The greatest business opportunity I see for college sports/Pitt business is capitalizing on Television Broadcast Deals. Football and Basketball bring in the most revenue for the schools; most of this revenue comes from Television Broadcast Deals. For example, according to the article, “Which College Sports Make the Most Money,” ESPN’s deal to televise college football is $470 million per year. For Basketball, schools can bring in revenue due to CBS Sports broadcasting the NCAA tournament. In addition to Television broadcast deals with the biggest sports, schools also need to prioritize the importance of social media. To use Pitt as an example, director Joe Lassi’s strategies to increase total social media engagement has Pitt ranked third in the nation. Social media engagement will lead to more conversation and more interest in sports. The more people interested in the sport, there is more money the sport can potentially earn.
The greatest threat I see for college sports/Pitt Athletics is keeping engagement in times of trouble. If the school’s best sports are not performing well, people will lose interest and not watch the games on the television. If people are not watching the games, it will be hard to sell merchandise, keep the community engaged in activities, and have a strong social media presence. Although the business aspect is crucial, the sports team must draw attention first. It is hard to market something that is not captivating to the community. Suppose the community is not invested or willing to spend time and money on the sports product. In that case, the business will not perform well. Fortunately, Pitt has a great sports community, but maintaining that engagement is still very important.
I am interested in finance and marketing, and I believe I could add value by increasing Pitt Athletics activities. A critical aspect of sports business’ is pre-game rituals; if Pitt were to sponsor with a nearby restaurant to make special food when a game approaches, that could draw in more fans. Having a place to go pre-game will give the restaurant a lot of revenue and a lot of good rapport. If Pitt athletics were to get a percentage from this deal, then that creates shared value amongst all parties. As a student at the university, I could conduct polls on activities the students may want to see at halftime performances or before the games. In this case, some students who dislike football will show their support due to these games or activities. In the Finance and marketing area, I could look at the trends in sales of merchandise and look at long-term projected growth. Based on these models, I could conduct an art contest for new merchandise and then sell it at a discounted price to try and boost merchandise sales.