Timeline: How 2013 unfolded
■ NASCAR unveils a new website that emphasizes a cleaner, simpler design and full-screen imagery. The site’s debut comes a year after the sanctioning body agreed to buy its digital rights back from Turner.
■ NHL players and team owners agree to a tentative labor deal that calls for a 48-game season to begin Jan. 19.
■ IMG acquires New York-based Catalyst Public Relations, adding domestic client PR capabilities for the first time, along with social, digital and content development expertise.
■ The Los Angeles Dodgers unveil approximately $100 million worth of renovations to Dodger Stadium, including two new hexagonal video boards, wireless upgrades, wider concourses and new clubhouses.
■ T-Mobile signs a major three-year sponsorship with MLB, giving baseball its first league-level telecommunications sponsorship deal in nearly 15 years. Sources say the deal is worth about $125 million.
■ MLB and the MLBPA announce a series of changes to their joint drug agreement, implementing random, in-season blood testing for HGH beginning this year as well as new protocols to test for heightened testosterone.
■ Nike unveils a new TV spot featuring golfers Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods after the announcement that McIlroy had signed a multiyear sponsorship deal with the company.
■ Akron-based FirstEnergy Corp. purchases the naming rights to Cleveland Browns Stadium, marking the first time a corporate name would be on the stadium.
■ After 15 years of defiant denials, Lance Armstrong tells Oprah Winfrey that he had used performance-enhancing drugs during all seven of his Tour de France victories.
■ Daytona International Speedway shares the first images of the racetrack’s $400 million renovation plan, illustrating a sweeping redesign that would convert the simple, 50-year-old facility into an NFL-style stadium with grand entrances, wide concourses and improved amenities.
■ The New Orleans Hornets officially announce that the team’s name will switch to the New Orleans Pelicans beginning with the 2013-14 season.
■ Legends Chairman and CEO Dave Checketts announces that he has sold his interest in Real Salt Lake to the Major League Soccer team’s minority owner, Dell Loy Hansen.
■ Time Warner Cable’s $8 billion, 25-year deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers becomes official. The deal will lead to the creation of a sixth regional sports network for the Los Angeles market.
■ The NFLPA is funding a 10-year, $100 million research project at Harvard Medical School to reduce the impact of on-the-field injuries and improve the long-term health of players.
■ The Mercedes-Benz Superdome suffers a 30-minute blackout during the Super Bowl, in which the Baltimore Ravens defeat the San Francisco 49ers 34-31.
■ The WTA Tour is set to finalize a three-year, multimillion-dollar sponsorship with Xerox, a deal that will be the circuit’s most significant such pact since Sony Ericsson departed as lead backer in 2012.
■ Vans signs a three-year deal to replace Nike as the title sponsor of the U.S. Open of Surfing.
■ The St. Louis Cardinals break ground on a long-awaited but scaled-down Ballpark Village near Busch Stadium. The $100 million first phase calls for 100,000 square feet of retail, restaurant and entertainment outlets to open by spring 2014.
■ The University of Texas athletic department records $103.8 million in football income in 2011-12, the first time a college has reported $100 million in revenue from one sport.
■ NBPA player reps vote unanimously to terminate the contract of Executive Director Billy Hunter following a report that he placed his interests above those of players.
■ Two years after the PGA of America and the European Tour jointly announced their drive to find global Ryder Cup sponsors, Standard Life Investments of Scotland becomes the first company to acquire Ryder Cup rights on both sides of the Atlantic.
■ The seven schools referred to as the Catholic 7 will start their own league next season and will keep the Big East Conference name, with Xavier and Butler joining as members.
■ Ticket reseller StubHub signs a six-year naming-rights deal with AEG for the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. StubHub also gets marketing rights to the Los Angeles Galaxy, marking the company’s first partnership with an MLS team.
■ Fox formally announces plans to convert Speed into its new Fox Sports 1 cable network. The company says the channel will debut on Aug. 17.
■ GE, the NFL and Under Armour jointly unveil plans for $60 million of research into concussion prevention and diagnostic research called the Head Health Initiative.
■ AEG announces that the company is being taken off the market by Chairman Phil Anschutz after seeking a buyer for months, and is parting ways with longtime President and CEO Tim Leiweke.
■ The Seattle Mariners unveil their new scoreboard at Safeco Field, which contains the largest video screen in MLB.
■ The WNBA signs a six-year extension with ESPN that is separate from the network’s NBA deal. Sources said the deal is worth $12 million per year, which amounts to about $1 million per WNBA team, and runs through the 2022 season.
■ Entertainer Jay-Z announces he is opening his own sports agency, Roc Nation Sports, and signing New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano.
