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The Top News In #Sportsbiz – 10.21.13 – 10.28.13


Top News in the #SportsBiz for this week involves Xbox One launching promotional commercials during the NFL’s Sunday Night Football.  Other news includes the NFL looking at potential Thursday night game packages, Vikings stadium talks, a Fitness and Sports Technology Expo, and an evolving NCAA rule book.  Read on to get your #SportsBiz fix!

Sports Marketing

Xbox One commercials set to launch on Sunday Night Football

Forza 5 on Xbox OneNovember 22 marks the release of Xbox’s next generation console:  The Xbox One.  Because the console provides users with much more than just gaming, the company is set to debut a 60 second commercial invitation on Sunday Night Football.

According to Nielson, Sunday Night Football continues to be a chart topper, pulling in 27 million viewers last week.  The stage is well set for Xbox.  Again, because Xbox One provides much more than just gaming, an ad during SNF should reach a great target audience.

Xbox One has brought on board director and Super Bowl veteran Bryan Buckley to create the 60 second spot.  In case you were wondering, a 60 second ad will run about $1.2 million.  Aside from cost, the direction for the ad takes an “invitational” approach, basically inviting everyone to experience the future of home entertainment. Robert Matthews, Xbox general manager, global consumer marketing explains:

“In terms of scope and scale, this is one of the most important and largest console launches in Xbox history.  We want to connect with our fans on a global level. They love games, sports, entertainment, movies and we want to give them that”

Sunday Night Football will provide a perfect audience for the debut of the new Xbox.  Check out the “behind the scenes” video of the commercial below:

You can read more here.

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Sports Media

NFL looks into potential Thursday Night package

Thursday Night FootballEven after denying the idea of the expanding Thursday Night Football to two games, the NFL may still be looking at Thursday Night variations.  There is word of a package of eight NFL games becoming available for 2015-2016.

There is potential for such a package, especially if it includes a Wildcard playoff game.  The NFL would be likely to sell these games to other networks, such as FS1, Turner Sports, and others.  As written by Sports Business Daily:

“While there has been no agreement on what that package will look like, the most popular idea so far appears to be adding three games to NFL Network’s schedule to give it 16 games, then splitting that package.  The NFL would keep eight games on NFL Network and shop the other eight games to interested networks, which include Turner Sports, NBCSN, FS1 and others.”

Incentive for selling this particular bunch of games may be to increase the league’s salary crap.  The league’s current cap has remained dormant since it was set in 2009.  A Thursday Night Football package being sold by the NFL could potentially earn the league an extra $750 million or $800 million, thus allowing the league to raise the cap.

Thursday Night Football packages sound hopeful, as long as the match-ups get better than the league currently features for the mid-week games.

You can read more here.

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Sports Business

The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority takes pressure off Vikings’ stadium talks

New Vikings StadiumLand has been a major arguing point in talks for a new stadium for the Minnesota Vikings.  With proximity to mass transit and parking being a key factor in stadium location and success, land acquisition is certainly important.

Officials would like the stadium to be located near the Downtown East light-rail station, as well as an underground parking garage with 455 spaces.  While these spaces aren’t part of the stadium’s actual footprint, they are important to the success of a new stadium.

The price for the plaza was set at $24 million to $26 million.  The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority had offered Minneapolis Venture  LLC – the plaza’s landowner – $13 million initially.  It appears the two organizations have come to an agreement in between the two figures, with the final price being $17.1 million.  Authority Chairwoman Michele Kelm-Helgen stated:

“This is an important piece of land … it’s important that it be held by a public body.”

The Vikings’ new stadium will cost a reported $975 million. Vikings spokesman Lester Bagley commented on the budget:

“The budget is evolving.  It’s absolutely crucial this project be delivered on budget.”

Vikings ownership became alarmed when the stadium construction was reportedly going to swell by $45 million.  While some parties are a bit worried about the budget being met, but the plaza sale is said to be taking heat off of the stadium’s price.

You can read more here.

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Sports Technology

TMC to hold Fitness and Sports Technology (FAST) Expo

FAST-Fitness and Sports Wearable Technology ExpoOn December 9th, TMC will hold its Fitness and Sports Technology Expo at the Hilton Los Angeles/Universal City, California.  This is to be part of the Wearable Tech Expo, which is held on the 10th and 11th.

Because sports technology is quickly evolving, business executives and entrepreneurs are looking into how new products can and will change the way sports are played and how athletes train.  Rich Tehrani, TMC CEO and conference chairman, explains:

“The FAST Expo is where analysts, VCs, sports executives, entrepreneurs and health, training and coaching professionals will gather to shape the future of wearable, mobile and data technology in sports and fitness—an important market that will have a considerable impact on the technology industry as a whole.  Having an event focused solely on fitness and sports verticals gives attendees the opportunity to deeply explore this growing market and see what products, trends and technology are coming down the pipeline from top companies.”

The in-depth expo will cover a variety of topics including:

  • No Stone Left Unturned – The NBA, STATS and the Discovery and Analysis of Real Time Player Game Data-Will STATS’ SportVU Player Tracking Technology allow your team to win more games?
  • Tracking Player Biometric and Performance Data in Real Time through Wearable Technology- Platforms such as the Adidas miCoach Elite Platform that aggregates team & individual data will be discussed; find out how teams use these platforms to gain real competitive advantages.
  • Actionable Performance Goals Using Real Time Biometric & On-Court Data – Examine the challenge of delivering effective sports intelligence.
  • Turning Data into True Sports Advantages- Gain high level perspectives on how to create actionable & coachable events using player data.
  • Sensor Technology, M2M and Sports Fitness and Safety- Explore & discover all aspects of the latest sensors on the market and how it can lead to improved sports safety.
  • Health and Fitness in Consumer Markets- Sports & fitness wearable tech is for athletes & the everyday consumer; find out how to tap into the demographic.

With injuries becoming more of a concern in the sports world, new technology has the ability to better diagnose and treat athletes.  Wearable technology is helping teams and individual athletes to better record information.  Registration for FAST Expo is now open.

You can read more here.

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Social Media In Sports

NCAA rules change with evolution of social media

NCAA Rule BookSocial media is an evolving landscape, especially when it comes to the world of sports.  Just the same, the NCAA rulebook seems to be an evolving landscape as well.

There seems to be a gray area in the NCAA rules regarding social media.  For instance, coaches can follow student prospects on Twitter, but cannot tweet at them or send them direct messages.  Katie Smith, the UW assistant athletic director for compliance, explains:

“There’s not really a black-and-white rule for every single instance that comes up in social media because it’s constantly changing.”

Most of these rules and questions correspond to Facebook and Twitter.  But what about newer forms of social that are just now starting to make waves?  Smith said:

“There’s no specific interpretation on it, and it’s something that we have to deal with,”

The University of Wisconsin has submitted 20 secondary violations to the NCAA for 2012-13, including two references to social media.  While this is not a long list of social media-induced violations, the number is about average for the school.  The UW sports which saw reported violations were as follows:  football, women’s basketball, men’s and women’s hockey, men’s rowing, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s track, volleyball and wrestling. Each had at least one violation.

The concern is little too.  A “manageable” list of violations is something the NCAA says reflects a proactive culture of compliance.

From here on out, NCAA rule books will likely only swell in size.  Everyone can thank social media for that.

You can read more here.

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