Welcome to this week's edition of Extra Innings. It is a busy time in the sports world as the NFL playoffs start this week, and the NHL season begins next week. If there were one theme to this week’s newsletter it would be leagues, teams, and universities finding new opportunities for sponsorships in previously unexplored locations.
Early this year, the Miami Marlins joined a growing list of professional sports teams working with a local brewery to create a beer with the team’s marks on the label. Sports and beer have become inseparable in current culture. As teams and universities look to find more ways to bring in revenue, sponsorship of consumables may expand greatly.
New Mexico State is a prime example of a university exploring the category. They have partnered with a brewery, vintner, and a distillery Run by alumni of the school. Each distributor has a signature drink in the theme of the university and pays the university a licensing fee. The licensing fees, in the mid-five figures, go toward balancing the athletic budget.
New Mexico State is a small school that does not bring in much revenue from its sports teams and that is why these deals make so much sense. Bigger schools will undoubtedly be able to earn more from these deals. Reintegrating alumni and their business into their schools through partnerships can only help a school.
Notable Information From the Sports World:
NHL: With the advent of new divisions in the NHL for the 2021 season, the NHL found sponsors and a color scheme for each division. This appears to be a one-year deal. The offseason was a productive one for the NHL as it found creative ways for sponsors to become more involved with the league.
NBA: This story continues to develop, but each new development is more and more exciting for the league and its teams. The league is now looking to generate up to $5 billion from the creation of two new expansion teams. That would bring in approximately $167 million for each of the 30 existing NBA teams.
March Madness: Indiana has been chosen as the location for the 2021 NCAA Men’s March Madness tournament. The NCAA has decided to run a bubble for the tournament to greatly decrease the likelihood that a team will have to miss a game due to positive COVID tests. The NCAA needs this tournament to be a success after the cancellation of last year’s tournament.
New Jersey: New Jersey has quietly become the betting capital of the US as it continues to smash monthly handle records (the amount of money in wagers accepted). Since its legalization in 2018, the state has seen $9 billion in dollars wagered and garnered $68 million in tax revenue.