Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 21 No. 1

Reader Survey

The seventh annual SportsBusiness Journal/SportsBusiness Daily Reader Survey attracted more than 2,000 votes as readers gave their opinion on the key issues and key people that drive the industry.

Among the highlights:

■ The UFC continues to get some love, but readers aren’t ready to put both feet into the octagon. Only three other sports properties ranked higher when readers were asked which property is the most innovative, and only two outranked the UFC when readers were asked about properties with the most growth potential. Yet 55 percent of readers said they wouldn’t align their brand with the UFC.

■ When it comes to the marquee events in college sports, it isn’t even close. A whopping 84 percent of voters said they’d take March Madness over the BCS (13 percent). Perhaps some fallout from alumni of schools that were shunned in previous bowl seasons?

■ Did Comcast/NBC overpay for Olympic rights? You bet, said 62 percent of voters.

■ A total of 65 percent of readers said they think ESPN needs a strong competitor, and 43 percent said Comcast/NBC has the best chance of cutting into ESPN’s sports media dominance.

■ Social media continues to catch fire, with nearly 76 percent of readers saying they are active on Facebook (compared with 62 percent when the question was last asked in the 2009 survey), and 58 percent saying they are active on Twitter (compared with 42 percent in the 2010 survey).

■ Readers like a good scrap, as nearly 70 percent said that player fighting is a key part of the NHL game and shouldn’t be banned by the league.

■ If the NFL returns to the Los Angeles market, where will the stadium be? An overwhelming majority of voters, nearly 78 percent, gave the nod to Farmers Field at L.A. Live. Fewer than 10 percent said City of Industry.

Once again, Turnkey Sports & Entertainment provided technical support for the survey, which was conducted online

over three weeks starting Oct. 3. Readers accessed the survey via the websites of SportsBusiness Journal and sister publication SportsBusiness Daily.

The highlights in the pages that follow show only the top vote-getters in each of the categories.

About YOU and the industry
Teams and leagues
Labor and agents
Best of the Rest

Super Bowl you’d most want to attend

New Orleans (2013) 45.3%
New York (2014) 43.9%
Indianapolis (2012) 10.9%

Respondents: 2,120

Most influential person in sports business

Roger Goodell 32.7%
George Bodenheimer 17.3%
Tim Leiweke 6.0%
Bud Selig 5.7%

Respondents: 2,181

Most powerful brand in sports

ESPN 31.3%
Nike 25.1%
New York Yankees 16.2%
Manchester United 6.2%

Respondents: 2,181

Biggest sports business story of the year

NFL owners and players reach a new labor deal 39.6%
Los Angeles Dodgers fall into bankruptcy 9.9%
College rights fees soar, with Pac-12
and Big 12 latest to get major increases
NBC bets big to keep Olympic rights 7.2%

Respondents: 2,152

Biggest threat to sports

Rising ticket prices 22.9%
Disconnect with fan base 19.4%
Inflated athlete salaries 18.3%
Improvements to the in-home
viewing experience hurting attendance

Respondents: 2,147


Are you active on social media?

Facebook 75.6%
Twitter 58.3%
LinkedIn 57.8%
YouTube 35.2%
FourSquare 9.2%
Blogger 8.1%
Tumblr 3.0%
No 11.5%

Respondents: 2,152

Feeling about the state of the sports business over the next five years

Very optimistic 34.4%
Somewhat optimistic 47.4%
Neither optimistic nor pessimistic 10.8%
Somewhat pessimistic 6.5%
Very pessimistic 0.5%
No opinion 0.6%

Respondents: 2,156

Most marketable athlete

Tom Brady 20.6%
Peyton Manning 15.0%
Derek Jeter 13.8%
Aaron Rodgers 9.7%
LeBron James 8.1%

Respondents: 2,181

Best sports event to attend

Super Bowl 19.9%
FIFA World Cup 13.1%
NCAA Final Four 10.1%
Stanley Cup Final 8.5%
Summer Olympics 8.5%
World Series 8.0%
Masters 7.0%

