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Winners and Losers--November 4, 2013


By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek

November 4, 2013

 

NBA

Winner: Samsung and the NBA announced a multiyear deal making the company the league’s official handset, tablet, and TV provider. The deal is valued at $100 million over three years, and will result in Samsung installing courtside monitors for refs to use during replays.

Loser: As the Golden State Warriors await approval for their proposed San Francisco waterfront arena, the cost of the project continues to increase. Team owner Joe Lacob said the $170 million it’ll take to rehabilitate S.F. piers is more than expected, and the team faces a shrinking window to open the new building in time for the 2017-18 NBA season.

 

What it means: Between the league-wide sponsorship and its endorsement deal with LeBron James, Samsung is investing heavily marketing around the NBA. The timing couldn’t be better. James is the biggest endorser in the NBA, and Samsung needs a strong marketing campaign as it begins selling the new Galaxy Gear smartwatch.

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Golf

Winner: Sports and entertainment conglomerate Lagardere Unlimited has purchased Crown Sports Management to expand its golf representation practice. The acquisition grows Lagardere’s client list to 43 PGA Tour players including Phil Mickelson, Keegan Bradley, and Davis Love III.

Loser: EA Sports is ending its relationship with Tiger Woods, which lasted 15 years and resulted in 16 video game titles. EA’s decision leaves Woods with just two sponsors who have been with him since before his scandal broke in November 2009. The split is being cast as a mutual decision.

 

What it means: EA Sports isn’t dropping golf altogether. The company is developing a new game for the forthcoming Xbox One and PS4, but no other details are available. In recent years, EA relied on licensing deals with Augusta National and shared covers to boost sales.

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Olympics

Winner: NBC already has sold 90% of its ad inventory for February’s Sochi Winter Olympics, and the network sees a strong probability of selling out soon. According to NBC execs, sales are pacing far ahead of the 2010 Vancouver Games, which still had 30-35% of ads unsold heading into those Olympics.

Loser: Security remains one of the most pressing concerns for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. The U.S. State Department has advised U.S. residents traveling to Russia for the Games that security risks exist just more than 100 miles from some of the venues.

 

What it means: NBC executives say they’ve never seen this strong of demand around ad sales, and they attribute this year’s success to the strong ratings recent Games have delivered. NBC’s effort to more clearly divide ad categories also has helped sales efforts.

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NFL

Winner: The Atlanta Falcons say they won’t back off their elaborate stadium design despite the cost of the project increasing. The stadium’s price tag in recent weeks has grown $200 million to $1.2 billion. The increase won’t affect the amount of taxpayer money going into the project.

Loser: The NFL announced it would end its helmet sponsorship deal with Riddell after the 2013 season. Riddell had rights in perpetuity to be the league’s official helmet, but the two sides earlier this year renegotiated their contract. Approximately one-third of NFL players don’t use a Riddell helmet.

 

What it means: At $1.2 billion, the cost of the new Falcons stadium is equivalent to recent and under construction NFL stadiums in Dallas, Minneapolis, and Santa Clara. The Falcons’ stadium funding breakdown is $800 million from the team, $200 million from the NFL, and $200 million from the city backed by a hotel-motel tax.

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Soccer

Winner: Soccer icon David Beckham reportedly has picked Miami as the market to which he wants to bring a MLS franchise. Beckham, whose MLS contract promised him an expansion team for a discounted $25 million price, currently is looking for investors to help fund a soccer-specific stadium.

Loser: Marred by poor play and discrimination claims, MLS club Chivas USA saw its attendance this season fall 36% compared to last year. The team’s average attendance of 8,366 fans per game was the lowest in MLS in a decade. Montreal was the only other club to experience a double-digit percentage drop.

 

What it means: Assuming Beckham is successful finding investors and building a stadium, a Miami MLS team would have an immediate, natural rivalry with an expected MLS club in Orlando. Concentrating teams in a region could help boost interest in the sport & the league, as evidenced by having three MLS clubs in the Pacific Northwest.




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