SBD/Issue 237/Sports Industrialists

YES' "SportsMoney" Holds Roundtable Discussion With Top Execs

Top Sports Execs Levine, Kraft, Galatioto And
Jones (l-r) Discuss State Of The Industry

Friday's edition of YES Network's "SportsMoney" featured a special roundtable called "The State of Sports," with Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones, Patriots President Jonathan Kraft, Yankees President Randy Levine and Galatioto Sports Partners President Sal Galatioto. Jones said the Cowboys could have built the $1.2B Cowboys Stadium for $800M and "had a whale of a place," but he noted the other $400M was the "'wow' factor for television." Jones: "It was really about making Al Michaels talk about, ironically, the art, or talk about the architecture. … It was very calculated." Galatioto said the Yankees, Cowboys and Patriots are "evolving businesses and they're adding ancillary businesses to make them more and more valuable, and it's beyond the basic sport business." However, Forbes National Editor Michael Ozanian noted as those teams become more valuable, "the problem this may cause is some of the lower-tier teams in each league are falling further and further behind, and you're going to see them really start to grumble about more revenue-sharing, they can't compete for players, those types of things."

TALKING MEDIA: Kraft said the Patriots have "made it very convenient" for fans to "know when there's new content available" through social media sites. Kraft added social media has "really created an opportunity for us to get to know our fans better." Kraft: "People today don't want to take the time to go to all their favorite websites and check it out. They're really living their lives off of their news feed from Facebook or the Twitter feeds. ... We have seen our media consumption triple on and I attribute it all to what we're doing at Facebook and the strategy that we have for posting things there." Meanwhile, Levine said the Yankees do not view MLB Network "as a competitor" to the the team's YES Network. Levine: "I think they do a totally different thing. I think they view themselves more as a competitor with ESPN" ("SportsMoney," YES, 8/20).

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