U.S. Fans Abound For WWC Final LeBron Praised For Role In Apatow's "Trainwreck" MLS Eyeing St. Paul For Expansion Club Angels Bad PR Continues With Dipoto Exit NBA Free Agency Begins With Money Flying Expectations High For NASCAR On NBC NBC Lands New Advertisers For Race Coverage Going Off The Grid Steelers Exploring '23 Super Bowl Bid GT To Benefit Financially From Ireland Game
SBD/December 22, 2011/2011 Year in ReviewPrint All
THE DAILY concludes our look back at the sports business year of ’11. We present some of the highlights from the year in college sports, a few of the more memorable tweets of the year and our favorite daily downloads from the past 12 months. Also, our annual holiday carol is written to the classic “Sleigh Ride.”
The college sports landscape changed dramatically during the past 12 months. Here are some of the more notable headlines that impacted campuses from College Park to College Station and all spots in between.
Sandusky was arrested on more than 40
counts of child sexual abuse
WHO’S GOT A MAP? Conference realignment was a major topic for the second consecutive year, with Texas A&M sparking the renewed fervor by leaving the Big 12 for the SEC. Other major programs switching conference allegiances are Pitt, Syracuse, Missouri and West Virginia. And that says nothing of the new Big East -- TCU left without ever really joining and geography majors were left scratching their heads when the conference expanded to add Boise State and San Diego State in football.
YOU BETTER WORK IT: The college football sideline often looked like a fashion show this fall as many teams trotted out new or special uniforms. But the fashion revolution hit hardest at Maryland, as the Terrapins debuted their new Under Armour “Pride” uniforms. The jerseys, helmets and shoes were inspired by the Maryland state flag and designed to bring attention to the school. They instantly became a trending topic on Twitter and were described as “hideously spectacular.”
Carrier Classic was played on USS Carl
Vinson off coast of San Diego
THE NEW KID IN TOWN: The ’11 College World Series was held for the first time at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha after being played at celebrated Rosenblatt Stadium for the past 60 years. The new $131M facility drew rave reviews, with the NCAA’s Dennis Poppe saying the event went “amazingly well.” A CWS record crowd of 26,721 attended the championship game to see South Carolina claim its second consecutive title.
CHIP COUNT: Auburn’s Wes Byrum was lining up for the potential national championship-winning field goal when Brent Musburger coyly slipped in, “This is for all the Tostitos.” The reference to the game’s title sponsor instantly sparked a debate as to whether Musburger was "having great fun or making a shameless plug.” Frito-Lay claimed they had nothing to do with it but felt “fortunate” and “delighted” with the veteran announcer’s ad-lib.
Oregon basketball court was named in honor of
Nike Chair Phil Knight’s late son, Matthew
MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING: Robert Burton gave UConn $3M to build the Burton Family Football Complex, but this year asked for his money back and requested that the family’s name be removed from the building. Burton cited disagreements with the school’s AD over the decision to hire Paul Pasqualoni as UConn’s football coach. Burton, however, dropped his request a couple of weeks later and was back in the fold.
Each year, some sports business concepts are an all-out success, while others fall somewhat short of that. Here are some ideas that were either a hit or a miss in '10.
HIT: The NFL lockout threatened to destroy the love Americans have for their favorite game, but with one gentle embrace Robert Kraft and Jeff Saturday melted the hearts of football fans everywhere. The Patriots owner and Colts All-Pro were widely lauded for their roles in resolving the labor dispute and for keeping their sides focused on “what’s good for the game.” There was no shortage of rhetoric during the lockout, but it was that silent hug that conveyed the best message of all: football’s back.
Some pundits said Black Eyed Peas “might
have been better off lip-synching”
HIT: The Packers in their fifth stock offering in team history garnered immediate excitement, with 185,000 of the allotted 250,000 shares going in the first two days of the sale that is expected to last through Feb. 29. At $250 a pop, the shares offer no dividend and cannot be traded, yet fans near and far bought in to fund the team’s upcoming renovation to Lambeau Field.
MISS: MLB missed the mark in a big way when it denied the Mets’ request to wear baseball caps honoring N.Y. emergency service departments for the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. League execs cited the need to “keep policy consistent,” but if there was ever a time to throw policy to the wind, wasn't this it? On a night when Americans were remembering one of the most tragic days in the country's history, MLB was worried about dress code violations.
