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Published by Sports Business Journal, 2020-04-20 12:11:35

Sports Business Journal - February 10, 2020


FEBRUARY 10-16, 2020
VOLUME 22 ISSUE 42 • $7.95



More than 50 years
after his silent Olympic
protest, Tommie Smith

still stands for racial
and social justice.


Madkour: 10 stories worth Super Bowl final thoughts: In-Depth: Changes to race
watching so far in 2020, Roger Goodell’s future, flex schedule, new track and team
from the WNBA to WWE. scheduling for ‘MNF’ and more. deals on horizon for NASCAR.




I am tired of listening to presidents and
awthhleenticvdeirryecfetowrsolef tchteumre ushsoown iannte”yg. rity—ESPN’sJAYBILASoncheatingcontroversiesincollegesports.

Viewers for the past

five NBA All-Star
Games, since TBS
began simulcasting
TNT’s coverage. This
year’s game is Sunday
night in Chicago.

@MLS Twitter; ESPN Images; Getty Images (2); @TheWayBack Instagram


Kit Start ’15 ’16 ’17 ’18 ’19

All 26 MLS teams unveiled their new jerseys for the 2020 season at the Forward25 showcase in New York. Celebrities like
actor Colin Hanks, gaming superstar Ninja and Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins modeled the looks, which
included the debut of the jerseys for expansion teams Inter Miami CF and Nashville FC. Toronto FC (GE Appliances Canada)
and D.C. United (Caesars Entertainment) also announced new sleeve sponsorships, making it four teams with such deals.


MARCH 6 The American League 812,174
favorites announced they are Total crowd at the Australian Open, breaking the previous
The Way Back, a new film starring adding two new social spaces record set in 2019 of 796,435.
Ben Affleck as a high school to their 11-year-old ballpark, FEBRUARY 10-16, 2020 | 3
the Stella Artois Landing and
basketball coach, opens in theaters.
Michelob Ultra Clubhouse.



Boston was heavily
criticized for trading 
superstar Mookie Betts
to the Dodgers to get under
the luxury tax threshold
for the coming season.

W W W . S P O R T S B U S I N E S S J O U R N A L . C O M


Ten stories worth watching
EN STORIES from January that were was 85 million homes. That’s clearly not the
a big part of the conversations last case. I view 80 million homes as one of the
month: many distribution benchmarks. Keep an eye
on the future distribution numbers of ESPN
ABRAHAM MADKOUR  BASEBALL’S BAD BOYS: The sign-stealing and ESPN2 — both slightly north of 82 million. The entire contents
scandal shows no signs of slowing down de- of this magazine are
PUBLISHER AND spite the aggressive approach by MLB Com-  THE SEC’S BOLD MOVE: This deal is still copyrighted by Street &
EXECUTIVE EDITOR missioner Rob Manfred. It already brought developing and not announced, but the SEC’s Smith’s Sports Business
down leaders of three organizations and al- move from CBS to ESPN/ABC roiled much of Journal 2020 with all rights
THIS WEEK tered the future of the Astros, Red Sox and the media industry. No one seems surprised by reserved. Street & Smith’s
Mets. My main questions: 1) How will this the rights fee’s nearly 600% increase, to north is a registered trademark
COLLEGE affect interest in baseball; 2) How will the of $300 million per year, but there have been of Leaders Group Holdings
12 WAITING GAME Astros show contrition; 3) How will the Astros questions about the process and the speed at LLC. Reproduction or use,
be received by other teams (one player told me which the SEC decided to go all in with ESPN. without permission, of
Final deal points on he has no qualms about aggressively going editorial or graphic content
agreement between SEC after any of the players involved); and 4) How THEPOWEROFAUDIO:Podcast programming in any manner is prohibited.
and ESPN/ABC still being will fans react? I’ve already heard stories of was integral to Penn Gaming’s acquisition of Street & Smith’s Sports
negotiated. fans buying tickets just to go boo the Astros. Barstool and Spotify’s deal for Bill Simmons Business Journal (ISSN-
By Michael Smith and and The Ringer, demonstrating the sticky fol- 1098-5972) is published
John Ourand  WNBA’S DARING DEAL:  The WNBA’s new lowing and power of this medium. Simmons is weekly, with the exception
CBA didn’t receive the attention or credit it a business-builder and I’ll be keeping an eye of the first week of July
MEDIA deserves. New President Cathy Engelbert on his desire to build a new series of documen- and the last two weeks of
15 WATCH PARTY showed real leadership, and the league, and taries with HBO around rock music.  December, for $306 a year
owners, made a bold bet by dramatically in- by Street & Smith’s Sports
Nielsen will provide creasing investment, player salaries and bene-  A RIVAL GOLF LEAGUE?: With the PGA Business Journal, at 120
Super Bowl out-of-home fits, with the hope that the money will follow. As Tour’s new media agreements likely to be West Morehead Street, Suite
viewership numbers the Mystics owner Ted Leonsis said, “There’s no announced around The Players Champi- 310, Charlotte, NC 28202.
day after the 2021 game. new revenue that’s been promised to us. We’ve onship, talk has begun to bubble up about In Canada $371 per year,
By John Ourand dramatically increased our expenses in hopes the World Golf Group’s plan for an 18-event includes GST and all other
of … now we can go out and try to attract spon- global tour. The idea has seemingly been in countries $471, includes
LABOR sors, media deals.” I’m especially interested the works for a while, largely driven by The a one-year subscription
16 D RAFT PREP in the deal’s “Changemakers” program that Raine Group, and observers are watching to and expedited air delivery
hopes to bring on sponsors focused on shifting see how PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Mo- (GST#139794580).
Player agents continue the business model around all women’s sports. nahan solidifies his members and squashes Periodicals postage paid at
signing prospective NFL any momentum the fledgling tour may gain. Charlotte, NC, and additional
draft picks ahead of the  NFL’S ATTENDANCE TREND: The average of mailing offices. Street &
April 23-25 event. 66,648 during the NFL’s 2019 regular season NFL AND ENDEAVOR UNITED: A lot of people Smith’s Sports Business
By Liz Mullen marked the first time since 2010 that the fig- are talking about Endeavor’s acquisition Journal is a publication of
ure dropped below 67,000, and it was the league’s of On Location Experiences because of the Leaders Group Holdings
ENTERTAINMENT lowest average since 2004. Fifteen teams saw a big personalities and companies involved. LLC. Street & Smith’s Sports
17 SUNDANCE decline. Even though it only looks like a slight Ari Emanuel and Mark Shapiro handled Business Journal is an equal
drop, it is top of mind of every team and league negotiations, dealing with Roger Goodell opportunity employer.
SPOTLIGHT executive. Look for more incentives to maintain and Robert Kraft. Now, the focus turns to
Diversity and breaking the appeal of being at the live event. how the two companies can take a business POSTMASTER: Please
barriers were themes that has been scaling quickly and spins off send address changes
among the sports-related  SPORTS’ LEAD CARD: In figures that execs more than $60 million of EBITDA to one that to Street & Smith’s
films at Sundance. should cite all year, sports again showed its generates more than $100 million. Sports Business Journal —
dominance on TV. In 2019, sports accounted Subscriber Services,
By Shahnaz Mahmoud for 92 of TV’s top 100 most-viewed telecasts.  MAJOR EXECUTIVE SHAKE-UP AT WWE: The P.O. Box 36637,
That is up from 88 for sports in both 2018 and news came late on Jan. 30 that the WWE ter- Charlotte, NC 28236-6637
SOCIAL MEDIA 2016 (Olympic years), and up from 81 in 2017. minated co-Presidents Michelle Wilson and
18 ON THE SET It was another feather in the cap of the NFL, George Barrios. The move shocked industry FOR CUSTOMER SERVICE CALL
as 78 game windows ranked in the top 100, insiders, as the two were architects of the 1-800-829-9839
A behind-the-scenes look up from 63 in 2018 and 64 in 2017. WWE’s media move to Fox and USA Network
at how TNT incorporates and had tremendous influence on its revenue For article reprints,
social media into its NBA generation. WWE Chairman Vince McMa- please contact newuser@
studio show. hon can be mercurial, and this move came
By Joe Perez out of nowhere and sent the company’s share or call customer service at
price tumbling. 1-800-829-9839.
OPINION. . . . . . . . . . 34
CAREERS.. . . . . . . . . 35  WHERE IS THE FLOOR?: Figures that broke Abraham Madkour can be reached at
FACES & PLACES.. 36 in late January may have gotten lost amid the [email protected].
CLOSING SHOT. . . . 38 run-up to the Super Bowl, but distribution for
both Fox Sports 1 and NBC Sports Network
Cover image by Rich Von fell below 80 million. These concerning trends
Biberstein mirror other networks. Years ago, I was as-
sured by high-level cable executives the floor
4 | F E B R UA R Y 10-16, 2020

PODCASTS Check out our First Look podcast every Monday where we discuss the week’s top stories. Also, check out
Buzzcast in SportsBusiness Daily’s Morning Buzz, our daily two-minute look at the stories of the day.



Goodell has made his
bosses, like Patriots
owner Robert Kraft, very
happy while steering the
league through a rocky
couple of years and back
to an upward trajectory.

‘Revitalized’ Roger the overwhelming support of owners.
Talk of a Goodell retirement peaked about two years ago,
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has no plans to retire—
shortly after owners agreed to his extension through March 2024.
and that’s just the way the owners want it. BY BEN FISCHER It came amid a precipitous decline in NFL ratings, political prob-
O lems driven by President Donald Trump and Colin Kaepernick,
VER THE past two years, Roger Goodell’s potential media criticism over Goodell’s public profile and an insurrection
retirement has been a source of frequent discus- led by Cowboys owner Jerry Jones over Goodell’s compensation.
sion among league insiders who thought the NFL Then-NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart said it would be the com-
missioner’s last deal, though Goodell himself never said that.
commissioner might step down after securing the
Four days before the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco
next players’ union and media contracts. But in the days leading 49ers kicked off at Hard Rock Stadium, Goodell stood at a po-
dium at the Hilton Miami Downtown and addressed the issue.
up to Super Bowl LIV, Goodell gave no indication he is eyeing
“One thing I learned from this job is that your work is never
the finish line, and most executives close to the league now expect done,” he said. “I believe there are always challenges that this
league will have to address. And I want to put our league in the
him to lead the NFL well into this decade. best possible position. I do believe that leadership is important
and that consistent leadership in some fashion is critical for the
Interviews with numerous team leaders, league officials and league. And so, succession will be an important part of it. But I
have not thought about retiring.”
business partners over four days in Miami yielded a broad con-
Goodell continued: “It is not on my agenda. We have too much
sensus: Goodell seems “revitalized,” in the words of one club to do, and I think too many great things are happening in this
league right now. But at some point, I am going to retire. That
executive, appearing more engaged, happy and comfortable than day is probably closer than it was yesterday. But I am not focused
on that. I am 100% committed to this job.”
he did when he signed his last contract extension in December
When talk of Goodell’s retirement hit its peak, it was driven
2017. Few see him as someone who intends to retire in the fore-

seeable future.

The league is acting that way as well. There is no active suc- AP Images

cession planning underway and a vanishingly short list of cred-

ible successors, sources widely agreed. Crucially, Goodell enjoys



by supposition as much as hard facts. matchup between the 6-8 Denver Broncos and the
The thinking was that long-term labor
and broadcast rights deals — the cur- 3-11 Oakland Raiders, or the Week 10 matchup ear-
rent iterations of which expire in 2021
and by the end of the ’22 season, re- lier that season between the 1-7 New York Giants
spectively — along with new stadiums
in Las Vegas and Los Angeles, would and the 2-7 San Francisco 49ers.
create a capstone on Goodell’s tenure
and give his replacement a smooth As an added enticement, ESPN has told the NFL
start. But after two years of positive
momentum — increased television that it would put “Monday Night Football” back on
ratings and progress on each of those
fronts chief among them — Goodell The idea is to push ABC if it ends up with the
looks no closer to stepping down from more compelling rights. ESPN’s “Monday
the job he has held since 2006. games to prime time. Night Football” deal ends
after the 2021 season, one
What happens after his contract, a
five-year deal worth roughly $30 mil- season before the league’s other media rights pack-
lion annually, runs out in four years
is still unclear. A team executive called ages expire.
it “50/50” that Goodell would stay after
that, but one key business partner to It’s not just ESPN, though. NBC’s “Sunday Night
the league said he’s “never leaving.”
Another said: “He likes his work. It’s Football” likely wants more options. With some ex-
a great job, he can get anybody in the
world on the phone.” Aside from the ceptions, the NFL typically announces its flex games
improving business situation,
Goodell’s twin daughters have gradu- for Sunday nights 12 days before kickoff, starting in
ated from high school, possibly giving
him the fresh perspective of a new More flex scheduling Week 5. NBC likely wants that time frame to be moved
empty nester. could be on the way
up. The NFL can flex only two games into Sunday
Insiders also deduce that no change BY BEN FISCHER AND JOHN OURAND
at commissioner is forthcoming be- night between weeks 5 and 10, another point that
cause of the lack of successors or THE NFL has asked teams for feedback on the prospect of
succession planning. Owners would radically expanding flex scheduling, including the possibil- NBC likely wants to be relaxed.
be particularly loath to choose an ex- ity of moving games from Sunday to Monday in mid-season,
ternal candidate while the league is sources said. Most clubs’ concerns have centered around road
on an upswing — some would see it
as an admission of needing help — and Before the holidays, league executives posed an open-ended trip logistics and expenses, particularly with any
internally, the list is short. Brian Ro- question to teams: How much flexing could they handle? How
lapp, executive vice president of NFL much advance notice would teams need if broadcasters want- potential flex involving “Monday Night Football.”
Media, is most often described as a ed to switch a Sunday afternoon game to “Monday Night Foot-
potential successor, and has been tak- ball?” What if every week of the season were opened to flexing? Flights and hotel rooms would have to be booked for
ing steps to build new relationships
with a wider range of team leaders, The NFL did not propose a specific plan. an extra day to account for the unknown, or altered
sources said. Christopher Halpin, Any flex scheduling changes would not take effect until
executive vice president and chief new media rights deals kick in, starting with the 2023 season. at the last minute, which could become exorbitant.
strategy and growth offer, is also men- Even though the NFL has not started formal negotiations
tioned as a serious candidate, though with any networks, ESPN has let it be known that it wants “You can do it in a week if it has to be done, but
a step behind Rolapp. In the time be- to incorporate flexible scheduling as part of a new “Monday
fore Goodell’s contract expires, those Night Football” deal. there’s a number associated with that,” said one
two could better make their case or ESPN wants to be able to flex out of late-season games that
others could yet emerge. carry no postseason implications, like the Dec. 24, 2018, team executive.

Simply put, the owners want him Reaction varied widely. Small-market clubs eager
to stay, said Sportscorp. Ltd. founder
and consultant Marc Ganis, one of for national exposure said they might value the
the few people not employed by the
league with firsthand knowledge of prime-time window over the cost of changing. West-
a range of owners’ thoughts.
ern teams worry about the time zone implications.
“The owners don’t want him going
anywhere,” Ganis said. “I can’t speak The teams delivered no consensus to the league.
for all of them, but I’ve spoken with
quite a few, and Roger Goodell is who Teams with fewer season-ticket holders would
they want to be commissioner of the
NFL, and who they wanted even when be less inclined toward allowing more night games
they faced all those headwinds. Now
that those problems of the past few than budgeted for, since single-game sales typi-
years are generally in the past, and the
league is firing on all cylinders, that cally decrease for night games.
feeling is stronger, not weaker.”
The league is mindful of the potential backlash

from ticketholders who could see their personal

schedules thrown for a loop if a scheduled game

changes from Sunday to Monday or vice versa.

