Category Archives: Uncategorized

Louisville’s new Adidas deal one of the most lucrative in college athletics

BusinessofCollegeSports.com founder Kristi Dosh joined Campus Insiders today as their Sports Business Insider to discuss Louisville’s new $40 million/5-year deal with Adidas and why Tom Jurich is the best athletic director in the country….

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!

 

April Athletic Construction Roundup

After a very brief hiatus, the monthly Athletics Construction Roundup is back! It is hard to believe that I have been writing these for over a year now. To celebrate, I’m pleased to unveil a fresh format for the roundup; one that I hope is easier to read and carries less of a rigid, academic feel to it. If you truly hate the new format, feel free to let us know in the comments section.

The Athletics Construction Roundup is a monthly series on construction of athletics facilities. Each month I’ll provide you with a list of athletic construction projects in progress (and recently completed) across the country, including details on budget and scope of the project.

Football

Oklahoma is letting fans vote on the field design for its spring game. Voters will have to choose between six endzone layouts and three midfield logos.

Astroturf will be installing the new turf at Oklahoma State’s Boone Pickens Stadium next month. The new surface is the same as the one installed last year on two fields at the Cowboys’ Sherman E. Smith Training Facility.

Florida State has announced facility upgrades that a locker room renovation. In an interesting move, the facility will include a replica of the set used on ESPN’s College GameDay.

Season tickets are sold out for Baylor’s inaugural season at McLane Stadium. The $260 million stadium will open in the fall.

Texas has hired PricewaterhouseCoopers to complete a feasibility study on the possibility of enclosing the south endzone at Royal-Memorial Stadium. Although the expansion would increase capacity, its primary goal would be addin additional suites to the stadium.

Work will begin in May on Virginia Tech’s long awaited indoor practice facility. The $21.3 million project should be completed by the fall of 2015.

Arkansas State has added three LED digital displays to the area outside of Centennial Bank Stadium.

 

Basketball

VCU’s men’s and women’s basketball will call a new complex home in 15 months. The $25 million project includes locker rooms and practice courts.

A similar project will be built at Georgetown. The John R. Thompson Intercollegiate Athletics Center will be a $60 million, 144,000 square foot facility when it is completed in 2016.

Humphrey Coliseum at Mississippi State is getting a new centerhung video board. The project also includes standard upgrades such as shot and locker room clocks.

 

Baseball

Central Michigan’s Itchy Jones Stadium opened last month. This photo gallery provides a detailed look at the facility and the festivities surrounding its opening.

 

Softball

With a new program often a new facility follows. That’s the case with Montana as a $1 million stadium will built before the department’s inaugural softball season begins next year.

Which Final Four Team Does Twitter the Best?

Twitter_logo_blueThe college basketball season reaches its pinnacle over the next few days with the Final Four on Saturday and the National Championship on Monday. In addition to final practices and traveling to Dallas, intercollegiate athletic departments have been busy pumping out school spirit via social media.

Perhaps in no industry is Twitter as important as sports. According to Nielsen, who launched Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings in the fall of 2013, 50 percent of all tweets about television in 2013 were about sports events. In addition, sporting events accounted for 12 of the top 20 most-tweeted-about television broadcasts.

It comes as no surprise then that every major intercollegiate athletic program is on Twitter. Indeed, most departments have multiple Twitter accounts – one for each sport and one for the entire department. For Florida, Kentucky, UConn, and Wisconsin, their men’s basketball accounts have been in overdrive throughout March Madness, but particularly since their teams secured spots in the Final Four last weekend.

So, who’s doing it best?

Keep reading….

Why the Dayton Flyers stand to make big money by reaching the Elite 8

I don’t know about you, but I love a good fairy tale. Especially when it involves Cinderella and a basketball. This year, the role of Cinderella is being played by University of Dayton, which earned its first berth in the Elite Eight since 1984.

