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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Greg Crawford On Sports Biz, Edition 1

Well, here goes with my first edition of Greg Crawford On Sports Biz.

Ever since I was a young person, I have been fascinated with Sports Business. It now has evolved into my favorite thing in sports, followed closely by basketball and golf. Of course, this does not mean the end of Crawford's Clubhouse and Crawford's Court on Greg Crawford On Sports Business  column will come out every Sunday and I hope you enjoy the little tidbits.

A book that I read at least every month, yes over and over and get so much out of, "Marketing Outrageously, Redux" by Jon Spoelstra will also be featured in this column, with excerpts each Sunday. If you love life, love sports, want to become a better person, better business person or just love good reading, you must get Jon's book, it is absolutely marvelous. So here we go and I hope you enjoy, if not, just ignore each time I send this out and I will not be offended in the least. Thank you,

Franchises---Really interesting last week when Forbes magazine came out with their 50 most valuable sports franchises. We sometimes forget that sports is universal, just not contained to the United States, so it is not shocking that the two most valuable sports franchises come from the  world of soccer. 1) Manchester United, worth 2.33 billion and 2) Real Madrid, worth 1.88 billion.

The most important part of the 50 is the fact that all 32 NFL teams were in the top 50. It is totally amazing what the NFL has done with their game and its popularity. And despite the recent huge sale of the LA Dodgers, the Yankees still retain the top spot in baseball when it comes to value.

Not surprising that the there are no MLS or NHL teams in the top 50. Also not surprising is that the highest ranked NBA team is the Lakers, coming in at 35th. Unless your the Sacramento Kings, it pays, despite the economic woes of California to have a professional sports franchise in California. You buy it and it grows, not just a small amount, but huge over time.

North Dakota---Obviously, North Dakota is serious about joining the Big Sky Conference. They have just gone out and signed a deal with Front Row Marketing Services to sell their sports sponsorships. Front Row in one of the best and largest companies in the world when it comes to sports sponsorships.

North Dakota has a nice athletic department and in joining the Big Sky, that is a big boost for them and for the Big Sky. Of course it still seems odd to me that the Big Sky continues with the name Big Sky, it just does not fit the league anymore when you have teams in California, Arizona, Utah, Washington, Oregon and North Dakota. With the recent unveiling of the league's new logo, what a golden opportunity was missed to rebrand the entire league, with a new name. Big Sky should be out and write me with your suggestions, what should be in. Thank you.

Jamie Zaninovich---If Zaninovich leaves as Commissioner of the West Coast Conference to become the new athletic director at Stanford, it will be a big loss for the WCC. Zaninovich has done wonderful job of moving the league forward since taking over in 2009, especially bringing in the new teams, BYU and of course Pacific in 2014. Basketball drives the bus in the WCC and it appears to be thriving, with this coming season, predicted to be one of the most competitive of all time.

Of course, the big blank on the Zaninovich's record if he leaves will be the fact he could not convince enough people to bring Seattle into the WCC. I know a little about sports, mainly cause I am old, but for Seattle U., not to be in the WCC is totally sad. The school's profile fits perfectly with the WCC and why would you ever not want the the 14th largest TV market to be part of your league. I guess Stockton, California was a better choice.

So if Zaninovich does leave, I love to offer free advice. The WCC should go after Torre Chisholm, who has done a wonderful job, which is not an easy job, as the athletic director at Portland State.

Anthony Davis---To no one's surprise the number one draft choice in the 2012 NBA draft, has signed a multi-year deal with Nike. Nike gets almost every top athlete in the world, as we all know. What I did learn this week, was surprising to me, Nike is responsible for sales of 96 percent of the basketball sports shoe market worldwide. No matter how you cut it, that is power and sports business dominance at the highest level.

Marketing Outrageously, Redux---In case you have not read this book by Jon Spoelstra, you must, no matter what your interest in life or your profession. Each Sunday, will give you just a little excerpt, which I really hope causes you to read the book.

If you wish to ramp up revenue, here are some thoughts from Spoelstra on sales, the salesperson and the sales manager all working together for the same results.

"The toughest part of a sales call is not making the sale, but everything leading up to it. Making the appointment, juggling the schedule and preparing the material".

"The sales manager should do all of the following things, for the same reason the company president or marketing director should do them", go on calls with sales people and constant communication.

1. Work with sales people, it reenforces why the sales manager is there, to raise revenues.

2. It tells the sales people how important revenue is to the company.

3. It keep the sales manager in touch with the market.

4. It stimulates the creation of new ideas.

5. It generates sales.

Emails to and twitter at wchoops.

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