Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Tampa Bay Rays and Sunburst ET

The Tampa Business Journal announced that the Rays will launch a new business marketing venture called Sunburst Entertainment Group (SEG). They have taken on responsibility to push for more events in the Trop, as well as provide sports marketing consultation. I think there's a lot of teams that could benefit from a structure like this (the Red Sox have already done it). Teams like the Indiana Pacers have claimed large losses on Conseco Fieldhouse and are begging for help from the local government. While I'm sure they overstate their losses, their attendance is way down and they are even suggesting that they may have to leave. Can you imagine? No basketball in the Hoosier state? The business model developed by the Red Sox and Rays in baseball (as well as other teams in other sports) seems like a good comprimise between receiving support from local governments and creating other sources of revenue for the team to operate on. In these times, $10 to $20 million a year is a lot of money to keep up an empty stadium 200 to 300 days of the year. Having deals that incent teams to take responsibility filling public stadiums for events other than their own sport seems like it could be beneficial for both parties.

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