League may not release schedule until after draft

ESPN Images BY BEN FISCHER AND JOHN OURAND sources said, though no firm deci- gun to warm to the idea that know-
sion has been made. ing where an impact player may
WITH JOE BURROW at quarterback, land outweighs those extra two
the Cincinnati Bengals would be a Typically networks have pushed weeks of selling advertising. In
much more marketable team, at back on the idea more than teams, this year’s draft, they identified
least for television purposes. But sources said. Networks sell the ma- Burrow, Alabame quarterback Tua
what if the Bengals trade that No. 1 jority of their entertainment adver- Tagovailoa and Ohio State defen-
overall pick, or even select another tising for the year during a period in sive end Chase Young as potential
player, during April’s NFL draft? All May known as upfronts. They gen- impact players that could help a
of a sudden, one of its prime-time erally start selling sports program- team’s national appeal.
games may not look as attractive. ming in the weeks preceding up-
fronts, where games won’t get lost Teams generally want sched-
That kind of uncertainty has led amid an avalanche of new shows. ules set as early as possible, so
league officials to look into delaying they can begin selling tickets to
the release of the 2020 schedule un- Pushing back the NFL’s sched- home games and booking travel
til after the draft, which begins April ule release could cut into the time accommodations for road trips.
23. The league has reached out to networks devote to selling their in- However, there may be some up-
both TV networks and teams for in- game advertising. Usually, the NFL side to a delay into May, if it comes
put, sources say. schedule is finalized at some point along with a more certain date
in April, although the date is not where they could plan schedule
It’s likely that the NFL will push advertised in advance. release programming or events.
back it schedule release date,
TV network executives have be-

W W W . S P O R T S B U S I N E S S J O U R N A L . C O M FEBRUARY 10-16, 2020 | 7


from advertising on the Super Bowl. This year’s

game was the first to feature an ad from the tourism


“Where Sunday Ticket ends up seems like a big-

ger issue,’’ said a network source, who will be in-

volved in the negotiations,

For a market which he doesn’t expect to begin
the league once before March or April at the

shunned, the earliest. “I don’t want to say the
NFL now has NFL is intractable before we’ve
a team in Las even seen a model of how this
Vegas and will would work. … Surely, I’d expect
hold this year’s gambling to be a part of those
draft in the city.

conversations, especially with

Jerry Jones being so optimistic

about legalized betting’s impact on NFL rights.

We’re not nearly as optimistic, given the amount

of states where it’s legal (currently 14).”

■ RIDING WITH THE COWBOYS: MillerCoors’ spend-
ing on sports sponsorship has slowed dramatically
over the past few years, but we’ve long thought that
the biggest test of the brewer’s recent “less is more”
sponsorship philosophy would be whether it re-
newed its Dallas Cowboys exclusive rights, which
date back more than four decades.

Sure enough, numerous industry sources in
Miami told us that Miller’s Cowboys deal has been
renewed for an additional 10 years at an astronom-
ical price that starts at $18 million and averages
around $20 million per annum, courtesy of an auc-
tion with Anheuser-Busch InBev. Miller is believed
to have been paying $11 million to $12 million under
the old deal.

NFL maintains slow, steady ■ TO YOUR HEALTH: What if you paid what it took
approach in crafting policy to buy off the top shelf and then hid your purchase
around sports betting away? Essentially, that’s the story with Cigna — call
it the stealth NFL corporate sponsor.
WHILE IT NOW HAS corporate sponsorships with within NFL programming. Sources in Miami said
The $49 billion health care insurer discreetly
DraftKings and Caesars, the NFL continues to move NFL ownership is intractably opposed to gambling purchased NFL league rights last year and has sat
on them, at least as far as any business-to-consum-
slowly on a comprehensive legalized sports betting ads appearing within its games and pregame, post- er marketing efforts. We are told there were some
scattered business-to-business efforts last fall and
sponsorship, which surely would be the largest in game and halftime shows, and is making that posi- Cigna has increased its NFL team deals, including
the Atlanta Falcons and Houston Texans, to five or
the industry. tion clear, even before face-to-face negotiations six in total, with Genesco Sports Enterprises han-
dling negotiations.
Chris Halpin, NFL executive vice begin. But the NFL remains open to
Cigna, which came on board as an NHL corporate
president, chief strategy and allowing gambling-related content sponsor three years ago and is lead sponsor for the
“Every Save Counts/Hockey Fights Cancer” pro-
growth officer, is heading the group FROM Super Bowl LIV on those same pregame, postgame gram, has also been working with the NFL’s player
developing the policy and, as ex- and halftime shows. Network execu- development/football operations side on issues such
HARD ROCK STADIUM, MIAMI as mental health. We also note that Troy Vincent,
NFL executive vice president of football operations,
pected, the league is proceeding TERRY LEFTON tives describe the NFL as taking is affiliated with Cigna for community outreach
cautiously. Still, there are a couple AND BEN FISCHER small steps in this area. programs.
of developments from the Super
2) A senior industry source in Some Cigna signage was evident during Super
Bowl week at youth football events in Miami. Sourc-
Bowl worth noting when it comes Miami noted that the NFL has re- es said a consumer push is coming later this year.
Until then, Cigna will remain the league’s most
to sports gambling: tained an executive search firm to furtive corporate sponsor.

1) While official word is that formal negotiations fill a new job with an attention-grabbing title: vice While pro teams have long had a variety of hos-
pitals as local sponsors, league deals have been
for new NFL TV deals have not begun, there’s al- president of sports betting. Times have changed tougher to land. In addition to the NHL’s three- AP Images
year-old deal with Cigna, others include the NBA’s
ready skirmishing — or perhaps it’s posturing — since those many years when the NFL prohibited five-year-old Kaiser Permanente sponsorship.

about whether gambling ads will be permitted the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority “Health care and hospital sponsorships are 99%
local; every team has one or more medical providers
and many have numerous ones,” said Jeff Sofka,



Lowe’s charmed Super indifferent about the value of intellectual prop-
Bowl guests with a erty deals. With the recent QSR emphasis on deliv-
collection of miniature ery from the likes of Uber Eats, DoorDash and
houses themed for each GrubHub, the question is whether there’s a pos-
NFL team. sible deal that might or might not be paired with
a specific fast-food brand. Pizza Hut has NFL rights
ries, including Oakley on for pizza, while on-again/off-again NFL sponsor
McDonald’s walked after last season.
the field, and Quicken
The league has also been in the market seeking
Loans’ Rocket Mortgage a spirits sponsor, but with A-B marketing more
non-beer alcoholic beverages, it will be intriguing
embracing the Super to see whether the brewer snaps up alcoholic-bev-
erage rights across the board.
Bowl as a vehicle for a
■ A DIFFERENT NFL HOUSE: There were plenty of
national “squares” game happy faces around NFL sponsor Lowe’s Super Bowl
Experience build-out of 32 miniature houses with
promotion. NFL themes — one for each team. Still, no one was
smiling more broadly than Endeavor’s 160over90
Nana-Yaw Asamoah, President Ed Horne, when telling us about the gen-
esis of the project.
NFL vice president of
Turns out that particular activation was a key
business development part of the original agency pitch that won the Lowe’s
NFL business for Endeavor last spring. “Just a
and sponsorship, said wonderful feeling, to see that grow from a concept
to Super Bowl reality, which really speaks to the
autos and quick-service Lowe’s brand,” said Horne, at Endeavor’s hospital-
ity house, near the Lowe’s activation on South
restaurants are top pri- Beach.

a former NFL marketer whose Bendigo consul- orities. As for the fate of the whimsical structures? Still
tancy, in Ridgewood, N.J., pairs health care brands
including NYU Langone Health and Cedars-Sinai Hyundai left the NFL sponsor fold after the 2018 CONTINUED ON PAGE 10
with sports and entertainment properties. “As health
care becomes more about keeping people healthy season, and while its Genesis luxury nameplate
before they become sick, you’ll see more deals like
this, because they need to reach more consumers remained a corporate patron of the league, those
more of the time.’’
rights expire at the end of March, and there has
■ HUNTING SEASON: The NFL’s offseason is the
“on” season for NFL marketers seeking new spon- been a reshuffling of senior management at the
sors. Last season yielded dollars from new catego-
automaker. Nonetheless, Asamoah said renewal

talks continue, but there’s a space for any carmak-

er looking at both the luxury and regular auto cat-

egories. resBt:9a.3u7r5"ant category has always
The quick-service
been a heavy media spTe:n9.1d2e5"r but can sometimes be


Champion B:6.5"
One for the ages. T:6.25"
Congratulations from your friends at

Patrick Mahomes II
Super Bowl LIV MVP

Terry Lefton

W W W . S P O R T S B U S I N E S S J O U R N A L . C O M FEBRUARY 10-16, 2020 | 9



TBD. It would seem a shame to demolish them, even
if Lowe’s does sell around 50 different varieties of

■ LEAGUEWIDE LAGER: While two years remain on
A-B’s NFL league rights, we’re told that preliminary
talks have begun, with Genesco Sports Enterpris-
es assisting, along with 160over90. However, as one
insider put it, “that’s a very difficult conversation”
before the NFL cements its next media rights deal,
not to mention a labor agreement, which expires
after the upcoming season.

Rapidly changing dynamics in the beer catego-
ry, which see hard seltzer rights nearly as coveted
as beer, will make those negotiations fascinating.
Note that the NHL has divided its beer category
and we wonder if the NFL would ever do the same,
harking back decades to when A-B had regular-
season NFL rights, while Miller Brewing controlled
NFL postseason and Super Bowl intellectual prop-

■ PREPARE FOR LAUNCH: Nothing makes property Gatorade’s Bolt24 was
presenting sponsor of Super
marketers happier than sponsors using their jewel ■ PEPSI’S WATER DAMAGE: Pepsi’s halftime show County police, Uber Bowl Opening Night, which
and Lyft. included Kansas City Chiefs
events as launch vehicles. In Miami, that included earned rave reviews, but the NFL’s soft drink spon- head coach Andy Reid.
Uber is a sponsor
Genesis introducing its GV80 SUV; Quicken Loans’ sor had a big problem on its hands a day earlier. of the Dolphins,

Rocket Mortgage employing the Super Bowl as a On Saturday, Pepsi began processing ticket refunds

springboard for a national game promotion; and and rideshare compensation for thousands of music and the company

Gatorade making its new Bolt24 drink the present- fans after a disastrous conclusion to Friday’s Pepsi thinks the problem lies with SP+ and the police for

ing sponsor of Super Bowl Opening Night. Zero Sugar Super Bowl party on Miami’s Watson preventing their drivers from getting to fans. “Due

Brett O’Brien, Gatorade senior vice president Island. to limited road access and spatial constraints, driv-

and general manager, said Bolt24 is aimed at ath- At midnight, after a severe thunderstorm hit, ers were not able to access the designated rideshare

letes, but for the “non-performance occasion,” mak- but before main act Harry Styles played, the Miami lot,” a statement from the company said.

ing the low-carb/low-sug ar, anti-oxidant, Fire Department abruptly canceled the show, order- But SP+ described something very different, and

caffeinated beverage a nice fit for Opening Night. ing an evacuation of the specially built concert suggested Uber was manipulating the system to

“It’s a different way for us to talk to athletes about venue. That forced about 5,000 people into a driving maximize surge pricing. Spokesman Don Jordan

wellness and stuff that’s away from the field of play rainstorm, and onto a low-lying island with one said more than 800 cars were in the lot by halftime,

that prepares them for competition,’’ O’Brien said. access road and little shelter. Some fans were stand- and passengers were easily connecting with them

“It’s made for a different consumption occasion, ing in a foot of water, and others told the Miami at first, but that all changed at crunch time.

but the same target for us — Herald they couldn’t get a “Just prior to the end of the game, rideshare apps

athletes.’’ car until sunup. stopped reflecting the number of vehicles that were

Within the Fox broadcast, Why were people ordered present within the parking lot,” Jordan said. “As

NFL corporate sponsors to evacuate a shelter during egress began, guests were struggling to match to

bought the equivalent of 30 a storm? Even though the fa- vehicles, although they could clearly see vehicles

30-second spots, though in cility was steel, it fell under within the parking area. Additionally, the rides that

varying lengths. local laws for temporary were being matched were at ‘surge rates.’” The NFL

structures (intended for tents) and SP+ eventually moved 800 people offsite to less

■ TURKEY DAY TD: Tracie and high winds were expect- congested areas via bus to help them get a car.

Rodburg, NFL senior vice ed. In short, there was no

president of sponsorship, contingency for a mass evac- ■ TWITCH COMPETITION SCORES BIG: The NFLPA
and Twitch are eager to expand on the Twitch
said the league is again look- uation. Streamer Bowl, the “Fortnite” competition held in
Miami during Super Bowl week that drew 1 million
ing to fashion a sponsor “We tried to provide a re- viewers online.

platform around its three ally fun experience for our Top Twitch streamers teamed up with NFL play-
ers in a 16-team tournament, won by gamer Cody
Thanksgiving Day games, fans at the Super Bowl and “Clix” Conrod and Chicago Bears running back
Tarik Cohen. NFL players make hundreds of ap-
which are seemingly attrac- we didn’t do that,” said a pearances at the Super Bowl, but the Streamer Bowl
stood out because of how enthusiastic they were.
tive to any retailer, since Pepsi official. The building
“What’s so great about esports video game activa-
they’re at the beginning of hosted AT&T Super Satur- tion is these guys do this anyway,” said Scott Langer-
man, CEO of ACE Media, the NFLPA-owned content
the holiday shopping season. day Night in better weather division. Most of the players used the NFL-themed
cosmetic enhancements made possible by the
“The assets are attractive, a night later, and without league’s deal with “Fortnite” publisher Epic Games,
but the NFL shield was not involved.
and obviously the audience incident.
Staff writer John Ourand contributed to this
on that day is huge,” she said. report.

“With the right messaging, A fan posted her experience after weather ■ RIDESHARE WOES: Prob-

it’s a great jump-start on the forced an evacuation of the Pepsi Zero lems marred the post-Super
holidays.’’ Sugar Super Bowl party. Bowl rideshare pickup plan

The league has been trying outside Hard Rock Stadium, Gatorade; Twitter

to sell comprehensive marketing platforms across and nobody’s willing to take the blame. Some fans

the opening weekend of its playoffs and Thanksgiv- waited several hours for a ride after the game, despite

ing schedule for several years, but so far, there have extensive planning from the NFL, transportation

been no takers. consultant SP+, Hard Rock Stadium, Miami-Dade



Penn National bets wider NASCAR
offerings will bring more action

MEETING WITH the leading U.S. sports- Beginning this year, Penn
National will offer eight in-play
book operators en route to a watershed NASCAR betting opportunities.

deal with Penn National Gaming an- was the brand that was associ-
ated with sports gambling,” said
nounced last week, NASCAR execu- Jeff Kaplan, vice president of
strategic and financial planning
tives presented a proposition unlike at Penn National. “Barstool has
created content for years
those of most other leagues selling around gambling. When you
combine our assets and Bar-
sponsorships and authorized gam- stool’s assets, it creates really
powerful synergies.”
bling provider rights.
One reason for optimism
Fans have been bet- around NASCAR as a betting
property is its locked-down con-
BY BILL ting on NFL, NBA and trol of its official data feed. All
KING MLB games for as long of the major pro sports proper-
as there have been ties offer their official data for
sale to bookmakers, who then
games, in Nevada and use it to adjust odds and settle bets.
The ability to do that quickly, rather
through neighbor- than waiting to see an event unfold
on TV, is attractive to sportsbooks.
hood bookies and then illegal offshore But there is debate over whether it is
essential, or commensurate with the
sites. Football, basketball and baseball premium leagues and sports data pro-
viders place on it. Data companies also
together made up about 90% of the offer a slower product, which they take
from TV or from “data scouts”, who
money wagered legally on sports in go to games and send play-by-play.
NASCAR’s data comes from telem-
Nevada and 75% of sports bets in New etry transmitted by its cars, which it
uses to record lap times and track
Jersey in 2019. position, a proprietary system that
can’t be replicated.
NASCAR falls into the “other” cat- “Nobody else can transmit that data
fast enough to get it to the market,”
egory, along with tennis, golf, auto ficient horsepower behind helping to Daytona 500, a game meant to prime said Chris Dougan, managing director
of U.S. operations for London’s Genius
racing, soccer and boxing. grow a new product line from scratch. the pump for Penn’s rollout of online Sports, the data distributor working
with NASCAR to develop and distrib-
Pitching sportsbooks on why they Then, at a sports betting conference sportsbooks that will offer in-race ute its in-race betting product. “They
are absolutely in control of their own
should hitch their wagon to a sport in New York early in November, NAS- wagering on the sport later this year. data. It’s just a part of their sport that
you need to have. That control pro-
that has driven little betting revenue, CAR had a second meeting with rep- To be clear, Penn National is not a vides them an edge over anyone.”
Of course, NASCAR and Genius
NASCAR posited that perceived lack resentatives from Penn National, a leading sportsbook chain. In fact, it’s will have to develop an in-race offer-
ing that bettors find attractive. With
of demand actually stemmed from a company that through its racetrack not a sportsbook yet — at least not in its relatively large footprint, and now
a brand that gambling-inclined young
dearth of supply. It presented research and casino properties has one of the the context of FanDuel, DraftKings, men know, Penn has emerged as a
potent operator.
it said indicated NASCAR fans would larger footprints of any U.S. gaming William Hill, Bet MGM, Fox Bet, Rush “We’re not going to be the only au-
thorized gaming operator with NAS-
bet on races — if they were given the property, 41 properties spanning 19 Street, Caesars and others, who have CAR,” Kaplan said. “Others are going
to sign on for this data. But what we
opportunity to do so on something states. That night at a college basket- launched apps and begun fightinng think is unique and what we think
can engender loyalty among our cus-
more enticing than the vanilla “which for early adopters in states tomers is the productization of some
of these features.”
driver will be in Victory Lane in three PLACE YOUR NASCAR BETS that allow it.
While those brands raced
hours” bet that sportsbooks have tra- Eight in-play bets, with odds that change
as the race unfolds, expected to be offered to market, Penn National
ditionally offered. by Penn National on NASCAR: chose a different path. It sold
off “skins” — access to state
Though many of the sportsbooks 1. Group Winner sub-licenses — to other
2. Stage Winner (Driver) sportsbook chains. It struck
conceded that was possible, few were 3. Team of Race Winner a deal with platform sup-
4. Manufacturer of Race Winner plier Kambi to develop an
willing to contribute resources to the 5. Race Winner Car Number Over/Under online sportsbook. Then last
6. Race Winner Car Number Odd/Even month, it announced a deal
chase — especially when they were 7. Grid Position of Race Winner Over/ that made it the latest sports-
Under (Pole Position, 2nd, 3rd or 4th, 5th, book to watch, buying a 36%
busy plowing money into building 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th 10th, 11th, 12th and 13th) stake in Barstool Sports, giv-
8. Top 10 Finish (Driver) ing it a consumer facing
their own businesses, chasing market brand that it is familiar to
Note: Group winner will be driver who finishes first in
share, securing access to state licens- selected group.

es, opening retail locations and devel-

oping and improving mobile apps.

