The League

David Carter
Sports Business Expert

David Carter

Executive Director, USC Sports Business Institute

Win, Earn or Both?


In order to consistently drive revenue and protect the team brand, it is critical to win consistently enough to keep the fans, whether corporate or 'traditional,' engaged. In order to keep them engaged - and maintain the cash flow that comes from their commitment to the team, franchises must keep interest at optimal (not necessarily high) levels. For some teams this means regularly advancing deep into the playoffs; for others it may be as much about tradition and the gameday experience as it is about championships (i.e. the Chicago Cubs).

In cities like Dallas, Boston, and Washington, DC, expectations remain high for their NFL teams and owners cannot simply get away with "looking like they are trying to win." They must find themselves on the stage with Commissioner Goodell raising the Lombardi Trophy if they want to parlay the success of their storied franchises into maximize franchise value.

Obviously, winning leads to the sale of more tickets and merchandise, and allows owners to charge more for suites and other products as demand remains high. Signing high-profile players, even controversial ones, can also help but this riskier for teams that already operate at high levels because the upside is limited.

As Jason La Canfora has noted, the Patriots lead the league in "bang for the buck," the amount spent by a team for each win. With the Cowboys ranked 17th and the Redskins 24th, there may be more of a need to keep fans engaged by signing players that have year-round buzz. Of course, it is important to appreciate that not all franchise owners are obsessed with winning; some are more concerned with making money year over year. When teams accomplish both, and successfully (re)invest in payroll, fan and player support follows.

By David Carter  |  July 3, 2009; 11:13 AM ET  | Category:  Dallas Cowboys , NFL , New England Patriots , Washington Redskins Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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