McIlroy is moving from Ireland to Florida to play
more events on the U.S. schedule
MISS: The NHL partnered with comic book creator Stan Lee for “The Guardian Project” to create a group of superheroes based on NHL franchises. What started out as a clever way to attract more fans, has not really gotten off the ground. With the website under construction for months and very little merchandise featuring the characters released, Yahoo Sports’ Greg Wyshynski called the project “an epic failure” and one of the league's “most misguided, derided and ridiculed duds.”
HIT: Li Na becomes the first Chinese tennis player to win a Grand Slam tournament, immediately increasing the sport’s popularity in her home country and opening doors to new marketing opportunities for her. Less than two weeks after her win, Li signs a three-year endorsement deal with Mercedes-Benz reportedly worth $1.5M a year. As endorsers see an opportunity to align themselves with China’s most popular athlete at the moment, Li is on the fast track to becoming the world’s wealthiest female athlete.
MISS: U.S. Open officials, namely tournament referee Brian Earley, came under fire from the game’s top players who argued the courts were too wet and unsafe when they were told to resume play after several rain delays. With wet weather being a consistent problem for the tournament in recent years, some argue a roof is needed on center court in the future. Meanwhile, the officials’ decisions prompt players to call for meetings to discuss creation of a union to protect their interests throughout the tennis season.
THE DAILY compiled a list of the Daily Downloads that stood out in ’11. Below is the list in chronological order.MONEY WELL SPENT: AdWeek.com channels its inner SportsBusiness Daily with this mash-up production of every commercial from Fox’ Super Bowl XLV broadcast in a little over two minutes.
SITTING WITH THE STARS: Ever wonder where the stars sit at Lakers games and how they get their tickets? Now you know based on this map of the stars compiled by the Hollywood Reporter.
A LITTLE BIRDIE TOLD ME: The relevance of social media to sports teams continues to grow and MLB Giants Head of Social Media Bryan Srabian discusses Twitter’s importance to the team and how it is using the platform to connect with fans.
SITTING, WATCHING, WAITING: Chiefs WR Steve Breaston waxes poetic on the NFL lockout in his offering entitled, "A League Deferred."
WOODEN, NOT LACONIC: The competitive streaks of Clippers F Blake Griffin and T'Wolves F Kevin Love spill over during a Jenga game in an online video promoting the ESPY Awards telecast. While this may not even be Griffin’s best humorous video of the year, he and Love are able to parlay it into an endorsement deal with Hasbro.
BOTTOMS UP: The Red Sox sat near the top of the AL East when Ps Josh Beckett, Tim Wakefield, Clay Buchholz and John Lackey made cameo appearances in country music singer Kevin Fowler's song "Hell Yeah, I Like Beer." After a historic September collapse to miss the playoffs for a second straight year, it was discovered that they also like fried chicken.
MASTER OF PUPPETS: Jesse Thomas' JESS3 social media creative agency employs puppets on behalf of ESPN to explain the TV ratings system in an entertaining way.
AUSTIN POWERS: Ahead of the inaugural F1 race in Austin, Red Bull Racing filmed this video of its F1 showcar racing through Texas ranch land, the city's downtown and eventually the track, which is still under construction.
HOOP IT UP: Nike continues its “Basketball Never Stops” campaign with this spot featuring LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Amar'e Stoudemire. Without directly referencing the NBA lockout, the ad suggests that the lack of official games does not mean there is a shortage of exciting basketball being played.
READY TO SHIP OUT: The USS Carl Vinson in November hosted the Quicken Loans Carrier Classic, a Veterans Day men’s basketball game featuring North Carolina and Michigan State on the ship’s flight deck. The U.S. Navy offers us an eight-day time lapse of the preparations for what one writer called the “most ambitious sporting event at a non-traditional venue.”
THE DAILY presents our traditional sports business year in review set to a holiday carol. Please sing along to the tune of "Sleigh Ride."
Just hear our year-end recap
Of all the sports business news.
It's been a wild one,
And next year may well be one, too.
There were two pro-league lockouts
That dominated the news,
A slew of college scandals
And realignment issues.
NFL gets new deal with ESPN;
Networks follow suit.
Bracket-busters on cable, it's Tru.
MetLife's naming deal in the Meadowlands,
Mavs win for Cuban.
