Saturday, April 30, 2011

Happening This Weekend in Philadelphia

Today is going to be quite the day here in Philadelphia, with sporting events of all shapes and sizes taking place. Tomorrow is going to have no shortage, either. Hopefully you're able to take part in at least one of this weekend's many happenings, so here's a rundown of what's going on in our beautiful city:

Broad Street Run- some of the city's finest runners will take to Broad Street for a 10-mile run, sponsored by Blue Cross.
Time: All Day Sunday
Place: Broad Street

Penn Relays- the last day of the most historic track event in our country will take place in our very own University City (and Drexel SMTSU's Kevin Giordano will be there running the show. Say HI if you see him!).
Time: All Day Today
Place: Franklin Field

Phillies vs. Mets- two nationally televised ballgames taking place down at the Bank, headlined by Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee.
Time: 1 PM today, 8 PM Sunday
Place: Citizens Bank Park

Flyers vs. Bruins- a rematch of one of the most memorable playoff series this city will ever remember, taking place just one year later. I don't think the Bruins have forgotten yet either. Game 1 of the series begins this weekend.
Time: 3 PM today
Place: Wells Fargo Center

Union vs. Earthquakes- PPL Park should be rocking as usual, as the Earthquakes head down to take on our boys in Blue and Gold. Come on The U!
Time: 4 PM today
Place: PPL Park

-Written by Dan Mullin

Thursday, April 28, 2011

2011 NFL Draft

The 2011 NFL Draft will have a record 25 prospects in attendance anxiously waiting to hear Commissioner Roger Goodell call their name.  Usually these prospects are sure top fifteen picks, you know, guys who will be selected when Goodell is still announcing the names.  This year’s draft will feature prospects attending the draft that aren’t even projected to go in the first round.  Guys like Kentucky wide receiver Randall Cobb and Virginia Tech running back Ryan Williams will be attending this year’s draft, but they definitely won’t be greeted by Roger Goodell when they are chosen.  In years past, we have been shocked to see guys like Aaron Rodgers and Brady Quinn still sitting in the green room after the top 20 picks have been announced. 
The 25 players attending the 2011 NFL Draft:
Prince Amukamara – CB – Nebraska
Akeem Ayers – OLB – UCLA
Adrian Clayborn – DE – Iowa
Randall Cobb – WR – Kentucky
Marcell Dareus – DT – Alabama
Nick Fairley – DT – Auburn
Blaine Gabbert – QB – Missouri
A.J. Green – WR – Georgia
Mark Herzlich – LB – Boston College
Mark Ingram – RB – Alabama
Cameron Jones – DE – Cal
Julio Jones – WR – Alabama
Ryan Kerrigan – DE – Purdue
Corey Liuget – DT – Illinois
Von Miller – OLB – Texas A&M
Rahim Moore – FS – UCLA
Scam Newtown – QB – Auburn
Patrick Peterson – CB – LSU
Mike Pouncey – C/G – Florida
Aldon Smith – DE – Missouri
Tyron Smith – T – USC
Phil Taylor – NT – Baylor
Danny Watkins – G/T – Baylor
J.J. Watt – DE – Wisconsin
Ryan Williams – RB – Virginia Tech

 Could you imagine being a prospect attending the NFL Draft on draft day?  You are sitting there at a table filled with your closest friends, family, your agent, and your cell phone.  All you can do is wait for that cell phone to ring.  You and your table full of people are sitting in the green room full of 24 other tables waiting and waiting just like you.  The tension in the room is unbearable.  Every guy in the room wants to be the next guy chosen.  Nobody wants to be the last guy left in the room.  Every time you look around the room you see college All-Americans, the best of the best.  You are continuously measuring yourself up against every guy in the room.  Doubt fills your mind.  Why didn’t I just stay home and watch this on TV with my family to avoid the embarrassment?  Why did I put up with all the media hype just to be here?  The few hours you spend in the green room feel longer than your entire college football career felt.

Ah yes, the tough life of being an NFL Draft prospect waiting to sign that multi-million dollar contract.  This year could be different though.  With the lockout situation and no CBA, these guys are being drafted into a world of questions and unknown.  Maybe a lot of them won’t become instant multi-millionaires if the new CBA includes a rookie pay scale.  Maybe these guys won’t even get to play football for a full year if the lockout continues.  The 2011 NFL Draft attendees may have some different questions on their minds.  Instead of wondering how big their signing bonus will be, this group of players will be wondering when their careers will even begin. 

Tune into the 2011 NFL Draft:
Round 1 – Thursday 4/28 – 8pm – ESPN
Rounds 2 and 4 – Friday 4/29 – 6pm – ESPN

Rounds 4-7 – Saturday 4/30 – Noon – ESPN

-Written by Kevin Rossi

The Decline of Title IX

Title IX is a United States Amendment from 1972 that fueled the women’s rights movement and today it prevents gender discrimination in high school and college athletics. Or that’s what it’s intended for. Throughout the nation, mostly at colleges and universities, athletic departments are finding loopholes to Title IX. It seems either these highly trained and knowledgeable administrators are blatantly breaking the law, or they just can’t count.

