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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Who's to Blame?

The NBA lockout is coming upon day 111 and there still seems to be no end in sight. The latest talks started with promise as the owners as well as the players union met for over 16 hours on thursday and another 10 hours the next day. The talks then came to a sudden halt ending with what the players describe as an ultimatum, either take a 50-50 split of all revenue or we have nothing more to talk about. The players went as low as offering 52.5%-47.5% split for the players but the owners claim this is still far from their proposed 50-50 split (2011). So we are at an impasse with no talks schedule for the future and two weeks of the season already in the grinder. I think it's safe to say that more games are about to be cancelled and we just have to wait and see if Christmas day will be filled with basketball joy.

Last off season, Lebron James made a very important decision on national television that made some NBA owners mad and others nervous at what doors this may ultimately open in the future. A few months later, Carmelo Anthony utilized his power to do the same thing in Denver, which further let owners know that a new deal would have to switch some of the power back to them. Big name players made their power mover last off season and I think these actions may have pissed off some of the owners. The players have shown how much the old labor deal favored them and for this reason the owners will never let them keep a deal anywhere near this one. It's funny how the owners are like the free agents now, essentially holding the players hostage until they agree to a take it or leave it deal. The players will eventually fold and agree to the deal but in the meantime it's the fans who suffer. I blame both sides for not getting a deal done yet! Get a deal done and stop making basketball fans all around the world pay for your greed.


Wallace, M. (2011). NBA lockout: Both sides to blame. Retrieved on 10/22/2011 from www.espn.go.com/nba

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Important Relief Efforts

Many people have never heard of N.Y. Yankee pitcher David Robertson but his off the field relief efforts are becoming much more important than his role as a Major League Baseball relief pitcher. Baseball and more specifically, N.Y. Yankee enthusiasts know of David Robertson as an up and coming set up man, which means he comes in the game after the starter but before the closer, to ensure a team victory. The set up man serves as a bridge in between the starter, who may be getting tired and the closer who has a limit on his pitches, as well as ultimately being groomed to be the closer in the future himself. Mariano Rivera, who will go down as the greatest closer in the history of baseball, also started his illustrious career with the N.Y. Yankees as a set up man for then closer John Wetland. Today, Robertson is walking that same path and on top of that, he gets to learn under the great Mariano in the process. Robertson has responded this season by becoming one of the premiere relievers in baseball and being named to the 2011 All-Star game. Robertson finished the 2011 season with 100 strikeouts, becoming the first Yankee reliever to accomplish this since Rivera did it back in 1996 (9/2011).

Robertson grew up in Tuscaloosa Alabama where he ultimately went to college at the University of Alabama. On April 27, 2011 a tornado stormed right through Tuscaloosa leaving destruction and carnage in its trail. The 1.5 mile wide tornado caused 47 deaths and over 1000 injuries as well as leaving thousands more without housing and electricity. The New York Yankees organization contributed $500,000 to the American Red Cross and Salvation Army to help with aid but Robertson felt he had to do even more to help. David and his wife Erin started a foundation called “High Socks for Hope” to help victims from Tuscaloosa in the wake of this horrific event. Robertson has agreed to donate $100 for each strikeout he records this season and has received many donations since announcing his cause (5/2011). The money that Robertson’s’ foundation generates has lead to many houses being built and multiple families getting back on their feet. This type of relief effort can’t be quantified in numbers but the people of Tuscaloosa understand who their MVP really is.


Ehalt, Matt (September 29, 2011). "Robertson ready for the eighth inning". ESPN. Retrieved on 10/5/2011 from www.espn.go.com/robertson.

Hoch, B. (May 27, 2011). "Robertson pledges aid to ravaged hometown | yankees.com: News". Retrieved on 10/5/2011 from www.MLB.com/yankees.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Implementing Business Plan Tips

Taking advice from industry professionals such as Tim Berry, Susan Ward and Bill Gates is easy considering how much knowledge they all have to offer. Berry talks about how realism plays a big part in how eager investors will be to give money and I have considered that greatly in building my business proposal (2009). I have changed the number of workers we will be starting with (by cutting 2 workers) to help with startup costs as well as lowering overall startup costs by making costs cuts in certain areas. It makes sense because potential investors want to see how you have exhausted all the ways to cut costs and utilize all the funds wisely.

