In this week’s top news from the #SportsBiz, the NFL and its controversies remain a popular topic, but business continues as usual. Other stories include an app released by the International Olympic Committee, YouTube agrees to stream NBA D-League games, NHL fans seeing a hike in ticket prices, and people turning fantasy sports into a six figures per year job. All of these stories are available below.
NFL rolls on despite problems
The NFL is a powerhouse of a sports league. Over the past few months, the National Football League has be shrouded in controversy. But despite the criticism, the league continues to forge a successful path to business success.
It’s been all over the news. Richie Incognito bullying fellow teammate Jonathan Martin and players suffering from brain damage. There have also been other concerns surrounding player safety.
Yet between all the issues, the NFL continues to push big ratings numbers and profits. Just this season alone, the league will make $4.2 billion in TV revenues, and $27.5 billion over the next five years.
Sports Business Journal NFL writer Daniel Kaplan spoke about the November 11 contest between the Dolphins (4-4) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-8), claiming that the Incognito story may actually increase ratings:
“Who would’ve wanted to tune in for that? But instead it’s almost going to be like rubber-necking – people tuning in just to see how bad it is. In a morbid way, it’s a fascinating match-up that will help the TV ratings.”
Between bullying and head trauma, the league clearly has a few issues to address. Robert Boland, professor of sports management at New York University, questioned the flow of talent:
“Could the talent pool dry up? That’s the biggest concern. If people don’t play football or are not allowed to play football, the game could suffer.”
The answer to that question, at least for the time-being, is a resounding “no.” In a nation obsessed with reality TV, the NFL is providing just that.
You can read more here.
Photo credit – wired.com
Social Media In Sports
IOC creates an app for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi
The International Olympic Committee may be a bit behind the eight-ball on this, but its better late than never to introduce fans to a new app. With the release for iOS and Android, the app is dubbed the Olympic Athletes’ Hub.
What is the reasoning behind such an app? The Hub offers users a way to keep track of their favorite Olympic athletes across three different social platforms: Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Fans can easily search for athletes by sport, Games city (i.e. London, Athens), team, and of course by the athlete’s name.
While the app also links to Olympic.org, it creates a great way for fans to interact and keep track of what their favorite athletes are up to on social media. For instance, there is a section named “athletes on Instagram”. By the name of it, I am sure you can guess what that entails. There is also an “Olympian feed” that helps drive social conversation between athletes and their fans.
Signing up within the app allows users to earn rewards, such as prizes, badges, and so on. The Hub is still being improved and features are being added. Either way, you can download the Olympic Athletes’ Hub app at the Google Play Store or iTunes App Store.
You can read more here.
Photo credit – appszoom.com
Fantasy sports have become a career for some
There are those that play fantasy sports as a hobby, pitching in $15 to try their hand at beating their friends. If they manage to win, these people will walk away with maybe $100 and bragging rights until next season swings around. For a few others, the name of the game has changed and so has the frequency.
For some serious players, fantasy sports has become a job that can earn them around $100,000 a year. They’re playing in leagues that aren’t your run of the mill leagues.
How does it work? On a daily or weekly basis, competitors will log on to sites, like draftstreet.com, to search for open leagues. Entry fees for these leagues can range from a few dollars to a few hundred dollars. Obviously a higher buy-in comes along with a higher payout. And of course there are different draft types and so on; everything you have come to love about fantasy sports. One major difference is guys are turning this into a career. Draftstreet CEO, Brian Schwartz, wasn’t surprised:
“It doesn’t surprise me that you see these guys quitting their jobs, because it’s a skill game. And the more time you can spend doing your research and coming up with the best strategy the better you can do.”
Draftstreet does get a percentage of the buy-ins to leagues that are above five dollars to enter. It still leaves plenty of cash to go around for the few players that are making six figures in a year. A few of these people are spending 40 hours a week doing what they love.
You can read more here.
Photo credit – sheridanhoops.com
Sports Ticket Sales
NHL seeing hike in ticket sales
In the past few years, the NHL has made significant strides to assert itself as a strong business. Realignment and a few rule changes may have been just the start of changing tides.
It has been reported by Team Marketing Report that the NHL has shown average ticket prices have gone up by 2.3 percent. The league’s highest ticket price belongs to the Toronto Maple Leafs, coming in around $122.00. The lowest prices around the league belong to the Dallas Stars at $37.28.
Team Marketing Report also calculates what it calls the Fan Cost Index, the price to purchase four average-price tickets, two small draft beers, four small soft drinks, four regular-size hot dogs, parking for one car, two programs and two of the cheapest available adult-size adjustable caps. The Maple Leafs came out on top there as well at $615.62, up 1.9% from last season. The Ottawa Senators’ FCI was the league’s lowest, at $259.92.
In a move seen around most of the league, ticket prices have risen more than one percent for 21 different teams. Among them is the Chicago Blackhawks; fans have seen their ticket prices rise by 16 percent.
Perhaps the NHL is seeing some great success in which they feel a hike in ticket prices is called for. After all, they are playing a full season this year. That’s a plus.
You can read more here. Also, click here for a visual representation of the NHL’s ticket prices.
Photo credit – mapleleafs.nhl.com
YouTube continues push for sports
In a continued push to provide YouTube users with sports content, the online video sharing website has renewed its deal with the National Basketball Association Development League (NBA D-League). This deal will showcase more than 350 live games online during the 2013/14 season.
This will be the second year in which YouTube and the NBA’s official D-League has partnered to provide coverage of the games. The plethora of games will be shown on the D-League’s YouTube channel, as well as the league’s official mobile app.
YouTube provides a great worldwide reach for a league that shows off potential NBA prospects. Dan Reed, the president of the D-League, was thrilled about the partnership:
“Teaming up with YouTube has solidified the NBA D-League as a true global brand. We’re thrilled to extend a partnership that enables millions of basketball fans around the world to watch our elite level of basketball and top NBA prospects, on any device, via YouTube’s worldwide reach.”
A deal for the second year in a row has become YouTube’s most prominent live-game offering by any sports league. Moves are clearly being made to provide a solid foundation for live sports on the video sharing site and the NBA D-League is at the forefront of that movement. Claude Ruibal, the global head of sports for YouTube, explains the positive trend for both brands:
“With the NBA D-League streaming live on YouTube for a second year, the NBA is again bringing fans unique and innovative access to their games. The NBA is continuing to make its YouTube channel into a daily destination for basketball fans around the world.”
You can read more here.
Photo credit – pcmag.com
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