The Women’s Cross Country team at the University of South Florida has been counting their female athletes not only on the cross-country team, but also the indoor and outdoor track team (whether they have ever competed for those teams or not).

At Cornell, the Women’s Fencing team has been reporting their male practice players as female athletes. This is common all across the country as male practice players are seen in women’s basketball, crew, and hockey which leads us to believe that the improper mathematic abilities of athletic departments is an epidemic.

Schools are using these tactics to prevent having to make cuts from their men’s teams or even dipping into their budgets to fund an entirely new women’s team. Even with the unethical practices, the average proportion of female enrollment is 7% more than the average involvement in athletics. As athletic departments continue adding football programs or creating additional roster space on their current football teams, this problem will persist. Universities have to compensate somehow with the large men’s sports programs by cutting, manipulating, or miscalculating their female athletes. 

-Written by Hayley Zedeck

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Phillies Finding New Ways to "Engage" Sponsors

Sports properties are always looking for clever ways to "engage" their sponsors, and the Phillies recently found and innovative approach by partnering with Benari Jewelers to sponsor proposals down at Citizens Bank Park. Via, "the sponsorship will run together with the Phillies’ specially priced engagement packages, which include a live broadcast of the proposal on the video screens at Citizens Bank Park, four complimentary tickets, a champagne toast and a commemorative DVD." Clever.

From a sports business perspective, great stuff from the Phils. We see proposals take place at sporting events all the time, and it's about time someone decided to really capitalize on it. I personally would probably not be able to take advantage of this deal because my girlfriend has told me on numerous occasions that if I propose at a Phillies game (she knows me too well), she will not only say no, but also rip my head off.

Hat tip to via

-Written by Dan Mullin

Launch of the Sports Industry Ambassadors Program (SIAP)

PHILADELPHIA, PA: The Sport Management Student Union (SMTSU) at Drexel University announced today the launch of their new community service initiative, the Sports Industry Ambassadors Program (SIAP).

As part of the program, SMTSU officers and members will be educating local Philadelphia middle and high school students about the benefits of working within the sports industry. The goal is to introduce the sport management industry to inner-city students while encouraging students to graduate high school and continue their studies in order to achieve their professional goals.

The Sport Management Student Union recently teamed up with Overbrook High School as the first school to participate in the program. On Tuesday, May 3rd, approximately sixty 11th and 12th grade students from the local high school will come to Drexel University to tour campus and take part in an informative presentation about working in sports. Additionally, select SMTSU officers and members will make the short trip to Overbrook High School on Thursday, May 5th to meet with 9th grade student and discuss the field of sport management.

SMTSU Faculty Advisor Jen Valore commented on the launch of SIAP. "The SMTSU seeks to make an impact on the Philadelphia community through sport and thus created and launched the SIAP initiative in an attempt to achieve this goal. As a community-focused program the SIAP will allow Drexel students to not only give back to their community but also potentially make a significant impact on the lives of high school students in the city of Philadelphia."

SIAP intends to expand the program by engaging other Philadelphia area schools in the near future. For inquries about the Sports Industry Ambassadors Program, please email the Sport Management Student Union at

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Best Eleven- 2010 MLS and English League Attendance Comparison

Soccer awareness in the United States and support of Major League Soccer continues to grow each year. The rise in American soccer fandom is highlighted in this simple juxtaposition, brought to you by Two thoughts: it's great to see the Union up there close to the likes of Bolton Wanderers FC, and what a job Seattle has done building that rabid fan base.

MLS and English Clubs with similar average league attendance in the 2009/2010 season.

36,173 - Seattle Sounders
Everton, 36,725

21,473 - Los Angeles Galaxy
Bolton Wanderers, 21,881

20,453 - Toronto FC
Burnley, 20,654
Ipswich Town, 20,841
Cardiff City, 20,717
Southampton FC, 20,982

19,252 - Philadelphia Union
Middlesbrough FC, 19,948

18,441 - New York Red Bulls
Portsmouth FC, 18,249
Wigan Athletic, 18,006

17,000+ - Houston Dynamo and Real Salt Lake
Reading FC, 17,408
Coventry City, 17,305
Charlton Athletic, 17,606

15,814 - Chicago Fire
Swansea City, 15,407

14,000+ - Columbus Crew, Chivas USA, and DC United
Crystal Palace FC, 14,771
Bristol City FC, 14,601
Watford, 14,345
Huddersfield Town, 14,381

13,329 - Colorado Rapids
Queens Park Rangers, 13,349

12,987 - New England Revolution
Barnsley FC, 12,964
Preston North End, 12,935

≈10,000+ - FC Dallas, Kansas City Wizards, San Jose Earthquakes
Doncaster Rovers, 10,992
Plymouth Argyle, 10,316
Millwall, 10,835
Milton Keynes Dons, 10,290

MLS numbers from TheOffside-MLS
English numbers from European Football Statistics

-Written by Dan Mullin

Wharton Sports Innovation Conference 2011

On Friday, April 8 2011, Wharton's Sports Business Initiative played host to the 2011 Wharton Sports Innovation Conference, which featured panel discussions and keynote speeches from some of the most innovative and forward-thinking professionals in the industry. 

