Here are my biggest sports business stories for July 14-16.
Olympic Channel Launched
The Olympic Channel will make its TV debut on Saturday, “appearing 35 million homes with plans of passing 40 million households by the end of the year.” The launch marks the “next phase of the long-term partnership” among NBC, the IOC and USOC. NBC President of Olympics & Business Gary Zenkel said that the channel “places its spotlight on the sports events themselves and the many athletes involved, while also shying away from the debate-heavy programming prevalent among most national sports networks.” The “biggest test for this network will be finding an audience during non-Olympic periods for Olympic sports” USA Today 7/14
UCLA football and Under Armour unveiled the team’s ’17 home and away jerseys, and despite a few “subtle tweaks, both looks are firmly rooted in tradition.” Breaking away from Adidas, UCLA “partnered with Under Armour on a 15 year deal” in ’16, and one major change is the “color of the UCLA lettering on the helmet.” Gone from the new uniforms are “diamond-pattern upper of years past in favor of a more traditional look.” The shoulder stripes “remain, as do the gold pants of the away uniform”. FoxSports.com 7/15
The Broncos’ John Elway is “about to become the league’s highest-paid” Exec VP/Football Operations & GM. The Broncos and Elway are “negotiating a long-term agreement that could be finalized privately this week and should be announced publicly before training camp begins July 27.” Broncos President & CEO Joe Ellis said, “John’s an important part of our organization, and we want to make sure he’s here for a long time.” Elway earns “about $3 million annually,” and “has been offered” $30-35M for a five-year extension. An additional title of COO “may be added” for Elway, with Ellis continuing in his current role as President & CEO. Thanks to Colorado Springs Gazette 7/16.