Other Sports




Podcast Intro


NBA newest Virtual Reality Developments and wearable technology


Golden 1 Center in Sacramento paying dividends in Community


NFL and Colin Kaepernick Meeting 


San Francisco 49ers teaming up with police to curb gun violence 


Microsoft charity partnerships with NFL players


Chris Long charity campaign 


Amazon's Thursday Night Football Streaming Success so far 


EPL Media Rights leading to heavy spending on their content 


Atlanta United hosting the MLS All-Star Game 


MLS Expansion Efforts in Charlotte 


NYCFC opening 10 new soccer fields across the city 


FIFA's use of virtual assistant referees 


World Cup Cost increases for Russia 


World Series Viewership Increase 


World Series Games Pace of Play


Tampa Bay Rays working on funding for their new stadium 


Garmin Impact Bat Swing Sensor


Mets and Phillies adding Augmented Reality features to their stadiums next season


MLB Partnership with EVERFI


Interview with Jon Chapman of EVERFI


Tease for Next Week


1. This year’s World Series between the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers got off
to a strong start from an overnight ratings perspective. According to SportsBusiness
Journal, Game 1 on Fox drew a 10.2 rating as the Dodgers won 3-1. That figure is lower
than last year’s 12.6 that the Indians and Cubs drew, but “was the best for a World
Series opener since Phillies-Yankees in 2009.” Despite a cry that games have been taking
too long, Game 1 was the shortest World Series game in a quarter century. Game 2
followed up with 16.0 million viewers on Fox, with the Astros pulling out a 7-6 win in 11
innings. That number is down compared to last year, but up 13% from two years ago.
Subsequent games have been packed with drama and action as the series seems likely
to go the distance. Viewership numbers for the most recent games have not yet been
released, but numbers are expected to be strong across two of America’s biggest
markets due to the intensity and star power featured in the contests.

2. With the World Series now well underway, MLB baseball has revealed its postseason
viewership numbers leading up to the championship round. According to
SportsBusiness Journal, playoff games across ESPN, TBS, FS1, Fox and MLB Network
averaged 4.8 million viewers – representing the league’s “best pre-Fall Classic figure
since 2011 (4.9 million).” The 4.8 million average is up 13% from the 4.24 million viewers
that last year’s postseason averaged. One of the biggest jumps from last year is NL
viewership on TBS, which has seen a 46% increase from last year. FS1 has been the big
winner thus far, as it had the honor of broadcasting the ALCS Game 7 matchup between
the Houston Astros and New York Yankees. That game alone averaged 9.9 million
viewers, “marking the net’s most-viewed telecast on record.” The 9.9 million average
tops last year’s 9.7 million that tuned in to watch the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago
Cubs in Game 6 last year. MLB has to be happy with this news, especially considering
the NFL’s struggle to keep its viewership numbers up relative to past years.

3. Colin Kaepernick is set to attend a meeting between NFL players and owners, where
the two sides plan to talk about the ongoing social activism and protest issues.
According to Yahoo Sports, multiple players across the league have voiced their desire
to get him in their meetings with team owners and league officials, noting that “he is an
important voice in their effort.” This now marks the second time “he has been invited”
by members of the players’ coalition to attend a league meeting, after he declined the
first offer. League officials have been open to the idea of the former NFLer joining their
discussions, though it remains unclear what his exact contribution will be since he is not
on a team. Kaepernick recently filed a grievance against the NFL for “allegedly
conspiring to freeze him out of a job.” Protesting the national anthem all began with
Kaepernick, so it will be interesting to see what – if anything – comes out of his
inclusion in the meeting.

4. The San Francisco 49ers are teaming up with multiple police unions in an attempt to
“ease national police-community acrimony.” According to the San Jose Mercury News,
the current on-field protests by players have since “extended far beyond the field,”
prompting the 49ers to work with police unions all across the Pacific Northwest. The
team and police unions from San Jose, Oakland, Santa Clara, Los Angeles, Sacramento,
Long Beach and Portland “plan to solicit participation from other NFL teams and police
unions.” One of the key areas of focus in this new partnership is gun control, specifically
to outlaw bump stocks, which the shooter in Las Vegas used to boost the killing power
of his rifles. “We’re all very interested in progress, and it’s very clear that protesting has
brought ample vision, and the opportunity for people to speak loudly,” said 49ers CEO
Jed York. This partnership could spur a movement across the league of teams working
with police unions in their respective markets. This is a great step in the right direction
for the NFL.

