NBA Business / Basketball Business
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NBA BUSINESS NEWS STORIES
The $1-billion arena the Clippers want to build in Inglewood overcame another obstacle Wednesday when a judge ruled it did not violate the state’s Surplus Land Act. Uplift Inglewood, a community group that advocates for affordable housing, alleged in a lawsuit filed last year that the exclusive negotiating agreement between Inglewood and a Clippers-controlled company breached the act requiring public agencies to give first preference to using extra land for housing, recreation and schools. -- LA Times, Nov. 6, 2019
TD Bank, a New Jersey-based banking and financial services company, has had serious discussions with Miami-Dade County about acquiring naming rights to the Miami Heat’s bayfront arena, according to three non-basketball sources briefed on the situation. One source called TD Bank the front-runner, but another cautioned that even though TD Bank is pursuing rights, other companies also remain in the mix to replace American Airlines as the naming rights sponsor for the 19,600-seat facility. -- Miami Herald, Nov. 3, 2019
Michael Jordan has agreed to sell a large piece of the Charlotte Hornets to two New York-based investors, a sale expected to close in the next few weeks that was first reported by the Observer. A source familiar with the deal said it does not involve the former NBA Most Valuable Player giving up majority ownership of the NBA franchise. Jordan controls about 97 percent of Hornets equity, two sources confirmed. -- Charlotte Observer, Sept. 14, 2019
Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James' attempt to trademark the term "Taco Tuesday" has been denied, but according to James' team, he still accomplished the outcome he wanted from the application in the first place. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Wednesday refused the application filed by James' company LBJ Trademarks, explaining that "Taco Tuesday" is "a commonplace term." -- ESPN.com, September 12, 2019
LeBron James wants a little lettuce on his Taco Tuesday. The Los Angeles Lakers superstar is looking to monetize his popular videos by filing to trademark the term "Taco Tuesday." -- ESPN.com, September 1, 2019
Mikhail Prokhorov is in talks with multiple suitors to sell the Brooklyn Nets — and he’s pushing for an eye-popping price tag. The Russian billionaire is demanding a valuation of around $2 billion for his money-losing NBA team — near the record-setting $2.2 billion price that the Houston Rockets fetched earlier this month, sources told The Post. -- NY Post, Oct. 15, 2017
In recent days, prospective bidders have been pushing Prokorov to sell control of the team immediately, versus his recent pitch to sell an initial minority stake along with the right to take control in three years, insiders said. “They’re asking, but I don’t think he’s giving in,” one source close to the talks said of Prokhorov. -- NY Post, Oct. 15, 2017
The NBA only allows owners to borrow $250 million against their team, so a buyer would need to come up with at least $1.75 billion in cash to acquire the Nets. -- NY Post, Oct. 15, 2017
Prokhorov has lately been offering a 49-percent stake with the right to purchase the rest of the team in three years at a valuation that will increase at a set percentage per year for the three years, sources said. -- NY Post, Oct. 15, 2017
Here’s the dilemma: Embiid’s contract probably won’t get insured in the league’s temporary total disability program, in which each NBA team must insure at least their five highest-paid players based on the current season’s salary or total remaining contract. The insurance company would pay 80 percent of the remaining salary after a player misses 41 games. It would also pay 80 percent up to six seasons if the player doesn’t return to action. -- Philadelphia Inquirer, Sept. 25, 2017
For the last seven seasons, per Byrnes, the Thunder has had a season-ticket renewal rate between 94 to 96 percent. Following Durant's departure to Golden State in free agency in the summer of 2016, it remained at 96 percent and is at 94 percent going into this season. Even with that number slightly lower than last summer, there is immediate success in re-selling season-ticket packages due to the abundance of fans on the season-ticket waiting list. Most NBA teams average renewal percentages in the mid-80's. -- Oklahoman, August 20, 2017
According to sportsbusinessdaily.com, the NBA set an attendance record for the third-consecutive season with an average of 17,884 fans per game. The Thunder was one of 14 teams to have either no gain or an increase in average attendance. In comparison, Houston improved 14 games in the win column from the previous season, but reported an average attendance decrease of 5.6 percent, the biggest drop in the league. -- Oklahoman, August 20, 2017
OLDER NBA BASKETBALL BUSINESS NEWS STORIES
July 22, 2012: The new labor agreement changed the rules on players signing extensions before free agency. It made it wiser for players to wait to become free agents because they can sign longer, more lucrative deals. (So much for helping teams keep their stars.) -- Terry Pluto, Cleveland Plain Dealer
July 20, 2012: The BMO Harris Bradley Center board of directors and the Milwaukee Bucks have been discussing a new six-year lease that, if approved by the National Basketball Association, will provide stability for both sides as discussion continues over the possibility of a new, multi-purpose arena. Details of the lease were not released. Information on an extended lease came from the minutes of the BMO Harris Bradley Center's March meeting, which were released this week. If approved by the NBA, a six-year lease would be, by far, the longest lease the two sides have had in years. In general, the Bucks and the BMO Harris Bradley Center have gone year-to-year on leases. -- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
July 19, 2012: The NBA Board of Governors approved a new look for uniforms and a couple of changes in the use of video replay. Commissioner David Stern met with the media Thursday after the Board of Governors held their annual summer meeting. He said the league is looking to add possibly $100 million in revenue by permitting small advertising patches on uniforms starting in the 2013-14 season. "The view is, that the teams would need a significant time; one, to sell the patch; and number two, for Adidas to manufacture the uniforms, because the patch that would be on the players' uniforms would also appear on the jerseys at retail," said Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver, who is handling the uniform change. -- Fort Worth Star-Telegram
OLDER NBA BUSINESS STORIES
July 31, 2011: ON KINGS POSSIBLY MOVING TO ANAHEIM, STILL
The quest to build a new sports and entertainment arena in Sacramento will become much more real in a matter of weeks. There is no choice, given the March 1 deadline imposed by the NBA on Sacramento to put a financing plan in place or risk losing the Kings. Let's not forget that the Kings owners, the Maloof family, would have moved the franchise to Anaheim had the NBA not stopped them. Sacramento Bee
In order to relocate to Southern California, the Maloofs seemed ready to accept substantial financial concessions. Chief among them, the Anaheim deal would have required the Maloofs to make lease payments equal to 7.5 percent of all season tickets and single-game tickets sold to their games. Sacramento Bee
Premium seats, such as luxury suites, would not have been included in this equation. But 7.5 percent of "non-premium" seats would have resulted in the Maloofs paying anywhere between $5 million and $10 million in annual lease payments to their Anaheim landlord, billionaire Henry Samueli. That's a significant commitment. The onus remains on Sacramento to figure out how to marshal a variety of revenue streams to pay for a $387 million arena in the downtown railyard. Sacramento Bee
April 27, 2011: NBA lockout issues
SI.com reports: The NBA, however, wants substantial concessions from the players. If substantial progress has not been made on a new agreement by June 30, the league is poised to halt operations -- that is, to impose a lockout. The NBA would be motivated to start the lockout on July 1 because, while the timing of payments on players' contracts varies widely, some players are paid in the offseason. If locked out, those players would not be paid, thereby saving teams money. Reducing staff and limiting business operations would also help teams cut costs.
SI.com reports: Foremost, the NBA demands a reduction in the percent of Basketball Related Income (BRI) that is paid to players in salaries and other compensation under the collective bargaining agreement. Currently, 57 percent of BRI is paid to players; the NBA reportedly wants players to receive 45 percent. The NBA also seeks a hard salary cap, which would prevent high-spending teams from substantially exceeding the cap through payment of a luxury tax, and fewer guaranteed contracts, which would enable teams to cut disappointing players without an obligation to pay them the remainder of their salaries. These changes would reportedly result in a reduction of NBA salaries by about 30 percent.
SI.com reports: The NBPA does not believe the NBA is losing as much money as it says it is. The union also attributes teams' economic woes primarily to a lack of sharing among big-market and small-market teams -- if teams shared local television revenue, which varies considerably by team, fewer would be in financial trouble, the union claims.
May 26, 2010
The New York Times blog reports: The revenue generated by a single playoff game varies widely, depending on the playoff round and the city in which the game is played. One playoff game can take in as little as $500,000 or as much as $2.5 million, according to one league executive, who also noted that “Milwaukee couldn’t charge as much for a Finals game as the Lakers charge in the regular season.”
March 24, 2010
Joe Maloof was in New York on a business trip when I reached him late Tuesday afternoon to ask about parting ways with team president John Thomas, and while he refused to say anything negative about his former executive, he sounded surprisingly upbeat about the changes. Thomas' eventual exit was a foregone conclusion, though until recently, the plan was to let him finish out his contract next year and then let him go elsewhere. Sacramento Bee
Things started to change last spring when Joe and Gavin Maloof became closely involved with the daily operations and were stunned by the lack of an innovative business/marketing model. And don't underestimate Colleen Maloof's influence. The frustrated/angry/troubled look on her face during games in near-empty Arco Arena last spring was priceless. These past few years, she would often vent to me in the corridors during halftimes, and in what might come as a shock to Kings fans, complained that tickets were too high for an average family to afford. Especially given the product. When the Maloofs re-evaluated their marketing practices and decided to become much more involved, their longtime friend and consultant Kevin Kaplan was enlisted to help. Sacramento Bee
March 4, 2010
LeBron James is changing his number next year from 23 to 6. Although the Cleveland Cavaliers star says it’s out of respect for Michael Jordan, who wore the number, many cynics have said that James will sell more jerseys and therefore make more money. That’s actually not the case. In the NBA, unlike the NFL, the money made from jersey sales and other licensed products has been shared equally since the 1995 group licensing agreement was put together by the union. CNBC
When Bob Johnson sold the Charlotte Bobcats to Michael Jordan, he lost around $125 million dollars. According to Michael Ozanian, a National Editor at Forbes Magazine, "If NBA owners approve, Michael Jordan is going to buy controlling interest in the Charlotte Bobcats for a price that values the franchise at about $175 million." FoxCharlotte
February 27, 2010
A member of the Maloof family, owners of the Sacramento Kings, confirmed Friday that they sat down with creditors to renegotiate a major loan for their hotel and casino in Las Vegas. George Maloof declined to comment, however, on an online report that the family had breached contract covenants on a $380 million loan for the Palms, their Las Vegas hotel and casino, or that the owners of Harrah's may be zeroing in for a takeover. Maloof characterized the debt restructuring as a typical move during tough times afflicting many in the gambling business. Sacramento Bee
A report on debtwire.com this week citing unnamed sources said Texas Pacific Group, a co-owner of Harrah's Entertainment, is buying some Palms debt, possibly positioning itself for a takeover. Maloof said private-company loan discussions are covered by confidentiality agreements, and indicated his family plans to continue to own and operate its showpiece hotel and casino. Sacramento Bee
January 22, 2010
When Pistons owner Karen Davidson decides to sell the team, she doesn't have to be involved in any of the negotiations if she selects a broker to handle the transaction. Two leading brokerage dealers are Goldman Sachs and Smith Barney of New York, who've brokered several professional sports deals. Using a sports broker is one of three options she has when selling the team, according to experts in sports negotiations and brokerage firm representatives. Detroit News
Bernacchi said the Pistons need a buyer who's youthful, aggressive and willing to take chances to stimulate a state fan base. Increasing the fan base will be tough with the Pistons' play in decline. They won the 2004 championship and advanced to six straight Eastern Conference finals from 2002-08. But the core of those teams is slowly being disbanded, with only Tayshaun Prince and Richard Hamilton the primary holdovers. The Pistons are 15-26 this season and 11th in the Eastern Conference. They'd miss the playoffs if the regular season ended today. Bernacchi predicts the Pistons' value will be considerably less next year because of several factors, one of which is the team's recent lackluster ticket sales. The Pistons' 259 straight sellout streak ended last season, and they are not expected to earn a profit this season. Detroit News
To buy the Pistons, an owner needs to come up with 30 percent of the sale price and pro sports leagues normally allow a line of credit of between $125 million and $150 million for assistance. So if the Pistons sold for $400 million, the primary owner would need to pony up $120 million cash. The line of credit could push that figure to $250 million, and the potential buyer would then need to find limited partners to make up the difference. The NBA has to approve the financial agreement and conduct background checks. Plus, the new ownership group would need two-thirds approval from the league's Board of Governors. Detroit News
December 9, 2009
NBA attendance is down -- CBS Sports report: Average paid attendance is down 3.7 percent in the NBA through the first quarter of the regular season, sending gate receipts plummeting 7.4 percent, according to league documents obtained by CBSSports.com. Net gate receipts, the money teams make from ticket sales, fell to an average of $828,985 per game, down from $894,823 at the same point last season. Only nine teams were up or flat in average net gate receipts through Nov. 29, while 21 teams saw a decline. The numbers are important because they reflect how even teams with relatively healthy paid attendance – such as the Mavericks, who are averaging 15,373 – are suffering due to pricing pressure from the recession. Dallas’ paid attendance is down 8.2 percent, but its gate receipts are down 15.9 percent.
