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Winners and Losers--April 26, 2013


By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek

April 26, 2013

NFL

Winner: The Charlotte City Council unanimously approved giving the Carolina Panthers $87.5 million to help renovate Bank of America Stadium. In exchange for the public funds, the Panthers, who own the stadium, agreed to keep the team in Charlotte for the next six years.

Loser: Lucas Oil CEO Forrest Lucas is upset with the lack of primetime home games on the Indianapolis Colts’ 2013 schedule. Lucas Oil pays $6 million annually for naming rights to the Colts’ stadium. This is the first time the CEO of a company with stadium naming rights has publicly complained about the team’s schedule.

What it means: Lucas is particularly upset that of the Colts’ six primetime games this season, only one is in Indianapolis, hurting Lucas Oil’s opportunity for exposure on the West Coast. Unfortunately for Lucas, part of the risk in buying naming rights is having no control over scheduling.

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College Sports

Winner: The 15 current and future ACC schools agreed to a grant of media rights, meaning the conference retains a school’s TV revenue through 2027 even if they leave the league. The grant of rights essentially guarantees no school will leave the conference, and could be the forerunner to an ACC TV network.

Loser: IMG College’s five-year agreement to sell sponsorships for the NCAA quietly expired earlier this year without a renewal, according to Michael Smith of SportsBusiness Journal. During their partnership, IMG College landed the NCAA deals with Capital One, Hershey, Kraft, LG and UPS.

What it means: The ACC is now the fourth major conference with a grant of TV rights, joining the Big Ten, Big 12, and Pac-12. Given that a majority of the prominent football schools are now in conferences with a grant of rights, we’ve likely seen the end of high-profile realignment.

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NASCAR

Winner: If a bill to help Daytona International Speedway passes in the Florida state legislature, the track could expect to receive more than $70 million in sales tax rebates over the next three decades. The sales tax rebate is important for International Speedway Corp. to self-fund a $250 million DIS renovation.

Loser: Axalta Coating Systems, the company that last year bought DuPont’s car paint business, has had a challenging time using Jeff Gordon’s NASCAR sponsorship in its rebranding. Not only have fans been slow to adapt to the new name, but also Gordon has had trouble not saying DuPont.

What it means: Daytona International Speedway wants the sales tax rebate to get the same treatment other professional sports teams in the state receive. While the tracks parent company, ISC, likely will move forward with renovation plans regardless of whether the rebate is granted, not getting the money would change the size and scope of the project.

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Olympics

Winner: Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter says the city is “enthusiastically embracing” the possibility of bidding on the 2024 Summer Olympics. The USOC earlier this year sent invitations to 35 cities to gauge their interest in hosting the Games. The U.S. hasn’t hosted the Summer Olympics since Atlanta in 1996.

Loser: Organizers of the Sochi Olympics plan to make all ticket holders apply for a “spectator’s pass” in order to enter the Olympic Park. While the passes will help allay security concerns, the limited information about the application procedure and cost is leading some hospitality agencies to consider hiring extra staff to handle the process.

What it means: Though voting is still four years away, the U.S. has to be considered the odd’s on favorite to be awarded the 2024 Summer Olympics because of the long hosting drought. In addition to Philadelphia, Los Angeles also has expressed strong interest in hosting the Games.

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NBA

Winner: The Orlando Magic are moving forward with a $100 million sports & entertainment complex next to Amway Arena. The project is expected to include an office tower, hotel, parking garage, and restaurants, and the team hopes to break ground next year.

Loser: The Miami Heat could have difficulty keeping their star-studded team together after next season because of the NBA’s luxury tax rules. The new collective bargaining agreement deters Heat-like “superteams” by imposing a crippling tax on repeat salary cap violators.

What it means: The Heat’s big three can all opt out of their contracts after next season, a move each player is expected to make in order to secure another long-term deal. Keeping them together in Miami likely would require the stars to leave money on the table, even more than when they came together in 2010.




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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.
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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.
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