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The Top News In #Sportsbiz – 03.11.13 – 03.18.13

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Sports Business

March Madness Becoming One of the Most Valuable Sports for Advertisers

Most fans think of sports advertising, they think of the Super Bowl. But now, college basketball is proving to be one of Kansas v Memphisthe most valuable sports for advertisers. In the last 10 years, the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament, more commonly known as March Madness, has generated over $5.9 billion in TV ad revenue.

Last season, the tournament generated over $1 billion for the first time ever, making it the most lucrative postseason event in all of sports when it comes to advertising. The 2012 NCAA Men’s Championship overtook the NFL Playoffs, including the Super Bowl, at the top of the list.

A report released from Kantar Media shows that companies are willing to pay over $1.5 million for a 30-second spot during the Championship game, compared to $450,000 for a spot  the NBA Finals and $460,000 for MLB’s World Series. It is expected that this year’s Championship will set a new record.

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Sports Marketing

Fans Disagree With NBA’s “Noche Latina” Jerseys

In an effort to connect with its Latino fan base, the NBA has been using special jerseys as part of its “Noche Latina” Chicago Bulls v Miami Heatpromotion. The jerseys read as-is, but with “Los” added at the beginning, such as “Los Lakers” or “Los Bulls.”

Some bloggers have said it would be better for the NBA to translate names, such as “Los Torros” rather than “Los Bulls.” The NBA disagrees however, saying that it got a much more positive response to the current translation from market research.

Felipe Korzenny, director and founder of the Center for the Study of Hispanic Marketing at Florida State, said Latinos do not see the team names as words, but rather as proper names and brand names that have equity. For example, they don’t translate Coca-Cola or Clorox into Spanish.

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Sports Networking

Soccer Player Provides Free Tickets to Fan Who Couldn’t Afford Them

Sometimes athletes can find themselves in hot water on social networking sites. Other times, they can serve a good Unknown-4purpose. This was the case for Ipswich Town’s Tyrone Mings.

A fan wished the young soccer player good luck in an upcoming match, noting he couldn’t afford to attend the game. Mings asked if the fan could get to the stadium. When the fan said he could, Mings replied saying that there were two tickets waiting for the fan at the box office, adding that he shouldn’t miss a game because he couldn’t afford tickets.

The gesture was met with praise for the 19-year-old soccer player. Mings just recently turned pro in December after working as a mortgage broker while playing non-league soccer.

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Sports Sponsorship

Chase Signs Major Deal With Tampa Bay Lightning

Chase, a North American commercial banking business signed a multi-year agreement with the Tampa Bay TimesBe-the-Thunder-tampa-bay-lightning-30398471-1680-1050 Forum and its resident teams, the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning and the Arena Football League’s Tampa Bay Storm.

The deal, which goes into effect immediately, makes Chase the official bank, credit card, financial services partner, ATM provider and community partner of the teams and the arena. In return, Chase will offer fans who are customers discounts on team merchandise, in-arena experiences through a rewards system, as well as hosting meet-and-greets with players at local branches.

Chase will benefit by having signage both on-ice and along the boards as well as naming rights to the Chase Club, the arena’s most exclusive seating area.

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Athletes often find themselves in hot water on social networking sites, but sometimes

Sports Ticket Sales

49ers Have Sold Over $400 Million in Tickets to New Stadium

The San Francisco 49ers still have one full season left before moving to Santa Clara, but that hasn’t stopped the team 20130308__stadium0313~1_400from looking towards the future. According to a report, the 49ers have sold over $400 million in tickets to their new stadium in Santa Clara, set to open in 2014.

Coming off the team’s Super Bowl run last season, the 49ers have sold 75 percent of the seats in the stadium, including selling out the most expensive seats in the house. Those seats include those in the suite tower, where luxury boxes cost up to $500,000 a game.

On Friday, the 49ers’ sales team transferred the money from the ticket sales to the Santa Clara Stadium Authority, the public agency that is in charge with paying back the $850 million loan to build the stadium.

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Sports Social Media

ESPN Suspends Bill Simmons from Twitter

Bill Simmons was suspended from Twitter for three days by ESPN after sending out tweets that were critical of ESPN’s imagesFirst Take.

It’s amazing to me that people get so worked up about First Take. Who cares? Just don’t watch it. There are like 800 TV channels.

— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) March 8, 2013

An ESPN spokesperson said Simmons was unavailable to comment on the situation. The tweet was in clear violation of the company’s Twitter policies, which requires its employees at all times to exercise discretion, thoughtfulness and respect for colleagues, business associates and fans.

Simmons was also suspended from Twitter in 2009 after criticizing a Boston radio affiliate. Simmons returned to twitter promoting his Friday column.

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Sports Media

NBC Sports Group Kicks Off Formula One Partnership

NBC Sports group kicked off over 200 hours of motorsports coverage this weekend, starting with the Formula One Unknown-1season opener. The media group snagged coverage away from Fox Sports Media Group, which had aired the sport on the Speed Channel for the previous 17 years.

Last season, IndyCar drivers as well as former CEO Randy Bernard were critical of NBC Sports Network last season. They were upset over ratings, promotions and marketing, believing that the network wasn’t doing enough to promote the series or attract viewers to telecasts of the races.

“I think they have since learned that it’s going to be a huge complement to the IndyCar family,” he said. “So for people to know exactly where the destination is to go for Formula 1 and IndyCar is very convenient, and they’re both going to complement each other. There’s going to be quite a nice crossover.”

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Sports Jobs

Italian Soccer Club Now Has More Coaching Changes Than Wins

Palermo manager Gian Piero Gasperini has recinded his contract with the club following a 2-1 loss at home to rival Unknown-2Siena on Sunday. The move marks the possible return of Giuseppe Sannino as manager. Sannino was replaced by Gasperini in September.

At the beginning of February, the club hired Alberto Malesani before Gasperini returned two weeks ago. Gasperini’s latest stint with the team lasted just two matches. In addition to the loss to Siena, Palermo also had a 0-0 draw against Torino.

In the past 25 years, Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini has made about 35 firings and has had 43 different managers. The move marks the 13th coaching change in Serie A this season.

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Sports Technology

Rams Pump Cotton-Candy Smell Into Stadium

The St. Louis Rams have partnered with a company called ScentAir to improve game day experience for its fans. The Unknowncompany, which has been around for the past twenty years, has over 2,000 scents. The Rams sampled over 50 different scents, including popcorn, waffle cones and sugar cookies, the team settled on cotton candy as the winning scent.

“One of the first things we wanted to do here was to look at all the ways we can improve the game-day experience for families,” says Brian Killingsworth, vice president of marketing and brand strategy for the Rams. “We wanted to create a positive first impression for fans when they first walk into the stadium and we trigger their senses.”

The scent is pumped through the HVAC systems at the two main entrances to the Edward Jones Dome. To no surprise, cotton candy sales went up in the first year.

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