Archives for category: sports

This ESPN description of Matt Cain’s $112.5 million contract leaves out one detail: his career record.

To save you the time of looking it up, his mark is 69-73.

Yes, a losing record.

And the Giants just made Cain the “highest-paid right-handed pitcher in baseball history”.

Whether this signing works out or not is inconsequential, in some ways.

The SABR/analytics crowd has won.  Instead of wins and losses, the ESPN report included this chart:

Most Wins Above Replacement

Since his first full season in the majors in 2006, Giants starter Matt Cain trails only Roy Oswalt among NL pitchers for most wins above replacement (NL pitchers, since 2006):

Pitcher WAR
Roy Oswalt 23.9
Matt Cain 23.4
Tim Lincecum 23.2
Cole Hamels 22.5

Bill James, SABR, Baseball Prospectus, The Sloan Sports Conference crowd and others have totally reshaped the narrative on baseball performance.

Today ranks second only to Felix Hernandez and his 13-12 Cy Young season in 2010 as landmarks in recognizing this monumental shift.






A Yahoo! story reports today that Real Madrid is opening a resort in the United Arab Emirates.

I wanted to offer some analysis. Which is interesting, given that I know almost nothing about soccer, Real Madrid or the UAE.

But I do know something about Sports and Brand Extensions.

And so do you.

As sports fans and consumers, we experience brand extensions regularly.

From Raider Image Stores, to ESPN2, to, to the WNBA we have all encountered new product offerings that allow sports brands to leverage their place in fans’ hearts, minds and wallets.

My favorite academic framework for considering brand extensions is from Park, Milberg & Lawson who suggest the two elements to consider in predicting the success of a brand extension are Product Feature Similarity and Brand Concept Consistency.

Product Feature Similarity (PFS) refers to how close the brand extension is to the original product.  Gatorade and G2 are both flavored, colored sport drinks – thus, high on PFS.  ESPN and ESPNZone restaurants are a TV network and a restaurant chain – thus low on PFS.

Brand Concept Consistency (BCC) is more interpretive. If ESPN’s brand concept is defined as “the place to be for sports”, it is easy to see the BCC between ESPN (the network) and ESPNZone (the restaurant).

Returning to the Real Madrid/UAE resort brand extension effort, I have no idea if this brand extension will work.

Having briefly presented the PFS/BCC framework, I’d be interested to hear if my readers have any predictions based, on their knowledge of Real Madrid’s brand and whether it will translate easily to a resort property.