Archive - December 2013

  1. Column: Stories to Watch in 2014December 30, 2013

    Last year I listed five sports business stories to watch in 2013. In no particular order, they were: The NFL Concussion Lawsuit, the O’Bannon Case, Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s return to legitimacy in NASCAR, the continued popularity of soccer in the U.S., particularly MLS, and the Dodgers’ quest for billions in TV revenue. All were newsworthy in their own right. These are my must follow stories for 2014.

  2. Column: Volunteers Staffing Concession StandsDecember 23, 2013

    The practice of having volunteers staff concession stands at sporting events can be viewed as a reckless disregard for the community at large or a financial bonanza for community non-profit groups, depending on your perspective. To supplement their regular work force many concessionaires, including Aramark and Centerplate, solicit youth sports groups, church groups, scouting groups and other non-profit organizations to staff concession stands. Volunteers work for free and their organizations are paid a commission. At one of its venues, Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, home of the Indianapolis Colts, Centerplate pays a commission of 8% on all alcohol sales and 9% on all food sales. The more product the volunteers sell, the more they earn for their organization. And the money can be very good, certainly more than can be generated from the traditional lemonade stands, bake sales and car washes.

  3. Column: H of F Whiffs on Miller - AgainDecember 16, 2013

    For the sixth time in the last 10 years the late Marvin Miller, founding executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA), failed to garner sufficient votes for election to the Baseball Hall of Fame. The lack of support for Miller – he received no more than six votes from the 16 members of the Veterans Committee – came as a surprise to many observers. The last time he was on the ballot, in 2010, Miller received 11 votes, one less than the number necessary for election. Why Miller’s vote total fell by half in this year’s election is known only to the electorate. What we can be certain of is the voters embarrassed themselves and the H of F.

  4. Column: Ethical Conduct Trumps WinningDecember 9, 2013

    “Winning isn’t everything. It’s the only thing!” Former UCLA football coach Henry Russell “Red” Sanders The origin of the Sanders quote has been incorrectly attributed to Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi. But regardless of the source, the message behind the words was recently embraced by Brooklyn Nets coach Jason Kidd and Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin. Kidd asked one of his players to bump into him late in a game, whereupon he intentionally spilled the cup of water in his hand onto the court. The Nets had no timeouts remaining and the move was designed to delay the game while attendants mopped up the mess. Brooklyn was losing at the time of the incident and Kidd took advantage of the interlude to draw up a last second play. Fortunately, the charade didn’t affect the outcome of the game. The NBA wasn’t amused and levied a $50,000 fine against Kidd.

  5. Column: Greatest Sports Business DealDecember 2, 2013

    It’s been called the “Greatest Sports Business Deal” of all time, for good reason. But an investment of $1 million in 1973 that has returned almost $300 million to date may be nearing an end. The brothers Silna – Ozzie and Daniel – were huge basketball fans. After they struck it rich marketing a new material, polyester, they went in search of their own team. The Silnas ended up purchasing the Carolina Cougars in the American Basketball Association (ABA) and promptly moved them to St. Louis, renaming them the Spirits. In 1976 the NBA decided to end years of lawsuits with the upstart ABA by absorbing four ABA teams and buying out the remaining two – the Kentucky Colonels and the Spirits – with an offer no one thought would be refused: $2 million.