Archive

Author Archive

NFL UK Creating New NFL Sponsorships

October 24, 2011 1 comment

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced that the NFL has signed an agreement to continue to play regular season NFL games in Britain through 2016. Commissioner Goodell has begun conversations with several NFL teams about playing in Britain on a regular basis.

Commissioner Goodell is accepting volunteers to play in Britain over the next four seasons.

This week we seen the Tampa Bay Buccaneers play the Chicago Bears in London,  the second game in three years Tampa Bay has played in London.

It didn’t take long for companies to jump at the sponsorship opportunity of NFL UK. The first being Papa Johns, currently the official pizza sponsor of NFL in the U.S. Papa Johns has now signed an agreement to become the official sponsor of NFL in U.K. Shortly after Chrysler signed an agreement to become the official auto sponsor of the NFL in UK. Chrysler started promoting before the Tampa Bay vs Chicago game this past week with activation booths at the pre-games. Chrysler, among other incentives will have participation in key events such as the Super Bowl. The agreement also includes sponsorship of Sky Sports which is live coverage of the NFL during the 2011 season.

I’ve seen games overseas before and it has crossed my mind how sponsorship rights would work for these games. I assumed that the NFL, regardless of where it was played, would be treated as one entity. Obviously this is not the case. I believe this could potentially be good for companies looking to either improve exposure through the NFL or companies looking to expand to an international market. On the other hand it can be somewhat annoying for companies who are currently official sponsors of the NFL. While it currently is only one game per season, Commissioner Goodell would like to expand to multiple games a season. A small problem with that is this could intrude on the territory of  companies with currently have deals with the NFL US as I believe their would be a slight confusion of who was the NFL sponsor and who was the UK. Also, like I stated before Chrysler will have activities and promotions during the Super Bowl and on Sky Sports. While for Papa Johns, who is the official sponsor of both NFL US and UK has nothing to be concerned about, General Motors, the current official auto sponsor of the NFL US may have a reason to be upset. Now they will have Chrysler practically competing as the NFL Official Auto Sponsor.

I wonder who will be the next to jump at the opportunity to sponsor NFL UK.

United States in Olympic Lockout

August 31, 2011 1 comment

It seems money is standing between the United States and hosting the Olympic Games

Every four years the world comes together despite any conflict or disagreements to participate in the Olympic Games. The Summer Games brings competitive sports such as Track & Field, Basketball, Swimming and Diving to the worlds eyes. We all remember Michael Phelps eight gold medals of the 2008 Beijing games or the 2004 Athens games where the United States lost in the 400m Relay by a step to Great Britain. What many don’t remember is the last time the United States hosted the Summer Olympic Games. Unfortunately, this will continue as the United States Olympic Committee has announced they will not be bidding for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games.

USOC spokesman Patrick Sandusky released a statement stating “Our focus is on other things,” including preparations for next year’s summer games in London and ongoing negotiations for a new revenue-sharing arrangement with the International Olympic Committee (IOC). “That precluded us from being focused on any sort of bidding process”

USOC Spokesman Patrick Sandusky

Apparently the bidding was cancelled due to a revenue split dispute between the USOC and the IOC. Currently the United States sponsors generate the most revenue and naturally the USOC receives the biggest portion of this revenue at nearly 13 percent of the Television money and 20 percent of the sponsorship money. The current revenue spilt has resulted in a troubled relationship with the IOC. It is because of this relationship that the U.S. has failed in two previous bids for the Olympic Games including the most recent Chicago bid for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games that will be hosted in Rio. Sandusky stated “Until that deal is done we would not be in a position to potentially bid.” U.S. cities such as Las Vegas, Tulsa, Minneapolis, Dallas, New York, and Chicago were interested in potentially hosting the 2020 Summer Games.

The United States has not hosted the Summer Games since the 1996 Atlanta Games.

