Sports Business

Sports Business '15 to Watch': More NFL games in England?


Sports Business '15 to Watch': More NFL games in England?

1. Fantasy sports are under review. Massachusetts is launching an investigation into Boston-based website DraftKings as a way to learn about the company’s business practices. Among the questions investigators will try to answer are whether DraftKings contests are legal under state law and whether contests violate any federal laws. The move comes as DraftKings and its main competitor, FanDuel, spend hundreds of millions of dollars on advertising around the start of the NFL season. The legality of daily fantasy has frequently been questioned, but the game is protected by federal legislation that permits general fantasy sports. Look for investigations of all types and sizes — congressional, state, federal, legal, etc. It’s not so much that fantasy is illegal. The loophole under the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act is clear. Rather, it is the opportunity for taxable revenue that might drive these investigations.

2. But the Massachusetts investigation doesn’t make fantasy illegal, so how can you win your league? The SportsManias app is a game-changer in fantasy sports. Fantasy players can import their teams from CBS, ESPN or Yahoo and receive real-time news feed on their players from the top experts and news sources. This will give them an edge to make smarter roster moves. The SportsManias app makes it easy for consumer to access content from the best sources, giving them an edge while increasing traffic for media companies. It’s as simple as downloading the SportsManias app, importing your team and dominating your league. Fantasy players are massive consumers of media surrounding their teams. A DraftKings survey found that 70 percent of respondents said their sports consumption increased after they began playing daily. A FanDuel survey found that 50 percent of users watched more sports on TV as a result of daily fantasy play. Clearly, this app is a tide that lifts all boats.

3. The value of pro sports teams — and NFL teams in particular — keep increasing. As originally reported by the Forbes, but in an article found on the SportsManias app, the site that provides fans with real-time information on their favorite teams, the Dallas Cowboys are worth $4 billion, topping Real Madrid’s $3.26 billion to become the most valuable sports franchise in the world. The Cowboys are the most valuable franchise in the league for the ninth consecutive year. Forbes says the average NFL franchise is now worth $2 billion, a 38-percent increase from last year. The increased values are due in part to a $39 million increase in national television rights fees. The Forbes survey gives credence to the continuing increase of the economic juggernaut called the NFL — and a potential $25 billion revenue target by the mid-2020s.

4. A winning rebranding for a major sports and entertainment industry. Lagardère Group has relaunched its global sports business as Lagardère Sports, a division of Lagardère Sports & Entertainment (LS&E). The new LS&E, which replaces the name Lagardère Unlimited, is one of four major divisions of the Paris-based conglomerate. LS&E will be headquartered in London and comprises Lagardère Sports and Lagardère Live Entertainment. Lagardère Group built the company through the acquisitions of sports agencies and firms in six different nations. All of the U.S. companies as well as sports marketing agencies Sportfive, World Sport Group, IEC in Sports, Sports Marketing & Management and Lagardère Unlimited will be run under the LS&E brand. The agency partners with 70 European football clubs, 10,000 hours of programming, manages over 300 events and represents more than 280 athletes. The rebranding represents a significant effort to integrate and consolidate the service into a global game changer in the industry.

5. International sports business news. The NFL’s growth in the U.K. continues as league execs are looking at the possibility of playing a full season of games in the country within the next five years. The league will host three regular-season games at London’s Wembley Stadium this year. With last season’s three International Series games all sellouts, the league believes it can play even more games in the U.K. long-term. Meanwhile, Telstra has announced the rebrand of recently acquired business Globecast Australia to Telstra Broadcast Services, unveiling the new brand at the International Broadcasting Conference (IBC) in Amsterdam. The move cements Telstra’s commitment to providing deeper capabilities in media services for customers in the broadcasting industry. International headlines continue to dominate, especially with the media giants like Globecast, Telstra and other international entities.

6. Big changes could be coming to college sports. NCAA championships could be played in states that allow sports wagering, coaches could contact recruits via social media without restrictions and men’s basketball players could enter the NBA Draft multiple times without jeopardizing their eligibility, under proposals to be reviewed in Division I. These concepts are among 72 proposals that will be voted on by Division I this academic year. Of the 72 proposals being considered by the NCAA, 14 would change rules in the areas of autonomy granted to the Power 5 conferences. The new-found emphasis on team and conference competition for high school superstars might give rise to new standardization and more uniform rules. Ironically, the discussion on whether to pay student-athletes is no longer as relevant as how to structure their payments in a more uniform and competitively friendly way.

7. A creative (and long overdue) sponsorship deal on the verge of coming to the NBA. More than 60 years after the NBA instituted the 24-second shot clock, the league is close to signing its first timing sponsorship deal, according to John Lombardo & Terry Lefton of SportsBusiness Journal. The NBA reportedly is in advanced talks with multiple watch brands and technology companies for a deal that would designate the sponsor as the official timing partner of the league and would include all timing aspects of an NBA game. The value of this deal will not be known until companies like TAG Heuer and Tissot give their best offers. However, the agreement would include licensing rights for the watch category, national broadcast exposure, in-arena advertising and a great opportunity to generate new revenue from a traditional use. The NBA always cares about time, and it also cares about money.

