Vikings sold 800 season tickets in the 48 hours after Brett Favre announced he was returning. No word, though, if fans have changed their minds and returned their tickets.
Want one reason for a possible NFL labor war: guaranteed money going to first round NFL picks rose 8.5% to $452 million. Hello Jamarcus Russell.
Look for changes to NHL.com and the NHL Network. The NHL has hired Charles Coplin, formerly with the NFL, to strengthen its media operations, which includes TV, digital and mobile media. You should be seeing more original content on the NHL Network and website. Coplin also wants the network to compete with other networks for content, much like the NFL Network does. The NHL is now in charge of programming content for the NHL Network, formerly handled by CTV/TSN.
Sprinter Usain Bolt has reportedly signed a $10 million a year deal with Puma through 2013. Biggest deal ever signed by a track and field athlete. Unclear if Bolt, who usually runs away with races, will stop at the 80 metre mark to showcase the shoes before resuming the race.
CBS is working to extend its television deal with the U.S. Open Tennis Championship. The deal, which expires after the 2011 U.S. Open, should be worth about $21 million per year. CBS is looking to get more favourable relief in case of rainouts. The last 2 men’s finals were pushed back from Sunday afternoon to Monday afternoon, which resulted in far lower ratings. Want something to play during rainouts? Look no further than Blake/Agassi classic in 2005.
In both 2008 and 2009, the U.S Open made in excess of $200 million in revenue, and in 2009 set an attendance record of 721,059.
Adidas has extended its deal with MLS as official athletic sponsor through to 2018. The deal is valued at $200 million. The deal, worth $25 million annually, extends the current 10 year deal signed in 2004 for $150 million. The Adidas/MLS partnership has been productive. Since 2005, MLS merchandise sales have increased 600% to $300 million a year. Signing elite players like David Beckham and Thierry Henry has helped with the bottom line for all involved. As part of its branding strategy, Adidas will also play integral part in soccer youth development.
The Minnesota Twins have seen the highest increase in attendance over the last year, with a 35% jump in attendance. That’s 20% better than the second place team, the Rockies. Biggest losers? Indians (20% drop), followed by the Orioles and Mets (both at 14%).
MLB is going yard. Teams are licensing the use of their marks to fans who want to dress up their lawns with their team logo. Fans get a kit, including spray paint and an outline of the logo. Word is the spray paint is good for 4 applications, which should cover even the most fair-weather fan.