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London Olympics broadcast rights top $1 billion

Posted by ZA on August 22, 2008

What does it cost to broadcast the Olympics? The 2012 Olympics in London, England are the first Olympic Games in history to cost more than $1 billion dollars in U.S. broadcast fees.  NBC agreed to pay over $2 billion for the 2010 and 2012 Olympics, which includes certain global sponsorship rights.

Below is a look at the cost for Olympic broadcast rights across the history of the Olympic Games. The fees were originally just television but now include TV and online.  The amounts listed are for the U.S. broadcast rights provided by USA Today.

Year Olympics Location Network Broadcast Fee Paid
1896 Summer Olympics Athens, Greece
1900 Summer Olympics Paris, France
1904 Summer Olympics St. Louis, Missouri
1908 Summer Olympics London, England
1912 Summer Olympics Stockholm, Sweden
1916 Summer Olympics Berlin, Germany
1920 Summer Olympics Antwerp, Belgium
1924 Summer Olympics Paris, France
1924 Winter Olympics Chamonix, France
1928 Summer Olympics Amsterdam, Netherlands
1928 Winter Olympics St. Moritz, Switzerland
1932 Summer Olympics Los Angeles, California
1932 Winter Olympics Lake Placid, New York
1936 Summer Olympics Berlin, Germany
1936 Winter Olympics Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany
1940 Summer Olympics Cancelled due to WWII
1940 Winter Olympics Cancelled due to WWII
1944 Summer Olympics Cancelled due to WWII
1944 Winter Olympics Cancelled due to WWII
1948 Summer Olympics London, England
1948 Winter Olympics St. Moritz, Switzerland
1952 Summer Olympics Helsinki, Finland
1952 Winter Olympics Oslo, Norway
1956 Summer Olympics Melbourne, Australia
1956 Winter Olympics Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy
1960 Summer Olympics Rome, Italy CBS $              394,000.00
1960 Winter Olympics Squaw Valley, California CBS $               50,000.00
1964 Summer Olympics Tokyo, Japan NBC $           1,500,000.00
1964 Winter Olympics Innsbruck, Austria ABC $              597,000.00
1968 Summer Olympics Mexico City, Mexico ABC $           4,500,000.00
1968 Winter Olympics Grenoble, France ABC $           2,500,000.00
1972 Summer Olympics Munich, Germany ABC $           7,500,000.00
1972 Winter Olympics Sapporo, Japan NBC $           6,400,000.00
1976 Summer Olympics Montreal, Canada ABC $         25,000,000.00
1976 Winter Olympics Innsbruck, Austria ABC $         10,000,000.00
1980 Summer Olympics Moscow, Russia NBC $         87,000,000.00
1980 Winter Olympics Lake Placid, New York ABC $         15,500,000.00
1984 Summer Olympics Los Angeles, California ABC $       225,000,000.00
1984 Winter Olympics Sarajevo, Yugoslavia ABC $         91,500,000.00
1988 Summer Olympics Seoul, South Korea NBC $       300,000,000.00
1988 Winter Olympics Calgary, Canada ABC $       309,000,000.00
1992 Summer Olympics Barcelona, Spain NBC $       401,000,000.00
1992 Winter Olympics Albertville, France CBS $       243,000,000.00
1996 Summer Olympics Atlanta, Georgia NBC $       456,000,000.00
1998 Winter Olympics Nagano, Japan CBS $       375,000,000.00
2000 Summer Olympics Sydney, Australia NBC $       705,000,000.00
2002 Winter Olympics Salt Lake City, Utah NBC $       545,000,000.00
2004 Summer Olympics Athens, Greece NBC $       793,000,000.00
2006 Winter Olympics Torino, Italy NBC $       613,000,000.00
2008 Summer Olympics Beijing, China NBC $       894,000,000.00
2010 Winter Olympics Vancouver, Canada NBC $       820,000,000.00
2012 Summer Olympics London, England NBC $     1,181,000,000.00

All amounts are in US Dollars.

Edit: The 1994 Winter Games in Lillehammer were mistakenly left off list above. CBS paid $300 million to broadcast the ’94 Games.

Posted in Money, NBC, Olympics, Sports Television | 9 Comments »

Where to attend college if you want to be rich

Posted by ZA on August 12, 2008

Most kids grow up dreaming about being an astronaut, doctor, fireman or policeman.  Many kids grow up dreaming about being rich.  Now Forbes Magazine has put together a list of the top colleges to attend if you do want to be rich.  Forbes based their study on the median salary for graduates of each school in the years after graduation.

