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New York City
Aspiring business journalist, information junkie
Interests: tennis, fantasy football, culinary adventures
Recent Activity
It was heartbreaking to see LeBron walk off that court last night (and yes, he did take time to shake hands for all the anti-James folks out there). But, for many, this was really thought to be the year. And in light of his free agent status, there has been plenty of speculation as to where LeBron would end up after a championship ring...or now, without one. I was curious to see all the rumors floating around and was surprised to find the sheer number of blogs and sites that laid out the betting odds on where he'd end up.... Continue reading
Posted May 14, 2010 at Off Court Business
So it hasn't even been three months since the Vancouver Winter Olympics, but news came out today about the Korean Skating Union taking action against their own medal-winning speed skaters. According to The Associated Press, the panel, which includes representatives from the Korean Olympic Committee, announced the suspension of Lee Jung-su and Kwak Yoon-gy from all skating competitions until April 2013. KSU officials alleged that the skaters fixed races during national team tryouts in March for the world short track championships in Bulgaria. The commission's investigation found that the national team coach, Jeon Jae-mok, had coerced Lee to give up... Continue reading
Posted May 6, 2010 at Off Court Business
When it comes to an international superstar like Tiger, it doesn't take much for tones and conversations to shift quickly with time. Even before granting the first two post-crisis interviews and announcing his return to the Masters, the online dialogue surrounding Tiger had already shifted from scandal back to golf. Found two neat visuals on brand associations based on these digital conversations plotted by Nielsen. They're pretty self explanatory, but basically represent tracked and plotted Tiger Woods associations immediately after the incident and then through February and March 2010. Obviously, searches, blogs, and forums consisted mainly of keywords like "car... Continue reading
Posted May 4, 2010 at Off Court Business
It's no secret the horse racing industry here in the United States has had its share of financial issues in light of the downturn. From dwindling states revenues off wagers to the less lucrative investment of raising winning horses, the overall economics of this sporting business can come into question. Race cancellations led to a 1.9% drop in thoroughbred races from 2008 to 2009, according to the Jockey Club. Source: The Jockey Club. Additionally, the "total dollar volume of North American Thoroughbred auction purchases in 2009 fell 32.2% to $659,646,413, the lowest annual total since 1996." Embedded in this figure... Continue reading
Posted May 2, 2010 at Off Court Business
...well at least for the first best-of-seven round in the NBA playoffs. For seasons throughout the past decade, the obvious dichotomy of the league, where a couple teams (namely the Lakers) dominate the path to the championship, contributed to the lack of competitive draw. Over the past 75 regular season games, ESPN averaged 1.5 million viewers, according to Nielsen. This is down 7% from last year. TNT's Thursday night games averaged 1.72 million viewers, up less than 1% from last season. The Playoffs, analysts say, is a chance to up the drama - and thus the fan appeal. But a... Continue reading
Posted Apr 19, 2010 at Off Court Business
Sports Business Research conducts annual surveys on what activities Americans are spending their time on. From walking to full contact football, from alpine skiing to overnight camping, here are some interesting finds as it relates to the boarder economy. On the Rise There's been a general shift toward living a healthier lifestyle. Despite harsh economic times, more and more people are spending time and money to go to the gym. Club workouts have been up year over year, consistent yearly growth. An additional 15 million Americans have active memberships today than in 2000. Aerobics parallel these trends. Snowboarding is also... Continue reading
Posted Apr 9, 2010 at Off Court Business
Later this spring, Gap Inc. will be launching their first sporting apparel store under the name Athleta in Mill Valley, California. Representatives are calling it a prototype to test out the brick and mortar reception within the Strawberry Village Shopping Center. According to SGB, the brand targets "active and stylish women between the ages of 25 to 55 and activities including golf, running, skiing and snowboarding, tennis, and yoga." Gap acquired the name in September 2008, but probably shelved any activity until now due to the economy. This, along with Piperlime, an online store that aggregates the latest in casual... Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2010 at Off Court Business
Sponsors who've stuck by Tiger are gearing up to profit on his return, after over a quarter of inactivity (on the course). Once the highest-earning sponsor-athlete, surpassing $1 billion in endorsement contracts, Tiger has seen that pool of money evaporate as major deals with companies like Accenture and AT&T were one by one rescinded. But, according to Reuters, some are still banking on his strength as an athlete, despite his now (some say irreparably) tarnished personal image. Upper Deck - autographed red shirts priced up to $1,800 Electronic Arts - new browser-based version of Tiger-themed video game due out next... Continue reading