Respondents: 2,181

Best MLB ballpark

Fenway Park (Boston Red Sox) 13.1%
AT&T Park (San Francisco Giants) 12.6%
Yankee Stadium (New York Yankees) 11.5%
Citizens Bank Park (Philadelphia Phillies) 10.2%

Respondents: 1,148

Best NFL stadium

Cowboys Stadium (Dallas Cowboys) 28.4%
Lambeau Field (Green Bay Packers) 14.3%
MetLife Stadium (New York Giants and Jets) 7.6%
University of Phoenix Stadium (Arizona Cardinals) 6.6%

Respondents: 1,148

Best NHL arena

Madison Square Garden (New York Rangers) 11.5%
Consol Energy Center (Pittsburgh Penguins) 9.2%
Wells Fargo Center (Philadelphia Flyers) 8.4%

Respondents: 1,148

Best motorsports venue

Daytona International Speedway 19.7%
Indianapolis Motor Speedway 18.6%
Bristol Motor Speedway (Bristol, Tenn.) 6.1%

Respondents: 1,148


Best NBA arena

Madison Square Garden
(New York Knicks)
Staples Center
(Los Angeles Clippers
and Lakers)
Amway Center
(Orlando Magic)
Wells Fargo Center
(Philadelphia 76ers)

Respondents: 1,148

Best soccer-specific stadium

Red Bull Arena (New York Red Bulls) 23.1%
Livestrong Sporting Park (Sporting Kansas City) 15.9%
Home Depot Center (Los Angeles Galaxy; Chivas USA) 13.9%
PPL Park (Philadelphia Union) 9.5%

Respondents: 1,148

Naming-rights deals that will be the most effective for both the brand and the property

MetLife Stadium, Meadowlands, N.J. 32.7%
Barclays Center, Brooklyn, N.Y. 24.0%
Farmers Field, Los Angeles 23.9%

Respondents: 1,036

Facility in the greatest need of being renovated or replaced

Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum (New York Islanders) 21.4%
Tropicana Field (Tampa Bay Rays) 12.5%
Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome (Minnesota Vikings) 12.5%
Candlestick Park (San Francisco 49ers) 11.3%

Respondents: 1,148

Favorite TV play-by-play personality

Bob Costas 29.7%
Al Michaels 23.7%
Jim Nantz 20.6%
Gus Johnson 20.1%
Joe Buck 17.5%

Note: Respondents could make up to three selections
Respondents: 1,106

Event that is produced the best on television

Super Bowl 35.1%
Masters 24.0%
Final Four 18.5%

Respondents: 1,156

Favorite major league website 29.3% 19.2% 11.9% 7.6% 7.5%

Respondents: 1,218

League/property with the best overall digital strategy

MLB 31.2%
NFL 24.2%
NHL 10.6%
NBA 10.1%
MLS 5.0%

Respondents: 1,218

Favorite sports-related mobile app

ESPN ScoreCenter 24.1% At Bat 17.7%
March Madness on Demand 9.3%
NHL GameCenter 5.8%
NFL Mobile 5.3%

Respondents: 1,218

Favorite independent sports website

Yahoo! Sports 32.1%
Deadspin 16.4%
Bleacher Report 11.3%
USA Today Sports 10.5%

Respondents: 1,102

Media group that has the best chance to cut into ESPN’s sports media dominance

NBC 42.9%
Fox 18.9%
Nobody 15.3%

Respondents: 1,149


Favorite TV game analyst

Cris Collinsworth 25.0%
Kirk Herbstreit 22.2%
Troy Aikman 18.5%
Jon Gruden 15.9%
Jay Bilas 13.6%
John McEnroe 13.1%

