Blogs

News Regarding Brian Berger's Portland radio show on 750AM The Game

Monday morning, January 30th, we will have news to share regarding Brian Berger's weekday radio show on 750AM The Game in Portland.

Follow Sports Business Radio on Twitter at www.twitter.com/sbradio for the latest details.

Sports Business Radio Unveils Top 10 sports business stories of 2011

It was a year of scandal and lockouts in the world of sports. Sports Business Radio counts down the Top 10 sports business stories of 2011. Take a listen here.

Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra Discusses His Team on Sports Business Radio

Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra, who led his team to the NBA Finals this past season, stopped by Sports Business Radio to chat with Brian Berger about the upcoming season, what LeBron James worked on this offseason to improve his game and his summer trip to the Phillippines. 

Listen to the conversation here.

One of a Kind Air Jordan's signed by Michael Jordan & Tinker Hatifield to be Auctioned off to Benefit Ronald McDonald House

 

I'm excited that next week on my daily radio show in Portland I will be auctioning off a one-of-a-kind pair of Air Jordans autographed by Michael Jordan and legendary designer Tinker Hatfield.

I am a Board Member of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Oregon and SW Washington and am passionate about the charity that serves as a home away from home for so many families who have a child who is hospitalized and want to be close to their child's medical care.

Check out all of the details below. It would be great if you consider making a bid when we open the bidding on Monday, December 5th.

Auction for Autographed Air Jordans Benefits Ronald McDonald House Charities 
One-of-a-kind sneakers feature signatures from NBA legend and Nike designer

Portland, OR - There are two geniuses behind the Air Jordan brand, but only one set of sneakers that the pair have signed together. Of course one of these figures is Michael Jordan – NBA Champion, All-Star and icon. The other is Tinker Hatfield, the legendary Nike designer who defined the Air Jordan brand. Every year for more than two decades this duo have teamed together to create a new pair of sneakers – in the process becoming friends and collaborators, while revolutionizing the athletic apparel industry.

Two years ago, Hatfield made a special request for Jordan to autograph, and then donate a pair of 25th Anniversary Air Jordan sneakers from his own personal stock of shoes. Hatfield then co-signed the sneakers, and gave them to Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Oregon and Southwest Washington (RMHC®) to help the charity celebrate its own 25th Anniversary that year.

Now, the public can bid on this collector-quality pair of Air Jordans – the only pair of its kind in the world bearing the signatures of both Jordan and Hatfield. RMHC has partnered with sports radio station 750 AM The Game and host Brian Berger to hold an online auction for the sneakers during the week of December 5-9. The charity hopes to raise at least $5,000 from auctioning the shoes, which have already received national interest from sneaker collectors and industry bloggers.  All the proceeds from the Auction will benefit families staying at Portland’s two Ronald McDonald Houses.

Autographed Air Jordan Auction for Ronald McDonald House Charities

To Bid: December 5-9

Visit www.rmhcoregon.org/theshoes.

Tune in to learn more about the shoes:

December 5-9, 10-noon;

The Sports Insider with Brian Berger

750 AM The Game

About Us:           

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Oregon and Southwest Washington provides a “home away from home” for families with seriously ill children, and supports initiatives to improve pediatric health. To accomplish this, we rely on the generosity of thousands of donors, the ingenuity of local volunteers, and the dedication of our staff.

NCAA Mark Emmert Joins Brian Berger for Wide Ranging Interview on Sports Business Radio

NCAA President Mark Emmert joined Brian Berger on Sports Business Radio to discuss a wide range of topics including the scandal at Penn State, the retirement of Joe Paterno, the BCS, conference realignment and upcoming changes to the NCAA rule book.

To listen to the candid conversation click here.

 

Listen to In-Depth Interview with Boxing Legend Sugar Ray Leonard

Boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard joined me for an in-depth radio interview today. The wide ranging interview reveals how Sugar Ray's pro boxing career was first financed, which opponent's stare down was most intimidating, which person served as a role model for him growing up, overcoming his nervousness about competing on "Dancing with the Stars" and what he is doing to keep busy these days.