Olympic Stadium in Atlanta, GA in 1996

With the U.S. not bidding for the 2020 games the U.S. will go at least 28 years until they host a Summer games.  I remember when I was seven years old driving through Atlanta and seeing all the glory that is the Olympic Games. An experience I believe to many American citizens are being stripped of because a money dispute. Sound familiar? Seems as if we have just ended the NFL Lockout, just started the NBA Lockout, now we have another Lockout on our hands. Lockout seems to be the trend of the year in the sports world. Just to give you a idea of how long its been since the Summer Games was hosted on American Soil lets see what has changed since 1996:

  • Bill Clinton was President (Good Times)
  • U.S. average gas price per gallon was $1.23 ( less than a 1/3 of what it is today)
  • “Macarena” was on the top of the Billboard 100 (Ha!)
  • E.R. on NBC was the most popular T.V. Show
  • Dallas Cowboys won Super Bowl XXX
  • Chicago beat Seattle in the NBA Finals (Yeah, Seattle)
I believe the list above speaks for itself. If we’ve learned anything from the NFL Lockout is that when it comes to money, two parties will not give up easy. Unlike the NFL Labor Dispute the demands are not clearly cut out. Whatever it takes I hope the USOC and the IOC reach their deal while I’m still young. If its money the USOC is concerned about, they will make plenty of it by entering a bid and potentially hosting the games.. Their are several short term and long term benefits to hosting the Olympic Games such as the creation of tens of thousands of jobs, increase tourism revenue, new facilities that will bring in revenue to the host city, and also the groups and events the Olympics will bring during and after the Games.Moral of the story, its been to long. We need to bring the games back to the United States!

L.A. in the Market for a NFL Franchise

July 26, 2011 7 comments

In the last few years we’ve heard the rumors that Los Angeles was close to bringing a NFL franchise back to the city. Los Angeles has a history of stealing NFL Franchises away first with the St Louis Rams in 1946, then with the Oakland Raiders in 1982.

Rending of the $1 Billion stadium courtesy of Los Angeles Times

Nearly 40 years later L.A.  is at it again attempting to entice a NFL franchise to move back to the City of Angels. Recently the city of L.A.  released a draft of a “Memorandum of Understanding”  which is a basic outline of an agreement between AEG and the city to build the $275 million dollar wing on the Los Angeles Convention Center and the attached Farmer Field for a $1.2 billion stadium and events center. AEG President Tim Leiweke  is hoping to have the city council vote July 31st on whether they will issue the nearly $300 million in bonds and approve the deal, but recently stated he expects it to slip into August. At this present moment this means very little as the official deal would be about one year away. The agreement also states that construction cannot begin until a NFL team has signed a contact to play at Farmer Field. There has also been a little competition within the city.

This image provided by AEG shows the proposed NFL stadium, to be named Farmers Field in Los Angeles. It would have approximately 72,000 seats, with 200 luxury seats and 15,000 club seats.

Ed Roski’s real estate development company Majestic Reality has had permits in place for nearly two years for its 75,000 stadium east of L.A. but has not secured a NFL team.

So who’s it going to be? With the agreement getting slightly closer, five potential teams have been thrown in the conversation. The teams being the San Diego Chargers, St Louis Rams, Oakland Raiders, Jacksonville Jaguars, and the Minnesota Vikings. All teams in different markets with the exception of Oakland and San Diego. Currently San Diego is the favorite as they started in L.A. at Coliseum and also have tried desperately to get a new stadium to replace their 45-year-old Qualcomm Stadium. ESPNLA announces that

“The Chargers can announce their intentions to leave San Diego between Feb. 1 and April 30 of each year through 2020 if they pay off the bonds, which currently would be about $26 million, used to expand Qualcomm in 1997.”

But dont count out the other four teams. At this point it could be any team who moves to Los Angeles. I believe you could make a good argument for each team. As for attendance the Oakland Raiders could use the most help as they have not only the lowest attendance of the five potential teams, but they also recorded the second lowest attendance in 2008 next to the Detroit Lions with 462,000. The Oakland Raiders also had the lowest value of any NFL Franchise  in 2009 at $797 million with an operating income at -$5.7 million according to Forbes.com . It seems as far as numbers, the Raiders could use the most assistance. Not to mention with the NFL sharing ticket revenue taking one of the lowest ranking teams in attendance and potentially making them a top 10 ranking as far as attendance could be very good for all teams. Regardless L.A. will bring a strong fan base and a high atmosphere to whomever chooses to come in addition to a new stadium in a high entertainment market. Oakland has my vote, but what do you think?

Rutgers Coach Proposes Alternative to Kickoff


Rutgers Head Coach Greg Schiano

After watching Junior Defensive End Eric Legrand lay helplessly on the field after a head collision last October, Head Coach Greg Schiano begin thinking of a way to make the game of football safer that help prevent an injury from happening in the future for all levels. It is no secret that Kickoffs are one, if not, the most dangerous part of the game of football. For this reason the NFL recently moved the Kickoff to the 35 yard line to lessen the chance of injury. Coach Schiano proposed a Kickoff Alternative that would be safer for all players while not drastically changing the game.