Ward, who has been writing about business and more specifically, business plans since the late 1990's (2011) has an abundance of knowledge on the subject. Ward states that when completing a business plan, you should partake in a large amount of research about the business you are going into. For my own business plan, I have begun talking to owners of other sports bars in Atlanta to ask questions. Questions such as, what is business like in your area, what was the toughest part about opening a sports bar, what was your biggest start up cost, etc. Asking these question gave me more of an understanding about what I'm actually up against because these people have went through it.

Gates is one of the most successful businessmen in the history of mankind but can you believe he didn't really have a business plan when he built Microsoft? Gates' thought process was to invite the smartest people he knew to be partners with him and in return, he gave them a share of the company (2008). I also followed this model by asking Chef Fitzgerald Faison to partner up with me and run the kitchen of the restaurant. I do not have extensive cooking experience so I knew I had to bring someone in who did. This makes sense for investors because they understand that someone who has knowledge of running a kitchen will be in charge of that aspect of the business.

My business proposal is pretty straight forward so I believe the most important part of it is the ROI or return on investment for the potential investor. This section will tell the investor how long it will take to start seeing a positive return on their money. Any smart investor wants to know when they should start seeing a return on their money so this section is very important when building your business plan.

References

Berry, T. (2009). 8 Factors that make a good business plan. Retrieved on 9/23/11 from www.timberry.bplans.com.

Dean, J. T. (2008). How to use the Bill Gates business model. Retrieved on 9/25/11 from www.bukisa.com/articles.

Ward, S. (2011). Writing the business plan: section 6. Retrieved on 9/23/11 from sbinocanada.about.com

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Tips to Writing A business Plan

Tim berry is the founder/president of Palo Alto Software and a renowned planning expert who has authored books and software on business planning (2009).
Berry feels a key component investors are looking for is, is it realistic and can the plan be implemented? Berry states that you do not get points for brilliant ideas that can not be implemented. Investors want to know, before going into a business deal, that the deal is feasible and able to become a reality. Berry also states that the business plan should be specific where you can track results and clearly identify assumptions. Again, investors want specifics on where their money is going and how it will be spent. This is where assumptions come in because they tell us projections at different points of the business plan.

Susan Ward runs Cypress Technologies which is an IT Consulting business providing services such as software and database development. Susan has been writing about business since the late 1990's (2011). One key to writing a business plan Ward gives is to really use your resources such as accountants, banks, IT consultants and business coaches. Berry states that these professionals provide invaluable advice in putting together a business plan. Investors want to have confidence that the people spending their money are utilizing their resources to make the best decisions possible


Berry, T. (2009). 8 Factors that make a good business plan. Retrieved on 8/7/2011 from timberry.bplans.com

Ward, S. (2011). Writing the business plan: section 6. Retrieved on 8/7/2011 from sbinocanada.about.com

Saturday, July 9, 2011

An International Icon to Retire from the NBA

When Micheal Jordan was in the prime of his NBA career, commissioner David Stern started promoting the American basketball star along with other NBA players internationally. A main focus of promoting the NBA was in China, where the game of basketball was starting to explode. Stern started sending his NBA stars over in an attempt to garner excitement in China for the NBA version of the game they already loved. When Jordan retired, so did much of the excitement for the game until one of China's own materialized. Yao Ming single-handedly expanded the NBA's reach throughout Asia, spiking merchandise and TV ratings after the Houston Rockets made him the top overall pick in the 2002 NBA draft (AP,2011). Yao captured the hearts of Asians and Americans alike and his worldwide impact will probably never be duplicated by another NBA player.Yao is 7'6 but it was much more than his height that made him standout in a game filled with giants. Yao became a symbol of China's growth as well as carrying the Olympic torch through Tiananmen Square during the start of the 2008 ceremonies in Beijing (AP, 2011).
During his NBA career, Yao averaged 19pts and 9 rebounds per game. He was named to the all rookie team in his first year and led the Rockets to the playoffs in each of his next two seasons. After missing only a handful of games in his first five years, Yao broke his foot in the 2007 playoffs and has subsequently missed 250 games due to injury since (AP, 2011) and this is what led to his early retirement. In my opinion, Yao would have been a first balot Hall of Famer if not for his injuries. To be as big as he was, Yao possessed a very soft touch along with a variety of basketball skills and the affect that he had on the casual fan could only be matched by Micheal Jordan himself. Yao will sorely be missed as an ambassador of the game and i cant see anyone else having the international affect that he had on the NBA game.