To listen to my interview with Sugar Ray Leonard, click here.

I grew up watching Sugar Ray Leonard and always found him to be one of the most exciting athletes in the world. He was also one of the first athletes utilized for endorsements by corporate America. From his "Feeling 7-Up" commercials to his larger than life showdowns with Hearns, Hagler and Duran, Sugar Ray Leonard was always entertaining.

It was a pleasure to speak with him for this week's edition of Sports Business Radio.

5 Steps that Would Resolve the NBA lockout

NBA owners and players continue to struggle with finding a middle ground to resolve the current NBA lockout.  There's $4B in annual revenues at stake along with goodwill that has been built over a long period of time and the NBA cannot afford to miss half or all of the upcoming season.

Here are my suggestions for ending the lockout and returning to the basketball court.

1.) BRI split - The players and owners need to move closer to a 50-50 split of the BRI (basketball related income). The players currently take 57% of the BRI. A split of this revenue would be a big step towards finding middle ground.

2.) Flex cap - The players and owners need to agree to a flex cap. The owners are currently firm in their position for a hard cap, but this could be the #1 sticking point for why games are lost. A hard cap would eliminate "super teams" like the Heat, Lakers and Celtics as teams would no longer be able to afford three stars. TV ratings and fan interest has exploded because of the interest in the "super teams" and if those teams are forced to break up because of a hard cap it will be terrible for the league over the long haul.

3.) Revenue sharing - MLB has a revenue sharing system in place and the NBA needs to adopt a similar system. The Lakers, Knicks and Bulls make a tremendous amount of money from media rights fees because they play in large markets. The Lakers new TV deal with Time Warner Cable is worth $3B. By contrast, small market teams make $10-12M per season from their media rights deals. The NBA is not a balanced league and until there is revenue sharing between the big market teams and small market teams it will always be difficult for the small market teams to turn a profit.

4.) Amnesty provision - This rule was implemented during the last lockout. It allows each team a short window to wipe their worst contract from their books. The team has to pay the player in full, but the contract comes off the books. The players union likes it as the players get paid in full and the owners like it because they can get rid of one albatross contract.

5.) Franchise tag - Small market teams are very worried about keeping their superstars (see Chris Paul and Dwight Howard). LeBron and Carmelo have already left their old franchises in ruins and owners want to prevent superstars from teaming up in the future. Each team should adopt the NFL's "franchise tag" policy where they can tag one player per season. The player has to be paid at the top of their position but the owner gets to keep his superstar instead of seeing him leave town.

If the players and owners could agree to the above deal points, they would take a gigantic step towards resolving the current lockout.

 

Underbelly of College Athletics is Looking Very Dirty

Not sure where to begin today except to say that the underbelly of college athletics is looking more and more dirty by the day. 

The big news locally is that Ducks QB and Heisman candidate Darron Thomas as the passenger in Cliff Harris' car when he was clocked going 118 in a 65 in June. Thomas has now made 3 very poor off the field decisions in the past 2 years. If he were an NFL player he would have already been cut for his indiscretions. If you or I had been speeding at 118 with the smell of pot in our car we would have been arrested. But because Harris and Thomas are prominent athletes, the rules are different for them.

Ducks head coach Chip Kelly calls Thomas one of the best leaders he's had, but that's because Thomas has produced wins on the field for the Ducks. Bottom line is that Kelly's players continue to have problems off the field, but because they produce wins on the field those problems are overlooked more so than they would be at a mediocre program.

The scandalous activities at the University of Miami uncovered by Yahoo! Sports show us just how dirty college athletics can be. Sex parties and prostitution. Cash payments and other gifts. Coaches who knew of violations. And former Hurricanes AD Paul Dee, who now works for the NCAA, had this happen on his watch. How the NCAA can continue to employ Dee when his participation in the Miami investigation would be a conflict and when he has lost all credibility is beyond me.

