• Jacksonville case study: The craft beer effect

    This week in SportsBusiness Journal, we look at some of the trends that executives in the concessions industry are watching. Tom Anastasia, regional vice president for Ovations Food Services, noted how craft beers have become increasingly prevalent in stadiums and arenas.

    Here, he shares an additional story, about what Ovations learned when the company adjusted the mix of taps at a portable stand in Jacksonville — including the financial impact of the change, in terms of fan spending.

    “We performed a case study to verify the popularity of craft beer in a football stadium environment. At EverBank Field in Jacksonville, we added an expanded craft lineup at eight existing draft portables. They weren’t new locations, just a new lineup of flavors to chose from. Initially Anheuser-Busch, our primary supplier at the stadium, introduced some import/specialty brands from their portfolio: Amber Bock, Stella Artois, Negra Modelo and others. Michelob Ultra [also an A-B brand], Miller Lite and Coors Light are also poured at various locations.

    “Previous tap setups had featured standard domestic options along with maybe one craft/import option as a second option. Our research indicates this mix is almost always impacted by product availability. EverBank Field is not different than most venues in the sense that a primary sponsor has more brand selection. While there is no issue with this, it does limit the ability for the consumer to make the choice to trade up to a higher-priced selection.

    “The beers that we placed in the craft designation that really started the shift came mostly from Jacksonville-based breweries: Bold City Killer Whale Cream Ale and Duke’s Brown Ale, Intuition Ale Works’ People’s Pale Ale and Jon Boat, and Green Room Brewing’s Pablo Beach. SweetWater 420 [from Atlanta] and Blue Moon [a MillerCoors brand brewed in Denver] were also added.

    “In our analysis, based on data collected over the course of the Jaguars’ 2014 regular season, we compared the consumer selection at the venue overall versus locations that serve a wider selection of craft beer options alongside the domestic beers. If you take a sample of the entire stadium, the ratio is 84 percent domestic draft beers sold compared to 16 percent craft/premium draft beers sold. This is misleading as a representation of what the consumer would choose if there were more options at more locations.

    “When we look at a prime draft portable location that has domestic and craft/premium options, the mix changes drastically. Given the choice at this location, the mix changes to 61 percent domestic and 39 percent craft. The craft beers are sold at a dollar more per unit for the same size. These incremental dollars add up across many points of sale and over a whole season. This is evidence that given the option to trade up to a premium product, a very large segment of our consumers are willing to pay more for a premium product.

    “It’s important to note that this was not the first introduction of craft beers in Jacksonville. Our lineup for craft beers on our package carts has been extensive for a number of years. This is simply an analysis of the shift when adding these flavors in draft. Very often the focus on draft is geared towards a sponsor product [typically one of the major domestic brands]. The point of the analysis was to show our clients that there is financial benefit to straying outside of the old exclusivity model.”

    Tags: On the Ground, Facilities
  • Champions Podcast: David Falk

    NBA writer John Lombardo and Champions editor Tom Stinson introduce David Falk as one of this year's Champions: Pioneers & Innovators in Sports Business. Most identified as being Michael Jordan's agent, Falk has been a leader in both NBA contract negotiation and the marketing of athletes. This is the second in a series of six profiles of the 2015 class of The Champions.

    Tags: Champions, NBA, SBJSBD Podcast
  • Goodell Runs 40 For St. Jude

    NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell ran a 40-yard dash in the NFL’s New York office (watch video here) as part of a benefit for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, akin to last summer’s Ice Bucket challenge. The video will air on NFL Network’s “Total Access” tonight.

    “He has thrown down the gauntlet to Eisen,” said NFL Network executive producer Eric Weinberger, referring to the network’s anchor Rich Eisen, who runs a 40-yard dash every year at the NFL combine.

    NFL Network executives would not disclose Goodell’s time.

    Tags: On The Ground
  • Podcast: Las Vegas' NHL push

    Alex Silverman and hockey writer Ian Thomas chat with Alan Snel of the Las Vegas Review-Journal about the city's push for an NHL franchise in the wake of Tuesday's ticket-drive launch in this week's NHL Wrap-Around podcast.

    Among the comments:

    "I think the Foley ticket drive will be an interesting litmus test to see if this market can make the transition from not only being a big sports event town in a major league sense, but now support a major league team for a season that’s more than 40 games. … Las Vegas to me has always been a fascinating wild card of a city because our market is driven more on events than seasons.'"

    "The catalyst in this hockey drive is the new MGM-AEG arena being built right now. … Obviously you’ll have your purists, but I think a big chunk of the fans will be visitors who will be among the 40 million walking up and down the Strip on a typical year and people who want to see the arena. I think the arena is going to be as much an attraction as the NHL team itself."

    "They’re looking at 54 percent of the visitors to the arena being tourists and 46 percent being locals. To have an NHL team you’d hope that the 46 percent locals would be a lot higher.'"

    "Las Vegas reminds me a little bit of the Florida markets in a way – very tourism-based, but not a lot of corporate headquarters. … We probably have, I’m guessing, a half-dozen to 10 gaming industry and casino companies that will probably buy up the suites and a smattering of other local businesses, but Las Vegas is not a corporate-rich community."

