CBS Glad There's No NCAA Cinderella, And UNC Is UA School?
Sentimental people might have been hoping for Davidson to pull out the upset last night, but CBS really wanted to Kansas. Why? Because Cinderellas don't draw. We have the proof. George Mason didn't have a star like Davidson had in Stephen Curry, but the Patriots game against Florida and against UCONN in the Elite Eight and Final Four in 2006 saw ratings declines of 10.4 percent and 9 percent. All CBS needed is Davidson was a hard core fan following of some 5,000 fans. Now, CBS has, according to Harris Interactive, teams in UNC, UCLA and Kansas that have the 2nd, 4th and 6th most popular fan followings in the country.
North Carolina: Under Armour School?
Nike has one school--North Carolina (Jordan Brand)--of the four Final Four teams, with Kansas, UCLA and Memphis wearing the adidas logo.
So there had to be some pretty crazy e-mails going around Beaverton, Ore., yesterday when North Carolina's star center Tyler Hansbrough appeared on an interview that aired at halftime of the Kansas-Davidson game on CBS last night.
But there had to be some pretty crazy e-mails going around Beaverton, Ore., yesterday when North Carolina's star center Tyler Hansbrough appeared on an interview that aired at halftime of the Kansas-Davidson game on CBS last night. Hansbrough was somehow wearing an Under Armour shirt. The university is in the midst of a eight-year contract that runs through the 2009-10 season that compensates the school $28.3 million (about $18 million of the deal is the amount of gear the company gives them). So how did Hansbrough ever show up with an Under Armour shirt?
Well, we have no idea how any North Carolina official ever allowed the junior to actually sit in front of a camera with the shirt on--it's idiocy considering that it's Michael Jordan's school and it's Final Four time. We do know, however, how Hansbrough got his hand on the shirt. You see, the good old guerilla marketers at Under Armour did a sponsorship deal with the ACC. Any championship team of the ACC got a championship T-shirt courtesy of Under Armour.
So when North Carolina beat Clemson on March 16, Tyler Hansbrough got his spanking new Under Armour ACC championship T-shirt. Given how business is these days, you'd think the folks at UNC would remind these guys to keep shirts like these to wear with their pajamas or give them to their college friends who are not on the basketball team. But to break them out for national television interviews? And for it to slip through the cracks? We bet someone is hearing it today.
Gridiron Bash Postponed
One of the most massive college sports entertainment initiatives unfortunately will be shelved until the fall. MSL Entertainment, which was putting on a huge network of concerts and events in conjunction with spring games on 16 college campuses, will announce that it will postpone all of them because of conflicts with NCAA rules. The ambitious undertaking was sponsored by BlackBerry, Coke Zero and Paramount and promised the acts of Fergie, Kelly Clarkson and Maroon 5, among others.
It also was planning to award $1 million to the general scholarship fund of the university with the best college fans. Problems arose when certain universities questioned whether it was appropriate for the players to be used in a certain fashion in the context of the event and whether that constituted the player's promotion of the event.
When a number of schools from the Southeastern Conference questioned to the NCAA whether the use of their players in that context would compromise their player's eligibility, NCAA officials determined that it might possibly compromise those players. MSL partner Ed Manetta, the former St. John's athletic director, said that the choice was then to either continue with the events without the players or to postpone them until the situation could be rectified. "Since this was about college athletics to begin with, it didn't make sense to do it without the players," Manetta said." "It would be like going to Radio City on Christmas without the Rockettes.
How Off Was I?
I think I know the business of sports. I clearly don't know the business of movies. I said that the movie "Semi Pro" would do $32 million in the opening weekend. Here we are 26 days in and it's done $32.6 million nationwide, according to Boxofficemojo.com. I guess I should have listened to you, with 45 percent of readers saying that this movie would do less than $100 million. So what does this mean for Will Ferrell and sports movies? Is this it? Or does it mean that he has to make sure it's a PG-13?"
Questions? Comments? SportsBiz@cnbc.com