Sports Business

Sports Business '15 to Watch': Spieth benefits from Masters win


Sports Business '15 to Watch': Spieth benefits from Masters win

  1. Augusta National filed for two trademarks for CBS broadcaster Jim Nantz’ “A Tradition Unlike Any Other” phrase. While ESPN and CBS televise The Masters, Augusta National actually owns the broadcast, and by extension, the phrase. Nantz is believed to have first used the phrase before the 1986 Masters. Amazing Masters all around: $35 million in tournament revenue (that the Masters admits); Spieth validates his Under Armour, Rolex, NetJets, Amazon endorsement deals; Phil Mickelson does more business with his sponsors Barclays, AT&T, Callaway, and Rolex; television celebrates 60th anniversary of one-year deals with CBS. It only gets better!

  2. The NCAA Tournament finished with an average of 11.3 million viewers across CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV this year, marking the best average for the event since 1993, when 12.7 million viewers watched. The average in 2015 also is up 8 percent from 10.5 million viewers last year. More leverage for next set of astronomical television rights fee negotiations with new bounty for the NCAA long-term — stipend payment of student-athletes is sure to follow.

  3. NFL owners will not vote on which L.A. stadium plan to support at their May meeting despite the significant progress in recent months in both Carson and Inglewood. It could be a minimum of six months before the league decides which plan it will support. Vote postponement means two things: more time to percolate the various Southern California options coupled with more time to “shake out” the politics involved in the St. Louis stadium situation “referendum or not.” In any event, both types of situations should be resolved before the NFL votes on any/all of the three teams final moves.

  4. MLB Advanced Media delivered a record 60 million video streams to fans on Opening Day across its digital platform, a 60 percent increase over last year. Baseball fans also accessed MLBAM’s At Bat mobile app 9.1 million times on Opening Day, up 40 percent from the previous single day record. Baseball will undoubtedly break its $9 billion revenue standard from last year; 48 percent asset appreciation based on last year’s numbers probably a major improvement at the end of this season and beyond.

  5. The NFL said it would likely contribute $200 million toward a new Chargers stadium in Mission Valley. With all parties trying to come up with a financing plan, the city of San Diego and San Diego County have agreed to jointly pay for experts to help negotiate a stadium deal with the team. A subset of comments from No. 3 above. The NFL should be able to contribute at least $200 million per team on any stadium project (thanks to the G3 funding process created years ago as part of the last round of stadium public/private partnership funding). NFL makes this process a top priority by the end of this season.

  6. Milwaukee Bucks co-owner Wes Edens said that he plans to personally invest in some of the ancillary development around his team’s proposed $500 million arena. Between the arena and a mixed-use entertainment district, the total cost of the plan is $1 billion. Bucks public/private partnership arena process now should generate more private investment than projects in comparable economic markets — thanks to the Bucks new investment group. Hopefully, Governor Scott Walker can maneuver the public investment for the sake of the NBA in Wisconsin.

  7. MLB and the MLBPA have agreed to a deal that forbids players from playing in daily fantasy baseball games that involve a prize, but still allows them to endorse these companies. The deal does not preclude players from partaking in fantasy baseball when something of value is not involved. Pete Rose monitoring the “gambling/fantasy distinctions” very closely. Players can reap benefits from fantasy sites, but cannot use them for their own financial benefit. Sounds like a distinction that will be “cleverly applied” in the future.

  8. Miami Heat officials are angry that the NBA did not inform the team about its plans to develop a relationship with Cuba before the news was made public. The NBA will become the first U.S. pro sports league to visit the island now that diplomatic relations has been re-established.  Look for more “frayed emotions” as the NBA ventures into Cuba; Peter Angelos-led “pioneering trips” should mean baseball will follow shortly. Economic goldmine, but considerable controversy in Florida.

  9. Shake Shack abruptly had to end a Baltimore Orioles promotion due to copyright objections from MLB. The restaurant was offering free custard to anyone dressed in Orioles gear on Friday, the team’s home opener. MLB contacted the eatery that use of the word “Orioles” was prohibited.  Note to Shake Shack: give away custard, but don’t call it an “Orioles promotion”; and work out the specifics of the deal in a better defined way beforehand.

  10. The NCAA by 2016 is expected to pass legislation allowing for the deregulation of college football conference championship games. The move would directly impact the Big 12, which is the only Power Five conference without a championship game. Current NCAA rules state that a conference must have at least 12 teams in order to play a title game. Big 12 may not have the immediate ability to expand, but certainly wants to be able to generate the substantial revenue involved in an annual championship game. Also important in the future for “committee credibility” as long as the playoff remains limited to four teams.

  11. NBPA Executive Director Michele Roberts issued an internal memo announcing the “2015 Players Choice Awards.” The program was created at the request of players who wanted a say in year-end award voting. The media has voted on NBA awards since 1981. More opportunities for the NBA Players Association to generate merchandise, licensing, and endorsement revenues heading into their next collective bargaining negotiations with the owners. Good choice to try to identify additional revenues, rather than create turbulence and distress over those revenues already created.

  12. Seattle Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch has begun selling “I’m just here so I won’t get fined” T-shirts on his website. Lynch in February sought to trademark the phrase, which he unintentionally made famous during Super Bowl XLIX Media Day. Interesting to see how many of these shirts he sells beyond his “immediate family.” Maybe he will generate more revenue if he actually speaks to each buyer as part of the sale promotion. Don’t hold your breath!

  13. Golfer Rickie Fowler has signed a long-term partnership with Quicken Loans in which he will serve as a spokesperson for the company. The Quicken Loans logo began appearing on Fowler's golf bag beginning with the opening round of The Masters. Another example of completed commerce around the Augusta National Oak Tree during Masters weekend. Billions of dollars change hands following handshakes done during meals at the revered “epicenter of Masters commerce.”

  14. The University of Oregon is dropping ticket prices for men’s basketball games by an average of 34 percent after posting its worst home attendance in 20 years. Oregon averaged just more than 6,200 fans per home game this season, which barely is half of Matthew Knight Arena’s capacity. Good example of the market dictating demand in either direction; the Knight family is less than excited about the basketball team progress — though their involvement in all aspects of Oregon sports should be respected.

  15. Caddies’ contentiousness with the PGA Tour continues to grow due to a perceived inconsistent dress code. More than 160 caddies have filed a class-action lawsuit against the Tour wanting a piece of the sponsorship revenue derived from the bibs they are required to wear. 
    Players Championship in early May at the PGA Tour headquarters may be “ground zero” for this business standoff. Both sides would be wise to reach a reasonable settlement before the fight elevates even further.

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.