    Tags: NHL, SBJSBD Podcast
  • Schiller: Dramatic Win Raises America's Cup Profile In U.S.

    SportsBusiness Journal this week reports on NBC Sports Group acquiring the exclusive U.S. television and digital media rights for the next America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs and America’s Cup Finals, set to take place in Bermuda in 2017.

    Veteran industry executive Harvey Schiller, a member of SBJ’s 2013 class of Champions: Pioneers & Innovators in Sports Business, was one of the people who brought the deal together. Schiller is commercial commissioner for the 2017 event, and in talking about the deal last week, he noted the impact of how the U.S. team won the Cup in 2013 with a dramatic rally.

    NBC had the U.S. broadcast rights for coverage of that 2013 event, as well.

    “After the last event in San Francisco [in 2013], we’re getting more and more interest from the public and from sponsors as well. Before 2013, if you asked anyone on the street what they knew about the America’s Cup, it likely wasn’t much. But now, many will say ‘Wasn't that a great comeback?’ It’s partly due to the television coverage that is the case.”

    Tags: On The Ground
  • TV Timeout: Answered Prayers?

    ESPN’s Buster Olney, on the Padres offseason after agreeing to terms with free-agent P James Shields: “It's mission accomplished for the Padres in terms of changing the perception of this team and trying to make it a team that could be a playoff contender in this summer” (“SportsCenter,” ESPN, 2/9). The N.Y. Post’s Joel Sherman said, “They were … the most aggressive this offseason. Part of it is learning from history. The teams that win the winter don’t always win the summer” (“Hot Stove,” MLB Net, 2/9).

    TOM-FOOLERY: Patriots WR Julian Edelman, to actor Josh Duhamel, with whom he presented the Grammy for “Best Rock Album” last night, “Josh, thanks for standing in for (Patriots QB Tom Brady). You guys look enough alike” (“The Grammy Awards,” CBS, 2/8).

    WALKING A TIGHTROPE: ESPN’s Field Yates said of Panthers DE Greg Hardy’s domestic violence charges being dismissed, “If the NFL treats this as if the incident never took place because the charges have been dropped, what kind of message are you sending? At the same time, the NFL personal conduct policy is specifically tied to the outcome of court cases. … It’s going to be a very tricky one for the NFL to manage” (“SportsCenter,” ESPN, 2/9).

  • Podcast: NBA All-Star Game in New York

    NBA writer John Lombardo and Executive Editor Abraham Madkour talk about this week's NBA All-Star Game, its prospects in New York and the challenges involved.

    Tags: NBA, SBJSBD Podcast
  • Podcast: The Fourth Period's David Pagnotta

    Alex Silverman and hockey writer Ian Thomas talk with David Pagnotta, president of The Fourth Period Media, about jersey ads for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey as well as the league's expiring apparel deal with Reebok in this week's NHL Wrap-Around podcast.

    Among the comments:

    "They don't want (the ads) to be overpowering. The NHL is tremendously focused on selling the crest and team logos, more so than anything. I don't anticipate the jersey player, whoever it is, saying, 'Let's do what they do in Europe and put a big Ford emblem on the chest.'"

    "Under Armour is very intriguing for the National Hockey League, and I think they would like to see them come forward with a very aggressive bid. I think that's the plan."

    "This is going to be an opportunity for whomever is going to retain the rights to show the NHL … that because of all the momentum that's now building in other non-traditional hockey markets, like California, that we want to have a presence there, as well. … That's going to have the guys in the NHL office thinking how this deal is going to benefit them beyond what's on paper."

    Tags: Hockey, NHL, SBJSBD Podcast
  • Podcast: This week's NHL Wrap-Around

    Alex Silverman and hockey writer Ian Thomas talk about last weekend's NHL All-Star Game in Columbus as well as the World Cup of Hockey and the NHL's future participation in the Olympics.

    Among the comments:

    "Anybody who's a hockey fan knows that first-person view that you're going to get by attaching a camera to a player's helmet or their chest can really give you a good appreciation for the speed of the game, which I know the league itself really wants to show off."

    "This is going to be their foray into reintroducing the game in Europe and other countries where it hasn't had as much traction. … Their hope is, 'We're going to kick this off in Toronto, you might see it in Europe the next time around.'"

    "International hockey hasn't been a massive revenue stream for the NHL. The Olympic participation hasn't boosted their bottom line; this tournament will. The NHL and NHLPA own it and will see the revenue from it. It will be interesting to see whether this leads to the NHL abandoning its Olympic participation and whether the players feel strongly about continuing to participate."

    "I don't think this lessens the chance they play in the Olympics. The player interest is there, and at the end of the day, if hockey grows, the NHL grows. Nothing draws more fans than the Olympics, for any sport."

    Tags: NHL, Hockey, SBJSBD Podcast
  • Podcast: ESPN, NFL pressure CFP on schedule

    Media writer John Ourand and Assistant Managing Editor Tom Stinson talk about the pressure on the College Football Playoff from ESPN and the NFL to adjust its future schedule, and what it could mean.

    Tags: Media, Football, ESPN, NFL, SBJSBD Podcast
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