Sunday, March 29, 2015

Crawford's Sports Biz and Golf Combo, For March 29th, 2015

By Gregory Crawford---- COO of Kiyokawa Crawford Sports Management--- on twitter @kcsportsmgmt @crawssportsbiz @wchoops

NFL Blackout Rules---- Many have been asking this week, "what took so long", when it was announced that the NFL owners voted to do away with all TV blackouts for NFL games. Blackout of games in the NFL on TV, first took place in the 50s with no regulations.

Then in 1973, Congress dictated that the NFL could only blackout games within a 75 mile radius of the home team, if the game was not sold out 72 hours in advance. That rule continued until last week, now we probably will never see any more TV blackouts of games in the NFL, with its tremendous popularity of the game and the huge TV contracts that are involved. Good move on the part of the NFL owners in eliminating the blackout of games.

Texas Golf----There is no state in the United States that has a greater history of golf than Texas. Not only the players that have come out of Texas, but the terrific golf courses that dot the entire state.

It is only fitting that the two best United States golfers, Jimmy Walker and Jordan Spieth, will battle it out today for the Valero Texas Open, the sixth oldest event on the PGA Tour. With Walker leading by four strokes starting the day, he will be almost impossible to beat, as he has proven to be the greatest front runner on the PGA Tour.

Tiger Woods----There will be so much drama in the next few days about whether Tiger Woods will play in the upcoming Masters in two weeks.

My take, Tiger will play in the Masters, no matter what it takes.

Hockey---- In less than two weeks the National Hockey League playoffs will begin the quest for the Stanley Cup.

The Detroit Red Wings last missed the playoffs in 1990 and they will not be missing them this year. Does complacency set in when you are always good? Out of those 24 straight playoff appearances, the Red Wings have won four Stanley Cups during that time. Yet, as of today, the cheapest ticket price for the opening round of the playoffs on the secondary market belongs to the Red Wings at an average of $164.00.

That compares to two teams that hardly ever make the NHL playoffs, but are in this year. Average first round price on the secondary market for Nashville is $249.00 and for Calgary a whopping $586.00.

NCAA Regionals--- Out of the four cities that hosted NCAA regionals this weekend, Los Angeles, Houston, Cleveland and Syracuse, it is interesting to note that Cleveland got the best draw for fans wanting to drive to the games.

The average driving distance for fans from the four regional team in Cleveland from their home base was 286 miles. The average driving distance for the four teams in L.A. from their home base was 1,800 miles.

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Saturday, March 28, 2015

Crawford's Sports Biz and Golf Combo, For March 28th, 2015

By Gregory Crawford---COO of Kiyokawa Crawford Sports Management--- on twitter @wchoops @kcsportsmgmt @crawssportsbiz

NFL----The NFL continues to march on at a high level from the business side. What might the future bring?

1. The NFL has continually committed to having a  team permanently in London by 2022.

2. Regular season games are on track to be played in both Mexico City and Germany in 2017.

3. The three biggest target markets for the NFL after the United States are Mexico, China and Canada.

For the moment there seems to be no stopping the NFL, the game is popular as ever and the business model seems to be sound.

Mark King----Mark King has been in his position for nearly a year as President of Adidas North America, coming over from Taylor Made after a great career there as CEO.

King has laid out a big and coordinated plan for Adidas to once again become a power in the footwear and apparel market in the Untied States, after Adidas dropped to 3rd in the United State market behind Nike and Under Armour.

Recently Adidas moved 80 employees from Germany to the its North American headquarters in Portland, Oregon. Worldwide, Adidas ranks second in sales, with 2014 figures coming in at $15.8 billion, with Nike leading the way at $22.8 billion.

Adidas plans to work more closely with individual athletes to promote their products, less with leagues, evidenced by their decision recently to end their association with the NBA in 2 years.

Golf Rankings---Golfweek in a terrific publication with a long history of great work. In their recent rankings of America's Top 100 golf courses, it is interesting to see once again the dominance of Bandon Dunes.

The number one overall ranking went to Sand Hills, followed at number 2 Pacific Dunes. Also in the top 25 were three other Bandon Dunes courses. Old Macdonald (6), Bandon Dunes (8) and Bandon Trails (21).

For the record, Chambers Bay, the site of this year's U.S. Open is ranked 29th, down five places from Golfweek's 2014 rankings.

One mistake in my estimation in Golfweek's top 100 is to leave Pumkin Ridge's Ghost Creek course out. Probably the toughest front nine in the Pacific Northwest, Ghost Creek is a real treasure as a golf course.