Posted Apr 1, 2010 at Off Court Business
I am probably one of Tiger's last supporters. A few months ago, if you asked me my stance on the whole fiasco, I would have said I hope he never played golf again. As such an international figure, lines on and off the course blur. You can't be the most amazing athlete in your sport but get away with misdeeds in your personal life when brands, fans, and millions of dollars are reliant on your supposedly good name. But with that said, Tiger's 5-minute exclusives with ESPN's Tom Rinaldi and the Golf Channel, while exposing nothing new, was his own... Continue reading
Posted Mar 29, 2010 at Off Court Business
On Thursday, Joseph Abboud and the New York Giants announced a partnership that makes the designer menswear label the official apparel provider of this high profile National Football League team. The three-year deal, worth around $1 million (according to Forbes Sports Money), may not be so much about money changing hands, but rather what many in the media is calling a mutual branding strategy. The agreement includes a Joseph Abboud-named luxury suite at the new stadium, in addition to appearances on all suite level monitors. Already having outfitted a slew of sports broadcasters and NBA coaches and players on the... Continue reading
Posted Mar 26, 2010 at Off Court Business
Cablevision finally managed to rid itself of its longtime "deadweight" stadium business, Madison Square Garden, in a spin-off that took the world-renowned arena public last month. The IPO is happening in an equity market even many stable firms are afraid to dip their toes into give current economic conditions. In a time when corporations are trimming fat back down to core businesses, analyst consensus seems to favor this deal from the giant media-provider's perspective. But what does it mean for the Garden? First, we should know that it's much more than about the Knicks and whether or not they get... Continue reading
Posted Mar 16, 2010 at Off Court Business
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Mar 16, 2010
There are 2,629 athletes representing 82 nations in the XXI Vancouver Olympic Games right now. And with the 86 events in seven sports, we will have crowned 258 competitors by February 28, 2010. For these elite few who managed to cross the finish line just a little faster and jump that half-pipe a little higher, they will have their moment of glory and return home with their priceless medals (well, at least $501-worth of hardware for a gold according to CNBC). But what about the remaining 2,371 participants who, as the cream of the crop of their respective nations, trained... Continue reading
Posted Feb 21, 2010 at Off Court Business
In addition to the somewhat outrageous fashion statements we see in the ice skating rink, snowboarding has emerged as a sport that tests the extreme in style. Burton has been the sport's longtime mainstream outfitter, so it should come as no surprise that the official uniforms of the American (Chinese and Finnish) Olympic snowboarding teams are provided by them as well. Following a tradition of edginess and nonconformity, the faux distressed jean pants will immediately catch your eye. I had to do a double take with the pants - an imitation jean texture intricately lined onto boarding-fitted Gore-tex fabrics. But... Continue reading
Posted Feb 17, 2010 at Off Court Business
With the games around only once every four years, Olympic athletes' time in the limelight is fleeting and always a long time coming for these men and women who undergo years of training for a few seconds of triumph. The 17 days of guts and glory may seem glamorous, but the lives of these competitors are ones of struggle and sacrifice behind the scenes in their three years and three hundred and forty days off the stage. But beyond the priceless medallions and occasional prize money that comes from the competitors' own countries as an incentive to do well, to... Continue reading
Posted Feb 16, 2010 at Off Court Business
The Super Bowl is always a bittersweet event for many across the nation. While it's the culminating event of the season, it also means no more football for seven whole months. So okay, no more football posts for a while, but how can I avoid joining in on the day-after reactions to the much-anticipated advertisements seen yesterday. I think the consensus favorite was Google's "Search On" commercial - a love story told by queries on the mega search engine. While I don't think it needed any advertising to begin with, their creative team stole the show and the 30 seconds... Continue reading
Posted Feb 8, 2010 at Off Court Business
So I thought I'd giving this streaming blog post a try. And figuring there are so many business implications working off so many angles of today's big game, there may be no better event than to sound off on my "Off Court Business" thoughts. So! It's 2:27, let's go LIVE. 2:31 PM - Just finished round one of food - Brazilian cuts of pork, bacon-wrapped turkey, and beef, with a side of fried eggs. Derrick made a Costco trip earlier this morning. Apparently they rejiggered the set-up for today, pushing freezers full of chicken wings and other classic Super Bowl... Continue reading
