The Business & Pleasure of Sports

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Super Bowl teams, wagers, merchandise and other random thoughts

+ There are plenty of opinions on which teams in Super Bowl XLIV would be better for South Florida’s economy and those differ from which would be better television matchups.

As unseemly as it sounds, lots of hotel and tourism officials have been happy to talk about the New York Jets being the best team for local businesses because of the influx of well-heeled fans, who will be happy to plunk down lots of cash if their team makes it. There are concerns the Indianapolis Colts aren’t good for business because they were just here in the game in 2007.

CNBC Sports Business Reporter Darren Rovell explains why CBS would prefer the Jets not make the Super Bowl here.

Some just want the Minnesota Vikings in because of superstar quarterback Brett Favre.

“I think the best thing that could happen would be Brett Favre,” Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau President Nicki Grossman told me.

But it just so happened Grossman was spending the weekend in New York, to make the bureau’s winter tourism pitch in one of its favorite target markets. It’s been chilly in New York, where the bureau has ads on 250 taxicabs and is making the rounds of TV shows to promote South Florida.

“Timing is everything,” Grossman said. “It turned out to be fortuitous on the Super Bowl.”

The bureau is running TV ads during both the AFC and NFC championship games today.

+ Meanwhile, CEOs of the official airlines of the Colts and Jets have placed a wager on today’s AFC Championship game. AirTran Airways (Colts) CEO Bob Fornaro has wagered a steak lunch from Indianapolis steakhouse St. Elmo’s if the Jets win, while JetBlue Airways (Jets)
CEO Dave Barger has promised a pit barbecue lunch from New York’s Blue Smoke restaurant if the Colts win.

“With the Colts being such a great team and the game being at home, it’s only fair that I put up a steak against a pulled pork platter,” Fornaro said in a statement. “Seriously, does anyone think the Jets can really stop Peyton Manning and the rest of the team on the fastest turf in the league?”

Barger said “I like my steak medium rare and make sure there are plenty of fries to go with it.”

+ If you just look at merchandise sales, the Jets rank third among the four teams playing today in gear sold this month compared with a year ago, according to figures from Those figures show sales of New Orleans Saints gear are up 650 percent from last January, Vikings up 533 percent, Jets up 252 percent and the Colts up 189 percent.

From April through Jan. 18, however, the Pittsburgh Steelers were the top selling team in the league followed by the Dallas Cowboys, and then the Vikings. The Saints ranked 6th, Colts 7th and Jets 11th. And the Vikings had two of the top four selling jerseys during the same period – Favre at No. 1 and Adrian Peterson at 4. Colts QB Peyton Manning’s was second, followed by Saints QB Drew Brees at third. New York Jets QB Mark Sanchez’s ranked eighth.

+ Is it me or has the number of Pro Bowl and Super Bowl billboards in South Florida quadrupled in the past week?

Categories: Advertising (79), Apparel (55), NFL (178), Sponsorship (101), Super Bowl (53)

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About the author
CRAIG DAVIS In more than 33 years at the Sun Sentinel, Craig Davis has written about a wide variety of sports topics from baseball to yachting, fishing to triathlons, and also worked as a copy editor and page designer. Recently he reported on local sports, including running, swimming, cycling, equestrian and beach volleyball. He enjoys sports as a participant as well as a spectator, is active in the South Florida running scene plays in the curling club at Saveology Iceplex. This blog offers a glimpse at the business side of sports in the interest of enhancing enjoyment of the games and sporting options as a spectator as well as a participant.
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