Sports Finance Report: Pro Bowl Running Back, College Teammates Create “Shower Pill”

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Golic & Wingo Debuts Monday Morning

ESPN’s new morning radio show Golic & Wingo, starring Mike Golic and Trey Wingo, will debut on Monday morning. The show will air weekdays from 6-10a EST, with simulcast on ESPN2 (moving to ESPNU in January). In part 3 of a 3-part interview, JWS talks with the guys about the history of ESPN radio, the rise of Mike & Mike and the sponsors that have decided to stay on, despite the show’s changing dynamic.

JWS: Mike & Mike was so successful for so long, it’s difficult to remember that prior to the show’s start; nationally syndicated sports radio really didn’t exist.

Wingo: There was no real national radio. It was all betting shows out of Vegas, at the time; guys like Papa Joe Chevalier.

JWS: Did you guys have doubts that the show could be a success?

Golic: Oh yeah, ESPN radio started in ‘92, but they never had a national drive time morning show until I did it with Tony Bruno in 98. So yeah, there was skepticism of “is this going to work”. 

JWS: Did you and Mike know each other before the start of the show?

Golic: Greeny and I didn’t know each other, but we had instant chemistry. 

JWS: Did that chemistry lead to immediate success?

Golic: We started in one market, Chicago. We got to work out our kinks before our bosses even heard us, because we weren’t cleared in Hartford. So, no. We went through a lot of years where we worked through things; then suddenly, our bosses were like ‘wait a minute your ratings are continuing go up.’

JWS: Once you guys began building an audience, were you selective with the sponsors you were willing to work with? 

Golic: No. We were like if you want to advertise with us, we love you. We are going to try and make it work for you.   

JWS: The companies that sponsored Mike & Mike (Progressive, Pennzoil, 1-800-Flowers, AutoZone, TracFoneWireless), are staying on as sponsors for Golic and Wingo. Do you guys have any concerns that those companies won’t see the ROI they are require from the new show?

Wingo: From a content perspective, that’s a rabbit hole that you can go down that can drive you crazy. You have to be aware of it, but I don’t think you can be consumed with it; because if you become consumed with it, then the show becomes almost secondary. The show has to be, what the show is going to be; and then if people are happy, awesome. You can’t focus on that and lose what the show is.  

Part 1: Golic Talks Personal Finance Decisions

Part 2: Wingo Opines on NFL Headlines

Howie Long-Short: Pennzoil is a subsidiary of the oil giant Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A). RDS.A reported Q3 net profits grew nearly 47% YOY (to $4.1 billion), amidst an environment that is seeing supply and demand begin to balance in favor of Big Oil. CEO Ben van Beurden said the results confirm his “strong belief” the company is headed in the right direction. It’s hard to argue with him if you consider the company’s downstream (i.e. refining), upstream (i.e. exploration) and integrated gas units “all made resilient contributions to this strong set of results.”

Fan Marino: Barstool’s Big Cat and PFT Commenter did a “farewell to Mike & Mike”, that is hysterical. It’s 2.5 minutes long, but the first 60 seconds are a parody of the show; and a must watch. They nailed it!

Fanatics’ Pursuit of Global Dominance

Softbank Group Corp. (SFTBY) recently made a $1 billion investment in Fanatics and the apparel manufacturing giant plans on using the capital to pursue global expansion. Fanatics, which currently generates just $200 million (of the $2 billion it will generate in 2017) in international sales, is looking to grow global revenue to $10 billion within 5 years; with half of the business originating outside of the U.S. The company will start by opening manufacturing facilities in Germany and China in 2018, before establishing residence in Japan and Australia in 2019. Concerns do exist, pertaining to varying cultural norms and the company’s ability to penetrate a complex Chinese market, but a global sports merchandise market worth an estimated $25.3 billion is worth pursuing.

Howie Long-Short: CEO Michael Rubin believes he’s built a moat around the business, saying competitors “can’t be a significant player without the rights (NFL, NBA, MLB, 500 Colleges/Universities etc.) that we possess.” NPD Analyst Matt Powell disagrees, arguing “what they’re doing is replicable.” Fanatics has exclusivity agreements with the leagues that span 13-17 years. That’s too far down the road for me to be concerned about competition. Look at the 1995 Fortune 500 list and compare it with the 2016 edition. A lot can and will change in 10 years. Just 3 of 2006’s Top 10 companies (by market cap) remained on the list in 2016.