Associated Press (2011). Retrieved on 7/9/11 from:
http://news.yahoo.com/report-yao-decides-retire-214727666.html

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Derek Jeter, the Perfect Spokesman.

 Last season Derek Jeter, future Hall of Famer, signed a deal to be the new ambassador of Beyond Sports. Beyond Sport is a global initiative that promotes, developes and funds the use of sport to create positive social change arround the world (sportspromedia.com).
     Derek Jeter is a rookie of the year, three time gold glove winner, and five time world champion on top of being one of the most beloved sports figures in N.Y.Yankee history. These reasons all lend to him being the perfect spokesman for Beyond Sport. You don't have to be a big time sports fan to know who Derek Jeter is and this is why he will reach so many different people around the world. Jeter will spread the word and mission of Beyond Sport by helping to build awarness of the impact sports can have on communities worldwide (sportspromedia).
     I love sports and truly believe they can convey messages to people all around the world, no matter the race, creed or color. Sports, like music, can cut through the language barriers and still affect people's lives and someone like Jeter, well loved internationally, will help underprivileged communities by spreading the joy of sports.“The more we can highlight the important role that sport can play in creating positive social change and show the meaningful benefits it can bring, the more impact we can have on the lives of disadvantaged people all around the world,” Jeter said. This says it all.


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Will Tiger's Absence Have Financial Impact on the U.S. Open?

Tiger Woods has pulled out of the U.S. Open Golf Classic, so what financial effect will this have on the tournament? This answer can be broken down into two parts; media/television and corporate sales as well as on-site/advanced ticket sales, hospitality suites, parking, concessions and merchandise sales (Rishe, 2011).  
     Tickets and passes for the U.S. Open generally sellout a year in advance and are unavailable to the public unless you purchase tickets from the secondary ticket market. Similarly, most corporate sponsorship packages and hospitality suites are secured long before the event and are usually non-refundable or conditional for the event (Rishe, 2011). This means that the U.S. Open will not lose that much revenue due to Tiger's absence. If this were about ten years ago, when Tiger was dominating the golf world and even non golf fans would tune in to witness his dominance, the U.S. Open might be faced with a lot of last minute no-shows or a reduced television audience. Now because of his recent downfall, Tiger's aura has dwindled to little or nothing. Tiger has dropped out of the top ten for the first time in ten years and many non golf fans aren't tuning in anymore to witness his greatness as well as the golf enthusiasts' are not coming to see Tiger perform either.
     Television ratings will fall some and because of this, television sponsors will be lower cost than past years, but this should not affect the overall revenue stream for the tournament because tiger made his announcement so close to the start of the tournament. T.V. ratings in the past were at their highest when Tiger won the U.S. Open (2000,2002, 2008) and yielded near or above 8 million viewers during those years. In 2010 the ratings rose to 6.9 at Pebble Beach (the highest since 2002) as Woods, Phil Mickelson and Ernie Ells chased down eventual champion Graeme McDowell (Rishe, 2011).
     Tiger's downfall due to person injuries and transgression over the last 18 months (Rishe, 2011) have really taken him out of the spotlight and golf fans have come accustomed to him not being in the running coming down to the 18th hole. Because of this, the U.S. Open will not feel the financial crunch of Tiger not being able to play. 

Rishe, P. (2011). Tiger's absence should have little financial impact on U.S. Open. Retrieved on 6/8/2011 from blogs.forbes.com.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Is it Worth it?