Posted Feb 7, 2010 at Off Court Business
Super Bowl week has been filled with Peyton Manning and Drew Brees statistics of the past season - yards thrown, interceptions, touchdowns. Analysts have reflected on their careers thus far, what wins would mean for their careers going forward, and the many factors that will impact their performance during the big game. In line with the spirit of this head-to-head battle, let's see how these two superstar quarterbacks stack up against one another off the field. So Peyton wins on the media, marketability front. With three more years under his belt than Brees, who entered the NFL in 2001 as... Continue reading
Posted Feb 7, 2010 at Off Court Business
So I had broken down the ad categories of Super Bowl 2009 in one of my September posts as applications for this year's 30-second slots were streaming in to CBS. Promising to revisit the topic, I don't think we ever anticipated the current level of controversy these ad spaces have garnered. Not having sold out its 60-something spots until yesterday, CBS has received much attention over who they've elected to air and reject in light of struggling sales. On CNBC, Darren Rovell gives us a peak into two ads that missed the cut - Mancrunch and GoDaddy. But what heightens... Continue reading
Posted Feb 2, 2010 at Off Court Business
CBS announced today that its 62 (actually ended up closer to 70) 30-second ad slots have sold out, topping at $30 million a piece. But the economics of the biggest game of the year has much boarder financial implications than for the lucky network that televises it. So who else banks on this national tradition? Nielsen released its consumer survey results today with the following interesting finds. 1) Only 3% of viewers plan on watching at a bar. An overwhelming majority voiced their intent to stay in the comfort of a home - 14% at a friend's place and 77%... Continue reading
Posted Feb 1, 2010 at Off Court Business
At the heel of the whirlwind fiasco that was Tiger Woods, comes a silver lining in the form of a business venture borne by the women who have just had enough of pro athlete infidelity. Sure it's old news, almost given in this day and age, that athletes commit some form of adultery, whether it be occasionally on the road or rooted in their celebrity lifestyle. So Off the Market (OTM) was established, taking on the daunting task of what is euphemistically described as "enriching the lives of couples." Their mission is to help pro athletes build "healthy, sexy" relationships... Continue reading
Posted Jan 29, 2010 at Off Court Business
Today, BusinessWeek released its special report of their 2010 Power 100 - the top hundred most powerful athletes in terms of performance on the court and influence beyond it. This means these are players who have not only become recognized in households throughout America due to their athletic talent, but have marketable enough personalities to transcend their sport and become a brand in and of him/herself. The methodology behind setting this list is described in the article, but roughly, combines the scores of on-court presence and five off-court metrics - endorsement income, awareness, trustworthiness, appeal, and influence. Here's are a... Continue reading
Posted Jan 27, 2010 at Off Court Business
At the rate of these companies are going under, I wouldn't put my name on a stadium even if I could afford it. Okay, maybe I would, but from the creative slideshow folks at is this non-exhaustive list of failed naming rights ventures. While the correlation of institutions who procured these rights and their subsequent demise is not necessarily causation, this so-called "Stadium Curse," may heed a warning to businesses that too-eagerly dive into sporting deals for the glitz and glamor during booms. From airlines and banks to telecoms and beverage-makers, many of these companies' managers reason that sticking... Continue reading
Posted Jan 26, 2010 at Off Court Business
Just wanted to follow up on a previous entry - When Fantasy Meets Reality - noting the struggle between one's loyalty to the actual game and devotion to a fantasy team. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I feel we're seeing a sudden surge in Fantasy fanaticism, from the FX network's new series, The League, to web-episodes from "Fantasy Over Reality." Both attempt to capture the exciting, and sometimes humorous actions fantasy players take in the quest to win their leagues. And while this is undoubtedly meant to entertain, one might ask if it's subtly mocking those who have fallen... Continue reading
Posted Dec 11, 2009 at Off Court Business
Advancements in any industry, any function throughout history have at the core of it the improvement of information flow. Railways could only be built as couriers relayed memos on horseback from one site to another. The stock market is only as efficient as the movement of information between its participants. Now, Nando Di Fino of the Wall Street Journal speaks to the game-altering impact that a little something called Twitter is having on fantasy football. The viral nature of this social medium has been upping the fantasy playing field, relaying injury reports, rankings, start'em/sit'em advice, and game-time news quicker and... Continue reading
Posted Dec 6, 2009 at Off Court Business