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NEWS REAL

• Serena Williams has withdrawn from the Miami Open (March 23) due to knee issues.

• Picking up the mantle of National Women’s Month, and anticipating what next year will be its 70th anniversary, the LPGA has unveiled “Drive On,” a multi-platform refined brand position. According to the LPGA, “Drive On is clearly rooted in golf, but it's a bigger idea. It captures the power and potential in each of us and celebrates the hard work, focus and tenacity that it takes to achieve our goals.” Full story here.

• The NBA said that the Chinese and Croatian National Teams would join all 30 NBA teams to compete at MGM Resorts NBA Summer League 2019 in Las Vegas, marking the first time that the league will feature two international teams, with 83 games over 11 days (July 5-15).

• The 2019 Alliance of American Football Championship, originalluy scheduled for April 27 in Las Vegas, will be played in Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas., which is owned and operated by Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys.

• MLB and the MLB Players’ Assn. have unveiled numerous changes to the game to be installed over the next two seasons that will impact game length, marketing broadcast partners, the All-Star Game and the Home Run Derby. Full story here.

POLL POSITION

Top Ten Most In-Demand MLB Tickets (based on total ticket sales on StubHub thru March 14):
1. New York Yankees
2. Boston Red Sox
3. San Francisco Giants
4. Chicago Cubs
5. St. Louis Cardinals
6. Los Angeles Dodgers
7. Philadelphia Phillies
8. Texas Rangers
9. New York Mets
10. Houston Astros

SOURCE: STUBHUB

KEEPING SCORE

The Most-In-Demand MLB Home Openers
(based on total ticket sales on StubHub thru March 14, all on March 28):

• Arizona Diamondbacks at the Dodgers (average ticket price $229.
• Baltimore Orioles at New York Yankees (average ticket price $202)
• Atlanta Braves at Philadelphia Phillies (average ticket price $84)
• Chicago Cubs at Texas Rangers (average ticket price $254)
• Pittsburgh Pirates at Cincinnati Reds (average ticket price $122)

BUY SELL

Weekend Box Office March 22-24
1. Us $70.2M
2. Captain Marvel $35M
3. Wonder Park $9M
4. Five Feet Apart $8.8M
5. How To Train Your Dragon 3 $6.5M
6. A Madea Family Funeral $4.5M
7. Gloria Bell $1.8M
8. No Manches Frida 2 $1.8M
9. Lego Movie 2 $1.1M
10. Alita: Battle Angel $1M
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
SUPER BOWL LIII

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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