DISH Will Carry Longhorn Network and SEC Network

SEC NetworkDISH has reached a wide-ranging deal with The Walt Disney Company, which includes Longhorn Network and SEC Network. The channels are headed to your DISH lineup in time for college football season this fall if you have the America’s Top 120+ and higher packages.

Longhorn Network, which launched in 2011, will see its distribution numbers double with the DISH deal, and DISH is the first nationwide provider to announce it will carry SEC Network. AT&T U-Verse has also committed to carrying the SEC Network, but the cable company is currently available in just 22 states to 5.5 million subscribers.

Both Longhorn Network and SEC Network will be available to DISH subscribers both at home and on-the-go, allowing fans to view live and on-demand content on their computers, tablets and mobile devices.

Longhorn Network features more than 175 athletic events a year, including at least one University of Texas non-conference football game each year. Last year, LHN aired three games: two non-conference games against New Mexico State and Ole Miss, and one conference game against Kansas. LHN also airs coaches’ shows and pre- and post-game coverage, along with events from 20 sports, academic and cultural programming.

SEC Network launches this August and will air more than 1,000 live events, including three football games each Saturday. In addition, more than 100 men’s basketball games, 60 women’s basketball games, 75 baseball games, and 50 softball games and events from other SEC sports will be featured on SEC Network for the 2014-2015 school year. SEC Network will also air a College GameDay-like show on Saturday mornings called SEC Nation, which will feature Tim Tebow as an analyst.

In addition to the other new offerings, DISH subscribers will also get access to WatchESPN for the first time with the new deal, along with ESPN Goal Line and ESPN Buzzer Beater. ESPNEWS, ESPNU will also launch in high definition on DISH with the new agreement, and ESPN Classic will be offered as a video-on-demand channel. In addition, the new deal gives DISH subscribers a host of Disney and ABC on-demand products.

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.

Wichita State Lands Improved Nike Deal

I was quoted today in the Wichita Eagle regarding Wichita State’s improved apparel contract with Nike. Regarding the fact that WSU’s deal isn’t for all the school’s sports and doesn’t include a cash component, here’s what I had to say:

Different apparel agreements for each sport and the absence of cash are not unusual for a lot of universities, including mid-major ones such as WSU, said Kristi Dosh, a Florida-based lawyer and author of “Saturday Millionaires: How Winning Football Builds Winning Colleges.”

“It takes that consistent appearance in bowl games or March Madness” for a university to get an apparel contract that outfits all its teams and provides a cash stipend, she said.

Dosh said that apparel deals are also influenced by which collegiate athletic conference a school belongs to. “Power conferences” such as the Southeastern Conference and the Atlantic Coast Conference tend to have a lot of their games broadcast nationally, which means more and repetitive exposure for apparel brands.

“It’s about getting that uniform … on national television; that’s exposure for Nike, Under Armour or Adidas.”

 
Click here to read the piece in its entirety.
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.

 

Dockers Adds 10 Universities to Game Day Line

Last fall, Dockers launched its Game Day Khakis, which feature an internal stamp of the school slogan and an embroidered school logo on the exterior. It was Dockers first foray into the world of collegiate athletics merchandise, and no doubt an attempt to capitalize on the $4.6 billion collegiate-licensed apparel market.

Dockers’ vice president and chief marketing officer Adrienne Lofton Shaw told me during the launch last fall that although the company’s initial Game Day line only featured 10 universities, there were plans to expand.

“Know that very quickly — within the next couple of months — we’re going to be expanding beyond these 10 schools,” Shaw said in August. “Our goal will be not only to grow 10 schools every season, but also we’re looking at how do we create a custom program where [fans] can go to Dockers.com and be able to get any school they want.”

Well, Dockers has made good on the first part of its promise, announcing 10 more universities today.

Original offerings in the Game Day Khakis line were Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, LSU, Aggies Dockers, Minnesota, Missouri, Oregon State, Texas A&M and Washington State. 

The new universities being offered include Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Kansas, Louisville, Oklahoma, Syracuse, Tennessee, and Wisconsin.

In addition, Dockers has added shorts as a third fit in the line, accompanying the classic and alpha fits.

Dockers now has 14 of the Top 25 universities for licensing sales, as ranked by Collegiate Licensing Company, who handles licensing for nearly 200 colleges, universities, bowl games, athletic conferences, the Heisman Trophy and the NCAA.

CLC’s Top 25 for the last quarter were (emphasis added for universities licensed by Dockers):

(1.) The University of Texas at Austin

(2.) The University of Alabama

(3.) University of Notre Dame

(4.) The University of Michigan

(5.) University of Georgia

(6.) University of Florida

(7.) Louisiana State University

(8.) Texas A&M University

(9.) University of Nebraska

(10.) University of Kentucky

(11.) The University of Oklahoma

(12.) University of Arkansas

(13.) University of Tennessee

(14.) University of North Carolina

(15.) University of Wisconsin

(16.) University of South Carolina

(17.) West Virginia University

(18.) Auburn University

(19.) University of Missouri

(20.) Florida State University

(21.) The Pennsylvania State University

(22.) University of Louisville

(23.) The University of Kansas

(24.) Clemson University

(25.) Oklahoma State University

It’s easy to see why Dockers is moving into the college space. Sales of collegiate-licensed merchandise are second only to MLB, which is pegged at $5.0 billion a year. The NFL and NBA follow, at $3.25 billion and $3.0 billion, respectively. Licensed merchandise sales only accounts for $1.3 billion a year in the NHL and $1 billion in NASCAR.

