PLATINUM RYE ENTERTAINMENT BLOG
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  • August28th

    This past Monday, seven-time All-Star Tracy McGrady announced his retirement from the NBA. McGrady told ESPN “It’s been 16 years planning the game I love. I’ve had a great run, but it’s time for it to come to an end.”

    McGrady was drafted to the NBA straight out of high school in 1997 by the Toronto Raptors ninth overall. Over his long and successful career he played for the Toronto Raptors, Orlando Magic, Houston Rockets, New York Kicks, Detroit Pistons, Atlanta Hawkes, and then after playing in the Chinese Basketball Association for a year on the Quingdao Eagles, was signed by the San Antonio Spurs. He had a career average of 19.6 points, 5.6 rebounds and 4.4 assist per game.

    After signing with the Spurs in early 2013 it became clear that he was somewhat of an insurance policy and most likely would not play in the upcoming season. Although, McGrady has retired from the NBA this does not necessarily mean he has closed the door to other basketball leagues. Playing the sport he loves over seas may still be in the cards for this 34 year-old NBA legend.

  • August19th

    Unless you are a golfer, the average career length of a professional athlete reaches between 3 to 6 years. What this means is that professional athletes need to plan for at least 50 years of retirement or begin a new career later on in life. More and more these days we are seeing ex-pro athletes turn to broadcasting after their years in the professional league come to an end. LaDainian Tomlinson, Troy Aikman, Terry Bradshaw, Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal, and many more have made this transition from athlete to broadcaster, however, there is much more to this process then you might first expect.

    With Fox having launched their 24-hour national cable sports network on August 17th the market for sports anchors, reporters and broadcasters is booming. Usually recruitment for broadcasters begins early on, mostly even before the athlete has retired. There are few players who posses the qualities that networks are looking for in a broadcaster so when there is that kind of athlete networks line up for them. Seth Markman, a senior coordinating producer for NFL coverage at ESPN explains; “I keep a list of active players I’m interested in… I’ve got about 25 players on my list.” One of the major players this off-season on that list was former Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, who Markman beat out rivals for to bring him to ESPN. However, even with Ray’s success and proven leadership in his NFL career, taking him on as a broadcaster is still a bit risky given the fact that he was once charged with murder and his consistent religious references in interviews.

    In terms of salary once an athlete makes the transition they will obviously see a decrease in pay comparative to their sports contracts. A top name athlete will usually command around $1 to $2 million annually where as lesser name athletes take home between $200,000 to $400,000 and non-pro athletes fall usually between $50,000 to $100,000. Some athlete’s contracts may vary depending on how much training is needed

    for them to be camera ready. Ray most likely will be seeing a seven-figure salary, however, drawing up his contract was not so cut and dry and they were forced to get creative, as Markman explains. Although for most athletes it is safe to say that it is less about the money and more about the opportunity to continue a career in the sport that they love.

  • July10th

    Upon entering the New York Giants training camp three years ago, it was debatable if Victor Cruz would even make the roster. The odds were not in favor of the undrafted Patterson, N.J. native who played college ball at Massachusetts. After three astonishing years he is now the highest paid receiver in team history. The New York Giants and Cruz recently came to an agreement on a five-year contract extension for $43 million over the next five years. Cruz will earn $15.6 million in guaranteed money and will be a giant at least 2018.

    After the Giants victory in Super Bowl XLVI and Cruzes record high of 1,536 yards in that same season it was clear that the Giants were going to have to redraw a contract with the 26 year old. Since making his NFL debut in 2010, Cruz has made 168 receptions for a total of 2,628 yards making him one of the most dangerous receivers in the league and certainly someone who can help carry the giants to more Super Bowl appearances.

  • June14th

    Advertising in the NBA, like all professional sports leagues, has long been a major revenue generator for the league and its franchises. Each year, as economic circumstances demand, teams and leagues become more creative in maximizing their advertising and sponsorship dollars. Recently, National Basketball Association officials have announced that all 30 league teams will be selling advertising space in two new locations on the court. Teams in the 2013-2014 regular season will be able to sell ads to appear on the courtside “apron”, highly visible real estate located in front of the player benches, and on top of the backboards. The news was announced by Chris Granger who is the Executive Vice President of Team Marketing & Business Operations for the NBA. These two locations were previously used for only team branding messages such as the addresses of team websites or official team Twitter handles. By opening this space up to advertisements from outside sources, teams will be able to generate more revenue in sponsorship and ad sales.