December 24, 2009
With NBA gate receipts down less than anticipated, the doomsday scenario of a $6-7 million drop in the salary cap for the 2010-11 season now seems overly pessimistic. Everyone still expects the cap to go down heading into the summer of 2010 when the league will have one of its strongest free agent classes in years, but by how much? ESPN.com has been digging around for preliminary cap projections, and here is what we have uncovered: The Miami Heat are the most conservative in their estimates, basing their planning for next summer's cap at $52 million. ESPN.com
The New York Knicks are using $53 million as their operating number, and the New Jersey Nets are being the most optimistic, expecting the cap to come in between $54 and $55 million. The league office told teams at the Board of Governors meeting on the eve of the season opener to expect the cap to come in somewhere around the $52 million range, but agents who have been briefed on updated financial receipt figures now are using $54 million as their operating number. ESPN.com
December 8, 2009
Two weeks after folding the Monarchs, the Kings' owners have agreed to sell a New Mexico beer distributorship that's been the foundation of the family's business empire since 1937. Joe and George Maloof said Monday the family is selling the Joe G. Maloof Co. beer distributing business for an undisclosed sum. The purchaser is a wholesaler in Wyoming. The sale follows the recent shutdown of the Monarchs WNBA franchise and, earlier this year, payroll reductions throughout the Maloof organization. Joe Maloof and his mother, Colleen, have sold multimillion-dollar homes in the Los Angeles area in recent months. Sacramento Bee
The family also faces a tough economy in Las Vegas, where the value of its Palms Casino Resort has fallen from $386 million to about $20 million in the past two years, according to Securities and Exchange Commission filings by minority partner Station Casinos Inc. The Maloofs have said Station's figures woefully underestimate the true value of the Palms, which they say has held its own despite the rough economy. As for the beer business, an industry consultant said wholesalers are feeling the impact of the recession like most other businesses. Sacramento Bee
August 19, 2009:
For the upcoming season, the Heat will move away from its one-price-sells-all approach to individual opponents and instead scale game tickets based, foremost, on quality of the opponent, as well as the game's place on the calendar. While prices have yet to be released, a list has been obtained that shows how the team plans to break down its 41-game home schedule, which opens with what the team terms a "Hotter" game on Wednesday's Oct. 28 against the New York Knicks. South Florida Sun-Sentinel
According to the team, "a 'Hot' game will be the most affordably priced, a 'Hotter' game will be priced higher, while the 'Hottest' games will be premium priced." There are 15 games designated as "Hot," 19 designated at "Hotter" and seven as "Hottest." South Florida Sun-Sentinel
August 10, 2009:
Ticket Revenue - 1) LA Lakers: $80.2 million. 2) New York: $67.9 million. 3) Boston: $54.9 million. 4) Phoenix: $53.7 million. 5) Chicago: $51.6 million. 6) Cleveland: $50.5 million. 7) Golden St. : $50.4 million. 8) Dallas: $49.5 million
9) Toronto: $46.4 million. 10) Oklahoma City: $46.0 million. Oklahoman
Full season tickets - 1) Utah: 14,019. 2) LA Lakers: 13,635. 3) Oklahoma City: 12,575. 4) Phoenix: 11,945. 5) Golden State: 11,801. Oklahoman
Oklahoma City finished third in full season tickets sold, was ninth in percentage of seats sold (97.7), ranked 10th in ticket revenue generated ($46.0 million) and was 11th in overall attendance (18,704). But "packing the Ford Center” is misleading. Oklahoman
According to NBA turnstile counts published recently on CBSSports.com, Oklahoma City finished 16th in "actual attendance” out of 30 teams. According to NBA turnstile counts, the Thunder averaged 14,415 fans a game. That’s one area the Thunder should improve. Oklahoman
Many fans don’t realize that box score attendance figures aren’t actual fans at the game but are based on tickets sold and complimentary tickets supplied to the NBA, players, coaches and community groups. Before anyone overreacts, all teams have thousands of no-shows. The Los Angeles Lakers led the league with 92.2 percent of seats filled. Only three other teams (Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors and Boston Celtics) averaged 90 percent or better. Oklahoma City was 77.4 percent. Oklahoman
Five playoff teams — the New Orleans Hornets, Miami Heat, Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers and the Atlanta Hawks — averaged less than 14,000 in actual attendance. Atlanta handed out a league-high 5,616 complimentary tickets, a strategy most teams use, hoping fans will spend money on food, souvenirs and parking. Oklahoman
Oklahoma City team chairman Clay Bennett and his ownership group flourished where it counted most — money generated. The Sonics produced only $18.8 million in ticket revenue their final season in Seattle. Last season, the Thunder generated $46.0 million, an average of $1.12 million per game. Oklahoman
OKC’s league-best $27.2 million increase at the gate offset huge ticket revenue losses in Toronto (down $9.1 million), Detroit ($7.7 million), the Los Angeles Clippers ($6.8 million) and Miami ($5.3 million). Oklahoman
July 8, 2009
According to an NBA memo obtained by ESPN, the league’s salary cap and luxury-tax threshold are expected to drop for the 2010-11 season. The cap for 2009-10 has been set at $57.7 million, down $1 million from 2008-09, with a luxury-tax threshold at $69.9 million, meaning any team that spends over that level will have to pay a dollar-for-dollar tax. And the memo suggests further erosion of revenues for 2010-11, with the cap estimated between $50.4 million and $53.6 million, with a luxury-tax threshold of $61.2 million. What does all that mean? Less money to spend on free agents, and since franchises already have the advantage in signing their own free agents — with longer contracts — the news should play well into the Thunder’s plans. Oklahoman
July 4, 2009
Warriors owner Chris Cohan is believed to be seriously considering selling his 80% stake in the franchise in the next year or two, according to the sources. (He took control of the franchise in January 1995.) In fact, one knowledgeable source said it’s “highly likely” that Cohan will sell most or all of his controlling interest in the team, possibly pulling back only if the current recession unexpectedly continues through 2011 and Cohan can’t get the price he wants. The sources did not give specific reasons for Cohan’s potential sell-off, and all of them noted that Cohan has spoiled soon-to-sell speculation several times in the past. San Jose Mercury News Blog
But one source pointed to Cohan’s long-running battle with the IRS and another theorized that Cohan has wearied of the criticism he receives for the team’s run of disappointment, which includes 1 playoff season and 14 seasons in which the team did not reach the postseason. San Jose Mercury News Blog
The reviving of the Cohan question only adds further emphasis to the Warriors’ current climate of uncertainty, with Don Nelson, a 69-year-old coach just starting a two-year deal, with Larry Riley, a first-year GM at 64, and with a young, unbalanced roster that has large salary commitments through the next four seasons. San Jose Mercury News Blog
June 17, 2009:
In the 24 hours after the Lakers' Sunday night victory, AEG's three Team LA stores pulled in 14 times what they did when the team last won a championship in 2002. In addition, the company's website had its best sales day ever, eclipsing the previous high by 650%. Ryan declined to discuss exact sales numbers. There wasn't a trace of financial distress on customer faces at the Team LA Staples Center location. Fans lined the aisles, perusing pins, balls, towels -- anything with a championship logo. LA Times
After the Lakers clinched the championship, NBAstore.com broke its previous sales record, set after the Boston Celtics won last year, said NBA spokeswoman Kristin Conte, who didn't give sales figures. The biggest sellers were T-shirts, hats and a replica of a towel draped over Kobe Bryant's shoulder during a postgame interview. Some fans were having trouble ignoring the harsh economic times. News that the city would shoulder some of the financial burden for throwing today's $2-million parade brought widespread criticism given the yawning municipal budget deficit. LA Times
May 13, 2009:
Reeling from a terrible season for the Kings, the Maloof organization announced its first-ever layoffs Tuesday. Maloof Sports & Entertainment said it has eliminated about 1 percent of its 1,200 jobs. That translates to about a dozen jobs, though the organization wouldn't say if they were full-time workers, part-timers or both. Sacramento Bee
Team executives also acknowledged the Kings were on track to lose $25 million to $28 million this year, although that was before trading several high-salaried players in February. The team ranked last in the league in attendance, averaging 12,571, according to ESPN.com. In an effort to revive attendance, the Kings have announced they're dropping season ticket prices for next year. Sacramento Bee
May 5, 2009:
In the first sign of a thaw in the eight-month-old credit freeze in sports, the NBA this week is set to renew its $1.96 billion leaguewide loan pool, from which 17 of its teams borrow. Last fall, the NFL and MLB “termed out” of similar loan pools after their lenders would not renew the financings on terms acceptable to the leagues. By terming out, the leagues were then confronted with accelerated principal payments. The NBA, whose old loan pool expires today, now has no such worry. Sports Business Journal
The NBA is in the first year of an eight-year, $7.5 billion deal with its national television partners, ESPN/ABC and Turner. Only the 17 teams that now borrow from the NBA pool can tap the new one-year deal, which does carry a higher rate than the old one. The previous facility charged teams 75 points over the London Interbank Offered Rate, a floating-rate index. The new rate will be about 100 points (or, 1 percent) higher, a source said. Sports Business Journal
Nonetheless, the NBA secured a huge win, with all 15 of the lenders that participated in the expiring facility returning for the new deal. Terming out would have meant that by 2011, teams would have had to start paying back some of the loans. The new one-year deal is an interest-only transaction, and should the league fail to extend the facility next year, teams would not have to begin making principal payments until 2013. The extension covers $1.1 billion of the credit facility that is structured to come up for renewal every 364 days. The remaining $860 million is longer-term, fixed-rate debt. Sports Business Journal
May 2, 2009:
Celtics-Bulls: Both TNT and Comcast SportsNet posted record ratings for Game 6. TNT earned a national 3.5 rating with 4,048,000 households and 5,352,000 total viewers making the game the most watched Round One NBA game in cable television history. The game was also cable's No. 1 telecast for the evening in households, total viewers and key adult and male demographics. Comcast SportsNet drew a local 6.35 household rating; approximately 222,000 households for the entire game and scored a 10.3 peak rating during the 9:45 p.m. quarter-hour (approximately 360,000 households). So far through five first-round game telecasts, over 757,000 Chicago TV homes have watched the Bulls-Celtics series on CSN. Chicago Sun-Times
April 27, 2009:
People in Seattle may be able to hear the sounds of champagne corks popping in Oklahoma City Sunday night. It appears that former Sonics-turned-Oklahoma City Thunder owner Clay Bennett will get to hold on to the additional $30 million he agreed to pay Seattle when he moved the NBA team last year. Seattle Post-Intelligencer Blog
Listed as managing partner, Davidson, who inherited the Pistons when her husband, Bill Davidson, died last month, has assumed ownership duties, although Palace Sports & Entertainment president Tom Wilson said Sunday it remains unclear how much of a role she will play in the day-to-day operations of the franchise, which is worth $500 million. “I think right now she’s just trying to absorb what it all means,” Wilson said before the Pistons’ season-ending 99-78 loss in Game 4 to the Cleveland Cavaliers. “There was certainly a little bit of knowledge, and obviously you’re a fan and everything like that, but the depth of knowledge and understanding of the business is daunting. “So she’s going to take some time I’m sure before she really inserts herself into anything if she decides to do that.” Detroit Free Press
While acknowledging the economic downturn has the Spurs “fighting to sell every ticket,” Spurs Sports & Entertainment chairman Peter Holt said the franchise is financially sound and on course to match last year’s season ticket sales. “Financially, we’re in as good a shape as maybe we’ve been, because we’ve had some great years,” Holt said. In an interview before a recent playoff game, Holt covered a wide range of topics, including efforts by SS&E — the parent company of the Spurs, the American Hockey League’s Rampage and the WNBA’s Silver Stars — to bring another sports franchise to town and also to broaden the company’s footprint in the Austin area. San Antonio Express-News
April 24, 2009: The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel (Bob Wolfley) reports: Television ratings for National Basketball Association regular-season games were up 9% this season on ABC-TV but remained flat on both ESPN and TNT. The 18 regular-season telecasts on ABC had an average rating of 2.4 this season, compared with a 2.2 average for the 19 games carried on ABC last season. On ESPN this season, the average rating for the 69 games it carried was 1.1, the same as the rating for the 68 games it carried last season. TNT's 53 telecasts also averaged 1.1, the same rating as the previous season when it carried 52 games.
