• Download the Agenda for 2013 SFF/Ticketing Symposium

    If you're attending the 2013 Sports Facilities & Franchises/Ticketing Symposium, be sure to download our online agenda. You can use it on your desktop or mobile device, and even on your Facebook page.

    Tags: World Congress of Sports, Facebook
  • Unwanted spotlight: 'Daily Show' eyes NCAA ruling on wrestler

    The NCAA gained more unwanted attention last night when Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart” looked the case of University of Minnesota wrestler Joel Bauman, who has been ruled ineligible after creating an inspirational rap song. You can see the full video below, but here are some of the highlights:

    Comedy Central’s Aasif Mandvi, in his intro: “College athletes are princes of their schools and enjoy everything from the love of enthusiastic coaches [over video of Mike Rice abusing his players] to all the attention they get when they twist their poor little ankle out of their skin [over video of Louisville guard Kevin Ware being aided after injuring his leg]. But there are still some students, like this University of Minnesota wrestler, who would spit in the face of NCAA and defy their perfectly fair rules.”

    Mandvi asked, “Why did they strip you of your eligibility?” Bauman said it was because he had a “song and my name was on it.” Mandvi: “What made you think you could use your own name?” Bauman replied, “Because it's my message and it's me.” Mandvi replied, “It's not your name anymore. It belongs to the NCAA.”

    Bauman said he has a 10 percent “scholarship” that “doesn't cover a lot, and on top of that, I cover my living expenses.” But Mandvi said, “And then you’re also making a buttload of money on this song.” Bauman: “This song hasn't made me rich at all. I haven’t even broke even and, right now, the NCAA owns the name Joel Bauman until I graduate.” Mandvi said, “Let me tell you your first problem: You’re rapping under the name Joel Bauman. Dude, Joel Bauman is the accountant of the record label.”

    Mandvi: “This type profiteering would sully the NCAA's image as stewards of amateur athletics.”

    Tags: Facebook
  • Izod, Google party at the Masters

    Izod golfer and two-time PGA Tour winner Scott Piercy (right) tries on Google Glass at the Izod Social Hub on Wednesday night.
    This was Izod’s week to make a big splash in golf. The brand, whose golf ambassadors include Webb Simpson, Scott Piercy and Spencer Levin, jumped into golf this year and is using the Masters this week as its coming-out party. The word “party” was especially appropriate on Wednesday night in Augusta when Izod co-hosted an industry party at the Maxim Clubhouse, just across the street from the entrance to Augusta National.

    Google also had a strong presence at the party, which included a live PGA Tour Google + hangout, featuring Izod golfers and Maxim models at the Izod Social Hub inside the clubhouse. Piercy also tried on the latest Google innovation, Google Glass, a pair of Internet-connected glasses.

    Tags: Golf, PGA Tour
  • Charlotte Knights show off stadium plans to SBJ/SBD

    Knights exec Dan Rajkowski points out some of the design features of the team's new ballpark.
    The Triple AAA Charlotte (N.C.) Knights are building a $55 million downtown stadium just blocks away from SBJ/SBD World Headquarters, and four members of the team’s executive squad visited our office this week to brief us on their plans.

    Dan Rajkowski, executive vice president and chief operating officer Knights, walked us through some of the unique design features of BB&T Ballpark, which will open in April 2014. The $55 million facility will have 8,200 fixed seats with 22 suites and about 1,000 club seats. In addition, there will be a year-round restaurant to be operated by a third party, with space reserved in right field to build a 160-room extended stay hotel.

    Working on their Knight moves (from left): Julie Clark, director of special programs and events; Scott Brown, general manager of baseball operations; Dan Rajkowski, executive vice president and chief operating officer; and Chris Semmens, vice president of sales.

    Tags: Don Muret, TES, Baseball
  • Temperatures Rise During Power Outage At Another NFL Event

    Maybe it’s something about the NFL. Sure, it wasn’t as big a deal as at the Super Bowl, when the power went out for 34 minutes. But when lawyers, league executives, retirees and reporters arrived at the Sixth Street federal courthouse in Philadelphia yesterday for oral arguments in the big concussion case, they found long lines, stalled, with people waiting to get in. Why? The power was out and security was down.

    Less than an hour before the arguments were set to begin, the lines began to move, but the effect was still there. The courtroom was hot — so much so that Judge Anita Brody said the lawyers could take their jackets off. The retirees’ counsel, David Frederick, did so. The NFL’s Paul Clement did not. Brody joked about what she might — or might not — have on under her robe.

    I had not planned to be in the courtroom. In fact, no reporters were expected to be there, other than the court reporter. The court clerk had warned me the day before that I would be lucky to get into the overflow room. The actual courtroom was reserved for plaintiffs’ firms, league executives, retirees and their families — about 80 people in all. So I went to the overflow room and took my seat. But five minutes before the hearing began, the clerk came in and pointed to one of us, and then counted down the row to 10. I was No. 10. We 10 were getting into the courtroom.

    So who was there? Not as many big names as one might have hoped for on such a significant occasion. No commissioner, no past commissioner, no union executives, no owners. Yes, there was some big-time legal talent in the room arguing the case and on the sidelines, but even the retirees in attendance were not of the name-dropping sort. Dorsey Levens, Jeff Nixon and Bill Bergey led the list.

    For more on the arguments made during the hearing, see my report in Tuesday’s Closing Bell.