“We’re different in the fact that

what we’re trying to do in sports bet-

ting is not simply trying to convert

the illegal market to the legal market.

We have to create a market,” said Scott the young male sports bet-

Warfield, managing director of gam- tors that have been the core

ing at NASCAR. “It’s a different chal- ball doubleheader at Madison Square of the early consumer base.

lenge than the stick and ball sports Garden, they talked shop between Penn will use the Barstool brand

have. So I think it was important for games and then had dinner together. both at retail and online, piggy-back-

us to take our time, do our due dili- They shook hands on a commitment ing the popularity of a website that

gence, meet the players and under- to work toward a deal, which they attracts 66 million unique visitors

stand who could be a strategic partner signed in late January. monthly, many young men who have

in the space that will invest in the Penn National became NASCAR’s shown a propensity to bet on sports.

right pieces that are going to help us first authorized sports betting opera- NASCAR of late has used Barstool to

Getty Images create interest around sports betting.” tor, announcing a weekly free-to-play chase that demo, which it sometimes

NASCAR would be a low priority, picks contest with payoffs of $1,500 has struggled to reach.

most of the players agreed. Too low, to $50,000 that it will launch nation- “We have more licenses than every-

NASCAR worried, for them to put suf- ally and promote beginning with the body else … but what we didn’t have

W W W . S P O R T S B U S I N E S S J O U R N A L . C O M FEBRUARY 10-16, 2020 | 1 1






MLS avoided a lockout that would
have blunted momentum in advance of
its 25th season by reaching a new CBA
that goes through 2024. The minimum

salary will top $100,000 and the
number of charter flights per team goes
from four last year to 16 by deal’s end.


OWNED Big games like Alabama vs. Auburn have helped make CBS’s SEC games the college football ratings king 11 years in a row.

The Knicks and Mets continue to battle SEC focused on finalizing new
to see which can be New York’s most TV package with ESPN/ABC
dysfunctional team. The Knicks fired
ALL HAS BEEN QUIET for the two months since news first CBS’s SEC games have been television’s most-viewed
team President Steve Mills days before
the NBA trade deadline, while famed leaked that the Southeastern Conference was closing college football package for a remarkable 11 years in a
investor Steve Cohen backed out of a
in on a new media agreement with ABC/ESPN for the row.
deal to buy the Mets after alleging that
the Wilpon family changed the terms conference’s football game of the week broadcast pack- Even though it will be a lame duck, it’s likely that

of the deal. age. Deal papers still haven’t been signed, press releas- CBS will produce the SEC package this fall, sources

HOLD es have not been written, and a formal announcement said. Given how economically favorable the deal is for

ROUGH WATERS is still at least a month away, sources say. CBS, it would take a huge offer by ESPN to convince

After a year on the job, Malcolm Turner The SEC gave the conference’s 14 SEC CBS to leave the deal before it ends in four
resigned as Vanderbilt’s athletic
athletic directors an update on the negotia- BY JOHN OURAND seasons.
director. The move opened the door for tions two weeks ago at their winter meetings AND MICHAEL SMITH SEC executives decided to pursue this deal
Candice Storey Lee to become the in New Orleans, and sources say the talks
first African American woman to hold so early as a way to get in front of the NFL

the post, on an interim basis, at an SEC remain focused on finalizing the deal with negotiations, which are expected to take bil-
school, but called further attention to
Vandy’s commitment to competing at ABC/ESPN, which would replace the league’s lions of dollars in potential rights fees out
the highest levels of college athletics.
longtime partner, CBS. The two sides have reached agree- of the market. Given the declining numbers of cable
1 2 | F E B R UA R Y 10-16, 2020
ment on the thorniest issues, including price. TV homes, combined with the importance of live sports

ESPN has agreed to pay an annual fee in the low $300 programming to TV networks, big leagues and major

million range, a substantial increase from the $55 mil- conferences have never held more leverage in these talks.

lion per year that CBS currently pays. That would trans- The SEC liked the idea of doing the deal with ESPN

late to an increase from $3.7 million per game to $20 because it creates more scheduling flexibility. That’s be-

million per game. cause ESPN will hold the rights to all of the games on

The big remaining question is whether ESPN will be both cable and broadcast. CBS’s current deal, which runs Twitter (2); Getty Images (2)

able to buy CBS out of the four years remaining on its through the 2023 football season, doesn’t allow for SEC

deal, which originally was signed in 2008. The deal has games to run on ABC/ESPN in that 3:30 p.m. window.

long been considered a sweetheart arrangement for the By adding the SEC championship game, ABC/ESPN

network because it includes the first pick of SEC football will own the rights to the championship games for the

games each week, a prime-time game and the SEC cham- ACC and Big 12 each year, and the Pac-12 championship

pionship game. ESPN already has the cable rights to every other season. Fox has the Big Ten title game and

SEC football. the other half of the Pac-12 championship games.



The team will use million to $6 million annually.
recent success
The team expects a major
and the stardom increase in the value of its
of Giannis patch deal given the rise of
Antetokounmpo reigning NBA MVP Giannis

to find a new

partner to replace Antetokounmpo; the NBA’s
Harley Davidson. new international team mar-

keting rights program; and an

NBA-leading record that has led to far greater ex-

posure for the Bucks, including 34 national televi-

sion appearances this season. The Bucks also moved

into the highly touted Fiserv Forum before the

2018-19 season.

“We expect to get three to four times the deal we

have with Harley,” said Matt Pazaras, senior vice

president of business development and strategy

for the Bucks. “We are having active conversations

with brands.”

Pazaras and team President Peter Feigin talked

with prospective jersey patch sponsors when the

team played last month in Paris, and it’s possible

that the new deal could be with an international

company not based in Wisconsin.

The Bucks are not using an agency for their new

patch deal.

Bucks expect big jump in jersey patch partner by The team is looking to leverage the stardom of
the start of next season
Antetokounmpo to drive value and extend the

next jersey patch deal team’s brand in a similar way the Portland Trail

when their current Blazers signed their jersey patch deal with Bio-
three-year agreement
Freeze at the same time the company also was

expires. signing All-Star Damian Lillard to an endorsement

BY JOHN LOMBARDO Most NBA teams are deal.
in the market for jersey patch renewals or new
“The exciting thing is that we are not limited by

THE MILWAUKEE BUCKS are hitting the jersey patch partnerships, as the league’s initial three-year test geography,” Pazaras said. “The trajectory of our

market with a new strategy that aims to cash in on of the sponsorship program winds down. Team brand and our play on the court with a guy like

the team’s higher profile since when it signed its owners have since voted to extend the program Giannis makes our value stronger. Having the

original jersey patch deal in 2017 with Milwaukee- indefinitely. league’s MVP is a value proposition. We’d like a

based Harley-Davidson. The Bucks won’t say how much their current deal done as soon as possible, knowing it will start

The Bucks are looking for a new deal that would deal with Harley-Davidson is worth, but estimates for next year, but we would love to have it done by

replace the famed motorcycle company as their from most NBA jersey patch deals range from $2 the end of the season.”

AT&T to have major presence in Chicago for NBA All-Star Game

THE LAST TIME CHICAGO hosted the NBA’s All-Star Concert set for Sunday prior to the game. Only” program that provides exclusive access and
Game in 1988, four sponsors were associated with
the event. This year, the NBA’s biggest weekend “This is their first full year and we are seeing experiences to cardholders, including VIP hospi-
rolls into the Windy City on Feb. 14-16 with more
than 50 sponsors connected to the game, includ- that they are fully activating,” said Kerry Tatlock, tality packages, tickets to all events, private
ing AT&T, which is activating heavily during its
first full year as an NBA partner. senior vice president and head of marketing receptions with NBA talent, and custom merchan-

AT&T is the marquee sponsor of the NBA partnerships for the NBA. “There are three themes dise. The company is also the title partner of NBA
Crossover venue that, according to the league,
showcases the convergence of the NBA, art, that rise across partner activation: fan engage- on TNT American Express Road Show, featuring
music, fashion, technology and entertainment.
More than a dozen other NBA partners also are ment mostly on the ground; the second is commu- musical performances on Thursday and Saturday
activating within NBA Crossover, which will be
held along Lake Michigan at Navy Pier. nights of All-Star week at the House of Blues.

AT&T will heavily promote its new 5G network in State Farm returns as title sponsor of
Chicago at NBA Crossover, and at Wintrust Arena,
site of the celebrity game. The company will All-Star Saturday Night and Taco Bell returns
launch its 5G network within the United Center on
All-Star Saturday Night and during the All-Star as title sponsor of the NBA Skills Challenge
Game itself.
during State Farm All-Star Saturday Night.
AT&T is also title partner of the Slam Dunk
Contest and presenting partner of All-Star Also notable is Mountain Dew’s title
Practice and Media Day. The company is sponsor-
ing the AT&T Blue Carpet prior to the start of the sponsorship of the 3-point contest that this
All-Star Game and will sponsor the AT&T Pregame
year has a new look with the addition of two

new shots 6 feet behind the 3-point line that

will be worth 3 points each.

In addition to those sponsors that are

NBA/Getty Images; NBA activating, the NBA will honor Kobe Bryant

AT&T will tout its 5G network at the NBA Crossover venue. and his daughter Gianna, who died in a

helicopter crash on Jan. 26, with jersey

nity and social responsibility; and the third is patches on All-Star Game uniforms. The league

brands leveraging players for storytelling.” also will honor the late NBA Commissioner David

Other All-Star brand activations include Ameri- Stern, though details weren’t available at press

can Express, which will hold its “By Invitation time. — J.L.

W W W . S P O R T S B U S I N E S S J O U R N A L . C O M FEBRUARY 10-16, 2020 | 1 3


PWHPA leader wants
clarity on future by ’21

DURING THE NHL’s All-Star weekend in St. said that by January 2021 the PWHPA would

Louis last month, women’s pro hockey play- like to know what the future holds for wom-

ers were more visible than ever before at en’s pro hockey in North America.

one of the league’s marquee events. Members “That would be an ideal scenario in my

of the Professional Women’s Hock- mind,” said Hefford, who added

ey Players’ Association took part BY MARK J. that there’s an “ongoing relation-
alongside NHL players in the Skills BURNS ship” between the PWHPA and the
competition, competed for the first NHL. As part of its Dream Gap

time in a 20-minute 3-on-3 game, Tour this season across the U.S.

played in an NHL gaming event and Canada, the PWHPA has part-

and also appeared at Fan Fair meet-and- nered directly with some NHL clubs — in-

greets, among other integrations. cluding the Chicago Blackhawks, Women’s hockey players took part in the Skills competition and in a
3-on-3 game at the NHL’s All-Star weekend in St. Louis last month.
“Whether it’s a woman or it’s a man, these Philadelphia Flyers and Toronto Maple Leafs
reads. “There are 0 professional women’s games.”
are the greatest players in the world all on the — to have exhibition games and engage in John Celenza, co-founder of Toronto-based sports drink com-

greatest stage in the world, and you’ve got to skills clinics and meet-and-greet events. pany BioSteel Sports — also a sponsor of the PWHPA — said
he’d love for the NHL to support the PWHPA. Commissioner
know that young kids — boys, girls, it doesn’t Last month, at a PWHPA event in conjunc- Gary Bettman told ESPN in September that his league was “sup-
portive” and watching the developing women’s pro landscape,
matter — they’re all watching,” said Steve tion with the Maple Leafs, Secret Deodorant but wouldn’t “undermine an existing league.”

Mayer, NHL chief content officer and executive in Canada, one of the PWHPA’s sponsors, “We’re trying to say ‘Let’s do this now,’ and [the NHL is] saying
‘Be patient,’ kind of thing,” Hefford said.
vice president, events and entertainment. had some colorful language through its on-
Though there’s still much uncertainty with women’s pro
The PWHPA would like to have those eye- site activations and current #EqualSweat hockey, U.S. Olympic gold medalist and PWHPA member Kendall
Coyne Schofield said she’s optimistic about where the sport is
balls supporting a league of its own. The campaign. headed.

organization was formed in May 2019 and “No league. No opportunity to play. No- “We didn’t come all this way to accept something that won’t
set this game up for success in the future,” she said.
includes hundreds of players who have boy- where to train. No access to the facilities or

cotted the lone women’s pro hockey league coaching staff the sport demands,” a banner

in North America, the five-team NWHL. Some read. On a website specifically created for

of the world’s best players are in the prime its relationship with the PWHPA, Secret ap-

of their careers with no team to play for, and pears to call out the NHL, too.

there’s a sense of urgency to support a formal “There are 82 professional men’s hockey

league. The group’s leader, Jayna Hefford, games you can watch each season,” the site

CAA adds Kauffman Sports Management, bolsters list of coaching clients

CAA SPORTS has acquired Kauffman Sports ing many NBA head coaches. Those existing clients U.S Air Force Academy’s Dave Pilipovich.
Kauffman started in the sports business more
Management, a pioneer agency in the business of include the Milwaukee Bucks’ Mike Budenholzer,
than 40 years ago. “My very first client in the
representing professional and college basketball Miami Heat’s Erik Spoelstra, Philadelphia 76ers’ sports business was Muhammad Ali; I did his
taxes,” Kauffman said. “I then founded Kauffman
coaches, which counts Orlando Magic head coach Brett Brown, Charlotte Hornets’ James Borrego and Sports Management Group in 1978, where I was
working with all types of people, including Charles
Steve Clifford and Memphis Grizzlies head coach Brooklyn Nets’ Kenny Atkinson. Barkley, Donnie Walsh, Monty Williams, Doc
Rivers, and so many others.”
Taylor Jenkins among its clients. “The additions of Spencer and Steve to our
Kauffman moved from representing players to
Spencer Breecker, managing partner of coaches and executives division further solidifies representing coaches in 2008. He brought on
Breecker to help him with the coaching business 10
Kauffman Sports, will join CAA CAA Sports’ years ago. “I’ve had so many great clients and built
so many great relationships through this industry
BY LIZ Sports as head of CAA Sports leadership position and I’m extremely thankful for that,” Kauffman said.
MULLEN Basketball Coaches and Execu- “I have really enjoyed this profession.”
tives. Agency founder Steve in the marketplace,”
Breecker said the added resources and network
Sexton said. that CAA brings will be “enormously beneficial” to
their coaching clients. “While basketball continues
Kauffman will serve in an advisory Kauffman’s clients to surge in popularity worldwide, so have the
profiles of our coaching clients, and CAA has all the
role to the division. Breecker will also include Denver resources to put them in the best position to help
accomplish their personal and professional goals.”
work out of Creative Artists Agency’s Los Angeles Nuggets head
CAA competes with several small and large
office and will report to Jimmy Sexton, CAA Sports coach Michael agencies, including CSE Talent, for coach represen-
tation. And late last year, Bret Just, an agent who
head of coaching and executives. Malone and Phoenix represents many college basketball coaches, left
CAA and joined WME.
“We are big fans of Steve and Spencer and Suns head coach

have always admired the great work they have Monty Williams, plus

done for their clients,” said CAA Sports co-head Clifford and Jenkins.