While the rest of us are glued to our television screens, administrators and communications professionals in Dayton are scrambling to answer media requests and capitalize on their moment in the sun. No matter what happens against Florida tomorrow, Dayton will be basking in the afterglow for months, if not years, to come.

Click here to continue reading my piece on The Motley Fool.

Everything you need to know about Northwestern student athlete unionization ruling

On Wednesday the National Labor Relations Board’s regional office in Chicago ruled in favor of scholarship student athletes at Northwestern, declaring them employees and allowing them to collectively bargain with the University going forward, much in the same way we’re familiar with professional sports leagues collectively bargaining with their athletes. Here are the answers you need to about how this ruling might impact college football:

What does the ruling mean?

Click here to keep read my answers to your biggest questions about the NLRB ruling on Bleacher Report.

Kristi Joins Campus Insiders to Discuss NLRB Decision

Yesterday, the NLRB regional office in Chicago declared scholarship football student athletes at Northwestern are employees who can unionize and seek to collectively bargain with the University. What does it really mean? I break it down with Bonnie Bernstein on Campus Insiders….

How are Fans Getting Their College Sports Fix?

Fans love their live college sports. It comes as no surprise then that over the years more and more NCAA games have been available on Cable and Satellite, with teams getting more national exposure than ever before. When teams and conferences create their own networks, the deals that cable providers make to carry these networks can be extremely lucrative. The most recent of these deals comes in the form of DISH network coming to terms with The Walt Disney Company to carry both the Longhorn Network and SEC Network.

In response to this new deal, it is interesting to note how college sports fans are really watching their favorite teams compete. Prior to SEC Network signing on with DISH, the only providers that had arranged to carry the network were not national ones. Thus, if someone from outside the coverage networks of either AT&T U-Verse or National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative would have wanted to watch a program on SEC Network starting this summer, he or she would have had to look elsewhere.

With the proliferation of online streaming services, such as Netflix, when viewers can’t get their college sports fix on TV, it makes sense that they would turn to the Internet. In fact, ESPN is giving 15 college conferences their own dedicated, national TV channels streamed over the Internet through WatchESPN. These channels will initially be available on Apple TV and Roku set-top devices, but there are plans to expand to computers, tablets, smartphones, etc. Typically, one can access WatchESPN, a website that allows one to stream a multitude of ESPN channels, if he or she is a current subscriber of a traditional cable provider such as Comcast, Time Warner Cable, AT&T U-verse TV, Cablevision, or Verizon FiOS. WatchESPN has also been available through Apple TV and Roku, whose subscribers have spent a higher than average time viewing WatchESPN, in comparison to those that have access to it through their cable subscriptions. The 15 new college conference channels are from those conferences that do not have a major TV presence currently, such as the ACC, America East, Big West, Mid-American, Missouri Valley, Southern, and Sun Belt.

The Costs of Watching College Sports

One of the advantages of WatchESPN providing these channels on Roku and Apple TV is that the conferences do not need to negotiate with cable or satellite providers about carriage fees and terms. What some viewers do not realize is this helps them from paying those TV subscriptions fees that seem to increase every year. When ESPN inks a deal with a certain conference (professional or collegiate), it usually pays a hefty price to broadcast the games. Those costs are then passed onto the TV providers (cable or satellite) that broadcast ESPN. Finally, those costs are then passed onto the viewers, who continue pay for the cable and satellite subscriptions due to the fact that these TV providers are still the main players in bringing live sports action into the home.

Besides the costs borne by viewers, TV providers also stand to bear dire costs by not providing their subscribers with the college teams that they want to watch. Presently, DirecTV, unlike its main competitor DISH Network, has not come to terms to carry the SEC Network. This has angered many fans, with some of them taking to Twitter to threaten that they would switch providers if DirecTV will not carry it. How many subscribers would actually switch still remains to be seen, but since many hardcore sports fans choose DirecTV because of its NFL Sunday Ticket package, the number could potentially be substantial.

