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Deloitte Football Money League 2014

April 8, 2014 Comments off

Deloitte Football Money League 2014
Source: Deloitte

Welcome to the 17th edition of the Deloitte Football Money League, in which we profile the highest earning clubs in the world’s most popular sport. Published just eight months after the end of the 2012/13 season, the Money League is the most contemporary and reliable analysis of the clubs’ relative financial performance.

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MLB Fan Cost Index® 2014

April 3, 2014 Comments off

MLB Fan Cost Index® 2014
Source: Team Marketing Report

The average Major League Baseball season ticket has increased by 2.0 percent to $27.93 for the 2014 season, according to the Team Marketing Report Fan Cost Index®.

This minor increase is part of a trend; last season, the average MLB ticket increased by 1.8 percent.

The year before that, there was no percentage increase. In 2010-11, tickets rose by a combined 2.7 percent. The Fan Cost Index (FCI) total, the average price to take a family of four to a game, increased by 2.3 percent to $212.46. The FCI is created by combining four non-premium season tickets, two beers, four soft drinks, four hot dogs, parking, two programs or scorecards, and two adult-size hats.

TMR uses season ticket pricing and the lowest full-size prices for the ancillary items, so if a team has an $8 beer and a $6 beer, TMR uses the latter to show how much, or how little, one can spend at a game.

What Does it Take to Call a Strike? Three Biases in Umpire Decision Making

March 14, 2014 Comments off

What Does it Take to Call a Strike?  Three Biases in Umpire Decision Making (PDF)
Source: MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference

Do Major League Baseball umpires call balls and strikes solely in response to pitch location? We analyze all regular season calls from 2009 to 2011—over one million pitches—using non-parametric and structural estimation methods. We find that the strike zone contracts in 2-strike counts and expands in 3-ball counts, and that umpires are reluctant to call two strikes in a row. Effect sizes can be dramatic: in 2-strike counts the probability of a called strike drops by as much as 19 percentage points in the corners of the strike zone. We structurally estimate each umpire’s aversions to miscalling balls and his aversions to miscalling strikes in different game states. If an umpire is unbiased, he would only need to be 50% sure that a pitch is a strike in order to call a strike half the time. In fact, the average umpire needs to be 64% sure of a strike in order to call strike three half the time. Moreover, the least biased umpire still needs to be 55% sure of a strike in order to call strike three half the time. In other words, every umpire is biased. Contrary to their formal role as unbiased arbiters of balls and strikes, umpires are biased by the state of the at-bat when deciding whether a pitch intersects the strike zone.

Tossing the Red Flag: Official (Judicial) Review and Shareholder-Fan Activism in the Context of Publicly Traded Sports Teams

March 3, 2014 Comments off

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

February 24, 2014 Comments off

New rule on home-plate collisions put into effect; Regulation to reduce injuries on scoring plays to be on experimental basis in 2014
Source: Major League Baseball

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.

Ted Wells releases Miami Dolphins misconduct report

February 15, 2014 Comments off

Ted Wells releases Miami Dolphins misconduct report
Source: National Football League

Three starters on the Miami Dolphins’ offensive line — Richie Incognito, John Jerry and Mike Pouncey — engaged in a “pattern of harassment” directed at Jonathan Martin, as well as another young offensive lineman and an assistant trainer, according to the independent report released Friday concerning workplace misconduct with the team.

Survey | More than One-in-Five Fans have a Ritual Before or During Sports Games

January 23, 2014 Comments off

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.

Damage Control: How Scrutinized Professional Athletes Use Twitter to Combat Negative Press

January 20, 2014 Comments off

Damage Control: How Scrutinized Professional Athletes Use Twitter to Combat Negative Press
Source: University of Southern Mississippi

In recent years many elite professional athletes have been criticized in the media for questionable on and off the field behavior. How these athletes use social media to reframe or repair their public images was the focus of this research. Research on social media has grown in recent years, but still remains relatively shallow, making the strong correlation between social media and sport the ideal breeding ground for this exploratory research. This study confined social media use to the way in which two purposefully selected professional athletes – Tiger Woods and Lance Armstrong – use Twitter to self-present and directly communicate with their followers. A quantitative content analysis was conducted to collect data for this research. To quantify the information, 592 Tweets were coded and then analyzed using SPSS. Previous literature (Dittmer, 2010; Hambrick, Frederick & Sanderson, 2013) suggested heavily scrutinized professional athletes used Twitter to promote a personal brand and challenge competing media narratives, in turn compromising the media’s role as agenda setter (Cohen, 1963). According to Cassidy (2006), such athletes are overriding the journalist’s traditional role as gatekeeper, thus redefining selective exposure’s impact in today’s changing media landscape (Messing & Westwood, 2012). This study found that elite professional athletes are using this new flow of information to promote images of self that bypass media misrepresentation (Goffman, 1959). This research further concluded that such athletes use Twitter to unhinge their images from the association of negative press, but in fundamentally different ways.

