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Rainy forecast costing ticket brokers millions for Derek Jeter’s last home game

Derek-Jeter-YankeesThe New York Yankees are out of playoff contention, but we all know why their game against the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday night is the most expensive regular season ticket in MLB history. Derek Jeter will be playing in his final home game at Yankee Stadium. That is, if Mother Nature allows it.

With a forecast that calls for a 100% chance of precipitation by game time, there is a growing fear that the game could be rained out. Considering the Orioles have wrapped up the AL East and the Yankees are mathematically eliminated from the postseason, there would be no reason to make the game up. Fans don’t want to see that happen. Neither do secondary ticket brokers, who stand to lose as much as $12.5 million if the game is called.

“It would be a disaster for brokers if this game is rained out and never made up,” Connor Gregoire of SeatGeek.com told the NY Daily News. “Brokers will lose all the profits they would have otherwise made on this, the most expensive regular season ticket in MLB history.”

Gregoire estimates that around 30,000 tickets have been resold for Thursday night’s game since Jeter announced back in February that 2014 would be his final season. If the game is rescheduled, anyone who bought a ticket to Thursday’s game would have to attend the makeup or lose their money. If it is cancelled, brokers must refund all sales. And if you bought tickets on Craigslist or through some sort of non-licensed broker, you simply need to do the opposite of a rain dance.

“If folks purchased their tickets privately or on Craigslist, they’re stuck trying to track down their seller with no guarantee of a seller and no official recourse,” Gregoire pointed out.

Even if the game is played, the nasty forecast has still cost sellers. Demand has decreased over the past few days. The average price of a ticket has dropped nearly $100 since Tuesday, and there are still plenty available.

The Yankees will do everything they can to get the field ready. Hopefully the weather cooperates at least through Jeter’s first at-bat.

Procter & Gamble pulls out of breast cancer initiative because of NFL off-field issues

High-School-Technical-for-Pink-UniformsProcter & Gamble has notified the NFL that it will no longer be going forward with its league-wide initiative for Breast Cancer Awareness month, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports.

Procter & Gamble had worked with the NFL on behalf of Crest toothpaste and had named multiple players on each of the NFL’s 32 teams as “ambassadors” of the campaign. Players had agreed to wear pink mouthguards and engage with fans on social media as part of the initiative, but Procter & Gamble reportedly decided to pull the plug in the wake of the domestic violence issues that are piling up across the league.

Any money that Procter & Gamble had pledged to donate to cancer organizations will still be distributed, but the campaign will no longer be taking place.

We could be witnessing the worst image problem the NFL has ever had. Companies like Radisson have already suspended their sponsorship of the Minnesota Vikings while other juggernauts like Anheuser-Busch have publicly expressed their concern over issues involving players like Adrian Peterson, Ray Rice and Jonathan Dywer.

The NFL’s pink gear movement has become incredibly popular over the past several years. The fact that a major company has decided to dissociate itself from a cause like Breast Cancer Awareness Month because it is so concerned with the NFL’s current image should tell you all you need to know.

Ray Rice removed from Madden, dropped by Nike

Ray Rice RavensThe world as Ray Rice once knew it is crumbling. Over the past 24 hours, Rice has been released by the Baltimore Ravens, suspended indefinitely by the NFL, and seen a number of companies cut ties with him. On Tuesday, EA Sports announced that Rice will be removed from Madden NFL 15 later this week. His endorsement deal with Nike has also been terminated.

Remember, we all knew Rice was guilty of domestic violence before TMZ released footage of him knocking his wife unconscious on Monday. Apparently the Ravens, NFL, Nike, EA Sports and several others were willing to continue their relationship with Rice until they saw — or the public saw — him actually throwing a punch.

In addition to the aforementioned business moves, the Ravens have also announced that they will offer an exchange for Rice jerseys at their stadium Pro Shops. The New England Patriots did the same thing after Aaron Hernandez was arrested and charged with murder. Dick’s Sporting Goods store in the Baltimore area have also been asked to clear Rice jerseys from their shelves.

Again, a video has suddenly changed everything. How did all of these people think Palmer ended up unconscious with Rice dragging her out of an elevator when the original video was released? I guess seeing really is believing.

Kevin Durant offered over $265 million deal by Under Armour

Kevin Durant where amazing happens

Under Armour has just given a huge wake-up call to Nike.

The Maryland-based sports equipment and apparel company has offered Kevin Durant a 10-year deal worth between $265-285 million, according to an ESPN report. The deal includes stock offers and other incentives for Durant.

Nike has the option to match the offer from Under Armour. If they choose to do so, Durant would be contractually obligated to stay with them.

Durant visited the UA headquarters last week and ended up staying there the entire day despite only planning to remain for a few hours. ESPN described UA’s pitch to Durant as impressive. They say he even worked out in their basketball shoes.

Only a tiny portion of UA’s annual revenue comes from basketball-related products, so this would be a huge way for them to grow in the market. They already made a big move last year by signing Steph Curry away from Nike and are looking to steal another one of the swoosh’s top athletes.

