Sports Role Model – Turn On the SEC Network

Go Lean Commentary

There is a new religion in the South (United States). It is SEC football. For many in the South, football is life, “everything else is details”. Now, (starting August 28) the SEC adherents can worship 7-24-365 on the SEC Network cable channel. This is a melding of sports, television, southern culture and economics – this is big business – and a religious-like devotion.

The SEC (South East Conference) is the Number 1 (American) football conference in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Their revenues, attendance, championships, NFL draft picks and TV ratings are the best-of-the-best of all other conferences. This last subject is the focus of this commentary: TV ratings and broadcast rights.

Title: Turn On the SEC
By: Jon Saraceno

CU Blog - Sports Role Model - Turn On the SEC - Photo 1In a melding of two powerful sports brands, cable-television behemoth ESPN and the football-crazed Southeastern Conference have joined forces to form the SEC Network, debuting August 14. ESPN Radio host Paul Finebaum, a veteran observer of all things SEC, believes ­audience response will be rabid. That view seems particularly valid given that college football is the unquestioned autumnal king of the South.

“SEC fans are an interesting bunch,” Finebaum observes. “They don’t like being subjected to other leagues [that have TV networks], like the Big Ten or the Pac-12. Now they can say, ‘Nothing else exists but us — the rest of the world can vaporize, for all we care.’ It is as irritating to non-SEC fans as it is pleasing to a son of the South.”

CU Blog - Sports Role Model - Turn On the SEC - Photo 3Finebaum understands the parochialism. The Memphis, Tenn., native worked for three decades in Birmingham, Ala., before relocating to Charlotte, N.C., as the SEC Network’s first on-air hire when ESPN announced the formation of the network last year. The network launches with a well-timed countdown to the start of the 2014 football season. Blastoff is Aug. 28, when Texas A&M travels to South Carolina. Brent Musburger, one of several marquee on-air hires, will call the game. But the SEC Network’s most popular personality might be former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow.

Programming for the 24/7 multiplatform channel will be highlighted by 45 SEC football games. The network also will showcase men’s basketball (an estimated 100 games), women’s basketball (60 games) and baseball (75 games), along with select coverage from the league’s 21 sports. In all, more than 1,000 events will be aired across the network’s digital platform.

Following ESPN’s time-tested formula of bracketing programming and analysis around live events, the SEC Network will televise studio shows and live-event days such as spring football games and national signing day for college-football recruits.

Beyond content, the marriage between ESPN and the conference should be a match made in financial heaven. Disney-owned ESPN expects to reap untold hundreds of millions in advertising revenue during the 20-year deal. Increased exposure and lucrative media rights bode well for all 14 SEC schools.
American Way August 2014 – American Airlines Inflight Magazine –

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The Caribbean does not currently have an eco-system for intercollegiate athletics. The book Go Lean…Caribbean, and aligning blog commentaries, asserts that the region can be a better place to live, work and play; that the economy can be grown methodically by embracing progressive strategies in sports at all levels: professional, amateur and intercollegiate.

While the Caribbean may not have the sports business eco-system, we do have the underlying assets: the athletes. The Caribbean supply the world, including the NCAA, with the best-of-the-best in the sports genres of basketball, track-and-field, soccer-FIFA-football and other endeavors. The Go Lean book recognizes and fosters the genius qualifiers of many Caribbean athletes.

The goal now is foster the local eco-system in the homeland so that  those with talent would not have to flee the region to garner the business returns on their athletic investments.

