Here's our weekly look at intersection of sports and business.
Giants, Patriots Heading to Indy
When the teams met in 2008 with the title on the line, the Giants upset the Patriots to claim their third Super Bowl championship and spoil the Patriots’ undefeated season.
The February 5 game in Indy has several fun storylines. In addition to the rematch and traditional “Boston-New York” rivalry, the commercials will be amongst the most expensive ever. Advertisers paid up to $4 million for a 30-second spot in the Super Bowl, and Super Bowl ads have generated a cumulative $1.72 billion over the last 10, according to a study by Kanter Media.
Most importantly for the local community, Indianapolis expects to generate $150 million in local economic impact from hosting the game. It’s the payoff from big-time events like the Super Bowl that motivates a city to want a state-of-the-art NFL stadium.
Bottom Line: The Patriots and Giants are two of the NFL’s most popular teams, hailing from two of the country’s biggest media markets and ranking as two of the most valuable franchises in all of sports. Don’t be surprised when Patriots-Giants tops last year’s Packers-Steelers game as the most watched TV show ever.
Joe Paterno Passes Away
Legendary Penn State football coach Joe Paterno passed away yesterday after experiencing complications from lung cancer surgery. He was 85. Despite all he accomplished on the field, Paterno forever will be linked to the Jerry Sandusky scandal. Considering 25 Division-I football programs this year changed head coaches, and "conference musical chairs" redefined the competitive landscape, it’s safe to say Paterno’s 62 years and 409 wins will never be approached. Unfortunately, neither will Paterno’s horrendous and incredible lapse in judgment that ultimately cost him his job.
Bottom Line: While it remains to be seen how history judges Joe Paterno, this much is clear; an icon for stability and consistency in life, Joe Paterno may be one of the most polarizing figures in sports history in death.
Power 100 Preview
Who’s the most powerful athlete in sports? We’ll answer that question Wednesday night on the TV show Sportfolio by revealing the third annual Power 100 list. Using a unique formula developed by Atlanta-based sports & entertainment firm CSE, the Power 100 measures athletes based on various on-field and off-field metrics, including the Nielsen/E-Poll N-Score for overall endorsement potential. Not surprisingly, last year’s number one – Indianapolis Colts QB Peyton Manning – did not reclaim the title because he sat out the entire season recovering from neck surgery.
Bottom Line: The Power 100 is the only quantitative list of its kind that compares athletes in different sports based on both statistics and marketability. We guarantee you’ll be surprised by some of the athletes that did (and didn’t) make the list.
The “DB” Awards
As Major League Baseball hits the off-season’s 7th-inning stretch, the Arizona Diamondbacks held the “DB” Awards to honor its top sponsors. Current and former players gave out awards in eight categories including “Rookie of the Year,” Customer/Fan Engagement, Brand Integration and the Most Valuable Partner Award. Guests walked into the event via red carpet, and like other awards ceremonies, the “DBs” began with an opening monologue by team president Derrick Hall. Nearly 300 people attended the gala.
Bottom Line: Hall told MLB.com the event was “absolutely revolutionary.” He couldn’t have put it any better. Give the Diamondbacks credit for finding a creative way to show appreciation for sponsors. Rather than complain if they didn’t win, sponsors told the team that they’re already are looking forward to next year’s awards ceremony.
Rick Horrow is the "Sports Professor," and is the Sports Business Analyst for Fox Sports. He’s the author of "When the Game Is on the Line" and "Beyond the Scoreboard: An Insider's Guide to the Business of Sports." His show "Beyond the Box Score" is posted on a weekly basis on FoxSports.com. Brian Finkel is Creative Director for Horrow Sports Ventures. You can follow him on Twitter @TheFinkTank.