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• The NBA 2K League today named Tencent Holdings Limited as the league’s first distribution partner in China.

• The English Premier League has signed a multi-year deal naming Anheuser-Busch brand Budweiser as its official category partner. Carling had been the EPL category partner since 2016.

• Sports and live entertainment company AEG has signed a multiyear, multimillion-dollar renewal agreement with Toshiba America Business Solutions, extending their “comprehensive partnership across several of AEG’s flagship assets,” including Toshiba remaining a founding partner of Staples Center and the official digital signage and display provider of L.A. Live.

• As part of the NFL 100th season celebration, the NFL has teamed up with league partner EA to give one lucky fan the chance to become an EA Sports Madden NFL ratings adjustor for the day as well as be digitized to appear in the Madden NFL game. Details here.

• The NBA’s Golden State Warriors have signed a long-term deal naming  Fanatics, a  global leader for licensed sports merchandise, as the exclusive operator of all Warriors Shop locations throughout the Bay Area. Full story here.

• NBA All-Star James Harden has joined the ownership group of the Houston Dynamo. According to the MLS club, the 2018 NBA MVP with the Houston Rockets becomes the fifth member of an ownership group led by Gabriel Brener, which also includes boxing icon Oscar De La Hoya, Ben Guill and Jake Silverstein.

In addition to the Dynamo, the group also owns the NWSL's Houston Dash and BBVA Stadium, the home venue for both clubs.

“I’m very excited about the opportunity to join the ownership group of the Houston Dynamo and Houston Dash and proud to be a part of a club with tremendous history and a great future,” Harden said via the team.

• Spend a "Day in the Life Of Blake Griffin." Full story here.

• Pete Frates and Pat Quinn, co-founders of ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, have launched with The ALS Assn. the 5th anniversary of “Challenge Me” with a “new call to action to reignite the passion and generosity of the millions of people who dumped ice water on their heads in the summer of 2014.”

POLL POSITION

AT&T WNBA All-Star 2019 Starter Pool

  • Liz Cambage, Aces
  • Elena Delle Donne, Mystics
  • Chelsea Gray, Sparks
  • Brittney Griner, Mercury
  • Natasha Howard, Storm
  • Jonquel Jones, Sun
  • Jewell Loyd, Storm
  • Kayla McBride, Aces
  • Kia Nurse, Liberty
  • A‘ja Wilson, Aces

AT&T WNBA All-Star 2019, featuring Team Delle Donne vs. Team Wilson, is scheduled for July 27 in the Mandalay Bay Events Center, Las Vegas (ABC 3:30 PM ET).

KEEPING SCORE

The Top 25 MiLB Teams With Best-Selling Merchandise (alphabetically, with MLB affiliate):

  • Albuquerque Isotopes (Rockies)
  • Charleston RiverDogs (Yankees)
  • Charlotte Knights (White Sox)
  • Columbia Fireflies (Mets)
  • Columbus Clippers (Indians)
  • Corpus Christi Hooks (Astros)
  • Durham Bulls (Rays)
  • El Paso Chihuahuas (Padres)
  • Fort Wayne TinCaps (Padres)
  • Gwinnett Stripers (Braves)
  • Hartford Yard Goats (Rockies)
  • Indianapolis Indians (Pirates)
  • Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp (Marlins)
  • Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Phillies)
  • Nashville Sounds (Rangers)
  • Pawtucket Red Sox (Red Sox)
  • Portland Sea Dogs (Red Sox)
  • Richmond Flying Squirrels (Giants)
  • Rochester Red Wings (Twins)
  • Sacramento River Cats (Giants)
  • Salt Lake Bees (Angels)
  • San Antonio Missions (Brewers)
  • Tacoma Rainiers (Mariners)
  • Toledo Mud Hens (Tigers)
  • Trenton Thunder (Yankees)

SOURCE: MiLB

BUY SELL

Weekend Box Office July 12-14
1. Spider-Man:Far From Home $45.3M
2. Toy Story 4 $20.7M
3. Crawl $12M
4. Stuber $8M
5. Yesterday $6.8M
6. Aladdin $5.9M
7. Annabelle Comes Home $5.6M
8. Midsommar $3.4M
9. Secret Life of Pets 2 $3.1M
10. MIB International $2.2M
Source: Box Office Mojo

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COLLEGE

BodyArmor Into NCAA
No. 1 Colleges Since '92
Notre Dame Builds Brand
Cancer Drives Home
Men's Hoops Are 'Toxic'

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
Channel Chasers

NFL UK 2019
• Oct. 6 Chicago Bears v Oakland Raiders Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
• Oct. 13 Carolina Panthers v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
• Oct. 27  Cincinnati Bengals v Los Angeles Rams Wembley Stadium
• Nov. 3 Houston Texans v Jacksonville Jaguars Wembley Stadium

NFL Mexico 2019
• Nov. 18 Kansas City  Chiefs v Los Angeles Chargers Mexico City Estadio Azteca (ESPN Monday Night Football).

