In the world of business, the goal is to make money. If you have higher profits then you have cost, than your business is doing well, no matter what people say. That is the ultimate bottom line and the NBA, NFL, MLB, soccer clubs are doing just that, making money. They make so much from T.V. contracts, that the leagues can be secure for the near future in terms of profits. The only thing that may hurt any of these sports leagues is if fans quit watching, but the impact wouldn’t be felt for years. That’s the beauty of guarantees, however the prominent professional sports leagues should worry about how organizational structures and the head scratching moves of poor performing teams, may one day,( as far away as that day may seem) will turn fans off.
Eventually these intense fan bases will stop supporting minor & major markets of the teams because….THEY HAVE NO CHANCE AT WINNING. Fans will realize the opportunities to win the world championship have been continually squandered. Lack of ownership direction and certainty, coaching firings, bad scouting and drafting, and poor on field product are turning fans off.
Eventually fans are going to be turned off to these teams that can’t at least pretend to be moving toward fan goals and expectations. Yes how fans feel matter, because if a franchise loses enough fan support, the team will eventually feel the economic impact because:
- Cities won’t be so excited to give in to the ridiculous demands of terrible sports franchises for stadiums.
- Poor ratings mean networks will pay owners less and less for T.V. deals because no one will watch those games. (When is the last time you saw the Professional Bowling in Primetime)
- Merchandise sales will go into the tank because players will be too hard to follow because they change teams so much.
- Great athletes will play another sports because the game will lose its luster. Not to mention football participation being down for a lot of reasons.
This doomsday scenario is far off but is real, and sports franchises should worry about carrying the bad sports franchises from contract to contract. Some of these sports franchises have been bad partners. To save time focus on the NFL.
The NFL is the most popular league in the United States and makes the most money, the NFL is king. The bad teams however, are not feeling the love, check out this map of popular NFL teams by state. Did you notice Florida and California? In Florida the NFL has three teams, Jacksonville, Miami and Tampa. In California the NFL has 3 teams.
Tampa Bay won ticket sales for games in the state of Florida, YAY! If you look at the ratings numbers for the NFL in 2015, you’ll notice that the Buccaneers did not even play on National T.V. last year. Combine that with the firing of coach Lovie Smith after two season, along with a lot of other coaches in the last 5 years, plus the team isn’t bring in free agents this offseason ( or popular players that sell tickets). Which means the team is rebuilding again and Jameis Winston is the man who will make the team worth something right. Maybe? If he can stay healthy and win games. Winston started every game last year but the Bucs only won six games, a improvement from the year before, but that doesn’t guarantee they will win six again. The Bucs haven had a winning record since 2010, when they won 10 games but failed to make the playoffs. The team hasn’t made the playoffs since 2007. Since, the team has made won in (terms of games) 9, 3, 10, 4, 7, 4, 2, 6. Not exactly a linear upswing, its hard to image (though it happens) fans will continue to save the Bucs by selling out games because the team is not very good. Then what will the Bucs, move? Where to LA or London, where they are starving for football. That might be a good option but by then those T.V. deals will be up and no T.V. or internet streaming company will pay to put the Bucs on. There is also that Jameis Winston thing too.
The Bucs are the most popular team in the state, how much longer will fans pay to see professional football in Florida. The Dolphins and the Jaguars are not exactly alternatives.
The Tennessee Titans are a mess, the ownership in particular, Amy Adams- Strunk had to tell season ticket holders recently that the team is not for sale. Which will hopefully and mercifully stop fans from going through the rebuilding process. But look at that map again, who outside of the state of Tennessee cares about the Titans. Kentucky is a northern neighbor and the football fans in that state pay for Cincinnati Bengals tickets. Geographically those football fans would rather drive north to see the Bengals rather then the Titans. Paying to see other teams is true for football fans in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, and Arkansas. Not to say that football fans from those states do go see the Titans at all, college football is also huge in the states mentioned before and its, reasonable to say that most football fans pay for one and watch the other from home. Merchandise sales were not amazing, the Titans had one player in the top 50 of jersey sales in 2015, at no. 9 Marcus Mariota. To compare the 49ers who won only 5 games had 5 and one of those players retired. (Patrick Willis). The team did trade for Demarco Murray and they have the fist pick in the draft but they are a long way away. Will the fans be patient enough?
Again the day the next time a sports league hurts for money is not in the foreseeable future. But that doesn’t mean people wont eventually take there money else because of the lack of faith in the organization from fans. If sports teams continue to drag fans year after year through rebuilding another process. Then the leagues will begin to suffer. Sports has it’s luster in the world but its not invincible.