• NBA Finals Experience No Bargain for Average Fans

    by Palm Beach Post staff reports June 2014

    It's easy to spend big money at a sports event, and that certainly includes the NBA Finals. If you have champagne tastes (and a champagne budget) you could have purchased a flute of Moët & Chandon bubbly for $25 on Tuesday night at AmericanAirlines Arena. A goblet went for $40. A double Bacardi rum or Grey Goose vodka cocktail, $17. Beers, $9 and $13.50.

  • Colorado Springs Inks $2M Stadium Deal with Soccer Club

    by Monica Mendoza, June 2014

    Colorado Springs City Council signed a $2 million deal Tuesday with the Colorado Springs Switchbacks men's pro soccer team to play at its Sand Creek stadium despite objections from the neighboring Sky Sox baseball franchise.

  • Minor League Club's 'Star Wars Night' a Perennial Sellout

    by Amy Moritz; News Sports Reporter June 2014

    Little girls had their hair pulled back into a pair of buns, in the style of Princess Leia, while little boys wore brown robes in the style of the Jedi fighter. You could even buy cotton candy from a Darth Vader vendor roaming the stands. It was the seventh annual Star Wars Night at Coca-Cola Field, an event which has grown into a sellout game for the Buffalo Bisons every year.

  • Temple Getting into Prep Football Camp Business

    by John N. Mitchell; Inquirer Staff Writer June 2014

    For Temple coach Matt Rhule, recruiting is as much about relationship-building as it is anything else. Beginning Sunday in Pittsburgh, at the first of five Matt Rhule Football Camp sessions, Rhule and his staff will be doing just that.

  • Photo: Purdue to Put Fan Photos on Football Helmets

    by Michael Gaio June 2014

    Trying to market a college football team coming off a 1-11 season can be a difficult challenge. But sometimes tough times can inspire the most creative solutions. Take this latest idea from the Purdue Boilermakers for example: The football team is running a promotion that will give fans the opportunity to have their mug plastered on the team's football helmet.

  • ISU's 'Community Appreciation Week' Seeks Feedback

    by Randy Kindred June 2014

    Illinois State’s athletic department will provide feedback this week that can be summed up in a word: Thanks. Yet, ISU’s first “Community Appreciation Week” also is about obtaining feedback regarding Redbird athletics. Members of the community are invited to take part in an online survey at to give ISU athletic director Larry Lyons and his staff a feel for how well — or not so well — people think they are doing.

  • Maloof: Good Sports Fanchises are Good Investments

    by MARK SMITH Of the Journal June 2014

    Donald Sterling paid the price. He is, after all, the most hated man in America according to a recent poll by E-Score®, a leading consumer research service that provides information to media and entertainment companies. Now, however, Sterling can name his price.

  • Overcoming Gym Membership Retention Challenges

    by Dennis Van Milligen May 2014

    The rise of lower-priced clubs have put greater pressure on gym owners to create an environment that keeps members happy while also empowering them to feel confident that their gym membership investment is well worth it. Ultimately, though, they may lose those members to lower-priced alternatives, writing off the member loss as simply a financial decision. The reality is that the warning signs were there; they just failed to see what was right in front of them.

  • Barclays Center to Add Environmentally Friendly Roof

    by April 2014

    In an effort to become a better neighbor to the Prospect Heights neighborhood in Brooklyn, N.Y., The Barclays Center, home of the NBA's Brooklyn Nets, is about to get greener — literally.

  • Blog: Are Event 'Swag Bags' Worth the Cost Anymore?

    by Mary Helen Sprecher April 2014

    I registered for a community fun run/walk not long ago and as I was walking away from the entry desk, I checked through my race packet. Race number? Check. Safety pins? Check. Flyers for multiple upcoming races? Check, check and check. 

    And then – paper. Lots of paper. Coupons, advertising circulars, take-out menus, subscription postcards for magazines and business cards for local establishments. As I was heading for the exit, I heard the person behind me complain, “This is all ads. Didn’t we used to get more stuff in these things?”

    Admittedly, we did. I can recall when things like socks, sweatbands, can koozies, pens, packets of energy gel, sunscreen and lip balm were routinely tucked into those bags. These days, not so much.

    And that’s not really surprising. Event organizers are scrambling for sponsors, and some sports events’ major sponsors have dropped out. And those who are able to keep their sponsors are often faced with the choice of having funds that potentially could defray the cost of the event – or gimmes to put in the swag bag. It’s not surprising that many organizers are opting for the former, rather than the latter.

    When you get right down to it, companies just aren’t buying as many inexpensive souvenirs to be used as giveaways. A colleague who works in promotional merchandise, noted that trends in merchandising have changed. Slap bracelets, key chains and so forth are not as popular as they once were. Why? Because companies know they’ll get tossed as soon as the recipient gets home. Items have to have inherent value in order to be useful as promo pieces these days. Companies tend to invest in putting their logo on more expensive merchandise (earbuds, thumb drives, etc.) and they save those for events to which they have made a sizeable sponsorship donation – and in which people have paid significant funds to register.

    Many times, organizations that sponsor events, particularly smaller events, do it in exchange for publicity, meaning having their coupons or other materials dropped into the swag bag. Those bananas and cereal bars at the finish line? The trade-off was the coupon or the take-out menu.

    Generally, people just go through the swag bag and pull the materials they want, and discard what they don’t. And as long as they put their trash in the can (and not on the ground), organizers have done their part.

    Sometimes, though, companies really want to give out freebies, but the choices on a bare-bones budget are limited.  I think my head-scratching moment came when I went through a race packet and came across a postage-stamp-size piece of fabric (honestly, no bigger than 1” x 1” square) that was marketed as a way to vanquish fingerprints from the screen of a smartphone. Nice, but – where to store something like that? And while I appreciate the gesture, I can’t say the item made it home with me.

    In this day and age of sustainability and cost-cutting, goodie bags are an endangered species. Increasingly, people are coming home from smaller events empty-handed. And maybe that’s a good thing.