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TOP SPORTS EXECS MEET FOR SECOND AND FINAL DAY IN NEW YORK
Published January 19, 1995
The 17th International Sport Summit closed business after a second successful day. Wednesday's keynoters were USOC Interim Exec Dir JOHN KRIMSKY, 1995 Special Olympics Organizing Committee President TIM SHRIVER, White Sox Vice Chair EDDIE EINHORN, and ESPN/Chilton Sports Poll Exec Dir RICHARD LUKER. Topics discussed at the afternoon sessions included: Tennis at the Crossroads, Sports Finance, and How Agencies Can Help Market to Sponsors. Highlights follow: JOHN KRIMSKY said that, through the efforts of the USOC, 90% of U.S. Olympic athletes train without cost. While Krimsky said that Americans "have become stockholders in their Olympic team," he added: "If there are no sponsors, there are no games as we know them." TIM SHRIVER said the Special Olympics World Games "will be the largest sports event in the world in 1995." Shriver: "We want to be the L.A. of the Special Olympics movement." EDDIE EINHORN: "Sports in this country have grown too fast -- and not given most time to grow with it. Now we're catching up." While admitting that baseball has made big mistakes in the past, Einhorn declared the sport "healthy" and predicted that The Baseball Network would survive. TOM HYLAND, a partner at Coopers & Lybrand, discussed the economics of sports and the relationship between profitability and franchise value. He noted that media contracts are the key factor differentiating the franchise values among the leagues, while stadium and venue situations are the key in differentiating franchise values among the various teams within each league. As for profit vs. value, he said, "There is not much relationship." According to Hyland, teams are sold on the basis of revenues, not profit. DAVE CHECKETTS, President of MSG and the Knicks, outlined a simple model of the sports economy: Live events drive the broadcast business, which in turn, helps drive the properties business. Asked about the source of future revenues, Checketts cited the international market, but noted that it will be a greater opportunity for TV and licensing than for live events -- although some live events will be staged overseas to help boost those other entities. RICH McNERNEY, ATP Dir of Marketing/America, noted that participation is down in tennis, but said that a combined approach of a "strong professional game" and grassroots programs aimed at kids can help bring the sport back. HARLAN STONE, Senior VP of Marketing and Sales at Advantage International, presented his ways an agency can help a sponsor develop a successful program, including: No ad hoc decisions; encourage clients to include research in any program; think long- term; disclose any conflicts; know about the client's business; a "C idea" with "A+ execution" is better than the other way around; get the client to understand that sports is a "no rules" business and that their regular rules and practices may not apply. DOUGLAS PIRNIE, Dir of Marketing at IMG, stressed that, despite what they might say, the client's first priority is to "sell more stuff." While noting that there is "no rate card" in the sports business, Pirnie did say that IMG uses a system to evaluate sponsorships before the client enters into any deal. ALEX NIEROTH, Managing Dir/Exec VP of Clarion Performance Properties, noted the increasing influence of corporations in the sports world. But with the trend towards downsizing in corporate America, many companies are looking outside their ranks to agencies to develop sports sponsorships. What can agencies bring to the table? Identification of sponsorship opportunities, expertise in the field, objectivity, the strategies and tactics to get results from a particular concept, as well as creativity, event execution and P.R. capabilities (THE DAILY).