March 11, 2009: Pacers financial problems
Indiana Pacers co-owner Herb Simon stressed Tuesday that he wants to keep his team in Indianapolis but was equally adamant that he can no longer afford the operating expenses at Conseco Fieldhouse or the team's year-after-year financial losses. Simon said the Pacers have lost money nine of the past 10 years, including the year the Pacers played in the NBA finals. (Forbes.com offers a different financial picture; see the graphic at left.) Jim Morris, president of Pacers Sports & Entertainment, said the team has lost $200 million total since Simon bought it in 1983. Indianapolis Star | Fan discussion
Under the agreement, the Pacers agreed to operate the fieldhouse, which is costing the team about $15 million a year. Simon said he did not want to negotiate in public, but it's clear, based on what CIB officials have said, that neither side thinks the team can continue to pay that much. Indianapolis Star
Simon avoided making threats to leave town and said he has not spoken to other cities that might be interested in the team. But, he stressed, "It's very important we resolve this in the near future. Very important." Indianapolis Star
And it's not just the Pacers that Simon is concerned about. The fate of the Indiana Fever seems tenuous at best. Simon said he is committed to the WNBA team for just one more year. The team has lost "several million dollars," he said, and must double corporate sponsorships and attendance if it is to survive. Indianapolis Star
March 7, 2009: Basketball salaries
The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports: Nine players started this NBA season with a $20 million salary or more, led by Kevin Garnett's $24.75 million. The New York Knicks' -- the Knicks! -- payroll surpassed $94 million. On the Wolves alone, Brian Cardinal and Jason Collins earn $6.3 and $6.2 million. Wolves owner Glen Taylor last fall became the new NBA Board of Governor's chairman, which means he's the owner most entrusted with the money. "I'm very concerned for pro sports," he said. "I could talk about banks or health care or the media business. I don't think pro sports is protected in any sense."
March 2, 2009: NBA revenues
The Wall Street Journal (Matthew Futterman) reports: In the last two decades, the NBA has exploded in size, popularity and profitability. Revenues have risen to $4 billion from about $400 million in 1989. The value of a top-end NBA franchise grew over that span from less than $100 million to more than $400 million. The average player salary also jumped from $275,000 in 1982-83 to $5.6 million today. In boom times, the league liked to hold up these figures as points of pride. Teams that wanted to build themselves into contenders generally did so by spending large sums of money to acquire a few great players. Orlando, the newest of the league's elite teams, has earned this position largely by committing more than $40 million, about two-thirds of the team's entire payroll, to its four top players.
Feb. 23, 2009
The New York Times (Howard Beck) reports: The nation’s economy is buckling. Too many teams are losing money. League revenue is flat, and the salary cap is about to shrink for only the second time in its history. The N.B.A.’s system is broken, David Falk says, and fixing it will require radical measures that almost guarantee a standoff in 2011, when the collective bargaining agreement expires. “I think it’s going to be very, very extreme,” Falk said, “because I think that the times are extreme.” How extreme? Falk said he believed Stern, the commissioner, would push for a hard salary cap, shorter contracts, a higher age limit on incoming players, elimination of the midlevel cap exception and an overall reduction in the players’ percentage of revenue. And, Falk said, Stern will probably get what he wants.
Feb. 19, 2009: Sacramento Kings team revenue
Highly placed Kings sources project the franchise to lose between $25 million and $28 million before Wednesday's moves. And, as always, the Maloofs have plenty of friends. Their fellow owners in Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Memphis, Minneapolis, Charlotte, New Orleans and even large-market Phoenix reportedly are being pummeled by the economy as well. Reacting to the league's fiscal concerns during All-Star Weekend, NBA Commissioner David Stern and Players Association executive director Billy Hunter broached the possibility of reopening and revising the collective bargaining agreement before it expires in 2011. Sacramento Bee
Feb. 17, 2009: NBA to borrow $175 million
The Sports Business Journal reports: The NBA is set to borrow $175 million Feb. 26, marking one of the first league financings since the implosion of the credit markets last fall. The money, which will be available to 15 teams, supplements an existing $1.7 billion leaguewide credit facility that uses the NBA’s media contracts as collateral to secure loans for the clubs. The NBA surveyed its teams, and 15 responded they would like to tap into the new borrowing. While the league said it is pleased to borrow in an extremely illiquid credit market, the deal came at a cost, with interest rates up to 8.27 percent, hammering home the notion that the era of cheap money in sports is over. The 15 teams can use the money for any purpose, but covering operating losses may be high on the list.
The Sports Business Journal reports: Harvey Benjamin, the NBA’s executive counsel for business and finance, said it’s important not to compare the rates with what the NBA had been paying before the credit market collapse — about 200 to 300 interest points less for similar debt, sources said — but rather, what borrowers of similar standing are paying in today’s environment. In that light, he said, the 8.27 percent the NBA will pay on $100 million of the debt, and the 7.45 percent on the remaining $75 million, is favorable.
The Sports Business Journal reports: Of the NBA’s $1.7 billion facility, $1 billion is from short-term loans that renew annually. This would be the segment that would term out if the league were to go in that direction. The remainder, like the pending deal, consists of private placements.
Jan. 26, 2009
One of the league’s best teams, the Cavs have posted higher local ratings than any other NBA club for the first time in their 39-year history. The team’s local Cleveland ratings have soared 130 percent on Fox Sports Ohio, posting a 7.7 average local cable rating through the first few months of the season. That has helped fuel an overall increase in local regional sports network numbers, as on average, NBA teams have seen their local ratings climb by 11.7 percent, to a 2.4 rating, through Jan. 11, Sports Business Journal
The league’s biggest ratings gainer so far is the New Orleans Hornets, whose local ratings are up 214 percent on Cox Sports. It posted a 2.6 rating so far this season, which is up from a 0.8 rating last year. Sports Business Journal
The Charlotte Bobcats and Los Angeles Clippers have the lowest local television viewership, with each posting a 0.5 rating. It should be noted that the Clippers, given the vast size of the Los Angeles market, draw more household viewers than teams in smaller markets such as the Bobcats. Charlotte is in the first year of its deal with Fox Sports South. Last year, its games were on the Time Warner Cable channel News 14. Sports Business Journal
Dec. 18, 2008
The NBA's league office cut 9 percent of its U.S. workforce in October. Several teams' attendance has declined, including the Magic, who are down 5 percent from last season's average. And economists are predicting corporate sponsorships could get smaller. Although they are not in dire straits, the Magic and the NBA are taking calculated steps to remain strong. "The money that people spend to watch games is a discretionary item," said Raymond Sauer, a Clemson University economics professor and founder of the Sports Economist blog. "As the NBA knows, things like that get pulled back on in times like this. It's going to be real challenge for them." Orlando Sentinel
Eleven of 30 teams hit the league goal of 10,000 full-season tickets sold entering this season, slightly exceeding last season. But league-wide, season-ticket sales came in averaging just 8,500 per team last month -- down 4 percent from the same point a year ago. The league's average ticket price is about $49 per game, according to Team Marketing Research, a firm that analyzes pro-sports-ticket prices. Orlando Sentinel
Dec. 15, 2008
The sinking economy has been felt in even the richest of pocketbooks as Tiger Woods needs a new endorsement ride after Buick bailed out and LeBron James lost his Internet connection with Microsoft. But so far, the two biggest marketing names on the Houston sports scene — Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady — have not felt the pinch of corporate cutbacks. “So far as I know, nobody’s Tigered me or LeBroned me yet,” said McGrady, who according to industry estimates, earns roughly $6 million a year in endorsements in addition to his $21.1 million salary from the Rockets this season. Houston Chronicle
Estimates for 2008 have Yao earning $36.5 million, of which $21.5 million comes from various endorsement deals. His current endorsement packages from multiple sponsors total $150 million, Newsweek reported. “As far as we go and how the economy has affected us and athlete marketing, it’s really stemmed the tide of future deals more than affected current deals,” said Bob Myers, the marketing representative for McGrady with the Wasserman Media Group. “I do think we’re going to see an impact on deals going forward, the ability to generate new deals in a lot of different marketplaces." Houston Chronicle
LeBron James’ deal with Microsoft ended after the company decided not to renew after the original two-year contract. “Look, nobody’s bigger than Tiger Woods, or LeBron James in basketball,” Myers said. “So if it can affect those guys, I would tell you that nobody is immune. Those are probably the two top athlete endorsers in the U.S.” Houston Chronicle
Oct. 25, 2008
When James formed his own marketing company, LRMR Marketing, a little more than two years ago, he developed a strategy to maximize his profile heading into last summer's Olympics in China. James did his part, putting up increasingly impressive numbers with the Cavs and leading them to the most playoff success in franchise history. He was also a captain and key part of Team USA's run to a gold medal, restoring America's basketball image. Cleveland Plain Dealer
Yet despite this dream scenario of excellent play and massive media attention, James' products and popularity aren't soaring as expected. "His Nike shoe and apparel sales have been just average, which means not very good," said Matt Powell, an analyst at SportsOne Source, which tracks sporting goods sales. "It is the same for jersey sales." The NBA does not release actual numbers, but in its most recent rankings James is just third worldwide in replica jersey sales. In Europe, he ranks fourth. In China -- where James and Nike have focused their efforts with specialized campaigns, including games or promotional tours in each of the past four years -- James ranks fifth. The Celtics' Kevin Garnett and the Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant rank ahead of him in each list. Cleveland Plain Dealer
Analysts have been surprised that Microsoft, which inked a deal with James to promote their MSN Internet product a little more than 18 months ago, hasn't activated its relationship with James other than on a Web site devoted to children. "LeBron lived up to the hype and he was the most-hyped athlete in the history of sports," said CNBC sports business analyst Darren Rovell. Cleveland Plain Dealer
It has been estimated by some financial publications that James earns around $25 million per year in endorsements, which ranks him first among active basketball players. Only a few athletes, such as Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, currently earn more per year. Cleveland Plain Dealer
Oct. 14, 2008
Sports Business Journal (John Lombardo) reports: National Basketball Players Association Executive Director Billy Hunter did not receive a raise from his $2.4 million gross salary during the 12-month period ending June 30, according to the union’s most recent filing with the U.S. Department of Labor. According to the latest LM-2 filing, Hunter’s total salary during the previous reporting period was $2.4 million, the same as in the 12-month period a year earlier. But other top union executives saw their annual salaries rise. NBPA general counsel Gary Hall earned $382,869, up from $361,314 during the reporting period a year earlier. Hall is the second-highest-paid union executive behind Hunter. NBPA associate general counsel Ron Klempner earned $222,375, up from $214,812 during the 12-month reporting period.
