Author Archives: NewsTeam

The Business of the Final Four

BusinessofCollegeSports.com founder, Kristi Dosh, went on Campus Insiders today to talk about the business of the Final Four…including what happens to the court when it’s all over!

 

Division 1 Athletic Directors to Stand United Against Pay-for-Play

A source within college athletics sent BusinessofCollegeSports.com a draft of a press release expected to be released today which contains a joint statement from all Division I athletic directors about pay-for-play and NCAA governance. The press release and a public statement are expected later today.

A record turnout of 120 Division 1A (Football Bowl Subdivision) athletics directors attended this year’s annual meeting in Dallas on Sept. 23 and 24, and they are in accordance in their belief that a unified voice is necessary to articulate their support of the primary mission of intercollegiate athletics: a world-class education and a quality athletic experience for talented student-athletes.

“As a group, the athletics directors are engaged in developing recommendations that will improve the governance and operation of intercollegiate athletics,” said Morgan Burke, president of the Division 1A Athletic Directors Association and athletics director at Purdue University.

Burke and Mike Alden, president of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and athletics director at the University of Missouri, will serve as national spokesmen for all 351 Division 1 programs.

Discussions included topics ranging from NCAA governance and enforcement to the disparity of interests and resources among Division 1 schools to the rejection of the “pay-for-play” model.

While recent reports have chronicled the ineffective NCAA governance and enforcement systems, the Division 1A athletics directors have pledged to be active participants in the process to bring about change, calling for streamlining and efforts that complement and align with the values of higher education.

“While our jobs keep our focus on the daily issues of athletics on our campuses, we recognize that we are best positioned to implement realistic changes in the governance and administration of athletics,” Alden said. “As stewards of the enterprise, we are committed to providing meaningful, realistic and impactful leadership in defining a bright future for intercollegiate athletics.”

Realizing that differences exist among the 351 Division 1 programs, Burke said, “Changes need to reflect such variances while preserving and building upon areas of common interest.”

The athletics directors are chiefly concerned with public dialogue that does not accurately reflect the true value of intercollegiate athletics to student-athletes.

“Pay for play has no part in the amateur setting,” Burke said, noting that the value of a full scholarship and direct support services at Purdue has a value in excess of $250,000. Plus, student-athletes with a full scholarship have no loan to pay back, an expense that could run upwards of $200,000 at Purdue.

Furthermore, integrity issues need to be handled effectively in the enforcement system, which is presently under review. “Institutions must clearly understand the meaning of institutional control and must reinforce integrity as a core value,” Burke said.

Alden pointed out that athletics directors have been hired by the university presidents to lead their campus organizations and are important stakeholders in the national governance system. “We have been entrusted with the responsibility to provide a quality academic and athletic experience for our student-athletes on campus,” he said.

College Athletic Programs Vying to Be Dominant in Twitter-sphere

By: James Maddox

Twitter has been around for over seven years, and it becomes more difficult to get a competitive social edge by the day. The college athletic programs that are leading the way are mastering the art of engagement and constantly trying to push the envelope of social creativity. It’s not enough to retweet and favorite relevant news. In today’s age of social media the top programs are utilizing video (YouTube and Vine) and photo (Instagram) content as well as figuring out new ways to excite followers. Which programs are doing this the best? Thanks to the University of Tennessee we now have a clearer picture.

Recently the Tennessee athletic department posted the top college programs on Twitter in various sports on their website, utsports.com. The research is based on follower count which, although not always the most telling statistic, gives an idea of the programs that are leading the way on Twitter across several sports. Below are the top-five portions of the rankings for football, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, and baseball.

No. Men’s Bball Team Twitter Handle # of Followers
1 North Carolina @UNC_Basketball 128,008
2 Michigan @umichbball 69,982
3 Kansas @KUHoops 50,293
4 Michigan St. @MSU_Basketball 46,220
5 Kentucky @KentuckyMBB 36,272

 

No. Women’s Bball Team Twitter Handle # of Followers
1 Tennessee @LadyVol_Hoops 15,054
2 Kentucky @UKHoopCats 12,515
3 Baylor @BaylorWBB 9,015
4 Notre Dame @ndwbb 8,235
5 Michigan @umichwbball 6,163

 

No. Football Team Twitter Handle # of Followers
1 Michigan @umichfootball 149,382
2 LSU @LSUfball 106,182
3 Alabama @AlabamaFTBL 84,300
4 Tennessee @Vol_Football 69,003
5 Texas A&M @AggieFootball 63,117

 

After glancing at the charts compiled by the UT athletic department I decided to do some further analysis to find a way to account for all of the sports listed when it comes to the top college programs. I used a reverse-scoring system for the top-25 rankings for each of the 14 sports (25 points for the top ranked program and 1 point for the 25th ranked program). It turns out the University of Michigan has the best athletic program on social media based on followers across 14 different sports. The Wolverines earned 304 points out of a possible 350 points, followed by the Florida Gators (235 points), Texas Longhorns (224 points), Texas A&M Aggies (211 points), and LSU Tigers (204 points).