Outisde of that, Golfweek's rankings are terrific and well worth a look, they obviously put a lot of effort into their work always.

Big Dance Finances----CBS and Turner Sports are expected to exceed $1.1 billon of sponsorship sales for March Madness in 2015.

The cost of a 30 second commercial on championship night is $1.1 million. In 2014, the three biggest sponsors for March Madness were General Motors at $83 million, AT&T at 62 million and Coco Cola $43 million.

Even though many are not official sponsors, worldwide over 1,000 companies tie some type of commercials or promotions related to March Madness.

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Sunday, March 22, 2015

Crawford's Golf and Sports Biz Combo, For March 22nd, 2015

By Gregory Crawford----COO of Kiyokawa Crawford Sports Management--- on twitter @kcsportsmgmt @crawssportsbiz @wchoops

Paperless Tickets---- Of the 15 opening round NCCA basketball tournament sites, only 33 percent of the sites do not allow paperless tickets. As technology continues to expand, paperless tickets will be the norm at all arenas.

Interesting as the tournament moves on next week to the Sweet 16, only two host sites will allow paperless tickets. That being Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland and Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Chris Borland---- The biggest news last week in the NFL was obviously star linebacker Chris Borland retiring from the 49ers, to avoid any potential concussion injuries in the future. The economics for Borland was that in 2014 he signed a  four year contract for $2.9 million, in addition signing a $617.000 signing bonus, of which Borland per his contract has now returned 3/4 of that.

Bottom line here: For playing one season in the NFL, Borland will walk away with $575.000. If you factor out how good Borland is as a player and the average wage of an NFL linebacker, he probably walked away from upwards of $20 million, giving much new meaning to "you health is your wealth."

New York City FC--- The newest addition to Major League Soccer, New York City FC is off to a fast start in the MLS, leading the Eastern Conference heading into this week's games.

For now NYCFC will share the $2.5 billon Yankee Stadium with the iconic baseball team. In 2013 the Yankees and Manchester United partnered to own NYCFC, paying a record expansion fee of $100 million to the MLS.

In 2018, NYCFC will move into their own stadium, adjacent to Yankee Stadium. The soccer club has averaged 40,000 so far in their 2 home games.

Oakland--- Last Friday, the Oakland City Council approved a plan by New City Development to build a new football stadium, baseball stadium and new arena for the Golden State Warriors, to be completed by 2018 at best. The total cost would be $1.5 billion and would be located between Oracle Arena and the Oakland Coliseum.

The new complexes would also include alongside, 1,500 residential units and several business development complexes.

The city of San Francisco is also wooing the Warriors to come back to their original home, after moving to SF during the early 60s from Philadelphia.

Stadium issues are always fluid, especially when it comes to the As and Raiders, so standby.

NCAA--- This is a situation to watch in the very near future. We just might be headed to two NCAAs, with schools choosing which one to join. Obviously, one would be much more powerful than the other and the big issue as it always is, how to split up the TV money.

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Sunday, March 15, 2015

Crawford's Golf and Sports Biz Combo, For March 15th, 2015

By Gregory Crawford--- COO of Kiyokawa Crawford Sports Management--- on twitter @kcsportsmgmt @crawssportsbiz @wchoops

NFL--- The facts are the facts. While many people thought that the National Football League would have a down year in 2014, because of so many highly publicized off-field horrible incidents, the league actually had the best year ever financially.

Revenues were up for all teams, the NFL did not lose one single sponsor, 45 of the 50 most watched TV programs in the fall were NFL games and the Super Bowl was the most watch ever in its history.

More good news on the business side came this week for the NFL, when VISA, the highest valued sponsor of the NFL up for renewal, just renewed for 5 more years, with a big increase in payment to the NFL.

Growing Golf---- You are going to hear a lot in here from me about growing the game of golf. If I am the last man standing, I am not going to let the game die. Here are nine, pretty easy things to do to grow the game.

1. Courses need to reward golfers for playing fast.

2. The game needs a whole new marketing plan, not led by the major golf organizations, but by top flight marketing people who know how to think outside the box.

3. The price of clubs, golf balls and rounds of golf, need to be reduced. Volume always wins out.

4. Just one PGA Tour winner or LPGA winner needs to say during the trophy presentation, "Hey I won this cause I just got out and played the game of golf, now you out there in TV land need to do the same."

5. There needs to be more driving ranges, who does not want to just get out and hit some golf balls and it brings them to the course.

6. There needs to be more places to learn the game, short courses, where people can feel free of pressure to learn the game.

