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• ESPN said it would add two late-night shows to its programming line-up beginning Jan. 28, 2019: Now or Never (ESPN2) hosted by Steve Covino, Rich Davis, and Janelle Marie Rodriguez; and Ahora o Nunca (ESPN Deportes),hosted by ESPN Deportes’ Mauricio Pedroza, Herculez Gomez and Janelle Marie Rodriguez. The shows “will be dedicated to covering the intersection of sports and pop culture for young, multicultural sports fans.”

• Sports apparel firm Fanatics, which has alliances with most of the major pro sports leagues, has signed its first college deal, with the University of Oregon, to become a licensee, manufacturer and retailer for the University’s apparel, headwear and numerous other product categories. The deal, which begins Jan. 1, 2020, was put at $25 million for ten years by industry analysts. Nike and Columbia Sportswear will remain as prominent University of Oregon partners.

• The 2019 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic between the  Boston Bruins and host Chicago Blackhawks is scheduled for Jan. 1 outdoors in Notre Dame Stadium. Before that happens, Road To The NHL Winter Classic docu-series returns to go behind the scenes with both teams, with the three-week, limited series premiering in the U.S. Dec. 19 on NBCSN (11:30 PM ET).  The series is produced by Ross Greenburg Productions in association with NHL Original Productions.

• Seeking to continue expanding its presence in China, the NFL has signed a digital partnership with Youku, the video entertainment platform for Alibaba Group, intended to “bring high-quality football programming to Chinese fans.” Weekly programming on Youku's sports channel will feature game highlights and behind-the-scenes stories from NFL games, including the Super Bowl, NFL Kickoff, Thanksgiving, NFL Draft and NFL International series.

POLL POSITION

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Class of 2019

• The Cure
• Def Leppard
• Janet Jackson
• Stevie Nicks
• Radiohead
• Roxy Music
• The Zombies

KEEPING SCORE

BABE RUTH MEMORABILIA AUCTION

A live auction is scheduled to take place in Yankee Stadium on June 15, 2019 under the auspices of Hunt Auctions, to include 100s of items from the Babe Ruth family that have been in their possession since he passed away in 1948, most of which have not been seen in public. A portion of the proceeds will go to charity.

Among the items: 
• Babe Ruth Professional Model cleats
• Babe Ruth 60th Home Run Autographed display piece
• Babe Ruth 1934 Tour of Japan Champion Batsman presentational trophy
• Lou Gehrig signed and inscribed photograph to Babe Ruth
• Babe Ruth's 1930-31 New York Yankees "Better year than President" player contract
• Babe Ruth 1935 Boston Braves autographed contract agreement
• Babe Ruth personal check ledger with related signed documents
• Babe Ruth single signed baseballs and autographed photographs
• Babe Ruth 1934 Tour of Japan presentational pass
• Babe Ruth personal photographic albums including autographed exemplars
• Babe Ruth 12 Point Deer Trophy Mount with photographic provenance

Other items not from the Ruth family include:
• Babe Ruth Professional Model Bat with Home Run Notches c.1926-29
• Babe Ruth "Bustin Babes" barnstorming equipment travel case c.1920s (Waite Hoyt provenance)
• Highly significant 1923 New York Yankees World Championship presentational Spalding trophy
• 1923 New York Yankees World Champions team autographed ledger sheet

BUY SELL

Weekend Box Office Nov. Dec. 14-16
1. Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse $35.4M
2. the Mule $17.2M
3. The Grinch $11.6M
4. Ralph Breaks the Internet $9.6M
5. Mortal Engines $7.5M
6. Creed II $5.4M
7. Bohemian rhapsody $4.1M
8. Instant Fanily $3.7M
9. Fantiatic Beasts $3.7M
10. Green Book $2.8M

SOURCE: COMSCORE.com

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Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#46Ul8rBF4XpB4lo0.99
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#JZxA5jXY4rCwemgZ.99
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#JZxA5jXY4rCwemgZ.99
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/johnfkenn121400.html#46Ul8rBF4XpB4lo0.99
Tuesday
Feb272018

NFL, Papa John’s Slice, Dice Alliance, New Category Partner Ready To Take Order

By Barry Janoff

February 27, 2018: Following what had been a steady relationship that turned ugly in a hurry. Papa John’s and the NFL have “mutually decided” to end a league-wide official alliance that began in 2009.

Papa John’s executives unveiled the decision during a financial conference call on Tuesday.

“The NFL and Papa John’s have made a mutual decision to shift from their official league sponsorship to a focus on partnerships with 22 local NFL teams, presence in broadcast and digital media and key personalities in the sport,” the two sides said in a joint statement.

During the call, Papa John’s revealed that system-wide North America comparable sales saw a decrease of 3.9% for the fourth quarter and increase of just 0.1% for the full year.

"While the NFL remains an important channel for us we have determined that there are better ways to reach and activate this audience," CEO Steve Ritchie, who took over for founder John Schnatter in December, said during the earnings conference call.

”Thus, we will shift our marketing for the broader NFL sponsorship to focus on our partnership with 22 specific NFL teams, a significant presence on league broadcast and digital platforms and on our relationships with many of the league's most popular players and personalities."

J.J. Watt of the Houston Texans and retired QB Peyton Manning had been prominent in Papa John’s spots this past season. Manning also owns a number of Papa John’s locations.

The NFL won’t need to look far when it decides to fill the pizza category position.

Pizza Hut is the leading pizza chain in the U.S. with gross sales topping $14.1 billion and more than 16,400 units, followed by Domino’s at $10.5 billion and 14,000 units, according to Chain Store Guide.

Papa John’s is third ($3.68 billion) followed by Little Caesars ($3.57 billion).

During a financial call in November, Papa John’s founder and then-CEO John Schnatter said that NFL players kneeling during the National Anthem before games led to lower NFL TV ratings, which in turn contributed to Papa John’s suffering lower sales and having to predict a lower profit forecast. Its stock dropped 11% in Q3.

“The NFL has hurt us by not resolving the current debacle to the players’ and owners’ satisfaction,” Schnatter said during the conference call. “The NFL has hurt Papa John’s shareholders . . . This should have been nipped in the bud a year and a half ago.”

The actual correlation between players kneeling and Papa John’s finances was never shown.

In December, the company promoted Steve Ritchie from president and COO to CEO, effective Jan. 1, replacing Schnatter, who become chairman.

This past season, Papa John’s was among the NFL’s Top Ten most active partners during a season when sponsorship spend in the NFL hit a record $1.32 billion, according to research and sponsorship consulting firm ESP Properties, Chicago.

"While the NFL remains an important channel for us we have determined that there are better ways to reach and activate this audience."

 “We know our potential is so much greater than our results, and we are taking significant steps to reinvigorate our record of profitable growth and value creation,” said Ritchie. “Actions are underway to improve our brand proposition, how we connect with customers, and how we operate at the unit level.

“These actions build on all the strengths of the Papa John’s brand and include a fresh perspective around marketing driven by new media and creative partnerships, hiring a new PR partner and bringing online a new engine to drive our Papa Rewards loyalty system.”

According to Ritchie, “Based on these initiatives, we expect to see marked improvements in sales later in 2018. Our franchise partners in the US are fully aligned with our initiatives and are excited about this next chapter of the Papa John’s brand.”

With Papa John’s Out, NFL Fills Its Order With New Pizza Hut Alliance

Did ‘Divisive’ Comments About The NFL Sack Papa John’s CEO?

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