The Top News In #Sportsbiz – 05.20.13 – 05.27.13

Sports Business

ESPN Makes Harsh Sports Business Layoffs

ESPN is set to make hundreds of layoffs. ‘The Worldwide Leader in Sports’ who is owned by Disney will reduce staff as well as avoid hiring for current unfilled positions.

The company would not say how many jobs are being eliminated. ESPN has about 7,000 employees worldwide. They are expected to layoff several hundred employees, somewhere between the 300-400 mark (including unfilled positions) according to a tweet from James Andrew Miller.

This layoff process seems more like an out with the old, in with the new approach, which could be due to ESPN’s rising costs for the broadcasting rights to live sports.

This isn’t a new process for companies owned by Disney. In April, they laid off about 150 people at LucasArts, the video-game making division of Lucasfilm, four months after acquiring the company for $4.06 billion.

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Sports Marketing

Charlotte Bobcats Could Change their Name

According to a source familiar to the situation, Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan is changing the name of the franchise to the Hornets. Jordan reportedly has a timetable in mind for the name change, which he will reveal during a press conference scheduled for Tuesday. The name change has yet to be publicly announced.

The Charlotte franchise is accustomed to the Hornets name as it was the name of the city’s basketball franchise before their eventual move to New Orleans.

The name change comes on the heels of the New Orleans Hornets changing their team name to the Pelicans, starting in the 2013-14 season. A reason for Charlotte’s name change could be due to the lack of success that the franchise has experienced as the Bobcats. During the team’s 9-year history, Charlotte has only qualified for the playoffs once.

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Sports Sponsorship

Anheuser-Busch a Sports Sponsorship Heavyweight

St. Louis based Anheuser-Busch, the leading beer brewer in the United States – holding a 47.6 percent share of U.S. beer sales to retailers – was recently named “Sports Sponsor of the Year” at the 2013 Sports Business Awards.

The company brews Budweiser and Bud Light, two of the world’s largest-selling beers and is also a major manufacturer of aluminum cans and has been a leading aluminum recycler for more than 30 years.

The company can now add another notch to its credibility by taking home this award in the field of sports sponsorship.

The award – decided by a panel of industry executives – marked Anheuser-Busch’s first win and second nomination at the Sports Business Awards and was accepted by Blaise D’Sylva, vice president of media, sports and entertainment marketing for Anheuser-Busch.

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Sports Jobs

Vancouver Canucks Fire Alain Vigneault

After suffering a first-round defeat for the second consecutive season, Vancouver Canucks’ general manager Mike Gillis announced on Wednesdaythat he had fired head coach Alain Vigneault and two of his assistants, Rick Bowness and Newell Brown. Vigneault was hired on as the team’s head coach in 2006, and when Gillis stepped in for former general manager Dave Nonis in 2008, he opted to keep Vigneault on as head coach.

Vigneault led the Canucks to six Northwest division titles, two Presidents Trophies, and an appearance in the 2011 Stanley Cup Final in which the Canucks fell to the Boston Bruins in seven games. Vigneault posted a 313-170-57 while in Vancouver, making him the winningest coach in franchise history.

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Sports Sales

Sacramento Kings Historic Ticket Sales

With the city of Sacramento fighting tooth and nail to keep the NBA’s Kings in their city – stopping a potential move to Seattle – the team has recently witnessed its single-best day of ticket sales since the first day of the franchise’s existence more than 30 years ago.

The franchise doesn’t release ticket sales information, but accoridng to Kings representative Chris Clark calls were coming in every few seconds when new season ticket sales opened Tuesday.

Thousands of Kings fans were expected to rally downtown Sacramento on Thursday to celebrate the team’s future. New managing partner Vivek Ranadive was among seven members of the new ownership group expected to be on-hand, along with former players Mitch Richmond and Chris Webber and current Kings Tyreke Evans and Isaiah Thomas.

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Sports Technology

MLB’s At the Ballpark App an Award Winner

MLB Advanced Media has won Best in Sports Technology for its “At The Ballpark” mobile application at the sixth annual Sports Business Awards.

The product tied together ticketing, ballpark amenity wayfinding, seat upgrades, social media, player walk-up music, video highlights and other content in ways unprecedented in the industry.

Unlike At Bat, which tells the story of the game, the At The Ballpark is much more experiential.

The app perfectly personalizes the trip or users with mobile check-in, social media, offers, rewards and exclusive content, including always-updated and downloadable player entrance music.

Select ballparks also offer mobile food ordering and seat and experience upgrade components, so the app is customizable to each of the 30 Major League clubs and is increasingly a win-win for clubs and fans.

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Published by: Sports Networker

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