Tiger Woods, the Big East, and the NHL: Sports in 2013
The Big East will dissolve.
They do not have a new TV deal and have been losing teams faster than my Red Sox lost games this year (sorry about mixing sports). Louisville and Rutgers are the latest to leave. In the end, it will be a futile attempt to patch it together, at least when it comes to football. My prediction is that the basketball side of things may remain, but in 2013, the football conference will become something else—second tier and out of the BCS picture.
UnderArmour will make an even more serious move at Nike.
Nike still owns the shoe business, but if Under Armour can get things going with its sneaker business, it will make a huge move to the upside. Their apparel has more cache with young Americans, and the growth trajectory has UA on a collision course with the sports icon from Oregon. My prediction is that UA profits and stock price will outperform Nike for the year.
The NHL will remain in trouble.
Eventually, there will be labor peace. But the financial side of the game won't be solved with the new deal, and that's because part of the NHL's problem isn't even being addressed: they have too many teams. Out of pride, the league won't contract, and the union doesn't want it either because it means fewer jobs. But for quality of play and long-term financial viability, a few teams need to fold. My prediction is at least one more team (Phoenix remains in NHL hands) will fall into economic peril in 2013.
Tiger Woods returns.
In the end, he might not be able to beat Jack Nicklaus' record for major victories. But he will win at least one in 2013. His marketability will come way back, and Nike will be the beneficiary (but not by enough to out-perform UA's stock). The best part for Nike will be having the two greatest stars in the game once the deal with Rory Mcllroy becomes official. My prediction is that Tiger grabs golf by the tail, and we start watching gold on TV again.