7. Politicians need to promote the game much more, the economic value of golf and jobs it creates are really underrated.

8. The game needs to be marketed to women on a much higher level. Women who play the game love it.

9. Anyone teaching the game needs to emphasize to players, just go out and have fun, instead of worrying about your score. Having fun, will lower your score.

Note: For people who own or run golf courses, please feel free to get ahold of us at Kiyokawa Crawford Sports Management, on how we can increase your golf revenue stream. email---

NCAA Tournament---- A great sports business fact is that since 1995, every school that has been to the Final Four has seen a spike in their overall fundraising the following year, not just for athletics, but academics as well. Sports count.

Fred Hoiberg---- Yesterday, Iowa State won the Big 12 championship, allowing them to go to the NCAA tournament for the fourth straight year.

By doing so, per his contract, head coach Fred Hoiberg picked up another $50,000 bonus for making the NCAA Tournament. The average wage each year for Americans is just over $42,000.

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Saturday, March 14, 2015

Crawford's Sports Biz and Golf Combo, For March 14th, 2015

By Gregory Crawford, COO of Kiyokawa Crawford Sports Management--- on twitter @kcsportsmgmt @crawssportsbiz @wchoops

NOTE: My apologies for not writing for a few days, but we had to straighten out some technical difficulties, which are now totally solved and this column will be out everyday from now on except, Thursdays. Once again a combo of sports business and golf.

L.A. Dodgers--- I will never forget in 2012, standing next to sports marketing icon Jon Spoelstra and we heard that the Dodgers had been sold for $2 billion and Jon saying, "they probably got in cheap".

Of course shortly after it was announced that the Dodgers had signed a regional TV deal with Time Warner of $8.4 billion over 25 years.

Now today we have learned that a South Korean investment group is attempting to purchase 20 percent of the team and the present total valuation of the Dodgers is just over $3 billion. Yes, they did "get in cheap".

Golf---- So many people want to write about the demise of golf, put in in the grave, dance on the grave and glad it is gone.

Well, I have news for those people. If it is just me alone, I will never let the great game of golf die. It means too much to me, it has been one of the biggest parts of my life since 8 years old and at least 70 percent of my friends have been formed through golf.

Golf will make a major comeback and in just a few years it will be the popular sports it once was and the decline will stop. More and more brilliant people are getting involved in the marketing of the game, which is great and will pay big dividends in the end.

Speaking of golf, there is not a better month for TV golf than March. with the Florida swing on the PGA Tour. Different type golf courses, great weather and so many talented players competing each week.

WrestleMania----The WWE's biggest event of the year is shaping up to be its greatest business wise. The event will take place at Levi's Stadium, home of the 49ers and a sellout crowd of 75.000 is expected.

Ticket prices on the secondary market are also going for the highest amount ever, at $429.00 average. Professional wrestling is not dead by any means.

Final Four----Tickets prices for the Final Four in Indianapolis, are averaging just under $1,400 and for all the NCAA tournament games across the country the average price on the secondary market is $344.00.

Under Armour--- Under Armour continues to be a player in the college sports market. This week, they signed a five year deal with Old Dominion, to be their attire supplier for all sports teams for $400,000 per year.

Significant part of this deal is that it replaces the old deal, Old Dominion had with Nike at $61.000 per year. The deal can be cancelled immediately if either men's or women's basketball programs go on probation, or if anyone associated with the athletic department is caught making dispariging remarks about Under Armour.

Nike is still the huge leader in this area, but Under Armour has shown strides of growth, with their leading school being Notre Dame and being able to spend some big bucks with other schools.

Big Dance---March Madness is here, even though the name needs to change, cause the Final Four is now played each year in April. One thing that never changes is the interest the public has in March Madness in the United States. It is estimated there will be over 70 million brackets filled out and $9 billion will be bet on the games. Ouch.

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Monday, March 2, 2015

Crawford's Sports Biz and Golf Combo, For March 2nd, 2015

By Gregory Crawford---COO of Kiyokawa Crawford Sports Management--- on twitter @crawssportsbiz @kcsportsmgmt @wchoops

NFL Salary Cap---- As expected the NFL raised the salary cap today for each team to $143 million, that is a $10 million increase from 2014 and $20 million from 2013, if anyone is counting. NFL teams can carryover to the next year, any unused salary cap money, which many have been able to do.

Honda Classic--- The Honda Classic which finished today after weather delays has a good winner in Padraig Harrington, nice guy and popular with everyone.

At one point yesterday Ian Poulter for  short time has a four shot lead in the third round, having a 3 shot lead for several holes. Poulter who has won only one time on the PGA Tour, as we know him best for his great Ryder Cup showings, would have been even a better champion than Harrington.

