Sports Business

Sports Business '15 to Watch': Fallout from DeflateGate


Sports Business '15 to Watch': Fallout from DeflateGate

1. Tom Brady’s off-field brand image could take a big hit after the New England Patriots QB was implicated in the “Deflategate” scandal. Forbes last year listed Brady’s endorsement income at $7 million through deals with Dodge, Ugg Australia, and Under Armour. The Wells Report should lead to swift disciplinary action – no matter what the result. Interesting positioning for Players Association: support one of their highest visibility players, or the notion of protecting the “integrity of the game” for all players? NFL should move swiftly through this so it can be a distant memory as training camp starts.

2. NFL Draft was an astounding success of all levels: $150-200 million of economic impact; stage set for rotating-city format; television ratings “off the charts.” Arguably no sports agency had a better class of prospects taken in the NFL Draft than Lagardere Unlimited. Lagardere had a total of 10 players drafted in the first four rounds, plus three undrafted players who ended up signing deals with teams. The headline of Lagardere’s draft class was Alabama WR Amari Cooper, who was selected fourth overall by the Oakland Raiders. Mega-agencies offer full service/globalized services – more of a necessity these days for high profile “international clientele.”

3. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker said a financing plan for a new Milwaukee Bucks arena is being put on the backburner while the state deals with bigger issues. The team hopes to receive nearly half of the proposed arena’s $500 million cost from the state. Bucks plan now in a form of “political limbo.” National presidential aspirations may take precedence over the resolution of a key local economic issue. Hopefully, the ultimate public/private partnership will be put in place before “relocation threats” materialize.

4. As originally reported by ESPN New York, but in an article found and accessed from the Sportsmanias app, the site that provides fans with real-time information on their favorite teams, the New York Yankees refuse to pay Alex Rodriguez a $6 million marketing bonus for hitting his 660th career home run. The Yankees believe they are not obligated to pay Rodriguez since he has admitted to PED use and was suspended for the 2014 season. Contract bonus is merely the “tip of the perception iceberg.” If A-Rod plays astoundingly week (and the Yankees succeed because of it), interesting unexpected impact on his long-term legacy.

5. MLB Advanced Media is exploring spinning off its digital video streaming business, according to Eric Fisher of SportsBusiness Journal. While specific figures aren’t available, the third-party part of MLBAM is valued at at least several billion dollars. Baseball’s Internet entity continues to set the “gold standard” for league-based spinoffs. Unexpected revenue/value from MLBAM driving franchise net worth higher in every instance.

6. With the current collective bargaining agreement between MLB and the MLBPA set to expire after the 2016 season, the union has expressed interest in shortening the regular season to 154 games. The current 162-game schedule has been in place since 1962. Quicker games and shorter seasons – Commissioner Manfred expresses his preferences (and, potentially, his significant mark on the game in very short order). Unprecedented labor peace provides a solid bank of goodwill from which to proceed.

7. The UAB Athletics Assessment Task Force has raised nearly $6 million in pledges to help reinstate the school’s football, bowling, and women’s rifle programs. The next step is converting the pledges into official UAB gift agreements. Easy maxim to remember: harder to resurrect a team or program after the plug has been pulled – Houston Oilers, St. Louis football Cardinals, Los Angeles Rams, UAB Blazers.

8. Bayer’s Dr. Scholl’s brand signed a three-year deal to become an NBA promotional partner and will use league marks to market its foot-care products, according to Terry Lefton of SportsBusiness Journal. Bayer’s hope to use its NBA partnership to gain incremental sales in large sporting goods retailers. First sneakers, then socks, then bandages – the NBA finds novel and intriguing ways to monetize feet!

9. As David Beckham’s Miami stadium efforts continue to stall, MLS Commissioner Don Garber said it is no guarantee that the market will land an expansion team. Garber is expected to travel to Miami in the near future to help Beckham negotiate a stadium deal. It took us eight years to build the first Miami Arena and receive the Miami Heat expansion franchise in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Actually, no one should expect that this is any different in a highly charged multilingual political South Florida landscape.

10. Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed the “Todd Gurley Bill,” making it illegal to entice student-athletes to break NCAA rules for money. The law’s name references the ex-University of Georgia star who was suspended last year after accepting $400 in exchange for autographs. NCAA can go only so far – state and federal legislation can pick up the slack. In this case, the precedent is set for as many states as possible to follow Georgia’s lead. This is especially critical in the highly charged, competitive SEC.

11. Under Armour announced a special edition shoe to commemorate endorser Stephen Curry being named the NBA MVP. The black, white, and gold shoe is called the "MVP Limited Edition" and will launch on Under Armour's website and select retail locations in June. Another example of Under Armour being “all in” on their athlete spokes-brands – Stephen Curry is a high ceiling, low risk investment that is another testament to Kevin Plank’s entrepreneurialism.

12. DC Mayor Muriel Bowser has reached out to the Washington Redskins about bringing the team back to the District. Bowser said DC is working on a number of scenarios at the RFK Stadium site, including a new stadium with park space and other surrounding development. Many real estate scenarios abound – tax credit enhancements, federal land swaps, and other significant public incentives. While the 2024 Olympic choice of Boston instead of Washington might slow this process down, it does not stop it altogether.

13. DC United is using the mobile dating app Tinder to sell discounted tickets. The team says it has been exploring emerging social media channels as a way to grow its fan base. The Atlanta Hawks held a Tinder promotion this year, but that was focused on helping fans meet each other while at a game. Another way to meet eligible singles – at a sporting event. Appropriate, demographically-oriented, publicly acceptable, and probably fun!

14. As originally reported by Toronto Sun, but in an article found and accessed from the Sportsmanias app, the site that provides fans with real-time information on their favorite teams, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment unveiled a $99 million renovation of BMO Field that the company says puts the Toronto soccer stadium on par with NFL facilities. The renovation expanded the stadium’s capacity to 30,000 seats, making it the biggest soccer-specific venue in MLS. Example of the vertically integrated sports development agency of the largest city in Canada reaching out to adapt its facilities to the future – technologically and culturally.

15. The NCAA has approved three new college football bowl games for the 2015 season. The new games in Austin, Orlando, and Tucson, brings the number of bowls up to 42, more than double the total from 20 years ago. Approximately 64 percent of FBS schools will participate in bowl games. Another example of the “economic viability” of niche bowl games: highly charged television, intensely avid fan base, tourism and promotion enhancement, and a “holiday window” reserved for that specific game. Pundits and cynics questioned whether the playoff would eliminate the “minor bowl games” – this is obviously the answer!

NBC Sports Chicago provides extensive coverage of Bulls and Blackhawks drafts

NBC Sports Chicago

NBC Sports Chicago provides extensive coverage of Bulls and Blackhawks drafts

Chicago, IL (June 19, 2018) – With the Chicago Bulls holding the #7 overall pick of the 2019 NBA Draft and the Chicago Blackhawks holding the #3 overall pick of the 2019 NHL Draft, NBC Sports Chicago - THE Home of the #AuthenticFan - is set to provide fans with extensive multi-platform coverage of both drafts on Thursday, June 20 and Friday, June 21.  Please note NBC Sports Chicago’s draft coverage details below:


