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The Top News In #Sportsbiz – 05.27.13 – 06.03.13

Sean Larson

Sports Business

Members of U.S. Congress Urge Washington Redskins to Change Team Name

bildeCongress sent out letters to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, Redskins owner Dan Snyder and the rest of the 31 teams in the league. The letter says that Native Americans take offense to the nickname, as they consider it a racial and derogatory slur. Two of the members of congress behind the effort are the leaders of the Congressional Native American Caucus, Tom Cole, R-Okla., and Betty McCollum, D-Minn.

The letter went on to say that it was a moral responsibility to disavow the usage of racial slurs, saying the nickname was especially harmful to Native American youth as it damaged their self esteem, and diminishes the feeling of community worth among Native American tribes.

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Sports Media

Sports Illustrated Expands Sports Media Presence with SI Now

sports mediaSports Illustrated, one of the most recognizable brand names in sports is ready to expand its sports media presence. The company, which is part of Time Inc., is adding to its roster of original video with a 30-minute live-streaming talk show every weekday beginning next Monday. The show will air daily at 1 p.m. EST and will be hosted by Maggie Gray, the lead anchor for Sports Illustrated video content, and will include a rotating cast of the magazine’s top writers and newsmakers.

The 1 p.m. EST timeslot was chosen as it is SI’s peak traffic time. The show will also be sponsored by Ford Motor Company. SI developed the concept for the show and brought it to Ford, which agreed to a sponsorship deal that runs through October.

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Sports Marketing

A Team Effort: Disaster Relief Across the Sports Industry

Over the last few years, we have witness the tremendous capacity for teams, leagues and outfitters to come together in response to disasters at home and abroad.

Following the 2010 devastation in Haiti, the NBA responded at all levels.  The NBA, Players Association, all 30 teams and individual players teamed up to raise more than $3 million in relief aid, and even more awareness through PSAs and social media campaigns.  Monetary contributions were augmented with apparent and footwear donations through collaborations with local and national nonprofit organizations such as UNICEF and Samaritan’s Feet, and home court arenas like American Airlines Arena in Miami, hosted in-arena donation drives to engage the community in support for Haiti’s restoration.

Sports Sponsorship

Anheuser-Busch a Sports Sponsorship Heavyweight

sports sponsorshipSt. Louis based Anheuser-Busch, the leading beer brewer in the United States – holding a 47.6 percent share of U.S. beer sales to retailers – was recently named “Sports Sponsor of the Year” at the 2013 Sports Business Awards.The company brews Budweiser and Bud Light, two of the world’s largest-selling beers and is also a major manufacturer of aluminum cans and has been a leading aluminum recycler for more than 30 years.

The company can now add another notch to its credibility by taking home this award in the field of sports sponsorship. The award – decided by a panel of industry executives – marked Anheuser-Busch’s first win and second nomination at the Sports Business Awards and was accepted by Blaise D’Sylva, vice president of media, sports and entertainment marketing for Anheuser-Busch.

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Sports Jobs

Vancouver Canucks Fire Alain Vigneault After Another Early Playoff Exit

sports jobsAfter suffering a first-round defeat for the second consecutive season, Vancouver Canucks’ general manager Mike Gillis announced that he had fired head coach Alain Vigneault and two of his assistants, Rick Bowness and Newell Brown. Vigneault led the Canucks to six Northwest division titles, two Presidents Trophies, and an appearance in the 2011 Stanley Cup Final in which the Canucks fell to the Boston Bruins in seven games. Vigneault posted a 313-170-57 while in Vancouver, making him the winningest coach in franchise history.

However, despite his regular season success, Vigneault’s track record in the playoffs was mediocre at best with a 33-32 record. Last season, the Canucks took the best record in the league into the playoffs, but were stunned by Jonathan Quick and the Los Angeles Kings who made quick works of the Canucks in just five games. This year, the Canucks were swept by the San Jose Sharks in the opening round of the playoffs. It was the first time in 12 years the Canucks were swept in the playoffs.

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Sports Sales

Columbus Blue Jackets See Increase in Season Ticket Sales

columbus-blue-jacketsAfter a red-hot finish to the 2013 NHL regular season, the Columbus Blue Jackets have seen an increase in season ticket sales over the past several weeks. According to the team, season ticket sales are up 13 percent from one year ago when the Blue Jackets had one of their worst season’s in franchise history.

Last season, the team sold approximately 7,000 season tickets. This summer, Columbus has already sold over 1,000 season tickets to fans who have upgraded to larger ticket packages, and we haven’t even reached the halfway point of the Stanley Cup Playoffs yet. The spike in ticket sales is promising for a franchise that lost over $80 million from the 2004-2005 lockout through the 2011 season, including a loss of $25 million in a single season. During their final home game of the year, the Blue Jackets drew a crowd of 19,002, and saw over 17,000 fans in the two home games prior to their finale. While they may have missed out on the playoffs, there seems to be a new attitude about hockey in Columbus.

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Sports Technology

MLB.TV Lowers Price for Subscription

MLBTVThese days thanks to the technology of streaming sports on a wide variety of platforms, fans can watch their favorite teams, no matter where they are in the country. While that luxury comes with a price tag, as the baseball season progresses on, the technology to allow fans to cheer on their teams has become more affordable. Major League Baseball Advanced Media announced on Friday that the annual subscription cost has been lowered to $99.99 for MLB.TV Premium and $84.99 for basic MLB.TV.

With MLB.TV, fans can watch every game in Major League Baseball on various platforms such as the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Apple TV. Some features of the service include HD streaming, pausing and rewinding live games and allowing fans to choose which team’s broadcast they want to watch or listen to.

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