Tag Archives: NFL

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

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.


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.”


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, 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.


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


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


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







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.

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

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).

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.


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.

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‘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.”