Highlights of the conference included discussions on breaking into the sports industry as a young professional, using sports to promote social change, and the impact of cloud computing on the sports industry. Some of the other topics covered by the day's panels were innovations in ticketing and the dynamic atmosphere of secondary ticket markets, ESPN's "brand health narrative", and the future of sports analytics. 

Some of the biggest names in the industry made appearances, including a memorable keynote speech from Ted Leonsis, founder and CEO of Monumental Sports and Entertainment. Leonsis reflected on his past endeavors with AOL and SnagFilms, and his current role on the respective boards of American Express and GroupOn. His experience in such a vast array of industries allowed him to expand on the type of thinking that it takes to remain on the innovative forefront. 

Following Leonsis' speech was an "Owner's Roundtable", featuring Chuck Greenberg of the Texas Rangers, Nick Sakiewicz of the Philadelphia Union, and Stu Siegel of the Florida Panthers. 

The afternoon was wrapped up with another panel discussion and Q&A session featuring the Eagles' Joe Banner, former President of the Washington National Stan Kasten, Executive Vice President and COO of Minor League Baseball Tim Purpurra, and Jason Levian, President and Founder of LSRI.

The day's star-studded lineup allowed for industry professionals of all ages to enjoy insights on how to think creatively to find new revenue streams and create a more dynamic business. If you're in the area and have a chance to attend next year, don't pass it up.

-Written by Dan Mullin

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Anniversary of Pat Tillman’s Death

Last Friday, April 22nd, marked the 7 year anniversary of Pat Tillman’s death.  Every anniversary brings about stories of a hero and his selfless act.  Unfortunately the storyline that dominates the anniversary is the controversy surrounding Tillman’s death.

Pat Tillman was on the verge of becoming an elite safety in the NFL for the Arizona Cardinals.  Pat Tillman was on the verge of signing a multi-million dollar contract.  Pat Tillman was going to be a star, a household name.  That was all until he made a decision bigger than any decision LeBron James could ever make, and Tillman didn’t even have his decision televised.

Pat Tillman turned down stardom to join the U.S. Marines.  He always had the military on his mind.  He never let his likely rise to fame get in his way.  His mind was set.

Unfortunately, Pat Tillman’s death has tarnished the hero status he deserves.  Clouded by the friendly fire that resulted in his death and the military cover-up that quickly ensued, Pat Tillman did become a household name, but for all the wrong reasons. 

His legacy is never forgotten.  His story is never forgotten.  The National Football League needs more players like him.  Everybody in the National Football League should act more like him.  The world needs more people like Pat Tillman.
-Written by Kevin Rossi

HIO: Many Questions about Thursday's NFL Draft

In all of the talk about the NFL's labor scuffle, it is possible the NFL Draft fell under your radar. If not, then you are probably looking forward to Thursday when the draft will be held in primetime for only the second year.
Due to the labor impasse, franchises will be allowed to trade this year's and future draft picks but they will not be allowed to involve any players in trades. This could cause a minor hit to the excitement of the draft.

The main draw of the draft is the possibility of what could happen. Could my team possibly trade up and take one of the top-rated prospects? Who is my team going to take? Both of those questions harp on the possibility and uncertainty surrounding the draft, which makes watching it fun for die-hard football fans.

While that sentiment has held true in prior drafts, will this one be the same? Analysts and those close to the negotiations have said there will be football this year, but no one knows when a deal will be reached and how close to the start of the season that will be. With the current lockout, will avid football fans choose not to watch the draft due to the labor issue?

Roger Goodell, NFL Commish
(Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

Lots of questions, which hopefully will be answered when the draft's final ratings are released. One thing is for sure, Roger Goodell better be prepared to hear the boos when he walks accross the stage in New York City to welcome fans and announce that the Carolina Panthers are on the clock. Be prepared Roger, the boo-boys will be there in force and they are not going to be happy.

In addition to serving as President of the Sport Management Student Union (SMTSU), Kevin Giordano is a sophomore Sport Management major at Drexel University with industry experience working in men's and women's professional soccer and collegiate athletics. To contact or connect with Kevin, you can follow him on Twitter (@KevinGiordano) or connect with him here on LinkedIn.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Another Step Backwards for the Dodgers

The Los Angeles Dodgers’ 2011 season started off on a bad note when fan, Bryan Stow, was attacked in the parking lot after a game in the team’s opening series against their rival San Francisco Giants.  Bryan Stow is still in the hospital today, nearly a month after the brutal attack.

On Wednesday, the Dodgers’ organization took yet another step backwards when Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig appointed a representative to oversee the teams financial and day-to-day operations.  The once storied MLB franchise is now as mediocre in the front office as they are on the field.

The downfall began in October of 2009 when owners Frank and Jamie McCourt filed for divorce.  Each was a 50% owner of the team and each held a major front office position.  When the marital dispute began, Frank fired Jamie from her position.  Business began to slip.  The product on the field began to slip.  The Dodgers became known as the team that was close to making the playoffs but never made a trade deadline move to take the next step.  The divorce took its toll on the entire organization. 

