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Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Sports Business

NBA forces Iman Shumpert to remove Adidas logo from his head (Picture)

Iman-Shumpert-Adidas-logo-hair

Iman Shumpert recently decided to showcase his support for Adidas by shaving their logo into the back of his head, but the new look didn’t last long. Because of NBA rules, Shumpert if left with nothing but a triangle.

On Saturday, the New York Knicks forward posted a before and after shot on his Instagram account.

“Banned,” the caption read. “(Sorry) @nba didn’t realize there were branding issues wit da logo #iPUToN.”

As SI.com’s The Point Forward pointed out, sporting a corporate logo during games violates Item 5 of Section H in the NBA’s official rule book. Players are only allowed to wear the logo of their choice on their sneakers.

Shumpert is endorsed by Adidas and I’m sure his endorser loved the advertising stunt while it lasted. Such is life when it comes to sports business. If Shumpert wants to get a crazy haircut that looks like this, he’s more than welcome to do so.

Victor Cruz signs with Jay-Z’s sports agency

Victor-Cruz-GiantsJay-Z is building an empire. Actually, Jay-Z has already built more than an empire. He has now turned his focus toward adding some of the biggest names in sports to his realm. On Tuesday, Robinson Cano announced that he had fired agent Scott Boras and signed with Roc Nation, which has paired with Creative Artists Agency to begin representing athletes. Victor Cruz is joining them.

According to the NY Post, the New York Giants wide receiver signed with Jay-Z’s sports agency on Wednesday. Last season, Cruz incorporated Jay-Z’s diamond-shaped “Roc” symbol into his touchdown routine, which makes a lot more sense now.

Unlike Cano, Cruz did not have to fire his current agent to sign with Roc Nation Sports. Cruz’s agent Tom Condon is already affiliated with CAA, so his deal with Jay-Z is expected to have more of an impact on endorsement deals than his football contract. The Giants have put a first-round tender on Cruz, meaning they would receive a first-round pick for him if another team offers the 26-year-old a contract New York chooses not to match.

As the Post speculated, Cruz’s decision to sign with Jay-Z’s agency could actually be good news for the Giants. Jay-Z has tremendous influence in New York and the surrounding area, so it probably would have no benefit to Cruz from an endorsement standpoint to leave New York. Eli Manning is certainly hoping that is the case.

Adidas looking to profit off Kevin Ware injury with Final Four T-shirts? (Picture)

Kevin-Ware-Louisville-shirts

The topic of sports apparel companies making a profit by using Divison-1 athletes to sell products has been heavily debated over the years. Under no circumstances are college athletes allowed to be paid or receive “improper benefits,” yet their jersey numbers are plastered all over merchandise that is constantly flying off the shelves. It appears Louisville sophomore Kevin Ware is no exception.

Ware’s incredibly gruesome leg injury has been the talk of the nation since the Cardinals defeated Duke in the Elite 8 on Sunday evening. The team has decided to honor him with these warmup jerseys at the Final Four, and it looks like Adidas has decided to pay tribute to Ware by profiting from his injury with the T-shirt you see above. You can pre-order your very own “Ri5e to the Occasion” shirt today, which is currently selling for $24.99 on the Louisville athletic website.

When contacted by Larry Brown Sports, an employee from Louisville’s online apparel shop said that there has been no indication that proceeds from the shirt are going to support medical bills or any type of charity. The employee did mention that the shirts were not created “internally” and had come directly from Adidas.

Paying these young men and women would be insane, but profiting off someone’s horribly broken leg is great business.

UPDATE: A Louisville spokesperson told WDRB the school “proactively decided to waive any traditional licensing royalties revenue connected to the No. 5 graphic to be worn by the team on the court. . . . The shirt was created as a respectful tribute to honor Kevin within NCAA trademark apparel parameters, and allow fans to rally around the team. Because of that, adidas is contributing a portion of every sell to the university’s scholarship fund.”

Robinson Cano reportedly fires Scott Boras, signs with Jay-Z’s company

Robinson Cano Jay-Z

Jay-Z is reportedly set to extend his reach even further across the world of professional sports, and it looks like the first superstar player to help him do that will be New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano.

According to ESPNNewYork.com, Cano fired agent Scott Boras on Tuesday to join Roc Nation, Jay-Z’s entertainment company that is breaking into the sports representation business through a partnership with Creative Artists Agency (CAA).

“At this point in my career, I am ready to take a more active role in my endeavors on and off the field,” Cano said in a statement. “I am confident that the pairing of Roc Nation Sports and CAA Sports will be essential in helping me accomplish my short and long-term goals. I am making this important decision now so I can keep my focus on helping the Yankees succeed in 2013, while minimizing any distractions for me and my teammates.”

