On the latest Sporticast episode, hosts Scott Soshnick and Eben Novy-Williams discuss some of the biggest sports business stories of the week, including the latest with the NFL playoffs. Four teams remain—the Kansas City Chiefs, Cincinnati Bengals, San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles—a group that includes some of the league’s most- and least-valuable franchises.
The hosts discuss last week’s games, plus big trends heading into this weekend’s conference championships. They also discuss the pros and cons of neutral site playoff games moving forward. Had the Bills beaten the Bengals, this year’s AFC title game would have been held at a neutral site, and the NFL is reportedly discussing the possibility of permanent neutral site conference title games. That would likely produce more money for the league, given the NFL’s unique revenue-sharing structure.
Next, the hosts mull a new field of competition for star athletes: the supermarket. More and more athletes are licensing their names for consumables, everything from pickles and peanut butter, to mustard and cereal. The products have two advantages from an economic standpoint: 1) fans are already buying those products, and 2) they buy those products often. It’s not like a hat or a uniform, where most fans buy one and don’t need another for years.
Lastly, they talk about the unique circumstances surrounding the sale of the NWSL’s Portland Thorns. The women’s soccer club shares a number of its non-technical staff with the Portland Timbers, the MLS club that is also owned by the Paulson family. The Paulsons are now selling the Thorns, which likely means a complicated unwinding for the team’s next owner.