A big part of their sales pitch will be tying together theirs and Durant’s DC/Maryland-area roots. UA’s headquarters are less than 40 miles from where Durant grew up.

Durant wanted to sign with Nike so badly coming out of college that he turned down an offer from adidas for 33 percent more money — $20 million in all. Will he be as generous this time around? We will soon find out, but one thing is for certain — his new representation at Roc Nation Sports has him shopping for the best deal.

NBA announces sale of Clippers to Steve Ballmer has been finalized

Steve BallmerThe NBA announced on Tuesday that the sale of the Los Angeles Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has been finalized. The $2 billion transaction had previously been approved by the NBA Board of Governors, and Tuesday’s closing officially makes Ballmer the team’s new governor.

The finalization of the sale was made possible by a California court confirming that Shelly Sterling had the power to sell the Clippers on behalf of the Sterling Family Trust. Sterling was previously deemed mentally incapacitated by two doctors and was removed as co-trustee. The 80-year-old fought the ruling in court but was unsuccessful.

While it would not be surprising if Sterling continued to explore avenues to sue the NBA, it sounds like he does not have much legal ground to stand on.

The Clippers are planning to hold a fan festival at the Staples Center on Monday to introduce Ballmer as the team’s new owner. Doc Rivers and the Clippers players will be in attendance.

“This is an amazing new day in Clippers history,” Rivers said Tuesday. “I couldn’t be more excited to work together with Steve as we continue to build a first-class, championship organization. I am already inspired by Steve’s passion for the game, his love of competition and desire to win the right way and I know our players and fans are going to be inspired as well.”

Ballmer said in a statement that he will be “hardcore” in trying to put the Clippers in a position to win.

“I am humbled and honored to be the new owner of the Los Angeles Clippers,” he said. “Clipper fans are so amazing. I will be hardcore in giving the team, our great coach, staff and players the support they need to do their best work on the court. We will do whatever necessary to provide our fans and their families with the best game-night experience in the NBA.”

Adam Silver was confident the NBA would force Sterling out from the second his racist audio rant went viral. The new NBA commissioner made good on his promise.

Nike wants Jimbo Fisher to not let his son wear Under Armour

Jimbo-Fisher-son

Jimbo Fisher and his son shared a great moment back in November after Florida State came away with a huge win over Miami. You would have to be cold-hearted to not crack a smile watching 9-year-old Ethan sprint into his dad’s arms. The folks at Nike were frowning.

The Wall Street Journal has uncovered an email exchange that took place between a Nike official and Florida State administrators hours after the Seminoles’ Nov. 2 victory. After congratulating FSU on their big win and thanking them for “everything you all do for us,” Nike assistant director of football sports marketing Mark Dupes had an interesting favor to ask.

“Hey got a text from the USA Director of Sports Marketing last night telling me of how good things look w FSU and our players and sideline staff, exposure for the Brand was exceptional. Then 5 min later I rec a new message…Said ABC cameras were on Jimbo and his Son ad end of the game…His son was Wearing Under Armour FSU sweatshirt! Ouch. Can we please ask Jimbo to eliminate that from the son’s wardrobe in the future! Let me know if I can help w anything. Thx guys. MD”

Yes, Nike was concerned about a 9-year-old wearing an Under Armour sweatshirt. The Wall Street Journal asked FSU’s senior associate athletics director Monk Bonasorte about the request, and he said FSU administrators interpreted it as a “joke.”

“What am I going to do, go to coach and say, ‘Hey can you take that shirt off him?'” Bonasorte said. “I’m not going to call Jimbo Fisher and tell him what his son can wear.”

Nike said in a statement that its relationship with FSU athletics does not extend to the coach’s family and Fisher declined to comment. For what it’s worth, Ethan was shown wearing Nike brand apparel during and after subsequent games — including when the Seminoles defeated Auburn in the BCS National Championship Game.

We know Nike is protective of its powerful brand, but that seems like a bit much.

Cowboys print and send playoff tickets to season ticket holders

Cowboys-playoff-tickets

If the Dallas Cowboys silence their critics and reach the postseason in 2014, we already know what the tickets to the games will look like. How? Because the team has already printed them.

As ESPN’s Darren Rovell revealed on Friday, Cowboys season ticket holders received a sheet of playoff tickets with their season ticket packages this week, including tickets to a potential NFC Championship Game in Dallas. Considering the Cowboys have not reached the playoffs since 2009 or played in the NFC Championship Game in almost 20 years, the pre-printing has been met with plenty of scrutiny.

However, there is reason to believe the Cowboys are simply the first team to do what many others will soon do. If you remember, the Green Bay Packers had trouble selling out a playoff game last season because of the bitter cold. The Cincinnati Bengals also had problems unloading their last-minute tickets. Getting the actual tickets in the hands of season ticket holders in advance could help prevent that.

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