"Moneyball" gets rave reviews
With stars Jonah and Brad.
The launch of Longhorn Network
Caused such a controversy.
New management at IndyCar
Shaking up the series.
Larry Scott making splashes;
His Pac-12 is on the rise.
The Mets shopping a stake
But not quite disclosing its size.
There's a football venue planned
With a sponsor in L.A.
But will Minnesota have
A brand new dome someday?
Ebersol's farewell to NBC
Super Bowl ads full of stars
Who love to sing; Sing! Sing! Sing!
How 'bout that Cowboys Stadium
Big Game seating lawsuit?
Shifts at the top for CBS Sports,
Tom Gores acquires the Pistons.
Peacock Olympics renewed.
Chuck Greenburg leaves the Rangers.
Dodgers chaos continues.
Winnipeg gets a team from the ATL,
So it's, "Go, Jets, Go!"
Bill Simmons' Grantland is a go.
Golfing talent is younger and spans the globe.
Astros are sold.
Timbers and Whitecaps debut,
And don't forget Tebow.
So what do we look forward to
In the year that's to come?
Versus will soon rebrand.
Will F1 in Austin get done?
How will the NBA and
Commissioner Stern handle trades?
And how will Pujols fare as
An Angel out in L.A.?
No matter what, we'll be there
To bring you coverage each day.
Here is a list of sports luminaries who died this year:
ATP co-Founder Jim McManus (January 18)
Bears VP Tim McCaskey (January 30)
Longtime Indianapolis Motor Speedway announcer Tom Carnegie (February 11)
NFL player agent Paul Lawrence (February 16)
MLB Cardinals co-Owner Andrew Baur (February 20)
NFL player agent Gary Wichard (March 11)
Former Sonics Owner Barry Ackerley (March 21)
Former Red Sox GM Lou Gorman (April 1)
Arsenal investor Danny Fiszman (April13)
Dolphins announcer Jim Mandich (April 26)
Former CFL Commissioner J. Donald Crump (May 5)
Pro golfer Seve Ballesteros (May 7)
N.Y. Daily News sports cartoonist and columnist Bill Gallo (May 10)
Royals broadcaster Paul Splittorff (May 25)
Former Tampa Tribune sports editor Tom McEwen (June 5)
Former MLSPU President John Kerr Sr. (June 19)
Former Flames investor Harley Hotchkiss (June 22)
Former USA Today reporter Rod Beaton (June 22)
Sportscaster Nick Charles (June 24)
Former Twins President Howard Fox (June 28)
Former NFLPA President John Mackey (July 6)
Under Armour exec Bill Hampton (July 13)
Former Rockets President & GM Ray Patterson (August 3)
MASN announcer and former Orioles Exec VP Mike Flanagan (August 24)
MLive.com Lions reporter Tom Kowalski (August 29)
MLS FC Dallas announcer Bobby Rhine (September 5)
Big East Conference Founder Dave Gavitt (September 16)
TV sports director Joe Aceti (October 5)
Raiders Owner Al Davis (October 8)
IndyCar driver Dan Wheldon (October 16)
Former Reds Owner Carl Lindner Jr. (October 17)
Tennis agent Ken Meyerson (October 19)
Former Capital Cities/ABC exec Daniel Burke (October 25)
Franklin Sports co-Founder Irving Franklin (November 10)
IMG CEO Ted Forstmann (November 20)
Univ. of Georgia radio announcer Larry Munson (November 20)
With an increasing number of sports execs, athletes and journalists taking to social media to express their thoughts, THE DAILY recalls some tweets from the past year that had us talking.
SI's Richard Deitsch: "I just checked, and yes, Washington said, 'This is for all the Tostitos' right before he crossed the Delaware."
NPR’s Mike Pesca: “If a player's twit feed were half as out there as colt's owner @JimIrsay, the NFL would reign him in...or invite him to buy the Jaguars.”
Lakers Exec VP/Business Operations Jeanie Buss: “In NYC and missing my boytoy Phil! Hahaha (thanks Mark for his new nickname).”
Author Clay Travis: “I love that the 12 man Yahoo Sports department is more effective at uncovering major violations than the entire NCAA.”
Saints QB Drew Brees: “Don't let the NFL influence you with manipulation and false information. Don't drink the kool aid!”