Did you know the average lifespan of an NFL lineman is only 52 years old? Almost 20 under the average male lifespan in America (of those who didn't die at birth). These numbers shocked me when I read them and made me ask myself, is it worth it? It is true that NFL players make a lot of money but most careers are only 3-4 years long and the long term effects are overwhelming to the majority of the players (Azpiri, 2008). Many ex-football players suffer from football related ailments such as dementia, heart disease, crippling arthritis, never healing muscle tears and brain damage. Brain damage to the point where living football players want to donate their brains to science to help future football players who may benefit from the research (Azpiri, 2008). Players like Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are set for life and will always be able to afford the best quality health care even long after they retire but they make up the minority in the NFL. Hundreds of other NFL players  are paid closer to the minimum ($300,000) and usually do not budget properly to ensure themselves financial stability after their playing days are over. Many end up working hard labor or minimum wage jobs when their playing days are over. The players union does fight for retired players so they can get some medical benefits as well as retirement income but it's not enough for everyone. The impending lockout has a lot to do with this subject as present players are fighting for their retired counterparts. Lets hope the owners and players can come to a resolution so we don't have to go back to the old days when football stars like Johnny Unitas ended up crippled and broke with no NFL compensation to help with his injuries.

Azpiri, J. (2008). Average lifespan of a football player is 52. Retrieved on 5/19/11 from
http://www.nowpublic.com/sports/average-lifespan-football-player-52

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Are big time collegiate athletes already being compensated?


This time of year brings you basketball play-offs, hockey play-offs, the start of the baseball season and the all important NFL draft. The NFL labor agreement has many college athletes in this years draft unsure of their financial future. A big question still being asked is, should college athletes get paid for amateur athletics? An interesting article at USAToday.com led to the question, are these college athletes already being compensated? A USA Today financial analysis determined that college athletes can earn as much as 120,000 annually in goods, services and future earnings for his athletic work. They break it down in the categories of tuition, room and board, coaching, medical insurance premiums, game tickets and in some cases future earnings. Now these numbers vary because most athletes do not end up playing professional sports but still can take advantage of a free education from a prestigious school. We all know how expensive health care is and these athletes get top treatment. For the players who do go pro, they are getting some of the best coaching at the collegiate level and then the opportunity to earn on the professional level. Throw in the general promotion a kid gets from nationally televised games, along with all the sneakers and equipment you can use and it does start to add up. I've always been a proponent of college athletes getting paid because these schools do make a killing off of certain players who do not get directly compensated. These schools could put money made from a specific jersey they sell or making a bowl game, in a trust fund for such players to utilize once they have completed their collegiate careers. With that being said and as someone who had to pay for his own under-graduate degree,  these college players are still being compensated very well for a 17 or 18 year old.

Berkowitz, Steve & Wiener, Jay (2011). What players get. Retrieved from www.USAtoday.com on 5/3/11

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Fan Engagement

Fostering fan engagement is very important in all aspects of sports. Everyone from every different race, color, gender, age and religion can find some aspect of sports to relate to. In this post I will talk about different ways to engage fans from all walks of life with different sports. Men and women who engage in professional sports are elite athletes leaving the common fan to only dream about any such participation. These dreams are what makes us fans of the sports we love so dearly and this is why what Ken Potrock,Senior VP of Disney Sports Enterprises, along with the Walt Disney company are doing is so special. Giving kids the opportunity to play the sport of their choice and really gain the professional experience by hearing their name over the loud speaker or seeing their stats scroll across the bottom of the tv screen is really amazing. Not just amazing to the kids playing but to the families watching as well, who get to see their loved ones' names in lights. This is the closest 95% of us will get to the real thing and I commend Disney for making it possible. Not to mention the manicured fields and state of the art equipment the kids are able to use to further enhance the experience. I believe these are great ways to foster fan engagement while creative life long fans of all sports. What better way to foster fan engagement then by allowing people to truly experience their sport of choice. We have all pretended to hit a last second shot or hit a walk off homerun but these kids really get a chance to live it.