The Yankees made Cano a contract offer earlier this winter, but the two sides have not appeared to gain any ground. We all know Boras loves making sure his superstar clients test free agency no matter what offer they receive from their current team, so it will be interesting to see if Cano’s representation switch changes any of that.

Sources also told ESPNNewYork.com that Jay-Z himself plans to become a certified agent. He is reportedly planning to start with baseball and eventually take on clients from basketball and football. However, representing basketball players would require Jay-Z to give up his share of the Brooklyn Nets. Roc Nation, which represents artists like Rihanna, Shakira and Timbaland, is expected to eventually branch away from CAA and start its own sports agency division called Roc Nation Sports.

This will obviously give people like Scott Boras and other smaller agents some major competition if Jay-Z has success with Cano. Star power makes a signifcant difference, and Roc Nation already has plenty of that. It would also mean Jay-Z will have to be even more careful about doing stuff like this.

Photo credit: Twitter/Robinson Cano

Red Sox slash beer, food prices as April ticket sales are struggling

Bud-Light-tapThe Boston Red Sox are notorious for having some of the most outrageous prices in baseball, whether it’s for tickets, parking or concessions. When a team is winning, it can get away with charging just about anything it wants. When you treat fans to the worst September collapse in MLB history, have Bobby Valentine come in and make things worse and then trade three of your biggest superstars to the west coast, that luxury is lost.

The Red Sox have sold out every home game for roughly a decade, but that streak is likely going to come to an end in April. According to Amalie Benjamin of the Boston Globe, the team is slashing beer and concession prices for the month of April as a last-ditch effort to try to boost ticket sales. Hot dogs, which normally sell for around $5, will be buy one get one free. Kids under 14 eat free and hot chocolate will sell for just $2. But the real shocker is that beer prices will be dropped from an average of $8 to only $5 per draft brew.

Yes, only. Those who have been to Fenway Park in the last 10 years know $5 for a beer is a steal. Welcome to the real world, losers. The Red Sox are expecting to sell out their home opener against the Baltimore Orioles on April 8, but tickets remain available. As Benjamin pointed out, Boston is hosting 17 games in 21 days at Fenway during the month of April. Many of those games will be against weak competition on chilly nights, so it’s no surprise the team is struggling to sell tickets.

For those of you who like boozing, eating hot dogs and taking in a ball game, enjoy it while you can. If the Sox start winning again, the bargains won’t last very long.

AHL’s Syracuse Crunch have hilarious ‘For a good time’ billboard (Picture)

Syracuse-Crunch-billboard

AHL teams need to find creative ways to sell tickets, and putting together a hilarious billboard advertisement is one way to do that. If the Syracuse Crunch were my local AHL team, I’d be buying tickets to a game the second I saw their new billboard.

“For a good time call 473-4444,” the masterpiece reads.

If a picture of a hockey player with a grizzly beard laying across a goal in a provocative position doesn’t get a chuckle out of you, nothing will. Whether it’s a funny billboard, a head coach going all out to accuse a referee of being blind or a dude getting so drunk he breaks into a house he thought was his own, the lower levels of hockey seem to consistently produce some of the best stories.

Photo via Twitter/Jim Sarosy
H/T Eye on Hockey

The Miami Marlins have officially resorted to giving away free tickets

Marlins-park-sculptureIf you thought the Miami Marlins had trouble putting fans in the stands in years past, wait until you get a load of what they are doing this year. Now that the team has decided to fire Ozzie Guillen and trade Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle to the Toronto Blue Jays, interest in the upcoming season seems lower than ever. Aside from Giancarlo Stanton, there isn’t much that is going to inspire Marlins fans (if there are any) to attend a game.

However, we have some good news for those Marlins fans who actually enjoy attending games at the brand new ballpark the team just built in Miami. If you purchase a ticket to the Marlins home opener against the Atlanta Braves on April 8th, you will receive a ticket to any other game of your choice — on the house.

According to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Marlins ran a promotion last year where fans who purchased a season-ticket package would be entered into a lottery for a chance to score a ticket to the first ever game at the new Marlins Park. Now that the park is a full year old, the team can’t even give tickets away.

Marlins president David Samson season ticket sales have fallen to under 5,000 this season from 12,000 last year. The home opener on April 8 still isn’t sold out. The Marlins are a Major League Baseball team, but it seems like it’s only a matter of time before they’re shooting human beings out of cannons in an attempt to get people to come to the ballpark.

H/T Big League Stew

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