Note: Respondents could make up to three selections
Respondents: 1,100

Favorite sport-specific studio show

College GameDay (ESPN, football) 36.3%
Baseball Tonight (ESPN) 23.8%
MLB Tonight (MLB Network) 14.4%
Football Night in America (NBC) 11.9%
Fox NFL Sunday (Fox) 11.9%
Inside the NBA (TNT) 10.3%

Note: Respondents could make up to three selections
Respondents: 1,122

Favorite network-affiliated sports website 72.4% 10.9% 6.4%
Turner-SI digital 5.5% 4.0%

Respondents: 1,133

Network that does the best job covering the NFL

ESPN 35.9%
Fox 25.5%
CBS 15.2%
NBC 11.7%
NFL Network 11.7%

Respondents: 1,119

Does ESPN need a strong competitor?

Yes 65.1%
No 26.4%
No opinion 8.5%

Respondents: 1,149

Sports network that consistently has the highest production values

ESPN 35.3%
NBC 17.5%
They are basically the same 16.8%
CBS 11.4%
Fox 10.7%

Respondents: 1,130

If you were a brand, would you sign quarterback Michael Vick as an endorser?

No 70.0%
Yes 24.5%
No opinion 5.5%

Respondents: 1,160

Property a corporate sponsor would most want to identify with

NFL 68.7%
MLB 12.2%
MLS 5.0%
NHL 4.7%
NBA 2.3%

Respondents: 1,171

Corporate sponsor you would most want aligned with your property

Nike 20.5%
Apple 13.5%
Coca-Cola 12.1%
Anheuser-Busch 5.0%

Respondents: 1,192


If you were a chief marketing officer, would you align your brand with the UFC?

No, sport isn't a fit 55.4%
Yes, hits perfect demo 28.3%
No opinion 16.2%

Respondents: 1,158

How will sports sponsorship spending change over the next five years?

Increase dramatically 15.8%
Increase slightly 56.4%
Remain the same 15.5%
Decrease slightly 8.1%
Decrease dramatically 2.0%

Respondents: 1,162

Most effective NFL team owner

Robert Kraft (New England Patriots) 43.0%
Jerry Jones (Dallas Cowboys 13.7%
Publicly owned, nonprofit corp. (Green Bay Packers) 12.7%
Art Rooney (Pittsburgh Steelers) 7.9%

Respondents: 1,250

Least effective NFL team owner

Mike Brown (Cincinnati Bengals) 21.0%
Al Davis estate (Oakland Raiders) 15.5%
Daniel Snyder (Washington Redskins) 8.2%
Wayne Weaver (Jacksonville Jaguars) 8.1%

Respondents: 1,250

When Nike gets the NFL’s uniform contract next year, would you say that is ...

A good thing. They'll breathe new live into the looks of the uniforms. 43.4%
A neutral event. You’ll see little change with uniforms. 35.5%
A bad thing. They’ll go too far in uniform design and harm traditions. 19.4%

Respondents: 1,222

Sponsor that does the best job activating around the NFL

Anheuser-Busch 28.9%
Verizon 12.3%
Papa John’s 11.9%

Respondents: 1,172


Team most likely to relocate to the Los Angeles market

Jacksonville Jaguars 48.8%
San Diego Chargers 24.4%
Expansion franchise 11.8%

Respondents: 1,199

If the NFL returns to the Los Angeles market, the local team’s stadium will be located in ...

Farmers Field (L.A. Live)/AEG 77.8%
City of Industry (Grand Crossing)/Edward Roski 9.4%
Neither 12.8%

Respondents: 1,184

NFL team that has shown the most innovation in its business practices

Dallas Cowboys 26.1%
New England Patriots 11.4%
Green Bay Packers 9.3%

Respondents: 1,250

Biggest threat to the success of the NFL

Rising ticket prices 34.5%
Improved technology for at-home viewing 29.0%
Concussions 17.5%
In-stadium fan behavior 11.9%
Other 7.0%

Respondents: 1,226

Most effective MLB team owner

Hal Steinbrenner (New York Yankees) 21.9%
Bill Giles/David Montgomery (Philadelphia Phillies) 14.5%
John Henry/Tom Werner (Boston Red Sox) 14.5%
Nolan Ryan (Texas Rangers) 12.8%

Respondents: 1,346

Will Bud Selig sign an extension to remain MLB commissioner beyond 2012?

