US Professional Sports An Industry Overview


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  • MLB Strike of 1972 : After years of owner-domination of the sport, this strike set the stage, and for the first time, players gained concessions by standing up to the owners. This was the first strike to affect regular season games (13 of them) and clearly marked the maturation of the MLBPA. Ostensibly, the strike was about player pensions, an issued upon which there was a solid player consensus. Owners misperceived player resolve and the union stand stood strong. Buoyed by the willingness of baseball’s Commissioner Bowie Kuhn (plus Peter Ueberroth and Fay Vincent after him) to undercut the owners’ negotiating position, the player’s demands prevailed and owners capitulated at the start of ’72 season. This victory portended more to come in MLB. Free Agency idea was established in ’75 with Messeresmith and McNally. NFL Strike of 1987 : Football also has a legacy of conflict, though less than baseball. Ed Garvey stepped down from head of NFLPA after failure of ’82 strike. Replaced by Gene Upshaw (former Oakland lineman). The ’87 strike had free agency as its central goal, but strong preparation by the owners and their hiring of less expensive replacement players actually strengthened their bottom line during the strike. The union had secured no strike fund nor a line of credit for strikers. Football also has huge rosters making communication with the NFLPA difficult. As a result, although most NFLPA players remained “out” during the strike, the players lost about $80 million and returned to work without any progress on their central goal. Free Agency would eventually appear with the Freeman McNeill decision in 1992. NHL Lockout 1994-95 : Strike was born in 1989 when players hired former NFLPA Exec Dir Ed Garvey to find irregularities in the NHLPA pension fund. Irregularities and misappropriations of funds were found and a Canadian court awarded NHLPA $50 million. They also rebuked Alan Eagleson, long-time director of NHLPA for knowing about the problem and taking no action. Eagleson was later fined and imprisoned for fraud and mail fraud. Bob Goodenow took over and took a hard line. Entering ’94-’95, the NHL preemptively locked out the players for 103 days. Union finally blinked and signed a 6 year contract. Owners did not get an overall salary cap, they got one on rookies and tighter restrictions on free agency eligibility. NBA Lockout 1998-99 : Basketball had an exemplary record of cooperation between owners and players which reached its peak in ’83 which guaranteed a salary cap of 53% of designated league revenue. Cooperation began to unravel by mid-90s. Non-designated revenue (luxury boxes, etc.) became an issue as players wanted a piece of this growing source of revenue. Their lawsuit against the NBA took anti-trust stance and they lost. Denied this remedy, the players tried the bargaining table and moderated their goals. The league increased the salary cap to 57% of revenues (with some stadium revenue provisions included), but also imposed a lockout in June to give plenty of time for players to approve the offer. They did, but the seeds were sown for the lockout of 98/99. This lockout was imposed in fall of ’98, but the agreement was not reached for 191 days. Union encountered problems securing guaranteed payments through a credit line, it was only a matter of time that the players relented. The owners secured an unprecedented victory over the NBPA agreed to the first maximum pay scale agreement in a major pro sport. ($9 to $14 million per year, depending on experience)
  • US Professional Sports An Industry Overview

    1. 1. US Professional Sports An Industry Overview
    2. 2. Perspectives on the Four Major Professional Sports
    3. 3. Major League Baseball (MLB) <ul><li>Founded in 1876 with the birth of the National League. American League founded in 1901. </li></ul><ul><li>MLB is the Granddaddy of the four major commercial sports in the U.S. </li></ul><ul><li>The two major leagues (National and American) now have 30 teams, including 1 in Canada. </li></ul><ul><li>Each team plays 162 games each year, drawing over 60 million fans annually. </li></ul><ul><li>Regular season runs from early April through early October. </li></ul><ul><li>MLB plagued by many problems, including spiraling salaries, competitive balance, drug abuse, labor disputes, and revenue sharing. </li></ul>
    4. 4. National Football League (NFL) <ul><li>Created in 1920, now consists of 32 American teams in two conferences. </li></ul><ul><li>Regular season runs from September through December with weekly contests for the teams. They each schedule 8 home dates and 8 on the road. </li></ul><ul><li>The NFL paid attendance exceeds 17 million annually and generates the most revenue per game of the major sports. </li></ul><ul><li>NFL teams share more revenue than any league, and it has the most restrictive ownership regulations. </li></ul><ul><li>Public corporations (except Green Bay Packers) are not allowed and owners restricted from having outside interests in other teams. </li></ul>
