Super Bowl 50 Advertising, are you Paying Attention?

Cocacola-5cents-1900According to the most recent Seton Hall Sports Poll, a whopping 68% of all Americans plan on watching Super Bowl 50.
That’s roughly 218 million people, not counting the international numbers.
Why?
Well, because it’s the Super Bowl.

But given a choice of reasons, “I’m a football fan” and/or a “fan of one of the teams playing” account for only 59% of all Americans who plan on watching.

And, sponsors take note, a full 10% of those who said they would be watching say they will do so because they are “interested in seeing the commercials.” And 18% because “it’s a big event.” That’s 28% (approximately 61 million people) who will be watching and are not doing so primarily to watch football. They are watching to be entertained.

We also know that 55% of everyone watching (118 million people) say they’ll watch the Super Bowl commercials closer than they normally watch commercials. Because, well, Super Bowl commercials have come to be a part of the entertainment.

But here’s the kicker, as Darren Rovell of ESPN notes:

And this, of course, is right in line with the numbers we polled in the Fall when a resounding 44% said they paid attention to sponsor signs in stadiums; but an overwhelming majority said that it made no difference:

Rovell is right. That’s just way too low a number to be possible for all the money spent. But remember, these numbers reflect what people think and what they say, not how they behave or what they ultimately do.

As for the ROI on dollars spent on advertising to over 200 million people, many of whom are watching for the express purpose of being entertained by your ad? This article in Ad Sense breaks it down, and the number of repeat advertisers speaks volumes– as does the number of new advertisers launching a product campaign.

And ultimately, it’s about brand awareness. You may not run out to buy that product on Monday, but you (and close to 220 million other people) will be aware of it. And that’s a first and crucial step in product marketing.

Seton Hall Sports Poll, January 2016, Super Bowl and Politics

WHEN SUPER BOWL INTERSECTS POLITICAL SEASON, WHAT’S THE MOST COMPETITIVE CONTEST OUT THERE?
And Which Candidate Would You Want Coaching Your Team?

South Orange, NJ, January 28, 2016 — With the Super Bowl coming right as the presidential primary season “kicks off,” Americans said they were following the presidential contests by more than a 2-to-1 margin over football, with 60% choosing the political contests, and 24% the Super Bowl. 53% say the political races will be the most competitive, compared to 37% naming the Super Bowl. (By party, 35% name the Republican race, 18% the Democratic race).

The responses came in the latest Seton Hall Sports Poll, which polled 771 Americans (by landline and cellphone across the nation) this week. The margin of error is 3.6%.

Blending sports and politics, Donald Trump was the choice of 32% when the Poll asked “which candidate would you like to have coach your favorite team?” Hillary Clinton, Ted Cruz and Bernie Sanders each received 15%. (Interestingly, among African-American respondents, a third named Clinton, about double any other candidate on the list).

The reasons for watching the Super Bowl are of course, varied. 40% said it was best explained because they were football fans, with 19% saying they were a fan of one of the participating teams, 18% saying it was a “big event,” and 10% interested in the commercials. Only 2% said it was primarily because they had a bet on the game, although in another question, 13% said they participated in wagering on the game.

SUPER BOWL COMMERCIALS AND THEIR IMPACT

Regarding commercials, 52% acknowledge that they watch Super Bowl commercials more closely than in other TV shows, with 39% saying “about the same.” 88% said seeing a product advertised in the Super Bowl would make no difference in their buying habits, and the remainder is split.

“This news reinforces the prices charged for Super Bowl ads,” noted Rick Gentile, director of the Poll, which is sponsored by The Sharkey Institute. “88% may say it doesn’t influence them, but when 52% say they pay more attention to ads during the game than in other TV shows– that’s a powerful number for advertisers to focus on.”

THE MANNING/ AL JAZEERA REPORT

Peyton Manning, whose name emerged recently as having been sent human growth hormones (the report was on Al Jazeera and was recanted by the source), was the subject of a question on whether that report changed opinions about him. (During the polling period, the NFL announced it would investigate the charges). A significant 11% said they thought “less favorably” of him, and 76% said it had no effect. 3% said they felt more favorably towards him.

PETE ROSE AND THE HALL OF FAME

Pete Rose, who will be inducted in the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame this year, was the subject of two questions, the first asking whether that was appropriate – to which 47% said yes, 33% no. The second asked if he should be eligible to be elected to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, to which 56% said yes, 28% no.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND PLAYER SUSPENSIONS

A question was also asked whether a player being investigated for domestic violence offenses off the field should be suspended by his sport or allowed to play. 48% said the player should be suspended, and 39% said the player should be allowed to play. Broken down by gender men said allowed to play by 49%-43% over suspended. Among women, it was 52% suspended, 30% allowed to play.

For a fully produced podcast in which Seth Everett interviews Rick Gentile tonight, you may stream the podcast :  http://www.blogtalkradio.com/setonhallsportspoll/2016/01/29/january-2016–super-bowl-pete-rose-hall-of-fame

To download : https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/seton-hall-sports-poll/id1053266467?mt=2

ABOUT SETON HALL UNIVERSITY

One of the country’s leading Catholic universities, Seton Hall University has been a catalyst for leadership — developing students in mind, heart and spirit — since 1856. Home to nearly 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students and offering more than 90 academic programs, Seton Hall’s academic excellence has been singled out for distinction by The Princeton Review, U.S.News & World Report and Bloomberg Businessweek.