Yes 52.1%
No 34.8%
No opinion 13.1%

Respondents: 1,320

Will Frank McCourt own the Los Angeles Dodgers this time next year?

No 81.2%
Yes 10.8%
No opinion 8.0%

Note: Since the close of the Reader Survey, Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt has agreed to a court-supervised sale of the franchise.
Respondents: 1,311

Most troubled MLB franchise

Los Angeles Dodgers 63.0%
New York Mets 15.0%
Tampa Bay Rays 11.9%
Oakland A’s 8.2%

Respondents: 1,317


Least effective MLB team owner

Frank McCourt (Los Angeles Dodgers) 32.5%
Fred Wilpon (New York Mets) 9.8%
Peter Angelos (Baltimore Orioles) 9.3%
Bob Nutting (Pittsburgh Pirates) 6.5%

Respondents: 1,346

MLB team that has shown the most innovation in its business practices

Boston Red Sox 14.6%
New York Yankees 13.3%
San Francisco Giants 10.1%
Philadelphia Phillies 7.9%

Respondents: 1,346

Sponsor that does the best job activating around MLB

Anheuser-Busch 34.7%
MasterCard 12.9%
Chevrolet 8.9%
State Farm 8.8%
Bank of America 8.5%

Respondents: 1,289

Most effective NBA team owner

Mark Cuban (Dallas Mavericks) 44.1%
Jerry Buss (Los Angeles Lakers) 20.1%
Peter Holt (San Antonio Spurs) 4.8%
Micky Arison (Miami Heat) 4.7%

Respondents: 1,203

NBA team that has shown the most innovation in its business practices

Dallas Mavericks 23.5%
Miami Heat 8.3%
Los Angeles Lakers 7.3%
Oklahoma City Thunder 7.1%

Respondents: 1,203

What the next five years hold for the Sacramento Kings and the New Orleans Hornets

Both teams will relocate 32.2%
The Kings will relocate 29.9%
Both teams will stay put 18.1%
The Hornets will relocate 11.1%

Respondents: 1,175

Sponsor that does the best job activating around the NBA

Nike 23.7%
Kia Motors 21.6%
Coca-Cola (Sprite, Minute Maid, Dasani) 13.4%
PepsiCo (Gatorade) 12.0%

Respondents: 1,203


Least effective NBA team owner

Donald Sterling (Los Angeles Clippers) 22.9%
James Dolan (New York Knicks) 16.4%
Maple Leaf Sports + Entertainment (Toronto Raptors) 6.0%
Dan Gilbert (Cleveland Cavaliers) 5.7%
Gavin and Joe Maloof (Sacramento Kings) 5.7%

Respondents: 1,203

The NBA’s 2011-12 season will

Start on time 2.9%
Start at the New Year 44.4%
Start in late February 18.4%
Be canceled 30.8%

Note: Survey was taken prior to the original start date of the 2011-12 NBA season
Respondents: 1,186

Feelings about the Miami Heat

Could never root
for the Big 3
Neutral 31.8%
Heat’s Big 3 — best
thing for the NBA

Respondents: 1,183

Most effective NHL team owner

Mike Ilitch (Detroit Red Wings) 17.8%
Mario Lemieux/Ron Burkle (Pittsburgh Penguins) 13.6%
Comcast (Philadelphia Flyers) 9.1%
Ted Leonsis (Washington Capitals) 8.8%
Rocky Wirtz (Chicago Blackhawks) 8.1%

