Sports Biz with Darren Rovell

Boras, Armstrong, Clemens: Your Emails (My Replies)


My e-mails are really piling up from you guys, so before I head on a road trip, I'm going to answer some of these.

I got ribbed yesterday for buying into Scott Boras' argument that A-Rod was behind the ratings growth of YES. All you who wrote in, and one person even called me, are right.

I should have clarified that the YES Network has obviously been growing in terms of number of homes since A-Rod came aboard, so it's a bit erroneous to suggest that that could be all A-Rod. But according to a column I read in Mediaweek, "the 2007 campaign was also the Bombers' highest-rated season on cable in the team's home market, dating back to 1979."

Our favorite number cruncher Vince Gennaro also weighed in on that point: "I estimate a 3.2 (rating) in the first year is the equivalent to about a 4 point rating in say, year 3." Gennaro also said that when you factor in A-Rod's value to YES, attendance, concessions and corporate sponsorship, the Yankees can afford to pay him $34 million a year.

Joe Jacobi writes: I'd love to see a journalist go further with Lance (Armstrong) about Tailwind's decision to disband its professional cycling team. This wasn't just pro cycling's best and most successful team by a little, but by miles...I don't exactly buy the idea that the team and its philosophy had done all that they could do because Lance's long-time coach is close to taking his ideals and many of his riders and staff to a new team somewhere else.

I actually asked Lance about the disbanding of his team, although it didn't make the transcript. Here was his answer: "Every time something happens in the sport someone would say, 'the only American team is partly owned by Lance Armstrong.' So it just took away from Livestrong. It took away from the Lance Armstrong Foundation and I just got tired of that. I still love cycling. I'm still a fan and read about it and watch it, but it was time to move on."

Chad Menefee writes: "Since the NHL season is starting, I just thought I'd give you an example of how irrelevant the NHL has become. I'm a sport marketing doctoral student and instructor (at NC State), and I assigned a few recent articles on the NHL for students in our undergrad sport marketing class. After they read about Alexander Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby, I wanted to see how many students could pick their photos out of a lineup. Out of the 45 students in the class, only 10 of them picked out Ovechkin and Crowboy from eight other random players. Now keeep in mind that these are senior sport management students in a city that just won the Stanley Cup last year. I can't imaging how many general sports fans know who these guys are.

Chad, your informal survey is interesting and not shocking at all to me.

Reader Eric Distenfeld writes: "Related to your breakdown of how much the Yankees paid Roger Clemens for 2007, I wish Clemens used Cingular!

Eric is referring to this clever phone commercial that hints at the fact that if Roger Clemens used Cingular/AT &T, he would have heard his wife say "No."

Questions?  Comments?