The Dodgers were virtually nonexistent in the offseason free agent scene this year.  The once big spending Dodgers have now seen their payroll drop in back-to-back seasons putting them 12th out of 30 teams entering the 2011 season.  To make matters worse, after seeking a $200 million loan last summer, Frank McCourt is now seeking a $30 million loan from FOX.  Maybe all these loans are to build a new stadium for the team?  Nope, the team has been playing in Chavez Ravine since 1962.  Maybe all these loans are for new marketing initiatives to attract new fans?  Nope, the team’s average attendance has dropped below 40,000 this season, an 11% decrease from last season.  The Dodgers are seeking their latest loan of $30 million dollars simply to make payroll.

Seeking loans is exactly what drove Commissioner Bud Selig to appoint a representative to oversee operations.  There are some interesting candidates to become the Dodgers’ overseer.  One candidate is Peter O’Malley; Peter’s father, Walter O’Malley, was a beloved owner of the Dodgers before his death.  Another candidate is Stan Kasten who is a former CEO of the Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals with a strong friendship with Commissioner Selig.  Perhaps the most intriguing candidate is Joe Torre.  Joe Torre was the manager of the Dodgers through the end of last season and is now working in the commissioner’s office.

The Los Angeles Dodgers have not won a World Series since 1988.  Their former players include a bunch of Hall of Famers and Major League Baseball icons.  The organization is now being run into the ground.  Hopefully Bud Selig’s move can right the ship and turn the Dodgers toward becoming an elite National League ball club once again.

-Written by Kevin Rossi

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

National Football League Releases 2011-2012 Schedule

The National Football League announced their schedule for the upcoming 2011-2012 season on Tuesday.  If the season goes on as planned, there looks to be a lot exciting games. 

Week 1 – New Orleans Saints at Green Bay Packers

Assuming the 2011-2012 NFL season starts on time or starts at all, the Super Bowl XLIV champion New Orleans Saints will take a trip north to historic Lambeau Field to take on the defending champion Green Bay Packers.  The battle of quarterbacks Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers will be the first game of the year on Thursday September 8th.

 Week 1 – New York Giants at Washington Redskins

This match-up have the New York Giants travelling to our nation’s capital in the first of the two New York teams playing on the 10 year anniversary of 9-11.  Eli Manning and the Giants will be looking to take a step up to join the NFC elite, while deep pocketed Redskins look to find their identity in what looks to be a tough NFC East.

Week 1 – Dallas Cowboys at New York Jets

The first Sunday Night Football game of the season will be played on Sunday, September 11th, the 10 year anniversary of 9-11.  Fittingly the New York Jets will be hosting America’s team, the Dallas Cowboys.  The game will mark the first full season of the Jason Garrett era and the Jets looking to shed the label of being the team that always comes up short.  The NFL really got the two 9-11 games right.

Week 2 – Philadelphia Eagles at Atlanta Falcons

On September 18th Eagles’ quarterback Mike Vick will make another return to Atlanta.  Although the Falcons have found their franchise savior in quarterback Matt Ryan, something tells me that they haven’t forgotten about Vick.  It should be a great match-up between two NFC elite teams.

Week 12 – San Francisco 49er’s at Baltimore Ravens

An intriguing Thanksgiving night match-up that will have head coach Jim Harbaugh and his 49er’s visiting the Baltimore Ravens and Jim’s brother/opposing head coach John Harbaugh.  The Ravens will be looking to take the next step to become a great team, while the 49er’s will be looking to live up to the expectations they had going into last season.

Week 12 – Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions and Miami Dolphins at Dallas Cowboys

It is un-American to not be watching football on Thanksgiving Day, so for those of you Americans tuning into Fox and CBS on November 24th, here is your schedule.  The defending champion Green Bay Packers make the short trip to Ford Field in Detroit to play a Lions team that is looking up in 2011-2012.  Although the Miami Dolphins are trying to iron out their situation at quarterback, they draw a Thanksgiving Day match-up against a Dallas Cowboys team with big expectations.

Week 16 – Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants at New York Jets

Christmas Eve has a good looking slate of games.  The Miami Dolphins swim out of their warm weather up to a chilly Foxborough to face Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.  The Philadelphia Eagles go to the “House that Jerry Built” in a game that could have major NFC East playoff implications.  The NY Giants will be the away team when they take on the NY Jets in the “Battle of the Meadowlands”.

Week 16 – Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers

The Chicago Bears will travel to Green Bay to take on the Packers on Christmas Day.  Hopefully Bears quarterback Jay Cutler can stay on the field in this nationally televised game.  Aaron Rodgers could be playing for an MVP and another playoff run.

