• Best in Sports Technology: Experience

    From left: Experience's Junior Gaspard, Garrett Langley, Tripp Rackley, Ben Ackerman and Stan Deak
    Experience, an upstart Atlanta-based seat upgrade outfit, won the 2014 Sports Business Award for Best in Sports Technology on the heels of a blockbuster 2013 that saw major deals struck with MLB Advanced Media, the NFL and Ticketmaster, among many other college and pro teams. The company’s proprietary technology allows fans after initially purchasing a ticket to upgrade their location and add experiential amenities, in effect changing the notion of a ticket from a single-purchase entity into a more fluid concept that can be altered into something else across a span of time.

    Company Chairman Tripp Rackley was quick to credit his team and league partners, and said he is aiming to completely change fan expectations. “The question we ask ourselves all the time is, ‘Will a fan go back to the old way after experiencing what we can offer?’ We obviously hope not. The live event is such a powerful thing and we want every fan to feel like a rock star,” he said.

    Tags: On The Ground
  • SBAs: Early winners and congratulations

    Tags: Sports Business Awards
  • SBAs: First award presentation is moments away

    Tags: Sports Business Awards
  • SBAs: More from Twitter as the big night arrives

    Tags: Sports Business Awards
  • Sports Business Awards: A selection of preshow tweets

    Tags: Sports Business Awards
  • TV Timeout: A Closer Look

    The Nation's Dave Zirin said the lawsuit brought by former NFLers against the league over the use of painkillers is about the "shifting norms of how we understand how the sausage is made in the NFL.” He said, “For decades, we didn't care, culturally we didn’t care, the NFL didn’t care, the players' union didn’t care. But now in the wake of the concussion lawsuit, everything is under the microscope" ("Morning Joe," MSNBC, 5/21). Former 49ers OL Jeremy Newberry said of painkiller use in the NFL, "This is the NFL culture, not just a team-by-team thing" ("Evening News," CBS, 5/20).

    THE WRONG PATH? HBO's Jon Frankel said of Brazil’s World Cup preparations, "If Athens is a cautionary tale, it's not being heeded today on the other side of the world” ("Real Sports," HBO, 5/20).

    DRAWING CARD: ESPN’s Mike Greenberg, on Minneapolis hosting the Super Bowl: “If there’s one thing we’ve learned from this, it’s that the National Football League follows the ‘Field of Dreams’ philosophy which is, ‘If you build it, they will come.’” ESPN’s Mike Golic added, “I love Minnesota, but it doesn’t mean I love Minnesota in February, or would I chose to go there in February, which is what we will be doing” (“Mike & Mike,” ESPN Radio, 5/21). 

    MONEY TALKS: PFT's Mike Florio, on NFL playoff expansion being tabled: “I think they’d like to find out from the networks how much money is in play, because if there are any owners on the fence about whether or not to do this, knowing how much money they would make from those two extra playoff games could help a ‘no’ become a ‘yes’” (“PFT,” NBCSN, 5/20).

  • MiLB's Clash of the Caps voting favoring new or new-look teams

    Want an example of how fresh sells better, Minor League Baseball-style?

    Fan voting for MiLB’s Clash of the Caps contest ends tomorrow. Heading into these final two days of voting, the leaderboard in this contest — which asks, Who has the best cap in the minor leagues? — features six teams that have debuted since 2000 and six others that have completely changed their name and/or look in recent years.

    The three veterans among the leaders: the Durham Bulls, Carolina Mudcats and Toledo Mud Hens.

    The leaderboard, as of this morning:

    Rank/Team (debut or name change)

    1/El Paso Chihuahuas (2014 debut)
    2/Richmond Flying Squirrels (2010 debut)
    3/Albuquerque Isotopes (2003 debut)
    4/Quad City River Bandits (2008 name change)
    5/Durham Bulls
    6/Lakewood BlueClaws (2001 debut)
    7/Omaha Storm Chasers (2011 name change)
    8/Carolina Mudcats
    9/Montgomery Biscuits (2004 debut)
    10/Akron RubberDucks (2014 name change)
    11/Greensboro Grasshoppers (2005 name change)
    12/Toledo Mud Hens
    13/Fort Wayne TinCaps (2009 name change)
    14/Orem Owlz (2005 name change)
    15/Bradenton Marauders (2010 debut)

    Source: MiLB

    Tags: On The Ground
  • SBJ/SBD's weekly NHL Wrap-Around podcast

    As the Stanley Cup Playoffs continue, staff writers Christopher Botta and Alex Silverman discuss the latest hockey news in SBJ/SBD's "NHL Wrap-Around Podcast." Among the topics:

    Vancouver preparing to name Jim Benning as general manager.

    The firing of GM Ray Shero in Pittsburgh and what owner Mario Lemieux might be thinking.

    Seattle officials meeting with Commissioner Gary Bettman about possible NHL expansion.

    And the latest on the sale of the New York Islanders.

    Tags: NHL, Hockey, New York Islanders, SBJSBD Podcast
  • TV Timeout: Sterling Reputation

    ESPN’s Mike Greenberg, on Clippers Owner Donald Sterling: “His name is an absolute punchline now and that, to me, is the single biggest punishment in all of this, beyond anything else you could do to the guy” (“Mike & Mike,” ESPN Radio, 5/20).

    CENTER OF ATTENTION: CBS Sports’ Allie Laforce, on centralized replay in the NBA: “In all seriousness, this is where professional sports are going. Let’s speed up the game. Let’s not waste time using an outdated system. We have the technology that will allow us to do this in twenty or thirty seconds” (“Lead Off,” CBSSN, 5/19). 

    SUCCESS IN THE AIR: ESPN's Bomani Jones said of the NYRA allowing California Chrome to wear his nasal strip for The Belmont, "Did you think for a second that they were going to let a nasal strip interfere with their money?" ("Highly Questionable," ESPN2, 5/19).

    HIGHS & LOWS: D-Backs Chief Baseball Officer Tony La Russa, on his new position: “I always appreciate the chance that the commissioner gave me to stay close to the game, but from day one, I missed the winning and losing, while I didn’t miss the managing” (“High Heat,” MLB Network, 5/19).   

    GREEN DAY: NFL Network's Heath Evans said of expanding the NFL playoffs, "It’s more money. It's better for the fans, more teams get in. Did I mention there's more money to be made?" ("NFL Total Access," NFL Network, 5/19).

  • Podcast: Lifetime award winner Dan Rooney

    Senior writer Bill King and Executive Editor Abraham Madkour talk about SBJ/SBD Lifetime Achievement Award winner Dan Rooney's many passions and what he has meant to the game of football.

    Tags: Football, SBJSBD Podcast, NFL, Pittsburgh Steelers
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