Seton Hall, which embraces students of all religions, prepares its graduates to be exemplary servant leaders and global citizens. Its attractive main campus is located in suburban South Orange, New Jersey, and is only 14 miles by train, bus or car from New York City, offering a wealth of employment, internship, cultural and entertainment opportunities. The university’s nationally recognized School of Law is prominently located in downtown Newark.

For more information, visit www.shu.edu.

About the poll:

This poll was conducted by telephone January 25-27 among 771 adults in the United States. The Seton Hall Sports Poll is conducted by the Sharkey Institute.

Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard landline and cell phones. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus 3.6 percentage points. The error for subgroups may be higher. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

The Seton Hall Sports Poll has been conducted regularly since 2006.

Media: Media: Marty Appel Public Relations, AppelPR@gmail.com; or michael.ricciardelli@shu.edu

The results

 

  1. Do you plan to watch the Super Bowl on Feb. 7?

Yes 68%

No 29

Don’t know 4

(IF NO SKIP TO QUESTION 3)

2. Which of the following best explains why you’ll be watching the Super Bowl?

I’m a fan of one of the teams 19

I’m interested in seeing the commercials 10

I’m a football fan 40

It’s a big event 18

I have a bet on the game 2

Other 9

Don’t know 3

 

3. In the next two weeks will you pay more attention to news about the upcoming Super Bowl or the presidential contests?

News about Super Bowl 24

Presidential contests 60

Don’t know 16

 

  1. Which do you think will be most competitive, the Republican presidential race, the Democratic presidential race or the Super Bowl?

Republican race                                      35

Democratic race                                     18

Super Bowl                                              37

Don’t know                                              10

 

  1. Of the following presidential candidates which would you like to have coach your favorite team, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders or Ted Cruz?

Trump                                                      32

Clinton                                                      15

Sanders                                                    15

Cruz                                                          15

Other                                                        10

Don’t know                                              13

 

  1. Do you tend to watch commercials in the Super Bowl more closely,

less closely or about the same as in other TV shows?

More closely                                            52

Less closely                                                9

About the same                                      39

 

 

  1. Would you be more likely to buy a product advertised on the Super Bowl, less likely or does it make no difference?

More likely                                               7

Less likely                                                 5

No difference                                        88

 

  1. Do you participate in any pools or wagering on the Super Bowl?

Yes                                                            13

No                                                             82

Prefer not to say                                       5

 

  1. Has the recent news concerning the risk of permanent injury to football players made you more interested, less interested or has it had no affect on your interest in the Super Bowl?

More interested                                      14

Less interested                                          9

No affect                                                   73

Don’t know                                                 5

 

10. A report last month by the news service Al Jazeera claimed that Peyton Manning and other sports stars were sent human growth hormones in 2011 by an anti-aging clinic despite the fact that it was recanted by the source. Did this story make you think more favorably of Manning, less favorably or did it have no effect on your opinion of him?

More favorably                                         3

Less favorably                                         11

No effect                                                  76

Don’t know                                                9

 

  1. Switching to baseball now, it was announced Pete Rose will be inducted into the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame and have his number retired by the team. Do you think this is appropriate considering his ban for life by Major League Baseball for betting on games while active?

Yes                                                            47

No                                                             33

Don’t know                                              20

 

  1. Do you think Pete Rose should be eligible to be elected to baseball’s Hall of Fame in Cooperstown?

Yes                                                            56

No                                                             28

Don’t know                                              16

 

  1. The New York Yankees traded for a player who is being investigated by Major League Baseball for a domestic violence incident although he was not charged with a crime by authorities. Do you think players should be allowed to continue to play while being investigated for violent offenses or should they be suspended pending the results of the investigation?

Allowed to play                                       39

Suspended                                               48

Don’t know                                              13

  1. How closely do you follow sports, very closely, closely, not closely or not at all?

Very closely                                             18

Closely                                                      41

Not closely                                               27

Not at all                                                   14

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Working Response To Stadium Terror

By Sean Lintott

Jets-Cowboys_PregameWorking at a sports venue doesn’t seem like a dangerous job on the surface. I never entertained the idea that large sports venues like MetLife Stadium, where I intern, could be the target of a major terrorist attack. Maybe it was naivety, or maybe I just didn’t have any reason to have such a concern.

All of this changed after the tragedy that struck Paris on the evening of November 13, 2015. I received a message from my boss before seeing any of the news. I manage the stadium’s social media account and she instructed me not to respond to any messages regarding the terrorist attacks until the authorities make their statement and to immediately report any worrisome messages. After this message, I turned on the news and saw the horror that was unfolding in France. So many thoughts flooded my mind, but still, none of them involved my safety at work.

That Sunday, the Giants were hosting the New England Patriots. That morning, I woke up and did my typical morning routine. Then it was time to head to the stadium. When I arrived at the parking lot, I could sense a much larger police presence, but it wasn’t overwhelming by any means. I made it to the employee entrance of MetLife Stadium and that’s when it became apparent that this wasn’t going to be just another day at the office. It normally takes me about two or three minutes to get inside the stadium. That day, it took me over twenty minutes just to get to the metal detectors. Security personnel was doing very thorough scans of every employee before they went through the metal detectors. Once I was in the stadium and got to my office, you could feel a sense that everybody was slightly on edge. Personally, I settled in and started working on my responsibilities for the day.