A more in-depth breakdown of the costs associated with carrying collegiate sports on television can be found here.

Florida State Football Season Ticket Sales Skyrocketing

Hot off their national championship win, the Florida State Seminoles are experiencing extremely high demand for football season tickets. With a 90% renewal rate from previous season ticket holders and more than 9,400 new season tickets sold, Florida State could conceivably sell out of season tickets by the end of spring.

The 9,400 new season tickets sold so far this spring is 200% higher than new season tickets sold all of last year. The Seminoles are also seeing a renewal rate that is 210% higher than in past years for existing season ticket holders.

Season ticket sales boost the athletic department in a number of ways.

Click here to keep reading my piece on The Motley Fool.

Student Athletes Could Get Vote on NCAA Governance

NCAAAs Northwestern student athletes are in the midst of an attempt to form a union, the NCAA is considering adding a student athlete to the Board of Directors that would vote on legislation for Division I. A post on the NCAA’s website says the steering committee working on the restructuring of Division I will deliver a proposed governance model this spring so that it can be discussed at the spring meetings held by the various athletic conferences. 

“We are leaning toward a board of 17 presidents, but we are considering adding additional voices to the boardroom,” said Wake Forest University President Nathan Hatch, who is both chairman of the current Board of Directors and of the steering committee. “We have yet to decide whether these new positions would have a vote or not.”

Currently, student athletes have non-voting seats on some of the councils which report to the Board of Directors. They’ve never had a seat on the Board of Directors, not even in a non-voting capacity. No doubt this will be one of the issues discussed by conferences this spring.

While the Northwestern student athletes are seeking to unionize as employees of the University, not as employees of the NCAA, it’s an issue the NCAA is no doubt taking into consideration, because at its heart the NCAA is really just the member institutions working in concert. NCAA President Mark Emmert is not a dictator who signs new regulations into existence on his own. Member institutions vote on all those rules and regulations, and currently they all have an equal voice.

That’s why it’s so difficult for the five “power conferences” to pass anything with regards to stipends or anything else largely driven by football and its revenue – every institution in Division I (a total of 351 institutions for 2013-2014), including those who play football at the FCS level, or who don’t play football at all, votes on all legislation. In the end, there are more Division I institutions not in the power five conferences than there are in those five conferences.

Under the model being proposed by the steering committee, there would be a decision-making body called, the “Council.” That group would be made up of potentially 38 members: one from each conference (likely athletic directors), two student athletes and four conference commissioners. The athletic director who chairs the Council would likely have a seat on the Board of Directors.

The new model also suggests that the five power conferences might have some, “legislative autonomy” when it comes to football, meaning those conferences could essentially make some of their own rules. As you can imagine, that would likely increase the gulf between the so-called haves and have-nots in college football. However, it could mean greater benefits for student athletes in a number of areas, as the institutions in the power conferences are really the only ones producing net revenue in football.

However, the steering committee still wants an override option for the members of Division I. Whether or not that override would apply to football-specific legislation by the five power conferences is unclear. Currently, it only takes 75 override requests (from the total 351 member institutions) for proposed legislation to go to an override vote, wherein a 5/8 majority of voting schools can defeat the proposal. The steering committee is proposing raising the number of votes required for an override in the future.

So, how soon could we see these changes to Division I governance and a real voice for student athletes (with potentially two student athletes on the Council and one of the Board of Directors)? The Board of Directors hopes to adopt at least the basic structure by August. 

Here’s my question: does the potential good for student athletes outweigh the potential negative impact on the non-power conferences at the FBS level?

Kristi A. Dosh is an attorney and founder of BusinessofCollegeSports.com. Her latest book on the business of college football, Saturday Millionaires, is available now. Visit SaturdayMillionaires.com for retailers and a sneak peak at the first chapter! Follow her on Twitter: @SportsBizMiss.