Edited by Tanner Simkins
In the latest edition of Rick Horrow's Sports Business Podcast, Rick Horrow sits down with Jessica Myers who serves as Director of Marketing and Special Events of the Mourning Family Foundation.
LISTEN TO THE FULL PODCAST HERE
1. Major League Soccer will enjoy labor peace at least for the next five years, as MLS and the MLS Players Association struck an agreement in principle for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement that will begin with the upcoming season. "As we prepare to celebrate our 25th season, we are very pleased to finalize a new five-year Collective Bargaining Agreement with our players,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber. “This agreement addresses key strategic priorities for the league and our players while also retaining the basic player compensation structure that has been the foundation for the growth and stability of Major League Soccer.” The deal is subject to approval by the MLS Board of Governors and the MLSPA. Deal points include increased investment in player spending, greater salary budget flexibility across rosters, players sharing in media revenue, and an increase in charter flights as well as expanded free agency. The new CBA is particularly important as MLS adds two new franchises this season – Nashville SC, and Inter Miami CF, bringing the total to 26 clubs.
2. The NBA All-Star Game gets ready to hit Chicago, with major economic upside for the league and the Windy City. The NBA’s annual all-star break is always a beehive of business activity, from the annual NBA tech summit to NBA Cares activations throughout the host city. The NBA, NBPA, and Nike also have announced that the 2020 NBA All-Star uniforms will pay tribute to the late Kobe Bryant, as well as his daughter Gianna and the seven other people who tragically passed away in last Sunday’s helicopter accident. The 2020 NBA All-Star Game will feature Team LeBron wearing the No. 2 and Team Giannis (Antetokounmpo) wearing the No. 24 – Gianna and Kobe’s basketball jersey numbers, respectively. In addition, both teams will wear jersey patches displaying nine stars, representing those who lost their lives in the crash, including John, Keri, and Alyssa Altobelli, Sarah and Payton Chester, Christina Mauser, and Ara Zobayan. The All-Star Game takes place on February 16 at Chicago’s United Center.
3. Monumental Sports and Entertainment, owned by Ted Leonsis, searches around the world for new business partners that can help broaden the scope of their audience while also introducing new organizations to the North American Sports landscape. This became a little easier when the NBA opened up the global marketplace for teams for sponsorship sales last year, and Monumental has been a disruptive first adopter in scoring partnerships. This past week two such deals; one with the UAE Embassy surrounding their expansive gaming portfolio, the other was their first-ever deal with an Indian Company, Mahindra, the world’s number one selling tractor brand. Monumental now has partnerships with companies based in China (Alibaba and ORG) the Middle East ( Etihad Airways and the UAE Embassy) Japan (NEC) and India, rounding out a multimillion-dollar portfolio that complements the traditional regional and national deals that such elite properties demand.
4. The losing team’s merchandise from the Super Bowl is repurposed for charity. According to Yahoo! Sports, the NFL pre-prints championship merchandise with both teams for fan demand is at its highest while the confetti is still falling. That approach leaves the league with half its inventory rendered instantly unsellable. Prior to 1997, the NFL simply destroyed the “losing” merchandise. Since then, the NFL enlists the services of Good360, a charity experienced in redistributing excess corporate inventory to charitable organizations across the globe. Each year, Good360 and the league begin coordinating their distribution plans several weeks ahead of the playoffs. Right now, the NFL is in the process of inventorying all the excess 49er “championship” merchandise at a central, undisclosed location. Meanwhile, Good360 is working its own worldwide network of charities, trying to line up the right locale with the appropriate merchandise. Several years back, the league provided Good360 with a list of approved countries in Africa, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, and from those countries, Good360 targets the appropriate charities with the clothing for people in need.
5. Dick’s Foundation invests $5 million in women’s soccer. According to Philanthropy Women, the Dick’s Foundation announced a three-year, $5 million Sports Matter grant to the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s United for Girls initiative aimed at increasing opportunities for girls and young women to benefit from soccer. As the presenting partner of United for Girls, the Dick’s Foundation’s grant will be used to create safe places to play, fund coaching and training opportunities, and support soccer programs in underserved communities across the country with the goal of engaging 100,000 girls by 2023. In addition to the multi-year partnership, Dick’s is the official merchandise vendor for the Stand Beside Her tour, which serves as the exhibition and training tour for the 2020 U.S. Women’s National Team ahead of competition this summer in Tokyo. Since 2014, Dick’s and The Dick’s Foundation have pledged more than $100 million to support youth sports teams and leagues in need and their most recent effort is a needed measure to put a spotlight on women’s soccer.