Howard Nuchow. “As we continue to grow our With the acquisition,

coaching division, under the leadership of Jimmy CAA Sports now

Sexton, we believe that Spencer and Steve’s Spencer Breecker (left) represents nine of
and coach Taylor Jenkins. the 30 NBA head
collaborative approach to client service will be a

great fit, and their clients will benefit greatly from coaches.

CAA’s global resources in sports, entertainment, Kauffman Sports also represents college Getty Images; CAA

enterprise and beyond.” basketball head coaches, including Dartmouth’s

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. head coach David McLaughlin, Portland’s Terry

CAA Sports has an existing practice of represent- Porter, U.S. Naval Academy’s Ed DeChellis, and




25% in the demos with out-of-home this year, that

wouldn’t be too surprising to me.”

Later this year, Nielsen will incorporate out-of-

home numbers in its national TV releases. The out-

Nielsen this of-home measurements include viewing from
year will start everywhere outside of the home — hotels, bars, gyms

incorporating — where viewers can hear audio from the television.
measurements, Last week, Fox said the Super Bowl averaged 102.1
such as viewing million viewers across Fox, Fox Deportes and all

from sports bars, U.S.-based streaming outlets. Viewership on the Fox

in its national broadcast channel fell just 99.9M
TV releases. short of 100 million (99.9 mil-
lion, to be exact).

Mulvihill said there’s room Viewers that
for the Super Bowl’s TV rat- watched Super
ings to continue to grow, cit- Bowl LIV on Fox.
ing factors such as the mild
weather across most of the The network
averaged 102.1
country and the shorter-than-
million viewers

usual game window. across Fox, Fox

“The game was short, Deportes and

SPORTS MEDIA which means you’re getting all U.S.-based

Out-of-home viewing to boost into the fourth quarter and streaming outlets.
future Super Bowl measures
you’re getting into that 110

million viewer territory, which didn’t have as much

duration on the back end as we would have liked,”

Mulvihill said. “The Super Bowl has the potential

W HEN CBS puts out its Super week. Its executives expect those num- to go higher than it’s been the last couple of years
Bowl viewership release bers to increase overall viewership and maybe get close to that 100 million level again,
next year, expect a total in the low-to-mid double digits, with even without the out-of-home.

“The narrative around the NFL right now is so

audience number to be much closer younger demographics seeing a 20%- strong, and it’s so positive. As a partner, we were

to 120 million than the 102 million Fox 25% lift. in a challenging place as recently as two or three

reported last week. “You’re going to see a Super Bowl years ago. The last two regular seasons have been

That’s because by the 2021 Super go north of 120 million viewers in the really positive, and we’re back on a growth trend

Bowl, Nielsen will be able to provide next couple of years,” said Mike Mul- for the Super Bowl.”

out-of-home measurements the day vihill, Fox Sports executive vice

after the game. president and head of strategy and John Ourand can be reached at jourand@

Fox won’t see the Super Bowl’s out- BY JOHN OURAND analytics. “If we were to get an extra Follow him on Twitter @
of-home viewership until later this 15 million viewers overall and 20%- Ourand_SBJ and read his twice-weekly newsletter.

Getty Images; ESPN Bryant wrote foreword when the crash happened. As part of that, he to one anyway, featuring two 60-second commer-
in new children’s book stepped up to be the spokesperson and write the cials — one from Microsoft, the other from Chrysler.
foreword for the very first book in the series of
ONE OF KOBE BRYANT’S last projects with ESPN was children’s books with NatGeo Kids.” The break wasn’t planned, and Fox sold the spots
to work on a series of children’s books with National after the network announced before Thanksgiving
Geographic, the sports company’s corporate cousin This book marks the first collaboration between that the game was sold out.
since Disney bought 21st Century Fox’s entertain- ESPN and National Geographic. It also marks the
ment assets last year. first foray into sports books by National Geograph- The break was especially valuable in a Super
ic’s kids’ books division. Bowl where Fox sold commercials at a record-high
The first of those books, called “It’s a Numbers rate of $5.6 million for 30 seconds. While most
Game: Basketball,” hit The series applies the STEM curriculum (science, Super Bowl advertisers want to make a splash soon
bookstores last week and technology, engineering and mathematics) to after kickoff, Fox’s biggest audience tuned in during
includes a foreword written the fourth quarter.
by the former NBA star who sports. The first book is about basketball, and
died in a helicopter crash on the second will be on soccer. “We also have a The NFL gave Fox the OK earlier in January to sell
Jan. 26. The book’s release baseball and football edition in the works,” one “floating break” that it would run during an
date was scheduled months Overholt said. unforeseen break in the game, like after Kelce’s
ago, well before Bryant’s touchdown. Microsoft is an official NFL sponsor;
accident. The basketball book looks into the geometry Chrysler has been a heavy buyer of ad time through-
of making a shot and considers the degree out the season. Neither company had another ad in
“Kobe Bryant was very where a foot should be pointing to make a Sunday’s game.
involved with our corporate pivot.
citizenship program and a During its sales process, Fox used a strategy to
campaign called ‘Don’t retire, Written by James Buckley, the 128-page reduce the number of commercial breaks from five
kid,’” said Alison Overholt, book retails for $14.99. per quarter to four, while keeping the number of
ESPN’s vice president of storytelling and special total advertisers the same. Even with the floating
projects. “He was our spokesperson and working to AD SPOTS PAY OFF FOR FOX: The Chiefs’ break, the Super Bowl had fewer breaks this year
continue it through the next phase of that campaign Travis Kelce had just caught a 1-yard pass in (17) than last (20).
the Super Bowl’s fourth quarter and Harrison
Butker added the extra point to cut the 49ers’ lead to Overall, the game featured 85 national ads (60
three. With 6:13 left in the game, Fox was not national spots and 25 Fox promos) from 55 advertis-
scheduled to go to a commercial break. But it went ers, according to research from iSpot. — J.O.

W W W . S P O R T S B U S I N E S S J O U R N A L . C O M FEBRUARY 10-16, 2020 | 1 5



Signings continue in run-up to draft, free agency

R OSENHAUS SPORTS has signed Au- Jason
burn defensive tackle Derrick Rosenhaus
Brown, a projected first-round (left) is joined by
Robert Bailey,
draft pick, and is representing two veteran Derrick Brown
and Drew
NFL players who could get big free-agent Rosenhaus.

deals if they are not franchise tagged. signed Oregon quarterback Justin Her-
bert for marketing and other off-the-field
Brown was ranked No. 7 last week on work. Excel partner and agent Alan Zuck-
er is representing him.
ESPN NFL draft analyst Todd McShay’s
Herbert, who is represented on the field
mock draft. Drew Rosenhaus represents by Athletes First, had a busy Super Bowl
weekend, including appearances with
Brown with agent Robert Bailey. Bridgestone, SAP and JBL.

BY LIZ MULLEN “He’s a dominant defensive lineman, but ■ CAA SPORTS SIGNS FINNEY-SMITH: CAA
Sports has signed Dorian Finney-Smith,
he’s also a super guy off the field,” Rosen- who is now the starting small forward for
the Dallas Mavericks, after not being se-
haus said. Brown won the Lott Impact lected in the 2016 NBA draft.

Trophy, given to the nation’s best defensive NBA agent Michael Tellem will lead
the team of agents at CAA Sports who will
player who demonstrates character as well represent Finney-Smith on and off the
court. He was formerly represented by Pro
as excellent on-the-field performance. Partner Sports Management.

Rosenhaus Sports is also representing For this NBA season, Finney-Smith is
averaging 9.5 points per game, 5.7 rebounds
Arizona State running back Eno Benja- and 1.4 assists, and leads all wings in of-
fensive rebounds.
min; Florida defensive lineman Jonathan
Liz Mullen can be reached at lmullen@
Greenard; Michigan safety Josh Metellus ■ A3 SIGNS DRAFT CLASS: Allegiant Ath- Follow her on
letic Agency has signed several players Twitter @SBJLizMullen.
and linebacker Josh Uche; Miami corner- for representation in the NFL draft, includ-
ing Clemson’s Tee Higgins, one of sev-
back Trajan Bandy and linebacker Shaq eral wide receivers expected to be selected
in the first round. ESPN’s McShay had him
Quarterman; and Ohio State linebacker ranked No. 24 on his mock draft last week.

Malik Harrison. Agents Drew and Jason draft analyst Chad Reuter
said, “He’s going to win jump balls with
Rosenhaus and Bailey and Ryan Matha his height, length and strong hands. The
combine will be big for him because peo-
are representing the players. ple want to see his short-area quickness
for route-running.”
As for veterans, Rosenhaus also repre-
A3 NFL agents Chad Speck and Isaac
sents Tampa Bay Buccaneers outside line- Conner are representing Higgins.

backer Shaq Barrett, who just won the Additionally, A3 has signed Auburn de-
fensive lineman Marlon Davidson and
Deacon Jones award, given to the league’s safety Daniel Thomas; Florida defensive
back Jeawon Taylor; Tennessee line-
best pass-rusher, and Jack Conklin, a backer Daniel Bituli and defensive end
Darrell Taylor; and Wake Forest offensive
former first-team All-Pro, both of whom lineman Nate Gilliam. Agents Speck, Con-
ner, Jimmie Strong and Che Mock are
are set to become unrestricted free agents representing the players.

unless they receive the franchise tag. ■ EXCEL SIGNS HERBERT FOR OFF-THE-
FIELD: Excel Sports Management has
“Both players are young and at coveted

positions,” Drew Rosenhaus said. “Ide-

ally we would be able to get a deal done

with either one or both [with previous

teams]. No one wants to get franchised.”

NFL clubs can designate a franchise

player between Feb. 25 and March 10. Both

players would consider re-signing with their

teams from last season if they make it to

free agency, Rosenhaus said. “Both players

have the chance to become the highest-paid

players at their position,” he added.

Rosenhaus Sports




Films make most of Sundance spotlight

MUCH OF THE HULLABALOO surrounding this horse syndicate leader, inspires her to create a
crazy scheme: to enlist the aid of local residents to
year’s Sundance Film Festival was its diverse create a community fund to breed a race horse.
Called Dream Alliance, the horse becomes a
makeup — perhaps the most in its celebrated racing champ. Welsh director Euros Lyn brings
the true story of Vokes to life and stars Toni
history. Sundance 2020 hit a few noteworthy Collette and Damian Lewis. “Dream Horse” is
based on the documentary “Dark Horse,” which
highs: Thirty-eight percent of directors spanning won the World Cinema Documentary Audience
Award at Sundance 2015. Bleecker Street and
its four competition categories Topic Studios are the distributor.

BY SHAHNAZ are people of color as are 53% “The Climb”
MAHMUD of directors in the U.S. Dramatic
Competition. Additionally, 44% Kyle and Mike are best friends. Kyle is getting
married in France to a French girl. He and Mike,
of all films announced at the who is also his best man, embark on a bike ride,
traversing a twisting road in the south of France.
festival were directed by one or At one point during their ride, Mike reveals he
slept with Kyle’s fiancée. Shot in one long take,
more women; 34% were directed by one or more “Lance” the confession and resulting exchange are not
unlike the ups and downs of the mountainous
filmmakers of color, and 15% by one or more American director Marina Zenovich provides a road — invigorating and painful at the same time.
deeply personal examination of one of the world’s Directed by American Michael Angelo Covino
people who are LGBTQ+. most controversial figures: Lance Armstrong. The and co-written by Covino and Kyle Marvin, the
ESPN documentary is a psychological study of film is based on the narrative short of the same
But the festival, which ran from Jan. 23 the “21st century phenomenon: the celebrity who name that debuted at Sundance 2018.
falls spectacularly and publicly from grace.”
through Feb. 2 in Park City, Utah, was diversified Narrative Short
Narrative Features:
in other ways. For the Jan. 26 premiere of the
“Charm City Kings”
cycling-themed film “The Climb,” it wasn’t just
A West Baltimore teen known as Mouse feels
those in attendance who got to watch. The the fierce pull from different angles. There’s
notorious ex-con Blax and concerned Detective
festival partnered with Sony Pictures Classics to Rivers, and more so from his mother, who tries to
set Mouse on a straight path. Then there’s the
simulcast the premiere and live Q&A in 10 cities dangers of gang life, which he lost his brother to.
It’s the love of “The Ride” — the power, artistry
across the U.S., including Annapolis, Md., Fairfax, and energy of the motorized dirt-bike scene
— that makes him feel alive. The film was
Va., and Tempe, Ariz. directed by Puerto Rican Angel Manuel Soto and
executive produced by Jada Pinkett Smith and
Keri Putnam, Sundance Institute’s executive Will Smith. Sony Pictures Classics will distribute
the film, which at Sundance won a U.S. Dramatic
director, commented on the significance of the Special Jury Award.

pilot program as a means to explore how to

showcase the festival’s roster of independent

films beyond the traditional bounds of the event

itself. “Collaborations like this underline Sun-

dance’s mission of supporting independent

artists and introducing audiences to new work as

technology and culture evolve,” she said.

“The Climb” originated as a narrative short,

debuting at Sundance 2018. The film follows two

best friends winding their way through the back

roads of France on their bicycles only to have

betrayal revealed.

Here’s a complete list of sports-related films at

Sundance 2020:


Sundance Film Festival (5); YouTube “Be Water” “Dream Horse” “Junior Bangers”

After Hollywood rejected him, martial artist In a working-class Welsh town, barmaid Jan In England, banger racing isn’t just a sport —
Bruce Lee returned to his parents’ homeland of Vokes struggles to find meaning in her life. But a it’s a way of life. Join 11-year-olds Finn and
Hong Kong in 1971 to complete four iconic films. chance encounter with a customer, a former race Harley on a cold winter race day in Birmingham,
The ESPN documentary follows his struggles England. London’s Danny Lee, a writer/director,
between two worlds, and explores identity and brings the film short to audiences. Banger racing
representation through archival material, involves old scrap vehicles typically competing
interviews and Lee’s own writings. Vietnamese on dirt and shale tracks and is popular in coun-
American director Bao Nguyen brings Lee’s story tries such as Belgium, Ireland and the U.K.
to life.
Shahnaz Mahmud is a writer in New York.

W W W . S P O R T S B U S I N E S S J O U R N A L . C O M FEBRUARY 10-16, 2020 | 1 7


“Everything can be part of the show,” he said, with

poignant and funny moments all having the poten-

tial to go viral. Albert “Scooter” Vertino, senior vice

president of content, production and programming,

says of social media, “It’s just another layer of us

twisting the knife to kind of take a peek behind the

curtain. Like, ‘Oh they are just like us.’ Everyone

can laugh at themselves, and

Turner’s dedicated it humanizes those guys.” You

social media studio can’t just create a viral mo-
offers monitors, ment, Vertino said, but “it’s
live metrics and one of those where when it
room for a team does occur, let’s just be pre-
of producers to pared to capitalize on it.’ And
monitor games and

react to the action. that’s where social really

comes in now. Because if it’s,

you know, Charles falls asleep or Shaq falling or any

of that stuff, those were things we would always

play back. And we will, but then social is going to

amplify it in real time, and the moment is going to

be that much bigger.”

