SBJ/Jan. 31-Feb. 6, 2011/Leagues and Governing Bodies

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  • Bornstein tops Goodell as highest-paid NFL exec

    NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who made news last week saying he would take a $1 salary if a lockout is declared, was the third-highest-compensated official at the NFL in its most recent fiscal year, according to the league's tax return filed with the Internal Revenue Service last week.

    Steve Bornstein

    Steve Bornstein, executive vice president of media and head of the NFL Network, earned $12.65 million, the tax return shows. Former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue took in $12.51 million, though retirement and deferred pay earned in previous years but paid out in the 2010 fiscal year represented all but $1 million of his take, according to the return, which covers the 12-month period ending March 31, 2010.

    Goodell, who two years ago in the jaws of the economic downturn took a 25 percent pay cut, earned $9.89 million, up slightly from $9.76 million the previous year.

    "I wouldn't compare Bornstein to Goodell. I would compare Bornstein to people in the TV business, which has a high compensation level," said Cathy Griffin, a sports and entertainment compensation adviser.

    Bornstein's pay is also a marked increase from the previous year, which was the first one for which more detailed compensation information was provided in the league's tax return. In that year, Bornstein earned $7.5 million, 23 percent less than Goodell.

    NFL Compensation
    Executive Title Compensation*
    Steve Bornstein EVP, media $12.65 million
    Paul Tagliabue Former commissioner $12.51 million
    Roger Goodell Commissioner $9.89 million
    Jeff Pash General counsel $5.53 million
    Eric Grubman EVP, business ventures $4.85 million
    Anthony Noto^ Chief financial officer $4.47 million
    Joe Browne^ EVP, communications, D.C. policy $2 million
    Ray Anderson EVP, player operations $1.69 million
    * Includes salary, bonus, deferred and retirement pay. All but $1 million of Tagliabue's pay is retirement and deferred pay.^ Listed title reflects the person's position with the league during the measured period. Noto resigned in September 2010. Browne is now senior adviser to the commissioner.Source: NFL tax return for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2010

    Bornstein's most recent compensation includes $5.23 million in deferred and retirement pay that can be claimed in future years, $3 million in base pay and a $4.3 million bonus. Goodell's pay includes a $2.9 million base salary and a $6.55 million bonus but no deferred or retirement pay.

    It was during the 12-month period that ended March 31, 2010, that Bornstein secured for the NFL extensions with CBS, Fox and NBC, with increases in value for those deals despite the recession. The year saw NFL Network sign Comcast to a deal that pushed the network past the 50 million-home distribution mark. Bornstein also during the year led the launch of NFL RedZone and played a key part in the $720 million Verizon sponsorship for the league by convincing owners the deal wouldn't encroach on existing media rights.

    Executive compensation was a hot topic last week when the NFL disclosed significant changes due to the potential for an upcoming work stoppage. The collective-bargaining agreement expires March 4, and the union and league are far apart on reaching a new deal. The league said its executive vice presidents would have 35 percent of their bonuses, due in April, held back until a new deal is struck. Senior vice presidents would have 25 percent held back, and vice presidents would have 10 percent held back. Those bonuses are not detailed in the tax document.

    Jeff Pash, the league's general counsel and chief labor negotiator, like Goodell would take a $1 salary during a work stoppage. He earned $5.5 million in the 2010 fiscal year, including $1.1 million in salary and $3.25 million in bonus money.

    The tax return also indicates that cost-cutting measures at the league office put in place under Goodell have had some effect. The league in the 2010 fiscal year assessed each club less than it did the previous fiscal year, a rare drop. The league took in $191.2 million in club assessments, or $5.975 million per club, compared with $204.5 million, or $6.4 million per club. The league assesses each club based on the expenses for a given year.

    Expenses were down $6 million to $234.6 million. Nearly $97 million of expenses is interest tied to leaguewide financings that flow through the league office. The other major expense is compensation, which including payroll tax and pensions was $75.75 million, compared with $72 million the prior year.

    The league spent $920,079 on lobbying, compared with $851,017 the year before.

    The NFL league office is structured as a tax-exempt organization and so its tax return by law is public.

    Print | Tags: NFL, Media, CBS, Fox, NBC, Verizon
  • Senior PGA may allow cell phones

    The PGA of America is planning to permit spectators to bring mobile phones on site during the Senior PGA Championship in May and, if all goes well, it could allow them during the PGA Championship in August as well.

    “The move to mobile is really about our culture being so 24/7 connected,” Joe Steranka, CEO of the PGA of America, said last week during the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando. “Everyone is connected to family, children, work, and that’s what is driving it.”

    Steranka will take the mobile phone proposal for the Senior PGA to the board of directors next month for approval. He said he will recommend that the board accept the use of mobile phones on the course “with an eye toward allowing them for all events.”

    The PGA Tour has previously banned mobile phones from the grounds of events for fear of causing disruption of play. But it has been experimenting with the use of mobile phones on the golf course since last season and has two more test tournaments this spring before deciding whether it will create a policy allowing them for all events.

    Tournament organizers on the PGA Tour have said they expect the policy to be approved by the summer.

    The Senior PGA at Louisville, Ky.’s Valhalla Golf Club will be the first PGA of America event to allow cell phones during competition, if the board approves the new policy.

    The PGA Championship could be the first major championship to support the use of cell phones during competition.

    Steranka also said the PGA of America hopes to have a fourth patron sponsor signed in time for the PGA Championship in August. Patrons are the highest level of PGA sponsors and include American Express, Mercedes-Benz and RBC.

    The telecommunications category is “the lead category,” Steranka said. “Between mobile and personal computers, that category is looking a lot different than it used to, but we believe it will be somewhere in there.”

    PGA of America sponsors have significant media buys for the PGA Championship rolled into their deals, and they account for nearly 50 percent of the ad inventory on CBS’s broadcast. The addition of a fourth patron sponsor would push that figure over the 50 percent threshold, Steranka said.

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  • NBA youth push includes branded website

    The NBA is launching an interactive youth marketing initiative called Hoop Troop aimed at reaching kids between the ages of 6 and 12. The campaign includes a branded website at that offers game highlights and original programming; a partnership with Cartoon Network to promote the site; a new interactive online element called My Amazing Arena; and a sweepstakes called Shot Clock Shopping Spree.

    The league already airs a show on Cartoon Network called “Run It Back Sunday,” a one-hour version of the NBA Thursday night game broadcast on TNT featuring pop-up graphics and trivia.

    NBA Hoop Troop Home Page offers game highlights.
    The Hoop Troop website was soft-launched earlier this month. The league plans to roll out a new animated 30-second commercial spot promoting the Hoop Troop campaign and the sweepstakes around the All-Star break in mid-February.

    The national sweepstakes will debut at Jam Session during All-Star Week, with the winners of the Shot Clock Shopping Spree receiving a shopping pass at the NBA Store in New York City with an NBA player. The My Amazing Arena component is a virtual community that allows kids to create a virtual, customized NBA arena.

    “We want to create an umbrella campaign to create content to engage kids,” said Brian Flinn, senior vice president of marketing for the NBA, who is running the new initiative.

    Flinn said that NBA research bolstered the rollout of the new initiative.

    “It showed that if we can connect with a kid before the age of 13, they are 2.5 times more likely to become avid fans as an adult,” he said. “We have also seen that if you create customized content, you increase their level of consumption.”

    The league is partnering with the Geppetto Group on the youth marketing initiative.

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies
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