Super Bowl Business Matters…

The participants in Super Bowl 50 are set; the oddsmakers in Vegas opened the betting line with the Panthers as a 4.5-point favorite over the Broncos. And with that, I have given you the salient information pertaining to the next and final NFL game other than injuries that occur over the next two weeks. I point that out because today marks the start of the Football Silliness Season; there are two weeks of time and space to fill and only one game to talk about – because no one wants to talk about the Pro Bowl. Think about it this way:

    In the regular season, there are 12-16 games spread one week apart.

    In the playoffs there are 2 or 4 games spread one week apart.

    Now we have 1 game with 2 weeks of time and space to fill.

Sadly, that time and space will be filled with minutiae – because there will be nothing else available. I will attempt to avoid any commentary on the Super Bowl game – other than about the business aspects of it – until I do the final Mythical Picks for this NFL season in 11 days. Would that other outlets would try to do the same…

Here is are two “business items” related to the upcoming Super Bowl game in Santa Clara. The first one comes from a note in Dwight Perry’s Sideline Chatter column in the Seattle Times:

“From the You Just Can’t Make Up Stuff Like This file comes word that the NFL — you know, the league with the $44 million-a-year commissioner — is seeking 500 unpaid volunteers to help assemble the stage for the Super Bowl halftime show.”

Over and above the “$44 million-a-year commissioner”, the NFL is a business entity that has $11-12B in annual revenue whose goal is to have annual revenue in the $25B range in the next 10 years. There is no scenario in this universe wherein the NFL can “cry poor” in 2016. And they are asking for unpaid volunteers… Let that one wash over you for just a moment.

Here is the really sad part; the NFL is going to get those volunteers; they are going to get hundreds of people to show up and do work for them without shelling out a dime. Let me do a little math here.

    It might take those 500 folks a total of 3 days – I cannot imagine it would take more but I will cover that possibility later on.

    Let us assume that the 500 folks put in 10 hours each day to assemble the stage.

    That means there are 15,000 person-hours involved here.

    At $10 per hour, the NFL would incur a labor cost of $150K

    Assume the NFL provides a nice catered lunch for the 3 days and you can increase the cost to the league by $50K.

As a benchmark, three days of labor to put the stage together would cost the league about $200K. For a $12B business entity, this cost does not make it past the rounding error on the annual Earnings Statement. And by the way, if you doubled the costs here because the stage assembly takes a whole lot more time than I guessed, you still would not make it to the rounding error status…

The NFL is audacious asking for this free labor; the volunteers who give them that free labor are enablers who encourage the NFL to be as anti-social as they are.

Here is another business-related aspect related to the Super Bowl from the Silicon Valley Business Journal:

“A budget analyst report shows that the City of San Francisco will pay $4.8 million to host the celebration the week leading up to Super Bowl 50, while Santa Clara will see all of its hosting costs covered by the NFL’s Host Committee.”

For those of you who are not familiar with the geography of the Bay Area, the game will happen in Santa Clara where the Niners’ new stadium is. Santa Clara is about 50 miles SSE of San Francisco. The majority of the “events” related to the Super Bowl over the next two weeks will take place in San Francisco. According to reports, Santa Clara will have its costs for public safety, fire and emergency medical services reimbursed while SF will foot its own bills.

The only conclusion I can draw here is this:

    The folks who represented Santa Clara in their negotiations with the NFL were a lot more skilled than the folks who represented San Francisco.

Here is a link to an article that will give you all the gory details in these deals.

Finally, the Super Bowl halftime show will feature a group called Coldplay whom I would not know from Hotwork. Greg Cote had this comment in the Miami Herald about another rock group performing at a different sporting event.

“Duran Duran will perform at the tennis Miami Open on Key Biscayne. Which would be exciting if this were, like, the 1985 Miami Open.”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………

5 thoughts on “Super Bowl Business Matters…”

    1. Bones:

      We got 20-24 inches of snow at our house. Our street now has 1 lane “cleared” and I shoveled out the driveway 4 times because if I had waited until all the snow had fallen before starting to shovel, I would not have been done until May. We can get out if we have to – although frankly, it looks as if we are good for at least 3 more days. I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow afternoon – assuming he comes into his office tomorrow – and if they have plowed out parking at his office, I should be able to make that without a lot of trouble.

      There are parts of Northern Virginia that are far worse off than we are here. A friend got 32 inches of snow at her place and the company she contracted with to clear her snow has given her an estimate of “Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday morning”. She lives alone and had back surgery last summer so there is no way she is going to shovel that amount of snow.

  1. Wow. Where I live (Alberta), we don’t tend to get huge dumps like that. A foot here, a foot there — we’re colder and drier than down east.

    Still it’s good to see you’re surviving and have an internet connection, because in today’s world that’s all that really matters eh? 😉

  2. I actually saw the opening line on the Super bowl come out at 5.5, and then it dropped to 4.0 right away. My thought is that line is very enticing to me (to lay the points and take the Panthers), and it shocked me that it dropped. Sure, Denver’s defense was very good against New England, but still, this surprises me in the direction it moved… Your thoughts? Or do we have to wait for your wagers column?… 🙂

    1. Matt:

      I will do the Mythical Picks for the Super Bowl next week. The line is now trending up just about everywhere. It is Carolina minus 5.5 in most places and Carolina minus 6 at the books where it is not 5.5 points. Also, initial reports are that more than 80% of the money bet in Nevada so far has been on Carolina meaning that for the moment, the sportsbooks are significantly exposed. Do not fee too bad for them however, because last week more than 80% of the money bet on the Pats/Broncos game went to the Pats side of the ledger and so the sportsbooks made out like bandits.

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