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Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Sports Business

Report: Alex Rodriguez interested in buying Mets

Alex Rodriguez

A surprise name has emerged in potential bidding for the New York Mets.

According to Thornton McEnery of the New York Post, Alex Rodriguez is “kicking the tires” on a possible bid for the Mets. Rodriguez was a childhood Mets fan who has gotten into business since his retirement.

“[Rodriguez] genuinely loves the Mets,” said source told the Post. “He and J-Lo have talked about him buying a team ever since Jeter got the Marlins.”

Any bid may be a longshot. The Mets may cost in the neighborhood of $3 billion, which likely means Rodriguez would have to partner with wealthy investors as part of an ownership group.

Regardless of how serious the possibility is, this would be quite the story. Jeter and Rodriguez would be NL East owners together, and it probably would give the Mets some added credibility. A-Rod has certainly dabbled in business since retirement, but this would be an entirely new level.

Marshawn Lynch files to trademark latest famous phrase

Marshawn Lynch

Marshawn Lynch may be done with football for good, but the ever-quotable running back went out with one last quality phrase.

Lynch advised younger NFL players to “take care of y’all chicken” in his final interview after the Seahawks’ playoff loss to the Packers, urging them to care for their bodies and financial and mental well-being. Nine days later, Lynch applied for a trademark on the phrase “TAKE CARE OF YO’ CHICKEN,” according to Brady Henderson of ESPN.

Lynch is already selling apparel with the phrase on it, as well as another quote from that same media availability, “take care of yo’ mentals.”

Lynch and his advisers know how to capitalize on merchandise sales, and they’ve had good luck with it in the past. The running back may not play again, but it seems like a pretty safe bet that his status will ensure that there’s always an interest in what he’s up to and what he’s said previously.

Larry Fitzgerald purchases stake in Phoenix Suns

Larry Fitzgerald announced recently that he will return for a 17th season with the Arizona Cardinals in 2020, but that isn’t the only big decision the future Hall of Famer has made this month.

Fitzgerald has purchased a minority stake in the Phoenix Suns, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Adrian Wojnarowski. The 36-year-old is now the second active NFL player to join the ownership group of an NBA franchise, as Aaron Rodgers also purchased a minority stake in the Milwaukee Bucks in 2018.

It makes sense that Fitzgerald is taking on another business venture in Phoenix, as he has been tied to the area since he came into the NFL in 2004. However, the ESPN report says his relationship with the Suns and managing partner Robert Sarver has been “more than ceremonial.” Fitzgerald has already been a part of potential front office candidate interviews and worked with the Suns on their public arena vote, though his involvement is expected to be somewhat limited while his NFL playing career continues.

Fitzgerald has been a season ticket holder with the Suns since 2005. He was drafted by the Cardinals in 2004. He’s beloved in the Phoenix area, and the Suns are hoping he can bring more credibility to a franchise that has been struggling in recent years. Phoenix has missed the playoffs in each of the past nine seasons and finished 15th in the Western Conference the past three. The Suns are 18-25 this year.

DeMarcus Lawrence, Kwon Alexander at odds over ‘Hot Boyzz’ trademark

DeMarcus Lawrence

San Francisco 49ers linebacker Kwon Alexander probably figured he’d be mentally focused on his Super Bowl battle with the Kansas City Chiefs, but it sounds like he’s sparked a bit of a legal battle for himself.

Alexander filed a trademark for the phrases “Hot Boyzz” and “Hot Boyzz University,” a moniker the 49er defense has gone by all season.

Just one problem: the Dallas Cowboys used the moniker “Hot Boyz” in 2018. DeMarcus Lawrence, the mind behind that trademarked movement, was not particularly pleased and suggested he’d be lawyering up.

This will be a fun one for the copyright lawyers. Alexander has added an extra Z, but getting that copyrighted might be a stretch. The 49ers linebacker might give Lawrence the same advice the Cowboys lineman gave an autograph seeker recently.

Lamar Jackson files for trademark on Super Bowl guarantee

Lamar Jackson

Lamar Jackson is getting into the trademark game, and he’s picked an interesting way to do that.

Jackson filed a trademark for three phrases. One of them sounds like a guarantee: “YOU ARE GOING TO GET A BOWL OUT OF ME, BELIEVE THAT!” That trademark was filed just five days after the heavily-favored Baltimore Ravens lost to the Tennessee Titans in the AFC Divisional round.

That first trademark is essentially word-for-word the same quote Jackson offered after being drafted by the Ravens in 2018. Jackson’s “not bad for a running back” trademark is a clear shot at those who are skeptical of his ability as a passer, something he took criticism for — even from himself — during and after his rookie season.

Jackson silencing doubters is part of his brand. Now he’s just trademarking it.

Jimmy Garoppolo’s agents seek to trademark ‘feels great, baby’ catchphrase

Jimmy Garoppolo

Jimmy Garoppolo has a new catchphrase, and his agents are working to get it trademarked as quickly as possible.

When asked how it felt to move to 8-0 after the San Francisco 49ers’ Week 9 win, Garoppolo responded “feels great, baby” in an interview with FOX Sports. That quickly became something of a viral catchphrase among 49ers fans, enough so that Garoppolo’s agents have sought to trademark it.

A TV show would certainly be something. Whether or not that ever comes to fruition, Garoppolo is showing smart business instincts. The 49ers could go on a playoff run, and that would likely make the phrase even bigger and more well-known. Maybe he can make like another playoff quarterback and turn the phrase into his own thing.

H/T NBC Sports Bay Area

SEC football package leaving CBS for ESPN

ESPN

The SEC on CBS has been an institution for years, but it appears that will be coming to an end in 2023.

According to John Ourand of Sports Business Daily, CBS bid $300 million per season in an attempt to renew its TV contract with the SEC, but bowed out when the bidding went beyond that. In a statement, CBS said it would instead “aggressively focus on other important strategic priorities moving forward.”

The network was outbid by ESPN/ABC, who are reportedly paying north of $330 million per season for the rights to SEC football. One of their major selling points was the ability to be more flexible in terms of scheduling as opposed to CBS’ exclusive window for the week’s best game, meaning that multiple games can be shown on broadcast TV and the best ones can be flexed into primetime.

CBS has carried the SEC since 1996, and has been the exclusive home of the title game since 2001. This marks a big change for college football broadcasting, and adds to ESPN’s hefty portfolio of properties in the sport.