An hour or two into my workday, I received a call from my mother. I could hear concern in her voice. She asked me if I was at work, if I felt safe, how much of a security presence there was, and a multitude of questions that you can imagine any mother would ask in this situation. I assured her that I felt safe and that security was doing a diligent job of screening everybody before they even got close to the venue. Once I thought that I’d convinced her of my safety, I got back to work. The game took place and everything felt mostly normal.

I refuse to live in fear of terrorism. Yes, there are bad people in this world that want to harm the innocent. However, living in fear is letting them win. They want to take freedom from the world and they want you to be afraid. This world is much stronger than that, though. For every person that wants to cause harm in this world, there are thousands of people that will do everything in their power to prevent that from happening.

So to answer the question the Sports Poll asked of the public after the terror attack at the soccer stadium in Paris: “How concerned does this make you in regard to attending a sporting event in a large venue in the United States?” I am not concerned about attending sporting events at large venues in the United Stated. Sports are one of my biggest passions, and nobody, not ISIS or any other group, can take that away from me.

Sports Poll Cited in MarketWatch on Fantasy Sports, ‘Gambling’ and how to Invest in DFS

RothbortProfessor Scott Rothbort of the Stillman School of Business cited findings of the Seton Hall Sports Poll in an article he wrote for MarketWatch.

In the article, “4 ways to make money on fantasy sports without gambling,” Rothbort, the founder and president of LakeView Asset Management, writes:

Daily fantasy sports or “DFS” sites have been all the rage recently, as its advertising has inundated the airwaves, participation has surged and controversy has taken root. Governmental regulators and attorneys general have voiced their opinions as to its legality (or lack thereof) in hearings and pronouncements too numerous to list. Furthermore, there was even an “insider trader” case which raised some concerns as to fairness in these sports fantasy leagues.

In other words, there’s a lot of heat being generated in the space. Is it a passing fad or is there something lasting here as a business? And if so, what does that mean for a potential investor (as opposed to a player)?

The Seton Hall Sports Poll, conducted by the Sharkey Institute at Seton Hall University‘s Stillman School of Business, recently asked the public what they thought about DFS: Are these games of skill or gambling; should they be regulated; and, should they be legal?

In the November poll, 50% say they believe it is a form of gambling, 30% say it is a game of skill and 20% did not know. This compares to the same poll conducted in September in which 52% said gambling, 31% responded skill, leaving 17% who did not know. The lack of any real movement in these numbers, despite all the controversy during the time between the polls, indicates a solid result.

Also in the November poll, on the question of should there be state regulation: 51% said yes and 35% said no. As to legality, in the same poll, 54% said it should be legal and 38% said illegal.

The takeaway from these polls is that a majority of respondents believe that the sports-fantasy industry should be legalized and regulated. That is really what the attorneys general want. By doing so, this would enable the states to: control the activities, impose licensing fees, and make sure they get their fair share of taxes from winnings. The IRS already requires the issuance of a 1099 form for winnings over $600, much like what is done at the racetrack, and hence the federal government already has its finger in the sports fantasy pie.

I am not a regulator or an attorney. I am an investor and finance professor. My questions are not on legality or gambling but … how can you make money by investing alongside the fantasy sports industry? Read more.

Poll Results Featured in NY Daily News, NJ.com, The Record, Legal Sports Report and USC/USA Today Sports, ‘Fields of Green’

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AManual_typewriter_2008.jpg

The Seton Hall Sports Poll’s results were featured in the NY Daily News, NJ.com, The Record, Legal Sports Report and Fields of Green, an online partnership between USA TODAY Sports Media Group and the USC Sports Business Institute

A discussion about the poll results can be heard on Seth Everett’s “Sports with Friends.”

The Daily News and NJ.com focused on the finding that following the Paris attacks that included terrorist activity outside the Stade de France during a major soccer match, 73% of Americans say they are very or somewhat concerned about attending a sporting event in a large venue.

Daily News, “Seton Hall Sports Poll: Paris terror has raised concerns about stadium safety in U.S.

NJ.com: “Paris attacks have Americans fearing safety at sporting events, poll says

The Record and Legal Sports Report wrote about the findings regarding Daily Fantasy Sports.

The Record: “U.S. public seeing DFS as gambling moreso than game of skill, per Seton Hall poll

Legal Sports Report: “Poll: Half Think Daily Fantasy Sports Should Be Legal; Half Also Think DFS Is Gambling

Fields of Green focused on the public perception of stadium sponsorship included in the Poll’s last results.

Fields of Green: “Fans say they aren’t affected by team sponsorship deals

You can hear Seth Everett and Rick Gentile discuss these and other findings on the podcast, here.

Seton Hall Sports Poll November, 2015

73% OF AMERICANS SAY THEY ARE ‘CONCERNED ABOUT ATTENDING A SPORTING EVENT IN A LARGE VENUE’ IN WAKE OF PARIS ATTACKS

South Orange, NJ, November 19, 2015 — 73% of Americans say they are either very or somewhat concerned about attending a sporting event in a large venue, following the Paris attacks last week which included terrorist activity outside of Stade de France during a major soccer match.

