RECENT ARTICLES
  • 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.

  • 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.

    Right?

    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.

  • 5 Simple Steps to Better Website Advertisements

    by Michael Gaio June 2015

    The trusty website advertisement is a mainstay in many of our customers’ marketing packages. With more than 1.1 million people visiting athleticbusiness.com last year, a banner ad — whether it’s the leaderboard, block ad or a banner in our e-newsletter — can be an efficient way to gain exposure among athletics, fitness and recreation professionals with true buying power. Over the years, we’ve hosted hundreds of ads on our website and learned that the most effective ones have several things in common.

  • The AB Extra: May 29

    by Laura Godlewski May 2015

    This week's AB Extra features a successful marketing trend in the NBA, a new app that will take pictures of fans at the STAPLES Center during the game so they don't miss a play, and a new girls' tackle football league in Utah. 

  • A Modern Approach to Traditional Sponsorship Agreements

    by Scott R. Branam April 2015

    The sports industry continues to grow exponentially in the United States, and with that growth comes an increased interest for local and national businesses and organizations to affiliate with sports teams through sponsorship relationships. As this trend continues, the nature of the relationship between a sports property and a business will continue to evolve. For years, businesses were satisfied with simply having their name associated with a sports property, but today, businesses are demanding more return on the sponsorship relationship. They want to know how the sponsorship relationship will benefit their brand.

  • Dodgers Looking to Give Tech Startups a Boost

    by Emily Attwood April 2015

    The Los Angeles Dodgers have launched a program to integrate innovative technologies into the stadium and fan experience. The Dodgers Accelerator program, announced earlier this week, will provide 10 startup companies an opportunity to grow and build awareness for their products. 

  • Optimism Meets Reality When Opening a Health Club

    by Rob Bishop April 2015

    The adage, "Do what you love and you'll never work another day in your life," likely needs some updating. Maybe something like, "If you choose to start a business based on what you love, then be prepared to work really, really hard every day and know that 80 percent of what you have to do will have nothing to do with what you love. But that last 20 percent might be fun."

  • Seven Questions to Ask When Staging a Sports Camp

    by Paul Steinbach March 2015

    For insight into the staging of sports camps, Athletic Business looked no further than a couple of companies that do nothing but sports camps — and on a grand scale — in a marketplace in which seemingly everybody and his or her former-college-athlete cousin has launched one.

  • Nike's LED Court Hosts High School Basketball Games

    by Michael Gaio February 2015

    Nike introduced what it calls "the future of basketball," over the weekend as part of the NBA's All-Star festivities in New York City. In a large tent in Soho, Nike set up a temporary state-of-the-art basketball facility featuring a regulation-size LED basketball court. The court incorporated a fully programmable LED screen to run content and interactive training programs throughout the weekend.

  • It's Official: U. of Miami Announces adidas Partnership

    by AB Staff January 2015

    Source: University of Miami

    MIAMI (January 8, 2015) – adidas and the University of Miami today announced a landmark 12-year partnership making adidas the official athletic footwear, apparel and accessory brand of the Hurricanes through the 2027-28 season.