■ The former Big East Conference announces it will adopt the name of the American Athletic Conference.
■ The Pac-12 will be the first major conference to create a network from its official school websites. The conference’s multimedia arm, Pac-12 Enterprises, has selected NeuLion to make the unified digital platform for all 12 of its member schools.
■ The annual NASCAR pit crew competition, a staple of Sprint Cup All-Star weekend activities the past eight years in Charlotte, is canceled because of a lack of sponsorship.
■ NBC announces it will offer live digital streams of all its marquee sports events, including action on its NBC Sports Network cable channel and Golf Channel.
■ A pair of bombs tear through the crowd at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three people and injuring more than 200 others.
■ The Seattle Mariners announce that the club has purchased a controlling stake in a new regional television sports network to be run with DirecTV that will carry their games through the 2030 season.
■ Notre Dame and NBC Sports announce a renewal of their football media rights deal for 10 more years through 2025.
■ Tennis player Maria Sharapova signs a three-year deal with Porsche to become the automaker’s first global endorser.
■ The ACC’s 15 current and future member institutions announce that they have agreed to a grant of media rights, which allows the conference to retain a school’s television rights if it leaves the league. The defensive move is intended to discourage member schools from moving to other conferences.
■ The Ivy League announces plans to launch its own digital network in August, with NeuLion handling the video platform for the eight school channels plus a conference channel.
■ The Texas A&M Board of Regents approves a $450 million renovation plan for Kyle Field that will increase the stadium’s capacity to 102,500, making it the biggest stadium in the SEC.
■ The NCAA football rules committee announces the ban of all URLs and hashtags from the field for 2013, as they represent an advertisement. The only ads allowed on the field are for the NCAA, the conference, the bowl game or the home team.
■ CBS Sports and Turner Sports announce that the Final Four will be moving to cable television for the first time next year. TBS will broadcast both national semifinal games in 2014 and 2015 with CBS covering the national championship games.
■ The San Francisco 49ers announce that they have signed a naming-rights deal with Levi Strauss for the team’s new $1.2 billion stadium under construction in Santa Clara. Levi Strauss will pay $220 million over 20 years, and the venue will be called Levi’s Stadium.
■ Betfair Hollywood Park tells the California Horse Racing Board it won’t seek 2014 racing dates and will close at the end of the year. The track opened in 1938.
■ For the first time in more than four decades, the U.S. Open tennis tournament semifinals and finals will be moving to a new TV home. ESPN is close to a deal to obtain all rights to the tournament beginning in 2015. CBS has broadcast the tournament every year since 1968.
■ A Sacramento-based group led by Vivek Ranadivé reaches a deal with the Maloof family to buy a controlling stake in the NBA Kings. The deal would set the team’s overall value at an NBA-record $535 million.
■ MLS announces that New York City FC, a partnership between English Premier League club Manchester City and the New York Yankees, will begin play in 2015 as the league’s 20th team.
■ Microsoft and the NFL unveil a major partnership, pegged by sources at about $400 million over five years. The pact includes sideline rights allowing coaches to use Surface tablets for communications, play calling and photo viewing.
■ Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan announces that the franchise has applied to the NBA for a name change to the Hornets.
■ Excel Sports Management agent Mark Steinberg says that client Tiger Woods is close to signing a new deal with his longtime equipment and apparel sponsor Nike that will keep him as golf’s top-paid endorser.
■ Verizon is close to taking the lid off a four-year, $1 billion extension of its NFL rights. The new deal, which starts in 2014, will allow Verizon to stream every NFL regular-season and playoff game to mobile phones.
■ NBA teams are getting two new areas inside their arenas as sources of revenue starting next season: on the court in front of team benches and atop the backboards.
■ The Philadelphia Eagles plan $125 million in privately financed renovations to Lincoln Financial Field over the next two years, including a seating expansion, two new high-definition video boards, and Wi-Fi installation.
■ The Los Angeles Dodgers have a tentative agreement with MLB in which they would retain more than $6 billion out of their 25-year rights deal with Time Warner Cable.
■ The Detroit Downtown Development Authority approves a plan offered by Red Wings owner the Ilitch family for a $650 million multipurpose arena and entertainment district within walking distance of Ford Field and Comerica Park.
■ SAP and Sharks Sports & Entertainment formally unveil the newly named SAP Center at San Jose, a five-year deal valued at $3.35 million annually.
■ The University of Minnesota unveils a $190 million athletic facilities master plan, which will affect every university sport.
■ Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan buys English Premier League club Fulham FC, in a deal sources valued between $226 million and $301 million.
■ ESPN names Austin its X Games host city from 2014-17. The event will be held at the city’s new 1,500-acre Circuit of the Americas.
