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Volume 21 No. 1
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2016 SBJ/SBD Reader Survey: State of the Industry

Sports business stories of the year:

Lebron James delivers an NBA championship to Cleveland 32%
Players use national anthem to bring attention to social issues 29%
Rams return to California 22%
Troubled Rio Olympics held without major disruption 20%
Sports television ratings face presssure 20%

Responses 1,007
Note: Respondents could select three; survey conducted prior to Chicago Cubs' World Series victory..

Most intriguing athlete:

Lebron James 31%
Colin Kaepernick 10%
Steph Curry 8%
Michael Phelps 5%

Responses 842
Note: Write-in responses.

Most intriguing sports executive:

Adam Silver 17%
Theo Epstein 8%
Roger Goodell 5%
Stan Kroenke 3%

Responses 778
Note: Write-in responses.

Grade the sports industry overall on its commitment to improving lives and doing good in American communities:

A 11%
B 48%
C 32%
D 4%
F 1%
Not sure 4%

Responses: 778

Compared with the rest of the business world, is the sports industry behind in any of these areas?

Gender equality 60%
Employee benefits 39%
Racial equality 32%
Customer service 19%
Use of analytics 18%
None of these 15%

Responses: 980
Note: Respondents could select all that apply.

Should athletes be allowed to make statements on social issues on the field of play?

Yes 61%
No 39%

Responses: 991

In the last few months, athletes have taken stands and taken actions on social issues pertaining to racial equality and justice. So far, has the effect of their efforts been:

Positive 49%
No effect 27%
Negative 24%

Responses: 995