Schiano Plan:

“Replace all kickoffs with a punting situation, including after the opening coin toss and to start the second half. So, as an example, when Team A scores a touchdown, it immediately gets the ball back on a fourth and 15 from its own 30-yard line. It can punt it back to Team B — the most likely outcome and a safer play since the bigger collisions usually happen on kickoffs. Or it can line up and go for the first down, essentially replacing an onside kick with an offensive play that would require more skill than luck.”

I personally think this has potential to considered at the Collegiate and Professional level. It keeps returns in the game and also provides an opportunity for a team to retain possession. Punting from the 30 would result in a similar outcome as an average kickoff. In the 2010 season the smallest average for a starting punter in the National Football League was 40.1 yards. With the average punt return near ten yards players would fall short of the 40 yard line. This is a double edge issue as teams with elite punt returners such as the Chicago Bears, New England Patriots, or San Francisco 49ers, will have a strong advantage and could potentially start a majority of their drives on their opponents side of the field. Another issue would be the 4th and 15 option instead of punting. While one would think being on their own 30 would be enough of a risk to influence coaches to punt, many teams have players who average 15 yards. In 2010 21 WR/TE averaged 15.0 yards  per catch or more, with several more averaging 14.0 yards per catch or more. Not saying that coaches would choose to go for it after every score, but it would be well in their grasp. I believe making the 4th and 15 a 4th and 20 would be a slighty more difficult and would reflect the difficulty of an onside kick  more accurately.

Schiano was also questioned whether the receiving team would be allowed to attempt a block of the initial punt. When asked Schiano said “I don’t think that’s what you’re looking to do with this. Maybe that’s not an option – maybe you can’t block the punt because that’s not what you’re looking to accomplish here. Maybe it’s one of those deals like in an All-Star Game where you can’t block the punt, that it would have to be all return game.” One scenario I thought about when I read the details of this rule is the possibility of a team dominating the time of possession. Think of all the shoot out games where teams trade punches for the entire game. The entire game is filled with big plays and at the end it is the team who has the ball last that wins. In a game where there is little defense a team could potentially score, be successful on a 4th and 15, and repeat. The opposing team could have a hand full of possessions the entire game. Yes it is a long shot, but in certain games where it is all offense for both teams it could happen.

I personally love Kickoffs. I don’t believe the hype before a Kickoff would be the same if it was a Punt. That being said you cannot put a price on how safe the game could be and with the recent emphasis on players safety in the NFL I believe this idea is at the very least worth considering.

What do you think?

Viewing Parties Potential as the Next Best Thing


Through out the NBA Playoffs we’ve seen the Miami Heat and recently the Dallas Mavericks host Watching Parties when their team was on the road. These parties are free, with the exception of parking, and give the fans a home game feeling as hundreds of fans usually show up to support their team as they watch on the big screen.

Miami Heat fans gather outside American Airlines Arena to watch Game 5 of the Heat vs Bulls series

Seeing the reaction of the Dallas fans at their home arena during Game 2 of the NBA Finals as well as how many fans there were I begin to think, what if this became a every game thing in the NBA Finals and maybe during the regular season for highly anticipated games? Also what if teams sold tickets to these viewing parties?

Dallas fans watch their Mavericks play the Oklahoma City Thunder in the American Airline Center.

Teams could make revenue on both home and away games during the post-season. Fans always gather together to watch big games. Friends get together, either at home or at bars and restaurants, order food, and cheer on their team. Fans would be able to gather in bigger groups and watch games at their home arena with hundreds of other fans. It’s no secret that games are more entertaining to watch when you are surrounded by people who support the same team.

Tickets for Viewing Parties would be sold at the beginning of each series.  Initially tickets would be general admission, but could potentially lead to normal game seating based on demand. To encourage more fans to purchase these tickets, each ticket could include some sort of concession discount or coupon. Fans gather together to watch games as is, certainly given the opportunity to watch their game not only together, but in their home arena fans would come in packs. In-Game Promotions could be used for giveaways and contests just as they would be if the game was being played at that arena. You would want to create a near identical game experience. The revenue from these Viewing Parties would not  a franchise, but it would be revenue none the less and you can never have to much of that.

