Tossing the Red Flag: Official (Judicial) Review and Shareholder-Fan Activism in the Context of Publicly Traded Sports Teams
Tossing the Red Flag: Official (Judicial) Review and Shareholder-Fan Activism in the Context of Publicly Traded Sports Teams
Source: University of Washington Law Review
For some, it comes after their team squanders away a fourth quarter lead in the playoffs, engages in a hasty trade, or makes an ill-advised substitution. For others, an indefensible draft choice, announcement of team relocation, or decision not to re-sign a star player triggers the thought. Whether at a sports bar or on their own living room couch, at one time or another, every sports fan has transported him or herself to the owner’s box and imagined, “If I ran that team, things would be different.” In the face of numerous professional sports team bankruptcies and league lockouts in the last fifteen years, as well as the current economic client, all professional franchises should be reevaluating their ownership structures and investigating new sources of revenue. Although the notion of a publicly owned and traded sports team is not a new business revelation, current economic conditions have reactivated largely dormant discussions of the opportunity. While the decisions posed throughout this analysis are ultimately left to current sports team ownership, this Note is meant to serve as a thought experiment to provoke questions and to spark discussion regarding the viability of a public model of sports team ownership.
New rule on home-plate collisions put into effect; Regulation to reduce injuries on scoring plays to be on experimental basis in 2014
Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association announced Monday the addition of Rule 7.13, covering collisions at home plate, on an experimental basis for the 2014 season.
In 2014, the rule being implemented by MLB and the MLBPA will prohibit the most egregious collisions at home plate.
Security Tip (ST14-001) — Sochi 2014 Olympic Games
Source: U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team
Whether traveling to Sochi, Russia for the XXII Olympic Winter Games, or viewing the games from locations abroad, there are several cyber-related risks to consider. As with many international level media events, hacktivists may attempt to take advantage of the large audience to spread their own message. Additionally, cyber criminals may use the games as a lure in spam, phishing or drive-by-download campaigns to gain personally identifiable information or harvest credentials for financial gain. Lastly, those physically attending the games should be cognizant that their communications will likely be monitored.
The 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics: Security and Human Rights Issues (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)
The President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced on July 4, 2007, that Sochi, Russia, had been selected as the host city for the Olympic Winter Games and Paralympics. The Olympic Games, which will be held February 7-23, 2014, are the first to be hosted by Russia as a successor state to the former Soviet Union. Reportedly, some 230 U.S. athletes out of approximately 2,900 from some 88 countries, and about 10,000 U.S. visitors, are expected in Sochi. Olympic events will take place at two main locations: a coastal cluster along the Black Sea and a mountain cluster in the Krasnaya Polyana mountains.
Since the 2007 selection of Sochi as the site of Olympic Games, many observers, including some in Congress, have raised concerns about security and human rights conditions in Sochi and elsewhere in Russia. Sochi is in Russia’s North Caucasus area, which has experienced ongoing terrorist incidents, including several bombings in recent weeks. Through hearings, legislation, oversight, and other action, some Members of Congress have expressed concerns over Russia’s hosting of the Sochi Olympic Games and Paralympics, particularly the risks that terrorism and human rights violations might pose to U.S. athletes and visitors. Other broader congressional concerns have included whether the United States should participate in the Games in the face of increasing tensions in U.S.-Russia relations and the Russian government’s growing restrictions on the civil and human rights of its citizens. Some Members of Congress have called for boycotting the Games. Others have cautioned that U.S. citizens should carefully weigh the security risks of attending, and have urged greater U.S.-Russia counter-terrorism cooperation to ameliorate threats to the Games. In the period during and after the Games, Congress may continue to exercise oversight and otherwise raise concerns about the safety and human rights treatment of U.S. athletes and visitors and the impact of the Games and other developments in Russia on the future of U.S.-Russia relations.
Trends in metal prices for Olympic medals
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
The XXII Olympic Winter Games, 2014 in Sochi — Official Spectator Guide (PDF)
Source: Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee
Includes events calendar, maps, spectator tips, transit info, etc.
