Tag: Business of Sports

Following the expiration of Major League Baseball’s collective bargaining agreement at 11:59 p.m. ET Wednesday, Dec. 1, team owners announced a lockout of the players. It is the league’s first work stoppage in nearly three decades.

What does that mean for the 2022 season? What do team owners and players stand to lose?


“It is hard to imagine a scenario where the current standoff between baseball owners and players would lead to lost games in 2022,” said Patrick Rishe, director of the Sports Business Program at Washington University’s Olin Business School and professor of practice in sports business.

According to Rishe, the pandemic-induced economic losses sustained by MLB teams during the 2020 and 2021 seasons add incentive to reach an agreement before the start of the 2022 season.

“Of course, that’s assuming that acrimony and egos don’t get in the way, which at times in baseball’s history would be deemed a heroic assumption,” Rishe said.

Baseball in December?

According to Rishe, to initiate a lockout with over three months before the start of the 2022 season is, in some respects, “much ado about nothing.”

“In any type of negotiation, real deadlines spur action. The recent settlement between the City of St. Louis and the Rams/NFL are evidence of this, as is the 2011 NFL season where players were locked out from March until August without regular-season games lost,” he said.

“As such, I suspect this lockout will get resolved between late February and mid-March.”

However, Rishe noted that the NBA lockout of 2011 and the NHL lockout of 2012 did cost those leagues games. “But those standoffs didn’t occur in the immediate aftermath of a global pandemic, giving me confidence smarter minds and cooler heads will prevail in MLB before games are lost in 2022,” he said.

No-win situation

From a public relations perspective, however, baseball has already lost.  

“Baseball has fallen from being America’s pastime to a sport that feels past its time with younger generations of fans,” Rishe said. “It is now only the third most popular sports league in America behind the NFL and NBA.

“Games are too long, the style of play too dull and slow. Players and teams still lag behind their NFL and NBA peers in encouraging individualism through social media to help market the sport among younger fans.”

Rishe offered the following advice to team owners and players:

“It is crucial during these labor negotiations that both sides show discipline to not get the media involved to sway public sentiment, because if both sides spew the same public vitriol toward each other as they did when trying to return to play during the 2020 pandemic, this would only further amplify fan resentment and reticence to re-engage in 2022.”

The Scottrade Center, home of the St. Louis Blues hockey team, is looking for a new name. TD Ameritrade recently acquired Scottrade and says it’s not interested in retaining the naming rights for the arena. KMOX radio asked Olin’s Patrick Rishe, director of the business of sports program, for his take on attracting a new brand name for the center.

Patrick Rishe

“Whether you’re talking about the sale of a franchise or the sale of naming rights or the sale of your home, competition will drive that price up,” Rishe explained.

“So I think that’s the strategy that they should employ. Unfortunately, if you look at it on a national scale, even with the renovations, Scottrade is still going to pale in comparison to Chase Center (in San Francisco) or Golden 1 Center (in Sacramento) and so forth.”

What name would you like to see on the home of the Blues?

Link here to listen to the KMOX story.


The third annual Olin Sports Business Summit at Washington University in St. Louis will take place Friday, Sept. 29. The daylong seminar is split into four quarters, the better to discuss the multinational industry that professional sports such as football, soccer, basketball, baseball, hockey, motorsports and mixed martial arts have become.

While a time element and a distinct structure are each sport’s hallmark, each also has grown into a big business built on the foundations of management, marketing, innovation and strategy — in essence the dividing lines for the summit.

The kickoff to the 2017-18 Joseph S. Lacob Sports Speaker Series, the event plays out from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. in Emerson Auditorium on the Danforth Campus.

The four quarters include:

  • sports tech, analytics and management, which includes sports performance, sponsorship analytics and business strategy;
  • brand building on the championship franchise, athlete and collegiate levels;
  • innovation and disruption, from e-sports to stadium design to ticketing technologies; and
  • franchise and facility developments, including Scottrade Center renovations and birthing a new Major League Soccer franchise in Los Angeles.

Representatives of the St. Louis Blues, the Los Angeles Football Club, the architecture firm Populous, Ticketmaster, the Wasserman agency and more are scheduled to present. The summit also gives students an opportunity to network with sports insiders across the industry spectrum.