Respondents: 1,088

NHL team that has shown the most innovation in its business practices

Chicago Blackhawks 8.8%
Pittsburgh Penguins 8.6%
Washington Capitals 8.6%
Philadelphia Flyers 7.8%

Respondents: 1,088

Sponsor that does the best job activating around the NHL

MillerCoors/Molson Beer 17.3%
Bridgestone 13.4%
Geico 9.5%
Tim Hortons 8.7%
Verizon Wireless 6.4%

Respondents: 1,088

The NHL should ban player fighting

No, key part of the game 69.7%
Yes, time has come 23.3%
No opinion 7.0%

Respondents: 1,041

Event you’d rather see

Stanley Cup Final 68.0%
Winter Classic 29.8%
NHL All-Star Game 1.7%

Respondents: 1,046


Least effective NHL team owner

NHL (Phoenix Coyotes) 16.3%
Charles Wang (New York Islanders) 15.4%
James Dolan (New York Rangers) 10.2%
Tom Hicks (Dallas Stars)* 7.1%
Alan Cohen (Florida Panthers) 6.8%

*Since the close of the survey, Tom Gaglardi has become owner of the Stars.
Respondents: 1,088

What the next five years hold for the New York Islanders

Team will still be looking for a deal for a new arena 35.9%
Team will land a deal for a new arena 34.9%
Team will relocate 24.9%

Respondents: 1,009

In five years, the Winnipeg Jets will be

A successful team on and off the ice 53.5%
Struggling with ticket and corporate sales 33.7%
Not in Winnipeg 5.9%

Respondents: 1,000

What the next five years hold for the Phoenix Coyotes

Team will be sold; new buyer will relocate the team 66.4%
Team will be sold; new buyer will keep the team in Arizona 22.6%
Team will fold 7.2%

Respondents: 1,009

Biggest challenge facing NASCAR in the year ahead

TV ratings 28.9%
Attendance 23.1%
Mainstream appeal of drivers 18.1%
Rising cost of sponsorships 11.9%

Respondents: 830

Grade Brian France’s performance as chairman and CEO of NASCAR

A 7.1%
B 46.5%
C 36.8%
D 6.8%
F 2.8%

Respondents: 1,036

Property best positioned for growth

IZOD IndyCar Series 40.7%
AMA Supercross/Motocross 29.1%
NHRA 15.3%
American Le Mans 12.5%

Respondents: 752


Sponsor that does the best job activating around NASCAR 12.8%
Sprint Nextel 11.8%
Anheuser-Busch (Budweiser) 9.0%
Lowe’s 8.1%

Respondents: 892

Biggest challenge facing the IZOD IndyCar Series in the year ahead

TV ratings 33.6%
Marketing its drivers 31.2%
Attendance 19.6%

Respondents: 756

Grade Randy Bernard’s performance as CEO of the IZOD IndyCar Series

A 5.0%
B 35.0%
C 45.1%
D 10.5%
F 4.5%

Respondents: 737

Property/organization most likely to fold within the next five years

UFL 19.8%
WNBA 18.7%
WPS 12.2%

Respondents: 1,481

Most innovative property

NFL 25.9%
MLB 12.6%
NHL 12.5%
UFC 10.9%
MLS 9.0%
NBA 7.8%

Respondents: 1,481

Sports organization you would most want to work for

NFL 28.9%
MLB 18.7%
NHL 9.2%
MLS 7.1%

Respondents: 1,481


Properties/organizations with the most potential for growth

MLS 25.4%
NHL 14.5%
UFC 14.2%

Respondents: 1,481

League with the most competitive balance

NFL 57.6%
NHL 17.5%
MLB 12.7%
MLS 9.3%
NBA 3.0%

Respondents: 1,455

League that will be the first to place a franchise overseas

NBA 43.9%
NFL 18.8%
NHL 15.5%
MLS 15.4%
MLB 6.4%

Respondents: 1,455

Grade the NCAA’s effectiveness in dealing with rules enforcement

A 2.9%
B 15.6%
C 26.6%
D 26.8%
F 28.1%

Respondents: 1,104

Company/brand that has done the best job aligning with college sports through corporate sponsorship

Nike 18.6%
Allstate 15.1%
Under Armour 10.6%
Capital One 10.4%
Home Depot 9.6%

Respondents: 1,123

March Madness or BCS?