-Written by Kevin Rossi

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Just another Sunday at the Masters

image from

The PGA Tour has an impressive group of young players coming on of late.  Golf seems to be turning toward the younger generation’s athleticism and fresh swings instead of the older generation’s experience and course knowledge.  Guys like Aussies Jason Day (age 23) and Adam Scott (age 30) were right there in their pursuit for Australia’s first green jacket, finishing only two strokes off the lead.  The 21 year old Irishman Rory McIlroy owned the top of the leaderboard after 54 holes only to have one of the worst rounds a 54 hole leader has ever had.  Guys like Dustin Johnson (age 26), Rickie Fowler (age 22), and Ryo Ishikawa (age 19) are challenging the best nearly every time they are in the field.

Now add to the group the 140 pound South African Charl Schwartzel (age 26), the 2011 winner of the Masters.  After McIlroy’s painful collapse on the back nine, somebody had to take over to win the tournament.  Many guys hovered around the -11 to -8 range; nearly every shot aired on CBS could turn the tournament in someone else’s favor.  After the mess settled a bit, it seemed as if Aussie Adam Scott may run away with the green jacket.  That was until Charl Schwartzel decided he wanted it.  Schwartzel had been in the thick of it throughout the four days, but on Sunday he wasn’t settling for just a top ten finish.  The South African, who is a product of fellow South African PGA Tour player Ernie Els’ foundation to identify talented golfers in their country, went on a run.  Sitting at -10 with four holes to play, Schwartzel went on to birdie 15, birdie 16, birdie 17, and birdie 18 to win the Masters in dramatic style.

So much drama must have produced great ratings, huh?  Not so fast.  Sunday’s final round of the Masters on CBS generated a 10.4 Nielson rating.  Sounds alright except last year’s final round generated a rating of 12.0.  The 2011 final round had a spectacular finish and drama.  The 2010 Masters had Phil Mickelson’s historic 6-iron out of the pine straw while going onto winning the green jacket.  Oh yea, and Tiger Woods returned to competitive golf for the first time since the “accident”. 

The point is simply that the game of golf needs Phil Mickelson and more importantly needs Tiger Woods.  Tiger was in it this year with his front nine 31 on Sunday and was in the lead at one point.  We even got to see the vintage fist pump on the par 4 8th hole after an impressive eagle.  I must admit, seeing Tiger back in it and seeing the fist pump again gave me goose bumps.  Although many golf fans may have felt the same way, the ratings did not because a vast majority only knows Tiger and Phil.  Without Phil in the mix with Tiger this year, the ratings slipped.  For the game of golf to stay visible the PGA Tour needs to do one of two things: make sure each and every tournament has Tiger and Phil duking it out into the final round or market the strong core group of young players that are about to take over the game.  I would take the latter. 

-Written by Kevin Rossi

Monday, April 18, 2011

HIO: OSA World Juggle-A-Thon

Every 45 seconds, a child in Africa dies from a Malaria, a preventable disease carried by mosquitoes. For this reason, I will be participating in the Online Soccer Academy's "OSA World Juggle-A-Thon" to support the Nothing But Nets campaign.

On April 25, World Malaria Day, at 6pm I will be juggling to help raise money for life-saving nets to prevent Malaria. I am currently collecting donations, either per juggle, or flat donations, with the personal goal of raising $100 dollars and saving 10 lives from Malaria.

Interested in donating? Email me here and I will pass along more information!

To learn more about the OSA World Juggle-A-Thon, participating yourself, the professional men's and women's soccer players participating, and the Nothing But Nets campaign, watch the video below and visit

In addition to serving as President of the Sport Management Student Union (SMTSU), Kevin Giordano is a sophomore Sport Management major at Drexel University with industry experience working in men's and women's professional soccer and collegiate athletics. To contact or connect with Kevin, you can follow him on Twitter (@KevinGiordano) or connect with him here on LinkedIn.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Success of 2011 MLB Ticket Sales

Major League Baseball has seen some pretty empty stadiums lately and in cities where ticket sales are normally assumed.  Places like New York and Chicago are seeing an uncharacteristically high number of empty seats.  Attendances across the league usually start pretty slow due to the cold, rainy weather and the fact that kids are still in school.  There should be no alarm this early because early estimates show an increase in ticket sales for the 2011 season.

2007 was a record attendance year for Major League Baseball with about 79.5 million fans walking through the turnstiles.  After the season, Commissioner Bud Selig set an attendance goal going forward of 80 million fans.  Since then attendance has dipped.  Major League Baseball was just one of the many victims of the recession.  2010 only brought in a little over 73 million fans, which was a slight decrease from the 2009 season. 
Finally after a three year slide, MLB ticket sales look to be bouncing back.  The estimates show between 75 million to 78 million fans attending games this season; an increase of two million to five million fans. 

The increased ticket sales could be attributed to a number of sources.  Maybe it’s the improving economy.  Maybe it’s the soaring season ticket sales from the San Francisco Giants and the Texas Rangers who are benefitting from their World Series appearances of last season.  Whichever reason it is, Major League Baseball is showing that after a little rough patch, they are still our national pastime and they are still a revenue powerhouse.
-Written by Kevin Rossi

Playoff Push

As the NHL regular season comes to a close and the postseason begins today, many of the playoff teams have implemented new marketing techniques to increase ticket sales and revenue.