What university would you like Dockers to expand to include?

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.

Using Math to Build the Perfect March Madness Bracket

The Museum of Mathematics in New York City is hosting a bracketology workshop where you can get a little more scientific about your March Madness bracket. The museum claims the computer software its expert, Dr. Chartier, and his students have developed has produced brackets that have beaten, “as many as 99.9 percent of competitors in ESPN’s bracket challenge.”

Are you willing to wager $50 on the registration for the potential to win $1 billion from Warren Buffett?

If so, here’s how you can register for the workshop:

 

WHO: Dr. Tim Chartier, Davidson College Professor and Bracketology Expert

Glen Whitney, MoMath Founder and Executive Director

WHEN: Thursday, March 13, 2014, 7:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.

WHERE: National Museum of Mathematics (MoMath)

11 E. 26th Street (between 5th and Madison)

New York, NY

RSVP: Click here

UF Sports Law Symposium

I’m a keynote speaker at University of Florida’s Sports Law Symposium on Friday, April 4th. If you’re in the area or can make it into town, it looks like a great lineup for the day! Along with me, you’ll also get two of my friends in the business, Alicia Jessop and Darren Heitner. Hope to see you there!

UF Sports Law Symposium

Don’t Expect College Athletes to Unionize Any Time Soon

Football players at Northwestern University have officially filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board asking to be treated as a labor union. The College Athletes Players Association, as they propose to call it, would have a seat at the table when the NCAA decides on issues that impact student athletes; like the players associations in professional athletics, they would have the right to collectively bargain with the NCAA.

Principally, the student athletes say their concerns focus primarily on issues of health and safety. Among other things, they’d like scholarships to be guaranteed, even if the player can no longer play due to injury or other medical issues. In addition, the group would pursue the creation of a trust fund players could tap into after their NCAA eligibility is complete in order to complete their degree or be rewarded for degree completion.

A union would give student athletes leverage they lack now, from the simple strength of acting as a group to the protection of labor laws. It’s easy to see why student athletes might want to form a union, but there’s no doubt they’ll face an uphill battle.

Click here to continue reading Kristi’s piece on The Federalist.

Kristi Dosh on Northwestern Football Players’ Efforts to Unionize

Curious whether Northwestern student athletes seeking to form a union will be successful? I researched the issue of college athletes unionizing extensively for Chapter 3 of my book on the business of college football, Saturday Millionaires, and today I had the chance to talk to Kent Sterling on 1070 The Fan in Indianapolis to share a condensed version of what I learned….

If you’re interested in learning more, check out my book on the business of college football, Saturday Millionaires.

Notre Dame and Tennessee Both Leave Adidas – Coincidence?

Notre Dame left Adidas for Under Armour when its contract ended last month. Ok, fine. It’s not completely unheard of for a college to change apparel companies, although it doesn’t happen that often.

Now Tennessee has announced its leaving Adidas for Nike.

Coincidence?

I don’t know, but it does raise my antenna.

What I do know is that last April I wrote a piece for ESPN about schools that were terminating or suspending their contracts with Adidas over a workers’ rights issue in Indonesia. The issue largely flew under the radar as only university and local papers covered each school independently. All together, however, I found at least 17 schools had terminated or suspended their contract with Adidas.

Neither Notre Dame or Tennessee made public any sort of disappointment or disagreement with Adidas surrounding the workers’ rights issue. Michigan and Wisconsin led the charge against Adidas, with the latter going so far as to file a lawsuit against the apparel giant.

In April, Adidas did settle with the workers in Indonesia. Although it went largely unnoticed by the national media, I believe the pressure applied by major universities like Michigan and Wisconsin played a pivotal role.

I also believe it’s not a coincidence that Notre Dame and Tennessee are both leaving Adidas. Something is going on there – either Adidas has decided not to make college athletics an emphasis  or Notre Dame and Tennessee didn’t like something about the way Adidas was doing business.

Notre Dame is the #3 selling institution in the country for Collegiate Licensing Company, and Tennessee is #15. If Adidas wanted to remain in the collegiate athletics space, why wouldn’t it match or exceed any offer made by Under Armour or Nike?

Sure, Adidas would have to increase Michigan’s contract, as it has this clause requiring it to be Adidas’ highest-paying collegiate apparel contract:

“If during the Term, adidas grants to or contracts with any college or university … that provides for more favorable average annual value … than the current University (of Michigan) average annual value specified in this Agreement … then adidas agrees to make a written offer to grant to the University that same more favorable average annual value on the same terms and conditions that were offered to the other college or university within thirty (30) days of the execution of such other agreement.”