5:55 P.M.: Heading up to the third floor to the

Social Studio, where social media vice president

Morgan Dewan and social media senior director

Tyler Price are waiting, the room is both an office

space and a production studio. There

are blinds on the windows that can

Social Team Makes NBA be lowered to give privacy while
More Lively For Turner
videos, livestreams and podcasts are

recorded. There is also a sign above

the door that illuminates to warn

passersby that live production is in

process. Dewan

There are several monitors on the

S INCE LAUNCHING a specialized social media group in 2013, Turner Sports wall in the small control room al-
has continued to push its capabilities, including the creation of a
BY JOE PEREZ dedicated social studio inside the WarnerMedia Studios in midtown lowing the social media team to track
Atlanta. Turner’s flagship studio show, “Inside The NBA,” has nimbly evolved
along with technology and the demands of a growing social audience. The game action and, as highlights war-
show, now in its 30th season, as well as other Turner programs, has seen how
social media enhances, energizes and promotes its broadcasts. rant, clip plays and post them to

At Turner, social media is an equal part of the operation. That philosophy social media. There are two rows of
runs deep. Within moments of entering the massive facility on Dr. Martin
Luther King Jr. Day on Jan. 20 for an NBA tripleheader, a fist gently taps me tables with four people per row and Price
about a dozen people in the room
on my left shoulder. It is “Inside The NBA” co-host and former
player Kenny Smith, who while making his way toward Studio overall. Those on the front row are creating the
J says hello to everyone, even a visitor who will be spending
the next few hours getting a behind-the-scenes look at how video clips and those in the back are programming
TNT incorporates social media into the NBA studio show. The
show’s other co-hosts, Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley and the video and writing the content that will accom-
Shaquille O’Neal, also offer a greeting.
pany the posts. Some of the staff are adding graph-

ical elements or creating more stylish posts. Price

said that during the NCAA Tournament, which

Turner broadcasts with partner CBS, there may

be another dozen people to help cover the increased


Next to the larger screens are smaller monitors

n 4:30 P.M.: On the set for “Inside
The NBA,” a nearly 10-minute feature
on the legacy of Dr. King created by
Turner Sports in partnership with
Wondros and Barkley, plays in the stu-
dio, and Johnson and the former play-
ers stare intently at monitors and
prepare to go live to start the night.

Turner opened its MLK Day coverage with a n 4:37 P.M.: One of the features on
salute, and the social team was ready. “Inside The NBA” looks at streets across
the country named after King.

n 5:15 P.M.: Craig Barry, Turner Sports executive vice Ann Lutzenkirchen (left) and Asia Brown search for tweets for “Inside The NBA.” Joe Perez
president and chief content officer, says the show’s tal-
ent dictates what happens each night with social media.



Traub said they pay attention to storylines no one
is discussing. For example, during a game last sea-
son, they opened the show with Rockets guard James
Harden using his signature step back to “travel”
from Houston to Miami.

“Inside The NBA’’ comes together in the control room with social media helping drive show content decisions. n 7:30 P.M: The first game of the tripleheader is
now over, and Dewan, Price and the social team
still have two more games to go, starting with Celt-
ics-Lakers. Social producers receive live video feeds
throughout the night
from remote locations
and the studio, and
access all video feeds
that are coming into
any control room
across all of Warner-
Media Studios includ-
ing live video feeds of
players warming up
for games TNT is
going to televise. That
feed runs across the
NBA on TNT social

used to track metrics related to the posts. “If there since the social team receives the live feed and not n 8:22 P.M.: Bark-
is a big moment, we oftentimes will pull up a Tweet
Deck or a CrowdTangle to make sure that we can the broadcast feed, the actual posts may be delivered ley predicts the Celt-
track everything, [the whole] conversation,” Price
said. “Specifically, when it’s our show that has a almost in lockstep with when the action is being ics will defeat the
moment like that, we want to make sure everyone
knows how big this is and who’s responded.” Among viewed at home. Lakers. How should
the things they observe is conversation volume and
interactions by team across the league. their faithful feel

“We’re not in the business of chasing likes in n 6:23 P.M.: In the control room, senior produc- about that? Traub and
any way around here. We want to have organic mo-
ments,” said Price. “We see that, we try and under- er Jeremy Levin is overseeing the night’s produc- Rossano put their
stand, ‘OK, what’s driving that’ and then ‘Do we
have a role in that conversation?’ If we do feel like tion. At his side are Turner social producer Ann spin on the moment.
we have a role in that conversation, for sure, we’ll
reach out and get a back-and-forth going, or take a Lutzenkirchen and coordinator Asia Brown, who Another feature to
moment where Chuck [Barkley] criticizes himself
and send it at them or whatever it is. We’ll play in search for pertinent content to be the social room is a
that space, but forcing ourselves into that, it’s not
in the DNA of what that show does, and we kind used during “Inside The NBA.” So- space dedicated to the
of take our lead from what they do.”
cial media’s incorporation into production of live With Charles Barkley pick-
broadcasts may have been a source social video content, ing the Celts, the social
of conflict for some producers in the both from the court team zeroed in on Kemba

industry, but Levin said he has hap- a n d f r o m s t u d i o Walker’s record vs. LeBron.

Levin pily tossed away his show rundown shows.
when viral moments happen. “The

best nights are the nights we don’t plan it out, right? n 10:18 P.M.: Graphics are a great way for the

It just happens,” Levin said. “Shaq says something, social team to present nuggets of info in an alterna-

and it catches fire, and it goes and then the fun part tive fashion. Take this one highlighting Celtics

is when you start showing [the guard Kemba Walker’s strug-

moment] and then it kind of gles to beat LeBron James

n 6:18 P.M.: When a player gets hot, it is fair to starts feeding itself. It just starts throughout his career.

expect the social becoming this machine of, ‘Oh,

media team to spot- we got another [post], we got an- n 11:37 P.M.: The “Inside The

light some of his best other one. Oh, load up three NBA” crew never lets an oppor-

moments. Pelicans more.’” The social media team tunity to laugh at each other

guard Jrue Holiday’s has a presence in the show’s pro- slide. Barkley’s tongue twisting

21 first-half points, duction meetings, and the pro- in pronouncing player names

including five three- duction crew doesn’t shy away makes for a great tweet for the

pointers in his return from ideas from any corner of social crew.

from injury, is no dif- the studio.

ferent. The turn- n 12:23 A.M.: Trail Blazers

around on content can n 6:35 P.M.: One of the addi- guard Damian Lillard sends his

be less than a minute. tions over the past two years team to overtime against the

Creating content credited to Dewan is what Price Warriors and the social team

around every TNT and calls quick-twitch visual effects honors his heroics with a gif.

NBA TV game gives artists. On this night, the small

A big first-half return earns the social team plenty room located on the third floor n 1:23 A.M.: The Turner team

Jrue Holiday a TNT tweet. of experience in rec- houses social media assistant A quick-twitch visual effects post set sends out its final social post

ognizing when big manager Chan Traub and War- up James Harden’s Miami trip in 2018. of the night, wrapping up a long

Joe Perez plays or moments are developing. Some moments are nerMedia Studios designer Pat- day with 101 total posts on Twit-

more sensitive, making it important to take time to rick Rossano. They are creating anywhere from ter, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and YouTube that

ensure every element of the post is exactly right. And two to a dozen pieces of content on any given night. had started at 10:30 a.m.

W W W . S P O R T S B U S I N E S S J O U R N A L . C O M FEBRUARY 10-16, 2020 | 1 9


Fist In The Air:
Moment Defines
A Life’s Struggle

The image of TOMMIE SMITH’S silent Black Power salute on
the medal stand after winning gold at the 1968 Olympics still
gives voice to his protest over racial and social injustice today.


T OMMIE SMITH looked over one shoulder, exhibit anchored by a vast instal- The Champions The photo Smith is searching
then the other as he scanned a wall lation of 150 gold-painted raised for is one far fewer have seen,
across the room, searching for a sin- fists, suspended from the ceiling This is the second installment taken about a decade before
gle image in a furnished basement in an undulating wave, has in the series of profiles for the Mexico City. It’s of Smith as a
toured New York, Chicago and 2020 class of The Champions: fifth-grade boy in rural Califor-
that is home to dozens of them, photos Atlanta and now resides at The Pioneers & Innovators in Sports nia, near Fresno, flanked by four
Museum of Art in San Jose, Business. This year’s honorees childhood friends. One was Na-
and posters and sketches and paintings, most of where the seeds of Smith’s pro- and the issues in which they tive American; another a Portu-
test were sown. will be featured are: guese immigrant. One came from
them somehow connected to one iconic moment

that came to define his life.

Now known as “The Silent Gesture,” that moment Date Champion

in many ways shaped what would become of Smith, Smith and Carlos each would Ireland. The fourth was a red-

the world-record setting gold medalist in the men’s pay a terrific price for their “si- Feb. 3 Marla Messing headed Californian. Smith tow-
lent gesture,” banished from the Feb. 10 Tommie Smith ers over them, his arms draped
200 meters at the 1968 Olympic Games. Games 48 hours later, sent home wide across all their shoulders.

Standing on the medal stand in Mexico City six

months after the assassination of Martin Luther to live a life forever altered. Feb. 17 Jim Delany “Doggone it,” Smith said when

King Jr., Smith, then 24, and bronze medalist John Nearly 50 years before Colin Feb. 24 Jon Spoelstra he finally laid eyes on its usual
Kaepernick took a knee on an March 2 Marvin Demoff place on the wall, now empty,
Carlos stood shoeless, heads bowed, during the play- NFL sideline, reminding ath- “the picture is in the exhibit.”

ing of the national anthem, each raising a black-

gloved fist. letes across sports of the might March 9 Jim Steeg Smith wanted to use the pic-
of their platform, Tommie ture from the San Jose exhibit
The image gained iconic status over the years, a

moment so powerful and culturally relevant that a Smith raised a fist on a victory as a visual aid in the story of

Rich von Biberstein life-sized bust of it greets stand — a platform, both literal and figurative. an afternoon he still remembers vividly, when they

Tommie Smith, 75, visitors at the entrance to Commemorations of that moment can be found all were playing in the schoolyard and the bell rang
is a former college the sports gallery at the
coach and professor, National Museum of Af- in varied forms throughout Smith’s house in Stone to call them in. One of the boys yelled “Last one in
but his life is defined rican American History
by a golden moment. in Washington, D.C. An Mountain, Ga., 25 miles northeast of Atlanta, where is a nigger baby,” and they raced to get through the

he and wife Delois have lived since relocating from door ahead of each other.

San Jose 15 years ago. CONTINUED ON PAGE 22

W W W . S P O R T S B U S I N E S S J O U R N A L . C O M FEBRUARY 10-16, 2020 | 2 1



Smith, who even then was the fastest of them,
ran as hard as he could.

“When I got in there, it hit me, how that came
out of his mouth so easily, like it was nothing,”
Smith, now 75, said, still bewildered years later. “I
wanted to slug him, but that was my friend. My
good friend. So I didn’t say anything. I never said
anything. I don’t blame him for it. But it hurt.”

Smith sat quietly for a few seconds, his head
bowed. A master’s in sociology led him to a career
teaching it, first at Oberlin College and then at Santa
Monica College, where he also coached track and

“I tell that story, and it doesn’t bring a response
from most people,” Smith said. “I don’t know why.”


Smith sat quietly amid many of his eventual In an image defining a nation’s struggles with racism and social issues, Americans Tommie Smith (center) and
Olympic teammates as Harry Edwards, a young John Carlos raise their fists after winning Olympic gold and bronze in the 200 meters in Mexico City in 1968.
sociologist and activist who he’d known since both
were students at San Jose State, spoke powerfully that he, too, would boycott, if that were the will of it had, and I wasn’t part of it, I would have been
about a proposed Olympic boycott by black athletes
in the upcoming Mexico City Games. the group. derelict in my duties to make the system grow in

Smith had set 10 world records in the 200 and 400 But as the Games approached, the IOC and USOC a fashion that equality would be the fruit. ”
meters in the run-up to the Games, building a strong
case as the planet’s best sprinter. His success in the gave ground on some of the athletes’ demands. The Still, Smith felt mixed emotions. He was acutely
track and field world, combined with his connection
to San Jose State, where he ran and Edwards lec- IOC reversed its decision to permit South Africa aware of racial injustice and burned to take a stand
tured, gave him standing as a leader, despite his
quiet demeanor. to compete in the Games. The U.S. teams hired more against it. But at what cost?

For the 18 months before the Games, Edwards black assistant coaches.
had worked to build support for a boycott, formed
around the creation of an organization called the Though he remained committed “What more is there than standing
Olympic Project for Human Rights. Since blacks to the OPHR, Smith said he always on the victory stand, with your fist
were not treated equally in the United States, Ed- doubted that the boycott would
wards argued, remaining largely impoverished and come to fruition. Many of the lead-
denied opportunity, they should not compete on
behalf of their country.

At a gathering of black athletes that Edwards
organized in Los Angeles before the Olympic Trials,
the majority voted to boycott. Smith said publicly


n Born: June 12, 1944, Clarksville, Texas. ing U.S. track and field athletes in the air, not saying anything?
n Education: Lemoore (Calif.) High School. were preparing for what could be What people saw was their idea of
Bachelor’s degree in social science, San Jose their final Olympics, an opportu- me, because I didn’t talk.”
State University. Master’s degree in social change, nity they were not likely to pass
Goddard College. up. Some were in, or headed for,
n Career: Oberlin College, track and field
coach and sociology instructor, 1972-77; Santa the military, and would be disci-
Monica College, track and field coach and physi-
cal education professor, 1978-2005. plined if they walked out on the
n Pro Sports: Drafted by the Los Angeles
Rams in 1967. Played wide receiver for the AFL team. “I didn’t want it to happen,” Smith said, pausing
Cincinnati Bengals, 1969-71, appearing in two
games and catching one pass for 41 yards. Smith remembers feeling almost out of body at as his eyes welled with tears, “as much as I wanted
n Honors: U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Hall
of Fame (2019), National Track and Field Hall the gathering in which the track and field athletes it to happen. So I was stuck. I was stuck right in
of Fame (1978), ESPY Arthur Ashe Award for
Courage (2008), California Black Sports Hall of voted at a followup meeting not to boycott as a group, the middle. So now what am I going to do? I don’t
Fame (1996).
instead encouraging each athlete to act in accor- want to not do anything. But I also don’t want to

dance with his or her own conscience. do too much. I had to do something. But what?”

“Sitting in that meeting, I’m thinking: High knees. Smith came perilously close to missing the op-

Arm action. Loose shoulders,” Smith said, flashing portunity to do anything that would be remembered,

back to the visualization techniques he would use straining his left abductor muscle, near the groin,

12 as he prepared for a race. “Really, I never was at in the semifinals of the 200. As he limped from the

WORLD Concurrent holder of 12 world the meetings. My body was. But my mind was on track, he was certain he’d pulled it. But after receiv-
RECORDS records in variations of the 200 and
400 meters and as a member of a why I came to college. I came to college to get an ing treatment and trying out the muscle at the
4x220 yard relay. First man to break
20 seconds in the 200 meters, education, make my folks proud of me, become a practice track with his coach, Bud Winter, Smith
winning Olympic gold in 19.83 sec-
onds in Mexico City in 1968. schoolteacher or an army professional or a police decided to run in the final. Getty Images

officer. And this was something that might keep On the 20-minute walk to the starting line, Smith

me from doing that. thought about how he’d have to adjust his running

“I was hoping [a boycott] didn’t happen. But if style to protect the strained groin. The start would



far left: Tommie between the cheers
Smith’s injury in the he and his team-
200-meter semifinals mates heard on the
almost cost him a track and the jeers
chance at gold, but it they heard from
also forced a change

in his technique for passing cars when
the final, which result- they ventured out-
ed in a world-record side campus.
of 19.83 seconds.
above right: Smith “My entire exis-
holds a replica of his tence was the vic-

Olympic gold medal. tory stand in

below right: Heading Mexico City,” Smith
into the Olympics, said. “And I could
Smith ran in Adiddas, spend my life talk-
but $500 and regular ing about it, but
shipments of shoes people still are not
led him to wear these

red Pumas, now on going to under-
display in his base- stand. This stupid
ment, in 1968. guy almost gave up

everything. Why?

be when he was in the most jeopardy. ing him to wonder how much faster At San Jose State, he realized that They talk about freedom in America.