    Tags: NFL, Super Bowl, TES
  • From Final Four To The Masters, It's A Big Week For Intersport

    More than 1,500 guests this week will visit Intersport's Double Eagle Club.
    Photo by Michael Smith

    This represents perhaps the biggest week of the year for Chicago-based Intersport, which transitions out of Atlanta and the Final Four to Augusta, Ga., for the Masters.

    Intersport owns and operates the Double Eagle Club on Washington Road, right across the street from the main entrance to Augusta National. More than 1,500 guests will venture in and out this week, spending large chunks of the day on the golf course, then retiring to the country club setting for dinner and drinks at the Double Eagle, which is in its 22nd year. Close to 90 percent of the crowd is corporate, according to Chuck Johnsen, an Intersport senior vice president and head of hospitality. Of that corporate crowd, roughly half do business with Intersport in some other way, whether it’s sponsoring one of Intersport’s events or broadcasting it. CBS Sports and ESPN are two of the companies entertaining at the Double Eagle this week. “This is how we take care of our best clients at the best sporting event in the world,” Johnsen said.

    Intersport’s 25th anniversary of its State Farm Slam Dunk & 3-Point Championships last Thursday was one of its best. A crowd of 7,749 nearly filled McCamish Pavilion on Georgia Tech’s campus, and this was the first year Intersport used voting via Twitter as part of the judging for the dunk contest. Fans voted on every dunk by tweeting #CollegeSlam, followed by the player’s last name and a score between one and 10. The Twitter score was tallied with the four judges’ scores. Social chatter about the dunk contest took off — halfway through the first round, #CollegeSlam reached the No. 1 U.S. and worldwide trend, according to Intersport. With the live voting component, the dunk and three-point contests had to be televised live on ESPN, instead of the traditional two-hour delay. Re-airs of the event will continued through the spring.

    Tags: USTA, NTRA, Golf, DC, CBS, ESPN, Champion, Champions, Twitter, Colleges, And 1
  • Number Of Plaintiffs Means Restricted Access For Concussion Hearings

    People are getting in position in Philadelphia this morning for today’s hearing on the NFL concussions litigation. There are, in fact, sheets posted around the courthouse listing the people who can get into the actual courtroom on the 7th floor for today’s hearing.

    Because there are so many plaintiffs firms involved, access is restricted. People who aren’t allowed into the courtroom have to go to an overflow room. The lists have about 100 names, including NFL executives, lawyers, retirees and widows. One lawyer standing next to a list said jokingly that someone should add the name “Pat White” and then cross it out. White was a plaintiff until voluntarily dismissing his claim and signing with the Redskins last week.

    Tags: NFL
  • 'Rise for 5' shirts still easy to buy in Atlanta

    "Rise For 5" T-shirts were readily available in Atlanta during the Final Four weekend.
    Photo by Michael Smith

    Didn't Adidas and the University of Louisville say that they had pulled these Kevin Ware No. 5 T-shirts off the racks?

    Apparently, not every vendor in Atlanta got the memo, like the one across the street from Centennial Olympic Park where this photo was taken. T-shirts bearing Ware's No. 5 were all over Atlanta throughout the Final Four weekend, mostly in the temporary sales tents along the streets between the Georgia Dome and downtown Atlanta.

    – Michael Smith

    Tags: Adidas
  • Final Four weekend concerts a huge hit with fans and sponsors

    Fans packed into Centennial Olympic Park to see Dave Matthews Band.
    Photo by: GETTY IMAGES
    Roughly 150,000 people attended the series of free concerts held Friday through Sunday as part of the Final Four weekend in Atlanta. The crowd for Sunday night’s Dave Matthews Band concert, sponsored by Capital One, was so large that officials closed the gates to Centennial Olympic Park, which, of course, prompted party-goers to jump the fence.

    Each NCAA corporate champion sponsors a day of concerts, with AT&T taking Friday, Coke Zero getting Saturday and Capital One sponsoring Sunday. With the exception of a brief power outage on Saturday night during the Muse show, the concerts were a huge hit with fans and sponsors. Macklemore even said that he didn’t know what to expect for a hip-hop show at 1:45 in the afternoon, but was impressed by the 30,000 or so already in attendance early in the day.

    By late afternoon, the park was full with almost 50,000 people. As Katie Bayne, Coke’s president of North America brands, surveyed the scene on Saturday afternoon, she smiled and said, “This is incredible” as she hugged Sharon Byers, Coke’s senior vice president of sports and entertainment marketing.

    Turner Events, led by Senior Vice President Shea Guinn, produced the concerts. All of the AT&T branding and wraps from Friday night were swapped out by Saturday morning, and the Coke Zero wraps were gone by Sunday morning, replaced by Capital One.

    Tags: NCAA, Champion, North America
  • New 'It's Not Your Fault' Ad From Coke Coming During Tonight's Final

    NCAA corporate champion Coca-Cola will unveil the last in the series of NCAA tournament-related “It’s Not Your Fault” spots tonight during CBS’s broadcast of the championship game. The March Madness campaign has been geared to attract a younger male audience. Tonight’s spot, “Video Games,” is a 60-second version of a 30-second spot that ran this past weekend.

    Coke also is running a 30-second spot in the last ad break before tipoff tonight. That ad is typically full of highlights from Coke Zero’s Final Four concert on Saturday. The concert, held at Centennial Olympic Park, featured performers Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Ludacris, Flo Rida and Muse.

    Coke’s “It’s Not Your Fault” campaign was created by ad agency Droga5, New York.

    Tags: NCAA, Coca-Cola, CBS
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