THURSDAY, JUNE 20 -- BULLS/NBA Draft coverage

  • 11:00 AM & 2:00 PM CT -- “The 2019 NBA Draft Preview Show” - NBC Sports National NBA Insider Tom Haberstroh (@tomhaberstroh) previews the upcoming draft featuring NBC Sports Regional Networks NBA experts from coast-to-coast, including NBC Sports Chicago’s Mark Schanowski. Hosted by NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Amy Fadool, “The 2019 NBA Draft Preview Show” will be presented in two live airings this day and fans can submit their draft questions to the panel by utilizing the Twitter hashtag #NBAdraftNBC (NOTE: This digital-exclusive presentation will stream live on and via the “MyTeams by NBC Sports” app; fans located anywhere in the U.S. can download MyTeams for free on iOS and Android devices in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.)
  • 6:00 PM -- “SportsTalk Live presented by The Chevy Silverado” - Special NBA Draft preview edition LIVE from the Bulls/NBA Draft headquarters at the Advocate Center. (NOTE: Live stream available to authenticated NBC Sports Chicago subscribers at
  • Between 7:30-8:30 PM (time approx.) -- Live #7 pick reaction/commentary from NBC Sports Chicago’s Bulls experts Mark Schanowski, Kendall Gill, and Will Perdue via an extended Periscope segment on the network’s dedicated Bulls Twitter handle (@NBCSBulls), which will include the trio’s responses to fan questions and comments.
  • 10:30 PM -- “Bulls Draft Special presented by BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois” - Featuring Schanowski, Gill, and Perdue live from the Advocate Center, the Bulls Draft Special will dive into detailed discussion surrounding the Bulls first and second round picks, along with showcasing podium moment highlights/interviews featuring the new Bulls rookie from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY, an overview of every trade made throughout the evening, plus, post-draft press conference coverage featuring Bulls Executive VP/Basketball Operations John Paxson, along with a post-draft recap interview with Haberstroh. (NOTE: Live stream also available to authenticated NBC Sports Chicago subscribers at and via the “MyTeams by NBC Sports” app.)
  • 11:00 PM -- “Bulls Outsiders: Draft Special” - Hosts Matt Peck, David Watson, and John Sabine recap the NBA Draft from their perspective, along with their thoughts on how the Bulls first round pick will impact next season’s roster.  In addition, the Bulls Outsiders: Draft Special will also emphasize heavy viewer interaction via fan engagement on a number of the network’s social media platforms including Twitter (@NBCSBulls; fans urged to utilize the Twitter hashtag #BullsOutsiders in their posts) and Facebook Live ( (NOTE: Live stream also available to authenticated NBC Sports Chicago subscribers at and via the “MyTeams by NBC Sports” app.)
  •”MyTeams by NBC Sports” app – NBC Sports Chicago’s Bulls digital reporter/producer Mark Strotman will also provide fans with thorough digital coverage of the NBA Draft from the Advocate Center on Thursday night, which will include real-time coverage/commentary throughout the night via @NBCSBulls and on the “MyTeams by NBC Sports” app.  In addition, “Sights & Sounds” moments from the Advocate Center will be provided from ‘NBCSChicago’ through Instagram and Instagram Stories. For full NBA Draft content and videos, fans are urged to visit the network’s dedicated Bulls section at  
  • “Bulls Talk PODCAST presented by Coors Light” - Bulls fans can also download NBA Draft preview/recap editions of NBC Sports Chicago’s “Bulls Talk PODCAST” throughout the week. Fans can download all of NBC Sports Chicago’s podcasts at and simply subscribe to them via Apple Podcasts, Google Play or Stitcher.  The podcasts can be played on any mobile device, laptop, or desktop computer.


