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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Greg Crawford On Sports Biz, Edition 3

Thanks for all the great feedback on me writing this sports business column. It is great to have so many readers and I love doing this and also love hearing from all of you.

It is also very rewarding to hear from many of you, who went out and bought Jon Spoelstra's book, "Marketing Outrageously, Redux". of which I highly recommend not only for people interested in sports business, but for anyone in business, or anyone who just plain wants to improve your life. It is fun to recommend something that people really appreciate, which helps people either personally or professionally,  so get out there and buy the book if you have not already.

Not A Pioneer---There is no league at present that is as popular or has as much power as the National Football League. They have done so many things correctly, but when it comes right down to it, the game sells itself. (How is that coming from a basketball guy, who could care less about the NFL games).

As much as I don't care who wins and loses NFL games, I do pay attention to the business model, especially because of its success. What baffles me presently about the NFL is that the league is going through a lockout/strike with their officials. How in the world can this happen, even though I think the regular officials will be back come regular season. Actually who can blame them from not wanting to be on the field in these horrid exhibition games.

A league with this kind of resources should never worry about paying their officials, outside of the fact if they asked for $1 million per game, which obviously is not the case. NFL officials work hard, as do officials in all sports and for them to not have a contract in a wildly financially successful league is a "shame on you NFL". Take care of your people, it is a basic fact in American business.

And while I am at it, shame on Shannon Eastin. She is scheduled to work the Thursday night, August 9th game, Green Bay at San Diego. By doing so she will be the first woman to ever  officiate an NFL game. But does this really count? For years, many top women officials have been held back and have deserved better, but to make this out as some people have done that she is a pioneer is crazy. The circumstances she is doing this under do not qualify Shannon to become a pioneer, in any way shape or form. She is taking someone's place and if not for a lockout, she would not be working in the NFL. Plus, I do not like the fact that Shannon has also been doing interviews. The NFL should have never made her available.

Yes, by now the NFL should have had more than one woman official, but in no way under these circumstances and also the fact many who know much more about this than I do, tell me Shannon Eastin is in no way ready to officiate in the NFL, as compared to many other women football officials around the country.

Sorry if I offended any women in my rant, but ask the women I work with and they will tell you about my total respect for women in the work place. This just happens to be the wrong time for the NFL to move on something that has been way too long in coming.

Pageviews---Why are we still the greatest country and will be forever?  It is our people and it is our technology and the development of new ways to connect. Actually in the next five years, mark my words, your website and you twitter handle will be on your driver's license and will be as big a part of your name as your middle initial. Twitter has done so much to promote sports, but we still love our sports websites. So much that we continue to see every major sports website evolve frequently, trying to get better.

Shameless plug, I know, I am awful, but speaking of change, just today, my golf blog for got much better, just because it is part of a new sparkling golf page that Comcast SportsNet launched this morning.

Of course I have a long way to go to catch the pageviews of the Olympics page by NBC. After the first week in London, the NBC web page, received over 1 billion views. Comparison, in the 2008 Olympics from Beijing, NBC had just under 1 billion views for the entire Olympics.

Lesson here, ladies and gentlemen, keep your websites fresh and websites are not going away for a long time to come.

Coaching Pay----College football is here and the list of highest paid coaches in college football is always available, of course usually as I have found out quickly over the years, only for public schools, for private schools the information is hard to attain.

So here is the public list of top three highest paid coaches, along with what the most colorful coach in the Pac-12, Chip Kelly makes. All figures are yearly and can vary slightly.

1. Mack Brown, Texas----$5.1 million
2. Nick Saban, Alabama---$4.8 million
3. Bob Stoops, Oklahoma---$4.075 million

Out of the top 20 highest paid coaches at public universities, Chip Kelly ranks 13th. $2.8 million. It is estimated at USC, a private institution, Lane Kiffin is making $4 million.

Overdue---I have talked a little about the success of the NFL earlier, every third grader can tell you the NFL is successful actually, but what about football expansion in the United States.

A great brand of football is the Canadian Football League. I think it is time for the CFL business model to expand back to the United States, especially in some areas where it is almost certain there will never be any NFL team for a long time to come. And where am I thinking? Portland, Oregon, San Antonio, Sacramento and Syracuse. And yes, I do know this was tried in 1993 and 94, but that was different time and different media world. So much time is available to broadcast on many different networks, this would be an easy sell in my mind.

The Canadian game is fast paced and exciting, Americans love that style and I think they would embrace the game in total. Football fans are starved for more, but it takes an established league and format like the CFL to succeed.

What do you think? Since this is a sports biz column, would you be an investor if asked, even for $100.00 in a Canadian Football League team? Let us know in the comment section below.

Emails welcome to and twitter @wchoops

Please feel free to read my other blogs on college basketball and golf at  and

Finally today, little less than 2 months left to take advantage of our huge discounted offers for Crawford Speaks, with our senior consultant Brian Wheeler. Please contact us at and visit our website to find out more,

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