Competition for the Entertainment Dollar (Infographic)

Here are two infographics that do a great job illustrating the growing competition for discretionary dollars from US consumers in the sports/entertainment marketplace…In addition to providing a great platform for opening up a discussion about the competition for the entertainment dollar in class, these graphics also offer a great way to introduce the concept of a global marketplace.

Click the images below to be redirected to the original source to see the complete infographic.  Enjoy!

Current SCC FFL Sports Marketing Competition Standings

Congrats to the students in Julie Eckhart’s sports marketing class at Westosha Central High School in Wisconsin for currently sitting in first place in SCC’s fantasy football sports marketing competition.  After knocking it out of the park with the response to the first sports marketing challenge (development of a sports marketing plan), they look to build momentum as we head into week four of our competition’s season.  Kristen Torkelson’s students at Bend Senior High in Oregon are just a few points behind with Karen Russo’s class at Hinsdale Central in Illinois in a close third place.  Kirk Helferich’s class at Kent Innovation HS in Michigan is the only other team with over 400 points at this point, but there is still a LOT of season to play with a number of crucial sports marketing challenges hanging in the balance!

Our participants are submitting their responses to sports marketing challenge #2 in which they are required to create a branding strategy for their franchise while challenge #3 (publicity / community relations) was distributed today.  The league office is looking forward to seeing what the students come up with!  Follow along via our blog (or @sportsbized on Twitter) for updates as the season rolls along and be sure to encourage and support those schools in your local area!

We also have a few individual schools to recognize for their responses to the first sports marketing challenge.

Continue reading

NBA Ticket Prices (Infographic)

Of all the functions of marketing, one could arge the establishment of an effective price point could be the most critical.

Teams across sports consistently tinker with pricing strategies in an effort to find the right formula for maximizing franchise revenues.  Sometimes those strategies work, sometimes they backfire.

Two seasons ago, the New Orleans Pelicans dropped ticket prices by 10%.  The decision resulted in a 19% overall increase in ticket sales that season.  And this season, as the Brooklyn Nets face the prospect of a challenging season on the court, Bloomberg has reported the franchise will reduce ticket prices by an average of 24% in 2016-17.

Earlier this year, BusBud published an interesting infographic that examines NBA ticket prices and offers some interesting comparisons.  Which teams offer the greatest ROI?  When is the best time to buy?  These questions and more are discussed in the graphic below.


Season 2: SCC Fantasy Football / Sports Marketing Challenge!

We (Sports Career Consulting) are excited to announce season two of our fantasy football competition featuring a number of our member schools.  Our goal is to create an engaging, interactive educational environment in our sports marketing classrooms.  This year, we have 30 schools competing representing 13 different states so we expect some big things from our students this year as they work to unseat last year’s champs from Indian River High School in New York.

Again this year, students will first be challenged to draft a team based on a “salary cap” to demonstrate a basic understanding of finance. Each team will then earn points throughout the season via player performance AND a series of weekly “sports marketing challenge” activities issued by the league office (Sports Career Consulting).  Each challenge is designed to encourage student development of sports business strategies for their “franchise” in several key areas, including:

  • Finance
  • Branding
  • Stadium/Facility design & management
    • The Fan Experience
  • Marketing
    • Promotions and digital marketing
  • Ticket Sales
  • Sponsorship
  • Understanding the consumer & the marketplace
  • Public Relations / Community Relations / Fan Relations

After reviewing each franchise’s weekly submission, points will be assessed by the league office, ultimately impacting each team’s position in the standings.  The weekly sports marketing challenge activities will have just as much (if not more) impact on overall points than player performance so students will be encouraged to develop a sound strategy before submitting their ideas!

We will be posting the standings each week on our blog so stay tuned!

How College Sports Fans Engage (Infographic)

What is Fan Engagement?

As the business of sports and entertainment evolves, marketing professionals are continuously searching for ways to cater to the changing dynamics of fandom.  Today’s fan craves not only more access but immediate access.  For sports marketers, this is a good thing, but it does not come without its challenges.

In a landscape that now features more sports and entertainment options than ever, building a relationship with fans becomes critical for sports or entertainment properties.  This is where fan engagement comes in.  Whether through specific promotions, social media or game day experiences at the venue, engagement efforts help sports and entertainment properties build and maintain interest in their product.

Like any successful business, properties like the NCAA and its affiliated athletics programs must have a feel for consumer behavior.  Understanding how fans are engaging will ultimately help them create successful strategies for reaching and interacting with consumers.

