Other Sports

Beyond the Scoreboard: Ripken Baseball and Wide World of Sports

usatsi_12987929.jpg
USA TODAY Sports

Beyond the Scoreboard: Ripken Baseball and Wide World of Sports

By Rick Horrow

Podcast edited by Tanner Simkins

LISTEN TO THE FULL PODCAST HERE

  • Ripken Baseball and ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex announce a partnership that will bring elite youth baseball tournaments to Walt Disney World Resort beginning in 2020. The Ripken Experience at Walt Disney World Resort, according to SportsBusiness Daily, will include a “dazzling” opening ceremony for participants, whose ages will range from 6-18. Games will be played on 11 ballfields, six youth-sized fields equipped with lights for night games and five professional-sized fields, including The Stadium at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, which hosted MLB Spring Training games for more than two decades. Players will have free time in the Disney parks to experience new attractions. Said Cal Ripken Jr., “Here at Disney, we might even have greater resources to bring the big-league experience to the kids…We quickly realized that most of the kids are not going to play big-league baseball, so we want to bring a big-league experience down to them.” Ripken, founder and chairman of Ripken Baseball, as well as a Sport Business Handbook contributor, added that the partnership is a multiyear deal. 
  • ISC has announced that COO Joie Chitwood III has resigned from his post, effective November 25, the first major departure amid ISC’s acquisition by NASCAR. Chitwood, noted SportsBusiness Daily, has been with ISC for a decade, having served as President of Daytona International Speedway during its $400 million renovation before stepping into the COO role, where he has overseen the operations of ISC’s 13 tracks. Chitwood is one of ISC executives identified in public filings as having substantial stock in the company, which should provide a windfall after NASCAR’s $2 billion acquisition of ISC closes, which is expected by year’s end. Sources have been anticipating departures from ISC’s leadership in the coming months; SportsBusiness Journal last month reported that ISC President John Saunders has also been mentioned as someone who could leave the company after the acquisition closes. After the acquisition is complete, NASCAR’s leadership is expected to have greater oversight of track operations under the newly combined company.
  • MLB FoodFest returns for a second helping. MLB FoodFest presented by Budweiser returned to New York September 21-22 on Fifth Avenue near Bryant Park. The event’s second installment on the East Coast – it also took place in Los Angeles earlier this year – provides all 30 teams an opportunity to designate one food item to represent their team and community. Each ticket grants access to the space for a designated two-hour block and can only be secured online prior to arrival at the venue. Among the most popular food items are the Mariners’ toasted grasshoppers, the Pirates’ pulled pork pierogi hoagie, the Red Sox’ hot lobster rolls, and for dessert, the D-backs’ Churro Dogs. Most of last week’s menu featured concoctions new to the New York event, including the local team and ballpark representatives with the Mets Bases Loaded Dog and the Yankees Shrimp Po’Boy. This time around, attendees also had access to new interactive elements, such as a Home Run Derby Virtual Reality experience and an MLB FoodFest merchandise shop.

11.15.19 Rick Horrow interviews PepsiCo Vice President of Marketing Todd Kaplan

rings_1920_olympics16.jpg
USA TODAY Sports

11.15.19 Rick Horrow interviews PepsiCo Vice President of Marketing Todd Kaplan

Edited by Tanner Simkins

In the latest edition of Rick Horrow's Sports Business Podcast, Rick interviews PepsiCo Vice President of Marketing Todd Kaplan and takes you through the biggest sports business stories of the week.

LISTEN TO THE FULL PODCAST HERE

1. Sports investor Bruin Sports Capital received $600 million more to spend. According to the New York Times, Bruin Sports Capital is a sports investment and management company that invests in the technologies of media, marketing, and data surrounding sports. After raising $600 million from two even larger investors – CVC Capital Partners and the Jordan Company – Bruin Sports will be able to expand its portfolio of investments, which already include data analytics, media and streaming companies, and a fledgling drone-racing league. Currently, Bruin, led by Sport Business Handbook contributor George Pyne, has nearly $1 billion invested, including significant stakes in six companies across the modern sports landscape, from sports media start-ups such as The Athletic to a live-event provider selling high-end trips to events like the Super Bowl and the NFL draft. Overall, Bruin Sports Capital’s guiding philosophy is that people under 40 watch and consume sports and media in radically different ways from their parents – and this is likely how the strategic company will invest its newly-acquired $600 million: toward attracting future generations of sports and tech fans.