The Seton Hall Sports Poll was conducted this week (Nov 16-18) among 879 random adults across the country, reached by landline and cellphone. 34% said they were very concerned, 39% said they were somewhat concerned, and 23% said it made no difference.  The Paris attacks took place last Friday.

The poll has a margin of error of 3.3%.

“This is a dramatic number, and something that should be noted by all sports leagues that play in large venues,” noted Rick Gentile, director of the Poll, which is sponsored by The Sharkey Institute. “Normally, Americans rally quickly and say ‘This will not change my way of life.’ But in this case, it has clearly given them pause.”

THREATENED STRIKE BY MISSOURI FOOTBALL GARNERS REACTION

The Poll also asked whether the threatened strike by the University of Missouri football team, in the wake of reaction to racial tensions on campus by the University president, was appropriate – the question being, “Do you think a school sponsored sports team should involve itself in campus politics?” On this the nation was evenly divided, with 44% saying yes and 46% no. However, among those 18-29, the “yes” received a 57% to a 37% “no,” while those over 60 were 38% to 50%.

PAY FOR STUDENT-ATHLETES? A SPIKE IN SUPPORT IS REGISTERED

The Poll regularly asks whether college athletes in revenue-generating sports should be compensated beyond scholarships. In the past, those saying yes has been fairly consistent, ranging from 21% in 2007 to 27% in 2011. This year (with the question saying “football players” as opposed to “athletes”), 36% said yes, which was up sizably from the 25% approval in 2013. “Public opinion is slowly shifting on this one,” noted Gentile. “Of course the majority still say ‘no,’ but we will be watching this.”

ONLINE FANTASY SPORTS CONTINUES TO DRAW MIXED OPINIONS

Despite all the recent attention paid to online fantasy sports (notably through DraftKings and FanDuel, and more recently, Yahoo!), the public remains consistent on whether these are games of skill or a form of gambling, and whether they should be legislated. 50% believe them to be a form of gambling, 30% say it is a game of skill, and 20% don’t know. In September, the numbers were 52%, 31% and 17%. As for whether states should be regulating the sites, (New York and Nevada have banned them), 51% say the states should regulate, and 35% say no. As for legality, 54% say the practice should be legal, 38% say it should be illegal and 9% don’t know. And finally, as to whether or not people agreed with the decision by the New York State Attorney General to order that Fan Duel and Draft Kings cease doing business in the state:

  • Agree                            38%
  • Disagree                       31
  • Don’t know                   31

BAN ALL RUSSIAN TRACK AND FIELD ATHLETES FROM OLYMPICS?

With the World Anti-Doping Agency finding Russian track and field athletes guilty of systematic doping, people were asked whether Russian athletes should be banned from next year’s Olympics. 77% said only athletes testing positive should be banned, with just 14% saying the whole Russian track and field team should be banned.

The Agency has banned the guilty athletes from international competition.

Rick Gentile and Seth Everett talk about the results.

ABOUT SETON HALL UNIVERSITY

One of the country’s leading Catholic universities, Seton Hall University has been a catalyst for leadership — developing students in mind, heart and spirit — since 1856. Home to nearly 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students and offering more than 90 academic programs, Seton Hall’s academic excellence has been singled out for distinction by The Princeton Review, U.S.News & World Report and Bloomberg Businessweek.

Seton Hall, which embraces students of all religions, prepares its graduates to be exemplary servant leaders and global citizens. Its attractive main campus is located in suburban South Orange, New Jersey, and is only 14 miles by train, bus or car from New York City, offering a wealth of employment, internship, cultural and entertainment opportunities. The university’s nationally recognized School of Law is prominently located in downtown Newark.

For more information, visit www.shu.edu.

About the poll:

This poll was conducted by telephone November 16-18 among 879 adults in the United States. The Seton Hall Sports Poll is conducted by the Sharkey Institute.

Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard landline and cell phones. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus 3.3 percentage points. The error for subgroups may be higher. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

The Seton Hall Sports Poll has been conducted regularly since 2006.

The Results (all findings listed in %):

Fan Duel and Draft Kings, two daily fantasy sports websites, were ordered to cease doing business in New York State last week because they were deemed to be gambling sites. Do you agree with the decision by NY State or disagree?

  • Agree                            38%
  • Disagree                       31
  • Don’t know                   31

Do you think participation in daily fantasy sports is a form of gambling or is it a game of skill?

  • Form of gambling         50
  • Game of skill                  31
  • Don’t know                     20

Internet betting on sporting events is illegal in most states. Do you think playing daily fantasy sports on the internet should be illegal as well?

  • Yes                                    38
  • No                                     54
  • Don’t know                        9

Do you think betting on sporting events on the internet should be illegal?

  • Yes                                    40
  • No                                     47
  • Don’t know                      13

A number of states, including New Jersey and California, are discussing regulating of daily fantasy websites. Do you think these sites should be regulated by state governments?

  • Yes                                    51
  • No                                     35
  • Don’t know                      14

The University of Missouri football team threatened to strike and forfeit a game if the president of the university didn’t resign over his remarks about racial tensions on campus. Do you think a school sponsored sports team should involve itself in campus politics?

