Difficult week for some owners after failed seasons

Difficult week for some owners after failed seasons

Most of the feedback we’ve received about this NFL attendance story boils down to this: The Box Score’s paid attendance numbers have only a weak relationship with reality, so the analysis of these numbers is flawed. I took the point. But then again, the NFL and other leagues published these questionable numbers as fact of the points box for many years without an asterisk or footnote.

The group of NFL owners who speak regularly to the media can fit in with an Uber Black, so having year-end press or written statements is always interesting. This week, we’ve seen three owners go the self-flogging route, which seems to be the best way to handle the PR of a bad season even if solving the issues is still far from them.

In New York, Giants president and CEO Jon Mara said sternly, “I kept thinking during the season that we hit rock bottom, and then it got worse every week.” Mara, whose family owned the Giants before him, agreed that this was his lowest moment with the team.

In Indianapolis, Jim Irsai did not speak after his team’s shock meltdown in Jacksonville. But he issued a statement saying: “The responsibility is with me.” “We’ve come to realize that a lot of Bears fans are unhappy and we’re unhappy too,” said George McCaskey in Chicago.

With the Texans being fired by David Cooley today, a full quarter of the NFL needs a new coach. And in many cases, the same old teams are on the carousel, over and over again. In an effort to find out why this is so difficult for some, I spoke with Mike Tannenbaum, a former CEO of Jets and Dolphins.

The biggest hurdle, Tannenbaum said, is that good coaching skills do not guarantee success in running an organization: “You hire people to do different work with skills that aren’t really the same as their area of ​​expertise. They are great at coaching. … That’s a million miles from being the CEO of a multi-billion dollar franchise. dollars.”

Tannenbaum said many of the principles used to run any business can be applied to NFL teams. We should work on the first guess, not the second guess. That means we’ll go through this in a partnership, and let’s not miss any conversations.” You can watch my full conversation with Tannenbaum on the latest episode of SBJ Spotlight.

SoFi Stadium is a technical marvel at a cost of more than $5 billion, and one month after hosting Super Bowl LV, my colleague Chris Smith caught a peek behind the curtain at the technology that will enhance the in-stadium experience.

Centered on the HKS-designed, Samsung-produced Infinity Screen, which houses 260 speakers and a massive Wi-Fi device, which Skarpi Hedinsson, CTO at SoFi Stadium/Hollywood Park, said would be the largest 5G installation in Super Bowl history. This network managed about 30 terabytes of data during an NFL game and saw nearly 60,000 concurrently active devices.

The panel’s LEDs were manufactured by Cree, which proved to be a daunting task due to the panel’s use of a high dynamic range. “Only half of one percent of their annual production is good enough to get into the Infinity Display,” Heddinson said. “It took Cree two years to manufacture the 83 million LEDs that we needed to build the board.” A stadium spokesman declined to comment on the cost.

Another fun fact: There are enough fiber-optic cables in the building to extend to the moon and back – twice.

The experience inside the stadium is supported by a native 4K broadcast system, from the cameras to the display, which Hedinsson said was the first such system to be implemented at the sports stadium. SoFi has 13 cameras and about 80 people are part of the gameday presentation team.

Unlike the Rams or Chargers games, the Super Bowl is operated by the NFL and will be directed by NFL personnel, although an in-house SoFi team has been contracted to work on the event. The NFL will also design in-game graphic elements, and league staff will begin work on the field about three weeks later.

The SoFi experience revolves around the HKS-designed Infinity Display

Almost half of the game delivery team is stationed in the control room on the west side of the stadium

Nothing is final until the full 2022 NFL schedule is released in May, but league insiders are now fully expecting the first game to happen in Germany this fall. Months ago, league planners said they hoped to extend the international tournament to continental Europe as soon as possible, but they hedge in 2022 given the pandemic and the unusual late-fall soccer World Cup, leaving 2023 open as a possible start date.

But all talks with the three finalist cities – Munich, Dusseldorf and Frankfurt – are taking place assuming they will start this year. “All three cities are on the right track,” the source said. “All of them can do it in ’22, and it will look very good in ’22. All systems go.”

Expect the game to include a match from the Panthers, Buccaneers, Patriots and Chiefs squad, as the four teams have been granted commercial rights in Germany under the league’s new international marketing programme. NFC gets the extra home game in 2022, so it’s supposed to “host” the Panthers or The Bucs. The host city’s final announcement will come during Super Bowl week.

  • It’s been a healthy week for the NFL metrics heading into this Wild Card weekend, with league-wide attendance (according to box-point numbers, which doesn’t account for no-shows) and watching showing related gains. Teams averaged 67,254 fans in home games, up about 0.9% from the pre-pandemic 2019 season, according to an SBJ Atlas analysis. That rise ends a three-year slump in the league. Meanwhile, the NFL has averaged 17.1 million viewers this season on TV and broadcast platforms, the best number in the league since 2015 (18.1 million), according to SBJ’s Austin Karp. The figure for this season is up 10% from 15.6 million during the 2020 season affected by the pandemic and politics. This increase across the board also helped bolster most of the previous NFL and studio offerings to media partners.
  • NFL owners last month voted to increase the league’s share of On Location Experiences from 13.5% to nearly 45%, according to sources cited by The Athletic, a “key step to reestablish control of the league over events and business” that preceded it. to the Super Bowl.
  • In the first activation of international marketing rights, Ramez yesterday launched a sweepstakes for Super Bowl tickets in Mexico. Fans can win two trips, two tickets, and three nights at the Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium. This comes on the heels of the 49ers selling additional rights in the UK and Mexico to two of their sponsors.
  • Working in the media field, former NFL sophomore Chris Long is uncompromising on his expectations of work-life balance. Long is in his third season as a studio analyst for Amazon Prime’s “Friday Night Football,” and co-hosts the burgeoning Green Light Podcast. He does both from a studio 10 minutes from his home in Charlottesville, Virginia. I caught up with Long in this week’s print issue to see how he charted his own path.
  • Currently ranked No. 2 Fox Game Analyst Greg Olsen is the latest guest on Marchand’s podcast and Orland Sports Media. Olsen discusses how close he came to starting his radio career four years ago after auditioning for “Monday Night Football” and discussions about “Friday Night Football.” He reveals the advice Tony Romo gave him before he decided to enter the booth and talks about his relationship with his Fox partner Kevin Burkhardt, which dates back to when Burkhardt called Olsen toys in high school.
  • BetMGM and Cardinals released the 16,800-square-foot BetMGM Sportsbook scheduled to open on site near State Farm this summer, the first NFL sportsbook. Construction is taking place on the two-storey, 500-person space that will operate on event and non-event days. Smith Group designed the area, located on the north side of The Great Lawn, along with Bar Napkin Productions, a local store with extensive experience in premium spaces for Cardinals and Coyotes. Hunt Construction, who built the 21-year-old stadium, is the general contractor. SBJ’s David Broughton has more here.

The sportsbook started in November and will open when the 2022 football season begins


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