The League

David Carter
Sports Business Expert

David Carter

Executive Director, USC Sports Business Institute

Recession Resistant... Maybe


Sports has historically been recession resistant more so than recession-proof. But as the amount of money flowing into Big Time sports, especially the NFL, from corporations has soared over the last ten or fifteen years, so too has the sports industry's reliance and focus on it. There are two primary issues in play right now.

First, is the cost of sports marketing generally; the size and scope of the deals have become quite large and can be major elements of a corporation's overall marketing plan. As such, corporations have to be able to clearly communicate (and, in some cases, defend) to shareholders why investing in sports, including the NFL, is a good use of resources at a time when belt-tightening appears to be the norm.

Second, as we have seen, corporations can face public relations and community relations blow back if it is believed that they are putting sports ahead of their employees. For example, when companies are laying off thousands of employees, it may make fans, consumers, and shareholders cringe when tv cameras catch a glimpse of the executive team entertaining in a suite.

This is unfortunate because of the business development opportunities associated with sports marketing - nonetheless, it can look a bit awkward.

By David Carter  |  September 16, 2008; 5:43 PM ET Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Such a shame and what a stupid story. People are losing their jobs and I don't think they are worried about pro sports teams losing corporate support.

Carter, this article and your job in general, sucks.

Posted by: Michael1945 | September 17, 2008 8:25 AM

It is not just the CEO's that post obscene salaries and benefits its the NFL owners and Players. It is time for a "market adjustment". As the housing market slumps, stock market plummets and our retire accounts evaporate -- it may be time to reconsider the value of sports entertainment. Your column is well timed and acknowledges some realities. We still need heros... maybe not sports millionaires just real people trying their best to achieve perfection in a competitive world.

Posted by: CHIPS Stewart | September 17, 2008 9:26 AM

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