Engaging College Sports Fans (Infographic) recently published some interesting statistics that shed some light on how college sports fans engage.  According to the study, fans are twice as likely to watch games on TV than attend in person and Facebook is still their social media platform of choice.  HopScotch created an interesting infographic that shares some of this data and is also offering a free e-book for download that compiles the survey results.  Click here for a link to the HopScotch website.


Rio 2016: Fun Facts by the Numbers

The lead up to the Summer Games in Rio generated arguably more publicity (both good and bad) than any other Olympic Games in recent memory.  Now that they are finally underway, here is a quick look at “the numbers” behind the Games…

1 – Number of times a South American city has hosted the Olympics

12,000 – Number of Olympic torchbearers that carried the Olympic flame

4,800 – Number of performers and volunteers that took part in the Opening Ceremony

10,500 – Total number of athletes competing in the 2016 Summer Games

206 – Total number of countries represented in Rio

4,924 – There are a total of nearly 5,000 medals up for grabs in this summer’s competitions

2 – This year, two sports will be making a comeback as golf and rugby return as official Olympic Sports in Rio

112 – It has been over a century since golf was last an Olympic sport

92 – It has been nearly a century since rugby was last an Olympic sport

37 – Athletes will be competing in 37 different venues at the Summer Games (32 in Rio and 5 in co-host cities)

$5,700,00 – Brazil’s Ministry of Health invested nearly $6 million to insure the well being of athletes and spectators attending the Games due to zika concerns

32 – More than 30 tons of dead fish were removed from the lagoon where the rowing and canoeing competitions will take place

85,000 – The number of security personnel staffed for games, more than double the number present in London for the 2012 Summer Games thanks to Brazil’s high crime rate

$1.2 B – The amount NBC Universal invested in the broadcast rights for the 2016 Summer Games in Rio

$1 B – The amount NBC Universal has reportedly generated in advertising sales in the US (both television advertising and digital)

26.5 M - Nearly 27 million viewers tuned in for NBC’s broadcast of the Opening Ceremony

35% – Ratings for the Opening Ceremony broadcast declined by 35% compared to coverage during the 2012 Summer Games in London

307% - Viewership of Day 1 of Olympics coverage on NBC’s digital platforms enjoyed a 307% increase from Day 1 of the 2012 Games in London

1,200% – On Spotify, streams of the song “Girl from Ipanema” rose 1,200% after it was played during the Opening Ceremony

7,000 – Number of hours of programming produced by NBC Universal this year (TV and digital) in coverage of Olympic competitions

3.6 B – NBC Universal is expecting 3.6 billion viewers to tune in to Olympics coverage

85% – The number of viewers expected to use a “second screen” for Olympics coverage

7.5 M – Organizers of the Rio Games made 7.5 million tickets available for purchase to various Olympic events

$60-1400 – The face value of tickets to the opening ceremony

$6 – $365 – The face value for various events

240,000 – The number of Rio Olympic tickets being given to underprivileged children

$425 M – According to Rio organizers, sales of tickets to Olympic events have generated $425 million

500,000 – The number of foreign travelers expected to visit Rio for the 2016 Summer Games

1M – The number of tourists that visited Rio last year for their popular annual Carnival celebration

6M – The number of residents in the city of Rio

90% – Rio’s  hotel rooms are close to capacity with over 90% booked for the Summer Games

$261 – The approximate value of the gold contained in an Olympic medal

1.2% – An Olympic Gold medal barely contains more than 1% actual gold


Rio Times
CBC Sports
International Business Times
USA Today
Associated Press


Expensive Games

Much has been made of the billions of dollars Brazil has spent to host the 2016 Summer Games in Rio.  Despite a cost of over $4.5 billion, spending for the Rio games pale in comparison to the amount Russia pumped into Sochi’s 2014 Winter Games and London’s costs for hosting the 2012 Summer Games.

This infographic from offers a visual breakdown.

Which MLB Fan Base is Most Grammatically Correct?

Here’s an interesting “study” that drills down to see which MLB fan base is the most grammatically correct.  Congrats to the Miami Marlins, winners of this year’s Grammar Power Rankings from

According to Grammarly, researchers gathered 3,000 fan comments (of fifteen words or more) posted to each MLB team’s SB Nation blog between June 1 and June 14, 2016. The results were then entered into Grammarly’s editing software to detect grammar, spelling, sentence structure, and punctuation errors in each comment and used the sums to calculate the average number of errors per 100 words.  The results are summarized in this nifty infographic.