And finally convicted felon and former Hurricane booster Nevin Shapiro blew the whistle on all of the corruption that he orchestrated at Miami. Sitting in prison abandoned by the people he lavished money and gifts on, he felt betrayed. So he sang like a canary and provided documentation to back up his claims. Shapiro is a guy with an axe to grind and he's already sitting in prison so he has nothing more to lose. He's the most dangerous kind of guy - someone seeking revenge.

The NCAA had a Presidential retreat last week to discuss the state of college athletics. They had better get their house in order, ramp up their enforcement division and start laying down the hammer on programs like Miami if they want to have any chance to clean up the cesspool that major college athletics has become. I don't envy the job they have in front of them.

Tiger Woods' and Mark Steinberg's BIG Mistake with Steve Williams

We know Tiger Woods and caddie Steve Williams had a high profile breakup after 13 years together. Williams was part of Tiger's inner circle and the two spent considerable time together off the golf course. Woods is also one of the most high profile athletes in the world. 

 

That's why its stunning to me that when Tiger Woods fired Williams, he reportedly did it in a fashion where he treated Williams like most any other employee. There was no separation agreement or no confidentiality agreement drawn up by Woods' camp to have Williams sign.

There are now rumors that Williams may write a tell all book about Woods. How Tiger's agent Mark Steinberg could have left Tiger exposed to such a book from Williams is shocking. Steinberg's first order of business should have been to draw up a separation agreement for Williams and they should have negotiated a sum that would have prevented Williams from sharing intimate details of his relationship with Tiger in the future.

Tiger's camp reportedly paid hush money to several women, but they didn't have the wisdom to negotiate a confidentiality agreement with Williams upon the end of that relationship? Huh?!

That decision may take Tiger's tarnished reputation to new depths if Steve Williams decides to write a book. Steve Williams has reportedly earned about $10 million caddying for Tiger Woods. My guess is he could secure a book deal guarantee worth at least that amount for a tell all book with juicy, never before released details about Tiger Woods' life.

If that happens, Tiger's agent Mark Steinberg made a colossal mistake by not securing a confidentiality agreement from Williams. You don't just fire an employee and let him walk after he just spent 13 years with one of the most high profile athletes in the world.

We've seen the venom Steve Williams has for Tiger Woods in the past week and the door is wide open for Williams to put another nail in Tiger's coffin with a juicy tell all book.

Oregon's Chip Kelly to Face the Bright Lights of the Media on Tuesday

 

Oregon head football coach Chip Kelly has been silent for months in the wake of the NCAA's investigation into his football program's relationship with Willie Lyles. But on Tuesday at 9:20am PT Coach Kelly will face the media during a press conference at Pac-12 media day. Because we haven't heard from Kelly, he is likely to be bombarded with questions. The Pac-12 has only alloted 15 minutes for Kelly's press conference but my guess is Kelly's presser will run longer than 15 minutes because of all of the questions, or a PR rep will cut the press conference short if Kelly is backed into a corner.

We're likely to hear Kelly tell us how he and the Ducks athletic department is cooperating with the NCAA's investigation. We're also likely to hear Kelly tell us that he can't comment on the Lyles matter because of the legalities around the investigation. I won't be surprised to hear Kelly get defensive with reporters or to respond in a condescending manner. I also won't be surprised if a PR person sets ground rules at the beginning of Kelly's presser that Kelly will only answer questions about the Ducks as it relates to on the field performance and what he expects from his team and their schedule this season.

When I am not hosting my radio show on The Game, I am a long time PR professional. I have advised many people who have found themselves in crisis and I continue to do so through my media training company (www.everythingisontherecord.com).

If I were advising Kelly, I would have had him sit down with a reporter who he has a good relationship for a one-on-one interview. I would have had him play things very close to the vest, but I would have had him talk about his desire to run a clean program and cooperate with the NCAA. Then when media day came along, Kelly could have said he already addressed many of the questions he'll be asked and refer back to that one-on-one interview.

In a press conference situation, things are unpredictable and reporters will throw darts at him. Its the situation that is the hardest to control.

It will certainly be interesting to watch how Chip Kelly handles the many questions he will receive at Pac-12 media day on Tuesday. And I'll take the OVER with the 15 minutes he's been allotted for his press conference.

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