March Madness 84.4%
BCS 13.3%
No opinion 2.3%

Respondents: 1,098


Biggest challenge facing NCAA President Mark Emmert

Conference realignment 27.6%
Commercialization of student athletes 24.5%
Rules enforcement 20.6%

Respondents: 1,090

Most effective conference commissioner

Larry Scott, Pac-12 30.1%
Mike Slive, SEC 29.2%
Jim Delany, Big Ten 23.8%
John Swofford, ACC 10.7%
John Marinatto, Big East 4.5%
Chuck Neinas (interim), Big 12 1.8%

Respondents: 1,060

Will there be some form of football playoff, or plus-one format, after the next television deal expires?

Yes 63.2%
No 31.9%
No opinion 4.9%

Respondents: 1,095

Agent you’d want to negotiate your next contract

Scott Boras 35.8%
Drew Rosenhaus 10.2%
Arn Tellem 8.4%
Tom Condon 7.4%

Respondents: 1,035

Strongest player union

MLBPA 53.9%
NFLPA 34.9%
NBPA 6.6%
NHLPA 4.7%

Respondents: 990


Big winner in the NFL’s new labor deal

Owners 30/9%
Players 8.4%
Draw 60.7%

Respondents: 1,000

You typically side with which side during labor negotiations

Ownership 36.6%
Players 21.8%
Neutral 36.2%
No opinion 5.5%

Respondents: 1,007

Golf tour best positioned for growth

PGA Tour 48.6%
European Tour 20.3%
LPGA 12.9%
Champions Tour 9.3%
Asian Tour 8.9%

Respondents: 1,024

Most progressive tennis property

ATP 29.3%
USTA 24.4%
WTA 10.1%

Respondents: 1,036

Biggest challenge facing professional tennis

Creating more interest outside the Grand Slams 45.5%
Developing more widely known stars 37.9%
Television ratings 9.7%
International growth 2.0%
Sponsorship sales 1.6%

Respondents: 1,055

The biggest benefit of MTV’s sale of Alli Sports, the organization behind the Dew Tour, to Comcast NBC will be

More programming of the tour as it begins to be shown on Comcast-owned Versus and regional sports networks 46.0%
More focus and strategic direction for the tour 20.5%
Improved website and digital content for the tour 6.1%

Respondents: 999

Grade the leadership of Chairman Larry Probst and CEO Scott Blackmun at the USOC

A 10.2%
B 42.1%
C 35.5%
D 8.7%
F 3.5%

Respondents: 998


Biggest challenge facing professional golf

Tiger Woods not returning to winning form 41.7%
Developing young stars 27.7%
TV ratings 12.4%
Convincing top players to enter more tournaments 11.7%
Managing international growth 4.7%

Respondents: 1,071

If you represented a brand, which of the following global properties would you most want to be associated with?

FIFA World Cup 52.3%
Summer Olympics 36.1%
Winter Olympics 11.6%

Respondents: 1,080

Will have the biggest impact on the growth of the X Games brand

Creating a bid process to host international X Games 48.7%
The availability of X Games content on ESPN3 and WatchESPN 34.7%
Travis Pastrana’s planned move to NASCAR 16.6%

Respondents: 818

In paying $4.38 billion for Olympic rights, Comcast

Overpaid 62.2%
Got a fair deal 32.7%
Got a bargain 5.1%

Respondents: 1,061

Growth potential for action sports

Still has room for growth 56.3%
Has already peaked 31.7%
On the decline 7.8%

Respondents: 1,068