Poulter is a character, but a good character, because he promotes the game as much as he can and he is a fun guy, which for sure golf needs more of at this time and has for a long time.

Brooklyn Nets--- Majority owner of the Nets, Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov wants to sell his team and also the Barclays Center, home of the Nets---- along with many other great sporting and entertainment events.

Crawford's Sports Biz thinks that in just a sale for the Nets, a final bid might come in close to $1.8 billion. The Barclays Center, by some estimates is worth $1.2 billion.

The NBA would love to see both the Nets and their home arena sold to same buyer, which might be tough at those prices.

At this time, interest in the Nets has come from Chinese conglomerate Fosun, Qatari's Government Investment Fund and music mogul David Geffen, who wanted to buy the Clippers at one time.

Fosun is also interested in purchasing the Atlanta Hawks, which at present has a value of right around, $850 million.

Orlando City---- The newest edition to Major League Soccer has sold out the Citrus Bowl , for its league opener on March 6th. 60,000 tickets have been sold. The MLS record for league opener of an expanison team was the L.A. Galaxy in 1996, at 69,000.

Warren Buffett--- When LeBron James asked Warren Buffett on national TV today, what he should invest in, Buffett's answer was direct and to the point. "Be conservative, keep plenty in reserve and invest in American companies."

more of Gregory's blogs--- (published everyday but Monday.)

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Crawford's Sports Biz and Golf Combo, For March 1st, 2015

By Gregory Crawford--- COO of Kiyokawa Crawford Sports Management--- on twitter @kcsportsmgt @wchoops @crawssportsbiz

Note: Today starts a new chapter for this blog, hopefully one you will see for long time. As great readers, you keep asking me for even more sports business news and more golf. So starting today and produced everyday but Thursday, it will be Crawford's Sports Biz and Golf Combo. Lots of sports business, golf and even a few comments about sports in the media. We will also continue with Crawford's Sports Biz 59 Seconds each day, in a separate post. Thank you readers for pushing this forward and contacting me on what you want to see.

Jack Nicklaus--- Jack Nicklaus likes ice cream, so much he now has his own brand, which will be in selected stores across the country this month. Nicklaus has teamed up with the Schwan Company, to produce the big treat. The suggested retail price for the pint of ice cream will be a $1.99 and in typical Nicklaus fashion part of the proceeds will go to charity.

Rob Manfred---- The new commissioner of baseball is obviously off to a fast start. He wants to speed up the game, with less time between innings and less ways for players to delay the game, when it is going on.

The average major league game last year took 3 hours 2 minutes, which with today's demand for speed in everything we do, does not settle well with most people and sports fans.

Manfred is also speaking out frequently about the fact baseball needs to become a bigger business. At present it is a $9 billion per year business, Manfred wants to move that figure to $15 billion in the next few years. Is it possible, you make the call.

Boxing On TV---- It is has been many years since we have seen prime time boxing on free TV, well I guess TV really is not free these days in most cases----- but boxing in prime time is about to change.

Starting this Saturday night, NBC Sports will show boxing in prime time, starting at 8:30 EST and 5:30 on the west coast. They have lined up a "heavyweight" team of announcers for the show with Al Michaels, Marv Albert, Laila Ali and Sugar Ray Leonard.

I think this will be a huge success, but you make the call.

NBC Golf--- Speaking of NBC, golf has returned to NBC this past week, with the Honda Classic and the annual Florida swing on the PGA Tour, of which NBC has traditionally televised.

No one does golf bad, but NBC is leader in golf coverage, both with its announce team and production. It will be real interesting to see how Fox Sports does with golf coverage, starting this year, as the network of record for all USGA TV events. They will open up with the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay, a tough place to televise for any network. Even more important, how much will the USGA allow lead analyst Greg Norman, who will team with Jack Buck, to really tell us what he thinks. Norman to his credit can be pretty blunt, I hope he does not get boxed in too much., is expanding, amongst some controversy. The website who does a great job of tracking high school football players and recruiting of those players, has now gotten involved in telling us about middle school football players, very few I might add, but enough to get people thinking about how young is young.

Daryl Morey----Morey is not only the general manager of the Houston Rockets, but he is also is the founder of the MIT Sloan Sports Analytic Conference, which was just completed.

Morey feels the next big frontier for sports analytics will be in soccer, now that it is used heavily in baseball and basketball.

Yes, we all know, that Morey checks with Charles Barkley on all of this, since Barkley has taken a few jabs at Morey and thinks analytics is a big joke.

You make the call, but for sure analytics in sports is not going away by any means and more teams are using them all the time, effectively or not.


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