Category Archives: It’s Just Bidness

Giving the game away

In a moment of clarity at the Alston trial, Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott compares his compensation package (a whopping $4.5 million/year) to “other media executives”.

We knew he wasn’t getting paid the big bucks to oversee a competitive football conference, so I guess that makes sense.

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3 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness, Pac-12 Football

No sport can serve two masters.

I urge you to read Brian Cook’s screed about the ever-expanding commercialization of college football in its entirety.  It’s righteous.

A sample:

It says that college football used to be a great bargain. Tickets were relatively inexpensive, games were fun and not largely spent watching people have conferences. Great fanbases sprung up around the teams starting in the 1960s, when Don Canham was packing bands into the stadium so it would be sort of full, and lasted more or less through 2000 without being seriously impinged upon. Ticket prices were absurdly stable. Television was more of a boon than a hindrance because its proliferation allowed you to watch more road games; breaks were relatively rare and tolerable.

Then things got monetized. Ticket prices approximately tripled in 13 years and have kept going up since. The commercial breaks have proliferated madly. Unsatisfied with their massive uplift in revenue, the athletic department has continued to nickel and dime the fanbase even after the departure of Dave Brandon. And for what? For who? For the benefit of ever more absurdly over-compensated coaches, staffers, and especially executives. Every commercial break is Jim Delany—the man who ruined the conference—giving me the middle finger while he dumps another gold brick on the Big Ten’s grave.

This is why to some extent all the hand-wringing in the world by athletic directors about how the game experience has to be made more attractive to keep fans coming is doomed from the start.  Chasing the almighty television dollar is antithetical to a viable game experience, whether that’s because conference expansion weakens scheduling, or incessant television timeouts leave those in the stands restless, Greg Sankey’s on the field egg-timer notwithstanding.  (And isn’t that a perfect example of how tone deaf the powers-that-be are about this?)

A choice between satisfying the asses in the seats and Mickey is really not much of a choice at all for those people.

33 Comments

Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness

Depends on whose antitrust ox is gored.

From the Alston trial, currently in its fifth day, comes this observation from the Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin:

I doubt coaches are paying much attention now, but if the day ever comes when the NCAA openly and actively lobbies for that antitrust exemption, it’ll sure be amusing to watch the light go on.

*************************************************************************

UPDATE:  Doubling down.

2 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness, See You In Court, The NCAA

Whoa! Major change in the two-deep…

Looks like the Coke bottle’s been benched.

No word yet on whether it’s due to performance issues or some team rules violation.

27 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness

This hobby of ours ain’t cheap.

According to SunTrust-sponsored analysis by Wakefield Research (h/t), the average cost for college football fans in the Southeast this season will be $1,212. The average cost increases to $4,232 if hotel stays are included.

Cost is defined in the study as

The Southeast college football fan cost analysis was created by Wakefield Research using publicly available data. Each of the 14 teams included in the study were assessed across 14 variables (seven major and seven sub-variables). Unless otherwise stated, “ticketing” includes “ticket price” and “donation”. Data was collected between August 13-23, 2018. Ticket Price: The lowest priced season ticket providing access to 7 home games per team.

  • Donation: The lowest priced season ticket donation amount.
  • Parking: The sum of individual parking passes for each home game of the season, available through StubHub.
  • Merchandise: The average price of a jersey plus the average of the highest and lowest priced cap listed at the official store of each team.
  • Tailgating: The price of a single cooler and portable grill plus the price of seven purchase (one for each home game) of: a case of beer, a 10lb bag of ice, a bag of 50 plastic cups, and two packs of 10 hot dogs.
  • Stadium Concessions: The price of a hot dog plus a regular soda at each team’s home stadium.
  • Hotel: The average cost of a one-night stay in a minimum 3-star hotel within 3.5 miles of the stadium. Two games are used as a proxy for the season: The Saturdays when each team plays their second and third game in their home city against an SEC opponent.

SEC schools are ranked in order of total costs minus hotel expense.  Topping the list is our beloved University of Georgia.  (UGA drops to third when you add hotels to the equation.)  It’s a decent chunk of change.

In connection with the study, a survey was conducted asking people what they were willing to forego to meet the expense of going to games.

suntrust-football-financials

SunTrust didn’t survey ADs about this, and, frankly, I’m more interested in hearing what, if any, data like this portends — particularly, the notion that fans have to weigh on what essentials they spend their disposable income.

It doesn’t sound like a question keeping Greg McGarity up at nights these days, but Ole Miss’ Ross Bjork has evidently been giving the matter some thought.

Might as well be speaking a foreign language, methinks.  Sigh.

20 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, SEC Football

Dough rankings

In the take this for what it’s worth department, Forbes’ rankings of college football’s most valuable programs has seen Georgia’s stock fall from sixth in 2015 to sixteenth in 2018, behind eight other SEC schools.

The methodology has changed (“This is the first time Forbes has ranked college football teams since 2015, and this year we’ve taken a different approach to the endeavor. Our list of college football’s most valuable teams ranks the nation’s top programs by average annual revenue, rounded to the nearest million.”), so how much of that drop is apples to apples is somewhat hard to determine.

The current numbers are based on a three-year rolling average, in this case from 2014 through 2016.  Based on what’s gone down in the last year, it’s safe to presume Greg McGarity’s on that particular mother.  I expect a big jump for Georgia when Forbes revisits the list in 2021.

While I’m here, check out the big boys’ overall financial picture:

But when it comes to college football’s elite class, it’s hard to believe any arguments that there isn’t enough money to go around. From 2014 to 2016, the 23 teams at public schools on our list combined to spend an average $239 million per year on salaries and severance for football coaches, but just $90 million per year on student aid for football players. In the 2016-17 fiscal year alone, those teams’ athletic departments spent a combined $800 million on capital expenditures and $250 million on debt service for athletic facilities. That year, those same athletics programs combined to transfer just $65 million back to their universities to support academic programming.

Priorities, bitchez.

21 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness

“spinning cogs in a content machine”

There sure seems to be an uncanny resemblance between the NCAA’s amateurism protocols and FanSided’s business model, no?

8 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness, The Blogosphere, The NCAA