On the latest Sporticast episode, hosts Scott Soshnick and Eben Novy-Williams discuss some of the biggest sports business stories of the week, including the latest from the NFL playoffs. The Dallas Cowboys lost (again), the Detroit Lions won (a rarity) and more than 23 million people found the league’s first playoff game primarily broadcast on a streaming service.
It was a dramatic first few NFL playoff games. The Cowboys’ blowout loss to the Green Bay Packers was a boon to sports books, though likely a bummer for the NFL. The Lions’ win over the Los Angeles Rams was a historic moment for one of the league’s older franchises–Detroit had lost nine straight playoff games, a streak dating back to 1991.
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The hosts also talk about two interesting parts of the Kansas City Chiefs’ win over the Miami Dolphins. Outside of the two home markets, the game was shown exclusively on NBC’s Peacock, a $110 million experiment in measuring both the strength of the NFL’s brand and tech savviness of its fanbase. The game drew 23 million streamers, more than both hosts expected. They talk about what that might mean for other sports in talks with streaming services like Amazon Prime, Peacock and AppleTV.
They also talk about the business lessons from the viral jacket that popstar Taylor Swift wore to the game. The jacket was made by Kristen Juszczyk, wife of 49ers fullback Kyle Juszczyk, who sent it on a whim to Swift via Patrick Mahomes’ wife. The jacket drew attention across the internet, leading to loads of attention for its designer.
Next they shift their attention to college football, and the retirement of Alabama football coach Nick Saban, whose departure created a domino effect across the country. Alabama hired Washington’s coach; Washington hired Arizona’s coach; and so on. But also, a number of high-profile coaches were able to leverage the Alabama opening into new contracts at their current gigs. Florida State’s Mike Norvell got an eight-year extension reportedly worth more than $10 million per year; Texas’s Steve Sarkisian signed a four-year extension reportedly worth around $10 million as well. Both Sarkisian and Norvell are represented by agent Jimmy Sexton of CAA, as are Saban and new Alabama coach Kalen DeBoer.
Lastly, they discuss billionaire Laurene Powell Jobs looking to sell about 10% of Monumental Sports & Entertainment, the parent of the NBA’s Washington Wizards and NHL’s Washington Capitals. Powell Jobs bought about 20% of the company back in 2017, making her the second-largest shareholder outside of managing partner Ted Leonsis.