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Executives sound off on the new year in sports business

Steven G. Horowitz
Partner, Inner Circle Sports
> Stories/trends: The eventual legalization of sports betting will make an impact on the leagues and fans in the United States. It is unlikely that gambling on sports will be in full force in 2018, but the increased interest in the games and monster revenues will have the U.S. catching up to what the rest of the world legally participates in on a daily basis. The Supreme Court ruling may just speed up everyone’s timeline, but there will still be significant regulatory challenges ahead. … U.S. Soccer’s presidential elections in February. Continued growth of revenue will look easy compared to figuring out the magic formula for the development of the USMNT. Soccer-loving fans in America won’t be satisfied if the U.S. can’t compete at the highest level around the world.

> Personality most intriguing: Dan Reed, Facebook/Jim DeLorenzo, Amazon. While playing things close to the vest the past 18 months, it’s hard to imagine Dan and Jim’s continued foray into media rights conversations won’t have a large impact on team values and player salaries around the globe. With Facebook and Amazon’s market caps in excess of a trillion dollars, it is hard to imagine there is a deal in the market they can’t do (if they are interested).

Dave Portnoy and Erika Nardini, Barstool Sports. This duo is reshaping the way a younger generation is consuming sports and content around sports. It is unlikely that they will be the highest bidder in any negotiation for the traditional bat-and-ball leagues, but I expect them to continue to make their mark in other ways this coming year. Continue reading