  • Yes                                    44
  • No                                     46
  • Don’t know                      10

College football generates enormous profits for many universities. Do you   think college football players should be compensated beyond the scholarships they receive?

  • Yes                                    36
  • No                                     57
  • Don’t know                        7

Russia has been banned from international track and field competitions pending a doping investigation of athletes and officials. If the allegations prove to be true do you think all Russian track and field athletes should be banned from next year’s Olympics, or only Russian track and field athletes who test positive for performance enhancing drugs should be banned?

  • All Russian track and field athletes should be banned            14
  • Only athletes testing positive should be banned                      77
  • Don’t know                                                                                         8

There was just a terror attack at a soccer stadium in Paris. How concerned does this make you in regard to attending a sporting event in a large venue in the United States?

  • Very concerned               34
  • Somewhat concerned    39
  • It makes no difference   23
  • Don’t know                         4

Rick Gentile in The New York Times, ‘Blood and Sport’

Rick Gentile, Seton Hall faculty member and Director of the Seton Hall Sports Poll, was featured in this NY Times video report that looks at the violence of football amidst concerns about the health and well being of football players.  The news report, “Blood and Sport,” asks whether these concerns could have an impact on football’s popularity in the way that similar concerns, stemming from the death of a boxer on a televised bout, led to a precipitous decline in corporate sponsorship for, and then the popularity of, boxing.

Gentile, a former Executive Producer and Senior Vice President of CBS Sports, was asked to weigh in.

rick-gentile-ny times-seton hall

The Impact of Corporate Sports Sponsorship

A recent Seton Hall Sports poll found, as Darren Rovell of ESPN noted, that

Some of the responses to this finding were interesting, to say the least; a couple wondered if this news would “finally” lead to less corporate spending for sponsorships — a decluttering of stadiums.

I believe Rovell’s take is closer to the truth — that the number saying sports sponsorship did have an impact was too low for the money spent by sponsors.

And, importantly, it should be noted that the poll gauged what people said, not what they do.

Among marketing people, that 44% admitted that they paid attention was cause for major celebration; and perhaps, that 85% believe themselves to be unaffected by the ads was cause for even greater celebration– as advertising works best that way, just under the radar.

But what do sponsors get from these placements and affiliations?

I’ll leave that analysis to the able hands of Seton Hall, Stillman School of Business, Professor Kurt W. Rotthoff, a co-author of “Influences on Sponsorship Deals in NASCAR: Indirect Evidence from Time on Camera,” which was published in Applied Economics and looks at sponsorship value and influence. This passage below deals with sponsorship and stock price, as good a place to start as any.

Rotthoff writes:

Although the measurement of sponsorship effectiveness if notoriously difficult (for a description of the difficulty see Breuer and Rumpf 2012), the marketing literature, as well as the economics and finance literature, have all attempted to measure the overall benefit and effectiveness of corporate sponsorship dollars. In the finance literature, event studies have found a positive relation between athletic sponsorship and stock prices. Cornwell, Pruitt, and Clark (2005) find that sponsorship in the National Basketball Association (NBA), Major League Baseball (MLB), the National Hockey League (NHL), and the Professional Golfers Association (PGA) all increased the stock prices of the sponsoring firms. Pruitt, Cornwell, and Clark (2004) also find that announcement of sponsorship of a NASCAR team increases the sponsoring company’s stock price. Mahar, Paul, and Stone (2005) find that NASCAR sponsors that sell directly to end consumers have a positive relationship between winning and sponsors stock price; however, this does not hold for firms that market to businesses. Durr, Eaton, and Broker (2009) find that a portfolio of corporations that sponsor NASCAR teams consistently outperforms the risk-adjusted returns of the S&P 500.

They claim that NASCAR sponsorship sends a signal of a firm’s financial health. Other event studies have also found a relationship between athlete image and stock prices. For instance during the Tiger Woods scandal in 2009, his sports-related sponsors’ stock value decreased by over four percent and the stock prices of his top five sponsors fell by two to three percent (Knittel and Stango 2010).

Seton Hall Sports Poll Update

Seth Everett gives the latest Seton Hall SportsPoll update: MLB’s World Series vs. NFL; interesting result for sports stadium billboard sponsorship and perceived effect (1 minute, 27 seconds).

New Jersey Bill: DFS ‘Not Gambling’ but Should be Regulated by Gambling Commission

Seal_of_New_Jersey.svgInteresting article in NorthJersey.com on Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) and the prospect of it being regulated in New Jersey. The article’s author, John Brennan of The Record, notes that New Jersey is the “nation’s No. 2 gambling state” behind Nevada and that a bill (Whelan, D-Atlantic County) to be discussed before the New Jersey Assembly would designate DFS as “not gambling” under state law, but have it fall under the jurisdiction and regulation of New Jersey’s “Division of Gaming Enforcement, the state body that oversees Atlantic City’s casinos and online gambling.”

Brennan notes that:

The crux of the debate over daily fantasy sports is whether the competitions are games of skill — as operators insist — or games of chance, and therefore gambling, as critics contend.

The confusion on this issue appears to extend to the public at large. A recent national poll by Seton Hall University found that 52 percent of Americans consider daily fantasy sports to be a form of gambling, while 31 percent consider them to be a game of skill.

