14 Takeaways From the World of Sports Business
Huge multi sports collage taekwondo, tennis, soccer, basketball,

Check out these quick snapshots across the sports industry in May 2022

Welcome!

  1. Well, I am apparently over my anger about the baseball lockout. Yes, I am following the game to a degree, especially because the Mets are off to a good start. The New York Yankees are also off to a very good start, and it seems to be ramping up to be a great summer for Baseball in New York. If you are in the New York area, let’s just enjoy it!. We do not need a fan grudge match with the Mets and Yankees for every single game.
  2. We had our first so called “real” no-hitter of 2022 in Major League Baseball. Angels rookie Reid Detmers entered a recent game with Tampa Bay with a 5.32 ERA. He exited it having thrown the second no-hitter of the season in a 12-0 shellacking of the Rays. His pitching line: 9 IP, 2 K, 1 BB, 108 pitches (68 strikes). At 22, he is the youngest pitcher in franchise history to throw a no-hitter, and the youngest in the MLB since Aníbal Sánchez in 2006 with the Marlins. This was the 12th no-hitter in Angels history, and the 25th by a rookie in MLB history. Detmers’ 6.33 career ERA is the third highest entering a no-hitter since ER became official in 1913. He’s just the fifth pitcher in the Divisional Era (1969) to throw a no-hitter with 2 Ks or fewer. Detmers, the Angels’ first-round pick in 2020, had thrown just 42 career innings entering Tuesday, and never more than six in any game.
  3. It is “really” not the first “no-no” this year, as the Mets used five pitchers to combine for a no hitter a couple of weeks ago against the Phillies (a good hitting ball club!). Here is my problem: Noah Syndergaard, who used to pitch for the Mets, whom the Mets coddled with rehab for two years, and who was offered $18 million for one year (what an insult?) seems to be tweaking the Mets at every opportunity he gets. He sent out an Instagram post that this was “a real no hitter,” as opposed to the Mets. I have three words for Noah: “Grow the hell up!” OK, it was four words, you’re right. But what a friggin’ baby! I must admit, I love how Max Scherzer responded to Arc Boy, saying, “If he wants, I’ll show him what a real ring looks like. The closest he’ll get is a halo over his head.” What a burn. Just tremendous.
  4. The hockey playoffs, which are one of my favorite playoffs to follow, have been interesting as we close our Round 1. The New York Rangers have come to the realization that it is a vastly different season than the regular season. I’m not gloating, as it is not over, but as an Islanders fan whose team did not even make the playoffs this year, the firing of Barry Trots has left me somewhat stunned and puzzled. I am pulling for the Colorado Avalanche to win the cup this year.
  5. In sports business, Tom Brady has signed a $375 million deal for “whenever he is ready” to be the lead analyst for Fox sports. It just makes you wonder if the so-called “GOAT,” which I do not believe he is, actually enjoys being around his family? Maybe that’s rude, but just how much is enough for this guy? I, for one, can live without seeing him on TV in the future. I figure I’m not alone, as out of 32 NFL cities, only two really root for the guy Maybe one and a half.
  6. The NBA basketball playoffs are also in full swing, and I am very pleased with the first round Boston Celtics sweep of the Brooklyn Nets. This is vindication and validation for every team that plays like a team, for every coach who works his ass off to understand the nuances of the game, not just because they were great players. And, it proves once again that the idea of All-Star teams made up of superstars is a red herring! I grew up hating the Boston Celtics as a Knicks fan, but I couldn’t be happier to see the Celtics sweep the Nets for those reasons.
  7. We know the NBA is run by the players and that is one of the reasons why I think the NBA has lost interest for a lot of people including myself. There are tremendous athletes in this league, but their game is not a game that promotes team play, role-play, and everybody pulling ahead together—It is about “me,” and any team or league that’s more about me than team is one I do not care to watch. By the way, their attendance is down, and their ratings are down. It’s possible that, like the DOT.COM bubble, the valuations of their teams are way up.
  8. Quick! What is the fastest growing sport in America? If you said Pickleball, go to the head of the line (or get yourself a Dill!) Pickleball is the fastest-growing sport in America and continues to attract new players. Marc Lasry, Gary Vaynerchuk and Tom Dundon have recently made sizable investments in the sport. Life Time health clubs are building 700 new courts across the country and hosting tournaments.
  9. Sports gambling continues to rake in the dough, although you have to wonder if people are just getting in over their head with this easily accommodated habit. By the way, if you bet the long shot (Rich Strike) in the Kentucky Derby at 80-1, and perhaps put ONE DOLLAR in a Superfecta bet (including the 21 horse), you would have won about $324,000! (So, for $10, that’s $3.21 million). Yowzah!
  10. So, with that, go figure this news…. Churchill Downs, which owns the Kentucky Derby, is moving away from online sports betting to focus on horse race betting. The company says it is switching its strategy because sports betting became too costly. Churchill Downs is also looking internationally for its next big growth area.
  11. Sports e-commerce company Fanatics added SoftBank executive Lydia Jett and former Airbnb CMO Jonathan Mildenhall to its board of directors. Fanatics, which has an estimated valuation of $27 billion, wants to transform into a $100 billion company that offers online sports gambling.
  12. The legendary West Coast rapper Snoop Dogg joined with entrepreneur Ken Howery to purchase the Bivouac team. The BIG3 basketball league is poised to welcome Snoop Dogg and Ken Howery, the co-founder of PayPal and a former US Ambassador, into its ownership family. On Friday, Boardroom confirmed that the duo is buying into the 3-on-3 competition by acquiring the Bivouac team outright as part of the BIG3’s innovative program that allows investors to obtain equity the league through the purchase of specially designated NFTs.
  13. “The BIG3 is on the leading edge of enabling blockchain technology as utility,” said Howery in a release. “The league’s embrace of NFTs as ownership rights is both visionary and practical, key features of every smart investment.”

On a much more serious note:  

14. Here is the big concern for me and I am truly upset about it. The recent malaise of young people taking their own lives. We had three superstar college female athletes at three different schools recently do this and I think there needs to be some strong focus on mental health, not just for student athletes, but for young people in general. I find this very disconcerting and heartbreaking. I would be happy to put together some type of forum or advice counsel to help address this issue. If somebody out there has an idea of how to help, please contact me at [email protected]

With that said, be well. Yours in sports and sports biz, DT

Related content:

For the Hate of the Game

5 Hispanics Making a Difference in the Sports Industry

2021: A Recap of Another Bizarre Year in Sports

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