CBS announcer Greg Anthony: “In Atlanta getting ready for the first 4 on Tru TV tonight 6:30pm est. Start looking for Tru on ur cable or satelite provider now! LOL.”
ESPN L.A.’s Arash Markazi: “I'm just going to treat the ‘First Four’ like Rocky V. It never happened as far as I'm concerned.”
Patriots CB Leigh Bodden: “Who gave Goodell my email address??”
MLB Giants P Brian Wilson: "'McIlroy' is Irish for 'Masters.' Which also translates into 'You're Welcome.' Non-fiction."
NHL Kings Dir of Digital Media Dewayne Hankins: “Who is Payton Hillis? And why is he being considered to be on the cover of Madden? Please help.”
HolterMedia President Pete Holtermann: “CBS losing Gus Johnson for March Madness is like taking Luther Vandross off ‘One Shining Moment.’ Just can't be done. Oh wait…"
LRMR CEO Maverick Carter: “Is it me or does it feel like everyone in the boxing biz is conspiring to keep building the hype and anticipation of Pac Man vs Floyd?”
Colts Owner Jim Irsay: “Jeff Saturday and I could get this thing done,on cocktail napkins,over a long lunch at Rick's Boatyard..it's not that hard!”
RLR Associates Managing Dir of Sports Media Andrew Fine: “I've never seen this much anticipation for a story as I have with the Tressel story. Everybody I know is waiting on it. Homerun for SI.”
Magic Senior VP Pat Williams: “Shaq retires: Top 5 C of all-time, great marketer, very colorful character; gave the league an enormous lift, never played for an empty seat.”
AP’s Stephen Wilson: “Still odd to see an NBC delegation without Ebersol.”
CNBC’s Darren Rovell: “Wonder if Dan Gilbert has asked the NBA if he can host a Game 6 Watch Party at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.”
Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban: “This will sound weird. Im laying in bed. with the trophy next me.”
Miami Herald’s Greg Cote: “Macy's ad in today's Miami Herald congratulates Heat for 2011 championship. Next: Macy's congratulates Rep. Anthony Weiner on reelection.”
Golfer Christina Kim: “I feel like Chris Berman should be reading bedtime stories and nowhere near a microphone, television or golf course.”
Marlins OF Logan Morrison: “McKeon asked me what I had going on tonite. Told him I was going home 2 play w/ Twitter. He replied ‘oh, what kind of dog is it?’”
N.Y. Times’ Judy Battista: “Dear NBC: I realize the Today Show is a gold mine, but you could skip the final hour to show Wimbledon live. If not, don't buy the rights.”
Newsweek Managing Editor Tom Weber: “Uh, Mr. President? Mr. Speaker? You know night of Sept. 8 is the NFL season opener, right? Ah. Didn't think so.”
Goodwin Sports Management’s Nate Jones: “Nike is killing the College Football uniform and uniform accessory game. Wait until they get their hands on the NFL next season!”
ESPN.com’s Bill Simmons: “What a cover by the Lions!!!!!! Screw the NBA, we can always gamble on football. Don't let the door hit you in the ass, NBA.”
F1 driver Lewis Hamilton: "This is an extremely sad day. … Dan was a racer I’d followed throughout my career, as I often followed in his footsteps as we climbed the motorsport ladder in the UK."
ESPN's Michael Wilbon: "The images and words and pictures coming out of State College tonight, especially the ugly mob mentality, underscore what a crisis this is."
NFL game telecasts accounted for each of the top 10 most-viewed sports telecasts on broadcast TV this year, with the BCS National Championship moving to cable and '11 being a non-Olympic year. This season's Dolphins-Cowboys game on Thanksgiving was the only regular-season game to crack the top 10, with the rest coming from last season's playoffs. Among non-NFL programming, the Cardinals-Rangers World Series Game Seven on Fox took the top spot with 25.4 million viewers. The '11 World Series took three spots among the top 10, while the Mavericks-Heat NBA Finals on ABC took three spots. Listed below are the most-viewed sports telecasts on broadcast TV through Dec. 19, along with the most-viewed non-NFL telecasts.