On this point, Whelan’s bill appears to be “inconsistent,” said Nicholas Casiello, a gaming law attorney partner at the Atlantic City-based law firm Fox Rothschild.

“If daily fantasy sports is not gambling, you have to question whether it needs to be regulated in the same way that gambling is regulated,” he said.

The Casino Association of New Jersey, which represents seven of Atlantic City’s eight remaining casinos including the market-leading Borgata, did not respond to a request for comment. However, Tom Ballance, the Borgata’s president and chief operating officer, offered an unambiguous assessment of daily fantasy sports.

“Borgata’s and Boyd Gaming’s position is simple: Daily fantasy sports is clearly gambling and should be regulated as such,” Ballance said in a statement, referring to the casino’s parent company.

The bill is the product of New Jersey State Senator Jim Whelan, an Atlantic County Democrat who served as mayor of Atlantic City for 11 years and is known as a steadfast casino advocate. Senator Whelan is said to have met privately with representatives of FanDuel and DraftKings this last Thursday.

The bill is scheduled for a hearing before the New Jersey Assembly on Monday, November 9 and “is expected to feature testimony from representatives of the leading daily fantasy sites.”

Baseball: The Most Excruciating Sport

20151101_230723If boxing is the cruelest sport (it is), then baseball is, perhaps, the most excruciating. In the middle of July in the midst of a 162 game season it is excruciating in the sense that it seems as though it will never end: the teams trudge through summer in a schedule designed for attrition.

In September and October, with the playoffs at hand, it is excruciating because it will end – or could end – with the very next pitch.

With the drama distilled and rolled up into a little ball – focused and traveling at 97 mph— there is nothing quite like a full count on a batter with the game and maybe the entire season on the line. Nothing quite like a playoff game (never mind a World Series game) when your team is playing, and almost every pitch feels that way. The entirety of a year’s work (pitchers and catchers report in February) resting on and rolled into a series of moments—the next moment.

It waits. And in that waiting, that time before the crack of the bat and the roar of the crowd, lies the beauty of baseball: an anticipation, a dread even, that has built to a fine point over a period of a year—or decades, or 107 years if you’re a Cubs fan.

Nearly unbearable at times, playoff baseball is, in short, dramatic.

And this has been, by almost all accounts, the most exciting World Series in years. But relatively few people are watching.

A recent Seton Hall Sports Poll found a strong gain for Major League Baseball’s World Series:

That’s a shift in differential from 34 to 12% — with an effective upward movement for baseball of 22 points.

That, coupled with a Game One this year that had the highest TV ratings for a World Series game in 5 years, represents a strong gain for Major League Baseball.

But as Jason Notte notes in his article at Marketwatch: “This is the most exciting World Series no one is watching,” viewership for baseball’s biggest games is decidedly lackluster in comparison with its own illustrious history and, contemporaneously, other sports. He also notes that “baseball has problems with demographics and how playoff games are broadcast.”

He is right. As Rich Hoffman, Sports Editor at the Philadelphia Daily News posits:

But there’s hope. I watched game 4 on Saturday night with my girlfriend’s 17 year old son. He is not a baseball fan. He plays the guitar, works on cars, spends an inordinate amount of time on his phone and watches football and basketball. We rooted for the Mets. As the game progressed and I cheered and cursed in turn, he turned to me and said, a number of times with a big smile on his face: “I can’t believe how exciting this is. It’s soooo tense. I don’t know what to say.”

Nothing to say, really— it’s post season baseball.

But there is a question to be asked: With a product that good, how didn’t he know? What is MLB’s marketing strategy for people who aren’t “about the average age”?

Notte concludes: “Baseball has gone from a national pastime to a niche, and neither it nor its World Series are going to work their way back until they become more accessible.”

I’m not sure niche is quite the right word here. Boxing is niche. I’ve written about boxing for The Guardian, 15Rounds.com, Queensbury Rules (named a Top 25 blog by Time magazine, but you’ve almost certainly never heard of it), the Daily Record and the Asbury Park Press. When I look for boxing news and go to a general sports source such as ESPN.com, BleacherReport or SBNation, my sport is listed under “Other” or “More.”

Baseball still holds a place in the header, but Notte has a point— and MLB should listen, and build upon the tenuous gains it’s made— or risk finding itself relegated in the popular consciousness and sports pages to “Other.”

Public Divided on Whether Fantasy Sports Commercials Should Run During Televised Games; Governor Christie’s ‘Really?’ Comment on Debate May Have Rung True

South Orange, NJ, October 29, 2015 — Despite ongoing investigations by the Justice Department and the FBI into whether daily sports fantasy games are a form of gambling, the American public is divided on whether commercials for those sites should be appearing in televised sports events.

A Seton Hall Sports Poll conducted this week (Oct. 26-28) among 820 random adults across the country by landline and cellphone, found that 41% felt they should be able to advertise and 39% felt they should not. (20% said they did not know.)

The poll has a margin of error of 3.5%, making the result a statistical dead heat.

“The ads from DraftKings and FanDuel are ubiquitous,” noted Rick Gentile, director of the Poll, which is sponsored by The Sharkey Institute. “They are definitely a new and impactful part of the sports landscape. It happened, seemingly, overnight. But there is certainly no hard push-back by viewers about running these ads.