Listening to Smith recount the race he might have gone in future races. his athletic prowess had covered for a You can buy a car any time you want.

is like sitting in a master’s course in Drafted by the NFL’s Los Angeles dearth of academic preparation. Dis- You can go to a store. They threw all

the science of speed. Rams in 1967 but cut during training appointed by his flagging grades, he that in my face. You’re free. I live in a

“When the gun sounded, I had to be camp, Smith signed with the Cincin- set his mind to improving them. He society that, socially and education-

very careful about that inside step, nati Bengals of the AFL in 1969. He learned how to study. How to learn. He ally, you have chances. But nothing is

because I’m 6-4,” Smith said. “And my spent parts of three seasons there, expanded his horizons beyond the free. The only thing that is free is what

left leg is my shortest leg. I had to mostly on the taxi squad. He played track to the classroom, and then to the the Constitution says is free. And still

watch out for this arm, because it two games, catching one pass for 41 broader world, where he began to re- people annihilate the Constitution,

could pull this leg farther than I want- yards. flect on the indignities his father suf- because people who are supposed to

ed it to. There’s a whole lot of stuff “What more is there than standing fered in the fields, and the disconnect CONTINUED ON PAGE 24

going on. Going into the tur n, I on the victory stand, with your fist in

wouldn’t have any burst. I’d have to the air, not saying anything?” Smith

[rely on] centrifugal force.” said. “What people saw was their idea

Smith’s famed, world-record setting, of me, because I didn’t talk. They saw

the flag. And me, pointing to-

ward the flag with my head

bowed. Immediately they said,

‘Oh my goodness, he’s defaming

the flag.’ It wasn’t about the

flag. It was about that victory

stand. It was about my time in

history to do what my heart

says, because of all my back-


The seventh of 12 children

born to sharecroppers James

Richard Smith and Dora Smith

in Clarksville, Texas, Smith

worked the cotton fields with

his father and siblings from the

time he was a small boy. When

he was 7, they moved to Lem-

oore, Calif., where they spent

nearly three years in a labor

camp, paying off the cost of the


Tommie Smith’s world record stood for more Smith continued to work the
than 10 years, but his protest has lived forever. fields with his father all the way
through school. Early on, he

learned that his athletic ability

Getty Images; Rich von Biberstein 19.83-second run came despite the helped others see beyond the color of

injury. And perhaps even a bit because his skin. For as long as he can remem-

of it. That adjustment added a layer ber, everyone wanted to be on Tommie

to his understanding of human speed Smith’s team. At Lemoore High

and how he could maximize it. One School, he starred not only on the

of the few regrets he brought home track team, but in football and bas-

from Mexico City was that the death ketball. He was even vice president

threats that followed him after the of the overwhelmingly white student

Games sent him into seclusion, leav- body.

W W W . S P O R T S B U S I N E S S J O U R N A L . C O M FEBRUARY 10-16, 2020 | 2 3


CONTINUED FROM PAGE 23 supply of shoes that he was able to resell, providing range of equality-related causes that the brand
be free are still held down because of color.” much-needed cash to help support his wife and in-
“Tommie Smith was a trail blazer, an athlete who
nnnn fant son. had tremendous influence,” said Max Siegel, CEO
of USA Track & Field, which two years ago brought
Smith and Carlos both ran in red Pumas in Mexico Smith and many of his teammates together to com-
memorate the 50th anniversary of that Mexico City
City. Though fading from visibility, Smith has re- team. “As society has progressed in many ways,
people have overlooked the need to keep that im-
The first time Emory Jones, the longtime Jay Z mained connected to the brand, making appearanc- portant conversation about race, culture and poli-
tics at the forefront. It’s interesting because through
friend and Roc Nation Apparel executive, visited es on occasion as the dean of Puma “ambassadors.” all these contemporary issues that we’re dealing
with in this country, we’re reminded of the courage
Puma’s U.S. offices near Boston, he wore a sweat- Two years ago, with the 50th anniversary of the of one individual and the power that an athlete has
to use their platform to change the world.’’
shirt bearing Smith’s famed Mexico City photo. Mexico City games approaching, Puma launched a
Puma’s global director of brand marketing, Adam social media campaign designed to tie its current
Deep into an afternoon spent recounting his life
Petrick, did a double-take when he saw it. connections to social reform back to a heritage that story, surrounded by photos and mementos that
served as his touchstones, Smith paused in con-
“The guy on your began with Smith. It linked him templation when asked whether he ever regretted
raising his fist on that medal stand, or even con-
sweatshirt — I know to another Puma endorser, Meek sidered how his life might have been different had
he set his record, collected his medal and walked
him,” said Petrick, Mill, the rapper who has pushed off.

who has been with to make criminal justice reform a “I’ve known a history of people who did far less
and lost their life, who were forgotten,” Smith said.
the brand for 20 priority, and WNBA player Skylar “The victory stand cost. But it also, to me, paid off.
People are still talking about it. We got a picture
years. “You know Diggins-Smith, who has spoken out that’s still one of the most talked about in the his-
tory of sports that’s circulated, and kids forever
that’s Tommie for gender equality. will see this picture. And then it’s, ‘What was this,
teacher? What was this, dad? What was this, mom?’
Smith?” “Tommie has always been kind
“I did it because I had to do it.”
Jones said he knew of the heart at the center of the

it was Smith in the values of Puma because he did

photo, but didn’t real- something that really was a risk

ize he was “a Puma and then he paid the price for it

guy.” and never wavered from it,” Pet-

“Yeah, he’s a Puma above: Tommie Smith signed with the Bengals in rick said. “I think there’s a moral
guy,” Petrick said. 1969, ultimately playing in just two games. imperative that we feel as a com-

“Let me tell you the top: Smith’s basement in Georgia offers visual pany that is related to Tommie.
He’s our spirit in a lot of ways.”
story.” reminders of big and small moments in his life.

Smith’s connec- Posting a current photo of

tion with Puma goes back to 1967, pre-dating the Smith with raised fist on social media with the Rich von Biberstein

brand’s groundbreaking relationship with Walt hashtag #THIRDSALUTE, Puma pledged to donate

“Clyde” Frazier by six years. Smith had worn Ad- up to $100,000 to the American Civil Liberties Union

idas prior to that, but switched when a friend told — $1 for each photo or video posted of someone

him Puma would pay him $500 to wear its shoes. raising a fist, as Smith did. It named Smith ambas-

Along with that payment, Puma shipped a steady sador emeritus of reform, connecting him to a



It’s Not Over Until WE SAY It’s Over

Fresh off a killer few days of deal-making at CAA’s WCOS…

Don’t miss the most glitzy and glamorous night of
California’s sports business week – the Forty Under 40 Awards.

It will be a night of selfies, swagger and salutations.


[email protected].



Change is on toward a sellout for Cup Series races or else face a fine, a devel-
the horizon opment that has not been previously reported. Sources said the
N ASCAR HEADS into the 2020 season set to make more new threshold is proposed to be in the 70% range.
NASCAR targets seismic business changes to the sport than perhaps
several structural any time in its 72-year history, including one pro- Lauri Eberhart, co-founder of the Apollo Sports & Entertain-
moves that by posal that would levy fines on tracks that don’t sell ment Law Group and a former executive vice president and gen-
2021 could eral counsel for track operator Speedway Motorsports Inc., noted
see a heavily enough tickets to their race weekends. that the move makes sense if NASCAR offers tracks incentives
revamped to sell out in new ways.
schedule and The season begins Feb. 16 with the Daytona 500 before an ex-
even fines for “There’s so much intrinsic value in having a full crowd or
tracks that lag in pected grandstand sellout crowd of 101,000 at Daytona Interna- having a sellout. It’s a goal, something you brag about and that
ticket sales. drives demand long term. It looks better on TV and in photos,”
tional Speedway, where executives on hand will be working behind said Eberhart, when told about the proposal. “It’s kind of a new
BY ADAM STERN game in NASCAR with all of the changes being made, and that
the scenes on major initiatives and structural changes that will sets the stage to look differently at how we’ve always done things.”

lead to a new era in 2021. NASCAR and other motorsports executives declined to com-
ment about the proposed policy, including how large of a fine
While this year will see NASCAR implement its $2 billion ac- tracks could face. But the proposal is part of the new track sanc-
tion agreements in the works that will take effect in 2021.
quisition of International Speedway Corp. and roll out a new
In the meantime, NASCAR is coming off what President Steve
sponsor model, changes in the works for 2021 are just as weighty, Phelps says was a historic 2019 with America’s top motorsports
series turning things around after a decade of drops in key per-
including a radically different schedule, a next-generation car formance indicators including television ratings and attendance.

and new terms for sanction agreements with tracks and teams. “When we look back in five to 10 years, if you’re part of the
NASCAR [industry], you will look at 2019 as the year the sport
This is part of the plan to reinvent nearly every aspect of the bounced back and started its growth trend,” said Phelps. “Com- Getty Images
ing off the 2019 season, which I think frankly took a lot of people
sport under NASCAR Chairman and CEO Jim France. by surprise, we’re poised to take it to the next level of that plan
as we head into the 2020 season.”
Industry sources describe as unprecedented the proposed re-
Among the most important moves this year will be how Phelps
quirements from NASCAR that tracks reach a certain capacity and France engineer a new schedule for 2021. NASCAR’s five-year
track sanction agreements expire after this season, giving the



 The Daytona 500 will launch the season before an would leave teams with a significant NASCAR executives to
expected sellout crowd of 101,000. amount of one-time costs in the short watch this season
term, which has turned into a point
sport an opportunity to shake up the types, and of contention, but it is supposed to WITH 2020 being the first full year under the newly combined
locations, of tracks the sport visits. save teams money in the long term. NASCAR-International Speedway Corp., several executives
NASCAR is also hoping that the new have taken on newly expanded roles. Here are four to keep an
NASCAR has said it wants to release the 2021 car, and a new engine formula, will eye on heading into Daytona:
schedule by April 1, though Phelps noted that date help it crack the code on landing a
could change. While Phelps wouldn’t divulge specif- fourth manufacturer to join the series. 1 DARYL WOLFE, executive vice president and chief sales and
ics, sources say NASCAR has contacted a broad operations officer. With ISC President John Saunders
mix of venues as diverse as Chicago’s Soldier Field Sources said NASCAR could give moving into an adviser role, and ISC COO Joie Chitwood III
and the L.A. Coliseum. teams one chassis for free as part of having left the company last year, track presidents are
the changeover, but the shift is still reporting to Wolfe in 2020 as his power increases. Wolfe was
“I won’t get into any specifics on different venues expected to cost teams seven figures already one of the top executives at ISC, formerly serving as
we’ve had discussions with, but I would say that for every entry. For example, a four- CMO, and was one of the architects of the new tiered sponsor
there are opportunities that we are exploring that car team would be facing at least $4 model rolling out this season.
might seem radically different,” said Phelps. “Would million in one-time changeover costs.
a stadium race or a street course around a stadium 2 BEN KENNEDY, managing director of racing operations and
make sense? We’re trying to cast as wide a net as One way the car will save teams international development. As the scion of the France
we can to see what the opportunities look like. money is by going to a new spec chas- family, Kennedy continues to take an increasingly visible role
Whether they come to fruition, I don’t know yet.” sis that will be made by a single sup- in the sport. For example, Roger Penske singled out Kennedy
plier, whose identity has yet to be as the point person that Indianapolis Motor Speedway
More traditional venues that are thought to be announced. This is a split with prior worked through to change this season’s Xfinity Series race
in play as candidates for races as soon as 2021 in- NASCAR history when teams em- from the track’s oval course to its road course. Kennedy was
clude Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas; ployed their own fabricators to make on hand with Penske at the announcement at IMS in January.
Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway; and World Wide the basic structure of the car. This
Technology Raceway near St. Louis. While NASCAR change is expected to lead to signifi- 3 FRANK KELLEHER, senior vice president and chief sales
will be unshackled from the five-year track sanction cant competition-side team layoffs officer. A longtime sales executive at ISC, Kelleher was
agreements in 2021, Phelps noted that some of the after this season, which over the long promoted to NASCAR’s top sales role this offseason. At a time
proposed changes to the schedule may take longer term will reduce owners’ overhead. when NASCAR continues efforts to increase sponsor
to implement. For example, street races are notori- revenue, including a pending wireless deal with Verizon,
ously challenging to set up because of the red tape Steve Newmark, president of Roush Kelleher will play a key role. He replaced Jon Tuck, who left
involved. Fenway Racing, said that most teams NASCAR this offseason.
are “cautiously optimistic that the
NASCAR is not expected to increase the total new platform helps on the business 4 JILL GREGORY, executive vice president and chief
number of points races from the current 36, so any model,” but he added that the main marketing and content officer. Gregory is a veteran of
additions would likely result in a current track on reason for shifting to the new car was the NASCAR leadership ranks but has some different verticals
the schedule losing a date. The tracks seen as most to improve racing and appeal more to reporting to her this year. As part of the changed structure
vulnerable are those with two race weekends aside car manufacturers. Honda and Hyun- implemented with the ISC deal, Gregory now oversees
from the sport’s crown-jewel tracks in Daytona, dai are the names most commonly NASCAR’s media rights relationships while continuing to
Talladega and Charlotte, plus short tracks and/or mentioned as brands considering oversee marketing efforts. — A.S.
venues that have had recent renovations such as entering the sport.
Richmond and Phoenix. One track that fits that  Jimmie Johnson
profile is Michigan International Speedway, al- On the key performance indicators plans to make this
though sources have not singled out that facility. front, NASCAR will try to build off his final full-time
of TV ratings that were up for the vast season of NASCAR
While setting up the new schedule is taking up majority of last year but ended flat, competition.
a lot of Phelps’ time, it also comes as he implements as well as an increase in sellouts that
plans for the newly combined NASCAR-ISC. NAS- it saw in 2019. NASCAR is midway
CAR now owns 14 tracks as part of the deal. through its 10-year media rights deals
with Fox Sports and NBC Sports;
One of the first big changes happening with the typically the exclusive negotiating
combined companies is NASCAR setting up a new window begins two years before the
internal management model for tracks, where their a deal expires.
strategies for areas such as marketing and com-
Getty Images munications will be set by the sanctioning body, a Driver shuffle coming
development that had not been reported.
IF NASCAR’S busy upcoming year with new schedules, cars and
“The strategy and plans are going to be built at a sanction agreements wasn’t enough, the sport is also poised to
central level and then they will be implemented at have a chaotic driver transfer season over the coming months.
a local level,” he said. “We’ll still have local people
at the race track doing marketing and communica- On top of the retirement of Jimmie Johnson after 2020,
tions, but it all ladders up to one central strategy.” several other drivers have contracts that will expire after this
season, and the team landscape could look dramatically
That change is among the first major initiative different by next year. The search to find Johnson’s
under the newly combined company. At a time when replacement should dominate the headlines over the coming
NASCAR has newfound debt service to pay, industry months, with Chip Ganassi Racing’s Kyle Larson likely to end
executives are also keeping an eye on whether and up on Hendrick Motorsports’ short list.
when the sanctioning body will implement layoffs.
Other drivers with expiring contracts after 2020 include
Other deals that NASCAR will finalize this year Stewart-Haas Racing’s Clint Bowyer and Aric Almirola, Joe
ahead of 2021 include the new sanction agreements Gibbs Racing’s Erik Jones and Richard Petty Motorsports’
with teams and tracks. There are expected to be some Bubba Wallace. — A.S.
changes to the terms of the deals, including the pro-
posed fine structure for under-performing venues.

NASCAR will work with teams to lock in the new
parts and pieces that will comprise the next-gen-
eration car slated to debut in 2021. The changeover

W W W . S P O R T S B U S I N E S S J O U R N A L . C O M FEBRUARY 10-16, 2020 | 2 7


Geico was the biggest advertiser during telecasts of NASCAR Cup
Series races last year for the third straight season. Toyota, Chevrolet
and Ford finished 2-3-4 for the second year in a row.