    5. 5. National Basketball Association (NBA) <ul><li>Dating from the 1940’s, NBA now consists of 30 U.S. teams and one in Canada (the Toronto Raptors). </li></ul><ul><li>The NBA’s regular season runs from October through April and consists of 82 games per team. </li></ul><ul><li>The typical NBA draw is over 20 million fans per year. </li></ul><ul><li>A serious losses in popularity in the 70’s and 80’s set the stage for a dramatic comeback in the 90’s. </li></ul>
    6. 6. National Hockey League (NHL) <ul><li>Founded in 1917, the NHL now consists of 24 U.S. and 6 Canadian teams. </li></ul><ul><li>Regular season runs from October through April, and the teams play 82 games. </li></ul><ul><li>Historically popular in northern areas, hockey has recently spread southward. </li></ul><ul><li>Teams now in Tampa Bay, Miami, Raleigh, Anaheim, Los Angeles, San Jose, Nashville, and Phoenix. </li></ul><ul><li>NHL attendance records are typically near 20 million fans per year, but the loss of the 04/05 season looms as a serious problem for the sport. </li></ul>
    7. 7. Additional Professional Sports <ul><li>Auto Racing – NASCAR </li></ul><ul><li>Golf – PGA </li></ul><ul><li>Boxing – WBA </li></ul><ul><li>Wrestling – WWF </li></ul><ul><li>Women’s Basketball – WNBA </li></ul><ul><li>Arena Football </li></ul><ul><li>Women’s Soccer – WUSA </li></ul><ul><li>Men’s Soccer – MLS </li></ul>
    8. 8. Ownership & Affiliations Selected Franchises
    9. 9. Baseball Ownership <ul><li>Texas Rangers – Tom Hicks, Investor </li></ul><ul><li>New York Yankees – George Steinbrenner III, CEO American Shipbuilding Co. </li></ul><ul><li>Oakland A’s – Walter Haas, Chairman Levi Strauss & Co. </li></ul><ul><li>Atlanta Braves – Ted Turner, Owner cable network WTBS and Atlanta Hawks in the NBA </li></ul><ul><li>St. Louis Cardinals – Bill DeWitt (Managing General Partner), investment banking </li></ul><ul><li>San Francisco Giants – Peter Magowan, former CEO of Safeway </li></ul>
    10. 10. Football Ownership <ul><li>St. Louis Rams – Georgia Frontiere, singer, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>New York Jets – Robert Wood Johnson IV, heir to J&J fortune </li></ul><ul><li>Dallas Cowboys – Jerry Jones, oil holdings </li></ul><ul><li>Baltimore Ravens – Art Modell, TV Production, advertising </li></ul><ul><li>Detroit Lions – William Clay Ford, Ford Motor </li></ul><ul><li>San Francisco 49ers – Denise DeBartolo York, Real Estate </li></ul><ul><li>Miami Dolphins – Wayne Huizinga, Blockbuster Video, Waste Management </li></ul>
    11. 11. Basketball Ownership <ul><li>Boston Celtics – Celtics, Inc. owned 48% by Boston Celtics Ltd. Partnership </li></ul><ul><li>Orlando Magic – Richard DeVos, co-founder of Amway Corp. </li></ul><ul><li>Portland Trail Blazers – Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft, Corporation </li></ul><ul><li>New York Knicks – Madison Sq. Garden L.P. which is mostly owned by Cablevision Systems Corp. </li></ul><ul><li>Los Angeles Lakers – Jerry Buss, and Magic Johnson is a minority partner </li></ul><ul><li>Chicago Bulls – Jerry Reinsdorf and a 29 member consortium </li></ul>
    12. 12. Ice Hockey Ownership <ul><li>St. Louis Blues – Bill Laurie, teaching, real estate sports franchises, married into WalMart money </li></ul><ul><li>Florida Panthers – Wayne Huizinga, Blockbuster Video and Waste Management, Inc. </li></ul><ul><li>Pittsburgh Penguins – Mario Lemieux and partners </li></ul><ul><li>Anaheim Mighty Ducks – Broadcom co-founder bought them from Disney in ’05 for $75 million </li></ul><ul><li>NY Rangers – Cablevision Systems </li></ul><ul><li>New Jersey Devils – Puck Holdings LLC, a division of YankeeNets which is owned by George Steinbrenner </li></ul>
    13. 13. Sports Industry Growth Trends
    14. 14. The 90’s Boom <ul><li>$16 billion spent on new arenas and stadiums from ’95 through ’03. </li></ul><ul><li>Nearly 180 new pro sports teams were born along with 13 new leagues. Now, about 800 pro sports teams exist in the U.S. </li></ul><ul><li>Corporate investment in sports more than tripled in the 90’s, growing to $8 billion by the decade’s end. Included were: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Corporate Sponsorships : Now near $6 billion per year </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Naming Rights : Reliant Energy recently paid $300 million to name the new NFL stadium for Houston Texans. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Premium Seating : Over 100 pro teams realized nearly $1 billion from luxury suite revenues </li></ul></ul>
    15. 15. Longer Term Trends <ul><li>From 1970 through 2000, regular season attendance in the NBA, NFL, NHL, and MLB has grown from 49 million to 128 million. </li></ul><ul><li>By sport, the per annum percentage growth rates in attendance over recent decades are : </li></ul>2.3 2.9 NHL 0.5 3.8 NBA 2.0 4.3 NFL -0.4 2.1 MLB 10 yrs. 20 yrs.
