This week we had the honor to interview again Dr. Ron Dick, associate professor of sports marketing at Duquesne University in the school of business. Ron also worked for 20 years in sports, including 15 years in the NBA with the Sixers and the Nets, and then four years in the NCAA.

?Show Notes: Through this interview, we touched on the NCAA & Sports Betting, the NIL, the NFL playoffs, the Djokovic Visa Saga in Australia, the MLB lockout, and the FIFA’s plan to play a Soccer World Cup every two years.

?Best Quotes: Here’s some of the key discussion points and best quotes from our conversation with Ron:

  • On the Power 5 and sports betting which has become an industry worth $11 billion annually and with this year’s college football playoff drew about 500 million worth of bets alone: “I think that it is an area that’s going to continue to grow. I can’t believe some of my friends that are betting on sports. There’s two things that you could go back 10 years ago that were considered in the dark corners and unacceptable, and really sometimes I’ve been told by coaches don’t even talk about betting lines. Like don’t even bring that into my office, like even casually. Now I would say secondary market, a ticketing is almost encouraged by the four major sports. You’re considered, if you’re a seasoned ticket holder, almost like a worker there. Like you’re an extension of us that if there’s certain games you can’t make and you bought all 41 home games here for the NBA team or the NHL team, please sell them”.
  • On sports betting becoming a new source of revenue for teams: “It’s seen as new money. It’s seen as a new profit center. Without question, it’s affecting the value of these four major sports franchises. The value’s going up because of the ability to get revenue from betting (..) Yeah, you have your traditional television and some of that’s national TV deals, some of it’s local. It’s tickets, it’s parking, it’s concessions, it’s naming rights of buildings, it’s an arena advertising sponsorships, and now it’s like gambling. And then NFT on top of that is another profit center”.
  • On the NIL: “I’m happy for the players that are making some money. Some of them are students of mine, and I just want to remind everybody that they are all also college students and trying to get a four year education (..) The professors and the athletic departments have to work with them for those people out there that were student athletes in college, they are forced already to be extremely good with time management. Then you’re going to put another layer on top of that of an opportunity to make money, which I think is wonderful. That’s going to stretch their time even more, especially, when they’re in season. That’s where we are. Many of these players will not go on to play professionally. They’re a very small percentage of them, so they have this four year window to make money and God bless them, I hope they make the most that they can”.
  • On the Djokovic visa saga in Australia: “The Australian people internally seem to be really struggling with this whole concept of the government wants to know where you are, what you’re doing, are you masking? They’re going over the top with trying to kill this virus immediately for their people, and they’re being very restrictive who they let in. Very similar to what happens at Toronto Blue Jays playing Buffalo because teams were not allowed to come back and forth to Toronto to play Major League Baseball games. That’s the first thing, like you got to consider the country you’re talking about. Hey, it’s their country, man, we’re visitors, right, that’s not our home country. When I’m a visitor, I play by your rules. If your rules are you don’t come here with proper documentation, you’re not allowed in, then you know that in advance and he should have done the right thing and got vaccinated”.
  • On the NFL playoffs: “The Steelers needed like, here in Pittsburgh, seven things to happen, six things to happen and they all happened, and that was amazing. I’m very happy for them and the city’s excited. Now as there’s seven teams in the AFC, there’s seven teams in the AFC and NFC, they get to make the playoffs. One team gets a buy, the Titans and the Green Bay Packers. Then seven goes to two, six goes to three, and five goes to four. We got some great match-ups this weekend. Last Sunday was one of the most exciting weekends in NFL history. Everybody was glued at their TV set to watch these different games and it couldn’t have played out better for the NFL League Office”.
  • On the MLB lockout: “Well, they had a meeting between the two sides just recently, a day or two ago, and the owners presented a proposal and everything was very amiable and encouraging and positive dialect. But the term I heard was that the players were underwhelmed by the offer. I think there is some common ground here and there’s some things that are definitely they’re far apart on. On a positive note, I say I think they’re both on the same page as far as the designated hitter becoming part of the national league. So we don’t have this constant back and forth of is there a DH, is there not? I think there’s some agreement that it is unfair to players that are really ready to play in the major leagues (..) They’re going to work past this something called a Super Two, meaning usually it’s you have to have three years of service and the minimum wage is $570,500 a year in the MLB, and that’s another issue. The players would like to see that go up to obviously a million, but that’s not going to happen. Even 800,000 minimum probably not going to happen. The players would love to have a floor, meaning the pirates have to spend 60, 70 million, 80 million, but the players will not allow there to be a salary cap where the Red Sox, the Dodgers, the Angels, the Yankees will be capped at how much they can spend. Now there’s a luxury cap where you have to pay some money and if you go over certain 100,000 in salary per year, but not a hard cap per se”.
  • On the FIFA looking to host the World Cup, soccer World Cup every two years: “We all are patriotic I think to a certain extent. We love playing for our home town, our home country. The same thing just happened in hockey, like a lot of the players, the Russian players, the Canadian players, they like to play for their country and the Olympics. When they look back at their careers, they want to say, “Hey, I want a gold medal in the Olympics too, even though I played in the NHL.” The NHL doesn’t make any money off of that. And with COVID and everything, I think they were going back to play in February in Beijing. Beijing can do both Summer Olympics and Winter Olympics, it seems like (..) That’s very similar to what you’re talking about. Usually, at the end of the day, the money will drive the bus. If you want to get paid these millions and millions of dollars to play, then you might have to forego that representing your country. It’s something that the players are very passionate about, and I understand both sides of that”.