    These two new ad locations will be highly visible throughout the game, especially the two spots located on the court. Part of the agreement between teams and sponsors for advertising in the new locations is that it is strictly to be displayed during locally televised games. The signage will be removed for any nationally televised games on a channel such as ESPN or TNT. Nonetheless, Chris Granger expects NBA execs to sell these two new locations as a “premier-level” type sponsorship. Granger was hesitant to put an estimated revenue statistic on the ad sales but industry experts believe it can generate anywhere from $500,000 – $3 million per team in additional revenue, depending on the market.


    The two Southwest Airlines logos depict the location for the new advertising space on the court. The other location is on top of the two backboards.

    This announcement provides further evidence of the NBA being the most open of the all the major sports leagues to new advertising revenue opportunities. NBA league and team executives have been in ongoing discussions regarding the potential for selling sponsorship logo patches to be placed on team jerseys. League officials believe sponsor patches being placed on jerseys could raise $100 million in new revenue for the league, while also providing significant exposure to companies interested in sponsoring and advertising with the NBA. The NBA’s positioning on the topic provides an interesting comparison to international soccer, where logo placement on jerseys is completely standard but any kind of alteration or branding of the pitch is regarded as ‘going too far’. What can be learned from all of this? The NBA, along with other professional sports leagues, will always look to provide more sponsorship and advertising opportunities in creative new ways. While the NBA is certainly being innovative in advertising and sponsorship, the league must be careful not to become too “commercialized” or they run the risk of it being viewed as just a money grab.

  • June7th

    One of the most exciting weekends of the professional sports year is quickly approaching. In just about a month, the New York Mets and Citi Field will play host to the 2013 Major League Baseball All Star Game and all the festivities that come along with it. The week will kick off on Friday, July 12th with the T-Mobile FanFest opening its doors to all fans at the Jacob Javits Center. FanFest, presented by T-Mobile, is a five day convention put on by Major League Baseball, specifically catered to all baseball fans. Attractions at the FanFest include autograph signings, meet and greets with MLB greats and Hall of Famers, interactive games and attractions, and raffle and prize giveaways, amongst many other events. Total attendance at last year’s FanFest in Kansas City was 119,092 over five days and New York City expects to exceed that total this year. Earlier this year, T-Mobile signed a three year, $125 million deal to become the official wireless sponsor of Major League Baseball. This marks one of the first major activations around T-Mobile’s new deal as MLB’s official sponsor.

    T-Mobile Activation includes:

    • Offering FanFest attendees with T-Mobile service added benefits such as fast pass entry
    • Sponsored All Star and Hall of Fame Player Appearances
    • T-Mobile Informational Kiosk on site along with promotional giveaways.

    The All Star Week continues on Saturday July 13th with an All Star 5K & Fun Run presented by Nike. This event will take place in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park and 100% of the proceeds from the event will benefit Hurricane Sandy Relief.  Nike will provide all registered participants a di-fit shirt to wear for the event, along with prizes to the winning participants and teams.

    The festivities march on as Taco Bell presents All Star Sunday at Citi Field. All Star Sunday takes place at Citi Field with the Sirius XM All Star Futures Game, followed by the Taco Bell All Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game. The All Star Futures Game features the top prospects from each Major League Team and splits them into an International team and a United States team. The two teams then participate in an exhibition game at Citi Field. Citi Field also plays host to another on field event that day with the Taco Bell All Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game, an exhibition game that includes MLB Legends such as Doc Gooden, Ozzie Smith, and Rollie Fingers, alongside celebrities of film, music, and television. Taco Bell has been a major sponsor for Major League Baseball over the last decade and has continued that through this year’s All Star Game.