    16. 16. Financial Perspectives
    17. 17. MLB Typical Revenue Estimates <ul><li>Gate – $40 million </li></ul><ul><li>Media – $35 million </li></ul><ul><li>Stadium – $17 million </li></ul><ul><li>Other – $3 million </li></ul><ul><li>Total Estimated Revenues per Team $95 million </li></ul><ul><li>Estimated average franchise value = $220 million </li></ul><ul><li>Total MLB Revenues = $2.9 billion </li></ul><ul><li>Total MLB Value = $6.6 billion </li></ul>
    18. 18. NFL Typical Revenue Estimates <ul><li>Gate – $32 million </li></ul><ul><li>Media – $61 million </li></ul><ul><li>Stadium – $11 million </li></ul><ul><li>Other – $6 million </li></ul><ul><li>Total Estimated Revenues per Team $110 million </li></ul><ul><li>Estimated average franchise value = $400 million </li></ul><ul><li>Total NFL Revenues = $3.5 billion </li></ul><ul><li>Total NFL Value = $12.8 billion </li></ul>
    19. 19. NBA Typical Revenue Estimates <ul><li>Gate – $25 million </li></ul><ul><li>Media – $34 million </li></ul><ul><li>Stadium – $8.5 million </li></ul><ul><li>Other – $4.5 million </li></ul><ul><li>Total Estimated Revenues per Team $72 million </li></ul><ul><li>Estimated average franchise value = $207 million </li></ul><ul><li>Total NBA Revenues = $2.1 billion </li></ul><ul><li>Total NBA Value = $6 billion </li></ul>
    20. 20. NHL Typical Revenue Estimates <ul><li>Gate – $37 million </li></ul><ul><li>Media – $8.5 million </li></ul><ul><li>Stadium – $11 million </li></ul><ul><li>Other – $3.5 million </li></ul><ul><li>Total Estimated Revenues per Team $60 million </li></ul><ul><li>Estimated average franchise value = $126 million </li></ul><ul><li>Total NHL Revenues = $1.8 billion </li></ul><ul><li>Total NHL Value = $3.8 billion </li></ul>
    21. 21. Consumer Spending <ul><li>The organized sport industry is estimated by Sports Business Journal to be as large as $213 billion annually. </li></ul><ul><li>This number includes Advertising, Endorsements, Sporting Equipment, Facility Construction, Licensed Goods, Broadcast Rights, Professional Services, Spectator Spending, Sponsorships, Medical Spending, Travel, Multimedia, Gambling, and Operating Expenses. </li></ul>
    22. 22. Distinguishing Features of Pro Sports Franchises
    23. 23. Economic <ul><li>Monopolies : Are Pro Sports Really Monopolists? </li></ul><ul><li>The Reserve Clause : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Originated by W. Hulbert, a Chicago White Stockings Backer, in 1876 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Effectively Gave Teams Ownership of a Player’s Services Without Bidding Options </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Free Agency : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reserve Clause Influence Unraveled in the 1970s, When Players in All Pro Leagues Won Restricted Rights to Sell Their Services to Other Teams </li></ul></ul>
    24. 24. Ownership <ul><li>Almost All Private Businesses </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Disclosure Not Required </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Multiple Business Entities are Common </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Multiple Reward Opportunities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Publicity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tax Advantages </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Psychic Rewards and Ego Factors </li></ul></ul>
    25. 25. Legal, Tax, and Accounting Issues <ul><li>Baseball’s Anti-Trust Exemption : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This unique feature dates from a U.S. Supreme Court decision in 1922 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Formal exemption still exists in baseball and less formally in other sports </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Cross-Subsidization &Tax Strategies </li></ul><ul><li>The Veeck Loophole : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bill Veeck was first to depreciate players </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Depreciation provides an important tax shield </li></ul></ul>
