Speaking With One Voice…Racing Wins, Big Ten Network Loses | Sports Marketing & PR Roundup

Speaking With One Voice…Racing Wins, Big Ten Network Loses

Yesterday we saw the value of the concept of speaking with one voice. The long overdue unification between Champ Car and the IRL may finally give what was one auto racing's premier circuit, open wheel racing, a much needed boost to succeed. The image of Tony George addressing a packed press conference in Miami yesterday, and the followup on news sites around the world today. sends the most positive message to all who would be interested in getting involved in the sport, from sponsors to fans to drivers to television partners.?The feuding, the infighting, is what has at times slowed the growth of so many sports, whether they were the NBA/ABA and AFL/NFL fights of the ’60's and ’70's, or the ATP/WTA fights in tennis in the ’80's and ’90's. All who want to be involved in a sport want unity and clear direction, and this move will hopefully help to bring events like the Indy 500 back to focus on the American landscape.Conversely, the Big Ten Network issues reached a new point yesterday with Michigan State men's coach Tom Izzo calling the carriage problems for the new network a “PR Nightmare.. Not seeing the bigger picture of what the network is doing in helping the league financially, is a problem, and the growth of any network takes time. However what is the bigger problem, is .very respected coach speaking out against what can make sense for the greater good of the organization. Wisconsin coach Barry Alvarez seems to have understood the issue and spoke positively for the process, but Izzo's statements have probably created more of a “PR Nightmare” than the BTN itself at this point, since it made it obvious that one of the league's most powerful voices is not on the same page as the league.

Couple of other good reads today...George Vecsey's piece in the New York Times today on the loss of women's softball in the Olympics is worth taking a look at since it shows the basic value of why some sports need the Olympics, as opposed to baseball, which probably doesn’t need the Olympic spotlight….solid online interview on WashingtonPost.com with NHL Comish Gary Bettman as well…and the Telegraph has a great historical look at sports endorsement advertising…both should be bookmarked for future reference.

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