1 Geico (39) 319 (29) $5,318,379
NASCAR is using a new 2 Toyota (17) 155 (28) $4,679,422
tiered sponsorship $3,625,938
model that has 3 Chevrolet (32) 186 (26) $3,330,658
Anheuser-Busch InBev, $3,280,100
Coca-Cola, Geico and 4 Ford (17) 117 (27) $2,959,145
Xfinity as top-level $2,757,029
partners. 5 Progressive (29) 166 (27) $2,707,126
6 Busch (4) 116 (16) $2,457,738
7 Coca-Cola (15) 128 (29) $2,176,611

8 Ram Trucks (37) 121 (24) $2,002,367

9 USAA (6) 94 (11) $1,716,130

10 McDonald’s (20) 152 (29) $1,680,673
11 Symbicort (1) 53 (14)
Premier partners roll into season 12 KFC (18) 207 (20)
13 Applebee’s (16) 153 (21) $1,416,842
14 Farxiga (4) 18 (3) $1,232,922
AFTER PIONEERING the title sponsor concept a sponsor associated with it yet, an asset 15 Sonic Drive-In 233 (15) $1,019,469
perhaps being saved for when NASCAR lands (14)
around a half a century ago, NASCAR rolls a fifth premier partner. NASCAR is lengthen-
ing the period of time during which the Bank of America
out its new tiered system for the first time NASCAR Salutes program will run this year. 16 (4) 64 (0)

this season in what figures to be the top mar- For many of the premier partners, the new 17 NASCAR (8) 153 (14)
model is about taking what it was doing pre-
keting story in the sport in 2020. viously in the sport to the next level with new
assets that include signage at every track.
BY ADAM Anheuser-Busch InBev, 18 John Deere (6) 79 (15)
Xfinity, for example, wants to use the new
Coca-Cola, Geico and Xfinity position to reinforce its message that being 19 Outback 88 (4)
fast is synonymous with its products. To do Steakhouse (10)
STERN signed on to become the first so, the Comcast-owned brand will increase
four premier-level partners, its advertising on TV broadcasts and radio,
including newly sponsoring the fastest lap 20 Ally Bank (4) 44 (10)
in a model that has room for of the race.
21 Mountain Dew (9) 94 (15)
five brands total. While NASCAR was said For Geico, the insurer plans to leverage
the increased activation rights and category
to be asking around $15 million annually for exclusivity it has at every track to be more 22 Pizza Hut (18) 132 (24)
visible each week, after in previous years
the slots, the four initial premier partners being blocked at some venues that had com- 23 Goodyear (1) 40 (10)
peting sponsors.
were already league sponsors, so their in- 24 Mobil Gas (1) 85 (9)
For Anheuser-Busch, the beer maker will
cremental spend is expected to be far less. leverage its position to market several dif- 25 Sunoco Fuel (3) 41 (9)
ferent types of its drinks, starting off with
They replace a single title sponsor for NAS- promoting its Babe wine-in-a-can product
at Daytona this week. Busch plans to have
CAR’s premier Cup Series, a position last held midway activation at 15 to 20 races. A-B has Source: SBJ analysis of data
increasingly been focusing on the hard selt-
by the Monster energy drink brand. Monster zer category, including a big spend during
the Super Bowl.
will continue an official relationship with
For Coca-Cola, it’s using the new assets to
NASCAR as a second-tier partner, with assets find different ways to activate in the sport,
including newly title sponsoring iRacing’s
mainly focused at tracks around pit-road sig- NASCAR esports series. MARKETCAST SPORTS POLL
The following are results from the MarketCast Sports Poll taken in
nage, hospitality and other activation spaces. Nick Kelly, A-B InBev’s vice president, January. The poll includes more than 2,000 senior-level sports industry
partnerships, beer culture and community, professionals spanning pro and college sports, brands and agencies.
Details were limited when the deal was said one of the benefits from the deal that is
already paying off is having one deal that
first announced in December, but the premier governs all its relationships. Previously, A-B
had to strike deals with the sanctioning body
partners’ marketing and activation plans and then separate deals with the various race Which of the following events will best signal that NASCAR is
tracks and media partners. taking the sport to the next level?
are now coming into focus as the start of the
“Now we have a central point of contact,”
season beckons. Still, NASCAR and several said Kelly. “If anything, it’s made (being a Attracting more diverse audiences 36%
sponsor in the sport) a little easier.” Attracting more blue-chip sponsors 25%
of the partners said the model is so new that

all sides are going to be learning as they go Staging more races in top DMAs 18%

this year.

“This is an evolving model; you don’t take Staging races abroad 6%
Not sure / No response 15%
70 years of history and 50 years of history

around a series entitlement with a third party

in it and just magically make everything Which motorsports series is Who is the face of NASCAR?
better positioned for a more (Write-in; top mentions 3% or higher)
align in 12 months,” said Daryl Wolfe, NAS- successful 2020 season
compared to 2019?
CAR’s executive vice president and chief

sales and operations officer. “This is Year 1, Kyle Busch 9%

and it will continue to evolve into 2021.” NASCAR 50% Jimmie Johnson 7%
IndyCar 14%
Among the changes as part of the new Dale Earnhardt Jr. 5%

model, NASCAR is dividing the season into Chase Elliott 3%

three periods, including a new one in “NAS- Not sure / 36%
No response
CAR Returns,” which will be sponsored by Steve Phelps 3%

Geico. The other two periods are NASCAR Source: Turnkey Intelligence, a MarketCast Group company, in conjunction
with Sports Business Journal. Turnkey Intelligence specializes in research,
Salutes, which will continue to be sponsored measurement and lead generation for brands and properties. Visit www. NASCAR
by Coca-Cola as it has in prior years, plus

the NASCAR Playoffs, which does not have



SBJ Social Climbers: NASCAR

REIGNING CHAMPION Kyle Busch maintained his overall No. 1 spot in NASCAR’s social media rankings while Jimmie Johnson stayed No. 1 in the amount of estimated
media value he delivered to his partners, according to data from MVPindex measured Jan. 23, 2019 to Jan. 22, 2020. MVPindex is a social media valuation for the

sports and entertainment industries, offering real-time analytics on more than 90,000 athletes, entertainers, teams, leagues and brands.
Rising star Matt DiBenedetto gained the most followers last season, with nearly half of them coming after his near-win against Denny

Hamlin at Bristol. No. 1 brand Toyota benefited from a strong showing from its team of drivers this season, with one-third of its brand value coming from
activations on drivers’ social channels.

driver ranking Matt DiBenedetto left: Driver Matt Busch Beer
@mattdracing DiBenedetto led the way @BuschBeer
Rank based on the number of
(change*) Driver Pulled up my directions to followers gained over the The Busch Clash is back,
Road America this morning. past year. so we’re giving our cans the
1 (-) Kyle Busch Place has 4.8 stars on google. right: MVPindex fresh paint scheme they deserve.
2 (-) Jimmie Johnson I’m gonna go check it out estimates that Busch Look for these bad boys in the
3 (-) Chase Elliott Beer’s NASCAR @DISupdates area for a limited
4 (3) Joey Logano 23 Aug 2019 partnership has time only!
5 (1) Kevin Harvick generated more than $2
6 (1) Brad Keselowski million in brand value
7 (2) Martin Truex Jr. across social media
8 (7) Denny Hamlin channels over the past
9 (3) Kyle Larson year.
10 (4) Clint Bowyer
11 (-) Darrell Wallace Jr. BIGGEST follower growth BIGGEST follower growth
12 (4) Kurt Busch drivers teams

Rank Driver Followers gained (total) Rank Team Followers gained (total)

13 (-) Ryan Blaney 1 Matt DiBenedetto +121,611 1 Team Penske +73,262
14 (2) Austin Dillon 2 Chase Elliott (226,398) 2 Joe Gibbs Racing (547,226)
15 (6) Daniel Suarez 3 Clint Bowyer 3 JR Motorsports
16 (3) Alex Bowman 4 Ryan Blaney +88,256 4 Chip Ganassi Racing +68,889
17 (1) Aric Almirola 5 Darrell Wallace Jr. (1,479,452) 5 Stewart-Haas Racing (691,930)
18 (6) Matt DiBenedetto
19 (9) William Byron +81,680 +56,344
20 (2) Erick Jones (940,734) (1,483,748)

+72,066 +53,625
(439,491) (290,808)

+68,166 +46,392
(448,063) (1,392,157)

3 Feb 2020

most valuable brands and partnerships**

Top brands in NASCAR by social media brand value, Jan. 23, 2019 to Jan. 22, 2020, from posts by NASCAR, the series’ handles, teams, drivers and tracks.

most valuable brands most valuable partnerships

Rank Brand Posts Engagements Impressions Brand Value Rank Partnership Posts Engagements Impressions Brand Value

1 Toyota 18,001 9,414,280 676,215,274 $3,759,183 1 Busch - NASCAR 736 991,263 277,080,731 $2,249,070
2 Ford 8,245 4,243,421 437,942,069 $3,283,432 3,064 1,598,081 214,000,279 $1,818,877
3 Busch Beer 1,937 1,922,216 362,381,192 $2,958,172 2 Ford - Stewart-Haas Racing 1,538 3,354,721 460,205,195 $1,415,066
4 Xfinity 3,735,870 427,963,853 $2,873,412 1,165,712 197,957,727 $1,402,963
5 Monster Energy 14,008 8,672,098 831,918,152 $2,783,601 3 Monster Energy - NASCAR 557 2,496,888 179,016,046 $1,360,604
6 Coca-Cola 11,565 2,901,401 340,746,959 $2,485,352 3,804 1,106,574 171,797,271 $1,321,790
7 Chevrolet 3,705,141 307,839,332 $2,103,100 4 Coca-Cola - NASCAR 1,138 1,100,892 144,988,680 $1,031,525
8 M&M’s 4,731 3,707,679 296,324,589 $2,034,768
9 Goodyear 13,934 8,320,525 627,953,129 $1,671,730 5 Toyota - Joe Gibbs Racing 341
10 Bass Pro Shops 2,675,499 193,888,150 $1,387,551
2,745 6 Xfinity - NASCAR
7 M&M’s - NASCAR
8 Haas Automation - Stewart-Haas 1,785 764,782 114,794,403 $824,878

9 Toyota - NASCAR 745 1,601,399 205,695,292 $647,872
1,062 322,526 63,141,828 $611,716
10 Smithfield - Stewart-Haas Racing

* Based on MVPindex’s estimated value of the brand’s exposure that was gained via social media activity generated by posts on the official channels
of NASCAR, the series’ handles, teams, drivers, and tracks, Jan. 23, 2019 to Jan. 22, 2020.

most valuable drivers** Posts Engagements Impressions Brand Value most valuable teams** Posts Engagements Impressions Brand Value

Rank Driver Rank Team

1 Jimmie Johnson 861 3,434,271 302,713,216 $6,626,101 1 Stewart-Haas Racing 11,883 5,835,571 814,907,919 $17,810,719
2 Kyle Busch 1,437 5,639,096 296,200,690 $6,514,607 2 Hendrick Motorsports 10,805 5,168,777 800,141,567 $17,493,028
3 Joey Logano 1,194 2,150,600 119,929,436 $2,566,431 3 Joe Gibbs Racing 4,233,701 349,008,107
4 Chase Elliott 2,138,460 107,964,101 $2,331,042 4 JR Motorsports 8,331 1,930,378 336,454,975 $7,546,137
5 Brad Keselowski 399 1,280,947 106,812,857 $2,276,410 5 Team Penske 6,239 3,315,392 315,670,158 $7,194,606
1,001 8,470 $6,753,245

* Based on MVPindex’s estimated value of the exposure that was gained via social media activity generated by posts on the official channels of the specific team or driver listed, Jan. 23, 2019 to Jan. 22, 2020.



Penske already
making his
mark at IMS,
IndyCar Series

IF THE first months under new owner Roger Penske

are any indication, IndyCar and Indianapolis Motor

Speedway are about to enter a transformative era

in 2020.

Penske bought the series and speedway from the

Hulman-George family in a $300 mil-

BY ADAM lion to $350 million deal that closed
STERN in early January. Since then, Penske
and his lieutenants have wasted no

time making changes, ordering ren-

ovations at 111-year-old IMS, moving a NASCAR

race to the track’s road course, and even holding

some weekend staff meetings, the latter of which

is part of Penske Corp.’s round-the-clock work ethic.

The automotive titan has committed to spending

several million dollars this year to upgrade the

track before the Indianapolis 500 in May, and he’s

Roger Penske has made weekly trips to Indianapolis Motor Speedway to identify areas to improve the aging track. working on long-term plans for more extensive

Getty Images



renovations. subsidiary created for the IndyCar acquisition. race promoters, and the series wants to leverage
Penske is implementing a more flat organiza- Penske, 82, has been making weekly trips to IMS more of its resources, such as IMS Productions’
content producing capabilities, to help events do
tional structure at IndyCar/IMS and holding brain- from his Michigan headquarters with some of his a better job of creating buzz and selling tickets.
storming sessions, a hallmark of Penske companies top lieutenants, typically on Wednesdays, and has
that gets mid-level employees more involved in walked the sprawling grounds several times to iden- Among the foremost things to improve for Penske
decision making. tify areas he wants to improve. are TV ratings for all events and attendance at oval
tracks, making IndyCar more profitable and adding
“Our business has always been 24/7 from a Pen- “There are phone calls every day to convey info or different types of events to IMS’s calendar. The
ske perspective,” said Jonathan Gibson, Penske get into topics and get decisions made and then there series also still trails NASCAR in exposure, and
Corp.’s executive vice president of marketing and are visits which vary in frequency, but now the rhythm building driver star power and buzz around the
business development. “We’ve got a great team down is about a day a week when Roger is going to try to sport will be another likely priority.
there … and we’ve spent a lot of time doing our due be here,” Miles said. “From the very beginning of
diligence, getting our arms around the businesses the morning into the late evening, we line up key Penske has started to make decisions at the league
and opportunities, and since the acquisition closed topics we need to go through, and what’s terrific is level, too. After speaking out last year in support
on Jan. 6, we’ve really been focused on improving it’s not just me and two or three of us; we bring in of the idea of implementing guaranteed entries in
and enhancing the guest experience, knowing the the key business people inside our organization who the Indy 500 for full-time teams, Penske has now
Indy 500 is only four months away.” are the point people responsible for whatever we’re pulled back on that and said he supports keeping
talking about. It might be 10-12 people on the topic the race without automatic qualifiers. He’s also
Later this week, the track will officially announce of, ‘How do we help make IndyCar events stronger?’” directed his staff to focus less on the prospect of
the work that will be finished at IMS by this year’s international races in locations outside North
500. Sources say it includes upgrades to the track’s One of the ways Penske has already worked to America, though Miles said he isn’t sure the idea
outdated restrooms. Penske also told the Associ- make the series and IMS stronger is by looking into is totally off the table.
ated Press that he wanted to pave more of the park- which sponsors and business partners from either
ing lots around the track. Team Penske or his broader business empire may “All of our businesses have always been extreme-
want to become official sponsors of the properties. ly flat. We often say that, ‘You can’t manage your
IMS will unveil a more long-term renovation plan Longtime Penske Corp. partner Shell Oil Co. has business at 30,000 feet’ — you have to be in the weeds
later this year. Given the acreage around IMS, some already purchased title sponsorship for the July 4 of the details,” said Gibson. “We all have the same
in the industry expect Penske to look into building NASCAR Xfinity Series race at IMS, and Gibson mission, which is to continue to make IMS the great-
a mixed-use development. But Mark Miles, CEO of and Miles said other new deals will be unveiled in est motorsport venue in world.”
Penske Entertainment Corp., said that is not a prior- the coming weeks.
ity. Instead, the initial focus is on growing IndyCar The IndyCar Series starts March 15 in St. Peters-
and IMS proper. Penske Entertainment Corp. is the Penske and his team have held meetings with burg, Fla., with televised coverage by NBCSN.

W W W . S P O R T S B U S I N E S S J O U R N A L . C O M FEBRUARY 10-16, 2020 | 3 3


NHL on solid
ice to move up
to No. 3 league

A FTER MANY YEARS of solidly serving as the fourth larg-
est North American professional sports league, is it
possible the NHL could move into the top three?

Longtime practitioners will scoff at the idea but leaving out

the untouchable NFL, it’s feasible the NHL could catch game-

heavy MLB napping. Or, that the globally relevant NBA will

overlook some concerning trends.

First, the reigning silver medalist, MLB, is dealing with a well-

documented aging fan base and a product apparently lacking in

appeal to millennials and next-gen savants. In fact, in an age of

TikTok and Twitter, baseball must address an overly long sched-

ule that produces far too many meaningless games.

We’ll grant you MLB is enjoying growing franchise values,

offering mega salaries and scoring some rich media deals, but

those headlines are masking a reliance on

BY RICK BURTON cable, RSNs and traditional media formu-
AND NORM O’REILLY las. Said another way, as the world moves
toward à la carte menus and shorter atten-

tion spans, baseball’s metaphorical restau-

rant is offering seven-course meals when

young customers want drive-through.

