How NASCAR plans to boost ratings and attendance, plus more top sports business stories

Rick Horrow sits down with Jon Butler, Executive Director, Pop Warner, Tony Ponturo, former CEO, Anheuser-Busch Media Group EVP Strategy, Turnkey Sports & Entertainment, and Nick Sakiewicz, Commissioner, National Lacrosse League, plus takes you through the biggest sports business stories of the week.

How NASCAR plans to boost ratings and attendance, plus more top sports business stories

Rick Horrow sits down with Jon Butler, Executive Director, Pop Warner, Tony Ponturo, former CEO, Anheuser-Busch Media Group EVP Strategy, Turnkey Sports & Entertainment, and Nick Sakiewicz, Commissioner, National Lacrosse League, plus takes you through the biggest sports business stories of the week.

How NASCAR plans to boost ratings and attendance, plus more top sports business stories originally appeared on nbcsportswashington.com

By Rick Horrow

Podcast edited by Tanner Simkins

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  • Youth baseball gets a boost from Stadium and Adidas. Stadium inked an exclusive partnership with the 2019 Cal Ripken Major/70 World Series, a tournament of champions for players aged 12 and under. Stadium will air thirty-four live games over eight days, including the International Championship, U.S. Championship, and World Championship on August 10. Similarly, Little League Baseball and Softball inked a multi-year partnership with Adidas that will see the brand become the official uniform, footwear, and coaches apparel supplier for the Little League World Series and a Little League Official Sponsor. Beginning this season, Adidas will design and create all official on-field uniforms for all seven total Little League World Series events throughout the United States. Additionally, Adidas will outfit all teams with cleats, training apparel, and accessories, and all coaches will be supplied with athletic footwear and apparel. To kick off the partnership's first season, Adidas will design brand and marketing activations at both the Little League Baseball World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania and the Little League Softball World Series in Portland, Oregon. Right before school resumes in August, our attention will be riveted on school-age bats and gloves at their annual peak. 

  • NASCAR has a plan to boost attendance and ratings: betting on races. NASCAR has signed an exclusive data partnership with Genius Sports, a deal they believe will lead to an in-race betting product and help battle slumping attendance and TV ratings. According to Hashtag Sports, currently, bets on NASCAR races are few and far between at U.S. sports books, who often only have head-to-head options or odds on the race winner. Genius will use up-to-the-second data points like car speed and track position to build a betting product that the London-based company can sell to sports books. Exclusive access to the data will allow Genius to create a betting platform that provides traditional wagers-like who will win-and prop bets such as the number of lead changes or whether a Chevy will end up in victory lane. Sports leagues and teams typically see increased engagement when live betting is offered. Not only does it attract new fans, but live betting keeps them engaged for longer periods of time. NASCAR is hoping for the same response as support for the racing circuit both in-person and on TV declines.

  • LA 2028 has released its first budget for the 2028 Summer Olympic Games, a $6.88 billion spending plan that includes a $616 million contingency for overruns. The top line is 29% higher than a $5.33 billion budget released in 2017, which has been the most commonly cited price for the Games. However, that figure was calculated in 2016 dollars, and was designed for a 2024 Games. The new 2028 budget reflects the longer lead-time Los Angeles agreed to when it accepted the 2028 hosting duties and ceded the race for 2024 to Paris. More importantly, it is calculated in "real money" terms, adjusted for inflation based on when each dollar will actually be raised and spent. According to LA 2028 Chair Casey Wasserman, the much-discussed $2.5 billion domestic sponsorship revenue goal was already inflation-adjusted and does not change. The new number also includes $200 million in additional IOC funding promised as part of the deal L.A. accepted in exchange for being awarded the 2028 Games. Most of that $200 million will be spent on funding youth sports programs in L.A. and committee operations for an additional four years.

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