Other Sports

2.8.19 Jon Chapman, Everfi; Anquan Boldin, former NFL All Pro; Dan Marino, NFL Hall of Famer

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USA TODAY Sports

2.8.19 Jon Chapman, Everfi; Anquan Boldin, former NFL All Pro; Dan Marino, NFL Hall of Famer

By Rick Horrow

Podcast edited by Tanner Simkins

LISTEN TO THE FULL PODCAST HERE

* The NFL avoiding a work stoppage in 2021 could “depend on whether players can secure more guaranteed money” in the next CBA, according to the Associated Press. The current CBA expires in a little more than two years, and some players are “already expecting a lockout that could be even worse than the one that lasted 132 days” in 2011. The push for more guaranteed money across the life of contracts has “slowly picked up steam” over the past few years. The AP noted another feature of the current CBA, the minimum salary benefit, puts veteran players on “equal footing with younger players in regard to the salary cap.” However, average experience over the last 14 years has been on a “fairly steady decline,” meaning the clause “only served to widen the gap between high-profile players with leverage and those without it.” NFLPA President Eric Winston said that the “best way to ensure more guaranteed money for players is to get them to free agency sooner.” Most current NFL rookies are not eligible for a new contract until they have played four years –approximately the length of an average NFL career.

* RISE – the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality – held a number of events in Atlanta last week, including youth events and an exhibit at the NFL Experience called “Champions of Change.” RISE board member Paul Tagliabue and new CEO Diahann Billings-Burford told assembled media on Thursday their efforts are part of a mission to be more proactive. “Our focus is how to keep RISE on our mission of educating the sports community and empowering sports leaders to address racism to make our country better,” Billings-Burford said. RISE worked with the Rams and Dolphins this season on community-based efforts around racism, and both Tagliabue and Billings-Burford noted the success of “RISE With the Rams,” a 10-week program focused around two vastly different high schools in Southern California. RISE executives view their work as complementary and additive to that of the NFL Players Coalition, which also held signature events in Atlanta over Super Bowl week.


* Digital financial services brand Gainbridge, part of Group1001, has signed on as presenting sponsor of the Indianapolis 500, replacing PennGrade Motor Oil. Financial terms were not disclosed for the four-year deal, but a source said the pact is worth more than the PennGrade partnership, which was $1-1.5 million annually over three years. Assets include signage and hospitality, and Gainbridge will purchase a season-long media buy with NBC Sports. The Gainbridge brand was launched last week by parent company Group1001, an Indianapolis-based insurance and financial services company that comprises four brands. Group1001 also sponsors the Indy Women in Tech LPGA event at IMS and serves as a primary sponsor for Andretti Autosport and driver Zach Veach, a Group1001 brand ambassador. The company is also in its third year of a presenting sponsorship for the monthly “Power of Sports” program, carried by Fox Sports regional networks nationwide and spotlighting Washington, DC in its latest episode debuting this week.

Beyond the Scoreboard Podcast: The Grand Prix of Long Beach, The Masters and more

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USA TODAY Sports

Beyond the Scoreboard Podcast: The Grand Prix of Long Beach, The Masters and more

By Rick Horrow

Podcast edited by Tanner Simkins

 

TO LISTEN TO THE FULL PODCAST, CLICK HERE​​​​​​

 

  • The Grand Prix of Long Beach revs its engines. The Grand Prix of Long Beach, which began in 1975, is the longest-running street race in North America and one of the longest continually running events in IndyCar racing. The 45th edition of what is now called the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach – thanks to the eleventh hour signing of Acura in February after the race lost longtime title sponsor Toyota – takes place April 12-14 with an entire festival of events surrounding the seaside street race. Race weekend comprises 35 commercial sponsors, and a payoff for the city of Long Beach that pumps nearly $34 million into the port city’s economy, according to figures from Beacon Economics. Some of the most significant and enduring events of the long Grand Prix weekend, however, occur away from the track. Young IndyCar driver Zach Veach, who races for Andretti Autosport, is sponsored by Group1001, and finished fourth in Long Beach last year, is looking forward to visiting a local elementary school, where he will talk up an interactive STEM program he is developing in conjunction with education technology leader EVERFI
  • The Masters by the numbers. It’s Masters Week, and as golf fans both avid and casual settle in to watch the year’s first Major, WalletHub has analyzed the tournament from tee to green. The personal finance website’s annual report breaks down everything from ticket and concession prices to the cost of producing each green jacket – $250. Among standout numbers, secondary market badge prices this year average $2,484, ranging from $2,250 on Saturday to $2,619 on Thursday – a 15% increase from 2018 and a direct reflection of Tiger Woods’ resurgence and elevated position in the field. Estimated revenues to Augusta National from 2017 ticket sales are $35+ million, while the event’s overall economic impact on the Augusta area economy is $120 million. Over 250,000 people visit the Augusta area each year for Masters festivities, including 350 journalists from around the world.  Last year’s final round Sunday average viewership was 13 million, up 18% from 2017. And the players themselves will leave Augusta National having shared an $11 million purse, with the winner pocketing a cool $1.98 million this year. My favorite data? 640%. That’s the increase in live telecast hours for the Masters from 1956 (2.5 hours) to 2019 (18.5 hours).  
  • In a similar move to its major league counterparts, Minor League Baseball, in conjunction with Brand Activation Maximizer, revealed the launch of the largest retail program in its history. The “Grilling All-Stars” national retail program will encompass five national brands and activated at select retailers in more than 100 MiLB markets and over 13,000 locations across the country. Participating brands include BUSH’S Beans, Scott Bath Tissue, Scott Paper Towels, Ball Park Buns, and The ORIGINAL Louisiana Brand Hot Sauce. The MiLB season got off to a raucous start next week, with the introduction of four new team brands: the Fayetteville Woodpeckers, Las Vegas Aviators, Rocky Mountain Vibes, and the Amarillo Sod Poodles. Grilling All-Stars take note: the Rocky Mountain Vibes’ logo is a hipster version of a yummy S’Mores treat beloved by scouts, campers, and fans of summer everywhere.

 

 

 

Washington Kastles to play in new stadium at Union Market

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Washington Kastles to play in new stadium at Union Market

After 11 years of playing throughout Washington, the Washington Kastles, a franchise in the World TeamTennis league, has a new home for the 2019 season.

The new Kastles Stadium at Union Market features a court on the rooftop of D.C.'s highly popular Union Market area, the team announced on Friday.

Set to open this summer, locals will now be able to take in tennis that will feature the likes of Venus Williams and DMV area native Francis Tiafoe while taking in a view of the city's skyline. The season runs throughout the month of July.

“As a Washingtonian who loves this city, I am dedicated to bringing our community together and showcasing DC as a world-class destination through the power of sports,” Kastles founder Mark Ein said in a statement. "From its roots as Centre Market, a fresh food venue established more than 100 years ago, Union Market has become a great unifier for our community. Kastles Stadium at Union Market will be the perfect home court for our franchise and will connect people from all walks of life throughout the region." 

"We look forward to making memories here for many seasons to come," he added, "and are grateful to partner with a visionary like Jodie McLean and the EDENS team to provide fans with an unmatched sports and entertainment experience.”