August 27, 2008
Rock Financial -- the southeast Michigan arm of Livonia-based Quicken Loans -- won't renew its presenting sponsorship of the Pistons, ending a five-year run at the Palace. The company has decided to channel its national marketing toward the Cleveland Cavaliers, who happen to be owned by Quicken Loans chairman and founder Dan Gilbert. Keep it in the house, right? But Quicken isn't cutting Pistons ties completely. "While Rock Financial is not renewing the presenting sponsorship, we remain a local Pistons sponsor," company spokeswoman Elizabeth Jones said in an e-mail. Detroit Free Press
Rock Financial's parent company, Livonia-based Quicken Loans Inc., is owned by Dan Gilbert. Quicken has decided to focus its marketing efforts toward the NBA team that Gilbert owns, the Cleveland Cavaliers, who happen to play in Quicken Loans Arena, Hauser said. Because the Rock Financial presence is only in Michigan, supporting the Pistons doesn't help parent Quicken Loans highlight its national presence the way sponsoring the Cavaliers will. Detroit News
As the presenting sponsor, Rock Financial was featured in all Pistons broadcasts, all print ads and other printed materials and promotional items. In addition to prominent in-arena advertising, several Pistons players have been featured in Rock's Metro Detroit ads. Sports marketing consultants said the price of the sponsorship was in the $1 million to $3 million range annually. Rock was the team's major sponsor for five years. Detroit News
June 8, 2008
Clay Bennett: The Sonics owner says his team would make almost US$20 million if it played in Oklahoma City during the next two years. He suggests the team will lose more than $60 million - about 20 per cent of what he paid for it - if it stays in Seattle for two more "lame duck" seasons. That was among the revelations from Bennett's testimony in a 13-hour, 373-page deposition obtained by The Associated Press late Friday night. The deposition was given in advance of the June 16 trial of the city of Seattle's lawsuit, which seeks to have the team play out the remainder of its KeyArena lease. AP/Toronto Sun
Testimony revealed the Sonics lost $23 million in 2004 and $29 million in 2005, when they were owned by Starbucks Corp. chairman Howard Schultz and 57 other Seattle-area investors. Bennett and his co-owners paid $350 million for the team in July 2006. He said his Sonics lost $32 million in the 2007-08 season amid fan apathy, anger and the worst record (20-62) in the franchise's 41-year history in Seattle. AP/Toronto Sun
Based on that, Bennett testified the team would lose $60.9 million to $64.9 million if Pechman rules in favour of Seattle and demands that the team play in KeyArena for the final two years of its lease that ends after the 2009-10 season. "I would think so," Bennett said. "Couldn't get much worse than this year." AP/Toronto Sun
Bennett estimated that if Pechman ruled in favour of the Sonics and allowed them to move to Oklahoma City for the 2008-09 season as the league has already approved, the Sonics would make $18.8 million in the those same two seasons. Bennett also estimated the Sonics-related economic activity in Oklahoma City would be $171 million annually, and the team would generate $11 million in annual tax revenue there, including from the team's payroll. AP/Toronto Sun
May 31, 2008
The Indiana Pacers got an assist recently from other National Basketball Association owners that could push the team out of the red. In April, the league’s board of governors approved a 63-percent increase in the amount of revenue shared among teams after a letter signed by Pacers co-owner Herb Simon and seven other small-market teams urged the change. The revenue challenges faced by small-market teams can no longer be ignored, said the letter signed by Simon in late 2006. Though the vote tally was not revealed, Joe Litvin, NBA president of league and basketball operations, said, “This is a subject without true consensus.” Litvin added that most teams “were satisfied, but not happy, with the outcome.” Indianapolis Business Journal
Under the three-year plan, the maximum a team can qualify for is $6 million the first year, escalating to $6.6 million during the third year. Under the old plan, the maximum a team could get was $5 million, though that was rare. “This is an important step in liberalizing the NBA’s revenue-sharing policy, but it won’t solve all the Pacers’—or any team’s—problems,” said Rick Horrow, CEO of Florida-based Horrow Sports Ventures. Indianapolis Business Journal
NBA officials do not divulge which teams receive what amount of money from the pot. The money for the shared revenue pool comes from the luxury tax assessed to teams that exceed the player payroll cap, an escrow fund defined by the league’s collective bargaining agreement with players and funds from each of the league’s 30 teams based on the amount of local revenue each team generates. The range of contributed revenue will be $270,000 for low-revenue teams like the Pacers to $1.1 million for high-revenue teams like the N.Y. Knicks. Indianapolis Business Journal
May 23, 2008
Hornets owner George Shinn said this week that he hopes his franchise can come to a long-term agreement to remain in New Orleans before the 2008-09 season begins. The Hornets' current lease agreement was extended in January and runs through 2014. "I thought the last deal we put together was going to be done in a matter of a few weeks, but it was nine months, I think, or 10 months," Shinn said Wednesday. "And I don't think this will go that long, because our season is coming up, and we've got to know if the state's going to be with us going forward. Because if they go forward with us, it's going to give us some latitude to spend a little bit more money than we normally would. And it would help us get to a championship-caliber team quicker." New Orleans Times-Picayune
Shinn said the Hornets have been involved in ongoing negotiations for a new deal, while Forman said the two sides have had conversations and realized as the season ended that now would be the right time to meet. When a new agreement might be reached, however, is still in question. New Orleans Times-Picayune
The Hornets had about 5,500 season tickets sold during the 2007-08 season for an arena with a capacity of more than 17,000. Weber said the renewal rate on those seats for next season is about 90 percentM, and the Hornets have sold an additional 4,000 season tickets for next year. Weber said that "one of our internal goals" is to fill the lower bowl of the arena, which has slightly fewer than 8,000 seats. The team said there are about 850 seats remaining for each game next season. New Orleans Times-Picayune
Even after the success of the past season, Shinn said Wednesday that the Hornets "might break even," but "we're probably going to end up losing money." During and after a news conference, he emphasized his team's status as a small-market franchise with rising costs, including imminent and more lucrative contracts for point guard Chris Paul and coach Byron Scott. New Orleans Times-Picayune
May 17, 2008
The Milwaukee Bucks are willing to sign a new and longer lease with the Bradley Center, but only if the team can be guaranteed additional revenue. The National Basketball Association team's lease with the Bradley Center expires Sept. 30 and negotiations on a new pact currently are under way, said U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl, who owns the team. Business Journal of Milwaukee
April 16, 2008
Bob Johnson may be disappointed by Charlotte's lukewarm reception to his basketball team, but the Bobcats and the city appear stuck with each other for some time. Johnson complained this week that Charlotte's corporate community isn't buying enough of his most expensive club seats and suites, and that he's losing money on the four-year-old NBA team. Charlotte Observer
But Johnson, the team's majority owner, said he won't sell or move the team -- and acknowledged that his arena deal with the city makes leaving virtually impossible. Details of the controversial arena contract suggest that Johnson received one of the best deals in the NBA, but he also is anchored to Charlotte for years. Charlotte Observer
The team must pay the city of Charlotte $200 million in damages if it leaves before 2010. The penalty declines gradually over the next 20 years, to $150 million if the Bobcats bolt between 2010 and 2015, to $70 million if they leave in 2018 or 2019. The team is free to go after 2030, when the city is expected to finish paying for the $265 million Time Warner Cable Arena. Charlotte Observer
The team paid about $20 million towards the arena's cost, a smaller share than what most NBA teams contribute. The Bobcats manage the arena and can keep all potential profits. They also must absorb all losses. The deal puts the team in position to be competitive, said one expert. Charlotte Observer
Bob Johnson, who lives in the Washington, D.C., area, is in Charlotte trying to reach out to businesses such as Harris Teeter, hoping executives will buy suites and premium seats. His targets include a who's who of Charlotte's business elite: Ken Thompson of Wachovia, investment banker Nelson Schwab III, Frank Harrison of Coca-Cola Consolidated, Fred Morganthall of Harris Teeter. Charlotte Observer
April 9, 2008
Tuesday night's Charlotte Bobcats game aired on Fox Sports Net South, the team's new cable TV home. Game tickets listed the venue's new name, Time Warner Cable Arena. Those were the first visible results of two deals announced Tuesday that give Charlotte's NBA team two things it has lacked since its inception: wide TV exposure and a corporate sponsor for the uptown arena. Charlotte Observer
Time Warner Cable released the Bobcats from a TV contract that kept games out of many Charlotte-area homes, allowing the team to make a deal with Fox Sports Net South, which is available on cable and satellite TV systems across the Piedmont. In return, Time Warner Cable got the naming rights to the arena, which has carried the Bobcats name since opening in 2005. Executives with the Bobcats, Time Warner Cable and Fox Sports Net South all declined to discuss the money and years involved in the deals, saying only that they were "long-term" and "multiyear." Charlotte Observer
The new name for the arena comes at an odd time -- when the Bobcats season is nearly over and after last month's high-profile ACC and NCAA tournaments at the arena have passed. Brian Kelly, Time Warner Cable's senior vice president of sales and marketing, said the company was "somewhat regretful" that it couldn't complete the deal before those tournaments. "We did everything we could to try and get there for that," Kelly said. Charlotte Observer
In the Charlotte area, Bank of America is paying the Carolina Panthers a reported $7 million a year over 20 years for NFL stadium naming rights, while Lowe's home improvement stores is paying $3.5 million a year over 10 years for naming rights to the NASCAR speedway in Concord. Lowe's spokeswoman Chris Ahearn said the company doesn't have a formula to measure its return on investment but that the naming rights "really gave us national exposure to a broader audience." Charlotte Observer
April 7, 2008:
The Charlotte Bobcats have apparently completed a deal that would greatly expand the NBA team's television exposure and place Time Warner Cable's name on the uptown arena -- two-and-a-half years after it opened. In a deal that has been discussed for months, telecasts of Bobcats games would move to Fox Sports Net, which is available in three times as many Carolinas homes as Time Warner's News 14 Carolina channel, the team's current cable TV home. Time Warner would get arena naming rights and release the team from its TV contract in a complicated deal. Charlotte Observer
Johnson and NBA commissioner David Stern both confirmed in recent weeks that a naming rights/TV deal was close to resolution. Stern has acknowledged he oversaw negotiations from his office in New York. Johnson told the Observer last week that he spoke personally with Dick Parsons, chairman of Time Warner, and with Rupert Murdoch -- chairman and CEO of News Corp., which owns Fox Sports. Charlotte Observer
A television industry source said the change would widen the Bobcats' potential TV audience from the current 1.2 million cable households -- games also are available on Time Warner in Greensboro and Raleigh -- to 3.8 million households across the Carolinas. Fox Sports Net aired Charlotte Hornets games before the team's move to New Orleans and has aired ACC basketball, Atlanta Hawks NBA games and Atlanta Braves baseball games. Charlotte Observer
Mar. 6, 2008:
After overwhelmingly passing a $121 million initiative to make its arena NBA-ready, Oklahoma City soon will get a chance to showcase itself again to the league. The NBA relocation committee will travel to Oklahoma City on March 25 to tour the Ford Center and talk to politicians and business leaders in an attempt to get a feel for how the city would hold up as the full-time home of a franchise. Tacoma News Tribune
That move gained steam when Oklahoma City passed its improvement initiative by nearly 62 percent Tuesday. Oklahoma City hosted a team for two seasons when it served as a temporary home for the New Orleans Hornets after Hurricane Katrina. Now, Mayor Mick Cornett said he’s ready to show that his city can be a permanent home to the NBA. Tacoma News Tribune
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and wireless magnate John Stanton are among the local investors behind an effort to buy the Sonics and cover half the cost of a $300 million KeyArena expansion to try to keep the team in Seattle, sources confirmed Wednesday. Neither Stanton nor Ballmer could be reached for comment Wednesday night. The other members of the investment group, Costco CEO Jim Sinegal and Seattle developer Matt Griffin, have previously disclosed their own involvement. Seattle Times
Seattle leaders are pushing the offer of private cash as a "game changer" that ought to sway state legislators to pass an arena package to keep the Sonics from moving to team owner Clay Bennett's hometown of Oklahoma City. The proposed 50-50 split beats anything put on the table by Sonics owners. Even some usual critics of taxpayer subsidies for pro sports — including anti-stadium activist Chris Van Dyk and Seattle City Councilmember Nick Licata — say it could be a good deal. Seattle Times
But Bennett has repeatedly said the Sonics aren't for sale. And the effort to push a bill through the Legislature in the waning days of the session may share the fate of similar proposals over the past three years that showed up late and fell flat. Seattle Times
Even if a competing arena plan is approved in Olympia, Ceis acknowledged there is no guarantee that Bennett would sell the team back to local owners. Bennett and a group of Oklahoma businessmen purchased the Sonics and Storm in 2006 for $350 million from Schultz's group. The Storm was sold in January to a group of Seattle-area owners for $10 million. Seattle Times
Feb. 25, 2008: The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Bob Wolfley), quoting Sports Business Daily, reports: American Airlines is to pay $195 million over 30 years ($6.5 million annually) for the American Airlines Center in Dallas, home of the Dallas Mavericks and Dallas Stars. Royal Philips Electronics is to pay $185 million over 20 years ($9.25 million annually) for Philips Arena in Atlanta, home of the Atlanta Hawks and Atlanta Thrashers. Rounding out the top five is Minute Maid Co., which agreed to pay $170 million over 28 years ($6.07 million annually) for Minute Maid Park in Houston, home of the Houston Astros. Sources told the Journal Sentinel that Bradley Center officials could be expected to be looking for $20 million over 10 years, or $2 million annually. Of the 71 deals listing a total payout and number of years, 30 of them were for $2 million or less annually. A total of 28 of the deals were for 20 years.