The Michigan Wolverines football team has more Twitter followers than any other team for any other sport in the NCAA at over 150,000. They post breaking news and photos from summer football camp but they also go above and beyond to be one of the best social programs. On July 2nd the Michigan football twitter account (@umichfootball) held a private VIP event for their followers. From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. followers had special access to players and coaches as well as exclusive giveaways, including tickets against their rival Ohio State Buckeyes.

If you go back and look at July 2nd on the @umichfootball page you can easily see that the top ranking for Michigan football among all college football programs on Twitter is earned and not a fluke. The program interacted with hundreds of fans through the day and gave fans special access to the program. Furthermore there were trivia contests for prizes, Twitter chats with players and coaches from the football team, and exclusive videos from some of the players as well. The Wolverines made an excellent effort to cross-platform with their other social media pages. The exclusive videos were usually through their Vine account and one contest to win a pair of season tickets required followers to use Vine or Instagram to have the chance to be selected. To make the event even more special the hash tags ‘#GoBlueVIP’ and ‘#BeatOhio’ were trending worldwide, which is remarkable during the offseason.

The Florida Gators and Texas Longhorns are two other programs that utilize their Twitter accounts in excellent fashion. The Gators are arguably one of the better programs at directing followers to their website, GatorZone.com, and using video content to engage. The Longhorns have done an excellent job at using their Twitter page to get their fans pumped up about the upcoming season through a video countdown. Every day they post a new video highlighting a past Longhorn moment to celebrate the day being one day closer to kickoff.

For complete lists for the top college athletics programs on Twitter, visit http://www.utsports.com/genrel/071113aad.html.

Triumphant Troy: USC wins deal to own LA Coliseum

By: Myles J. Robinson

The Los Angeles Coliseum has been a staple in America sports, hosting two summer Olympics along with numerous Super Bowls and World Series. Holding on to tradition, the Coliseum Commission, University of Southern California advisors and Los Angeles Science Center board members have just finished their fight for financial control of the National Historic Landmark.

Considering the 2011 scandal, which featured bribery and embezzlement on behalf of three Coliseum managers and their business partners, it should not come as a surprise that USC was able to leverage its way to claim as much as 95% of the naming rights on the Coliseum.

The new partnership allows USC to tear down the neighboring Sports Arena and replace it with a professional soccer stadium or large amphitheater. If the Trojans choose to build a soccer stadium, surprisingly none of the resulting revenues are allowed for public use. Besides USC retaining all ticket and concession revenues at any future Coliseum events, the deal includes numerous other facets:

  • USC must spend at least $70 million on renovations during the deal’s first ten years and $30 million more by 2054 to keep the lease the full term
  • USC has two years to renovate the Coliseum in accordance with “public benefit objectives” (via the December 7, 2011 lease agreement)
  • The California Science Center will receive a $1 million yearly rent payment, which will increase to $1.3 million by 2016

Despite the great assets gained from the private university, there is still disapproval from many different angles. The California African American Museum reported the Exposition Park would lose an estimated $23 million over the life of the 98-year deal. Exposition Park, which receives about 80% of its dollars from parking, includes the Coliseum and neighboring sites like the California Science Center, the California African American Museum and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. California Science Center Foundation Trustee Marvin Holen claims his criticism is centers around education not economics, noting the deal impacts the youth programs at Exposition Park’s neighboring museums. Holen warned against the agreement last week saying, “If anyone had any sense, they’d dial 911.”

San Diego resident Steve Owen is a bit more optimistic, according to the Los Angeles Times:

“I am happy that USC will control the Coliseum…This will be much better than the three-ring circus we have with the Coliseum Commission, one of the most incompetent government agencies ever assembled.”

USC Athletic Director Pat Haden, who was quoted last week in the Daily Trojan, also is in support: “…this deal does not in any way hurt the museums in Exposition Park and in fact helps solve major financial problems looming over the Science Center…”

As the host of two summer Olympics and numerous Super Bowls and World Series, the Lost Angeles Coliseum has been in the hearts of Californians for almost a century. Named a National Historic Landmark in 1984, the Coliseum now seeks to keep its landmark status by making its renovations complimentary to the building, something Soldier Field did not follow back in 2002. The stadium’s future upgrades put it in the lead to contend as the temporary home of a Los Angeles NFL team. It is interesting to note the Rose Bowl is also currently under its own renovation project, which is valued at $152 million.

Fight on, Trojans — this time you’re playing for the public interest of California.