The Tampa Bay Lightning started the “Bolts Nation” initiative, which consists of yard signs, window flaps, and T-shirts, in addition to their “beard-a-thon” beard-growing contest for fans, to attempt to drive support in the Tampa Bay Area. The Detroit Red Wings are displaying their top 16 playoff moments in history on tickets to the games. The Vancouver Canucks have given away shirts displaying their team motto “This Is What We Live For.” The Canucks are using this campaign to increase their sponsorships rather than ticket sales because they managed to sell out in only a few hours after tickets went on sale. The San Jose Sharks have historically used playoff appearances to activate new sponsorships with the hope of re-signing them at the start of the next season.

With the playoffs drawing near, the NHL’s teams are pursuing new promotional tactics to not only reach their ticket sale potential, but build stronger relations with current and new organizations that ultimately leads to sponsorship packages next winter. 

-Written by Hayley Zedeck

image from

Saturday, April 9, 2011

"Shaka" the World

VCU shocked the world with their magical Final Four run this year in the 2011 Men’s NCAA Basketball Tournament.  Coach Shaka Smart may be the most valuable piece to the VCU success puzzle.  His story has become very popular lately, turning down both Harvard and Yale to attend the less prestigious Kenyon College during his playing days.  He is only 33 and has brought intensity and energy to the VCU men’s basketball program along with his knowledge. 

Check out Shaka Smart before the team’s Final Four match up against Butler:

Shaka Smart was about to be one of the hottest coaching commodities this offseason before he signed an 8 year contract extension on Monday that raised his base salary from $325K to $1.2 million.  Smart is already benefiting of VCU’s Final Four magic, only time will tell how much the school will benefit.

-Written by Kevin Rossi

Thursday, April 7, 2011

LeBron-Liverpool Partnership Will "Open Doors"

Liverpool's faithful- known as "The Kop"
Yesterday the news broke that an agreement had been reached that would create a partnership between two sports industry superpowers- NBA star LeBron James and Fenway Sports Group, which owns the Boston Red Sox and Liverpool FC. The deal is presumably rooted in the desire on both parts to establish a more global brand. LeBron has never been shy about his ambitions to be successful off the court, and FSG's owners John Henry and Tom Werner saw an opening to create a partnership with symbiotic effects. 

According to the Wall Street Journal, Mr. Werner took a minute to comment: "we believe we can open doors for LeBron and LeBron can open doors for us." This move is going to go way beyond your normal client-marketing firm relationship.

From a sports marketing perspective, it appears is brilliant on all ends. Just recently we've seen several celebrities try to align themselves with the beautiful game, from Ochocinco going on trial with Sporting KC to Steve Nash taking an ownership role with the Vancouver Whitecaps. Even Justin Bieber got in on the action recently when he trained with FC Barcelona. Tying himself to one of the most recognizable brands in all of sports will work wonders for LeBron, especially as Liverpool and LeBron both try to build on their growing fanbases in their biggest untapped market- China.

Justin Bieber playing in Barcelona, Spain
From the perspective of a Liverpool fan, I'm not sure how the other Reds supporters will react to the move. Personally, I'm looking forward to seeing LeBron at Anfield wearing Liverpool red and perhaps even chiming in during the fans' rendition of "You'll Never Walk Alone."

-Written by Dan Mullin

Effects of the Lockout

The NFL Players Association met today to present their case to Judge Susan Richard Nelson. She is taking the next few weeks to decide if she will grant an injunction to end the lockout. But what if she doesn’t rule in their favor? What if the issue is not solved, and there is no National Football League action next season? What will you do every Sunday? Here are a few suggestions for you to get through next fall and winter without the NFL:

  • Check out the new and improved PAC-12 (How will Utah and Colorado fit in?)
  • Start playing Soccer instead (Ochocinco)
  • Use your Sundays to mow the lawn, run errands, or do house chores
  • Do your taxes
  • Coach a pee wee football team
  • Go on a camping trip
  • Tailgate for the Bassmaster’s Championships
  • Sleep in
  • Watch home videos
  • Relive the historic NFL teams, seasons, players, and games through replays on TV

No matter what happens, it shouldn’t be too painful. The MLB postseason ends in late October, and the preseason for the NBA starts the week before that. It might be hard to go a whole year without seeing a Lambeau Leap, a touchdown on a punt return by Devin Hester, or an earth shattering hit by James Harrison, but use these helpful suggestions to get you through a boring Sunday afternoon.

-Written by Hayley Zedeck

image from

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Rise of the Ultimate Fighting Championship

Many know the Ultimate Fighting Championship as the UFC or one of the fastest growing sports the United States and the world have ever seen.  Introduced to the world in 1993, UFC 1: The Beginning was an 8 man elimination tournament held in Denver, Colorado with 2,800 in attendance.  Many sports traditionalists despised mixed martial arts and the UFC because it was direct competition to the traditional boxing.  Years later many opinions have changed and many fans have been acquired.  