April 5, 2007
"Under the most optimistic of circumstances, a new arena for the Sonics would help support 5,799 jobs and generate $340 million in taxes for state and local governments over 25 years, according to an economic analysis released Wednesday. However, a more conservative projection shows that if the arena lasted for a quarter-century, it still wouldn't produce enough tax revenue to cover the initial public subsidy the professional basketball team is seeking from the Legislature." Seattle Post-Intelligencer
"Those were among the key findings in a report by Berk & Associates, a Seattle-based consultant that also showed the city of Renton could reap up to $20.5 million in taxes over 25 years from the arena. Renton Mayor Kathy Keolker, whose city commissioned the economic analysis, urged lawmakers to use the report as justification to fund the Sonics arena. However, two others -- an advocate for taxpayers and an economics professor who studies arena financing -- criticized the plan as too rosy and questioned whether the projections would come to fruition." Seattle Post-Intelligencer
"While Keolker lauded the benefits a new arena would bring to Renton, she also said the city has not made a firm commitment on how much it would contribute for the arena. Earlier reports indicated Renton could be on the hook for up to $100 million. Alex Pietsch, Renton's economic development administrator, said the city has up to $72 million in debt bonding authority it could use without a public vote. He also said the mayor is not willing to commit any of "this capacity without sufficient revenues to pay the debt back over time." Seattle Post-Intelligencer
January 26, 2007
"The owner of the Washington Wizards has asked the District for $50 million to renovate Verizon Center, and city officials are discussing whether to honor the request and pay for it with a tax increase on tickets, officials said yesterday. Wizards owner Abe Pollin, who built the $220 million sports arena with his own money in Chinatown nearly a decade ago, wants the extra money to upgrade all or some of its 110 luxury suites and replace its outdated scoreboard, District officials said. Those and other improvements would be designed to attract special events, such as championship basketball and hockey games." Washington Post
"Pollin's company argues that the city should give the arena a financial boost as a reward for its role as a catalyst of the downtown renaissance, city officials said. The 20,674-seat Verizon Center has served as the anchor of the Chinatown area's revival, a transformation into a bustling hub for restaurants and night life. Even without arena improvements, Billboard magazine ranked Verizon Center ninth worldwide in 2005 among all venues, according to information on the arena's Web site. Verizon Center has drawn 2.5 million fans to more than 220 events, including Wizards, Capitals and Mystics games, yearly." Washington Post
"The company plans to more than quadruple the price of luxury suites, which have been leased for $100,000 annually since the arena opened in 1997. The new price will be $450,000 annually for 10 years. Leaseholders include The Washington Post, Clark Construction, Bank of America and Pepco." Washington Post
January 12, 2007
"Mayor Buddy Dyer has been trying to convince Orange County officials that his plan to build a new arena for the Orlando Magic is a good one, but he found some other tough critics of the deal Thursday -- on his own City Council. When the Orlando mayor presented his proposed agreement with the Magic to the council Thursday, one city commissioner called it "half-baked," and two others said they wouldn't vote for it unless he adds more convenient parking for average fans." Orlando Sentinel
"The City Council was not asked to vote on the agreement, which lays out how the cost of building and running the $480 million arena would be shared. A vote was in Dyer's original plan, but late Wednesday he delayed it after county officials said a decision would be premature. Dyer said he'll bring the agreement for a vote Jan. 22. In the meantime, city staffers and Magic representatives will meet with county officials to talk about the county's concerns." Orlando Sentinel
"The Magic would contribute $50 million in cash, buy -- or find investors to purchase -- $100 million in bonds to help finance the building's construction, and pay rent of $1 million a year. The team also would pay the city $1.75 million a year for naming rights, luxury suites and advertising, an amount that would increase 3 percent a year." Orlando Sentinel
January 10, 2007
"According to financial figures released Tuesday for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2006, the Bradley Center owes the Bucks a total of $5.4 million. That money is expected to be paid out in three increments. According to the terms of the deal, $2.1 million is payable in the current fiscal year, $1.1 million has been deferred until no later than August 2008, and $2.2 million has been deferred until no later than August 2009." Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
"In addition, the Bradley Center in fiscal 2006 purchased suite tickets from the Bucks totaling $2.2 million, and will continue that support in the current fiscal year. Bradley Center officials said the financial support was part of a negotiated settlement with the Bucks and helps the Bradley Center's cash-flow situation." Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
"The newly released figures show the Bradley Center had a net loss in fiscal 2006 of $2.6 million, which was $1.3 million lower than the previous fiscal year. The loss includes an annual depreciation expense of $2.5 million." Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
December 21, 2006
"After the Nuggets announced Tuesday the trade for Iverson, the team sold 340 season tickets in the first 30 minutes. That number increased to 600 by Wednesday afternoon. Andrews also noted there are about 1,500 seats remaining for Friday's game against Sacramento when Iverson is expected to make his Nuggets debut." Denver Post
October 18, 2006
"Former NBA deputy commissioner Russ Granik has joined Galatioto Sports Partners, a New York investment firm that specializes in sports team sales in North America and Europe, the firm announced yesterday. "I'm flattered that Russ chose to join us given all the other options that he had," said Salvatore Galatioto , president of Galatioto Sports Partners. "Russ has incredible contacts, is really smart and has the perfect temperament for our firm." Washington Post
September 2, 2006
"The Suns organization and its fans have shown that they expect something big this season. The franchise is saying so with its annual preseason marketing campaign starting this weekend with the theme, "Eyes on the Prize." The basketball team often aims high but it is rare for the business side to match the optimism." Arizona Republic
"The Suns' fans are right in line with the notion, snatching up tickets to a point that Phoenix could sell out several games before the season starts." Arizona Republic
"The Suns' season ticket holders have renewed at a 93 percent rate, which Suns President and Chief Operating Officer Rick Welts said ranks third in the league and is well above the league's 85 percent target. With about 2,000 new season tickets sold, Phoenix has more than 13,000 "season ticket equivalents" (a term that accounts for how many seats are completely sold for every game, including partial-season packages) sold for the coming season." Arizona Republic
August 19, 2006
"The traditionally buttoned down Boston Celtics are jumping on the NBA’s entertainment bandwagon, with plans for celebrity-style courtside seats and dancing girls. High-rolling fans will have 16 perches - retailing from $1,250 to $1,500 per game - next to the players’ benches and along the court." Boston Herald
"But Celtics fans may have more than celebrity watching to keep themselves occupied. The team’ first dance squad - featuring 21 women from across the country - will take the floor this season. It’s part of an effort to rev up the entertainment at games." Boston Herald
"The Celtics are just one of several NBA teams pushing new courtside perches. The Washington Wizards and Chicago Bulls are doing the same and charging an eye-popping $2,500 apiece." Boston Herald
August 14, 2006
"Word is, cable network FSN Ohio will pay the Cavs an estimated $25 million in its new broadcast contract. The $25 million will more than double what FSN Ohio had been paying for Cavs telecasts. It should give the Cavs one of the four richest TV contracts in the NBA." Cleveland Plain Dealer
"The Cavs probably wouldn't have landed that massive deal if the Indians hadn't started their own cable network, SportsTime Ohio, several months ago. The presence of SportsTime Ohio gave the Cavs a big hammer in their contract talks with FSN Ohio: an option B if FSN Ohio didn't agree to their price demands." Cleveland Plain Dealer
"Here it is, less than two months before the start of training camp, and (the Milwaukee Bucks) still have no lease in one of the NBA's oldest buildings. The people who are handling the negotiations insist this is not a cause for alarm, but to see what is happening in Seattle, as well as with the state of the league, is to think otherwise." Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
"The SuperSonics were recently purchased by an Oklahoma City group, which has given the city of Seattle a year to come up with a plan for a new arena. Failing that, the team is expected to move to Oklahoma if the Hornets are able to return to New Orleans." Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
July 23, 2006
"Sports business experts confirm what just about everyone has suspected: Despite years of complaining about the dismal finances in running the Sonics and Storm, Howard Schultz and his partners snagged a profit of at least $90 million when they sold the teams last week. And while they had operating losses, the $350 million paid for the teams by Oklahoma City investors was $150 million more than Schultz and his 57 partners paid five years ago." Seattle Times
"This is a full price, especially for a team that has an unsettled arena situation that is losing cash," said Marc Ganis, president of Sportscorp Ltd., a Chicago-based sports business consulting firm. "This demonstrates that Howard Schultz, in addition to convincing Americans to fork over $5 for a 50-cent cup of coffee, was able to negotiate a good price for the Sonics." Seattle Times
"Recent sales include the 2004 sale of the New Jersey Nets for $300 million and the 2005 sale of the Cleveland Cavaliers and their arena for $375 million. In other business deals, uncertainty tends to diminish value. That's not necessarily the case here with questions over the lease of KeyArena, DeRosa said." Seattle Times
"And one expert said the $60 million in losses claimed by the Sonics were almost certainly softened by large tax write-offs available to sports-franchise owners." Seattle Times
