Sunoco Debuts "Essence Of Racing" Campaign Executive Transactions Isiah Thomas Expected Backlash Over Hiring FanDuel Brings On Most Of Zynga Sports Team Georgia Approves Increased Athletic Budget Kentucky Adding Ribbon Boards At Rupp IndyCar Ponders How To Attract Fans Long Term Jeff Gordon Hired As Full-Time Analyst For Fox Danica's Sponsorship Status To Be Telling For NASCAR Classified Advertisements
SBD/Issue 234/Leagues & Governing BodiesPrint All
Pash Upset With Economics
Of Current CBA
WHAT'S THE FUSS ABOUT? SI.com's Peter King writes, "Quite honestly, why should anyone care if there's a cap in 2010? ... Understand the minimum-service time for unrestricted free agents rises from four to six years in 2010, and understand that each team can use a franchise tag AND transition tag to lock up two potential free agents next year, and understand the top eight teams in the league can't sign a free agent until they lose one of similar value. Now you understand why the prospect of an uncapped year doesn't make general managers league-wide lose much sleep. Or any" (SI.com, 8/24).
ROOKIE PAY AN ISSUE: In Indianapolis, Mike Chappell noted the concept of a "rookie wage scale likely will be a priority among owners when discussions over a new labor agreement intensify," and Colts President Bill Polian said that the current system that "requires teams to throw hundreds of millions of dollars at unproven players selected in the first round ... 'is crazy.'" Polian: "In a game where people have to earn things on the field on merit, we should not pay the wrong people. ... No business can sustain that model very long" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 8/23).
Writer Says Goodell Has
Taken No-Excuses Approach
A number of NBA teams this offseason have "nipped and tucked on the basketball side" of operations, "playing hardball on salaries, not renewing an extra assistant coach here or there, keeping training camp at home ... and reevaluating the costs of preparing for each game," according to Steve Aschburner of SI.com. The Grizzlies "got the headlines this offseason when they shuttered their amateur scouting staff," but advance scouting is "an area hit hard by several clubs." Financially, advance scouting is "pricey and has grown increasingly difficult," as courtside seats that "used to be available for scouts, giving them ringside sights and sounds to monitor opposing teams, have been turned into prime and expensive real estate for VIP tickets." The Nets have eliminated their advance scouting position, and VP/Basketball Operations Bobby Marks said, "We spent $80,000 to $90,000 in expenses on the road. Then you've got to factor in the salary. You're looking at close to $200,000." Aschburner noted NBA teams also are looking to "save money by pooling their efforts." The Warriors, T'Wolves and Nets held group workouts ahead of June's NBA Draft rather than individual sessions (SI.com, 8/21).
Both Celtics, Lakers Set To Exceed
Next Season's Luxury-Tax Threshold
STUDY ABROAD: NBA Commissioner David Stern said that the league "plans to hold a regular-season game somewhere in Europe before" the '12 London Olympics. He added that he "hopes a Pan-Asian basketball league will form in the next two to four years, although it may not be affiliated with the NBA." Stern: "The great upside is that our international presence and the digital medium go hand in hand." In L.A., Mark Medina notes Stern spent a week in Mumbai last month for the NBA's "first fan clinic event in India, part of 345 international events the NBA has played host to in 158 cities and 24 countries in the last year." About 300 current and former NBA players, coaches, dance teams and mascots and "about 50 sponsors have participated in the league's international events." Lakers Gs Kobe Bryant and Sasha Vujacic and F Ron Artest visited China this summer and "put on basketball clinics, as well as promoting their shoe deals," while Lakers G Jordan Farmar this week will be in Taiwan as part of an NBA tour (L.A. TIMES, 8/24).
WPS Championship Game Falls
Well Short Of Attendance Hopes
YEAR ONE IN THE BOOKS: YAHOO SPORTS' Martin Rogers wrote WPS in its first season has "done as well as it could have hoped for." The league has "marketed itself cleverly, making intelligent use of social networking and the Internet to reach out to fans," while the on-field product has "been strong, and the level of commitment shown by the players cannot be faulted." There have been some "reasonably encouraging signs" regarding attendance, but the overall average was just shy of 4,500 per game and it is "hard to see significant upward movement." Not a single WPS team "made a profit in 2009," with losses between $1-2M for most clubs, and team investors "show every sign of being in this for the long term, but that doesn't mean they will keep throwing money into a bottomless pit." The "projected turnaround in the economy can help -- and compared to the drastic and horrific WUSA losses, WPS is in infinitely better shape" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 8/21). FC Gold Pride D Brandi Chastain said, "What this league needs is for people who say they are invested in their daughters' future to go to the games. That may be a little blunt, but I'm putting the responsibility on the community and the players and front offices to make sure they do a better job to make sure that people come to the stadiums and buy tickets" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 8/23).
Busch's Presence In Chase Would
Be Huge Boost For NASCAR
MAJOR ISSUE: ESPN.com’s Peter Bodo noted the Olympus U.S. Open Series is “having trouble sustaining the kind of traction that the bigwigs at the USTA anticipated” when they created the concept in '04. The idea “was and remains terrific: link up all the North American tournaments that take place in a compressed, orderly fashion leading up to the U.S. Open; give the players a huge financial incentive to win the Series.” However, the "summer hard-court circuit is about maintaining, rather than achieving,” for many top players. It is becoming more “clear that the only tournaments that really matter are the majors” (ESPN.com, 8/21).
STAYING IN THE GAME: In N.Y., Brian Heyman wrote despite “hitting a few bumps along the way,” the WNBA “has shown the staying power that its forerunners did not.” Average attendance is “on the rise for the third straight year,” and merchandise sales at NBAStore.com are up 10% from '08. Sparks F Lisa Leslie, who is retiring at the end of this season, said, “We’ve just truly evolved, by players individually, our individual talent level has risen, as well as our numbers and our fan support, as well as our corporate sponsorship. I feel very confident about where I’m leaving the game in the hands of these young players like Candace Parker, Sylvia Fowles and Sue Bird. I think it’s only going to continue to get better” (N.Y. TIMES, 8/23).
GROWING THE GAME ABROAD: Tiger Woods said of Y.E. Yang becoming the first Asian-born player to win one of golf’s major championships, "It will be incredible for, not only the people of South Korea, but I think for all of Asia -- that a person who started the game very late in age … has the success he's had, won on our tour, has won overseas, and now ultimately winning a major championship." Golfer Notah Begay III added, "Golf has a tremendous opportunity to reach out to different countries and cross over a lot of socioeconomic barriers" ("Money for Breakfast," Fox Business, 8/24).