FRIDAY, JUNE 21 -- BLACKHAWKS/NHL Draft coverage

  • 6:00 PM CT -- “SportsTalk Live presented by The Chevy Silverado” - Special NHL Draft preview edition featuring on-site, pre-draft reports from NBC Sports Chicago Blackhawks expert Pat Boyle and Blackhawks digital reporter/producer Charlie Roumeliotis LIVE from Rogers Arena in Vancouver, B.C. (NOTE: Live stream available to authenticated NBC Sports Chicago subscribers at
  • 6:30 PM -- 2019 NHL Draft (LIVE on NBCSN) – NBCSN will provide live first round coverage of the 2019 NHL Draft from Rogers Arena, which will feature in-depth player profile coverage of the Blackhawks #3 overall pick (live stream available via and the NBC Sports app). Liam McHugh and Kathryn Tappen will host coverage alongside Emmy Award-winning analyst Pierre McGuire and NHL Insiders Bob McKenzie, Craig Button, and Darren Dreger.
  •”MyTeams by NBC Sports” app (Blackhawks draft coverage presented by Elgin Hyundai/Dundee Ford) – Boyle and Roumeliotis will be on location in Vancouver throughout the weekend providing fans with thorough digital coverage of the Draft, which will include draft capsules of every Blackhawks draft pick, along with scheduled interviews featuring Blackhawks SVP/GM Stan Bowman and VP/Amateur Scouting Mark Kelley. NBC Sports Chicago will also deliver up-to-the-minute coverage/commentary throughout the weekend via NBC Sports Chicago’s dedicated Blackhawks Twitter handle @NBCSBlackhawks and on the “MyTeams by NBC Sports” app. In addition, “Sights & Sounds” moments from Rogers Arena will be provided from ‘NBCSChicago’ through Instagram and Instagram Stories. For full NHL Draft player profiles, content, and videos, fans are urged to visit the network’s dedicated Blackhawks section at    
  • “Blackhawks Talk PODCAST presented by” - NBC Sports Chicago will also deliver NHL Draft preview/recap editions of its “Blackhawks Talk PODCAST” featuring Boyle, Roumeliotis, along with special guest interviews. Fans can download all of NBC Sports Chicago’s podcasts at and simply subscribe to them via Apple Podcasts, Google Play or Stitcher.  The podcasts can be played on any mobile device, laptop, or desktop computer.



NBC Sports Chicago, a partnership between the Chicago Blackhawks (NHL), Chicago Bulls (NBA), Chicago Cubs (MLB), Chicago White Sox (MLB) and the NBC Sports Group, features over 275 live pro games in high definition each year.  In addition, NBC Sports Chicago delivers extensive pre/post-game coverage for its core pro team partners, as well as Chicago Bears postgame coverage, local sports discussion programs that includes SportsTalk Live, and massive cross-platform coverage provided by the network’s growing digital platform,, the new “MyTeams by NBC Sports” app, and its variety of fan-focused social media outlets. Fans can follow the network on Twitter via @NBCSChicago.  


NBC Sports Regional Networks is NBC Sports Group’s portfolio of nine regional networks that delivers more than 2,200 live sporting events and original content to more than 35 million homes. Aligned within Eastern and Western Divisions, the NBC Sports Regional Networks are: NBC Sports Boston, NBC Sports Philadelphia, NBC Sports Philadelphia +, NBC Sports Washington, NBC Sports Washington + and SNY; and NBC Sports Bay Area, NBC Sports California, NBC Sports Chicago/NBC Sports Chicago+, and NBC Sports Northwest. For more information on NBC Sports Group properties, including press releases, photos, talent and executive bios, headshots and logos, please visit




Both Illinois House and Senate pass bill to legalize sports gambling

Both Illinois House and Senate pass bill to legalize sports gambling

When the Supreme Court lifted the federal restriction on legal sports betting outside of Nevada in May 2018, it was off to the races to see which states would legalize sports betting and how it would happen.

Illinois is on the verge of that happening following a legal sports betting bill getting passed in both the Illinois House and Senate. It passed 87-27 in the House on Saturday and passed 46-10 in the Senate on Sunday. All that is missing is governor J.B. Pritzker’s signature, but he is expected to sign given he has been a proponent of legal sports betting.

The bill would allow for betting in sports venues such at Soldier Field or the United Center, but it isn’t yet clear how that would be implemented. Betting on Illinois college teams would be banned as part of the proposal.

Sports betting would be taxed at 15 percent.

Additionally, the bill includes casinos that would be built in Chicago as well as Waukegan and the south suburbs. The bill would also make it possible to have slot machines at O’Hare and Midway airports.

It is not clear when the bill would take effect.