    26. 26. Special Challenges to the Sports Industry
    27. 27. Overcrowding of the Marketplace <ul><li>Viewed as a pastime, pro sports have many new activities competing for attention </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Video games, movies, television </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>New sporting and fitness activities abound </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Additionally, many new pro sports franchises have made the field of sport more crowded </li></ul>
    28. 28. Leveling of Attendance <ul><li>Although pro sport and sports activities show strong growth trends, the four major pro sports leagues do not. </li></ul><ul><li>In the past decade, baseball and basketball have flattened and hockey and football show only modest attendance increases, even with franchise expansions in all leagues </li></ul>
    29. 29. Declining Health of the Leagues <ul><li>In addition to flat attendance, we also see: </li></ul><ul><li>Falling TV ratings </li></ul><ul><li>Increasing concern with players’ behavior </li></ul><ul><li>Escalating salaries and costs create an economic disconnect with many fans </li></ul>
    30. 30. Spiraling Player Salaries <ul><li>Free Agency, the Legacy of the 70’s in Pro Sports </li></ul><ul><li>All Pro Leagues Have Some Form of Free Agency </li></ul><ul><li>Salaries Have Risen Rapidly as a Result </li></ul>
    31. 31. Many Teams Claim Losses <ul><li>Most teams claim losses, but consider….. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Owners and family members may receive large salaries and/or bonuses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Revenues may be shifted to other entities (cross-subsidization) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Losses may be used to shield owners’ other income </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Depreciation of players creates a substantial tax shelter </li></ul></ul>
    32. 32. Salary Caps <ul><li>Intended To Counterbalance Free Agency </li></ul><ul><li>Started with Basketball in Early ’80s. </li></ul><ul><li>NBA and NFL Have Similar Cap Provisions Via % Revenues </li></ul><ul><li>NHL Has a Salary Cap on Rookies </li></ul><ul><li>Salary Caps are a Very Contentious Issue in Baseball. Luxury Tax is in Place. </li></ul>
    33. 33. Labor Relations <ul><li>Key Strikes or Lockouts in Pro Sports: </li></ul><ul><li>MLB Strike 1972 (8 since 1912, but 7 were since the 70s) </li></ul><ul><li>NFL Strike 1987 (5 since mid 50s) </li></ul><ul><li>NHL Lockout 94/95 and 04/05 (3 occurred recently, namely 2 in the 90s, and 1 last season) </li></ul><ul><li>NBA Lockout 1998/99 (2 lockouts since mid 90s) </li></ul>
    34. 34. Revenue Sharing <ul><li>National Broadcasting Revenues Shared by All Pro Sports Equally </li></ul><ul><li>Local Broadcasting Rights NOT Shared in Pro Sports </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Large Disparity of MLB Revenues in Large Market/Small Market Teams </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Major Problem in MLB </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Gate Receipts Shared Somewhat in MLB; To a Larger Extent in NFL; Not Shared in NBA and NHL. </li></ul>
    35. 35. Competitive Balance <ul><li>Various Ways Exist to Determine if Leagues are Balanced </li></ul><ul><li>Statistical Study of 1999/2000 Seasons Showed Winning Percentages to be Most Dispersed in NHL, and Least Dispersed in NFL </li></ul><ul><li>Can Also Look at Dispersion of Championship Teams </li></ul>
    36. 36. Drugs <ul><li>Performance enhancing drugs create unique problems for sports </li></ul><ul><li>How are performances judged against those in drug-free eras? </li></ul><ul><li>How do we define what a drug is and when it should be banned? </li></ul><ul><li>How should bans be policed? </li></ul><ul><li>What penalties should be leveled against violators? </li></ul>