Julie Hermann Posts Open Letter to Rutgers’ Student-Athletes

On her first day on the job, Rutgers controversial new athletic director Julie Hermann posted an open letter to her student-athletes on ScarletKnights.com. Accused of having verbally abused student-athletes she coached at University of Tennessee nearly two decades ago, who reportedly delivered her a letter outlining their concerns shortly before she moved out of coaching and into administration, this part of her letter to Rutgers’ student-athletes is particularly interesting:

One of my primary goals as your athletic director is to create a best-in-class student-athlete care system. We are committed to developing programs to support both your athletic and your academic pursuits, which includes establishing procedures to ensure that you can always voice any issues or concerns you might have.

You can read the full letter here.

Kansas and IMG Ink Deal with Time Warner Cable Sports

Kansas Jayhawks

Today, Kansas Athletics and IMG College announced a new long-term television partnership with Time Warner Cable Sports. The deal will see over 300 hours of original programming air annually, including live games and “extensive non-game programming solely focused on the Jayhawks,” according to a press release.

In addition to live programming, non-game programming will be available via video on-demand to Time Warner Cable customers around the country. Regionally, Time Warner Cable Metro Sports, will carry live games, including football, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, volleyball, baseball, softball, soccer and track and field events.

“When Time Warner Cable Sports approached us with this concept, we knew, if done right, it could greatly benefit Kansas Athletics and our fan base,” Kansas Director of Athletics Sheahon Zenger said. “With more Kansas Athletics programming available throughout the state and to Time Warner cable customers throughout the country than ever has been before, Jayhawk fans will have more opportunities to catch our sports in action. We are eager to work with Time Warner Cable Metro Sports to bring this exciting concept to life.”

Non-game programming will include, “pre- and post-game shows for Jayhawk football and men’s basketball games, a weekly “magazine-style” show, Hawk Talk Radio Show simulcasts, a social media-centered show driven by fans, live press conferences, a Jayhawk Rewind highlight show, a quarterly Jayhawk Legends series and quarterly University of Kansas academic specials,” according to the press release.

 

UConn to Add 2,000 Temporary Seats for Michigan Game

By: Hunter Mundy

The Connecticut Huskies will be hosting the Michigan Wolverines football team on September 21, 2013.  For UConn, this may be the biggest home game ever scheduled.  The game will take place at the Huskies’ Rentaschler Field, which has a normal capacity of 40,000 fans.  This will be the second game in the contracted series between the two teams.  The first game, a 2010 Wolverine victory of 30-10, was held before of a crowd of 113,090 at Michigan Stadium.

Connecticut normally allots 3,000 tickets to visiting opponents, but the contract with Michigan requires UConn to reserve 5,000 tickets for the Wolverines.  In order to keep the same amount of season ticket opportunities, UCONN plans to add 2,000 temporary seats to the stadium’s capacity.  While the Huskies have had numerous games in past years where crowds reached the 40,000 capacity, the additional seats, along with this game’s high demand for tickets, are sure to set a new record for football attendance.

In 2009, UConn’s average attendance was 38,229, and in 2012 the average number of spectators at Connecticut’s six home games was 34,672. Over four years, the ticket demand for Huskies football tickets has decreased by approximately 3 percent. Not taking into account required donations during the 2009-2011 cycle, tickets ranged from $150 for reserved seats to $210 for mezzanine chairs for a six-game home schedule.  For 2013, which has a seven-game home schedule featuring the Wolverines, season ticket prices range from $175 for reserved seats to $280 for mezzanine chairs.  UCONN/Michigan game attendees (outside of those purchased through the Wolverines allotment) will be required to purchase season tickets through the Huskies Athletic Ticket Office.

Some may ask why Michigan would not renegotiate or buy their way out of this contract in order to allow for an extra home game and the additional revenue that would generate.  Dave Brandon, Michigan athletic director, stated to CBS Sports that even though he could have broken the deal, he opted not to because, “it would screw up [UConn’s] schedule” and force Michigan to “run around trying to find another game.”  While cancelling this game would have led to scheduling difficulties for both groups, allowing this game to take place is truly a win-win for both institutions.

Michigan’s allotted 5,000 seats for this game does not nearly meet the expected ticket demand of Wolverine fans.  With UConn located in one of the most populated areas of the United States, Michigan alumni are plentiful.  For instance, the University of Michigan Alumni Club of New York, based in New York City, has over 13,000 members.  Additionally, there are at least eight UM alumni clubs within a three-hour drive of UConn’s Rentaschler Field. UM Alumni Club members typically have the opportunity to purchase tickets for most home and away Michigan football games.  However, it is the norm for these benefits to exclude rivalry games with Notre Dame and Ohio State as well as other games with traditional high-ticket demand.