"In the Sonics' case, team financial statements reported losses of $183 million for tax purposes over the last five years. That's three times the $60 million in cash losses taken by the team. Because the ownership group is organized as a limited-liability company, profits and losses flow through to the individual members, as do any taxes. That means Schultz and the other owners can use their share of the $183 million in losses to erase taxes on profits from other business investments." Seattle Times
"At a news conference Tuesday, Schultz said he had turned down offers of more than $350 million in order to sell the Sonics and Storm to a group that would try to keep the teams in Seattle. Sources told The Seattle Times last week those offers included a $425 million offer from Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, who wanted to move the team to San Jose, Calif." Seattle Times
"Sacramento's arena pact took months of excruciating on-again, off-again, and then on-again negotiations. Finally, the ultra-tense, 11th-hour deal emerged under arduous deadline pressure and enormous public scrutiny. Now comes the hard part: turning plans into reality." Sacramento Bee
"A scant 24 hours after the deal was sealed, the campaign officially kicked off Friday to persuade Sacramento County voters to approve a 15-year, quarter-cent sales tax to fund the bulk of the arena price tag and a host of other community amenities. Politicians, business leaders and Kings owners Joe and Gavin Maloof all were stumping to tout the benefits of a state-of-the-art sports and entertainment complex." Sacramento Bee
"The job ahead will be a difficult one. First, four of the five Sacramento County Board of Supervisors must vote affirmatively on Aug. 2 to place the sales tax increase question on the November ballot. Then, arena campaigners need to win over the public, which polls show is largely leery of taxpayer funding of an arena. The current sales tax rate in Sacramento County is 7 3/4 percent." Sacramento Bee
"The tax would generate at least $1.2 billion over 15 years. That money would go toward paying the bulk of the arena's price tag, estimated at between $470 million and $542 million. Also, a minimum of $594 million would go to the county and its cities for unspecified local projects." Sacramento Bee
"The Maloofs would pay off an existing loan from the city of nearly $71 million in a lump sum. Then, they would pay $4 million annually in rent for 30 years and put $20 million in a capital repair reserve fund. A public joint powers authority would own the building, and the Maloofs would pay to maintain it. All proceeds from all events, parking and concessions would go to the Maloofs." Sacramento Bee
July 20, 2006
"I have recently learned from different sources that the (LeBron James) Nike contract does have a location bonus. It is not a huge one, one that doubles his deal or would make the difference between signing a max contract or signing for the mid-level exception. I wanted to wait until after LeBron signed his contract to discuss it on in this forum because the last thing I want is more speculation about LeBron's grand plans and all his desires to go to New York or whatever." Akron Beacon Journal
"In the next few years, Nike will probably give James a new and richer contract. It will probably include location bonuses, too. It is business. If I were a fan, I'd be more concerned about basketball and how the Cavs get better." Akron Beacon Journal
July 18, 2006
"A high-ranking official for the National Basketball Association is negotiating directly with a consultant for Sacramento city and county in a last-ditch effort to craft a financing deal for a new Kings arena. Officials hope the increased involvement of NBA lawyer Harvey Benjamin, one of the league's top executives, will prod the Maloof family, owners of the Kings, into an agreement this week." Sacramento Bee
"Both sides agree that an arena would cost about $500 million, said participants in the talks. One of the biggest remaining issues, however, is how much the Maloofs would contribute. City and county officials said they have talked about a contribution from the family of roughly 20 percent to 25 percent. "We're not talking 50 percent, and we're not talking 10 percent," said Sacramento County Supervisor Roger Dickinson." Sacramento Bee
July 10, 2006
"Two weeks after intense negotiations on a private/public financing plan for a new Sacramento arena collapsed in frustration, talks have been resurrected. Representatives of the Kings, the city of Sacramento and Sacramento County, along with officials from the NBA, are scheduled to meet Tuesday in a last-second effort to reach agreement and secure a ballot measure in time for the November election." Sacramento Bee
"The most recent proposal would require voter approval for an increase in Sacramento County's sales tax. The revenue would help pay for a sports/entertainment complex to replace 18-year-old Arco Arena, along with other community projects for cities within the county. Though the participants remain divided on some fundamental issues -- foremost among them the cost of construction and the percentage of public and private contributions -- ongoing informal talks prompted a renewed, if tempered, sense of optimism and led to the upcoming meeting at the Palms in Las Vegas."
July 3, 2006
"Name a Cleveland Cavalier that graced a recent Wall Street Journal cover? Easy, right? LeBron James. No, guard Damon Jones. The low profile journeyman has gone global with endorsing a line of basketball shoes for China's Li Ning Co., the country's leading domestic athletic-shoe brand." Cleveland Plain Dealer
"Jones, who signed a four-year, $16.1 million deal with the Cavaliers in 2005, has an annual reported shoe salary of between $200,000 and $300,000. Bonuses are offered with personal and team performances." Cleveland Plain Dealer
June 16, 2006
"In the three years since he was essentially forced out as a front-office executive with the Washington Wizards, Michael Jordan has been looking for an opportunity to become a majority owner of an NBA team. But with no situations to his liking on the horizon, Jordan on Thursday finally accepted the long-standing offer of Charlotte Bobcats owner Robert L. Johnson to become a part owner of that franchise, which completed its second NBA season in April." Chicago Sun-Times
"Jordan's title will be managing member of basketball operations for the Bobcats' ownership group. ''We're elated to have Michael back in the league, both in an ownership and a management position, in an area of the country that's very important to him, where his contributions have been so well-recognized,'' NBA commissioner David Stern said." Chicago Sun-Times
"Johnson, the founder of Black Entertainment Television, has known Jordan for years and first approached him about becoming a minority owner of the Bobcats shortly after Jordan left the Wizards. Jordan declined then, but Johnson made it clear the offer was available any time Jordan changed his mind." Chicago Sun-Times
"The league wants its icons associated with the game. Magic Johnson owns a piece of the Lakers. Larry Bird is president of the Pacers. And now Jordan owns a piece of the Bobcats. It also makes one of the most popular people on the planet the face of its only minority-owned major league sports franchise. For NBA commissioner David Stern, this is the culmination of a dream." Rocky Mountain News
June 15, 2006
"Former Charlotte banking executive Mac Everett has been offered a top management position with the Charlotte Bobcats, two informed sources told the Observer. Both sources indicated Everett has been offered the title of "vice chairman" of the NBA franchise, though it was unclear exactly what Everett's duties would entail if he takes the position." Charlotte Observer
"The Bobcats have lost their top three business-side executives in the past three weeks. Ed Tapscott resigned as president in late May, rather than be demoted to a position of less authority. Since then Peter Smul, the team's chief operating officer, and Chris Weiller, the chief marketing officer, were let go." Charlotte Observer
June 14, 2006
"The Maryland judge who last week ruled that Steve Belkin has the right to buy out his partners in the Hawks' and Thrashers' ownership group issued an amended order Tuesday that said Belkin is entitled to do so within 30 days. In last week's order, the judge left out --- apparently inadvertently --- the time frame." Atlanta Journal Constitution
"The amended order does not necessarily mean, however, that Belkin will take over the teams within a month. The other owners --- a group led by Bruce Levenson, Ed Peskowitz, Michael Gearon Jr. and Rutherford Seydel --- have said they will appeal the decision, and that likely would lead to a stay of the order." Atlanta Journal Constitution
June 13, 2006
"The Lakers said Monday they had increased prices in eight of their nine season-ticket pricing plans, an average of 4% to 5% overall. Courtside seats were increased from $2,100 a game to $2,200, a 4.8% change. Seats in six lower-level sections between the baskets — 101, 102, 110, 111, 112 and 119 — were raised from $210 to $220 a game, also a 4.8% increase." Los Angeles Times
"Like many NBA players in the 1990s who signed lucrative signature shoe deals, Shaquille O'Neal signed a five-year, $40 million deal with Reebok when he entered the league with the Orlando Magic in 1992. But the combination of wanting to run his own shoe business and a dressing down from a woman in Orlando who cried to the center about the high cost of his shoes convinced O'Neal to launch his own line." South Florida Sun-Sentinel | Nov. 9, 2005
"That's how O'Neal, with the Heat since 2004, formed his Shaq and Dunkman brand shoes, which retail for less than $40. Today's athlete signature shoes run $90 to $125." South Florida Sun-Sentinel | Nov. 9, 2005
"Both brands are licensed by Exeter Brands Group, which is a subsidiary of Nike." South Florida Sun-Sentinel | Nov. 9, 2005
"Time Warner put the value of the teams and Philips Arena rights at $250 million when it sold them to Atlanta Spirit last year. That figure included $142 million in arena debt. Atlanta Spirit hasn't disclosed and perhaps hasn't fully decided the individual ownership percentages that will be held by the remaining partners. "It's uncertain how things will come out within a range," Seydel said." Atlanta Journal Constitution / November 8, 2005
August 9, 2005: 2007 ALL STAR GAME IN VEGAS: Non-gaming economic impact for 2007 NBA All-Star is projected at $27 million. Other recent impact numbers include: 2005 Denver, $30 million; and 2004 Los Angeles, $30.3 million. Houston is projecting $50 million in 2006. (all figures provided by local convention and visitors bureaus)... All-Star 2007 is projected to draw more than 25,000 visitors who would utilize nearly 43,000 room nights in local hotels, including The Palms, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, The Bellagio, Monte Carlo and The Venetian. The NBA will utilize almost 5,000 room nights.
