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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Greg Crawford On Sports Biz, Edition 4

Lance Armstrong---In case you would like to know the numbers on Lance Armstrong, they are pretty staggering all across the board.

His foundation since 1997 has raised $470 million and has helped over 2.5 million people get free services for their post cancer treatment.

On the personal side, Armstrong makes north of $10 million dollars per year from speeches and his endorsement deals with 11 sponsors. Now how those sponsors react to the recent events of the past few days remain to be seen. As expected, one of his key sponsors Nike, is sticking with him, but it is expected also that some of his other key sponsors will probably pull the plug.

Just a few of his sponsors,  all powerful companies like Oakley, Radio Shack, Trek and Michelob Ultra. It didn't take long for people to choose sides and almost every poll conducted is split, on how people feel about Armstrong. Of course they would be much more anti, if it weren't for his work with cancer and raising money to fight it.

We are a nation that forgives easily, actually Armstrong in the long run might come out of this stronger than he is at present, but there will be some pain along the way.

Pay To Play---I have been saying for quite sometime that around 2020, I personally think that you will no longer see high school sports. Everything on that level will be private club sports and you will not see athletics in high schools as we know them today.

To back up my opinion around the country you are starting to see more "pay to play" every year. The average cost involved in "pay to play" nationwide is anywhere from $75.00-$100 per sport. With this economy as bad as it has ever been in everyone's lifetime, that is a big hurdle for many families and that is why nationwide there is a 14 percent decline in high school students playing sports.

One district in Ohio starting this fall will be charging each athlete some really hight costs. If a student wants to participate in these sports they will pay-----Cross Country $521.00, Golf $715.00, Football $783.00 and if they dare to play tennis, the cost will be $933.00. Gee, I hope if a student is a multi sports athlete they at least get a discount.

Despite my last sentence's attempt at humor, this is not a funny situation. Independent study after study tells us that exercise and participation in sports for students in high school, makes them a better student and makes them more prepared for the future.

You can dispute this all you want, but once again it is all about the money. The business side of sports goes all the way down to grade school, so we just better get use to it and we as well, are all going to feel the pain when it comes to lack of physical education and fitness.

NFL---Business wise the NFL continues to dominate. Ad space on all games is sold out for this year and new sponsors are scrambling to get into the market place alongside the old stand-bys.

Just one quick example, for Sunday Night Football on NBC, a 30 second ad is valued at $540,000. The average viewership last year of Sunday Night Football was 21.5 million fans per each Sunday. That comes out to be roughly $25.00 a sponsor is spending on each viewer. Now that if you ask me is a bargain, a real bargain.

NBA---In 1988, Micky Arison bought the Miami Heat for $32 million. The estimated value of the Heat after winning the NBA title this past season is $457 million. Since LeBron has arrived, the value of the team has increased by 23 percent.

At the same time, since James left the Cleveland Cavs, their estimated value has dropped by 26 percent, to a value of $355 million.

Most of the time in professional sports, if you get the right super star you are going to have to pay outrageous sums, but you often will get an outrageous gain. Knock LeBron all you want, but the guy is moving the needle right now more than anyone in sports.

Social Media---My good friend and colleague at, Chris Haynes continually compliments me on my use of social media and the fact that despite I am an old man, I have not resisted it, but instead embraced social media. Thanks, I think Chris.

But, speaking of social media and its power, when the recent baseball all-star game was in Kansas City in July, the always progressive politicos of Kansas City set up their own social media "war room" to help promote the city and answer questions from visitors. It was a huge success, so much so that three businesses have indicated they were so impressed, they plan on moving a division or their entire company to Kansas City.

As much as it is easy to resist social media, if you want your business, or your employment to succeed, you better learn it and get use to using it. Technology should never be ignored, even when it comes to sports, so Chris, even though I am old, I am going to continue to learn everything I can about social media and how it can help me business wise.

Please if you get a chance and as you know, I appreciate it so much,  read my other blogs on

Also, if you need help with public speaking/presenting or if you would like a great speaker for an event, lunch or dinner engagement, please contact us and we can for sure help.

Finally, but equally important, if you really want to improve your life, business skills and sports business, then it is simple. Just read, "Marketing Outrageously, Redux" by Jon Spoelstra. I recommend this book to everyone and 100 percent, people come back and say thank you, wish I would have read this book sooner.

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1 comment:

  1. I love high school athletics and hope they remain for years to come. The Lance topic is one that can keep a perpetual debate alive for centuries. He has helped a lot of people regardless.