The top school in America was Dartmouth University where graduates earned an average salary of $58,000 in their first five years out of school.  That number jumped up to $134,000 for Big Green graduates with ten to twenty years of experience.  Top earners who call Dartmouth their alma mater earned an average of more than $321,000.

Below is a complete list of the top 20 schools to attend if you want to get rich.  Since not everyone can afford, or can get into, the top universities in the country beneath that are the top 20 public colleges to attend if you want to get rich.

Top Colleges for Getting Rich by Forbes
1. Dartmouth
2. Princeton
3. Stanford
4. Yale
5. MIT
6. Harvard
7. Penn
8. Notre Dame
9. New York Polytechnic
10. Worcester Polytechnic
11. University of Chicago
12. Cal Berkeley
13. Carnegie Mellon
14. Bucknell
14. Georgetown
14. Rice
14. Cornell
14. Renssalaer Polytechnic
19. Brown
20. Colgate

Below are a list of the top 20 public colleges to attend if you want to get rich.

Top Public Colleges for Getting Rich by Forbes
1. Cal Berkeley
2. Virginia
3. Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
3. Cal San Diego
6. Cal Davis
7. Colorado
8. Cal Irvine
9. University Illinois Urbana-Champaign
9. Texas A&M
11.  SUNY Binghampton
12. Missouri University of Science & Tech
13. San Jose State
14. Cal Santa Barbara
14. Maryland
16. University of Texas
17. Michigan
18. SUNY Stony Brook
19. SUNY Albany
20. Rutgers

Posted in Money | 1 Comment »

Slowing economy will hinder domestic sports sponsorships

Posted by ZA on July 18, 2008

The news this past week was not good for sports marketing executives as both Budweiser and Coca-Cola announced they would be cutting costs in marketing.  Although Budweiser quickly backtracked to say their cuts “will not diminish” their large sports marketing sponsorship deals.  That just means that they aren’t going to make any large above-board cuts to their sports marketing sponsorships, but you can be dang sure they are going to start trimming from the bottom.

Plus, it certainly indicates that there will not be a lot of additional, new money flowing into new sports sponsorship deals.  If two of the biggest players in the space are cutting back their spending, then surely other companies will be following suit.  At least those companies that are located in the United States will be cutting back, there are still opportunities for foreign companies to parlay the dollars weakness against their currency into sponsorship opportunities (hello, Barclays Center).

That cutback from U.S. corporations is going to be felt across the sports landscape.  Endorsement deals will be scrutinized more and limited in scope for everyone but the top athletes (Tiger Woods isn’t worried).  Team marketing personnel who are trying to fill up in-stadium sponsorship opportunities are going to have to stretch further to find those businesses that can afford that luxury. We might even start to see outfield walls that look like the one in Bull Durham with the hit it here to win a free steak billboard…wait Shea Stadium’s outfield wall already looks that crowded.  Owners building new stadiums, like Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys, might have to search harder to find companies willing to shell out huge dollars to plant their name on that stadium.

Overall, these type of cutbacks in marketing dollars are going to affect the bottom line of a lot of leagues, teams, universities and athletes.  Until the economy comes around it will be more of the same, as companies try to ride out the storm and are limited in where they can spend their dollars.

Note: If fairness to Anheuser-Busch’s commitment to continue their spending, they did announce a renewal of their United State’s Olympic Committee sponsorship, and a commitment to support that with a siginificant media buy during the Beijing Games.

Posted in Money, Sponsorship Deals, Sports Marketing | Leave a Comment »

2008 NBA Finals will be richest series in history

Posted by ZA on May 31, 2008

The executives at ABC Sports are going to sleep well this weekend knowing that when they get into the office on Monday they’re going to book more ad revenue than the NBA Finals has in over a decade.  This is the most highly anticipated NBA Finals since Michael Jordan hung up his Bulls jersey, and the TV ratings and ad dollars generated will reflect that.

This is the 11th time the Celtics and Lakers have played each other in the NBA Finals.  Their match ups during the 1980’s when Larry Bird and Magic Johnson played were the “heyday” for the NBA.  Bird, Magic and Jordan were ambassadors for the NBA; so those 80’s series between Celts and Lakers were the foundation of the success the league has experienced since then.