    Taco Bell Activation includes:

    • In game promotions and advertisements.
    • Commercials throughout the MLB All Star week on FOX and other media outlets.

    The All Star week wraps up on July 15th and 16th with arguably the two biggest events. The MLB Home Run Derby will take place on Monday July 15th at Citi Field. It will pit the best power hitters from around the league against one another to see who will be crowned the 2013 Home Run King. Finally on Tuesday, July 16th, Citi Field will play host to the 84th Major League Baseball All Star Game between the National and American League teams. The New York City economy will benefit greatly from these events according to projections from Mayor Bloomberg. Bloomberg estimated that this year’s schedule of events, including FanFest, the All-Star Red Carpet Show presented by Chevrolet, the Sirius XM Futures Game and State Farm Home Run Derby, will make a $191.5-million impact on New York City’s economy, thanks to more than 176,000 visitors and a worldwide multimedia audience in excess of 30 million. It will certainly be an exciting time for both New York City and Major League Baseball with a jam packed week of events throughout the metropolitan area July 12-July 16th. For more information on all of the weekends festivities, check outMLB.com.

  • May29th

    After a nine year partnership of unbelievable success, Nike has broken their last link to the Livestrong Foundation. Nike begun distancing themselves from Livestrong and its founder Lance Armstrong this past fall after Armstrong’s doping scandal finally surfaced, which was quickly fallowed by his resignation from the Foundation. In 2004 Nike started making apparel for Livestrong, including the yellow wristbands that quickly became a huge trend across America. Over their nine year partnership Nike helped the Livestrong Foundation raise over $100 million towards cancer research and improving the lives of the individuals affected by cancer today.

    The Livestrong Foundation will continue to push forward and expresses nothing but gratitude and fried for all the Nike has done to help their mission. They stress that they “expected and planned for changes like this and are therefore in a good position to adjust swiftly and move forward with (their) patient-focused work… Change while sometimes hard, also brings opportunity.” It is obvious that this transition away from Nike will be difficult, however being one of the largest and most effective non-profits in the United States, the Livestrong Foundation displays the optimism that it works so hard instill in the 14 million Americans that face the difficulties of cancer everyday.

     

  • May6th

    A changed J.R. Smith earned the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year Award. His growth as player and person was rewarded last Monday. With 484 votes, compared to the 352 for former Knick Jamal Crawford, Smith became the third Knicks player to win the award, joining Anthony Mason (1995) and John Starks (1997).

    J.R. Smith is an American professional basketball player born and raised in New Jersey. Smith played high school basketball at New Jersey basketball powerhouse Saint Benedict’s Preparatory School in Newark, New Jersey. Where he was recruited by the University of North Carolina but instead opted to enter the 2004 NBA Draft.
    He started his career with the Knicks a little more than a year ago. He wanted to be a real team player instead of the ego player people used to know him for. With some discipline and motivation he stepped up his game.

    It was only a year ago that Knicks Coach Mike Woodson, newly in charge of Smith’s career and comportment, declared: “I want his shorts pulled up. I want him to look presentable, be a professional.”  Smith is, as you can see, a highly valued basketball player now.  The different J. R. Smith stood at a lectern Monday afternoon, looking sharp and confident and fully evolved in a slick gray suit, pressed white dress shirt and thin gray tie, smiling and clutching the first trophy of his N.B.A. career.

     

  • May3rd

    The Stanley Cup Playoffs have begun and it is any ones game! The 48-game season (as opposed to a normal 82 games) due to the lockout in the beginning of the year has certainly added a new dimension to 2013 NHL season, making the run for the playoffs that much more exciting. After a hectic shortened season where every game is worth that much more, there is a great mix of teams competing for good old Lord Stanley’s Cup.