As an example of the excitement and limited supply of tickets in the marketplace, the UConn game has also been added to the excluded list of games available directly to UM alumni club members.  Look for UM fans throughout the region to either increase their UM athletic club donations and/or purchase UConn season football tickets in an effort to see their beloved Wolverines live and in person.

The 2013 season will be Connecticut’s first year in the newly named and configured American Athletic Conference.  Having a home opponent on the schedule such as Michigan could not come at a better time.  With losing former Big East rivals West Virginia, Syracuse and Pittsburgh from the Huskies schedule, the Wolverines visit to Rentaschler Field will give the university and its football program a spark and a chance to shine on the national stage.

Many college programs choose to schedule traditional powers in order invigorate their home schedules and grow their program’s budgets.  For instance, UConn’s rival Rutgers hosts the SEC’s Arkansas Razorbacks on the same day the Wolverines visit the Huskies.

In 2010, Duke University hosted the Alabama Crimson Tide, which set a modern day attendance record at the Blue Devils’ Wallace Wade Stadium (35,237).  The #1 Crimson Tide routed Duke 62-13 in front of what ESPN dubbed “a crimson coated stadium named for a former Alabama coach.”  Duke also used temporary stadium seating to accommodate the extra Alabama fans for this big contract game.

Additionally, Michigan State, along with Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan and Western Michigan are a part of an agreement known as “Celebrate the State.”   This contract contains 12 games from 2011 to 2020 with Michigan State facing each team four times during the period.  One game of each these four game series will be played on the home field of Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan and Western Michigan.  In 2012, Michigan State visited Central Michigan and won 41-7.  This game set an attendance record for Kelly/Shorts Stadium of 35,127 spectators with plenty of green-clad Spartans fans in attendance. Johnny Adams, Michigan State’s cornerback, stated to ESPN, “It was a little different, a smaller environment; but at the end of the day it’s all football.  It’s good for the fans and it’s good for Central to bring the fans out here and put on a great show.”

New Databases Added: 2010-2011 Football Revenue and Expenses

Here at BusinessofCollegeSports.com we keep enormous databases of information to assist in our reporting and analysis. We try to share as much with you as possible, but our web capabilities aren’t always what we wish they were. That being said, we recently came across a great WordPress plugin called TablePress that will allow us to post more of our databases. So, today we give you our 2010-2011 databases on football revenue and expenses (broken down by category) for public FBS schools subject to public disclosure laws.

You can find all of our databases under the Data tab above.

Penn State on the Rebound

By: Alexandria Jenkins

An entire nation was left shocked and speechless when news of the Jerry Sandusky sex-abuse scandal surfaced in November 2011. The Penn State community fell victim to the horrifying betrayal of its former defensive coordinator and was forced to sit by idly as the effects of the crime rippled through “Happy Valley.” For university officials, students, fans and alumni alike, nothing could have proven more sickening than the life-long damage inflicted on Sandusky’s victims.

Then, as if to rub salt in the wound, the NCAA imposed an unprecedented $60 million, five-year fine and four-year postseason ban on the Nittany Lions. Additionally, numerous sponsors cut ties with the university, with along with other costs associated with the scandal brought the school’s total estimated losses attributed to the scandal to $46 million and counting over the past 17 months, according to an article posted by Advertising Age.

Since Dec. 31, 2012, Penn State says it has spent more than $41 million on NCAA fines, legal and consulting fees. Advertising Age added that the university has lost more than $1 million in sponsorship/advertising after companies like General Motors, Cars.com and Sherwin Williams pulled their support for the football team, while forfeiting another $700,000 in licensing royalties from merchandise sales. Furthermore, This month, Penn State will shell out $3.25 million to the Big Ten Conference to be donated to children’s charities as part of the first installment of a four-year, $13 million penalty, according to Scott Chipman, the Conference’s Assistant Commissioner.

Now, six months removed from Sandusky’s trial, Penn State is finally starting its uphill battle towards financial recovery. After pulling its ads in late 2011 “out of respect for those involved,” Cars.com returned to football telecasts last season and has announced plans of staying on for 2013-2014. There is also hope of potential sponsorships with Chevy and State Farm, although no deals have been finalized.

The shamed Penn State brand is also showing signs of recovery. According to Marketing Arm, Penn State ranked in the top five most-trusted NCAA properties in June 2011. By January 2012, the university had fallen to last place among 104 nationally measured schools. It bounced back to the mid-60s in 2012, now ranking among well-respected schools like Stanford, Michigan and Harvard.

Despite all of this, Cynthia Hall, Penn State’s acting Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, said that the university did not increase its overall marketing budget since the scandal occurred.

Educators: Business of College Football Text Coming Soon!

If you’re an educator who teaches a course that could benefit from BusinessofCollegeSports.com founder Kristi Dosh’s upcoming book on the business of college football, SATURDAY MILLIONAIRES, please visit this page and register for more information.