So who are the big winners from this Celtics/Lakers match up?  Who benefits the most aside from the teams themselves?

* ABC Sports– Executives at ABC Sports have been playing Russian Roulette in their offices for the past 10 days.  The bullet they dodged was a San Antonio Spurs vs Detroit Pistons championship match up, which would have been more of a “clunker” than when they played that same series a few years ago (shivers down the spin of ABC execs everywhere).  They would have had to pump Prozac into the coffee in their cafeteria if the Spurs and Pistons had won.  Instead ABC is about to have the highest rated NBA Finals in over a decade (maybe ever) and should set a record for the ad revenue sold on this NBA Finals.

* The NBA & Commissioner David Stern– Stern has been doing nothing but stepping on landmines lately (Sonics relocating, players running afoul with the law) and has had to preside over some dark days for the NBA in recent years (Referee scandal, Pistons/Pacers brawl, etc), but this NBA Finals will shine a lot of positive light on the league and Stern.  This match up is a throwback to the glory days of the NBA when gas was under $1.00 per gallon and Larry Bird was knocking down jump shots.  Expect to see the Commissioner on TV smiling a lot, he’s going to be thinking about a renaissance for high league that starts with this Finals.

* The Fans– East Coast vs West Coast.  California vs New England.  Two franchises that have participated in a combined 49 NBA Finals.  NBA superstars Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett.  Loads of Hollywood celebrities sitting courtside at the Staples Center while Marky Mark and Beantown’s finest show up in Boston.  This series has appeal that will draw in fans from all across the country (world).  I’m only a casual NBA fan, but I know that I’ll watch every game in this series.  The interest in this series from fans will be huge, and the hype in the media will even go beyond that.

* The Media– There is nothing worse for the sports media than trying to “prop up” a lame Championship series, watching them trying to hype Astros vs White Sox World Series a couple of years ago was like watching George Foreman trying to pimp his mini grills (just not appealing).  But a Lakers versus Celtics series stands on its on merits, there won’t need to be any pimping by the media to get fans interested.  Instead ESPN can go into full hype mode with hourly reports from Boston and Los Angeles, and every single possible angle covered.  I full expect Skip Bayless’ head will explode during the next two weeks.

* Ticket Brokers– Yes, I know a little something about this topic.  That cash register sound you hear is the sound coming from ticket brokers in Boston and Los Angeles where ticket prices are going to be sky high.  You want to sit courtside, next to Justin Timberlake, for Game 5 of the series?  You’ll need to own an Amex black card.

* Nike – Never hurts to have one of your marquee endorsers as the key star in the series, expect to see a lot of Kobe Bryant’s “mamba” shoes during the series.  I even expect to see a resurgence of the video of Kobe jumping over the car.

* Adidas – Ironic that the two shoe titans will once again clash with Adidas support Celtics KG and Nike putting their money behind Kobe.  KG has a lifetime endorsement contract with Adidas that he signed back in 2003.

When the smoke clears I expect the revenue generated by this series will easily be the most in the history of the NBA Finals.  Merchandise sales, ticket sales, tv ad revenue, etc. will all be at record levels.  So sit back and enjoy the show because the hype is already started and Game 1 is Thursday.

Magic vs Bird
Will they make a replica of this famous photo for the 2008 Finals with Kobe & KG?
(Photo courtesy:

Posted in Money, NBA, Sports Marketing, Sports Television, Tickets | Leave a Comment »

Donald Trump takes shots at ARod

Posted by ZA on May 9, 2008

New York Yankees 3rd baseman Alex Rodriguez is one of the highest paid players in baseball ($28 million in 2008), he is also one of the most often criticized.  His brand has taken heat in recent years for the rich contract he signed with the Texas Rangers, his lackluster performance in the post-season, and the way he renegotiated his contract with the Yankees.  Now ARod is taking shots from The Donald.

Trump talked about Rodriguez and Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter at a luncheon he spoke at in Arkansas.  Trump said, “(Rodriguez) always plays bad under pressure.  Derek Jeter, he’s the greatest.  People love Derek Jeter.”  When Trump realized his comments were being taped he said, “Are those cameras on?  This going to get broadcast back home.  Oh, now he’ll (Rodriguez) leave my building.”