The beginning of the new millennium was when the UFC really gained its popularity.  In 2001, the UFC held five live events with tickets averaging $81.45.  By 2006, the UFC had jumped to 10 events with an average ticket price around $270.  2006 was truly a historic year of growth with 3.5 times more pay-per-view buys and about 4.25 times more in pay-per-view revenue than in 2003.  The fight between Tito Ortiz and Ken Shamrock was the fourth highest rated cable network sporting event in 2006, beating the NBA playoffs, the NFL Draft, and World Cup Soccer. 

The Ultimate Fighting Championship is now the most powerful MMA promotion company in the world having acquired the Japanese rival Pride Fighting Championship in 2007, merging with World Extreme Cagefighting in 2010, and acquiring Strikeforce in 2011.  

UFC 128 was held Saturday, March 19th in Newark, New Jersey and it was a truly historic night.  The night wasn’t historic because of the 12,619 in attendance with an average ticket price around $270.  The night wasn’t historic because MMA legend Mirko “Cro Cop” Folipovic was manhandled by Brendan Schaub.  History was made when New York native, Jon “Bones” Jones, became the youngest UFC champion ever when he beat Mauricio “Shogun” Rua for the Light Heavyweight belt.  UFC 128 was another of Dana White’s (president of UFC) tactics to have the state of New York sanction MMA fighting.  New York is one of only 3 states that do not sanction MMA.  The thought behind it was to have the most promising UFC prospect, Jon Jones, fight right outside of his home state in order to keep the pressure on New York state legislators.  With the money the UFC can bring to the state (and crime fighting from “Bones”), how could New York continue denying the UFC?

The Ultimate Fighting Championship will again give one of the main card fighters the “home-field” advantage at UFC 129 on April 30th when Canadian and arguably the best UFC fighter George St. Pierre takes on Jake Shields.  This is GSP’s second straight fight in his home country, mainly because of the money he brings in.  Average price for a UFC 129 ticket is close to $450.  

The UFC is big business and cities are taking notice.  Many host cities already build the expected revenue into their budgets each year.  New York is the biggest market not to sanction UFC.  A few years ago, the governor had about $700,000 of UFC revenue built into his budget before it was denied.  Dana White knows that New York has the interest and the fan base, so expect the UFC to keep the pressure on and continue to hold events surrounding New York until the state finally gives in.  Keep an eye out for more expansion from the Ultimate Fighting Championship in 2011 and years to come.

-Written by Kevin Rossi   

Monday, April 4, 2011

HIO: The Importance of Audience in Social Media

The recent emergence of social media has revolutionized the way we communicate with others. Sites like Facebook and Twitter allow individuals the opportunity to present themselves to the general population in their own unique way.

Furthermore, social media sites optimize user customization. The content, appearance (for the most part), and overall feel of individual profiles are chosen by the individual. While this allows for freedom and one's personality to shine through the computer screen, knowing your audience is key.

Audience can be broken apart into two primary elements: personal and professional. The biggest mistake with social media is not selecting an audience to hit. If you post about that awesome party last night (personal) and then reach out to a former colleague about an internship opportunity (professional), you have not established a formal audience.

With a Facebook profile and a Twitter account, I utilize both to reach different audiences. To me, Facebook is a highly personal network of friends and constituents. It is not an optimal professional medium. Sure, I am connected with former colleagues who I know personally, but it's primary purpose is for personal use.

Twitter on the other hand is very much a professional networking tool. It is an excellent platform to build a base of general constituents on a professional level. That said, you can still be personable when using a social media site for professional reasons. Do not simply post content of interesting articles, you have to also interact with others. Be personable, ask others about their thoughts in a news story. However, do not be personal, and share the picture of your drunk self crawled up in a ball.

Point being, choose an audience and stick with it. The biggest mistake in social media is combining all of your audiences into one. That is both unprofessional and a little clumsy.

Take some time to reflect upon your target audience and constituency. Have you selected an audience? How can you improve your social media accounts to achieve your personal and professional goals?

At the end of the day, knowing your audience will allow you to better achieve your social media goals and objectives.

Kevin Giordano is a sophomore Sport Management major at Drexel University, with industry experience working in men's and women's professional soccer and collegiate athletics. To contact or connect with Kevin, you can follow him on Twitter (@KevinGiordano) or connect with him here on LinkedIn.


With all of the hundreds of issues we see and hear about happening on in the world- most recently the disaster in Japan and turmoil in the Middle East- we see ways that people try to pick each other up. With sports making up such a large part of some of our lives, it should not be a surprise that they sometimes become intertwined with these efforts. What should be a surprise is how the following example did. 

Skateboarding. Afghanistan.

Two words you don't hear together too often. But the people that made "Skateistan" happen don't find it too strange at all. Watch and enjoy.

"When I am skating on the streets, I can feel people questioning my right to skate. Their opinions are meaningless to me. I really like skating and I won't stop." Unbelievable.

-Written by Dan Mullin

Friday, April 1, 2011

Sports Industry Professional Q&A with Ryan Knapp

One of the best ways to learn about sports and the possible ways to break into the industry, is to pick the brain of a current sports industry professional. Recently, we did just that.