Hat tip: ResearchBuzz

2013 MINOR League Baseball Attendance Analysis

January 17, 2014 Comments off

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)

Greening the Sports Industry

December 20, 2013 Comments off

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.

Are Sunk Costs Irrelevant? Evidence from Playing Time in the National Basketball Association

December 16, 2013 Comments off

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

December 12, 2013 Comments off

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.
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The 2013 Racial and Gender Report Card: National Football League

November 25, 2013 Comments off

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.

See also: The 2013 Racial and Gender Report Card: MLS (PDF)
See also: The 2013 Racial and Gender Report Card: WNBA (PDF)

Compensation Discrimination in the NFL: An Analysis of Career Earnings

November 18, 2013 Comments off

Compensation Discrimination in the NFL: An Analysis of Career Earnings (PDF)
Source: Appalachian State University (Department of Economics)

Using NFL data from 2000 to 2008, we test for compensation discrimination on career earnings in the NFL. We use both the traditional dummy variable technique applied to Ordinary Least Squares regression as well as quantile regression analysis to measures the effect of race on earnings. We focus on six positional groups: defensive backs, defensive linemen, linebackers, running backs, tight ends and wide receivers. Our analysis finds that a player’s performance determines career earnings and not their race. Perhaps, using a Becker-like argument, market competition for the best players in a competitive environment to achieve a winning team has overcome personal prejudice.

On the dynamic of franchise (re)location in the North-American sport leagues

November 5, 2013 Comments off

On the dynamic of franchise (re)location in the North-American sport leagues
Source: Research Papers in Economics

As the cost of tax-dollar paid stadia rises and the talks of relocations in the main North-American pro leagues increase, a multi-field analysis on the different mechanisms that decides team relocation seems necessary. This paper reviews the different mechanisms participating team location and finally offer a new angle of analysis on the actual equilibrium and demonstrates its dynamic nature.

NCAI Releases Report on History and Legacy of Washington’s Harmful “Indian” Sports Mascot

October 16, 2013 Comments off

NCAI Releases Report on History and Legacy of Washington’s Harmful “Indian” Sports Mascot
Source: National Congress of American Indians

Just days after President Obama joined the growing chorus of those calling for the Washington NFL Team to consider changing its name, the team’s leadership justified the use of their “Indian” mascot as a central part of the team’s “history and legacy.” A new report released today by the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), titled Ending the Legacy Of Racism in Sports & the Era of Harmful “Indian” Sports Mascots also outlines the team’s ugly and racist legacy, while highlighting the harmful impact of negative stereotypes on Native peoples.

The report details the position of NCAI, the nation’s oldest, largest, and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization.

How Major League Baseball Clubs Have Commercialized Their Investment in Japanese Top Stars

October 9, 2013 Comments off

How Major League Baseball Clubs Have Commercialized Their Investment in Japanese Top Stars
Source: Harvard Business School Working Papers

When a Major League Baseball club signs a Japanese star player, it obviously tries to commercialize its investment in the player. The initial focus is on home attendance (ticket sales) and television audiences, plus merchandise sales. These elements are similar to those considered for any high-performing players. However, for Japanese stars, there is also the potential to attract significant fandom from the local Japanese community. This represents an opportunity for truly incremental local revenue for the team. In addition, teams try to attract revenue from Japan-such as from corporate sponsors, advertising signage at the home field, and visiting Japanese fans traveling to the U.S. to see these stars perform. In addition to treating team efforts at growing local Japanese community support, this paper examines seven factors for success in attracting revenues from Japanese companies and fans: pitcher or position player, pl ayer’s popularity, non-stop flights from Japan, distance from Japan, non-sport tourist attractions in a city, size of Japanese community in the city and player’s and team’s performance. The most important factor, however, is the player’s talent and popularity in terms of performance in both Japan and the U.S. and his media exposure in Japan including endorsement contracts. In addition, if a MLB club signs a Japanese position star player and is based in a city which is endowed with a variety of non-baseball tourist attractions, this would have a further advantage for the team. The field-based research reported here is derived largely from analysis of team experiences with five principal Japanese baseball stars-Hideo Nomo, Ichiro Suzuki, Hideki Matsui, Daisuke Matsuzaka, and Kosuke Fukudome.