"However, the Sonics are experiencing financial difficulties – they say they lost about $15 million last season – and want to save as much money as they can on a new coach." Tacoma News Tribune / July 10, 2005
"After lowering prices on several season-ticket packages for the 2005-06 season and changing some of their marketing strategies, the Hornets are recording their highest sales figures since the team relocated to New Orleans in 2002, team officials said last week. Hornets' chief marketing officer Tim McDougall said the franchise has surpassed last year's total for first-time season-ticket buyers and have approached $1 million in new season-ticket sales revenue." New Orleans Times-Picayune / June 6, 2005
"The team declined to release specific new season ticket sales figures or the number of renewals among its season-ticket holders. But team spokesman Harold Kaufman said only 10 of the 54 luxury suites at New Orleans Arena remain unsold." New Orleans Times-Picayune / June 6, 2005
"The Hornets are hoping to increase home crowds, despite having the second-worst record in the league this past season at 18-64. They finished last in the 30-team league in attendance with a 14,221 per game average for tickets sold." New Orleans Times-Picayune / June 6, 2005
"To help draw bigger crowds, the Hornets unveiled a new pricing plan in March that included $999 season tickets for the corners of the lower bowl and $430 for the upper end zone sections behind the basket. For the 2004-05 season, a season ticket cost $1,935 in the same section and their lowest priced ticket for all 41 games was $860 in the upper ends." New Orleans Times-Picayune / June 6, 2005
"But one financial marker during the second quarter of each year - from April to June, during the playoffs - shows some consistency: the Garden division's revenues, as high as $193.9 million in 2000, when the Knicks played eight home playoff games, fell to $133.2 million in 2003, when there were no playoff games. During last year's second quarter, when the division's revenue jumped to $165.8 million, the Garden benefited from $6 million in higher Knicks revenue, $4.2 million in higher MSG Network revenues and a $10.3 million bonus from the Charlotte Bobcats expansion fee. The Garden also recorded a windfall when the Mets paid $54 million to get out of their FSNY contract after 2005; the Garden then gave itself a $41.8 million credit to reverse a liability tied to the TV deal." New York Times / April 22, 2005
"According to those close to (LeBron) James, several leadership changes in the private sector have put the brakes on potential multimillion-dollar endorsement contacts. Last year, James was in talks for a deal with McDonald's when CEO Jim Cantalupo suddenly passed away. Last week, Sony Corp. fired CEO Nobuyuki Idei for former CBS Broadcasting boss Howard Stringer. James had been in talks with Sony about being a pitchman as well." Akron Beacon Journal / Mar. 13, 2005
"Days before Bryant's June 2003 encounter with the woman, Nike had signed the Laker to a five-year contract worth at least $40 million." ESPN.com / Mar. 2, 2005
"Though Bryant didn't appear in television or print advertising last season, Nike still put him in a new shoe, which many Bryant fans knew was the Air Huarache 2K4. The shoe sold very well. The shoe Bryant is wearing this season, the Air Huarache 2K5, debuts in three colors in three weeks." ESPN.com / Mar. 2, 2005
"While Nike is not expected to put Bryant in commercials immediately, shoe retailing sources, who previously had indicated Nike would not use Bryant for the rest of the basketball season, now say they've been told the shoe company still might use Bryant in the near future. Despite his off-court troubles, many in Nike's core young market still support Bryant." ESPN.com / Mar. 2, 2005
"Swoosh and stripes, meet Brand X. As sports shoe companies such as Nike Inc. and Adidas-Salomon jump into China with both feet, they face a firmly entrenched homegrown rival that's hatching plans to trip them up: Li Ning Co. For years, the Beijing-based athletic footwear and apparel manufacturer has had the run of a domestic market that is now just finding its 2.6 billion legs. The company posts annual sales of about $200 million hawking affordable, no-frills sneakers to the masses, which long have valued price over style and performance. Revenue and profit for the first six months of 2004 are up 50% from the same time last year, according to the company's latest report." Los Angeles Times / Dec. 25, 2004
"Nike and Adidas have been hanging around China for years, quietly building brand loyalty through grass-roots basketball clinics and boutique sales. Their target is a middle class that, by Adidas' estimates, is expected to surge from 60 million consumers in 2002 to 150 million by the end of the decade. China's population is 1.3 billion. Now Canton, Mass.-based Reebok International Ltd. is taking the plunge with a campaign featuring favorite son and National Basketball Assn. star Yao Ming. All three firms are aiming to dramatically increase their retail outlets by 2008, when Beijing hosts the Summer Olympics." Los Angeles Times / Dec. 25, 2004
"Worldwide athletic-goods giant Nike, Inc. announced Thursday that University alumnus and current Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Philip H. Knight will step down as CEO, effective Dec. 28. Knight, the top donor to the University in recent years, will retain his position as chairman of the Board of Directors when he is replaced by William D. Perez next month. The Knight family helped finance the $27.4 million renovation of the University library, which was completed in 1994. In 1996, Knight also donated $10 million to build the William W. Knight Law Center -- named after his father, who graduated from the University's law school in 1932 -- as well as $15 million more to finance endowed chairs and professorships, according to the University." Oregon Daily Emerald
"Knight still owns about 28 percent of the voting shares of Nike Class B stock and 92 percent of the non-voting Class A stock, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and reported by The Associated Press. Knight's combined salary and bonuses for this year were nearly $3.7 million, up from nearly $2.5 million last year, according to the AP. Nike has become a $12 billion global business, selling shoes, sports apparel and equipment." Oregon Daily Emerald
"The Charlotte Bobcats' aggressive recruiting campaign for naming rights at the uptown arena calls for a commitment of a decade or more at $4 million per year. According to sources familiar with the pitch, the Bobcats deal would be at the top of any NBA naming-rights pact for a market this size, double the dollars the Indiana Pacers generated in the Conseco Fieldhouse agreement." MSNBC.com / Nov. 15, 2004
"Team executives decline disclosing potential terms. Industry sources who have seen the proposal say the team wants $4 million annually over a period of 10 to 20 years." MSNBC.com / Nov. 15, 2004
"Despite those selling points, industry experts say the Panthers' $7 million-a-year stadium name deal is out of reach for the Bobcats. Some experts say a deal near $2.5 million is more realistic." MSNBC.com / Nov. 15, 2004
"Muhleman says regionally based companies are the likely candidates for buying the rights for the $265 million arena, which opens next year for the Bobcats' 2005-06 season. Most industry analysts view the financial-services sector -- the dominant industry here and among the most active sports-venue buyers in recent months -- as an unlikely match for the team." MSNBC.com / Nov. 15, 2004
"The contract of agent Arn Tellem, whose star-studded NBA and Major League Baseball client list includes Tracy McGrady, Reggie Miller, Jason Giambi and Hideki Matsui, expired on Sept. 29. Since selling his Los Angeles-based company, Tellem & Associates, to SFX in 1999 for about $25 million, Tellem has helped the District-based company become a premier sports agency with revenue that tops $100 million a year. If he leaves SFX, which is owned by Clear Channel Communications, many of the more than 20 NBA and baseball agents he oversees -- and the more than 200 athletes they represent -- could follow him, say sources within the company." Washington Post / Oct. 23
"Arn has the loyalty of every agent in this place," said one SFX agent, who requested anonymity. "Within six months, the entire basketball and baseball staff would be out the door with him. . . . If they let him leave it would say to us that they aren't willing to grow the business." Washington Post / Oct. 23
"An SFX spokeswoman said agency executives are confident that they can keep Tellem, who was out of the country and unavailable for comment. SFX is offering Tellem a larger role within the firm, say sources inside SFX, but he has told friends and co-workers that he wants to avoid making a long-term commitment. Should the two sides fail to cut a deal, Clear Channel could soon find itself competing against one its former top agents, a position that is not unique within the sector." Washington Post / Oct. 23
"Orlando Magic forward/center Dwight Howard has signed on to become a spokesman for the footwear and apparel manufacturer Adidas. Adidas announced the multiyear agreement today, but did not say how much Howard is receiving in the deal." Orlando Business Journal / Sept 28, 2004
"It appears Adidas is picking the cream of the NBA crop this summer. It also recently signed on new players including Josh Smith, drafted by the Atlanta Hawks; J.R. Smith, selected by the New Orleans Hornets; and Sebastian Telfair, picked by the Portland Trail Blazers." Orlando Business Journal / Sept 28, 2004
"Save for Emeka Okafor, Shaun Livingston is the last of the high-profile players from this year's NBA draft to sign a shoe deal.
But a year after essentially cornering the market on the NBA's stars of tomorrow, Nike has chosen to take a seat on the bench. As of now, the world's largest athletic shoe company, which will generate more than $12 billion in sales this year, has only one player on its roster -- Chicago Bulls guard Ben Gordon -- who was selected in this year's NBA draft." ESPN.com / Sept. 16, 2004
"Nike could still pick up Gordon's college teammate Emeka Okafor, who was drafted second overall by the Charlotte Bobcats, but, in the eyes of shoe executives, power forwards and centers are not considered as marketable as small forwards and guards. The last of this year's high-profile shoe free agents, Shaun Livingston, just signed with Reebok. Ralph Greene, Nike's director of global basketball, told ESPN.com that Nike had interest in Livingston "but he chose to sign for more money." ESPN.com / Sept. 16, 2004
"Michael Jordan appeared on Gatorade bottles, but
he never had his own flavor. The new darling of the sports marketing world, LeBron
James, will have that privilege when 32-ounce bottles of Powerade's FLAVA23
hit stores next month." ESPN.com
participated in the process to select his namesake flavor. This past winter,
Coca-Cola chemists went to the Ritz Carlton in Cleveland and put cups of sample
flavors in front of the NBA Rookie of the Year, who, like Jordan, wears the number
23. James chose a red sourberry flavor. He then selected the color of the drink
from a palette of possibilities, ultimately arriving at something very similar
to the Cavaliers' wine color." ESPN.com
"Coca-Cola is counting on James to have a greater
effect with Powerade, which has experienced considerable growth since it was brought
to market in 1992. Powerade's
share of the market is currently 14.9 percent compared with Gatorade's 81.2 percent,
according to Beverage Digest, an industry trade publication. James' deal with
the Powerade and Sprite brands is worth approximately $2 million a year, but there
are incentives in his contract that will reward him if it is determined that his
endorsement leads to greater sales." ESPN.com
Aug 2, 2004: "Owners
of professional sports teams stand to gain tens of millions of dollars in the
values of their franchises because of a single sentence buried deep in a sprawling
piece of export-tax legislation now before Congress. The benefit to sports
franchises is contained in a small part of an enormous bill introduced originally
to settle a trade dispute with the European Union. But the legislation has since
become laden with add-ons for interests ranging from tobacco farmers to Oldsmobile
Aug 2, 2004: "The
proposed change affecting sports team owners, which has been passed without hearings
or debate, would allow the owners to write off the full value of their franchises
over 15 years. Existing law generally limits teams to writing off only
the value of player contracts over three to five years. The biggest items subject
to the expanded write-offs would be television and radio contracts." New
Aug 2, 2004: "Two
directors at Lehman Brothers, the investment bank, who specialize in sports banking
and tax policy said the change could add 5 percent to sports franchise values.
If so, it would represent a $2 billion windfall to franchise values, which totaled
$41 billion in 2002, according to Forbes magazine." New
July 12, 2004: "On their team Web site, the
Magic already have sold more than 150 Nelson NBA jerseys, more than they've sold
for No. 1 pick Dwight Howard." Orlando
July 2, 2004: "Thomas wouldn't estimate the value
of the Kings' cable
rights, though the NBA average last season was $7.5 million a year, according
to Shaw Sports Business. Such additional revenue could spell the difference between
a profitable or financially losing season for the Kings. The club last year turned
a $4 million profit, but has lost close to $30 million over the past five seasons,
according to records provided to The Bee." Sacramento
July 2, 2004: As
one of only two teams in the NBA without a cable contract, the Kings are losing
out on millions of dollars a year in revenue. And perhaps as important,
they are missing the opportunity to cement a connection with fans up and down
the Central Valley." Sacramento
July 2, 2004: "Such additional revenue could spell
the difference between a profitable or financially losing season for the Kings.
club (Kings) last year turned a $4 million profit, but has lost close to $30 million
over the past five seasons, according to records provided to The Bee."
July 2, 2004: "On the court, Telfair has the vision
and passing skills that few players have had, said Blazers coach Maurice Cheeks,
a four-time NBA All-Star point guard. In
the sports business world, Telfair is an executive's dream: clean-cut, well-spoken
and well-known on the playgrounds. "Allen Iverson without tattoos,"
Adidas executive Kevin Wulff said." Oregonian
Nike, Reebok and Puma made pitches to Telfair, he was sold on Adidas from the
start. "The main thing for me is loyalty," Telfair said. "These
are the people who took care of my high school teams, and they have been there
for me outside of basketball." Vaccaro, who left Adidas last winter to reinvigorate
Reebok's basketball business at a grass-roots level, said no other company had
a shot." Oregonian
June 18, 2004: Final 2003-04 NBA Season Attendance
This years average regular season attendance of
17,050 fans per game is the highest since the 1997-98 season (17,135), the last
season the NBA averaged more than 17,000 fans per game. NBA arenas were filled
to more than 89.2% capacity, the fourth highest percent capacity all-time and
the highest total since the 1997-98 season. Team-by-team
June 18, 2004: Final 2003-04 NBA Season TV Ratings
ABC - The full season on ABC (29 games) averaged a 4.6
rating, up +10% versus last year's 27-game average (4.2 rtg.).
TNT The full season on TNT (95 games) averaged
a 2.3 rating, up +10% versus last years 98-game average (2.1 rtg.).
Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals earned a 7.3 rating
and averaged 6.5 million households, making it the most viewed NBA Playoff game
in cable history.
The ratings for the NBA Playoffs helped TNT become the #1 ranked cable outlet
for the important sweeps month of May.
ESPN The full season on ESPN (90 games) averaged
a 1.8 rating, up +20% versus last years 90-game average (1.5 rtg.).
Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals earned a 5.0 rating
and averaged 4.4 million households, making it the most viewed basketball game
in ESPN history and the most viewed 2nd Quarter program in the network's history.