2016 MLB Grammar Power Rankings



It is Teacher Appreciation Day!  Hopefully your students all gave you standing ovations in class to pay tribute.  :)  Of course, it’s only fitting that a day celebrating one of our nation’s most underappreciated professions (also “underpaid…and never given enough credit” according to NFL star JJ Watt) would be overshadowed on social media by “Star Wars Day” with the hashtag #MayThe4thBeWithYou.  Go figure.

That said, it has been awesome to see an outpouring of support from the sports and entertainment industry for our educators.  It has to feel great seeing NFL stars like Larry Fitzgerald and JJ Watt and pro sports teams like the Milwaukee Bucks, Washington Redskins, Charlotte Hornets, Arizona Diamondbacks and Boston Bruins (among many others) recognize your efforts.  You certainly deserve it!

I read a really interesting piece written by a long time sports industry PR exec over the weekend reflecting on his transition from the New York Knicks to his role as a consultant and instructor at Columbia University.  I first met Joe about ten years ago and have enjoyed following his career and appreciated what he has done (and continues to do) for the industry ever since.  Many of the sentiments and insights shared in that piece definitely struck a chord as his path mirrors my own in a number of ways, most notably jumping from the sports business world headfirst into education.  I don’t know how many of you might be interested in the story, but if you have a few minutes, I definitely think it is worth the read.  You can see it on or by clicking here.

It is hard to believe, but Sports Career Consulting is quickly approaching a 13 year anniversary (later this month in fact).  It seems like just yesterday that I made the decision to part ways with the Portland Trail Blazers and give this entrepreneurship thing a shot.  Despite turning my back on the lifelong dream of working in the NBA after just five short years, I’ve never had any regrets and consider myself to be extraordinarily lucky.  Why?


Without you, there is no sports marketing education at the high school level.  There isn’t anybody there to “coach” our students through the fundamental principles that drive the business of sports and entertainment.

There isn’t anybody there pushing for more resources; better resources.

There isn’t anybody there to connect your students with the professionals who can help to kick start their careers or to encourage participation in student leadership programs like DECA, FBLA and BPA.

Nobody would be there to create those unique experiences with field trips and sports marketing events or bring in the guest speakers that provide invaluable educational opportunities both inside and outside of the classroom.

Simply put, you all are the ones going the extra mile to shape the future of the sports and entertainment industry.  So thank you.  Thank you for your passion.  Thank you for your commitment.  Thank you for caring.  You are appreciated more than you know.

It has been such an honor and privilege to provide you all with the tools to help you succeed over the years and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for us all… It’s an exciting time to be a sports and entertainment business teacher!  :)

Thank you!

Business Blitz: The 2016 NFL Draft

You have to give credit to ESPN and the NFL.  Over thirty five years ago (the original plan to broadcast the draft was hatched in Bristol back in 1980), most people thought televising the draft was a crazy idea.  Critics suggested the draft was unwatchable, especially as an all-day event.  Even those who supported the idea did so with little confidence.  Fast forward to today.  This year, ESPN will spend three days covering the draft, all during prime time. The NFL Network also broadcast the event live.  Coverage has even expanded to the combine.

How far has the event come?  Check out this footage from the 1981 NFL draft by clicking here.

As the event grows, so do the marketing opportunities for brands to connect with fans. Here are some news and notes from a business perspective surrounding this year’s NFL Draft.


Imagine paying hundreds of thousands of dollars (millions in some cases) to an athlete who has yet to play a single NFL snap. That’s precisely the position many brands are in leading up to the NFL Draft. Which athletes might best represent their values while helping to sell more products and services? Is the investment worth the risk? Two years ago, Nike shelled out a significant amount of money to sign Johnny Manziel. The company recently parted ways with the embattled former A&M star after repeated off the field incidents and a lack of productivity on it.

Here is a quick look at a few deals that were inked prior to the draft.

New Era’s “Risky” Pick

New Era signed a deal a few years back to become the “official hat” of the NFL, a shrewd move, particularly on draft day when their product is given to EVERY player picked in the first round of the draft, particularly when you consider how much coverage the event now attracts. This year the brand signed a couple of individual players to endorsement deals leading up to the draft. One presents a sizable risk.

