The Dodgers topped the league in spending for the fourth-straight year, but 2020’s payroll was the lowest by a league-leader since the 2000 Yankees spent $95.3 million.
When adjusted for a full season, all but nine teams actually increased their payroll.
The 2021 season start date and length is still up in the air — a 135-game season starting in May has been floated — but there’s growing mistrust between teams and players.
MLB claimed teams would lose up to $4 billion last season without fans in attendance if players made their full prorated salaries.
Last week, super agent Scott Boras pushed back on the league’s claims: “There’s no team in baseball that lost money last year.”
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College Merch Expansion
Ken Ruinard/The Anderson Independent-Mail
Licensed sports apparel retailers Fanatics and Lids made a big move to get on college campuses.
The companies jointly invested $15 million in Barnes & Noble Education, which operates 775 college bookstores around the country. Fanatics and Lids will receive more than 2.3 million common shares of BNED stock in the deal.
Fanatics will bring more college merchandise and a revamped e-commerce experience to Barnes & Noble’s on-campus stores. Lids offers improved access to sales data.
Both Fanatics and Lids already have vast networks:
Fanatics has existing partnerships with more than 150 universities to operate e-commerce and mobile store sites. It sells college merchandise for more than 500 schools on Fanatics.com.
Lids operates more than 1,200 brick-and-mortar retail stores across North America.
Barnes & Noble Education took a significant hit in 2020, with many campuses shut down. Second quarter sales totaled $595.5 million, a 22.9% decrease year-over-year; year-to-date sales are down 26.8%.
Fanatics raised $350 million in August and is now valued at more than $6 billion.
The ATP Tour lifted its two-year gambling sponsorship ban on men’s tennis tournaments, signing deals with sports betting and fantasy companies. The Tour said the new deals could be worth “six figures plus” per event.
ESPN will incorporate The Muppets into tonight’s “Monday Night Football” broadcast, using Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy in the opening segment.
“NBA Countdown” producer Amina Hussein is leaving ESPN. Her last show will be Christmas Day.
Chicago White Sox manager Tony La Russa was ordered to pay about $1,400, perform 20 hours of community service and spend one day in home detention as part of a plea agreement for his February DUI arrest.
Germany’s Influencer Approach to Promoting Olympic Sports
When it comes to sports and fitness, it remains essential that the partnerships athletes accept are authentic to that athlete.
The German Olympic Sports Confederation — the Deutscher Olympischer Sportbund, or DOSB — strongly believes in this shift to more authentic influencer marketing practices with their own athletes. Read on to learn more.
U.S. stocks saw declines on Monday as concerns over a new coronavirus variant dampened any optimism around the $900 billion U.S. economic aid package. Here’s a look at how sports-related stocks performed today:
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cincinnati Bengals: The Steelers (11-2) are looking to bounce back from two consecutive losses in an otherwise strong season. Quarterback Ryan Finley will make his first start this season for the Bengals (2-10-1), who are reeling from losing both Joe Burrow and Brandon Allen to injuries. Cincinnati has dropped five straight games and hasn’t beaten Pittsburgh since 2015.
How to watch: 8:15 p.m. on ESPN
Betting odds: Steelers -14.5 || ML -950 || O/U 40.5