Women of Asian Descent in Ivy League Golf, 1999–2013 (PDF)
Source: Rutgers University
In the 1999-2000 women’s collegiate golf season the proportion of women golfers competing for Ivy League schools that were Asian (of Asian descent) and played in at least six tournaments was .22. Over the next eight collegiate golf seasons this proportion fell as low as .08 and was .14 for the 2007–2008 season. Then, over the next five collegiate seasons, through 2012-2013, the proportion of players Asian in Ivy League women’s golf who competed in at least six tournaments per season increased to .18, .23, .44, .68, and .56. The marked increase in Asian representation in women’s Ivy League golf was much greater than the increase in Asians in women’s college golf in general and in men’s Ivy League golf. We suggest Asian parents with academically and athletically gifted daughters have turned with their daughters to golf over the past decade or longer to increase the daughter’s chances of admission to selective universities in the US. This emphasis on golf may result from: 1. recognition that Asian women can compete successfully against generally taller Caucasian women given the success of Asian golfers on the LPGA tour since the late 1990’s; 2. recognition that the close parental supervision of children in the Asian family, particularly the girls, and the emphasis on discipline and practice can help build a strong golf game. Short game practice in particular may have a potentially large payoff and does not lead to physical breakdown. Variable effects regression models show that the skill (rankings) advantage of Asians over non-Asians has actually increased in women’s golf in the Ivy League in recent years; thus, Asian representation in women’s Ivy golf should continue to increase.
Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics and Paralympics
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
CDC wants you and your travel team to enjoy the Winter Games and bring home a suitcase full of gold, silver, and bronze memories. Plan ahead for safe and healthy travel!
- Get vaccinated. Make sure you are up to date on your routine vaccines, including measles. You may also need hepatitis vaccines.
- Pack Smart. Be sure to pack a travel health kit and plenty of warm and waterproof clothing and shoes.
- Check your insurance. Travelers need proof of medical insurance that is valid in the Russian Federation to get a visa. Most domestic insurance plans won’t cover you if you need medical care overseas, so check with your provider to see if you have coverage outside the United States.
- Stay Safe. When at crowded events, plan where to meet your group if you get separated. Always scout out emergency exits when at large indoor events.
- Healthy Habits. Always wear seatbelts. Wash your hands well and often. Drink alcohol in moderation and use latex condoms if you have sex.
See also: Russian Federation Travel Alert (U.S. Department of State)
Recreational Water–Associated Disease Outbreaks — United States, 2009–2010
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)
Recreational water–associated disease outbreaks result from exposure to infectious pathogens or chemical agents in treated recreational water venues (e.g., pools and hot tubs or spas) or untreated recreational water venues (e.g., lakes and oceans). For 2009–2010, the most recent years for which finalized data are available, public health officials from 28 states and Puerto Rico electronically reported 81 recreational water–associated disease outbreaks to CDC’s Waterborne Disease and Outbreak Surveillance System (WBDOSS) via the National Outbreak Reporting System (NORS). This report summarizes the characteristics of those outbreaks. Among the 57 outbreaks associated with treated recreational water, 24 (42%) were caused by Cryptosporidium. Among the 24 outbreaks associated with untreated recreational water, 11 (46%) were confirmed or suspected to have been caused by cyanobacterial toxins. In total, the 81 outbreaks resulted in at least 1,326 cases of illness and 62 hospitalizations; no deaths were reported. Laboratory and environmental data, in addition to epidemiologic data, can be used to direct and optimize the prevention and control of recreational water–associated disease outbreaks.
More than One-in-Five Fans have a Ritual Before or During Sports Games
Source: Public Religion Research Institute
Just ahead of the 2014 Super Bowl, half of sports fans see some aspect of the supernatural at play in sports, meaning they either pray to God to help their team, have thought their team was cursed at some point in time, or believe that God plays a role in determining the outcome of sporting events.
2013 MINOR League Baseball Attendance Analysis (PDF)
Source: Number Tamer
+ Baseball’s Minor Leagues, in particular, those affiliated with the Major Leagues, were hit hard by the weather in 2013. Yet despite many more postponements than usual, especially early in the season, attendance held up quite well.
+ Combined attendance for NAPBL – known as ‘Minor League Baseball’ (Major League affiliated) leagues, and from those independent leagues who reported regular season attendance, was 48,262,074 in 2013, down 146,242 (0.3%) from 2012. Combined attendance rose 0.7% in 2012, and fell 2.9% in 2011, 0.1% in 2010, and 3.8% in 2009.
+ The 181 post-season NAPBL games, including the Mexican League, drew 701,216, an average of 3,874 per game. Mexican League teams averaged 10,149 per game in the playoffs. Attendance data was available for 45 independent league post-season games, and they drew 103,963, an average of 2,310. 10 NAPBL All-Star games drew a combined 67,782.
+ In 2013, there were 176 NAPBL teams that reported attendance, the same number as in 2012. There were 53 independent league teams reporting attendance, down from 55 teams in 2012. The independent North American League ceased operations after 2012. Some of its teams moved to the new United League or to the new Pacific Association.