■ ING officially informs the New York Road Runners that it is leaving as title sponsor of the New York City Marathon, ending a 10-year run.
■ Sources say that NBC will pay $4.4 billion over 10 years for rights to ESPN’s entire NASCAR Sprint Cup package, plus half of Turner’s six races.
■ D.C. United and city officials reach a preliminary $300 million deal to build a 20,000- to 25,000-seat stadium for the MLS franchise. The venue is expected to be built in time for the 2016 season.
■ Cowboys Stadium will be known as AT&T Stadium under a multimillion-dollar naming-rights deal. Sources estimate the value of the deal at up to $18 million a year.
■ The San Francisco Giants outline plans to construct an edible garden at AT&T Park. Giants Garden will be the first such facility at any professional sports venue in the United States.
■ Churchill Downs says that new grandstand seating near the Kentucky Derby starting gate will add 2,400 seats as part of a $14.5 million renovation project.
■ Fox Sports and NASCAR have closed a new $3.8 billion television rights agreement that adds three Sprint Cup races, 14 Nationwide Series races and two years to the deal the broadcaster cut with NASCAR last year.
■ MLB suspends 13 players for their ties to the Biogenesis clinic, the biggest single-day drug action in the sport’s history.
■ The U.S. Golf Association and Fox Sports announce a 12-year deal that will see Fox and Fox Sports 1 air the U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open and U.S. Senior Open Championship, as well as the USGA’s national amateur championship and other live content, beginning in 2015. Sources say the deal, which runs through 2026, is worth about $100 million a year.
■ NCAA President Mark Emmert says the organization will stop selling player and school-related memorabilia and apparel on its ShopNCAASports.com website. The site had come under fire for, among other things, selling jerseys identified by individual players.
■ The Dallas Cowboys and the city of Frisco approve a $115 million deal that will finance a new indoor training facility and corporate headquarters for the team.
■ The Portland Trail Blazers announce that regional health insurance provider Moda Health has signed a 10-year naming-rights agreement to rename the Rose Garden as the Moda Center. Sources value the deal at $40 million.
■ IMG has been hired to run the nascent licensing agency for NFL retirees created by the preliminary settlement of a 4-year-old lawsuit brought by former players against NFL Films.
■ New Jersey Devils owner Jeff Vanderbeek sells the team and Prudential Center to Philadelphia 76ers owners Josh Harris and David Blitzer. The deal is valued at more than $320 million.
■ U.S. Tennis Association officials unveil $550 million worth of planned improvements to the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, a project that will eventually yield two new stadiums, up to three covered courts and a retractable roof over Arthur Ashe Stadium.
■ Fox Sports 1 officially launches and averages 1.78 million viewers for its first prime-time telecast, “UFC Fight Night.”
■ Castrol announces that it will end its sponsorship of John Force Racing after next season, closing out three decades of support.
■ In a surprise move, Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul is elected player president of the NBPA.
■ The NFL reaches a proposed settlement of $765 million with the more than 4,500 retired players who sued the league over the dangers of head trauma.
■ Tokyo is awarded the 2020 Summer Olympics during the 125th IOC Session in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
■ NASCAR levies the biggest penalty in its history and alters the makeup of its playoff field following a controversy over alleged race manipulation at Richmond International Raceway. NASCAR later unveils a new set of rules aimed at preventing a similar controversy in the future.
■ German lawyer and former Olympic fencer Thomas Bach wins a six-candidate race to succeed Jacques Rogge as IOC president.
■ MLS club FC Dallas announces a long-term stadium naming-rights deal with Toyota.
■ Nationwide Insurance will exit as title sponsor of NASCAR’s secondary series after the 2014 season, but the company plans to increase its spending in the sport by sponsoring a Sprint Cup team, buying media, cutting track deals and maintaining its position as NASCAR’s official insurer.
■ Texas Motor Speedway announces plans to build a 124-foot-tall by 218-foot-wide Panasonic video board that will be nicknamed “Big Hoss TV.”
■ MLB Commissioner Bud Selig formally declares his plans to retire when his current contract ends on Jan. 24, 2015. Selig’s planned retirement will end his tenure as commissioner after more than 22 years.
■ The NFL and Twitter have struck a deal for the league to be part of Amplify, Twitter’s emerging advertising platform. The NFL will embed highlights, news, fantasy content and other video material within the microblogging site, with individual clips preceded by short ads.
■ IT services and consulting giant Tata Consultancy Services sign an eight-year deal to be the new title sponsor of the New York City Marathon. Sources valued the deal at around $100 million.
■ ESPN announces that it is shuttering its Global X Games property after one year and concentrating instead on its Winter and Summer X events in the U.S.
