Sports Business

Sports Business '15 to Watch': NFL Draft in Chicago a success


Sports Business '15 to Watch': NFL Draft in Chicago a success

1. The NFL has opted to transition away from its tax-exempt status, which NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell called a distraction to the league. Goodell said the move would not change the function or operation of the league office, but the Commissioner will no longer have to publicly disclose his salary. Most of the profit from league-related operations are taken through the individual teams anyway, and their owners are taxed for those profits. As a practical matter, the tax exempt status caused significant confusion and perception issues, and obviously NFL is concerned about perception on this issue.

2. GoDaddy announced it is leaving NASCAR at the end of the 2015 season and will not renew its primary sponsorship of driver Danica Patrick’s No. 10 Chevy car with Stewart-Haas Racing. GoDaddy has sponsored Patrick since the 2007 IndyCar season, and the company remained her primary sponsor as she transitioned into NASCAR. Patrick’s steady but victory-less performance, coupled with GoDaddy’s desire to explore other global initiatives, led to this change. Truthfully, the relationship benefited both parties significantly as they emerged into their respective roles.  Good example of corporate/athlete partnerships working well.

3. NFL Draft in Chicago was an astounding success on a number of levels — over $100 million of economic impact, nearly 100,000 folks assembled in Grant Park every day. Sports and entertainment agency Lagardere Unlimited had a strong showing in the NFL Draft. The Oakland Raiders with the 4th overall pick selected wide receiver Amari Cooper out of Alabama. Cooper was a 2014 Heisman trophy finalist and a consensus All-American. Another Lagardere client, cornerback Kevin Johnson, went 16th overall to the Houston Texans, and defensive end Arik Armstead of Oregon was chosen 17th overall by the San Francisco 49ers. Most importantly, the NFL has a new “mega-event” to move around to cities with significant support from ownership.

4. The Baltimore Orioles took a financial hit in having to move its weekend series against the Tampa Bay Rays to Tropicana Field. As a result of the Freddie Gray riots in downtown Baltimore, the Orioles will lose revenue from three home games as well as incur additional travel expenses. While Mayor Rawlings Blake is to be commended for her constant vigilance during the turbulence, the “spectator-less” game at Camden Yards and the “home series” in Tampa causes significant revenue issues for the Orioles.

5. An amazing Spring for Sin City. Over $300 million of economic impact from Pacquiao-Mayweather; NHL looking at possible 2016-2017 expansion at $500 million entry fee; and gambling makes more revenue than ever. A record $263 million was gambled in Las Vegas during the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. In total, $375 million was gambled in March on professional and college basketball games, up from the previous record of $344 million last year. As March Madness continues to become more accessible on all mobile platforms, look for more interest, more revenue, and more gambled dollars.

6. As originally reported by The Oklahoman, but in an article found and accessed from the Sportsmanias app, the site that provides fans with real-time information on their favorite teams, Oklahoma City Thunder signed former Florida Gators head coach Billy Donovan to a five-year, $30 million deal. The contract makes Donovan one of the highest-paid coaches in the NBA, trailing only Clippers coach Doc Rivers at $10 million a year and Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy at $7 million annually. College and pro coaches should be viewed as COO’s of mid-sized corporations. From that perspective, a $6 million annual salary is understandable for a $100-plus million operation.

7. Whether in sports, business, or politics, mega-international events require similar solutions. Globecast is fully committed in assisting UK and overseas broadcasters for the upcoming UK General Elections. More than 70 SNG trucks have been booked on behalf of all major news agencies in the UK. Coverage will include both the extensive build up, as well as Election Day and night itself, running from Thursday, May 7th, all the way through to Friday, May 8th. As television, Internet, and social media converge, a “one stop shop” approach is an absolute necessity to adequately service major mega-events. 

8. Not a great year for defending NHL and NBA champions. Los Angeles Kings failed to make the playoffs and the San Antonio Spurs were ousted in the first round by the Los Angeles Clippers. Heading into NHL conference semifinals and finals, franchise values continue to rise and television ratings continue to improve. NBA franchise values continue to increase by virtue of the $750-$800 million value set by the Atlanta Hawks sale. Steve Balmer’s $2 billion investment may be paying off emotionally, given his excitement on the sidelines after the Clippers victory over the Spurs.

9. The task force working on a new St. Louis football stadium expressed confidence that they will have a plan in place for NFL approval this fall. The group is hoping to get $400 million in public money, plus $450 million from the team and league and $150 million from PSL sales. NFL deferral of the voting on franchise relocation at their May meeting is based on the desire to give St. Louis, Carson, San Diego, Oakland, Inglewood, City of Industry, and other projects an opportunity to be finalized (or not) by late Fall. Look for the three-team “musical chairs” to be resolved by the end of the NFL season.

10. MLB’s new pace-of-play initiatives have been so effective that the league and players’ union will not implement a series of fines that were to go into effect last week. Average games this season are being completed nearly 8 1/2 minutes quicker than last year. Part of it is cold weather, part of it is good pitching, and part of it is Commissioner Manfred’s edict to quicken the games. While more subtle than other edicts, this may have a more profound consequence for years to come.

11. Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby acknowledged that his conference is at disadvantage in being selected for the CFP by not having a conference championship football game. Bowlsby recently spoke with CFP officials about the significance of the extra game in their deliberations. Whether adding additional teams, committing to a conference championship, or a combination, the Big 12 will adapt its business and economics to the momentum created by the other Power Five conferences.

12. NASCAR is in advanced talks with daily fantasy sports operator Draft Kings about the possibility of launching a new game. A deal with Draft Kings would add to NASCAR’s existing user base of about 250,000 for its traditional fantasy game, which is available on What an evolution: from fantasy being perceived as a lower form of gambling, to regular fantasy being accepted by each league, to “daily fantasy” emerging as a large revenue source — now nearly all teams and leagues have some form of relationship with one of the major “daily fantasy” providers.

13. Allstate’s Esurance brand has signed on as MLB’s new auto insurance partner.  The online insurance company will title sponsor fan balloting for July’s All-Star Game in Cincinnati, whose balloting this season is being conducted entirely online for the first time.  Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.  Baseball’s stability and progress means more sponsorship dollars for everyone, new sponsor partners committed to the game, and more activation around them.

14. An anonymous group of donors to the University of California-S.F. has come out against the Golden State Warriors’ plan to build a new arena in San Francisco’s Mission Bay.  The emergence of the opposition group comes just a month before an environmental impact report about the arena will be released.  Warriors ownership understands that an arena process does not happen overnight, notwithstanding the significant economic impact, benefits, and image enhancement for the region.  Hopefully the Warriors on-course performance will hasten this process.

15. The golf industry moves to the Players Championship, ostensibly the “Fifth Major” within walking distance of the PGA Tour headquarters at Ponte Vedra. On the golf course, LU clients led by world No. 2 Jordan Spieth entered in the World Golf Championship-Cadillac Match Play Championship in San Francisco. Also in the tournament based on their world rankings were Chris Kirk (25), Keegan Bradley (33), and Brandt Snedeker (35). Golf business surviving and thriving without the need for “Tigerization of the Tour.” While Tiger remains a critical component of the Tour, MVP Index and other measurements demonstrate that Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, and some of the “young guns” are clearly taking the pressure off.

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.