By Rick Horrow
Podcast edited by Tanner Simkins
LISTEN TO THE FULL PODCAST HERE
- To commemorate fans and players across Latin American and US Hispanic communities, the NBA is celebrating its 13th annual Noches Éne•Bé•A Latin nights program. Throughout the month of March, NBA games will feature celebratory warmup shirts and merchandise as well as 15 games with in-arena festivities. All 30 NBA teams wearing specially-designed Fanatics Branded Noches Éne•Bé•A warmup shirts during the first two weeks of March. The celebrations will be supported by unique content on the league’s English and Spanish-language social media pages. The NBA has proven time and again that it is a trend setter in cultural outreach across the globe, whether than means signing signature Eastern European players or conducting off season marketing tours in China. The annual Latin nights program is just another example of this mindset, albeit conducted here at home.
- Human Kinetics and Mascot Books have launched one of the most anticipated sports business chronicles ever assembled, The Sport Business Handbook: Insights From 100+ Leaders Who Shaped 50 Years of the Industry. This anthology, compiled by Rick Horrow with Rick Burton and Myles Schrag, will take fans, students and those involved in the sports and entertainment industry into the lives of more than 100 executives during the boom era of sports business and marketing. The collection features pieces from league commissioners such as Gary Bettman of the NHL, Don Garber of MLS, Paul Tagliabue of the NFL, Oliver Luck of the XFL, and Nick Sakiewicz of The National Lacrosse League; executives such as NBC Sports president Mark Lazarus, Liverpool’s Peter Moore, the Vikings’ Kevin Warren, and Larry Lucchino of the Red Sox; administrators such as the University of Oklahoma’s Joe Castiglione, Arizona State’s Ray Anderson, and N.C. State’s Deborah Yow; and professional athletes such as the Miami Heat’s Shane Battier, Olympic champions Scott Hamilton and Angela Ruggiero, and baseball Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. These leaders tell stories in their own words about lessons learned, achieving success and overcoming failure, and ultimately inspire readers to forge their own paths in the industry. Disclosure: Tanner Simkins is also a featured author in this book.
- The NBA sees a big payoff for a little patch. The NBA’s jersey patch program is more than halfway through its three-season test and the results are clear: It’s a slam dunk. As the league continues to search for new revenue, the patch program has delivered. The 29 deals – the Oklahoma City Thunder remain the only club without a patch partner – generate more than $150 million per year in new revenue for the teams, while sponsors receive 25%-50% more exposure than they would have on a comparable spend, according to Navigate Research. With that in mind, the league is trying to figure out how to make more money off the program. One way is to expand where jerseys with team patches are sold. Fans want exact replicas of what players wear on-court, but those can’t be found at a department store or sporting goods website. Fans can only get those at team-controlled stores or sites, and even then they are tough to find. The patch sponsorship pilot program has far exceeded league expectations. In April, 2016, Commissioner Adam Silver projected the sponsorships would generate around $100 million in newfound revenue, so the league has exceeded its goal by more than 50%.
With days to go until they open the 2019 AFL season, the Washington Valor finalized its opening day roster and Josh Norman's older brother, Marrio made the cut, the team announced Monday.
Norman came over from the Albany Empire, where he was second in the league in tackles with 68.5. He had his best game of the season last against the Valor, in which he racked up 10 solo tackles and two interceptions - one of which he returned for a touchdown.
“Marrio Norman is a proven, impact defensive back and plays a style of football that fits what we want to do on the defensive end of the ball,” Valor head coach Benji McDowell said in a statement last month. “Marrio provides an immediate upgrade to a position that saw a lot of injuries for us last season. We’re excited to have him here.”
Along with Norman, the Valor added defensive lineman Leon Mackey, who is in his third season in the AFL after spending 2014 and 2016 with the Arizona Rattlers.
Quarterback and ArenaBowl XXXI Most Valuable Player Arvell Nelson, defensive lineman James Atoe, who has appeared in 17 games over the last two seasons and offensive lineman Anthony Parker, who started all nine games last season and was named First Team All Arena in 2017 all return to the Valor this season. While wideout Dezmon Epps, defensive lineman Malik Forrester, defensive back Jadar Johnson and offensive lineman Kasimili Uitalia will see their first action in the AFL this season for the Valor.
The Valor open the 2019 season on the road against the Baltimore Brigade on April 26.
MORE AFL NEWS:
By Rick Horrow
Podcast edited by Tanner Simkins
TO LISTEN TO THE FULL PODCAST, CLICK HERE
- Heads up! This year, Minor League Baseball fans might notice new digital screens and displays at their favorite stadiums. Together with ISM Connect, over 25 MiLB teams will be adding new smart displays to their ballparks. But beyond delivering unique stories and creative ads to fans during each game, these displays are also equipped with smart cameras to measure audience engagement. These smart cameras will help keep ads and content fresh. The cameras record anonymous interactions – how long someone watches the screen or their age range – not individual images of specific people. By measuring foot traffic and engagement, MiLB teams and ad sponsors can better understand who their fans are, what resonates with them, and how they’re experiencing each game. The result is a better, more engaging experience for fans, and a better way for teams and partners to learn how to best serve their loyal audience.
- The Boston Marathon passes $200 million in economic impact, and welcomes seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson to its field. This year’s Boston Marathon, held Monday April 15 and carried on NBCSports Network, will be the 123rd running of the race that winds its way 26.2 miles from the town of Hopkinton to the finish line at Copley Square. It is the world’s oldest annual marathon, starting in 1897 after the successful debut of the marathon at the first modern Olympics in 1896. The Boston Marathon is traditionally held on Patriots Day, the third Monday in April. The Boston Red Sox also have a traditional home game on Patriots Day with an 11:05 a.m. first pitch against the Orioles this year. Boston is among the six largest marathons, along with Tokyo, London, Berlin, Chicago and New York City. A special prize purse is given to runners who accumulate the most points in the majors. Here’s a bit of trivia: Just five national sporting events were held during the two World Wars, and the Boston Marathon was one. The others? The Kentucky Derby, Penn Relays, Rose Parade, and Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
- La Liga, Spanish soccer’s top-flight league, has been named the eighth biggest brand domestically, according to a report by valuation and strategy consultancy Brand Finance. The report places La Liga above major Spanish brands such as the insurance provider Mapfre and telecommunications company Movistar. Using its brand strength score metric, a figure based on calculations regarding emotional connection, financial performance and sustainability, Brand Finance gave La Liga a score of 80.7 out of 100. Fashion retailer Zara topped the Brand Finance list overall, with the likes of Santander and Iberdrola also featuring inside its top ten. The new 2019 report marks the first time a sports league has appeared in Brand Finance’s top ten, highlighting the continued growth of La Liga. Brand Finance values the league body at $548 million. Based on monetary value along it occupies 50th place on the list, a considerable drop. However, taking into account the value of participating league clubs – which includes the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid – La Liga’s overall value jumps to $4.5 billion, which would place it sixth on that list.