Athlete Endorsements in Food Marketing

October 8, 2013 Comments off

Athlete Endorsements in Food Marketing
Source: Pediatrics

OBJECTIVE:
This study quantified professional athletes’ endorsement of food and beverages, evaluated the nutritional quality of endorsed products, and determined the number of television commercial exposures of athlete-endorsement commercials for children, adolescents, and adults.

METHODS:
One hundred professional athletes were selected on the basis of Bloomberg Businessweek’s 2010 Power 100 rankings, which ranks athletes according to their endorsement value and prominence in their sport. Endorsement information was gathered from the Power 100 list and the advertisement database AdScope. Endorsements were sorted into 11 endorsement categories (eg, food/beverages, sports apparel). The nutritional quality of the foods featured in athlete-endorsement advertisements was assessed by using a Nutrient Profiling Index, whereas beverages were evaluated on the basis of the percentage of calories from added sugar. Marketing data were collected from AdScope and Nielsen.

RESULTS:
Of 512 brands endorsed by 100 different athletes, sporting goods/apparel represented the largest category (28.3%), followed by food/beverages (23.8%) and consumer goods (10.9%). Professional athletes in this sample were associated with 44 different food or beverage brands during 2010. Seventy-nine percent of the 62 food products in athlete-endorsed advertisements were energy-dense and nutrient-poor, and 93.4% of the 46 advertised beverages had 100% of calories from added sugar. Peyton Manning (professional American football player) and LeBron James (professional basketball player) had the most endorsements for energy-dense, nutrient-poor products. Adolescents saw the most television commercials that featured athlete endorsements of food.

CONCLUSIONS:
Youth are exposed to professional athlete endorsements of food products that are energy-dense and nutrient-poor.

International hostility and aggressiveness on the soccer pitch: Evidence from European Championships and World Cups for the period 2000-2012

October 4, 2013 Comments off

International hostility and aggressiveness on the soccer pitch: Evidence from European Championships and World Cups for the period 2000-2012
Source: Research Papers in Economics

Some Researchers consider soccer matches as the stylization of a war in other battlefields. Such approach was largely used to interpret the violent phenomena related to the soccer environment, while less attention has been paid to the «potential» role of political and economic interactions between countries in determining the aggressive attitude of players on the pitch. In our paper we empirically investigate if and how political hostility among countries reverberates on a soccer pitch by influencing players’ aggressiveness. The analysis focuses on official matches played by national teams in the final phases of the European and World Cup tournaments since 2000. We estimate a Negative Binomial regression including both political and sport variables, and we find that (a) commercial hostility; (b) the level of diplomatic relationships, (c) power asymmetry and (d) education gap between countries are positively and significantly associated with aggressiveness of the players on the pitch, approximated by the number of yellow and red cards. That is, briefly stated, international hostility reverberates into the pitch. Moreover, sport covariates present the expected signs, namely results show that the closeness of the teams, their ranking and the stage of the game (knockout stages with respect to the group phases) are also crucial in determining the cautions.

The Impacts of Promotions/Marketing, Scheduling, and Economic Factors on Total Gross Revenues for Minor League Baseball Teams

September 9, 2013 Comments off

The Impacts of Promotions/Marketing, Scheduling, and Economic Factors on Total Gross Revenues for Minor League Baseball Teams
Source: Research Papers in Economics

This empirical study finds that total revenues at minor league baseball games are influenced by marketing, economic factors, scheduling, and the weather. In particular, total gross revenues are an increasing function of marketing/promotions such as low value merchandise giveaways, high value merchandise giveaways, group discounts, and fireworks displays. Revenues are also an increasing function of the metropolitan area population and a decreasing function of poverty rates. Teams with higher priced general admissions tickets also experience higher revenues. Revenues are generally higher on Fridays and Saturdays and during July and August (and possibly June), while being lower on Mondays and Tuesdays and during May. Finally, inclement weather, especially rain, reduces revenues.

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