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    Here are these years’ first round matchups in the race for the Cup:

    In the East:

    • Pittsburg Penguins vs New York Islanders
    • Boston Bruins vs Toronto Maple Leafs
    • Montreal Canadiens vs Ottawa Senators
    • Washington Capitals vs New York Rangers

    In the West:

    • Chicago Blackhawks vs Minnesota Wild
    • St. Louis Blues vs Los Angeles Kings
    • Anaheim Ducks vs Detroit Red Wings
    • Vancouver Canucks vs San Jose Sharks
  • May2nd

    Tonight the Brooklyn Nets try to force a game seven on the road against the Chicago Bulls on TNT at 8:00pm (EST). The Bulls lead the series 3-2 in games.  The winner of this series will go on to play the number 1 seeded Miami Heat, who are the first to advance, taking four straight games from the Bucks in the first round.

    In the West the Warriors try to close out the Denver Nuggets at home tonight on TNT at 10:30pm (EST) as they lead the series 3-2. The winner of this series will go on to play the Spurs who won in four consecutive games over the Lakers to advance.

    Tomorrow in the East the Knicks play Celtics in Boston at 7:00pm (EST) in game 6 of the series. Boston hopes to even out after winning their last two games. The Pacers play Hawks in Atlanta at 7:00pm EST. Indiana Pacers lead the series 3-2 and the winner advances to faceoff against the winner of the Knicks/Celtics series.

    Tomorrow in the West the Thunder try to close out the Rockets on the road in Houston at 9:30pm (EST). The KC Thunder lead the series 3-2 in games. Grizzlies try to finish off the Clippers at home in Memphis at 9:30pm (EST) as they lead the series 3-2. The winners of these two series will go on to play each other in the second round.

  • May2nd

    The UEFA Champions Leagueis the premier soccer competition in Europe, in which all of the leagues in the continent – from Spain’s La Liga to the Turkish Super Lig – send their best teams (ranked in terms of how they finished in their respective league competitions the previous season) to compete in the Europe-wide tournament. The main appeal of this competition is that collects the best clubs from every league in Europe that have proven themselves in their respective leagues. This kind of internationality is something that is unseen in the eye of the American sports mainstream. The Champions’ League is so prestigious and financially rewarding, that teams prioritize the competition over other league matches and tournaments to ensure the best opportunity to advance in the tournament.

    The competition begins with a traditional group stage format, in which 32 teams are split into 8 groups of 4, and play in a round-robin format. The two top teams from each group advance into the knockout rounds, while the third team from each group earns a berth in the UEFA Europa League, a second-tier, similarly formatted tournament. Once the knockout stage is reached, the competition switches to a two legged format, allowing each elimination round to host games in the home stadiums of each team. At this stage, the team with the highest aggregate of goals scored across both games advances to the next round.  In the event of an aggregate draw, an “away-goals rule” is implemented, which dictates that the team who scored the most goals in the other team’s home ground advances to the next round. This, paired with a monetary reward system based on the amount of games won, assures that the matches are competitive and aggressive, making it the most highly-watched and competitive club tournament in the world.

     

     2012-2013 Season:

    Remaining teams:

    Real Madrid: The club is the world’s richest football club in terms of revenue, with an annual turnover of €513 million and the most valuable, worth €3.3billion according to Forbes. They are the club to have won the competition most times, 9 times overall.

    FC Barcelona: The world’s second-richest football club in terms of revenue, with an annual turnover of €483 million and the third most valuable (according to Forbes), worth €2.6billion. The club has a long-standing rivalry with Real Madrid; matches between the two teams are referred to as “El Clásico”.

    Bayern Munich: Bayern Munich is the biggest sports club in Germany and the fourth biggest football club in the world, generating €368.4 million in 2012 according to Forbes. Bayern is a membership-based club with more than 185,000 members. There are also 3,202 officially-registered fan clubs with 231,197 members.

    Borussia Dortmund: The dark horse of the tournament, Dortmund is the second biggest sports club in Germany and the eleventh biggest football club in the world, generating €189.1 million in 2012 according to Forbes.



     Sponsors and promotional initiatives

    With its international audience draw and the prestige around the competition, the Champions League has assembled a partnership roster of globally recognized, blue-chip brands. Of the most notable partners: Adidas, Ford, Heineken, MasterCard and HTC are currently the brands most heavily involved with the tournament, activating with on-field signage, on-site blueprints, online promotions/ticket giveaways, and VIP hospitality offerings.