“It seems to harken what {N.J.} Governor {Chris} Christie said in the debate last night about playing fantasy sports as an issue – ‘really?’”

Only 4% of respondents said they participated in a baseball fantasy game.

The Poll also asked if sponsors who promote products (such as fantasy sports), in an environment where its athletes are forbidden to participate (college athletes may not gamble), should not be allowed to advertise on any college sports. By 59% to 34%, respondents said they should not. A similar margin – 56%-36% – felt that beer advertising should not appear on college sports telecasts.   (It currently does). The Poll also noted that the NCAA has said the ads will not run during their college basketball tournaments, and 47% felt that was a good decision, versus only 30% saying it was a bad decision. (23% did not know).

Continue reading

World Series vs. NFL? Strong Gain for Baseball Shown in Preference

South Orange, NJ, October 29, 2015 — The World Series, which will go head-to-head against the NFL this Sunday (if a fifth game is necessary), has shown strong growth in such a match-up in the opinion of the American public, according to a Seton Hall Sports Poll conducted this week.

While a regular season NFL game is preferred over a World Series game by a 48%-36% margin, when Seton Hall asked the question five years ago, the NFL margin was 56%-22%. That is a shift from a 34% to 12% differential, and seems to match the ratings for Tuesday night’s Game One of the World Series, which was the highest in five years.

There were no clear differences in the percentages based on whether a baseball or a football game was being played on the day the question was asked.

“This is a strong trend for baseball,” noted Rick Gentile, director of the Poll, which is sponsored by The Sharkey Institute. “Despite the absence of household name stars in this year’s Kansas City-New York Mets matchup, the public is finding the games compelling.”

The Poll was conducted this week (October 26-28) among 820 random adults called on landlines and cellphones across the country. There is a margin of error of 3.5%.

Asked which they expected to be more competitive, the World Series or the political debate, 49% said the debate and 41% said the World Series. (The vast majority of respondents answered prior to the airing of the debate on CNBC, which began at 8 pm eastern time on the final day of polling).

In other findings, 45% felt the World Series takes place too late in the year (vs. 37% saying it was fine to end in November). When asked two years ago, 53% said it takes place too late, and 36% said it was okay as is.

59% said it didn’t matter if a baseball player acts out with a demonstrative gesture in a game (such as a bat flip or a pitcher’s gesture after a strikeout). 17% felt that was good for baseball and 15% said it was bad for baseball.

VIEWING HABITS STILL LOCKED INTO ‘OLD MEDIA’
BILLBOARD SPONSORS HAVE VIEWER ATTENTION

Although there are growing varieties of ways to watch sports, 83% still choose television and 7% choose “in person,” leaving only 5% who usually watch streaming video and 5% “other” or “none.” Streaming video was launched back in 2000 when Rick Gentile produced the Paralympic Games from Sydney, Australia for WeMedia, but now, 15 years later, it remains a small piece of the viewership pie.

Good news for billboard sponsors – 44% of respondents said they pay attention to sponsor signs in the stadium. Asked if they are more or less likely to purchase a product they see sponsoring sports events, only 9% said more likely and 85% said “no difference.” (Advertisers would surely dispute this finding). 6% said they would be less likely.

Continue reading

DFS, Advertising and the Potential Cost of a Messaging Narrative

Michael J. Ricciardelli, 2015Perhaps, as the International Business Times has noted, there’s an element of backlash against Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) from a public bombarded by its advertising: The New York Times reported that Fan Duel and Draft Kings spent “more than $27 million for about 8,000 television spots in the opening week of the N.F.L. season”; according to iSpot.tv, which tracks national TV advertising spending, in the last seven days of this week Fan Duel alone spent an estimated $11,234,816 on 1,662 buys –-enough to garner it 6th place—behind Geico, Ford and AT&T, but ahead of Verizon, iPhone and Toyota and all but, well, only five other companies in the entirety of the United States.

Which is to say, DFS ads are everywhere –- and If you are a sports fan they have, for good or ill, become a part of your life.

And beyond a generalized level of annoyance, maybe part of the difficulty DFS now faces (and it faces some major and mounting difficulties) is rooted in that message they spent so much to have tattooed within the popular psyche— which is to say, to some extent, they may have been hoist by their own petard.

Two ads or aspects of DFS ads immediately come to mind for me: 1) a young man who says he deposited a total of $35 and has won over $2 million; and 2) another man who, also a winner, says that the only difference between him and all the people who didn’t win is that he played and they didn’t.

Which sounds to me, a bit like an ad for a lottery.

And, as the Seton Hall Sports Poll noted in the release of its poll on Oct. 1, 2015, for DFS the

“waiver to advertise and promote in sports telecasts was based on [the] argument that it is not gambling.”

But, as the poll found, a “wide margin” questioned disagreed:

And, it seems, other people—attorneys general, district attorneys, legislators, the Department of Justice, the FBI, media networks and even the heads of college athletic leagues — are beginning to have questions of their own.