5. This week marks the national debut of episode three of "The Power of Sports," a
monthly program jointly produced by FOX Sports Southwest, Horrow Sports Ventures,
Oklahoma City-based foundation Fields & Futures, and Group One Thousand One. This
month, after successful forays into Oklahoma City and Indianapolis looking at public-
private partnership ventures, we journey to South Florida with MLB Hall of Famer Cal
Ripkin Jr. as he relives his first professional game at Miami Stadium as a Miami Oriole
and tour community baseball facilities being developed by his namesake cause Ripken
Baseball. We also hear about the good work his father Cal Ripken Sr. is doing with Team
Cops and Kids, and go inside Up2Us, which is training everyday coaches to work with
vulnerable youth. Check local FOX Sports networks listings to be a part of this truly
remarkable journey.

6. The Tampa Bay Rays finally have a site picked out to build a new stadium on, but
funding remains up in the air. According to the Tampa Bay Times, the proposed site in
the Channel District-Ybor City area presents developers with an opportunity to “build an
urban ballpark with, perhaps, waterfront views and access.” Plans and funding for the
14-acre site have yet to be determined. It still remains uncertain how much the new
ballpark will cost the Rays, but it is expected to run between $500-650 million. That cost
is the cost of the stadium alone, not including the millions it will take to acquire the
land, build roads and parking lots, reroute sewer lines in the area and add “new exit
ramps off highways or new stops on transit lines.” Sources close to the franchise note
that it is unlikely that “ownership will offer to pay” for a new ballpark outright. St.
Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman offered to build a new ballpark at a redeveloped
Tropicana Field, though the team seems intent on moving elsewhere.

7. Just a year after opening, the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento has already begun to pay
dividends in the community. According to the Sacramento Kings, the team’s new $1
billion arena is one of the world’s most technologically advanced and sustainable,
making it a staple in the city. Since 2015, “downtown property sales have totaled nearly
$885 million,” when construction first began on the Golden 1 Center, while 11
downtown properties worth nearly $360 million were sold in the past year alone. In
2017, the facility was ranked as one of the top 15 venues in the United States and in the
top 40 worldwide in ticket sales, “attracting over 1.6 million attendees who spent more
than $71.5 million in downtown Sacramento.” Going forward, the Kings want to build on
of this momentum to spur more positive economic growth in the city. In just a few short
months, the Downtown Commons development will be opening, which is expected to
be busy even on non-event nights. Already a staple in the community, the Golden 1
Center continues to drive economic impact in Sacramento. Look for other cities to use
this as a case to build their own state-of- the-art facilities.

8. Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta will host the 2018 MLS All-Star game. According to
the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, expansion side Atlanta United FC’s success, coupled
with the city’s affection for soccer, has resulted in announcement that the city, team,
and stadium will be hosting the event in the coming year. “I don’t think we have to
worry about selling out the stadium for the All-Star game,” commented Atlanta United
Owner Arthur Blank. On top of the 2018 MLS All-Star game, the brand-new Mercedes-
Benz Stadium is also slated to host the 2018 College Football Playoff, 2019 Super Bowl
and 2020 Final Four. In this instance, Atlanta was one of four cities in consideration to
win the bid. Up to 30 Atlanta United employees “went to Chicago to observe the
different facets” of this year’s all-star game at Soldier Field, where the MLS squad faced
off against Real Madrid. This marks yet another mega sporting event that Mercedes-
Benz Stadium in Atlanta has been awarded. The city and venue will use this as a tune-
up for the CFP, Super Bowl and Final Four.

9. Detroit professional sports franchises are teaming up in an attempt to bring more
marquee events to the city. According to the Detroit Free Press, executives from the
city’s four pro sports teams – Red Wings, Pistons, Lions, and Tigers – have formed a new
partnership, the Detroit Sports Organizing Corporation, which will “identify, bid, plan
and produce major sporting events in Detroit.” Some of the events that the city hopes
to attract in the coming years include the NFL Draft and NBA and NHL All-Star Games.
Little Caesars Arena just opened in the heart of the city and the DSOC sees the venue as
a selling point in winning bids. “The cities that have been really successful in hosting
those events on a regular basis have a group like this that is permanently in place so that
when an opportunity comes up we’re not starting from scratch,” said Lions President
Rod Wood. Detroit now joins the likes of Indianapolis, Atlanta and Phoenix as cities
with permanent organizing committees, the latter of which are notorious for hosting
some of the country’s biggest sporting events.