Kirk and Kent Lacob, sons of NBA Golden State Warriors co-owner Joseph S. Lacob and part of the team’s front office, are scheduled to appear.

“Thanks to the Lacobs’ generosity and our program’s aggressive efforts to network with industry leaders, we are excited to host a diverse and accomplished group of industry leaders for the 2017 Summit, including several Olin alums,” said Patrick Rishe, director of the Sports Business Program and summit organizer.  “This year’s event will feature more presentations than panels, which will provide audience members greater insights into how varied and dynamic the sports industry is in the 21st century.”

Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis and registration is required  to ensure a seat. The event also will be simulcast to the adjacent Frick Forum overflow space. For more information, visit the event’s homepage. 

Patrick Rishe (left), director of the Sports Business Program at Olin Business School, with students receiving their Lacob Internship Stipends at the 2016 Sports Business Summit. Eight students received Lacob Internship Stipends in 2017, ranging from Manchester United to the Vegas Golden Knights to Populous. (Photo: Courtesy of Olin Sports Business Program)

Guest Blogger: Chuck Finder, The Source

Senior defensive backs Nate Lowis and Andrew Ralph reflected on the past four years at WashU with Assistant AD for Communications Chris Mitchell.

What made you come to WashU?
NL: I came to Wash U because I could participate in a high level of athletics while receiving a world class education and remaining close to home.

Andrew Ralph

AR: I came to WashU for the chance to play college football and to receive a great education. WashU gave me the opportunity to excel both on and off the field, and I knew from the people I met that WashU was a great fit for me.

What have you learned from playing under head coach Larry Kindbom for four years?
NL: I have learned to always trust yourself.

AR: Coach K was a big part of my decision to play at WashU in the first place. While I’ve learned a lot from him about football (probably more special teams’ info than I could have imagined), he’s taught me a lot more about how to be a great man. The thing that’s always stuck with me is how much Coach K cares for each of us, not only as players but as people.

What is your favorite part of playing defense?
NL: I get to be the one making the hits.

AR: I love the energy and emotion that go into every play of defense. Whereas offense is a bit more composed, a lot of defense is effort and will. I’m a pretty passionate player, and being on the defensive side of the ball allows me to play with my personality all the time.

How special is it to be named a team captain?
NL: It is an honor and a very humbling experience to be named team captain.

AR: It was really special to be named a captain for this football team. These guys are some of the brightest and best people I’ve been around, and for them to choose me as a captain is an honor.

What is your favorite football memory at WashU?
NL: My favorite memory of Wash U football is making the playoffs last year.

AR: My favorite WashU football memory came from last year. After beating Chicago on their field, we found out that we had won both the UAA and the SAA, the latter giving us an automatic birth to the playoffs. For all that to happen in front of family/friends was a really cool moment.

What are your future plans upon graduation from WashU?
NL: I plan on attending law school next year. I am currently in the process of applying and I hope to remain in St. Louis.

AR: After graduating from WashU, I hope to work for a consulting firm. I’m also interested in the business side of sports.

Guest Blogger: By Caroline Ballard, Sports Information Intern

At the top of his game in 2009, golf star Tiger Woods was earning an estimated $92 million from product endorsements. Plagued by problems on and off the course from marital issues, knee and back surgeries to failure to win a major since 2008, or a tournament since 2013, the Tiger Woods brand has suffered. With the DUI arrest of Woods on Memorial Day in Florida, Olin’s Director of the Business of Sports Program, Patrick Rishe, is not optimistic about Woods’ power to attract or keep endorsements going forward:

Woods is more “expendable” these days as a brand ambassador because his playing career is in serious jeopardy of ever again coming remotely close to the greatness we all witnessed for the better part of two decades.

Part of this is because he is now, with this arrest, going to be perceived by corporate America as a two-time offender of the public’s trust.

That’s what Rishe said in his column for Forbes.

In an interview May 30 on CNBC, Riche predicts that Woods will lose more endorsement contracts (although, he admits, Nike is hard to gauge), as a result of his latest transgression.

According to CNN:

On Monday, Woods said in a statement that alcohol was not involved and that he had “an unexpected reaction to prescribed medications.”

In a statement to CNN and other media outlets, Woods, currently rehabbing from back surgery, said he did not realize the mix of medications “had affected me so strongly.”

“I understand the severity of what I did and I take full responsibility for my actions,” Woods said.