Fan Marino: Fanatics announced earlier this week that it has extended its NHL deal through the 2034 season. The new deal gives the company rights to produce the league’s premier “Center Ice” collection, replica jerseys (on-ice jersey rights are held by Adidas) and championship apparel. Fanatics also picked up exclusive rights to sell NHL headwear within sporting goods retail channels.

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Pro Bowl Running Back, College Teammates Create “Shower Pill”

Former Ravens Pro Bowl Running Back Justin Forsett is one of three former Cal football players (Wendall Hunter and Wale Forrester are his partners) to have launched Shower Pill; an anti-bacterial, medical-grade towelette for athletes “when a shower is optimal, but just not possible”. JWS had the chance to catch up with Justin and get his thoughts on college athletes getting paid, former teammate Marshawn Lynch and the transformation from 7th round pick to franchise running back.

JWS: How did you benefit from your time at Cal, being that it was so academically competitive?  

Justin: I was a pretty good student, a 3.0 student in high school; but I don’t know if I would have been able to get in to Cal. At the time, it was the #1 public college/university in the world. I think I got a first-class education. I learned a lot while I was there. I met my wife there. It was competitive on the field, but also in the classroom. You had to have balance. You had to have time management skills. You had to be able to prioritize things in your schedule. You had to be prepared to be mentally challenged. I embraced that.

JWS: Do you think college athletes should be monetarily compensated?

Justin: I think it would be nice to have something stored up for the players upon graduation. It adds an extra incentive to finish.If you do everything you are supposed to do on the field and in the classroom; because your career end on that field, to have something to fall back on that would kick start you financially. 

JWS: You went from being a guy that bounced around the league to making the Pro Bowl. What was the biggest difference, beyond the size of the contract?   

Justin: It’s different going from being a guy that’s on the cusp of getting cut every year to becoming a pro bowl RB, as far as endorsements coming in. I wasn’t really making off the field money like that, with big brands (Tide, Verizon, Best Buy, Under Armour); so, that was a huge change and blessing for me.

JWS: Did you know what you wanted to do when your football career ended?

Justin: Yeah, I came from some entrepreneurs. My parents owned a restaurant. Growing up I knew I wanted to be able to employ people and create jobs. I didn’t have an idea that I wanted to be a mogul until later, when I saw guys like Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan.

Howie Long-Short: Best Buy (BBY) has been outlier in thestruggling big-box retail sector. The company reported Q3 sales increased 4% YOY (to $9.3 billion), online sales were up 22% (to $1.1 billion) and EPS grew 30% YOY (to $.78); despite the negative impact from hurricanes. BBY also increased its fiscal ’18 full year revenue growth expectations +.8% (to 4.8%). Shares of the stock are up 32% YTD, though it is worth noting that much of that gain came within the first half of 2017.

Fan Marino: Justin was a college teammate of Raiders RB Marshawn Lynch, the entrepreneur behind Beast Mode apparel. I asked if 20-year-old Marshawn had the look of a future businessman. Justin’s response: “I can honestly say I didn’t necessarily see him as this big-time businessman in college; but looking at his maturity and growth over the years, you could see he was headed that way.”

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What is JohnWallStreet?

JohnWallStreet is not a person or location, but a destination for the educated sports fan.

While we won’t be publishing “hot takes” on LeBron’s relative greatness to Jordan, we will be offering up the most relevant sports related finance news, in easily digestible bites, with commentary from both the equities analyst and sports fanatic perspectives.

We’ll cover publicly traded professional teams & stadiums, television networks, apparel & footwear companies, equipment companies, ticketing companies, content and facilities providers. If it trades on Wall Street, and has a sports angle, it’s in our wheel house.

Howie Long-Short and Fan Marino will be providing their expert opinions on each story. They have slightly different areas of expertise. Fan Marino is a firm believer that the SEC is the premier football conference. Howie Long-Short knows it as the Securities & Exchange Commission. Fan Marino lives and dies with the college selection of 5 star, blue chip recruits. Howie Long-Short spends his days analyzing blue chip stocks. Howie Long-Short knows that Black Monday occurred on October 19th, 1987. Fan Marino swears it happens every January after Week 17. You get the point.