10. Charlotte is out of the running to land an MLS expansion club – at least in this round.
According to the Charlotte Business Journal, the city’s first round efforts were confirmed
to be “dead” by the lead investor for a local team. The city planned on building a soccer-
specific stadium for a new team, one of the main criteria for cities hopeful of landing an
expansion bid, that would cost $175 million, but “the combination of upcoming
elections and a competing bid by Nashville dashed any remaining hopes.” The city and
county government disagreed on how the stadium was going to be funded, with some
supporting the use of tourism tax while others dissented. SMI President & CEO Marcus
Smith leads MLS4CLT and had even “committed to pay” the $150 million fee to acquire
a team if Charlotte’s bid succeeded, but it will not get to the point where that is
necessary. With numerous cities vying to land an MLS expansion team, a soccer-
specific stadium is a must. Funding always presents an issue though, especially for
smaller markets.

11. Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Chris Long is doing more than just playing football
this season, he is making a massive impact in communities around the country.
According to SportsBusiness Journal, Long made a splash when he announced his plan
to donating his first six game checks to fund academic scholarships in his hometown of
Charlottesville, Virginia. Long is now expanding his charitable efforts by donating his
final 10 game checks of the season “to organizations committed to balancing education
inequity.” His new campaign – Pledge 10 For Tomorrow – is geared toward the three
markets he has played in throughout his career: St. Louis, Boston and Philadelphia.
Using social media as his platform to get fans involved, the campaign has already raised
around $200,000 in just over a week. “We’re all trying to improve our communities and
our country,” said Long. “I think everybody would agree equality is a goal, and a great
gateway to that is an education and educational opportunities, educational equity.” A
great example of a player using their status as a professional athlete to spur change in
communities across the country.

12. As Amazon and Facebook continue their push to stream live sporting events around
the world, a potential bid to land the English Premier League’s media rights is
expected to cost more than $13 billion. According to the London Times, if either of the
two web-based companies wanted to “stand any chance of winning live rights” to the
EPL, they would have to pay at least $13.1 billion. The preeminent soccer league’s media
rights have been hyper-inflated due to “aggressive competition between BT Sport and
Sky” in the United Kingdom. Amazon currently owns the media rights to stream the
NFL’s Thursday Night Football games via its Prime subscription model, though it
attracted a mere 370,000 viewers for the first game streamed, “compared with 14.6
million on conventional TV, and was hit by glitches.” Sky and BT are working out a deal
to pay less for the EPL’s media rights, since sport “now accounts for two-thirds of
spending on content but only 8% of viewing.” Amazon and Facebook both have the
capital necessary to make a competitive bid here, it just depends if either company is
willing to justify such a move.

13. After a few years of unparalleled growth, Under Armour’s sales are beginning to
waver. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Baltimore-based sportswear company
is now considering “exiting some of its smaller sports categories as it works to stem
declining sales.” Among those categories under consideration for exit are outdoor gear,
fishing, and most-notably tennis, among others. Star British tennis player Andy Murray
is currently represented by Under Armour, but his endorsement deal is not expected to
be impacted by any potential move. Just this past year, Under Armour “recorded its first
losses as a public company,” while its shares hit a record low when the “retailer
reported second-quarter earnings in August.” The company’s revenue growth is
expected to slow from 11-12% growth down to 9-11% growth. One of the main reasons
for these results is the resurgence of Adidas, specifically in America. Now that Under
Armour’s growth has plateaued, the long term arms race between them, Nike and
Adidas to only continue to heat up going forward.

14. With the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia is now less than a year away, significant plans
are still being made for the event. According to the London Independent, FIFA
President Gianni Infantino want VAR technology in place for all tournament matches.
VAR technology was used during the Confederations Cup in Russia this past summer,
with positive results coming out of the trial. One of the biggest fears in the sport is that
a major tournament or game would ultimately be decided by a refereeing error – hence
the need for VAR. “We need it. Every championship needs it,” said Infantino. “That’s
being shown in leagues like Portugal and Italy at the moment.” Meanwhile in Russia, the
AP reported that hosting the World Cup will cost the country “$600 million more than
previously planned,” bringing the total cost up to $11.7 billion. Hidden and rising costs
are commonplace for countries tasked with hosting the World Cup and Olympics,
despite continual efforts to buck this trend.

15. Merely months ahead of the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea,
ticket sales continue to lag. According to the Wall Street Journal, safety concerns about
neighboring North Korea plague the event – a primary reason for the weak sales.
Organizers noted that only “about 30% of the tickets they targeted to sell worldwide,
and less than 20% of the batch earmarked for South Koreans” have been purchased thus
far. South Korean and IOC officials are adamant that the February Games will be “safe
and secure,” but that reassurance appears to be doing little to convince people to make
the trip to Asia. The “sluggish ticket sales raise questions about the IOC’s strategy of
holding three consecutive Games in Asia to capture interest there, though the next two
Games” – Tokyo in summer 2020 and Beijing in winter 2022 – will at least be in “larger
population centers.” A recent front-page story on the Wall Street Journal, titled “The
Winter Olympics Are Close, and So Is North Korea,” did little to calm any nerves about
PyeongChang’s proximity to the DMZ (40 miles).

