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Volume 23 No. 28
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No post-Super Bowl curse for Seahawks off the field

Despite the arresting fact that none of the last eight Super Bowl winners have won a playoff game the season following their championship run, most NFL prognosticators are wondering if anyone can challenge the Seattle Seahawks’ NFL dominance.

Off the field, the story doesn’t seem much different.

Team President Peter McLoughlin said the team’s sponsorship revenue is up around 15 percent, thanks to deals like the renewal and upgrade from Verizon, which included naming rights to a club area and installation of Wi-Fi within CenturyLink Field.

There were also more than a dozen new team sponsors added, among them one with Outerwall, the Bellevue, Wash.-based parent company of the Coinstar and Redbox network of vending machines. The deal included new signage at CenturyLink Field.

Seahawks fans are loud, proud and eager to get a seat at CenturyLink Field. 
Photo by: AP IMAGES

A Super Bowl title also propelled the Seahawks to the top of the NFL in team merchandise sales. Accordingly, they are opening new retail locations for the season in Renton, Wash., near the team’s practice facility, along with a smaller store within the Whidbey Island Naval Air Station that will join another suburban store that should be opening soon. The embarrassment of riches extends to the ticketing side, which saw a record 99.6 percent renewal rate, even after raising prices 12 percent.

There are 12,000 people paying $100 per ticket request to be on a wait list for season tickets, and 30,000 on a wait list to join that paid list.

“We understand this is all cyclical, so we want to be good to our fans, maintain high service levels and give sponsors more options to activate rights outside the stadium with community-based programs,” McLoughlin said.

As for the fate of the last eight NFL champs?

“Not a playoff game won among them and four didn’t even make the playoffs,” McLoughlin mused. “If that doesn’t teach us not to take it for granted, nothing will.”

> OLYMPIC GAMES: The U.S. Olympic Committee has switched consulting and activation agencies, with Wasserman Media Group taking over for incumbent Team Epic, which helped guide USOC marketing through the London Games in 2012 and the recent Sochi Winter Games.

We’re told that the first assignment for the new agency will be the “Road to Rio” marketing blueprint, detailing the buildup to the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil. Presentations are expected to begin this week. It’s the first Olympic win of significance for Wasserman Media Group.

Another interesting sidelight is agency Chairman and CEO Casey Wasserman’s involvement in leading the Los Angeles bid for a possible U.S. Olympics in 2024. Intriguing, though, at least one involved source told us there is no connection there. And of course, Washington, D.C., San Francisco and Boston are also hoping to host the 2024 Games.

TRACK ATTACK: While its stake in the ground is as an e-commerce provider, Fanatics is among the few remaining bidders on NASCAR’s trackside merchandise contract. Fanatics’ limited brick-and-mortar operations are with the Arizona Coyotes, Chicago Fire, University of Texas and LSU.

Legends also is pursuing the trackside bid.

NASCAR’s Steve Phelps and Paul Sparrow are among those involved in the presentations, and a decision is expected this fall.

Motorsports Authentics is the incumbent provider.

Terry Lefton can be reached at tlefton@sportsbusinessjournal.com.