I believe this idea has the potential to take off, not only in Basketball, but Hockey as well. With a series Hockey fans could watch games in their home arena.  I know WHEN the Pistons make the finals again I’d love to go back to the Palace and watch a game on the big screen.

Tressels Resignation Warning to All NCAA Coaches

June 1, 2011 1 comment

As a Michigan alumni part of me could only be happy to see the Ohio State Buckeyes face such penalties.  After leaving Ann Arbor without a victory over Ohio State my dislike only grew. At the same time I could only feel slightly sorry for the Buckeyes considering what they will lose in the two to three years pending they lose some of their top players.

Over the years we’ve heard of several players being paid at several universities. Weather it be Chris Webber at the University of Michigan, O.J. Mayo at USC, or Joe McKnight at USC we’ve heard it a million times. Each time the NCAA issues a punishment and the regret the institution feels is temporary. So when Tressel finally resigned I begin to think, since I’m all but certain more universities are paying players, what are these players thinking at this time? As much as it hurts me to say it, Jim Tressel has been a very successful coach. One National Championship with several other visits to the big game in addition to a handful of Big Ten Championships. Tressel has helped Ohio State consistently be considered a National Contender. But even with this impressive resume he has fallen. So as a coach who has had ANY involvement in a student-athlete being paid any form compensation other than their scholarship how do you react? The NCAA will eventually find you out, they always do. These stories always reach the surface at one point in time whether it be while the player in question is playing or the player has moved on to a professional career. If I were in that situation I’d be shaking in my shoes at this point. Penalties will only get worse. I wouldnt be surprised if a program gets the “Death Penalty” in the future for similar penalties.

Detroit Pistons Still in Need of Owner


The Pistons have gone nearly there entire season without an owner. In the past three months their have been several potential owners come forth and express their interest, but for one reason or another their interest eventually dwindles. Before the Pistons can become a threat in the league, they need someone to make the off court decisions.

In the last few months the Pistons have grasped the interest of big times names like Magic Johnson, George Postolos, Mike Illitch, and Tom Gores. All four investors very successful in their respected area of business. Johnson, without saying a great player in his day with the Los Angeles Lakers, George Postolos a former executive with the Houston Rockets as well as with the NBA, Mike Illitch current owner of both the Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Tigers among other venues, and Tom Gores, a home town man now residing in California with a Net Worth of $2.2 Billion. Like I stated before three months ago it was anyones team. All four investors had claimed to set up meetings with the Pistons to move forward in the deal, but as time went on many of these investors begin to drop out. Magic Johnson was the first name on the list to disappear

ar, with no official reasoning. After Johnson Mike Illitch entered a 30-day Negotiation with the Pistons Organization. Local fans were excited about the thought of Illitch expanding his ownership to the Detroit Pistons. Plans  surfaced stating that Illitch would move the Pistons back to Detroit. In doing this Illitch would build a new arena to replace the Palace and Joe Louis arena that would host both the Pistons and the Red Wings and it would be located in the heart of Detroit near Ford Field and Comerica Park. This would make the heart of Detroit an Entertainment hotspot with all four major sports as well as the MGM Casino within five minutes. Unfortunately, this deal would fall through. In December Illitched announced he would not be purchasing the Pistons. It was said that the deal fell through due

Tom Gores is a Flint, MI native and Michigan State graduate

to inflations of revenues by the Detroit Pistons. Once Illitch knew this information he offered Karen Davidson, who currently owns the Pistons, less and it was said that the deal eventually dwinlded. Most recently is Flint native and Michigan State Grad Tom Gores. Following Illitch’s purchase falling through Gores entered his name in bidding for the Pistons. Weeks after the initial rumors surfaced it was announced that Gores had entered his 30-Day Negotiation period with Davidson. After four weeks it was announced that no deal had been made and it seemed as Davidson was back t square one with no potential owners. Fortunately it was announced that Gores was given a two-week extension to continue negotiations with Davidson. Soon after more rumors came out that Davidson and Gores had reached a deal. One article even gave specific details of the deal. Davidson has announced that no deal has been met, but negotiations continue.

The Pistons on court performance is nothing to be proud of, but I believe you need someone steering the ship to help that. Everyone wants to blame specific players, Coach Kuester, and even Joe Dumars, but you  need an Owner who has the best interest of the organization in mind before you can expect the Detroit Pistons to get back to Contending for a NBA Title.