Tidbits, Thoughts & Tips from our Publisher…
The first of what will be regular musings consisting of news, notes and quick hits from around sports.
Our first fanless Fan Cost Index®
It only took 30 years, but we have our first 2020 MLB Fan Cost Index® looking at…no fans. WHAT? Yep, we look at what the 2020 MLB season was shaping up to look like under “normal” (pre-pandemic) circumstances. Hint: strong economy had MLB FCI® up 3.2% to $242.02.
This time we also dive into gross gameday fan revenues for some perspective on what kind of money is left on the table for each fanless game. See how we come up with a hit of more than $5 billion for MLB teams.
Opening Night fan highlight
Our most anticipated MLB debut? Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director, National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Disease throwing out first pitch of Nationals game. The native New Yorker, one-time college hoops dime dropper and unabashed fan of the Washington Nationals was selected to toss out the first pitch of the pandemic-shortened MLB season. It did not go so well…
Don’t quit the day job. No. Really. We need you at your day job. pic.twitter.com/Tj4CLzNpg2
— Ina Fried (@inafried) July 23, 2020
Bratwurst, Hot Dog, Polish, Italian and Chorizo: essential sausages
The Milwaukee Brewers have deemed Bratwurst, Hot Dog, Polish, Italian and Chorizo “essential sausages”! The world famous Johnsonville Famous Racing Sausages®—yes, the Brewers wisely registered the “Famous Racing Sausages” IP—will hit the road this season, showing up at a variety of “surprise locations throughout the Milwaukee-area to stage the cherished 6th inning tradition.”
During to be announced home game dates, the five encased meats will race from different, unique locations and be shown live on the Miller Park scoreboard and via Brewers social media. In a fancentric move, Fans can submit location suggestions through next Fri, Jul 31.
Will sportsbooks offer lines? If so, keep in mind Polish Sausage won bragging rights for 2019 season with 21 wins.
Best seats in the (pent)house
The Wrigley rooftops are always a great place to watch the Cubs play, but they definitely have to be at the top of the best MLB seats in 2020. Elsewhere, you can peer into ballparks such as Petco Park from some San Diego high-rise condos, Oracle Park where you can buy a penthouse listed for “only” $5.3 million or get yourself one of these D.C. balconies just outside Nationals Park…
Best seats not in the house. pic.twitter.com/lyzolsqtp1
— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) July 18, 2020
Two team launches
RELEASE THE KRAKEN! Great job by the NHL Seattle crew building up and launching their team name and colors yesterday (Jul 23). The NHL’s 32nd team, which begins play in 2021, will be called the Seattle Kraken. Their teaser videos, livestreamed launch event and then 5+ hours of digital content including breaking down the name and branding with two adidas execs, Nic Corbett, Director, NHL, and Matty Merrill, Director, Design are sure to please hockey heads throughout the Pacific Northwest. And in an extra fancentric move, team CEO Tod Leiweke announced 100 percent of the proceeds from the team’s new merchandise—with the sweet URL ReleaseTheKrakenStore.com—will go to team community partners YouthCare, Community Passageways and the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle through Aug 21.
Crown me? Unfortunately, not so great job by MLS Charlotte on Wednesday, Jul 22. The team will be known as Charlotte FC (for Charlotte Football Club) with CLTFC as a secondary reference. The crest—and its “Minted 2022″ language—”is inspired by a classical coin, recognizing the city’s modern status as a major U.S. financial capital as well as its history as the first American city with its own branch of the U.S. Mint.”
Their launch announcement “hype video” is certainly well done, but truly pales in comparison to the Kraken unveil, lacking storytelling, any explanation of the “Minted” use and no calls to action for merch or tickets. The 30th MLS team begins play in 2022 (which was pushed back a year by MLS a week ago, along with St. Louis and Sacramento both pushed to 2023, in case you missed that news).
It’s summed up pretty well by the two teams choices of colors. Charlotte will use four primary colors: Carolina blue, black, silver and white. Nice enough (and an obvious crossover with owner David Tepper‘s NFL team and fellow Bank of America Stadium tenant Carolina Panthers), but Seattle is going with Deep Sea Blue, Boundless Blue, Ice Blue, Shadow Blue and Red Alert. Which one do you think has more input from storytellers?
YEEHAW! Lax is lax
Also on Wednesday, Jul 22—turned out it was a fairly busy week for new teams—the NLL unveiled its next expansion franchise. The indoor lacrosse league’s 14th team has been awarded to Fort Worth, Texas, marking the NLL’s first Texas franchise. Ownership brings success from the WNBA‘s Dallas Wings with Bill Cameron as majority owner and Greg Bibb as Managing Partner. The NLL’s first Texas-based team will play at Fort Worth’s brand spanking new Dickies Arena with the 2021-22 season.
As I listened in to the start of the NLL’s teleconference announcement, I was pondering how the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex market and demographics could fit with the NLL’s other 13 teams, all of which all based in the Northeast U.S. or Canada. Images of trying to explain lacrosse to the cowpokes out on the range, all decked out in their 10-gallon hats and fringed chaps astride their trusted steeds filled my head…until Commissioner Nick Sakiewicz‘s and his welcome message snapped me out of my stereotyping.
Sakiewicz believes that to “unlock the league’s potential, it’s all about having the right owners in the right arenas in the right markets.” With the Metroplex a top five market in terms of population, TV market, GDP and Fortune 500 headquarters, plus a growing lacrosse community. Why wouldn’t you want a team there?
Then Cameron, the CEO & Chair of Oklahoma City-based American Fidelity Assurance Company, tossed out something during a pause between questions that struck me once again in my stereotyping head: “One thing that [Calgary Roughnecks‘ VP and Alternate Governor] Mike Moore and I have corresponded this morning, we’re already looking forward to some Fort Worth-Calgary competition. We’re both pretty Western-focused cities.”
Cameron and Bibb can only hope to replicate Calgary’s success. Anyone would take their average attendance of 12,500+ the last two seasons.
And this northerner learned to stop thinking of either city as a “cow town.”
As always, we work to track sponsorship announcements and front office movement on our ROSTER MOVES page. Make sure you check it out and if you have a nugget to add, shoot them over to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SportsSponsor FactBook Updates
Have you viewed our SportsSponsor FactBook recently? TMR MVPs and All-Stars have access to the thousands of team, brand, league, property, agency, supplier and governing body profiles.
If your place of business needs an update, or you’re interested in more details before grabbing a paid membership, let us know at email@example.com.
Not so deep thoughts…
And finally, will leave you with the best (sportsbiz-related) laugh this week on social media:
If a cardboard cutout proposes on the Jumbotron, I’m out
— Jessica Kleinschmidt (@KleinschmidtJD) July 23, 2020
Stay fancentric friends!