conference originally sought. To ease Maryland’s transition to the conference – and likely to cover its ACC exit fee – the Big Ten gave the school a $20-30 million travel stipend.
  7. The NFL’s new sideline tablets face logistical challenges, as some stadiums aren’t equipped to handle a large WiFi burden. The Surface tablets by league sponsor Microsoft are meant to replicate the old system of transmitting photos from the coaches’ box to the sideline.
  8. The newly christened Arizona Coyotes signed a nine-year arena naming rights deal with Arizona-based Gila River Casinos. The deal is the first naming rights agreement for Gila River Casinos and the first tribal naming rights deal for a sports venue that houses a “Big Four” U.S. sports team.
  9. The Milwaukee Bucks have introduced a new ticket promotion giving fans the opportunity to get 2015-16 season tickets for free. The “Cheer The Future” promotion requires fans to commit to two years of season tickets with year two discounts based on how many games they attend during year one.
  10. DirecTV unveiled a commercial to promote its new channel dedicated to fantasy football and featuring the Manning brothers. In the spot, the brothers reprise their roles as rappers following last summer’s popular “Football on Your Phone” commercial.
  11. Mars has signed a multiyear contract extension with Joe Gibbs Racing to continue sponsoring Kyle Busch’s No. 18 Sprint Cup Series Toyota. M&M’s has sponsored Busch since his move from Hendrick to JGR in 2008. Also in NASCAR, Hendrick Motorsports announced that 3M agreed to a three-year deal to sponsor the No. 24 Chevrolet driven by Jeff Gordon.
  12. The Race Team Alliance has added nine new members, bringing the total number of NASCAR Sprint Cup teams in the association to 18 teams and 37 cars, according to Tripp Mickle of SportsBusiness Journal. The association was designed to help teams cut costs and increase revenue.
  13. The use of analytics in the NHL is becoming increasingly popular as teams have more access to advanced statistics. Within the next couple years, the NHL could sign a deal with SportVU, which tracks in-game player motion and has a league-wide deal with the NBA.
  14. Portland Trailblazers star Lamarcus Aldridge says sponsorship deals are hard to come by playing in the Northwest. Aldridge only has two national endorsement deals, one with Nike and one with Vita Coco coconut water. Aldridge will be a free agent after next season, but he’s expected to resign with Portland.
  15. The University of Michigan will wear all-blue jerseys for its October “Under the Lights” nighttime game against Penn State. The game marks the first time in Michigan’s storied history that the school is wearing all-blue jerseys and just the third night game at Michigan Stadium.


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