• Women's Sports Popular, But Value Isn't Commercial

    by John Gerdy July 2015

    There is absolutely no question the commercial appeal and impact of elite women's sports is going to continue to grow in every way -- from media coverage, to funding, to improved talent levels to increased corporate sponsorships.

  • Rays to Give Military Free Tickets for Rest of Season

    by Christopher O'Donnell, Tribune staff July 2015

    Under the Rays Honor Pass program, active service members and retired or honorably discharged veterans can get two free tickets to Rays home games for the rest of the season.

  • The AB Extra: July 17

    by Laura Godlewski July 2015

    In this week's AB Extra, you'll find news about Nike's response to a ban by CrossFit, a rebranding of a Canadian town to welcome a new hockey arena and the United States' top swimming city.

  • Fitness Chain's Orange Bike Marketing Criticized (Again)

    by Chad Sokol, Spokesman Review (Spokane, WA) July 2015

    They were gone almost as quickly as they appeared. A marketing ploy that involved 20 orange bicycles on the South Hill was abandoned Monday afternoon following a wave of criticism on social media. The bikes, which began appearing Friday evening, were removed by the same employees who put them there.

  • FSU, Alabama to Each Get $5M for Football Opener

    by Tom D'Angelo Palm Beach Post Staff Writer July 2015

    Florida State is in for a big payday when it faces Alabama in the 2017 Chick-fil-A Kickoff in Atlanta. The schools will be paid $5 million each for the game, according to sources, a major increase from the $3.5 million the Seminoles will make for playing Mississippi in Orlando to open the 2016 season.

  • Once Committed, Top QBs Recruit for Schools

    by Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY Sports July 2015

    Dwayne Haskins, a four-star quarterback prospect at The Bullis School in Potomac, Md., has been crafting relationships with similarly desired recruits for years, at football camps from middle school through high school, ranging from the East Coast through the southern tip of California.

  • Commission to Sell Pittsburgh as Sports Destination

    by Bob Bauder July 2015

    Officials with VisitPittsburgh, the region's tourist promotion agency, are seeking a 2 percentage point increase in the tax, of which 1.25 percentage points -- estimated to generate $6 million in 2016 -- would go to the commission.

  • Blog: Women’s Soccer and Return on Investment

    by Emily Attwood July 2015

    In the days after the U.S. Women’s soccer team’s World Cup win, we’ve heard a lot of back and forth over the issue of how much the players were paid. The women’s team received a record-setting $2 million for their win… record-setting for women, that is. Last year, the German men’s team earned $35 million for its World Cup win.

    “But it’s all about the revenue!” claim those who justify the discrepancy. The women’s tournament brought in a mere $17 million in sponsorship revenue compared to $529 million for last year’s men’s World Cup. Thus, because the men bring in more revenue, it only makes sense that they get paid more.


    When I was in college, I interned for an editor at a book publishing company. I recall, among the editor’s many tales of the publishing world, the story of how he signed one particular new author and set her up for success. Her work was good, he said, but she was relatively unknown and still new.

    For those more familiar with coaching contracts than book contracts, book contracts typically pay an advance, anything as low as a couple thousand dollars (J.K. Rowling was given a £1500 advance on the first Harry Potter book) to upwards of $100,000, if you’re an established name. If a new author doesn't go over well with the audience, the publisher hasn't lost much. If they're good, the publisher simply ups the advance on the next book.

    Rather than offering this new author something at the lower end of the spectrum as would befit the situation, the editor swung big. I don’t recall the exact dollar amount, but I think it was at least $20,000 (chump change for a pro athlete, but a big deal for a struggling writer).

    His reasoning? The more the publisher invested in an author, the harder it would work to ensure her success, giving her a preferred launch date, better marketing and visibility. Part of this was about recouping the investment — book advances are paid against royalties, which means a larger advance needs to be offset by greater book sales if the publisher wants to come out ahead.  

    What does this have to do with soccer?

    I’m not in the sports marketing business. I’m not even in the book marketing business. But I do know that a product’s success is as much about the effort that goes into marketing it as the quality of the product itself. 

    Don’t justify lower pay for female athletes by pointing to the lower revenue they generate — they’re not the ones negotiating sponsorship contracts or selling commercial slots. In the case of women’s soccer, FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke attributes the lower revenues to women’s soccer being a newer sport than men’s.

    “We played the [20th] men’s World Cup in 2014, when we are now playing the seventh women’s World Cup,” Valcke said in December press conference. “We have still another [13] World Cups before potentially women should receive the same amount as men. The men waited until 2014 to receive as much money as they received.”

    Or, how about this: Pay the players what they’re worth, and then put in the effort to back that investment up.

  • U.S. Softball Team Hopes Success Will Sway IOC

    by Maggie Hendricks, @maggiehendricks, USA TODAY Sports July 2015

    Heading to the Pan Am Games, starting Friday in Toronto, U.S. softball players and coaches have twin goals: winning the tournament and continuing to make a good impression on the International Olympic Committee.

  • HS Banner Sponsorship Scam Might Have Long History

    by Melhor Marie Leonor July 2015

    Lee County Public Schools alerted the public that an ad circulating south Lee County was probably a scam June 18 - but by then, local Realtor Judi Gietzen and at least two other local business owners already had paid for a banner they thought would support their local high school and maybe attract some business.