Saying Hello To New Sports Business Additions, Waving Goodbye To What Is Leaving
Every year sees the creation of new concepts and new people step into the spotlight, while others bid a bon voyage. This year certainly was no exception.
Johnson (r) was instrumental in landing Ranadive
to spearhead the Kings' ownership group
Entering the summer, the NBA Kings and Coyotes both faced the possibility of starting their ’13-14 seasons in different locales with their ownership statuses up in the air. But a pair of new groups quickly put those scenarios to rest. Newly formed IceArizona comes to the rescue at the last minute to keep the Coyotes in Glendale, while Sacramento Mayor Kevin’s Johnson’s efforts to land new owner Vivek Ranadive to keep the Kings in town will not soon be forgotten. The Coyotes negotiate a 15-year deal for Jobing.com Arena, while the Kings are planning a new $448M downtown arena.
* The Yankees partner with EPL club Manchester City to form NYC FC, an MLS expansion team scheduled to debut in ‘15.
* KISS rocks the AFL by signing up to bring a pro football franchise back to L.A. beginning in the ’14 season.
* Jay Z jumps into the sports representation business and helps guide Robinson Cano to a 10-year, $240M deal with the Mariners.
* Sloane Stephens, behind her improbable run to the Australian Open semis, leads a new generation of American female tennis players.
Billy Hunter was unanimously voted out as Exec Dir
after accusations of nepotism
Billy Hunter’s tenure with the NBPA comes to an inglorious end in February with a unanimous, 24-0 players’ vote to oust him from his Exec Dir role. Led by LeBron James and Jerry Stackhouse, Hunter is accused of putting his own interests above those of the players. Hunter denies the allegations and vows to fight for the $10.5M he is still owed on his contract. He later sues the NBPA and President Derek Fisher in May, citing defamation and breach of contract.
* Fallout from Lance Armstrong’s confession leads Sporting KC to part ways with Livestrong as its Sporting Park naming-rights partner.
* After Phil Anschutz decides to pull AEG off the market, Tim Leiweke leaves the company where he had been President & CEO since ’96.
* Dan Dierdorf announces this will be his last year in the booth after a stellar broadcasting career at CBS and ABC.
* Just 3 ½ years after its launch, ESPN shutters its 3D network due to limited viewer adoption.