2. The NBA altered its bylaws prior to the start of the 2019-2020 season to allow teams to sell sponsorship packages outside of the U.S. and Canada for the first time. League rules previously prevented teams from participating in any ad campaign or sponsorship event outside of their home market. However, NBA chief innovation officer Amy Brooks told JohnWallStreet that the companies currently participating in the league’s jersey patch program – two-thirds of which have an international presence – indicated that the time was right “to grow [the NBA] brand and our partners’ brands globally.” Loosening bylaws surrounding international marketing rights should help the league grow revenues and connect with fans in other regions. The Washington Wizards were the first NBA franchise to take advantage of the rule change, signing an agreement with Japanese tech conglomerate NEC. The Wizards made Rui Hachimura the first Japanese player ever selected in the first round of the NBA Draft in 2019.

 

3. Airbnb is set to announce a global sponsorship with the International Olympic Committee running through the Los Angeles 2028 Games, according to SportsBusiness Journal. The deal would represent a significant shift in the home-sharing platform’s sports marketing strategy as Airbnb prepares for its IPO in 2020. According to SBJ, the deal would focus on Airbnb’s “experiences” strand, which allows hosts to offer access to their hobbies, skills, or expertise as part of offering out their homes for rent. The arrangement is not intended to infringe on the hotel and hospitality business that Olympic organizers require to stage the Olympics. Recent partners joining the IOC’s global TOP program have made significant investments, with a joint Mengniu Dairy and Coca-Cola deal back in June being valued at $3 billion over 11 years. Currently, 13 companies comprise the TOP program, getting category-exclusive rights to every Games, the IOC, and national Olympic committees.

11.1.19 Rick Horrow interviews Alex Saratsis

daily_line_xfl_logos.png
NBC Sports

11.1.19 Rick Horrow interviews Alex Saratsis

Edited by Tanner Simkins

In the latest edition of Rick Horrow's Sports Business Podcast, Rick interviews Senior Director of Operations Alex Saratsis and breaks down the biggest sports business stories of the past week.

LISTEN TO THE FULL PODCAST EPISODE HERE

1. A new football league unveils its inaugural schedule. The XFL unveiled its 2020 schedule which will serve up a 10-week regular season that starts February 8 at 2 pm with the DC Defenders hosting the Seattle Dragons on ABC, followed by the Los Angeles Wildcats traveling to Houston for a game against the Roughnecks at 5 pm on FOX. According to Cynopsis Sports, the eight-team league is divided into two four-team divisions, East and West. The XFL East features the DC Defenders, New York Guardians, St. Louis BattleHawks, and the Tampa Bay Vipers while the Dallas Renegades, Houston Roughnecks, Los Angeles Wildcats, and Seattle Dragons comprise the XFL West. Overall, ABC and ESPN will combine to televise 22 games during the 2020 XFL season, concluding with the inaugural XFL Championship on April 26. ABC will televise 14 games with most telecasts starting at 2p on Saturdays and both ESPN and ESPN2 will combine to carry eight games, all on Sundays. The XFL season is being broadcast after the end of the NFL season which finishes in early February, but the XFL needs to be careful to not make the same mistakes as the AAF, which collapsed after just three months into its inaugural season in 2019.

2. National Women’s Soccer League inks an exclusive deal with Octagon for media rights and marketing consulting. According to Sports Video Group, Octagon will provide comprehensive media rights valuation, sales strategy services, and work directly with NWSL executives to secure and amplify new media distribution opportunities. In addition, Octagon’s Marketing division will assist the league with brand marketing, asset development, sponsorship valuation, and fan engagement insights to help generate increases in overall reach and revenue for the league and its teams. Featuring more than 200 of the world’s best professional soccer players, including U.S. Women’s National Team members and two-time World Cup Champions Megan Rapinoe, Carli Lloyd, and Alex Morgan, as well as international stars Marta, Christine Sinclair, and Sam Kerr, the NWSL is highlighted by 23 current FIFA Women’s World Cup Champions and 58 FIFA Women’s World Cup team members. Budweiser has also launched a campaign focused on finding the NWSL new sponsors as more money is being put into women’s soccer across the globe.

3. The sports world aims to tackle ocean plastic pollution. According to SportTechie, a research expedition embarked from the southwest coast of the U.K., on a two-year mission to sail westward around the world. The crew aboard the S.V. TravelEdge, a 73-foot floating laboratory, will travel 38,000-nautical-miles and cross all five of the world’s major ocean gyres, regions where rotating currents lead to the accumulation of floating plastic waste. The 300 women joining the all-female rotating team will investigate to find solutions to plastic pollution. The “eXXpedition Round The World” is being organized by sailor Emily Penn, who is among a growing group of athletes and people connected to the sports world that is advocating for and taking action to protect the environment. Another goal of Penn’s journey is to create a global network of ambassadors who can advocate helping solve the problem. She has been working with a larger environmental organization called 11th Hour Racing over the last few years to give talks and run workshops for other sailors to learn how they can play a role in tackling plastic pollution. By having athletes tackle environmental problems head-on, they can use their social influence to be advocates for policy and lifestyle change.