I find it hard to believe that’s the issue here. Michigan currently receives $3.8 million annually in cash payments and $4.4 million in equipment and apparel. Notre Dame’s new deal is reportedly $90 million over 10 years, or $9 million annually in cash and equipment/apparel. If Adidas wanted to stay in the college space, do you really think they wouldn’t bump up Michigan’s $8.2 million annual value in order to keep a major property like Notre Dame?

Tennessee’s new deal with Nike appears to be worth far less than Michigan’s deal (at a reported $34.6 million over 8 years), so Adidas could have matched or exceeded without issue.

It is possible the only story here is that Under Armour will allow Notre Dame the option to take some of its cash in the contract as Under Armour stock instead. It would be great timing for Notre Dame, as Under Armour’s stock hit an all-time high this week, rising 23 percent after releasing its better-than-expected fourth quarter earnings report.

And maybe Tennessee was just ready for a change. I don’t have any answers, but I do still have a lot of questions….

What do you think? Coincidence or not?

 

January Athletic Construction Roundup

The Athletics Construction Roundup is a monthly series on the 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. Here are the construction projects from the past two months:

University of Iowa
After installing unique video walls at Kinnick Stadium, Iowa repurposed the previous board and installed it at the softball facility. The “new” videoboard at Pearl Field is 16 feet tall and 28 feet wide.

University of Hawaii
After repeated construction delays on the Clarence T.C. Ching Athletics Complex, the NCAA has stepped in and could punish Hawaii’s athletic department. Currently, student-athletes are left to use public locker rooms.

Hawaii is also looking to replace the scoreboard at Les Murakami Stadium. The current model has been known be inconsistent.

University of Louisiana at Lafayette
As a part of a previously announced athletics master plan, a made for TV groundbreaking was staged during the Ragin’ Cajuns’ football game against Troy. The first phase of the project will add 6,000 endzone seats.

University of Southern Mississippi
In a move that could become a trend, Southern Miss has introduced a social media suite at Reed Green Coliseum.

Vanderbilt University
Vandy has opened its new indoor practice facility. Among other features, it includes a full length football and a videoboard.

University of North Carolina
North Carolina is in serious, but preliminary, talks about renovating or replacing the Dean Smith Center. No matter which path the project takes, it will include revenue generators such as suites or club levels.

University of Arkansas
Currently the only team in the SEC without a dedicated basketball practice facility, Arkansas will break ground on one of their own. The $25 million facility will be completed by the summer of 2015.

Prairie View A&M University
Prairie View A&M has selected PBK Sports to design its previously announced 15,000 seat stadium and adjoining field house. The projected is expected to be completed in 2016.

San Diego State University
SDSU has unveiled plans for a $14.5 million basketball practice facility. The 23,500 square foot facility could be done by July 2015.

University of Michigan
Michigan will be building a $6 million operations center. The 18,000 square foot facility will house the department’s laundry facilities and maintenance shops, among other spaces.

University of Kentucky
Renderings have been released for a previously announced renovation of Commonwealth Stadium. Although overall capacity will be reduced, the $110 million project will add suites and a dedicated student entrance.

Iowa State University
Following a $25 million donation, Iowa State seems prepared to finally move forward with long standing plans to enclose the south endzone at Jack Trice Stadium. The project still needs to be approved by the board of regents.

Seton Hall University
Seton Hall has opened the Charles W. Doehler Academic Center.

Lafayette College
The recently completed $1.7 million renovation of the Kirby Sports Center has been well received. The project included both practical and aesthetic upgrades.

Drake University
Drake has broken ground a basketball practice facility. The $8 million facility should be completed by fall 2014.

University of Toledo
Toledo has announced a $5 million renovation to Larimer Athletic Complex, its main football building. The project will begin in February and increase space in many areas, including offices and the weight room.

Duke University
Deputy director of athletics Mike Cragg provides an update on previously announced projects at Duke and a few details on the planned renovation of Cameron Indoor Stadium in this interview.

Indiana University
IU is preparing for a major overhaul to Assembly Hall. The project would carry a $30 to $40 million price tag and include premium seating, a jumbotron, and a new entrance way. In related news, following a substantial donation the arena will now be known as Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall going forward.

South Dakota State University and University of South Dakota
South Dakota Regents had a busy day in which they approved numerous projects at the South Dakota State and the University of South Dakota. It unanimously approved the previously announced football stadium for SDSU. It also authorized multiple previously announced projects at South Dakota, including a new multi-sport arena.

University of Arizona
Arizona has announced an $80 million renovation of the McKale Center that will be completed in phases. The design includes a unique entry tunnel that will allow intimate fan access to the team in the moments before they take the floor.

What is FSU’s National Championship Really Worth?

Monday night, Florida State hoisted the crystal football in the middle of the Rose Bowl, and it was just the beginning of the good times for the new national champions. There is no direct financial gain from winning a national title in college football – the winner makes no more than the loser since BCS money is largely based on conference affiliation – but studies and experience tell us there will be much indirect gain for Florida State in the coming months and years.

Click here to continue reading on The Motley Fool.