The Jake Peavy Foundation Partners with EverFi to Teach Financial Literacy to Empower Young People
The Jake Peavy Foundation has partnered with leading education technology company EverFi in a program designed to empower young people with the essential skills needed to make sound financial decisions. Former MLB pitcher and Cy Young winner Peavy, who aspires to return to MLB, has partnered with EverFi on a financial education program that will impact students in his home state of Alabama and in numerous cities in which he played. Peavy developed his own financial acumen the hard way. In 2015, the two-time World Series champion was swindled out of more than $15 million in a Ponzi-like investment scheme brought to him by a shady advisor. Now, he’s passionate about helping students build their financial futures through the Jake Peavy Foundation Focus Forward program, a financial education course powered by EverFi. “Financial literacy became part of my story,” Peavy told MLB.com. “As you get older in life, you want to recognize the platform you’ve been given…financial literacy is something I’m passionate about and truly believe makes a difference in these young peoples’ lives.” Yet another example of an exemplary partnership between a sports standout, education, and communities.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are looking to sell the naming rights to the field at Dodgers Stadium
According to SportsBusiness Journal, the team is seeking $12 million per year from the right bidder to effectively change the stadium field’s name to “X Corp. Field at Dodger Stadium,” not straying too far from the current name. The naming rights have been on the market since early spring. Dodgers President and CEO Stan Kasten confidently noted that he is “not concerned about the risk of sullying the name of an iconic stadium” by selling the naming rights. The team currently has in-stadium naming rights deals with BMW for the stadium suites, Ketel One for the baseline club, and Coca-Cola for the right-field pavilion. Kasten also claimed the Dodger Stadium name is not for sale. “That has never been for sale,” said Kasten. “It never will be for sale.” Icons deserve to remain icons, which is why you’ll never see a corporate name in front of Dodger Stadium, Lambeau Field, Fenway Park, and the other true monuments to sport. They are truly priceless.
In other tennis news, the USTA has announced that total player compensation for this year’s U.S. Open will top $50 million “for the first time,” with a record $3.7 million going to “each of the singles champions.”
The total purse will be $50.4 million, a nearly 9% “increase from last year.” Singles runners-up will get $1.825 million, up from $1.75 million in 2016. Both men’s and women’s doubles champions will earn $675,000, the “highest in U.S. Open history.” And a player who loses in the first round “will make $50,000, an increase of $6,700.” For comparative purposes, Open Championship winner Jordan Spieth pocketed $1,845,000 for winning the 146th edition of the Open at Royal Birkdale on Sunday, out of a record $10,250,000 purse for that event. While Speith seems to be doing okay at this golf thing – he just won his third major before turning 24, after all – maybe he should take a crack at tennis, where the “real” money is.
MLS continues its push to find the right expansion cities, and the competition is heating up.
According to the Charlotte Observer, MLS officials recently visited Charlotte, North Carolina, where they had a “very positive and productive” experience. About 200-250 people attended a rally following the officials’ visit, as the city hopes to land an expansion team that would begin playing in 2020. The team would play in a brand new, $175 million facility, though controversy remains surrounding the “public funding portion of the proposed 20,000-seat stadium.” There were no discussions regarding financing during the visit in Charlotte; instead, the focus was placed on business and community leaders with a stadium site visit included in the agenda. MLS President & Deputy Commissioner Mark Abbott “outlined the four criteria MLS evaluates for potential expansion markets: the ownership group, the stadium plan, community support and how the market can help the MLS grow.” San Diego, Miami, and other prospective MLS markets, take note.
The WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx have officially submitted a bid to land the hosting rights for the 2018 All-Star Game.
According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the team wants to host the event at the Target Center, which will be fully renovated in a matter of months. The team is noted to be in the “middle of a historic run,” having played in two of the last five WNBA Finals and winning two of those. Coupled with the team’s stellar annual attendance and a soon-to-be-renovated Target Center, that makes the Minnesota franchise a likely winner for the event. Lynx Owner Glen Taylor spoke highly of the possibility to host the game. “Right now is the right time for us to do it,” said Taylor. “This is a team that is winning, with the great players we have. We have a new practice facility and the Target Center. Just everything. There is a lot to show off.” The WNBA ASG at Seattle’s Key Arena drew 15,221 fans this weekend, and proved a great opportunity to show off the city, the franchise, and its fans. While Minneapolis will get plenty of exposure as Super Bowl host, the WNBA midsummer celebration would give it another season in the sun.