As for the NBA, long America’s media darling, the hoopsters

face numerous challenges after many years of growth and in-

novation. Both of us have publicly suggested basketball might

soon push soccer as the world’s No. 1 sport, but recently we’ve n Las Vegas is a notable example of the line extension (think WNBA or Australia’s
NHL figuring out how to enter one of Amer- AFLW) and thus abdicates a leadership play
seen evidence suggesting we’ll need to eat our words. The NBA’s ica’s most dynamic cities well ahead of the with more than half of the U.S. and Cana-
pack. dian population (that’s right: statistically
firestorm in China, coupled with lower ratings/ticket sales (2019- there are more women than men in the U.S.
n Placing a team in Seattle (faster than the and Canada).
20 season), the decline of the Golden State Warriors, increased NBA) showed the NHL is hip to the techno-
logical relevancy of this rainy Northwestern What the NHL does have, though, is con-
player movement between teams and a cohort of clubs facing city and understands the value of a ready- tinuity with Commissioner Gary Bettman
made rivalry with Vancouver. (now in his 27th season), labor peace with
ongoing financial issues is causing quiet questioning of the its players association (the NHLPA) and a
n After many years of uncertain TV deals product getting sticky with it via social
league’s always-rosy fu- in the U.S., the NHL has a solid partnership media. The NHL also has started to imple-
with NBC and, in Canada, the massive 12- ment zero-tolerance policies for teams failing
Las Vegas is a ture. year, $5.2 billion 2013 deal with Rogers to grasp the concept of acting appropriately
notable example of Eating into MLB and Sportsnet will bring in never-seen-before toward all races, genders and sexual orienta-
resources. tions. This alone may emerge as a true dif-
the NBA’s market share ferentiator when it comes to the sensitivities
n The Stanley Cup, perhaps the most at- of a complex global society.
the NHL figuring out is none other than Major tractive and historically interesting trophy
how to enter one League Soccer, which no in the major leagues, is an advantage to the In summary, we think the NHL can move
of America’s most one should discount. NHL and it consistently leverages it as such. up in the standings if it keeps going top shelf.
Commissioner Don Gar- And, if the NHL was ever a first-mover into
n The international opportunities for the Northern Europe (as it was with Vegas), it
dynamic cities well ber has done a spectacu- NHL are on the rise, with overseas games just might surprise folks how Commission-
ahead of the pack. lar job expanding his played regularly in front of large audiences. er Bettman’s vision quietly transformed a
ownership footprint Between 2018-20, the NHL will have staged league and generated big international rel-
nine regular-season games in Sweden, Fin- evance.
across the U.S. and Can- land and the Czech Republic, with an addi-
tional six exhibition games in Switzerland Rick Burton is the David B. Falk Professor of
ada, and numerous teams have developed some of this continent’s and Germany.
Sport Management at Syracuse University and
most avid fan bases. Even better, MLS is scheduled to hit 30 Despite these sound bites, the NHL doesn’t
have everything solved. The league trails the former commissioner of Australia’s National
franchises by 2022, the same threshold as the big four. others in appeal to African Americans, La-
tinos and Asians and will find it hard to copy Basketball League. Norm O’Reilly is director of
The downside for MLS? Well, it’s a harsh reality for American the NBA’s game plan when it comes to ag-
gressively targeting Africa, India, Brazil, the International Institute for Sport Business &
pro soccer that leagues such as the EPL, La Liga, Serie A and China, Japan or Korea. It also lacks a female
Leadership at the University of Guelph and
Bundesliga — not to mention the Champions League (UEFA)
partner consultant at T1.
— are targeting North America. That will make global market

penetration for MLS difficult.

All of the above suggests the NHL faces long odds skating into

third place. But here are a few things worth noting about the

stick-and-puck gang:

n The NHL’s outdoor games continually show how the league

is willing to get outside the arena box and leverage the game’s

original roots. This year, the NHL will have staged three ‘clas-

sics’ with the Stadium Series game at the U.S. Air Force Acad-

emy in Colorado Springs on Feb. 15.




Changing places and Winthrop University hired KELLEY KISH as The Professional Fighters League named
positions around the industry senior associate athletic director for business JIM TUCKER vice president of global brand
and finance and senior woman administrator partnerships.
BASEBALL and promoted HANK HARRAWOOD to deputy
athletic director. SPORTS COMMISSIONS
The Class AAA Charleston RiverDogs
hired JASON KEMPF as director of The Greater Columbus Sports
broadcasting and media relations. Commission hired CELIA ANDERSON as
director of business development.
The Class A-Advanced Stockton Ports
named ALEC HENDEN media relations The Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB named
manager. MIKE SOPHIA vice president of sports
business development.
The Erie (Pa.) Sports Commission
The University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff Nolan Partners hired BECKY KRELL as promoted EMILY BIDDLE to marketing and
named CHRIS PETERSON athletic director. executive assistant. communications director and BEN HUGGLER
Peterson was athletic director at the to event services director.
University of Arkansas-Little Rock. FOOTBALL
Sports ETA named JANIS ROSS vice
Chicago State hired JESSICA POOLE as The Johnson Controls Hall of Fame president of events and experiences. Ross was
senior associate athletic director for external Village hired MICHAEL MUÑOZ as vice executive director for the Eugene (Ore.)
operations and revenue generation. Poole president, youth football and partnerships. Cascades & Coast Sports Commission.
was senior associate athletic director of Muñoz was previously vice president of
external relations at Florida Atlantic youth football and character development for TECHNOLOGY
University. the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
GumGum Sports hired DOMINIC
Florida A&M University named RON GOLF ZUCCARINI as senior vice president of sales.
REEVES associate athletic director for
revenue generation. Reeves was assistant The 2021 Wells Fargo Championship hired AWARDS AND BOARDS
athletic director for development at JIM CORCORAN as business development and
Southern Illinois University. community relations director and CARLY The American Brain Foundation added
KENNERLY as tournament coordinator. SEAN SANSIVERI to its board of directors.
Florida International University hired Sansiveri is vice president of business and
BETSY STEPHENSON as chief development HOCKEY legal affairs for the NFLPA.
officer. Stephenson was the senior director of
development for major gifts at the University The Los Angeles Kings hired JACK OTHER
of Miami Miller School of Medicine. JABLONSKI as coordinator, digital content.
AthLife Inc. hired JACKSON MATTEO as
Millsaps College named AARON PELCH MARKETING engagement coordinator.
athletic director.
CSM Sport & Entertainment named The Ironman Group appointed BROOKS
Morehead State University named JAIME CHRISTA CARONE president of CSM North COWAN as chief legal officer; promoted
GORDON athletic director. America. Carone was president of Group DAVE BEECHE to senior vice president; and
Nine Media. promoted CHRIS CARTER and ASHLEY
Seton Hall University hired TATUM REYNOLDS to vice president.
COLITZ as senior associate athletic director Engine Shop and IEG named GINA
for compliance and student-athlete KATZMARK vice president of corporate Mecum Auctions hired JOIE CHITWOOD III
development and senior woman communications. Katzmark was senior as strategic adviser.
administrator. Colitz was associate athletic communications director at Nielsen Sports
director and SWA at Wagner College. and Repucom. Monumental Sports & Entertainment
promoted MONICA DIXON to chief
Southern Illinois University MEDIA administrative officer and president of
Edwardsville named LAURA SMITH external affairs and named BOB SCHNEIDER
assistant director of external affairs. Bleacher Report promoted STEFANIE RAPP chief of staff.
to chief revenue officer.
Troy University named JONATHAN WeCOACH promoted MEGAN KAHN to chief
SWALLEY director of marketing and NBC Sports Northwest named JERE HANKS executive officer.
promotions for athletics. director of sales.
To have your personnel
Wake Forest University hired LINDSEY ViacomCBS named JACQUELINE PARKS chief announcements included in
BABCOCK as deputy athletic director for marketing officer and head of digital studios “On The Move,” please send
internal operations and announced the for its entertainment and youth group.
resignation of Senior Associate Athletic information to careers@
Director BILL OAKES, effective Feb. 27.
Oakes is also stepping away from his role as
Winston-Salem Open tournament director. FEBRUARY 10-16, 2020 | 3 5

W W W . S P O R T S B U S I N E S S J O U R N A L . C O M



From the X2 Performance breakfast on Jan. 31 at the Museum of Ahead of the Super Bowl, Fox Sports Supports, the community impact arm of Fox Sports, donated
Graffiti in Miami’s Wynwood Arts District: X2 board members Mark $200,000 from its Gamechanger Fund to the Hank Kline Club of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-
French and Mike Tannenbaum stand in front on a mural created Dade on Jan. 29. Fox MLB studio analyst Alex Rodriguez, a Miami-Dade Boys & Girls Clubs
for the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers by artist CES. board member; Fox Sports CEO and Executive Producer Eric Shanks; and Fox Deportes NFL
announcer Adrian Garcia-Marquez presented the donation to Alejandro Rodriguez-Roig
(kneeling left), president of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade.

HALL OF FAME ARTWORK 16W MARKETING IN MIAMI BEACH BUDDIES Getty Images; Fox Sports; Immersive Artistry Entertainment; Steinlight Media; Courtesy of Sandy Montag; Pure Romance; Tyler Kaufman / AP Images for Nationwide

Johnson Controls Hall of Fame Village Chief From the annual 16W Marketing Super Bowl Get Together at Doma Wheels Up’s Kenny Dichter, Bruin
Commercial Officer Ed Kiernan and artist Paul in Miami: Chris Simms (NBC Sports), Phil Simms (CBS Sports/ Sports Capital’s George Pyne and
Gerben revealed artwork of Miami Dolphins hall of Showtime/SiriusXM), 16W Marketing co-founder Steve Rosner, Pro The Montag Group’s Sandy Montag
famer Dan Marino on Feb. 1 at Zuma in downtown Football Hall of Fame member Jim Kelly, 16W Marketing co-founder gathered at a beachfront party
Miami. The work is one of the first commissioned Frank Vuono and Brian Griese (ABC/ESPN). hosted by TMG and Bruin on Jan. 29
pieces in a Johnson Controls Hall of Fame Village at the Strand at Carillon.
partnership with Gerben.

Former Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski and From the Walter
Pure Romance CEO Chris Cicchinelli met Payton NFL Man of
up at the Gronk Beach party sponsored by the Year presented
Pure Romance on Feb. 1 on South Beach. by Nationwide
3 6 | F E B R UA R Y 10-16, 2020 presentation
on Feb. 1 at
NFL Honors:
SVP Jennifer
award winner
Jaguars defensive
end Calais
CMO Ramon
Jones; and
James McCoy,
Nationwide VP of
event planning
and sports



From an economic development forum for European business WEEKEND IN ST.
executives in Paris hosted by the Charlotte Hornets, Charlotte Regional LOUIS
Business Alliance and partners Bank of America and Honeywell on Jan.
23: Hornets Chairman Michael Jordan, NBA Commissioner Adam top: Former St. Louis
Silver, Hornets President/Vice Chairman Fred Whitfield, Charlotte Blues player Jamal
Mayor Vi Lyles and NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum. Mayers; Kim Davis,
NHL EVP, social impact,
growth initiatives and
legislative affairs;
Tom Stillman, Blues
chairman and governor;
NHL Commissioner
Gary Bettman; and
sportscaster Mike
Claiborne gather at the
NHL Black History Month
Truck Tour at the Boys
and Girls Teen Center on
Jan. 24.
bottom: Deputy NHL
Commissioner Bill Daly
and Meliza Humphrey,
manager, Honda National
Advertising, present a key
to a Honda CR-V to 2020
NHL All-Star MVP David
Pastrnak of the Boston
Bruins after the game on
Jan. 25.

Charlotte Hornets; Getty Images (2); GamePlanU; Miami Marlins; UW Madison Sports Business Club; J. Dodson; NYRR SPORTSBIZ STARTUP CEO FOR A DAY WISCONSIN VISITS WRIGLEY

From the first GamePlanU SportsBiz Startup From the first Talent Development The Sports Business Club, an undergraduate student organization within the
Orlando Presented By Roman Capital last month Network CEO for a Day event at Wisconsin School of Business at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, took
at the USTA National Training Center in Lake Marlins Park on Jan. 29, Miami- a four-day trip through Chicago and Detroit to meet with sports business
Nona, Fla.: Steve Buzby, Revel Marketing; and Dade College student Paul industry leaders from the Detroit Lions, Detroit Pistons, Detroit Red Wings/
Sathish Chittibabu and Aravind Sampath Douillon was paired with Miami Olympia Entertainment, Detroit Tigers, Chicago Cubs/Marquee 360, Chicago
of Fanisko. Twelve sports tech startups pitched Marlins CEO Derek Jeter and will Bears/ASM Global, Chicago White Sox and 4FRONT.
their platforms after two days of entrepreneur shadow Jeter for a day this spring.
panel discussions and mental health workshops.


From the inaugural Endurance Exchange conference, Jan. 23-25 at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz.: From the TCS New York City Marathon Partner Forum on
USA Triathlon CMO Chuck Menke; Earl Walton, Ironman global director of coaching and training; USA Jan. 23 at Tavern On The Green in Central Park: Rahsaan
Triathlon CEO Rocky Harris; Ironman Foundation Executive Director Sarah Hartmann; former MLB Johnson, director, sponsorships and brand activation, United
player Eric Byrnes, Let Them Play Foundation founder; Triathlon Business International President Dan Airlines; NYRR Board Chairman George Hirsch; Christine
Empfield; and USA Triathlon Foundation Executive Director Dave Deschenes. Burke, SVP, strategic partnerships, NYRR; Karina Jaramillo-
Saa, director, events and partnerships, Volvo Cars; NYRR
President and CEO Michael Capiraso; Christopher Miller,
divisional VP, global brand strategy and innovation, Abbott;
and TCS New York City Marathon Race Director Jim Heim.

W W W . S P O R T S B U S I N E S S J O U R N A L . C O M FEBRUARY 10-16, 2020 | 37


As the greatest players in NFL history gathered on the field, viewers at home on television and in the stadium via video boards could watch the mixed reality tribute unfold.

One Legendary Moment

To tell the story of the ‘NFL 100 All-Time Team’ at the Super Bowl, the league called on The Famous Group
for a mixed reality tribute that highlighted the past and offered a glimpse of the future of the stadium experience.


SOME100MILLIONVIEWERS who watched which was hired by the NFL and for a months-long vision that came to other viral moment on Dec. 12 when
the ambitious mixed reality tribute to worked with NFL Films on the project. (mixed) reality at Hard Rock Stadium it created a mixed reality display of
the “NFL 100 All-Time Team” as part “Our storyline was always centered before a crowd of 62,417 that watched a giant computer-generated raven
of Fox’s pregame to Super Bowl LIV around the players.” the same presentation on the stadi- invading M&T Bank Stadium during
experienced a seven-minute presenta- um’s video screen that fans saw on a Baltimore Ravens-New York Jets
tion billed as the longest, most sophis- The project required more than six their home televisions. game. The pregame Super Bowl pre-
ticated and most-viewed mixed reality months of preparation and involved sentation was even more ambitious,
presentation in television broadcast more than 40 people primarily based As Isaacson said, “We knew from and signals the dawning of a new age
history. at The Famous Group’s Culver City, the roar of the crowd that we had of marquee event entertainment.
Calif., headquarters. NFL Films something magical.”
This wasn’t tech for the sake of tech; played a major role by writing an or- “It’s just the tip of the iceberg for
it was using emerging technology as ganic script that al- The Famous Group authored an- what you are going to see
a storytelling vehicle. The mixed real- lowed for grouping from mixed reality,”
ity elements, including displaying players by team and Slusser said. “When you The Famous Group (2)
large virtual monitors and intermixing position and also for start to think about the
live cutaways to the legendary players more poignant mo- creative applications,
and coaches on the field, enhanced the ments, such as recog- both from an entertain-
moment’s historical significance rath- nizing great first ment and a revenue-
er than distracted from it. names. generating standpoint,
there is no way you can
“Along with it being very techno- Isaacson and The have big live events in
logically advanced and making use Famous Group part- the future without hav-
of the entire stadium, at the end of ner Jon Slusser said ing this technology. It
the day it was the story that we told Tim Tubito, the will be an industry stan-
that really hit a lot of the heartstrings NFL’s director of dard the way graphics
of both the audience and the players,” event presentation are an industry standard
said Andrew Isaacson, executive vice and content, de- in today’s broadcast.”
president of The Famous Group, serves recognition


Managing Director CEO
SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park Hear the insiders’ perspective on how SoFi
SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park are

transforming the site of the former
Hollywood Park Racetrack into a year-round

sports and entertainment destination.





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