SBJ Morning Buzzcast

SBJ Morning Buzzcast: August 2, 2022

Episode Summary

The legacy of Euro '22; Bay state becomes 31st to get in the sports betting game; PGA Tour builds up purses in new schedule; why Prime was smart with Dude Perfect; and three people to watch.

Episode Transcription

Who will be buyers? Who will be sellers? Today should be a frenetic day as MLB's trading deadline is 6:00 PM Eastern Time, Tuesday, tonight. A lot of big names on the market, like Juan Soto, and some major market teams, like those in New York, Houston, and LA, that should be or could be buyers, and other major market teams, like Boston, that could be sellers. Should be an interesting watch. Also, the NFL has until Thursday to decide whether it should appeal a judge's decision to suspend Deshaun Watson for six games, and whether it should be commissioner, Roger Goodell, or a designee appointed by him hearing the appeal. The NFL has until Thursday to make that decision. This is your Morning Buzzcast for Tuesday, August 2nd. Good morning. I'm Abe Madkour. Hope everybody is doing well.

Let's not underestimate the impact of England's win over Germany in Sunday's Euro 2022 women's final. It could be a pivotal moment in the growth of women's sports and especially women's soccer. You've likely seen the images as thousands gathered in London's Trafalgar Square to celebrate on Monday, and early research from Ipsos shows that after the event, 44% of British people are now more interested in watching women's soccer in the future.

It's been very impressive to see the gains in women's soccer in the UK over the years. Longtime soccer follower, Grant Wahl, compared Sunday's final to the 1999 Women's World Cup final, where the US Women's National Team won. He believes it could be a transcendent moment culturally, not just in sports, but in terms of what it symbolized.

Sunday's match was also widely watched. It was watched by a record 17.4 million on the BBC, becoming the most watched women's soccer game ever shown on UK television. It was also the most watched TV program in England this year. Here are some interesting numbers to indicate the changing times. When the England women's team reached the final in 2009, it was watched by 1.4 million viewers, Sunday, 17.4 million viewers. So all you do is have to look at that figure and just see the rising tide around women's sports and women's soccer particularly. Again, a long-tail impact for England's win over Germany in Sunday's Euro '22 final.

In one of the smartest stories I've read in a long time, Amazon is really trying to do something new and innovative around Dude Perfect. I saw Dude Perfect this year at the Masters. Remember how bold Augusta National was in allowing that sport's group, that tandem, to film on the hollowed grounds of Augusta? Well, Amazon is taking a new approach to its Thursday Night Football coverage and will be introducing alternative broadcasts and feeds of the exclusive coverage.

So it's signed Dude Perfect. That's the sports comedy group, very talented at performing trick shots and challenges. Dude Perfect will host one of those Thursday Night Football feeds. Yes, you'll have Al Michaels anchoring with Kirk Herbstreit, the main feed, but the Dude Perfect alternate stream will appear a number of times throughout this upcoming season. They will broadcast the feed from Dude Perfect Studio in Texas, but one of the team's members will work the sidelines of each game. Now, Amazon Prime Video is also planning to offer different simultaneous feeds. So it'll be interesting to see what else they come up with. I just love this story because Dude Perfect has an amazingly powerful, passionate and young unique audience, which all sports and all broadcasters should really try to tap into. And it just feels different. So a very interesting and, I think, smart move by Amazon around its Thursday Night Football coverage.

It seems every day we have some news around golf. Well, today is no different. LIV Golf CEO, Greg Norman, was interviewed by Fox News's Tucker Carlson last night. Norman said that Tiger Woods turned down an offer that was somewhere in the neighborhood of $700 to $800 million to take part in the LIV Golf series. Speaking of money, the PGA Tour released its schedule for the 2022/23 season. Many will say it is a clear response to LIV Golf, as you are seeing, yes, more money. The bottom line is next year's schedule will feature 47 tournaments, including 44 regular season events, three FedEx Cup playoff events. It includes record prize money. Yes, the tour has increased prize money to a record of nearly $430 million in official events and another $145 million in bonuses. So you're seeing increases across the board. The increase, of course, comes as the PGA Tour faces that direct competitor in LIV Golf which has secured a number of golfers with substantial signing bonuses and purses. Again, it's coming down to money in a lot of cases.

Let's move on to sports betting. Massachusetts is set to join the sports betting world after the state legislature approved licensed sportsbooks in the state to offer wagering on professional and amateur sports. There are some restrictions. Massachusetts governor, Charlie Baker, he is supportive of the bill. He has 10 days to sign the bill that was passed. The bill looks like many other states'. It allows betting on events involving in-state colleges like BU or BC only when the teams are taking part in a collegiate tournament. One element we've talked a lot about on the Buzzcast is retail sportsbooks. While sportsbooks at TD Garden or Gillette Stadium or Fenway Park were discussed, they are not included in this initial bill. But certainly the teams in the states are very pleased about this legislation. Massachusetts will become the 31st state to launch legal sports betting since the 2018 Supreme Court ruling.

Let's end the Buzzcast around some promotions and hirings of note. First, the USTA named Kirsten Corio as its new Chief Commercial Officer. Corio has been with the USTA for six years on the business side. She is an SBJ Game Changer in 2017. She spent nearly 15 years with the NBA's team BO division before joining the USTA in 2016. In her new chief commercial officer role, she'll report to Chief Executive of Professional Tennis, Stacey Allaster, and she'll oversee the USTA's entire business operations division, and really focus on US Open revenue growth and business strategy. Kirsten Corio, well respected throughout sports, really understands the commercial side of sports and the drivers of growth. So she gets promoted at the USTA.

We're seeing more and more emphasis understandably on people and culture within organizations. The PAC-12 named veteran sports executive, Quashan Lockett, for the newly created position of Chief People and Inclusion Officer. Lockett will report directly to PAC-12 commissioner, George Kliavkoff. He'll serve on the PAC-12 leadership team. He was most recently head of HR for On Location, and prior to that, he was at Legends. So Quashan Lockett now joins the PAC-12.

Congratulations to Forty Under 40 honoree from 2017, Bill Fagan, as The Aspire Group promoted Fagan to president and CEO of that college sales and consulting agency. Fagan's been a real driver of growth at The Aspire Group. He has been there for more than 13 years. Now promoted formally to president and CEO of The Aspire Group. So congratulations to all three of those individuals.

That is your Morning Buzzcast for Tuesday, August 2nd. I'm Abe Madkour. Thanks for listening. Till I speak to you tomorrow, stay healthy, be good to each other. I'll chat with you on Wednesday.