■ NBC reaches a long-term deal with the PGA of America that will see the Ryder Cup stay on the network through 2030.
■ The Indiana Pacers broker a deal with the Indiana Economic Development Corp., becoming the first NBA team to sell courtside ads emblazoned on the hardwood.
■ Bristol Motor Speedway announces plans to play host to a Virginia Tech-Tennessee college football game in 2016. With seating at the track for 160,000, the game has the potential to set the NCAA record for highest single-game attendance.
■ London-based Chime Communications announces a $76 million acquisition of Just Marketing International, the Indianapolis-based motorsports marketing agency.
■ EA Sports says it is parting ways with Tiger Woods for its golf video game, ending one of the gaming industry’s most prominent athlete endorsements after more than 15 years.
■ The Orlando City Council agrees to sell the Orlando police station and a public garage to the Magic, clearing the way for the development of an entertainment complex that could cost as much as $200 million.
■ The NBA is partnering with the Disney Institute to create a leaguewide customer service program to improve the fan experience at NBA arenas.
■ AEG and MGM Resorts International unveil renderings of their $350 million, 20,000-seat venue planned for the Las Vegas strip.
■ The University of Texas announces it will hire Arizona State Athletic Director Steve Patterson to replace current men’s AD DeLoss Dodds, who is retiring after 32 years.
■ The San Diego Padres announce that Petco Park will play host to a Davis Cup match next year. It will mark the first time a Davis Cup event will be played in an open-air baseball stadium in the United States.
■ The Atlanta Braves announce that they will not extend their lease at Turner Field after 2016 and instead will move to Cobb County, Ga., where they will build a new stadium as part of an integrated mixed-use development.
■ The Cleveland Browns announce a two-year plan to deliver $120 million in upgrades to FirstEnergy Stadium including a new scoreboard, audio equipment and physical changes that will allow fans to move about more freely.
■ Turner Sports and CBS announce that they will produce three different telecasts for each of the two NCAA men’s basketball national semifinal games, each with its own set of announcers.
■ The NFL has been forced to adjust how it handles its Super Bowl volunteer program as a result of a class-action lawsuit brought against MLB in July for not paying volunteers at the All-Star FanFest at the Javits Center. As a result of the lawsuit against MLB, which has not been settled, the NFL for Super Bowl XLVIII has elected to hire and pay its own 1,500 workers to help out at events.
■ MLS officially names Orlando City SC as the league’s 21st franchise, expected to begin play in March 2015. Sources said that the club’s entry fee into the league is $70 million.
■ FIFA and Adidas formally announce an extension of their long-term sponsorship deal that gives the apparel maker official partner, supplier and licensee rights for the World Cup and all FIFA events through 2030.
■ The NHL has signed a new Canadian media rights agreement with Rogers Communications for 12 years and $5.2 billion (Canadian). The deal starts next season and continues through the 2025-26 season.
■ Ten former NHL players have filed a class-action lawsuit claiming that the league has not done enough to protect players from concussions.
■ Talladega Superspeedway officials confirm that the track will see its seating capacity reduced to approximately 80,000 seats by next season. The track’s most recent listed capacity was 109,000.
■ NASCAR has been identified as the buyer of Iowa Speedway. The track plays host to three NASCAR-sanctioned events.
■ Michelob Ultra will replace Corona as the ATP’s lead sponsor in the U.S. next year, putting the low-carb beer brand on the nets at the circuit’s 10 U.S. tournaments through 2015. Anheuser-Busch InBev inherited the Corona sponsorship when it acquired Grupo Modelo.
■ The MLBPA Executive Board unanimously selects Deputy Executive Director Tony Clark as executive director, making him the first former major leaguer to lead the union. Clark had served as interim executive director since the death of Michael Weiner on Nov. 21.
■ Fox Sports has emerged as the likely winner of UEFA Champions League rights, according to sources. UEFA was considering bids from Fox, NBC Sports Group, Univision and beIN Sport.
■ Temple University says it will cut seven of its 24 intercollegiate sports programs — nearly a third — to boost funding for the remaining sports and become more competitive in the American Athletic Conference. The cuts, to take effect in June, will save more than $3 million in Temple’s $44 million athletic budget.
■ Each BCS conference that holds a conference championship game saw an increase in attendance in 2013. The Auburn-Missouri SEC Championship game at the Georgia Dome led all title games with 75,632 fans.
■ Indiana University is considering $30 million to $40 million worth of renovations to Assembly Hall. The renovations would not alter the current seating configuration, but would include premium seating and a modern video board.
Source: SportsBusiness Journal and SportBusiness Daily archives