Click here to read the story from


MET-Rx, the sports supplement company, signed Ohio State defensive star Joey Bosa (who was selected ). What makes this deal unique is the brand’s strategy for how they will leverage the relationship as they plan to go “all in” on Bosa as he becomes the face of the company when they “re-launch” the brand and unveil new products.

Click here to read more from

“Historic” Signing for Zappos

Zappos, the online shoe retailer, made headlines earlier this month when it was announced that they signed Notre Dame star Ronnie Stanley. Because Stanley chose to sign with a retailer and not endorse one specific brand, he will have the option to wear whichever shoe he favors next season.

Click here to read more from

Nike’s Aggressive Approach

Nike was extremely aggressive in their efforts to ink NFL prospects this year, signing FIFTEEN players before the first name was called on Thursday. Eight of those players were selected in the first round. By comparison, rival Under Armour had only inked one endorsement deal with a draft prospect.

Nike welcomed several players with brief commercials (click here to see some examples from

Click here to read the entire story on

Gone but not Forgotten

Gatorade rolled out a tribute campaign to Peyton Manning on draft day (good timing). In a clever commercial that features everyone from Derek Jeter to Manning fans, his brother and his father, the brand is likely strategically reinforcing Manning’s “good guy” image to maximize the value of their relationship with the now-retired star QB.

Click here to view the spot.

Is Jared Goff the “new” Peyton Manning?

While Denver may have drafted Paxton Lynch as Peyton Manning’s replacement at QB, former Cal QB Jared Goff played the part of pitchman extraordinaire in a series of tweets on draft day with shout outs to a number of brands including Gillette, Tide, Pantene, Red Bull and Microsoft.



While Jared Goff was cashing in on social media, one prospect’s Twitter account was allegedly hacked just prior to the draft and a picture was posted with him using marijuana. As a result, Ole Miss offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil watched his stock tumble, eventually being selected 5-10 places later than where he was projected. The difference in contract values from being picked #6 overall from #13 where he was picked? Nearly $8 MILLION. That doesn’t even factor in any national or local sponsors who are unlikely to consider him for endorsement deals.

Click here to read more from


Chicago rolled out the red carpet for the NFL as this year’s host city, turning Grant Park into “Draft Town” for three days of events for fans. According to the Chicago Tribune, the “Draft Town” area will cover the equivalent of 20 football fields with attractions, displays and hands-on activities.

Click here for some visuals from and here for a “Draft Town” slideshow from


Everything from a new NFL-themed Ferris wheel to Selection Square will be branded by sponsors at the draft in Chicago. A total of 38 brands will have a vested interest in seeing this year’s draft-related events be a success, including Skittles, Dannon, McDonald’s, Visa & Hyundai.

Click here to read more from

Economic Impact

Last year over 200,000 NFL fans visited Chicago for draft related festivities. According to a report from Temple University’s Sports Industry Research Institute (via The result? An estimated $81.6 million in total economic impact for the area.

The report also suggested that last year’s event created more than 2,000 temporary jobs and more than 800 permanent jobs.


ESPN’s day one coverage of the NFL Draft saw a double digit drop in viewership with a 10% decline. It was, however, still the highest ratest program on cable television for the night.

Some speculated the ratings might enjoy an increase with the boost in draft day interest within the LA market as the re-located Rams held the #1 overall pick. However, LA wasn’t even a top ten market in terms of TV ratings. Here are the highest metered markets for Thursday’s coverage:

1. Cleveland (13.3)
2. Columbus (13.1)
3. New Orleans (7.8)
4. Dayton (7.7)
5. Birmingham (7.5)

OVERALL, ESPN and ESPN2 actually enjoyed a slight bump in overall audience from last year with an average of nearly 3 million viewers across three days of coverage making the 2016 NFL Draft the 7th most-viewed draft since 1994.


Coverage this year also brought an interesting twist with the situation involving prospect Laremy Tunsil’s “hacked” Twitter account.  Much has been made of how ESPN handled the situation during the broadcast.  Sports Illustrated shares a “behind the scenes” look at exactly how things transpired…

Click here for the “Behind the Scenes of NFL Draft Coverage” story from


NFL players make a ton of money coming into the league, but when you’re a top draft pick, the amount of money to be made is unimaginable.Often, one of the first major purchases a highly paid athlete will make coming out of college is a home. In many cases, NFL players relocate from where they went to college to their team’s city or state.

Click here to view a larger image on SCC’s Pinterest page.