Alex Rodriguez owns an apartment in Trump Park Avenue that is valued at close to $8 million.  Jeter also has an apartment in a Trump building, he bought a place in Trump World Tower in 2001.

Posted in MLB, Money | 2 Comments »

Athletes on Time’s 100 Most Influential in World list

Posted by ZA on May 6, 2008

Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World is an annual list of people who had a major impact on us all.  The list is a who’s who of notable politicians, scientists, business executives and entertainers.  The members of the distinguished list are broken out into five categories on Time’s website; Leaders & Revolutionaries, Heroes & Pioneers, Scientist & Thinkers, Artists & Entertainers and Builders & Titans.  The 2008 version was just released and among the famous faces there are five people from the world of sports.  It is quite an honor for these athletes to be included in this select group; these five are listed next to World leaders and Nobel Prize winners.

The Five Athletes on Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World List:
* Andre Agassi
Former tennis star is active with his wife, Steffi Graf, in many charitable organizations.
* Kaka
Brazilian soccer star was named the FIFA World Player of the Year in 2007.  He was a big part of AC Milan’s success last year.  Outside of sports Kaka is an ambassador for the U.N. World Food Program.
* Lance Armstrong
Cycling star is now best known for his search for a cure to cancer.  His Lance Armstrong Foundation has raised tens of millions through their Livestrong campaign.
* Lorena Ochoa
Currently the #1 ladies golfer in the World.  Ochoa hails from Guadalajara, Mexico and has given her fellow people an international sports star to proudly represent their country.
* Oscar Pistorius
South African sprinter lobbyed unsuccessfully to be included in the field at the 2008 Beijing Games.  Pistorius was excluded because he has two prosthetic legs, which has had since his legs were amputated when he was 1 year old.  Pistorius is proof to the World that a physical disability does limit the heights to which an athlete can obtain.

There are also two other members of the list, which were honored for other contributions, but that have deep ties to sports.  Senator George Mitchell, who has been leading the investigation of steriods in Major League Baseball, and Paul Allen, who owns the NBA’s Portland Trailblazers and NFL’s Seattle Seahawks.  Allen is the former Microsoft exec with a passion for music and sports.  He recently turned around the fortunes of both the franchises he owns; the Seahawks played in the NFC Championship Game two seasons ago and the Trailblazers finally competed in the NBA’s Western Confernce after idling in mediocrity for years.  A lot of Allen’s success in sports has been because of his ability to spend more money than the competition, a term which employees who work for Allen’s team came to know as SPAM (Spend Paul Allen’s Money). These two men might not be solely known for their involvement in sports, but they are undeniably linked to sports.

These seven people from the world of sports are in good company on the Time100 list.  They are joined by the Dalai Lama, Steve Jobs, President George W. Bush, Vladimir Putin, Oprah Winfrey, John McCain, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, 9 other entertainers, movie stars or directors, and 7 stars from the music world, including Miley Cyrus.

So congratulations to these sports notables on receiving this distinguished honor.  It is one thing to win on the field, it is another to have your influence extend well beyond the sports that you are involved.  The recognition is an honor for each of them, and the extra attention is sure to increase the value of each of their personal (professional) brands.

A similar number of figures from the sports world were honored on Time’s2007 top 100 list: Arnold Schwarzenegger (former professional bodybuilder), Tony Dungy (Indianapolis Colts head coach), Roger Federer (#1 male tennis player), Chien-Ming Wang (NY Yankees pitcher), Thierry Henry (soccer star), and Paul Allen (owner).

Posted in MLB, Money, Random Stuff, Sports Brands, Sports Marketing | 2 Comments »

Storage room sells for $800K in NYC

Posted by ZA on April 25, 2008

I thought we were supposed to be in a real estate downturn?  I guess there are still a few places in the United States that are recession proof when it comes to real estate.  I heard on NPR this morning about a basement storage room in Manhattan that sold for $801,000.  A room had previously been used as storage for tenants in the building.

Of course the storage room is 800 square feet, which is larger than many of the apartments in Manhattan.  And the storage room is located in the tony Dakota building, which is located directly across from Central Park.  A building that has been home to many famous residents; John Lennon & Yoko Ono, Connie Chung, John Madden and Lauren Bacall.

But the real kicker in this story is the hedge fund manager, who lives in the building, that bought the storage room plans to convert it into a workout room.  That is one expensive gym membership.  Only in America!

Read more on the story here.

Posted in Money | Leave a Comment »