The Golden State Warriors announced their new ticket “membership” program structure for Chase Center when it opens in 2019
The Golden State Warriors announced their new ticket structure for Chase Center when it opens in 2019, calling it a “membership” program. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the new program will “require season-ticket buyers to pay a one-time fee that will enable them to buy their seats for 30 years.” What really makes this proposition interesting is that the Warriors have promised all fans that they will be reimbursed in full after 30 years. This “membership” program comes as the newest evolution in Personal Seat Licenses (PSLs), a trend that has been sweeping through new stadiums for all sports. The initial 30-year payment will be enabled to be paid in full or through financing payment programs. The memberships can be sold, but only through a marketplace run by the team. Warriors President and COO Rick Welts said that “half of the expected 11,000 to 12,000 season-ticket memberships would be priced under $15,000.” The other half “could sell at a much higher cost.” The new program could also allow naming rights partner Chase to get in on the financing action as a preferred financial services partner – one way to chip away at the $1 billion Chase paid for the privilege of putting its name on the building.
Major League Lacrosse is ready to expand
That is what Chesapeake Bayhawks Owner Brendan Kelly believes, at least. According to the Annapolis Capital Gazette, team owners are expecting the league’s new commissioner to push for expansion upon taking office. Finding new media partners is also an expectation that owners have of the soon-to-be-named commissioner. Currently, all MLL games are broadcast by the Lax Sports Network, “which holds exclusive rights.” Lacrosse, considered to be a niche sport by many, is largely fragmented, as explained by Kelly: “The MLL and NLL are doing their things. We should all be working together as a unit to grow the game.” Kelly and the Bayhawks are pioneering a revolution in the league; one example of that is the team’s plan to build a lacrosse-specific venue for home games. Expansion might also help reduce the amount of parity in the league, since seven of nine teams finished with an 8-6 record last season.
NBA Hall of Famer Dikembe Mutombo wants to own the Houston Rockets
According to SportsBusiness Journal, the legendary big man is trying to get a group together that would ultimately vie to purchase the franchise he played for in his glory days. Mutombo retired back in 2009 after playing his final five years in the NBA in Houston for the Rockets. “I’m working on it,” said Mutombo. “I’m talking to a lot of people already. We’ll see. I’m just talking to people who can cut the check and they can make me be part of it.” Two years ago, Mutombo missed an opportunity to be part of a group that purchased the Atlanta Hawks, the team he played for from 1996-2001. He still has a home in Houston, so the move of taking over control would not cause him to drastically uproot his life and move. The Rockets’ sale is speculated to reach the $2 billion price tag the Clippers commanded three years ago. So while Mutombo is saying the right things and displaying the same leadership traits as he did on the court, he’d better be courting some deep-pocketed partners. And fast – other suitors are circling.
The International Champions Cup has become a marquee event across the United States as the sports’ popularity continues to grow.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, big time European clubs are seizing the opportunity to grow their brand across the Atlantic thanks to “the most prominent preseason tournament in the world.” Rivalry matchups such as Real Madrid vs. FC Barcelona and Manchester United vs. Manchester City have been drawing big crowds to NFL stadiums across the U.S. Though some players and managers in the past have “complained about the long travel distances, the heat and other hurdles” of the trips to the U.S., they also “know it’s an opportunity to build their individual brands.” The games, even the big rivalry contests, definitely lack the intensity that they carry in Europe and often feature reserve players, but players have recognized this special opportunity to show off their talents in front of a new crowd. StubHub has been a prime marketplace to buy tickets for these games, which are being played all across the country. As the NFL establishes more regular-season beachheads in London, Mexico City, and elsewhere, it’s only logical that its European marquee equivalent would be operating from the same playbook here.
The Montreal Canadians are making a move to help better the environment…much to the chagrin of their fan base.
According to the Montreal Gazette, the NHL franchise notified its fan that this season’s tickets will only be available “in mobile format,” with season-ticket holders set to “receive the tickets electronically on their smartphones.” If someone wants printed paper tickets, it will cost an extra $150 per seat, plus taxes. News of this decision, delivered via email, caused a bit of a stir among the fan base, prompting many to call “the new fees a cash grab.” In the letter to season-ticket holders, team management “cites security, ease of use and environmental sustainability as reasons for the change.” Another team considering this move is the Toronto Maple Leafs, though they have not made this big jump yet. Get used to it, sports fans – electronic tickets are the format of the future, for all of the reasons cited above. Reading between the lines, it’s likely that the portion of the fan base complaining skews older, as younger fans are almost entirely comfortable with an all-electronic universe. We’ll continue to see paper tickets for a while – mostly offered as memorabilia, which comes with a cost.