Saturday, July 26, 2014

MLB, MLS, NBA and the NFL: Who Gets The Biggest Headlines Outside the Game?

There's Major League Baseball's Hall Of Fame induction, the greatest clubs from European soccer on their summer Major League Soccer tour of 'friendlies', the National Football League in full training camp mode and the National Basketball Association releases its 2014-15 schedule all happening on one weekend in July.

What's the common thread here?  None of the events involve actual games that count.  It's all public relations.  Moves made to keep fans involved in the comings and goings of their favorite sports.

Yes, we've known for a while now, that all the sports are in competition for headlines.  Every aspect of these power leagues is meticulously planned.

It's gamesmanship off the field between the leagues.

By now, the public is pretty accustomed to all of these events.

Baseball's HOF has been the most famous of all the HOFs.  It was the first of its kind and established how all HOFs are defined, including outside of sports. Even the Rock n Roll HOF wouldn't be what it is without the established guidance of how baseball conducts its HOF business.

The NFL's training camps practicing in full view for the public has been big business now for many years (It learned well from the established MLB Spring Training). Fans flock to see their favorite players in a more relaxed atmosphere. The best highlights are receivers running elaborate routes making elegant catches from star quarterbacks or quarterbacks on the rise.

MLS has known for a while that the integration of the best European clubs into the summer schedule is a winning marketing idea.  Whether the European clubs play against each other or against MLS sides, the world's best players are on full display for the American public.  It all culminates with the MLS All-Star game a couple of weeks later versus Bayern Munich.

The NBA releasing its schedule didn't used to be such a big deal.  But, over the last several years, it has become a lot more intriguing.  It's been fun to see who plays on Opening Day and Christmas Day.  It will be interesting to see how LeBron and the Cavs figure into this season's TNT schedule.

This is how it is for us sports fans.  We analyze everything.  We can't be just fans of the games any more. That passed us by many moons ago.

Addendum: Just found out that the NBA has delayed the schedule release till August to accommodate television partners.  But, of course, they had to put something out there.  The talk now is that there will be a week long All-Star break.  LeBron favors it, so the commish is thinking it over as a good idea.

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