3.15.19: Rick Horrow sits down with NCAA analyst Clark Kellogg


3.15.19: Rick Horrow sits down with NCAA analyst Clark Kellogg

Rick Horrow sits down with NCAA analyst Clark Kellogg and brings you the biggest sports business stories of the week.

Listen to the full podcast here.

By Rick Horrow

Podcast edited by Tanner Simkins

  • In Phoenix, ISM Connect is once again in the headlines as Kyle Busch earns the Phoenix sweep for his 199th win in NASCAR’s top three series. On Sunday, Busch won the TicketGuardian 500 at ISM Raceway. In October, 2017, smart venue technology pioneer ISM Connect signed a multi-year partnership with Phoenix International Raceway. However, this was much more than a naming rights deal – with ISM, the venue has now received a complete face lift in terms of connectivity and providing a 360-degree interactive fan experience. ISM, which works with nearly every NASCAR track, provides a comprehensive digital marketing strategy for venues that includes robust technological solutions that aim to increase attendance and fan engagement. The company will also work its tech magic in minor league baseball venues, starting this year. In other major NASCAR news, the racing circuit announced that it is pulling its annual awards ceremony out of Las Vegas and taking its Champion’s Week to Nashville. The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Awards will be held December 5 at the Music City Center.
  • While the NBA has a robust social media presence, viewership amongst its “core audience” – 18 to 34 year olds – is down 11% season to date and down almost 50% since 2010. According to JohnWallStreet, the league has over 35 million Instagram followers, 3.8 million fans on TikTok, and “several exclusive” Snapchat shows. But Commissioner Adam Silver acknowledged that the NBA, ESPN, and its partners AT&T and WarnerMedia have yet to figure out how to navigate today’s media landscape. The task at hand is “conditioning a new generation [of fans] that 8 p.m. on Tuesday is 8 p.m. on Tuesday. Because [they’re used to watching content on demand and the game] is perishable.” Silver believes that the NBA can “restore the demographic balance” with a “buy on the fly model” that enables fans to access the league’s most exciting games in progress. While this theory follows the predominant “snackable content” school of thought (aka highlights and look-ins), that tasty bites ultimately lead to fans consuming “meals” (complete games), with a large portion of the target demo opposed to paying for cable, it’s worth wondering if that strategy needs to be revisited.
  • Major League Baseball plans All-Star “Election Day.” As part of sweeping changes to its collective bargaining agreement, MLB and the MLBPA are planning to overhaul All-Star voting and create an Election Day for fans to choose the starters, sources told ESPN. An All-Star Election Day has been discussed but never implemented. Under the proposed plan, standard online voting will take place starting this year. The top three vote-getters at each position in each league would be on the Election Day ballot, and whichever players received the most votes on that single day would determine the All-Star starters. The sides view Election Day as “an opportunity to better engage fans and bring more excitement to the All-Star voting process.” The parties are also “discussing increasing prize money for Home Run Derby participants in hopes of convincing the game’s biggest stars to participate.” MLB and the union have also committed to discussing more complicated economic issues in the midst of the current agreement, which runs through December 2021.  Reaching any significant deal mid-CBA cycle is rare, and reflects that the current unease around today’s evolving free-agent market is not conducive to labor peace.

How you can see Overwatch League in D.C.

USA Today Sports Images

How you can see Overwatch League in D.C.

Big news in the world of gaming broke on Friday, as the Overwatch League announced new details surrounding home and away matches for the 2020 season. Beginning next year, the matchups will take place all over the world as teams travel to the locations of each franchise.

One of those franchises is based locally in Washington D.C., meaning those in the area will now have the opportunity to Washington Justice compete for money and glory. While a location for the events that normally draw a few thousand in attendance has not been determined yet, e-sports is coming to D.C. in the near future.

Currently, the Overwatch League, which revolves around teams playing the first-person shooter game 'Overwatch', consists of 20 teams both in the United States and around the world competing in events throughout the spring, summer and winter months in order to take home prizes amounting to $5 million. The players on each team also earn a guaranteed salary.

The matches, which have teams competing on four different maps and earning a point for each map victory, have taken place at the Blizzard Arena in Burbank, California. Special matches such as last year's Grand Final in Brooklyn attracted a crowd of around 18,000.

Besides attending competitions, the matches can be streamed on numerous platforms including Twitch, ESPN, Disney XD, overwatchleague.com, Overwatch League app and the Major League Gaming website and app, according to the league's website.