Posts Tagged ‘Sports Business’
Friday, September 3rd, 2010
With the college football season opening last night, Smeal’s Andrew Bergstein, associate director of the Center for Sports Business & Research, comments on Big Ten expansion and what it means for the future of college athletics:
Major League Baseball was “America’s game.” Then the NFL laid claim to that title. The ongoing expansion of college football conferences and talk of “Super Conferences” could lend credence to the claim that, at the very least, college football is now among the big three with the NFL and MLB.
Visionary Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany and the other academic and athletic leaders of the conference partnered with Fox and created their own cable television programming with the Big Ten Network. Then the Big Ten opened up the nationwide expansion competition—and the door for its own lucrative conference playoff game. Some analysts think this is just beginning of expansion, including the potential for “super conferences” made up of 16 or more universities.
Like the NFL in earlier days, part of the magic money comes from cable giants like ABC-ESPN, CBS and, to some extent, NBC and their corporate advertisers. Old school college football fans might raise their eyebrows, but others think this is just part of the positive evolution of big-time college football. More money means more opportunities, not just for college football, but for other endeavors of super-conference universities, including women’s teams, club and recreational sports, and facilities. Of course this is all just late, late summer reading until the real fun begins tomorrow when the college football season begins in earnest.
Friday, August 6th, 2010
Pitching legend Nolan Ryan and attorney Chuck Greenberg bought the Texas Rangers this week in bankruptcy court. Smeal’s Andrew Bergstein, associate director of the Center for Sports Business & Research, highlights Greenberg’s ties to Penn State:
Penn State just got a Major League Baseball team. Well, not exactly. When the complex deal was finalized after midnight recently, a group headed by Pittsburgh attorney Chuck Greenberg and Major League Baseball legend Nolan Ryan emerged to win the auction and take over the Texas Rangers.
Chuck Greenberg has many Penn State ties. His other interests include the on-campus State College Spikes, a Pittsburgh Pirates single-A minor league baseball affiliate. His sports management firm, Greenberg Sports Group, is located here and manages Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. Chuck’s son recently graduated from, and played baseball for, Penn State. Chuck is also a member of the advisory board for the Center for Sports Business & Research, and has spoken to students as part of a sports industry leadership series. He has been very helpful connecting the center to sports industry partners.
Maybe every member of the Nittany Nation should go out a buy a Rangers hat to add to their collections.
Thursday, December 3rd, 2009
The ship takes a direct hit at the waterline. The alarm bells sound and the Damage Control Officers rush to the scene, assess the situation, and quickly create a plan to minimize the damage all while water pours into the ship. But this time the ship hit itself—with a fire hydrant and a tree.
Tiger Woods’ agents, publicists, handlers, and lawyers swing into action along with their counterparts at major corporations and their ad agencies, which have signed some of the biggest endorsement contracts in sports history. It’s not clear if anyone saw this coming. Maybe it was a complete surprise to them or maybe not. We likely won’t ever know.
It’s too early to see how this will play out for Tiger Woods, his family, and his strategic partners. Strategies and tactics will emerge in the days, weeks, and months ahead. Tiger is such a singular phenomenon that comparisons to Bill Clinton, Martha Stewart, and Michael Phelps are hardly relevant. There is only one Tiger.
But it will be a lot harder to repair the damage to his reputation, image, and future income than to fix up the front of his SUV.
Friday, July 31st, 2009
Fresh off his prison sentence for his role in a dogfighting ring, former NFL quarterback Michael Vick was granted a conditional reinstatement on Monday from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. The conditions allow for Vick to sign with a team and participate in preseason games, but forbid him from playing until at least week six of the regular season. So far, however, no team seems to be interested in Michael Vick.
I would be surprised if Michael Vick isn’t playing in an NFL uniform for the preseason games allowed and then after his suspension is lifted later this fall. I would also be very surprised if he’ll be an NFL quarterback as early as this season, barring an injury or very poor performance by a starter. As a football fan I have to admire his athletic talent—something some NFL teams need as a roster spot.
What about the dogfighting conviction and jail time? Signing Michael Vick would be tough for teams whose ownership and management find the crime onerous and/or fear a public relations backlash from the media and fans. Other teams and their fans might counter that he pled guilty and served the sentence imposed by the courts. Without naming names, I bet most of us could guess the uniform colors of both sets of teams. Remember, both the Steelers and the Raiders wear black.
Monday, April 6th, 2009
The Penn State men’s basketball team won the 2009 National Invitation Tournament last week with a victory over Baylor, 69-63. Many fans were initially disappointed that the team was left out of the NCAA Tournament, but according to Smeal’s Andrew Bergstein, associate director of the Center for Sports Business & Research, the basketball program gained a lot with its NIT victory:
Penn State’s basketball program got wins and excellent exposure on ESPN out of the NIT.
The team, the program, and the University netted additional games on national TV, two more home games, an impressive win at Florida, and the Nittany Nation‘s 33-bus invasion of Midtown Manhattan for the championship at the Garden.
Being at the other dance might not have resulted in the program’s first-ever national basketball championship and the most wins in school history. Penn State got a pretty good dance partner in 2009. Let’s see who wants to dance with the Nittany Lions next year.
Wednesday, March 18th, 2009
At a reception marking St. Patrick’s Day yesterday at the White House, President Obama nominated Pittsburgh Steelers owner Dan Rooney to be U.S. ambassador to Ireland. Rooney, who spoke at Smeal last year, has long been a supporter of Irish charities, including helping to found The Ireland Funds, an international organization that raises money around the world to support causes in Ireland.
“The strong ethnic heritage and fabric of Pittsburgh and his family are good backdrops for his nomination,” according to Smeal’s Andrew Bergstein, associate director of the Center for Sports Business & Research. “It also doesn’t hurt that the family business wins super bowls.”
More from Bergstein:
It’s hard to imagine Dan Rooney being anything other than a caring, thoughtful, and ethical representative of his country to his native land. Having owned the team for so many decades “Mr. Rooney,” as he is called, his family, and his legendary father have become icons not only to Irish Americans and the multi-ethnic Pittsburgh community. Their hard work, family values, and ethics have made the family and their team popular with people around the world. But the nomination of Dan Rooney might resonant all the more today as people react to the forces that led the United States and the world to their current economic situation.
Mr. Rooney represents what many people feel is one of our nation’s greatest assets. The strength of the American experience would never have been possible without people and families coming to the United States seeking better lives. As the world turns its attention to the post-Bush Obama United States, it might see the successful ascent of immigrants as a reminder of an inherent goodness of the nation he represents.