See also: 2013 Preliminary Major League Baseball Attendance Review (PDF)
Travel Alert — U.S. Department of State — Russian Federation
Source: U.S. Department of State
The Department of State alerts U.S. citizens planning to attend the 2014 Olympic Games in Russia that they should remain attentive regarding their personal security at all times. The Olympic and Paralympic Games will take place in Sochi, Russia, from February 7 to March 16, 2014. This travel alert expires March 24, 2014. Full information about the Olympic and Paralympic games for U.S. citizen visitors is available on the Sochi Fact Sheet and the Country Specific Information for the Russian Federation on our website, travel.state.gov. The Department strongly recommends that all U.S. citizens residing or traveling abroad enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) in order to receive pertinent safety and security information.
Greening the Sports Industry
Source: Knowledge@Wharton (University of Pennsylvania)
It was Robert Redford, a trustee of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), who first suggested that sports are the key to vastly extending environmental awareness in this country. Looking back on that moment in 2004, Allen Hershkowitz, a senior scientist at the NRDC, wondered why it took so long. “It’s crazy,” he said. “It took the environmental community more than 30 years from the first Earth Day to partner with sports. It was the elephant in the room. Only 13% of Americans follow science, but 63% follow sports.”
In part because this was a movement waiting to be born, progress was remarkably quick: By 2005, NRDC had an alliance with Major League Baseball (MLB). In 2007, the National Basketball Association (NBA) was added, followed by the United States Tennis Association (USTA) and the National Hockey League (NHL) in 2008, Major League Soccer (MLS) in 2009 and NASCAR in 2013. NRDC’s focus on professional teams was recently expanded to include college sports as well, both athletics and recreation. To date, NRDC advises more teams, leagues and college athletic departments about environmental issues than any organization in the world, and this has encouraged hundreds of universities in the United States to pursue sports greening programs.
Revenue Increased in Most Service Sectors in 2012, Census Bureau Reports
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
The U.S. Census Bureau today released its 2012 Service Annual Survey, which shows a revenue increase in 10 of the nation’s 11 service sectors for employer firms between 2011 and 2012. The utilities sector was the only sector to show a year-to-year decline in revenue, down by $22.7 billion to $533.4 billion for 2012.
The Service Annual Survey provides the most comprehensive national statistics available each year on service industry activity in the United States. In 2009, the survey was expanded to collect data for all service industries, which account for 55 percent of U.S. gross domestic product (GDP).
Are Sunk Costs Irrelevant? Evidence from Playing Time in the National Basketball Association (PDF)
Source: Institute for the Study of Labor
The relevance of sunk costs in decision making is one of the major sources of disagreement between neoclassical economists and behavioral economists. We test the importance of sunk costs by examining the role of a player’s draft position on his playing time in the National Basketball Association. Specifically, we ask whether players taken as “lottery picks” or in the first round of the draft are treated differently from otherwise identical players who are chosen later. We build on previous studies in three ways. First, we study a time period that had a stronger contrast between the financial commitment to first and second-round draft picks. Second, we use a better measure of playing time by accounting fully for the time a player loses to injury, suspension, or other exogenous factor. Finally and most importantly, we use a more sophisticated methodology – regression discontinuity – to test for whether teams treat lottery picks or first-round picks differently from later picks. Our results find little or no impact of draft round or lottery status on playing time. Hence, our findings strongly support the neoclassical outlook.
Talent Recruitment and Firm Performance: The Business of Major League Sports (PDF)
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Firms rely heavily on their investments in human capital to achieve profits. This research takes advantage of detailed information on worker performance and confidential information on firm revenue and operating costs to investigate the relationship between talent migration and firm profitability in major league sports. One key problem that firms have is identifying performance measures for its workforce, especially for potential employees (recruits). In contrast to nearly all other industries, in the industry of professional team sports, detailed information about the past performance of each individual worker (athlete) is known to all potential employers. First, I demonstrate using public data that worker (athlete) statistics aggregated to the establishment (team) level correlate with success on the field (measured in win percentage). Second, I use confidential data from the 2007 Economic Censuses, and from the 2007 and 2008 Service Annual Surveys to investigate the link between individual worker performance and team profitability, controlling for many other aspects of the sports business, specifically taking account of the mobility of athletic “stars” and “superstars” from one team to another. The investigations in this paper provide support for the hypothesis that hiring talented individuals (stars) will increase a firm’s profit. However, there is not convincing support for the incremental benefit of hiring superstars. The mixed evidence suggests a benefit on balance.
The 2013 Racial and Gender Report Card: National Football League (PDF)
Source: The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport
The National Football League achieved its fourth consecutive A for racial hiring practices and a C for gender hiring practices in the 2013 NFL Racial and Gender Report Card, released by The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES) at the University of Central Florida (UCF).
This gave the NFL a combined B grade. The NFL’s score for race remained at 90 percent for the second year in a row. The NFL received a score of 71 for gender hiring practices, a decrease from 74.5 percent in 2012. The overall grade for the NFL decreased from 82.3 percent in 2012 to 80 percent in 2013.