Sports Media

Sports’ Most Popular Non-Sporting Event

Why Do People Love the NFL Draft So Much?

It’s the 3-day event that keeps sports fanatics in constant anticipation and filled with exhilaration. Dressed in their favorite team’s colors, people watch a well-dressed man read a name off a card in hopes that name will make their favorite team even greater. Ironically, it’s really not a sporting event at all. It’s the NFL Draft.

The general concept of the NFL Draft is where professional teams take turns selecting players from the college rank. The NFL Draft’s popularity has increased dramatically since its debut in 1936.  From solely being broadcasted in hotel ballrooms in the 1990s, to 2014 producing a record of 45.7 million viewers from across the country.

The popularity of the draft helps prepare the athletes for their future in the NFL; following on behavior, finance, marketing, turning the transition from college athletics to NFL athletics.

So why do sports fans go into a frenzy over this event? A Philadelphia media psychologist explains,

 “It’s a product of armies of PR people who want to keep fans engaged throughout the offseason,” said Michael Broder

Essentially, people love football, and even when the sport is out of season, fans want to stay connected. The media responds and creates what I call the “offseason Superbowl”. All the advertisements, viewers, and excitement without the actual sport. So with all this fun, where is the money behind this event?

The NFL Draft’s economic impact…

After being held in New York City for 50 years, the 2015 NFL Draft was brought to Chicago, IL. The event brought 200,000 visitors to the city over the 3-day event, and Chicago’s economy boomed.

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In 2016, the draft drove plenty of business to local hotels and created more than 2,000 temporary jobs and more than 800 permanent jobs in Chicago.

The city of Philadelphia released a statement that it will be the 2017 host of the NFL draft. It is estimated that the city could see an economic impact of more than $80 million dollars for the region.

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So, it’s clear that the NFL draft positively impacts its host cities, but how does it affect the nation’s economy?

Like all highly publicized events, the NFL Draft is sponsored by many companies, which means it’s loaded with advertisements. The draft is now viewed as a “tentpole event” where companies can directly connect their brands to the country’s most-popular sports league.

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Companies who advertise their products during the NFL Draft automatically see profits rise.

The NFL Draft isn’t just an offseason sports event, it’s an economic goldmine.

Sources:

How the NFL Turned Its Draft Into the ‘McRib’ of Sporting Events

Philadelphia Business Journal

Fox Business

CSN Chicago

Choose Chicago

The Guardian

NFL

Psychology Today

City of Philadelphia

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Sports Media

A Throw Worth Millions

Why do MLB players make so much money?

Twenty-nine baseball players have signed contracts worth more than Kobe Bryant’s deal with the Lakers.

Baseball, by nature, demands less physically than other popular sports in the US (basketball, hockey, football). So how come baseball players make significantly more than the others?

For one, there is no salary caps or max contracts allowing free agents to demand as much money as they desire.

In 2014, Giancarlo Stanton signed the biggest sports contract in history with the Miami Marlins, $325,000,000 for 13 years.

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Chicago Cubs all-star pitcher Jake Arrieta (seen below) demanded a 7-year contract worth $200 million dollars in order to stay with the World Series champions. Why? Because that’s what players of his caliber are making.

MLB: Chicago Cubs at Los Angeles Dodgers

It makes us ask questions. How does the MLB have so much money to spend on one player? Are player contracts the result of inflation in that market?

Here is a list of the largest sports contracts in history. MLB players blow every other professional athlete out of the water.

TV provides the big bucks…

The development in media over time has been the biggest component of the rising market of professional sports. Television is a huge reason why the MLB is worth billions. Baseball is notorious for being a time-consuming sport, the average game lasts two hours and 56 minutes. That means a lot of TV time which means a lot of advertisement time. Advertisers pay to show their products on television,  the MLB consumes a certain percent of what the TV provider makes off those advertisers.

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If the MLB did not demand some of the income given to TV providers from advertisers, there would be unfair distribution, which is why the MLB unionized a players demanded their fair share.

Baseball is played in a series, typically a three-game series. This means more television time, which means more money. The average MLB team plays 162 games a season.

As the saying goes, time is money.

Sources:

Marketplace

ForTheWin

Wikipedia

Sports Management

Expanding the Strike Zone

Fox Sports

Baseball Reference 

Heavy

CBS Sports

Sports Media

Madness, Money, and Collegiate Sports Media

The Media’s Obsession with “Amateur” Athletics

Right now, the most talked about sports event in the media is the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, otherwise known as “March Madness“. The tournament has grown from a competitive amateur event to an American phenomenon.

Brackets, Brackets, Brackets…

What makes March Madness so exciting is the creation of a bracket. Celebrities, influencers, politicians and many others make all make brackets and share them in the media. A bracket consists of one’s “picks” for who will win each round of the tournament. President Obama recently shared his predictions for this year’s tournament.

both-brackets-2017-v4-men-1024x791Betting and creating brackets is half the fun with March Madness; the other half is watching the games. Men’s basketball games are notorious for upsets (lower seeded team defeating the higher seed), making the games exciting and intense.

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March Madness Hurting Our Economy?

Massive amounts of people watch these games, according to the NCAA, the 2015 tournament averaged 11.3 million total viewers. With these high numbers, many fear March Madness may be hurting our economy.

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Nearly 1/3 of Americans plan on watching March Madness games at work this year, this could take a toll on income for companies with distracted employees. Specifically, $1.2 billion for each hour of “lost wages,” according to a calculation by the consultant firm, Challenger, Gray & Christmas. These numbers are up to debate, many believe that if these employees were not watching games, they would be on platforms like Facebook and Twitter anyway.

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The benefits for the cities who host the tournaments are immense. Forbes explains in Providence, it’s estimated that the local economy will generate about $3.5 million from the tournament, in Philadelphia nearly $18 million when they host the East Regional this year.9844003-ncaa-basketball-duke-at-wake-forest-850x560

The television ads for March Madness itself are incredibly striking. An average 30-second ad sold for $1.5 million in 2015 and over $1.1 billion was earned in ad revenue. These numbers are comparable to the price of Super Bowl ads.

The event also has a lasting impact after its completion as evidenced in 2015 by over 350 million people talking about it on social media outlets.

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The economic income of the cities who host the teams are small compared to the billions of dollars expected to pour into the 68-team bracket (now 16-team). In the 2015-2016 season, the division I men’s basketball tournament championship alone made $797.9 million dollars from television and marketing rights (not including merchandise and ticket sales.) The tournament earns $10 billion dollars from giving CBS streaming right alone.

March Madness provides a new era of income in sports broadcasting. The constant discussion of the tournament across social media allows its audience to continue to grow; making the NCAA, universities and hosting cities millions of dollars.

Since the athletes make no income, where does this money go? Click here to see the NCAA’s explanation.

Sources:

Forbes

NCAA

Economist 

Challenger Grey

New Republic

Huffington Post

CBS Philadelphia

WPRI