8. How to maintain a home-ice advantage. As originally reported by the Tampa Bay Times, but in an article found on the SportsManias app, the site that provides fans with real-time information on their favorite teams, a new ticket policy by the Lightning will limit season-ticket resales in an effort to keep tickets out of the hands of scalpers and secondary markets. The preemptive measure is in anticipation of higher local demand following the team's postseason run. Fans had until late August to cancel their plans due to the new ticket-resale policy. The team will also begin a partnership with a ticket resale company to collect micro and macro data on customers. Look for the following trend: requiring season ticket holders to attend certain games and events in order to keep their priority and preferences.

9. The biggest athlete endorser doesn’t even play anymore. NBA legend Michael Jordan made $100 million last year from Jordan brand shoe sales, more than the $94 million he made in on-court earnings during his 15-season basketball career. Jordan's finances were recently disclosed in a court case over the use of his likeness. They indicated that Jordan made nearly $540 million from 2000 to 2012 from sponsors including Nike, Gatorade and HanesBrands. Jordan remains one of the few athletes who actively transcends sports. Clearly, his ability to hit left-handed pitches, and manage the Washington Wizards, did not come into play in his global branding accomplishments.

10. A long-running carriage dispute continues. The Pac-12 Networks have rejected a proposal by DirecTV’s parent company, AT&T, that would have allowed carriage on the satellite provider, but threatened the networks’ business model and long-term profitability. The proposal by AT&T reportedly included an equity stake for the telecom provider and likely would have forced the Pac-12 Networks to redo existing distribution deals at a lower subscription rate. Probably too late to resolve this issue by the end of the Pac-12 football season. However, as the Los Angeles Dodgers cable dispute demonstrates, a reasonable end to the cable wars is necessary for the lucrative Southern California sports viewer.

11. Hendrick Motorsports continues an impressive few weeks on the sponsorship front. Lowe's has extended its longtime relationship with Hendrick Motorsports by signing a two-year agreement that will continue its full-season primary sponsorship of Jimmie Johnson's No. 48 NASCAR Sprint Cup team through 2017. Meanwhile, HMS and Johnson also have agreed to a contract extension through 2017. The deals come after another sponsor, Axalta, recently broke ground on a customer experience center on the HMS campus. Sponsorship musical chairs continues to dominate the NASCAR landscape. Bedrock motorsports companies like Lowes should always be there. Companies like Axalta should be nurtured as dynamic newfound long-term revenue sources.

12. The NFL’s judge, jury and arbiter, no more? NFL owners are prepared to negotiate with the NFLPA about changing commissioner Roger Goodell’s role in the league’s player disciplinary system, with a goal of reaching an agreement before the end of this season. Ceding power would be a big loss for Goodell, who negotiated for the right to rule on player appeals in the last CBA. The discipline process has dominated the media headlines since the beginning of the 2014 season. However, the revenues available for the league (and its owners and players) have never been better. Clarification of a transparent and sustaining process is necessary to continue to move the league in a unified, positive direction.

13. Is the NHL one step closer to Las Vegas? AEG expects to have a naming-rights partner for its under-construction Las Vegas arena signed within the next two months. The facility will host as many as 140 events a year if the NHL awards a franchise to Fidelity National Financial Chair Bill Foley’s group. Capacity at the Las Vegas arena will be 17,500 for hockey and 18,800 for basketball. Look for Vegas to be awarded a franchise sooner than later — probably at a fee of over $500 million. The Seattle, Quebec City, Phoenix interplay will probably continue after that. The Coyotes might hold the key to that second expansion slot, if it exists.

14. And is a new arena in Milwaukee one step further than expected? Milwaukee Bucks investor Mike Fascitelli said that the team will complete its downtown arena project one year later than expected and is now targeting an opening to coincide with the start of the 2018-19 NBA season. Until Fascitelli’s remarks, Bucks execs had maintained the team still planned to break ground this year on the $500 million project. Governor Scott Walker’s presidential aspirations have had a significant impact on the Bucks local arena controversy. Since the revenues are primarily generated from team-related income taxes (which would not exist but for the arena and franchise), the public/private partnership should be relatively easy to sell and implement.

15. For one NASCAR track, timing is everything. Richmond International Raceway has asked NASCAR to move the track’s spring race from Saturday night to Sunday afternoon. RIR has scheduled two Saturday night races since 1998, and is the only track with a pair of prime-time events. However, RIR officials believe a change to the afternoon might draw a different audience. Each NASCAR track is in a competitive race within its market to remain entrepreneurial and flexible — especially with competition among other sports, entertainment and other options. Kudos to RIR to make bold moves based on fan convenience.

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.