June 18, 2004: NBA Finals TV Ratings
Game 5 Registered the Highest Rating for any NBA Finals
Game since Game 6 in 2000 and the Highest of any NBA Finals Games 1 through 5
ABC PRODUCES DOMINANT RATINGS WITH NBA FINALS
ABC Dominates Competition with NBA Finals Game 5 defeating
NBC by 92%, CBS by 202% and Fox by 338%
13.8/23 Household Rating is 123% Higher Than Last Years
Game 5 had the most viewers, 21.84 Million, of any NBA
Finals Game 1 through 5 since 1998
Five-Game NBA Finals Series Average is Highest Since 2001
Among Households, Total Viewers and Key Male and Adult Demographics.
ABC's Sunday, June 15 broadcast of the NBA Finals Game
5 in which the Detroit Pistons defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 100-87 to win their
first NBA Championship since 1990 posted a national household rating of a 13.8/23
to rank as the No. 1 television program on Tuesday night and the highest rated
Game 5 in an NBA Finals series since 1998.
The top rated markets for the five-game series are:
Los Angeles: 29.6
San Antonio: 20.1
Salt Lake City: 16.7
- - - - - - - - - - -
June 14, 2004: "After teaming with the Detroit Pistons
in the NBA Finals, Chauncey Billups could be in position to team up as a pitchman
for several companies. Andy
Miller, Billups' agent, said Sunday that shoe companies, car dealerships, banks
and financial institutions have contacted him about hiring his Denver-raised client."
June 5, 2004:
to published reports, similar small-market NBA franchises make between $12 million
and $22 million per season from their local cable deals. Without such
a deal this season - and perhaps next - the Kings must make tough choices such
as whether to sign a player like Jim Jackson - even at a bargain cost of $2.4
million per season." Sacramento
how could the Kings' ownership owe nearly $84 million? City officials say
the explanation is simple: The Kings were given two loans in 1997 - one to help
shore up their finances, and another to help them pay the first loan back."
Pistons and Lightning are part of Palace Sports & Entertainment, whose
other holdings include The Palace, DTE Energy Music Theatre, the Arena Football
League's Detroit Fury and the WNBA's Detroit Shock, which won the championship
last season." AP
via Contra Costa Times
May 5, 2004:
NBA is projecting $3.3 billion in licensed merchandise sales for the 2003-04 season,
best in pro sports, 154 percent above its total three years ago, and the
first time it will top the mighty NFL in this category." Washington
"In fairness, the NBA is not totally backsliding
with regard to TV ratings. Regular-season
viewership on ESPN grew 8 percent compared to last year, and TNT was up 17 percent.
ABC, which aired 14 games, dropped 8 percent. During the first round of
this year's playoffs, TNT stayed flat compared to 2003 and ESPN increased its
average rating 5 percent." Washington
ad sales for pro basketball have followed commensurately, dropping from
$769.4 million in 2002 to $579.4 million last year, according to New York-based
TNS Media Intelligence. That total also includes spending on the WNBA, but much
of the decrease owes to the men." Washington
April 13, 2004: Most
popular NBA jerseys
See the 25 most popular NBA player jerseys and 10 most popular NBA team jerseys
of the season.
April 3, 2004: "Operations and bookings at the
city-owned Target Center will be handled by a partnership created by Minnesota
Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor under a deal approved Friday by the Minneapolis
City Council. Target Center's primary tenants are the NBA Timberwolves and the
WNBA Minnesota Lynx, also owned by Taylor. Taylor's firm will handle personnel
matters at the arena. His partners in the Midwest Entertainment Group, the James
M. Nederlander Co., will book concerts and other events." Minneapolis
Mar. 16, 2004: The Miami HEAT and Sunshine Network,
a Fox-owned regional sports network, today announced a new long-term agreement
providing Sunshine exclusive regional television rights to the NBA franchise.
This agreement extends a successful television and marketing partnership that
began between the two parties more than a decade ago.
Mar. 4, 2004: "The Rockets, beginning next season's
season-ticket drive, raised the price on 2,900 club seats and lowered the price
on 4,200 other lower-bowl tickets. In addition to the price changes, the Rockets
have brought their payment schedule more in line with much of the NBA, with the
first 25 percent payment for renewals due March 15." Houston
Mar. 4, 2004: "The lower bowl's $50 season tickets
were reduced to $45 per game, and the $60 season tickets were cut to $55. The
club seats that have been $175 per game were increased to $180. The $135 club
seats were increased to $150, and the $125 club seats were increased to $130.
Those club seats have been sold out this season with a waiting list. "It
was our first year doing club products, so we took our best shot with the pricing,"
McDougall said. "The $175s and $125s hardly moved (in price) at all. The
$135s, we have a huge waiting list. We know we have a lot of demand for them.
Rather than take a price increase across the board, in the area we have a lot
of demand and a product that's gotten very good reviews from our customers, we're
taking a price increase." Houston
Mar. 1, 2004: "Only seven of the 47 owners of
Rose Garden luxury suites with contracts that expire after the Portland Trail
Blazers finish this NBA season have said they will renew their leases. Team
officials assured fans it would be business as usual after the Oregon Arena Corp.,
which owns the Rose Garden, declared bankruptcy last week. But the luxury suites,
which have a median price of $116,000, are a significant source of income for
a team already losing many millions of dollars." Source: Associated
Feb. 28, 2004: "In the collective bargaining negotiations
under way, the NBA will soon seek a deal in which it can use the National Basketball
Development League as a limited farm system. Players drafted into the NBA
would earn their NBA paychecks but could play and improve in the D-League instead
of rotting at the end of NBA benches." Houston
Feb. 28, 2004: "It has not been brought up yet,"
a source familiar with the NBA's negotiation plans said on condition of anonymity.
"But if the players association does not agree to an age limit, that is definitely
a topic that will be discussed." The union will fight it. But with so many
players coming into the league without the training to be professional basketball
players, it would seem to be to their benefit to develop in a situation designed
for little else." Houston
Feb. 28, 2004: "Two weeks ago, the NBA said it
expected to send the Hawks sale to the league's owners for an approval vote "in
a week or so." Two weeks later, the league still hasn't done so. Which
can come as no surprise, really, to those who have followed the protracted Hawks-Thrashers
sale. "The process is still ongoing," NBA spokesman Tim Frank said Friday,
"and we have not committed to a date" for a vote." Atlanta
Feb. 28, 2004: "One issue being hashed out in
the past week involved legal language regarding how the nine-man Atlanta Spirit
ownership group, which has no majority partner, would deal with the NBA and
NHL requirements that one person have authority to represent ownership on league
Feb. 28, 2004: "The Hawks-Thrashers buyers have
been considering candidates for the position of CEO, who would oversee the teams
and Philips Arena on a day-to-day basis. Word is, they've zeroed in on their
top candidate: Bernie Mullin, a longtime sports executive who has been the NBA's
senior vice president of team marketing and business operations since 2000. Word,
too, is that he'll be visiting Atlanta this weekend." Atlanta
Oct. 23, 2003: Yao Ming signs with Reebok. It's
a multi-year contract. Yao's previous deal was with Nike. Yao will be in television
ads, print ads, promotional appearances and other things on the side, plus he
will have his own line of sneakers and apparel.
Oct. 10, 2003: Sonny Vaccaro now works for Reebok.
Sonny is a legend in the sneaker-related basketball world. He's more or less why
Michael Jordan originally signed with Nike and why adidas developed into the powerhouse
it did. He's one of the most influential figures in the history of amateur basketball
as well, starting the first-ever high school all-star tournament.
Oct. 3, 2003: Shoe companies sold almost $8 billion
worth of sneakers in 2002.
Sept 29, 2003: NBA TV has signed deals with Time Warner,
Cablevision and Cox Communications, and will be much more available to the
masses starting this season. See details.
Sept 3, 2003: USBL salaries average around $400
a week, InsideHoops.com reports.
Sept 3, 2003: CBA salaries average around $15,000
a season, InsideHoops.com reports
August 22, 2003: LeBron James signs with the Coca-Cola
company. It's said to be a six year deal that will have James helping to promote
Sprite and Powerade. The deal is said by the NY Times to be worth around $2 million
per year. James had recently been negotiating with PepsiCo, who own Gatorade.
But, nothing came of it, and he's now with Coke.
August 6, 2003: Kevin Garnett signs with Adidas.
KG was with Nike for five years, And 1 for two years, and now he's with Adidas.
ESPN sources claim that it's for about $2 million a year. It's considered a "lifetime"
type of deal, which means that there's no definite end in sight. If things go
well for both Garnett and Adidas, it could last for a long time. Tracy McGrady
and Tim Duncan are also with Adidas.
August 2, 2003: LeBron James Jersey Sales: The
AP reports that sales of LeBron James' jerseys have exceeded $4 million since
they went on sale just 5 weeks ago on the night of the NBA draft, June 26. James
is single-handedly reviving the marketability of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
July 29, 2003: NBA Television Info: In the 2003-04
NBA regular season, ABC will televise 18 games. Last year they had 14. ESPN will
televise 72 games, most of which will be on Wednesday and Friday nights. TNT will
televise 52 games, most of which will be Thursday nights.
July 28, 2003: Streetball Salaries: InsideHoops.com
sources state that the AND 1 mixtape streetball team members, who spend about
three summer months touring all around the country, earn salaries ranging from
$50,000 to $100,000.
July 28, 2003: ESPN TV Ratings: The NBA provided
a tremendous lift to ESPN last season (2002-03 season), the first of a six-year
agreement. ESPN's regular-season games achieved a 54% increase in the audience
compared to the same time slots in 2001-02. The increase among men 18-34 was 100%.
July 10, 2003: Nike has bought Converse. Yes, the
company has bought the company. Sources say the deal was for $305 million. Converse
is best known for their Chuck Taylor All Star shoe and the Converse Weapon shoe
that Larry Bird and Magic Johnson wore. Converse dominated the sports footwear
market for decades, but Nike became the leader in the 1980's. In the early 1990's,
Converse had serious financial problems and was forced to declare bankruptsy,
reorganizing their company. Now, they're Nike's. In 2002, Nike had $10.7 billion
in revenues, while Converse had $205 million. - InsideHoops.com
July, 2003: Kobe Bryant's new contract with Nike
is for 5 years, $41 million. Kobe also makes $10 to $15 million more in other
July, 2003: Kobe Bryant's Other Contracts: His
deal with McDonalds ends in late 2003, and his deal with Sprite ends in 2005.
Random Fact (July 12, 2003): Texas has no state
May, 2003: LeBron James Nike Deal. LeBron James'
deal with Nike is for a reported 7 years, $90 million. He signed it in May.
April 17, 2003 - ESPN TV Ratings: For its first
season of NBA coverage in 18 years, ESPN averaged a 1.20 rating for 69 regular-season
games. This represents an increase of 54% for the time slots, from a 0.78 for
the 2001-02 season. Among men 18-34, the increase was 100%, from 0.63 to 1.26.
Among men 18-49, the increase was 80%, from 0.61 to 1.10.
David Stern Speaks
(April 11, 2003) David Stern on the future of NBA TV coverage.
(July 22, 2002): New NBA television contracts:
For games from the 2002-03 to 2007-08 seasons, ABC/ESPN is paying $2.4 billion
for 6 years. For games from the 2002-03 to 2007-08 seasons, TNT is paying $2.2
billion for 6 years.
(July 22, 2002): Games on (free) network television:
There will be 15 games (plus some playoffs and finals games) on free network television
(ABC) from 2002-03 till 2007-08. In 2001-02 there were 34 games (plus playoffs
and finals) on free network television (NBC). In 2000-01 there were 69 games on
free network television (NBC). In 1999-00 there were 71. The previous 8 years,
each season there were 50something games on free network television.