Involved in numerous ventures, Ryan Knapp currently devotes most of his time to serving as the the Manager of Digital at the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA). To learn more about him, please view his "about me" video below:

Now that we know a little bit about Ryan and his personal story, let's jump right into the Q&A!

Sport Management Student Union (SMTSU): Ryan, in your video you presented your responsibilities as Manager of NSCAA Digital. Can you please briefly explain what each element involves in a little more detail?

Ryan Knapp (RK):

Websites/blogs: Managing the content which appears on as well as our blog. I help assign the topics and themes for the months and move forward with who will create the content, what the content is about, and when it will be posted. This is the most time consuming part of my day!

Mobile: We have plans to develop some mobile applications in the future, but for now it's simply staying on top of the ever developing mobile scene, especially in soccer and sports. 

email marketing: This includes coding, designing and sending all of the NSCAA's email newsletters and blasts and assisting our sponsors and partners with sending emails to our groups for promotions and sales related to NSCAA events. 

social media: Maintaing our presence on Facebook, Twitter and Youtube for starters. Scheduling updates, talking 1-on-1 with fans and coaches looking for soccer advice. Developing new strategies and working on new platforms to help social take off to the next level for the NSCAA. 

digital advertising: Digital Advertising will become more relevant as we move forward with some initiatives, but right now I design the digital ads which go out on NSCAA partner sites as well as think of ways we can get the most out of partners who advertise currently with the NSCAA. This includes sponsorships and partnerships for certain website sections and digital platforms. 

external digital partnerships: A fancy saying for 'everything not in-house digital'. Any digital activation or ideas/plans that exist outside of the NSCAA but deal with us I handle and help execute. 

SMTSU: Social media sites, like Facebook and Twitter, involve sending out short bits of content to a general constituency, much like marketing. Would you also call yourself a marketer?

RK: Good question. 

I'd say more like a ninja or guru. I kid. On social media we are all marketing or selling. It's part of the game. If I'm making a personal connection with someone at the core I'm marketing myself. The difference is that with social media it's not about 'buy, buy, buy' but rather it's based on making connections. Even in the business world it's about making connections while creating and providing value to your customers or whomever you interact with. 

In the beginning I would have said 'no' but in the last two years I've learned a lot about marketing and definitely count myself in that camp. 

SMTSU: Was it difficult leaving your hometown of Buffalo for your job with the NSCAA? How important is the ability to be mobile and quickly relocate to individuals pursuing a career in sports?

RK: Yes it was very difficult. My family is mostly based in Buffalo and all of my best friends have found jobs and planted their professional roots in our hometown.  I also had a personal goal of staying in Buffalo and helping with the rebuilding movement going on there.  Sports is a tough business and especially in the beginning you need to be flexible to find the best job to get into the industry.

SMTSU: As Owner, what are some of your main responsibilities with FC Buffalo?

RK: FC Buffalo is my third go-around at an NPSL club. I started with Queen City FC, which I sold and it became Buffalo City FC and now has came back to us and is FC Buffalo. This time around with FC Buffalo things are different. The lifeblood of the organization has been Nicholas Mendola, Scott Frauenhofer and the rest of the ownership crew. Those guys are in the city doing the day-to-day things, selling tickets, gaining traction and moving it forward. Owner is the title I have because I was able to pay money in the beginning to get the club going, but those guys at home are the ones making it great. 

Right now I act as more of a consultant, helping out when I can from Kansas City.  This season we are working on providing out fans with an amazing mobile experience that will be the first in the country with a company called Screen Reach, so watch out when that happens. 

SMTSU: You also have a wealth of blogging experience. What are some of the keys to keeping current readers engaged and attracting new ones?

RK: Keep writing. Write about whatever you want to talk about. Don't pigeon hole yourself and focus on a hyper specific niche, especially in the beginning. Find a different voice or angle you can bring to the table. In 2007 no one was writing about La Liga in English, so that is what I did. Give opinions, do a little research and see what happens, but be willing to put in the work.

SMTSU: In addition to being a full-time employee of the NSCAA, Owner of FC Buffalo, and VP with Statzpack, you also started your own running campaign for charity? Can you tell us a little about that?

RK: Of course. I committed to running 2,011 miles to raise $2,011 in 2011 for Comfort Zone Camp, the nation's largest bereavement camp for children who have lost a parent, sibling or primary caregiver. 2011in2011 is in memory of my father who passed away in 1998 when I was 14. I've been taking donations from people all over the world and for each $500 raised one child goes to camp this summer.

SMTSU: Lastly, what tips do you have for students looking to pursue a career in the sports industry?

RK: Know your value. Value = benefits / cost. What does that mean? In order for an employer in sports to see your value, you need to bring a lot of benefits to the table to justify the cost of your salary. Grow your ability to be beneficial by expanding your skill set. Learn how social media works, understand basic business and how to drive revenue. Work on thinking creatively and how to bring an idea to life. Network in the sports you love and be ready to jump on an opportunity if you see one.

We'd like to thank Ryan again for taking the time to participate and share his personal experiences and insight. Be on the lookout for more Sports Industry Professional Q&A's in the future!