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Sunday, February 17, 2019

Sports Business

Twitter reacts to NFL making Caesars its first ever casino sponsor

Roger Goodell

For a league that seemingly wanted nothing to do with Las Vegas not all that long ago, the NFL suddenly can’t get enough of Sin City.

On Thursday, the NFL announced that it has signed a partnership with Caesars Entertainment, which is the league’s first official casino partner. As sports business reporter Darren Rovell notes, the NFL is still “against” sports gambling, so the deal does not include anything related to that area.

With the Oakland Raiders soon moving to Las Vegas and the 2020 NFL Draft expected to be held there, the NFL-Caesars partnership is not a surprise. There were still plenty of great reactions to the news on Twitter, however.

We saw similar reactions when the NFL announced that the 2020 draft will be in Vegas, but this is reality now. The NFL has found a new revenue stream, and it is going to be a game-changer for the league and its owners.

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NFL player denied ‘Fitzmagic’ trademark filing due to confusion

Minkah Fitzpatrick

Sorry, Minkah Fitzpatrick, there’s only one Fitzmagic.

Minkah Fitzpatrick just completed his rookie season as a safety for the Miami Dolphins. He tried to fill a trademark with the US Patent & Trademark Office for “Fitzmagic,” but was essentially denied. The reason given is that it creates a false connection because the “Fitzmagic” nickname is strongly associated with quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Minkah can still respond and appeal the decision if he wants, but he’s facing an uphill battle.

Though Ryan Fitzpatrick was benched by the Buccaneers this season in favor of Jameis Winston, there was still a time early in the year when he was lighting things up and going viral for his swag. People love their Fitzmagic, and they think of the bearded quarterback when they hear the name, not the Dolphins defensive back.

Turner offers Mickelson-Woods stream for free after technical problems

Phil Mickelson

Technical difficulties meant Turner ended up giving away its pay-per-view broadcast of “The Match” for free.

Turner had been offering the exclusive live stream of the Friday charity match between Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods for $19.99 through their “B/R Live” service, and it was expected to be a big draw for the fledgling streaming platform. However, the service apparently suffered a myriad of technical difficulties, and users quickly found they could watch the match for free.

According to ESPN’s Darren Rovell, the platform had a hard time handling purchase requests, and those who had bought access to the match were struggling to get in and see it. In light of that, Turner opted to simply make the stream free.

It’s unclear if those who had paid the fee would be refunded. No problems for those who purchased the match through their cable provider appeared to be reported.

What was expected to be a big spectacle with two of the world’s most famous golfers has been upstaged by a skywriter, and now the fact that the paid stream ended up turning into a disaster for the provider. We’ll see what comes of that in the days ahead.

Report: Conor McGregor signs multi-million dollar deal with Reebok

Conor McGregor

Conor McGregor is solidifying his financial future with all sorts of endorsement deals.

Not only did McGregor sign a multi-million dollar deal with Monster Energy this week, but McGregor also signed a multi-million dollar deal with Reebok, according to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani. Helwani indicates the deal is worth at least $5 million.

McGregor has been doing all sorts of business. The deals with Monster and Reebok come on top of a new 8-fight deal McGregor signed with the UFC. Both Monster and Reebok are official UFC sponsors.

McGregor has also been promoting his new whiskey company, Proper Whiskey. McGregor’s new contract calls for Proper Whiskey to be an official sponsor during his fights.

McGregor is the most popular MMA fighter in the world and appears to now be taking advantage of his status in a business sense.

Insane TV rating numbers show how much Tiger Woods means to golf

Tiger Woods red

Tiger Woods brought more fans into the game of golf than any other player in the sport’s history, and the 14-time major champion finally ended a long drought by winning a PGA Tour event on Sunday for the first time since 2013. Did people tune in even though Tiger won the Tour Championship right in the middle of Week 3 NFL action?

Yes, yes they did.

On Monday, NBC revealed that their ratings for the final round of the Tour Championship were up more than 200 percent from a year ago. The telecast from the final round was the highest-rated one of any PGA Tour event in 2018.

ESPN’s Darren Rovell gave the numbers a bit more context:

We hear about “The Tiger Effect” with golf all the time, and this is further proof that it is very real. If the shots of the absurd swarm of people following Woods at East Lake weren’t evidence enough, NBC would be glad to tell you how important Tiger still is to the game.

Khalil Mack jersey sales skyrocketed after trade to Bears

Khalil Mack became the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history after he was traded to the Chicago Bears and signed a long-term extension, and a new contract isn’t the only way he boosted his bank account.

According to the latest data from online sports retailer Fanatics, Mack’s new Bears jersey was the fifth-highest seller in the NFL during the preseason.

Considering Mack was traded less than a week ago, that is pretty impressive.

Mack must be enjoying his new home, and all indications are that he has gotten up to speed quickly. He probably expected the Raiders to give him a record contract extension at some point, so selling more jerseys is a nice bonus.

Talk of Colin Kaepernick tanking Nike’s stock may be exaggerated

Colin Kaepernick

Opponents of Nike’s new ad campaign involving Colin Kaepernick are getting some delight in seeing the company’s stock drop ever since the Labor Day announcement. However, the notion that Kaepernick alone is responsible for a drop in the company’s stock price might be exaggerated.

Nike’s stock price is down a modest 2.7 percent since the market reopened on Tuesday. While some may be celebrating that, the truth is Nike’s industry competitors have seen stock prices decrease even further.

– Puma is down 4.9 percent
– Adidas is down 4.4 percent
– UnderArmour dropped 1.45 percent on Wednesday

The sports apparel sector seems to be down as a whole, and Nike is right in the middle of the pack for declines. If Kaepernick were as impactful as some would like to believe, it would be reasonable to expect a) Nike’s stock to have dropped even more than it did and b) Nike’s competitors to see growth.

Additionally, the S&P 500 as a whole is down a tick since Tuesday.

2.7 percent really is a modest price change for a stock rather than an indication of some sort of revolt. If you want to get an idea of a true stock price drop, look at what happened to Facebook when it dropped nearly 19 percent in one day in late July due to lower revenues.

Perhaps Nike will see a decline in their stock over the rest of the year that some will attribute to Kaepernick. But the Swoosh is likely betting that any boycotts of their gear (which we’ve already seen) will likely be far outweighed by gains from fans enthusiastic about supporting the brand.

H/T Charles Robinson