SBD/December 21, 2012/Year End

Predictions For The New Year From Key Industry Players

THE DAILY asked some top sports execs to look into their crystal balls and offer predictions for the upcoming year in sports business.

NHL SENIOR VP/INTEGRATED MARKETING SUSAN COHIG: The continued evolution of digital-ticketing platforms, including paperless and the integration of primary and resale inventory, will transform how fans engage with and control the purchase experience.

USOC CEO SCOTT BLACKMUN: One of the professional leagues will follow MLS' successful model of selling sponsorships on the front of their jerseys.

FORMER WNBA PRESIDENT VAL ACKERMAN: I remain bullish on the future of women's sports and believe the upcoming year will see a heightened sense of purpose as the team sports, in particular, look to establish or expand their audiences, strengthen their operations and shore up their revenue prospects.

NBC SPORTS GROUP PRESIDENT OF PROGRAMMING JON MILLER: The NFL will continue to position itself as the No. 1 sport in the country. Also, more and more Americans will embrace international sports properties such as the Premier League, Formula 1 and the UEFA Champions League.

DAYTONA INT'L SPEEDWAY PRESIDENT JOIE CHITWOOD III: College conference volatility will continue and at the end of ‘13, there will only be a handful of super conferences. The traditional matchups will continue to be abandoned as these conferences are formed.

CUBS EXEC VP AND CHIEF SALES & MARKETING OFFICER WALLY HAYWARD: I believe you're going to see the corporate marketplace place focus more on its flagship markets as companies look to optimize their investments and drive business performance in 2013 and beyond. Less is more. My sports prediction: As a faithful Northwestern alum, 2013 is the year that NU hoops makes their first ever NCAA Basketball Tournament.

GMR MARKETING LATIN AMERICAN HEAD CELSO SCHVARTZER: That a lot of business will be happening in Latin America, mainly in Brazil, as there are 10 new arenas being built for the World Cup/local teams, and there are hundreds of opportunities coming from this boom. Naming rights, new/revised sponsorship deals, sponsorship activation, hospitality, venues management, also.
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