Tuesday
Jan302018

Ticketmaster, Bud, Gatorade Push NFL Sponsorship Spend To Record $1.3B

By Barry Janoff

January 30,, 2018: During a financial call in November, Papa John’s founder and 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.

Louisville, KY-based Papa John’s signed with the NFL in 2009, is an official partner for the Super Bowl and has deals with several NFL teams, most notably the Dallas Cowboys.

This past season, Papa John’s was also among the NFL’s 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.

Sponsorship spending on the NFL and its 32 teams was up 5.9% versus the $1.25 billion spend  in 2016, which in turn was up 4.3% from the previous season.

The increase also exceeds the year-over-year increase in 2017 sports spending and overall North American sponsorship spending, both of which grew 3.5%, according to ESP.

Sponsor spend in the NFL was $1.07 billion in 2013, $1.15 billion in 2014, $1.2 billion in 2015 and  $1.25 billion in 2016.

The most active brands sponsoring the NFL this past season were led by Ticketmaster, which sponsors 100% of NFL properties.

The Top Ten most active NFL sponsors also includes Bud/Bud Light (88%), Gatorade (85%), EA Sports (79%), Bose (76%), Microsoft (67%), Papa John’s (64%), Primesport (64%), Pepsi (52%) and Ford (48%).

The increase exceeds the year-over-year increase in 2017 sports spending and overall North American sponsorship spending, both of which grew 3.5%.

“In addition to adding an eight-figure naming rights deal for Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium, revenue growth can be attributed to two primary factors: A growing focus on digital media (and new sponsorship inventory) at the team level and interest from the tech sector in national deals,” according to the ESP 2017 NFL Sponsorship Report.

The NFL secured two new league sponsors in the 2017-2018 season: Intel and Amazon Web Services.

Intel is leveraging the NFL via its FreeD replay technology, while Amazon Web Services powers the league’s “Next Gen Stats,” a platform that uses player and ball tracking to create statistics on distance covered, speed and acceleration and other performance metrics.

McDonald’s, SAP and TD Ameritrade ended their NFL league partnerships following the 2016-2017 season, per ESP.

Quick-service restaurants overtook insurance as the most-active category sponsoring the NFL in the 2017-2018 season, according to ESP research.

QSRs were 2.8 times more likely to sponsor the NFL than the average of all sponsors.

Autos and Medical tied as the second most-active category (2.5 times more likely to sponsor the NFL than the average of all sponsors), Insurance (2.3), Retail (2.1), Food (2), Tech (1.9), Beer (1.9) Banks (1.6), Ticketing (1.5), Building and Home (1.5), Telecom (1.5) and Lottery and Gaming (1.4).

Beer and Autos retained their lead positions as the biggest spending categories in the NFL.

Beer companies spent 4.9 times more on the NFL than the average category, while Autos spent 4.8 times more than average.

The Top Ten also included Telecom (3.6), Soft Drinks (3.2), Tech (2.9), Banks (2.7), Sports Apparel (2.1), Insurance (2), Medical (1.9) and Consumer Electronics (1.6), according to the ESP 2017 NFL Sponsorship Report.

The average value of  NFL franchises is $2.5 billion, up 8% versus last year, with 27 of the league’s 32 franchises valued at least $2 billion.

The league leader, for the 11th straight year and the world's most valuable sports franchise, is the Cowboys, valued at $4.8 billion, up 14%, with profits of $350 million, according to Forbes.

The New England Patriots are second in value at $3.7 billion, followed by the New York Giants ($3.3 billion), Washington Redskins ($3.1 billion) and the San Francisco 49ers ($3.05 billion).

In addition to the naming rights deal with Mercedes-Benz — $324 million, or $12 million a year, for the 27 years — the Atlanta Falcons signed new sponsors  (including Delta Air Lines and Harrah’s).

That lifted the Falcons’ overall sponsorship revenue from below average to above average when compared to other NFL teams, according to ESP research.

By team, those franchises with “above the NFL average” in sponsorship deals include the Falcons, Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans, New England Patriots, New York Giants, New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, San Francisco 49ers and Washington Redskins.

Teams whose sponsorship is at the average include the Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens, Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos, Green Bay Packers, Indianapolis Colts, Miami Dolphins, New Orleans Saints, Pittsburgh Steelers and Seattle Seahawks.

Also, per ESP, teams whose sponsorship is below the NFL average include the Buffalo Bills, Carolina Panthers, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Los Angeles Rams, Oakland Raider, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Tennessee Titans.

NFL Team Value Averages $2.5B, With Cowboys ($4.8B) At The Top

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