MOST-VIEWED SPORTS TELECASTS ON BROADCAST TVRKTELECASTDATENETRAT.VIEWERS
(000)1Super Bowl XLV: Packers-Steelers2/6Fox46.0111,0102AFC Championship: Jets-Steelers1/23CBS28.354,8503NFC Championship: Packers-Bears1/23Fox28.151,8844AFC Divisional Playoff: Jets-Patriots1/16CBS24.243,5005NFC Wild Card: Packers-Eagles1/9Fox22.139,3006AFC Divisional Playoff: Ravens-Steelers1/15CBS19.434,0007AFC Wild Card: Jets-Colts1/8NBC18.733,4008NFC Divisional Playoff: Seahawks-Bears1/16Fox19.132,5009"NFL on CBS": Dolphins-Cowboys (Thanksgiving)11/24CBS14.330,90110NFC Divisional Playoff: Packers-Falcons1/15Fox17.030,817MOST-VIEWED NON-NFL SPORTS TELECASTS ON BROADCAST TVRKTELECASTDATENETRAT.VIEWERS
(000)1World Series: Cardinals-Rangers: Game Seven10/28Fox14.725,4032NBA Finals: Mavericks-Heat: Game Six6/12ABC13.323,8803World Series: Cardinals-Rangers: Game Six10/27Fox12.721,0654NCAA Basketball Championship: UConn-Butler4/4CBS11.720,0555NCAA Football: LSU-Alabama11/5CBS11.520,0116NBA Finals: Mavericks-Heat: Game Five6/9ABC10.818,3187NCAA Tournament: Final Four: UConn-Kentucky4/2CBS9.516,7158NBA Finals: Mavericks-Heat: Game Four6/7ABC9.616,1269NASCAR Sprint Cup: Daytona 5002/20Fox8.715,59710NBA Finals: Mavericks-Heat: Game Two6/2ABC9.315,522
CABLE: "Monday Night Football" telecasts had topped the yearly ranking of most-viewed sports telecasts on cable TV since ESPN picked up the package prior to the '06 season. But with the BCS National Championship airing for the first time on cable in '11, the Auburn-Oregon matchup took the top spot with 27.3 million viewers. The Rose Bowl also aired for the first time on cable in '11, with the TCU-Wisconsin matchup marking the year's second-most-viewed sports telecast with 20.6 million viewers. "MNF" still performed well, taking seven of the top 10 spots overall. Among non-NFL programming, the FIFA Women's World Cup Final ranked fourth, as the U.S. loss to Japan drew 13.5 million viewers, which ranked higher than both the Fiesta and Orange Bowl telecasts.MOST-VIEWED SPORTS TELECASTS ON CABLE TVRKTELECASTDATENETRAT.VIEWERS
(000)1BCS National Championship: Auburn-Oregon1/10ESPN15.327,3162Rose Bowl: TCU-Wisconsin1/1ESPN11.320,5583"Monday Night Football": Redskins-Cowboys9/26ESPN10.617,1044"Monday Night Football": Bears-Eagles11/7ESPN10.716,8475"Monday Night Football": Steelers-49ers12/19ESPN10.116,6776"Monday Night Football": Bears-Lions10/10ESPN10.316,3787"Monday Night Football": Patriots-Dolphins9/12ESPN9.114,5688"Monday Night Football": Giants-Saints11/28ESPN9.314,4239"Monday Night Football": Vikings-Packers11/14ESPN8.714,18810Allstate Sugar Bowl: Ohio State-Arkansas1/4ESPN8.213,635MOST-VIEWED NON-NFL SPORTS TELECASTS ON CABLE TVRKTELECASTDATENETRAT.VIEWERS
(000)1BCS National Championship: Auburn-Oregon1/10ESPN15.327,3162Rose Bowl: TCU-Wisconsin1/1ESPN11.320,5583Allstate Sugar Bowl: Ohio State-Arkansas1/4ESPN8.213,6354FIFA Women's World Cup Final: Japan-U.S.7/17ESPN7.413,4585NBA Eastern Conference Finals:
Heat-Bulls: Game One5/15TNT6.211,1096NBA Eastern Conference Finals:
Heat-Bulls: Game Three5/22TNT6.410,8897Tostitos Fiesta Bowl: Oklahoma-UConn1/1ESPN6.210,8198Discover Orange Bowl: Stanford-Virginia Tech1/3ESPN6.710,6829NBA Eastern Conference Finals:
Heat-Bulls: Game Five5/26TNT6.310,40710NBA Eastern Conference Finals:
Heat-Bulls: Game Two5/18TNT6.110,036