The Go Lean book serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU), a technocratic federal government to administer and optimize the economic/security/ governing engines of the region’s 30 member-states. At the outset, the roadmap recognizes the value of sports in the roadmap with these statements in the Declaration of Interdependence (Page 13 & 14):

xxvi. Whereas the preparation of our labor force can foster opportunities and dictate economic progress for current and future generations, the Federation must ensure that educational and job training opportunities are fully optimized for all residents of all member-states, with no partiality towards any gender or ethnic group. The Federation must recognize and facilitate excellence in many different fields of endeavor, including sciences, languages, arts, music and sports. This responsibility should be executed without incurring the risks of further human flight, as has been the past history.

xxxi. Whereas sports have been a source of great pride for the Caribbean region, the economic returns from these ventures have not been evenly distributed as in other societies. The Federation must therefore facilitate the eco-systems and vertical industries of sports as a business, recreation, national pastime and even sports tourism – modeling the Olympics.

The Go Lean roadmap calls for the market organizations to better garner the economic benefits of sports. One of the biggest contribution the CU will make is the facilitation of sports venues: arenas and stadia. Sports can be big business! But even when money is not involved, other benefits abound: educational scholarships, image, national pride, and something more, something non-tangible yet of utmost importance for the Go Lean roadmap: less societal abandonment. A mission of the CU is to reduce the brain drain and incentivize repatriation of the Diaspora.

Another area of the Go Lean economic empowerment roadmap that relates to the foregoing article is the strategy is to create a Single (Media) Market to leverage the value of broadcast rights for the region, the resultant consolidated market would cover 30 member-states, 4 languages and 42 million people. The successful execution of this strategy will elevate the art, science and genius of sport enterprises in the region. Now is the time for all of the Caribbean to lean-in to the following community ethos, strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies detailed in the book Go Lean … Caribbean to re-boot the delivery of the regional solutions to elevate the Caribbean region through sports:

Community Ethos – People Respond to Incentives in Predictable Ways Page 21
Community Ethos – Return on Investments Page 24
Community Ethos – Ways to Foster Genius Page 27
Community Ethos – Ways to Improve Negotiations Page 32
Community Ethos – Ways to Promote Happiness Page 36
Strategic – Vision – Consolidating the Region in to a Single Market Page 45
Strategic – Staffing – Sporting Events at Fairgrounds Page 55
Tactical – Fostering a Technocracy Page 64
Tactical – Separation of Powers – Sports & Culture Administration Page 81
Tactical – Separation of Powers – Fairgrounds Administration Page 83
Implementation – Steps to Implement Self-Governing Entities (Fairgrounds) Page 105
Implementation – Ways to Deliver Page 109
Planning – Ways to Make the Caribbean Better Page 131
Advocacy – Ways to Grow the Economy Page 151
Advocacy – Ways to Create Jobs Page 152
Advocacy – Ways to Improve Education – Reduce Brain Drain Page 159
Advocacy – Ways to Improve Local Government – Parks & Recreation Page 169
Advocacy – Ways to Impact Events Page 191
Advocacy – Ways to Promote Fairgrounds Page 192
Advocacy – Ways to Foster Technology Expositions Page 197
Advocacy – Ways to Impact Youth Page 227
Advocacy – Ways to Improve Sports Page 229
Advocacy – Ways to Impact Urban Living – Sports Leagues Page 234

The Caribbean is the best-of-the-best address on the planet, but there are certain missing features, such as intercollegiate athletics… and jobs. The foregoing article aligns with this Go Lean…Caribbean roadmap to fill these voids. This effort is bigger than sports; this is about Caribbean life; we must elevate our own society. The CU is the vehicle for this goal, this is detailed by the following 3 prime directives:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion & create 2.2 million new jobs.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to protect the resultant economic engines.
  • Improve Caribbean governance to support these engines.

The Go Lean roadmap anticipates 21,000 direct jobs at fairgrounds and sport venues throughout the region; plus 40,000 new jobs by re-optimizing the region’s educational engines, including colleges & universities.

Now is the time for all of the Caribbean, the people and governing institutions, to lean-in for the empowerments of the Caribbean Union Trade Federation. Now is the time to make this region a better place to live, work and play.

Download the book Go Lean…Caribbean now!

APPENDIX – SEC Conference Schools/Teams

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