DFS has had to respond and those responses are not without cost: a few weeks ago FanDuel hired Steptoe & Johnson as its federal lobbyist; this week, in the wake of calls for state and federal regulation, the Fantasy Sports Trade Association (established in 1998, who knew?) appointed Seth D. Harris to head a Fantasy Sports Control Agency. Seth Harris is the former acting Secretary of Labor and a former Professor at New York Law and a Visiting Professor at Seton Hall Law School (in the interest of disclosure, I’m a graduate of Seton Hall Law; Go Pirates!). He is also a member of the Public Policy and Regulation practice at Dentons US LLP, and has been charged with “creating a strict, transparent and effective system of self-regulation for the businesses that comprise the fantasy sports industry.”

Whether or not the lobbyists can hold the wolves at bay and/or self-regulation will ultimately be deemed by the powers that be to be sufficient, I do not know; but I do know this: win, lose or draw it’ll be an expensive proposition, but even more expensive with a loss.

Going forward, DFS might want to consider the impact of its messaging and the importance of a consistent narrative. And, when it comes to its legislative, lobbying and lawyering efforts, DFS had better hope it picked the right team.

 

 

‘Deflategate’ Equals Deflated Popularity for those Involved

The aftershock of the prolonged debate over “Deflategate,” which resulted in Tom Brady’s suspension over deflated footballs being overturned in judicial proceedings, has crushed the popularity of those involved.

-Commissioner Roger Goodell, who had rebounded from a 12% favorable rating a year ago after his Ray Rice decision to 24% at the conclusion of the Super Bowl, fell back down to 14% favorable.

-Brady himself fell from 61% to 34% favorable since his winning Super Bowl performance.

-Coach Bill Belichick fell from 38% to 21% favorable in the same seven months.

Brady’s counterpart, the ever-popular Peyton Manning of Denver, remains consistently high, with a 61% favorable rating, almost double Brady’s, and right where he has been since the question was first asked in November of 2010.

“Winning a court decision is not the same as winning back the hearts of the fans,” said Gentile. “They have a long way to go.”

Fantasy Sports Games Viewed as Gambling, not Game of Skill by Wide Margin in Seton Hall Sports Poll

Waiver to Advertise and Promote in Sports Telecasts Was Based on Argument That It Is Not Gambling

This is the year that American sports fans have become accustomed to seeing advertising for fantasy sports games (involving the selection of players), while viewing live sports. While sports long embraced a “No Betting” concept with fans, the operators of such companies as DraftKings and FanDuel persuaded regulators that their games were games of skill, not gambling per se.

But the American people are not buying that argument. According to a Seton Hall Sports Poll conducted this week, 52% of Americans believe them to be a form of gambling, with only 31% believing them to be games of skill. The margin remains the same among categories of respondents that should know the difference: those that have gambled before, participated in fantasy sports and even those that paid money to participate in fantasy sports, with all categories saying it is a form of gambling by a range of 50-54%.

By a margin of 41% to 47% against, people are saying that these games should not be advertised during live sports coverage, though this is not as one-sided as the 29% to 59% that are against advertising gambling on the direct outcome of the games themselves.

“To see the influx of these fantasy games is a remarkable milestone for sports, which has always taken such a hard line on gambling,” noted Rick Gentile, director of the poll, which is sponsored by The Sharkey Institute. “No betting signs were always prominent at ballparks. And now this.”

The Seton Hall survey found that 19% of respondents have participated in a fantasy league, a daily fantasy or both, while 13% have participated in the last 12 months. This is almost a threefold increase compared to February 2006 when 5% gave an affirmative answer in the Pew Social Trends Poll.

“This topic figures to remain an important one in the sports universe for the foreseeable future,” said Gentile.

College Hoops: A Dissatisfied Public on Many Issues

As NCAA college basketball heads for the Final Four, the overall public voiced discontent over a number of issues related to the sport.

57% felt the proposal by Education Secretary Arne Duncan – that a 40% graduation rate be imposed to make a team tournament eligible – should be higher, with only 19% saying there should be no requirement.

  • 76% felt that, some, most, or almost all colleges break the rules in recruiting athletes.
  • 59% felt that it hurts the game when players leave school early to turn pro.
  • 77% felt that coaches – both basketball and football – should be more tightly supervised by their universities.

More than 1 in 4 – 28% – think that college basketball players intentionally influence the outcome of games because of gambling interests.

“These results run consistent to polling in previous years,” said Gentile. “People tend to want the college experience to be more about college than a training ground for professional athletes.”

Public Comes Down Hard on Saints Too

ONE IN FOUR THINK PUNISHMENT NOT SEVERE ENOUGH –
51% THINK NFL RESPONSE WILL REDUCE INJURIES

More than 1 in 4 Americans who follow sports would have gone farther than the NFL did in punishing the New Orleans Saints for the use of “bounties” to reward the infliction of injury on opposing players.

According to a Seton Hall Sports Poll conducted this week, 26% felt the punishment, which included the season-long suspension of the team’s head coach, was not severe enough, with 57% saying the punishment was appropriate. Only 11% felt it was too severe.

51% thought the NFL’s response would have an impact on the number of player injuries during the season.

The poll was conducted among 779 randomly selected people across the country, of whom 618 said they followed sports at least somewhat. The poll has a margin of error of 3.6%; 4% for sports fans.

“When the punishment first came out, the reaction was that it was strong but appropriate, but this shows that a lot of people felt the Commissioner should have even gone further“ noted Rick Gentile, director of the poll, which is conducted by the Sharkey Institute.