Emily Caron


Fitness Industry Pushed Into Changes as Companies of All Sizes Scramble

  • Almost all of the 2,600 YMCA’s across the country are closed, but members who can afford to are being asked to continue to pay membership fees to support YMCA community work.
  • “There’s no business model in the world that works when you don’t have money coming in, and you still have money going out,” Spartan CEO said.

Without open doors to welcome customers, gyms, training centers, boutique studios and brands within the fitness industry have undergone major changes and have had to adapt their business models. While some within the space were able to quickly pivot to find new profit streams and others may be big enough to survive the temporary closures as is. Others, including small studios and boutique offerings, are struggling to generate cash altogether.  The industry’s first response came from a host of streaming […]

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Spring Sport Athletes Face Complicated Decisions as NCAA Extends Eligibility

  • The NCAA hasn’t announced timelines for eligibility extensions, adding uncertainty as many spring athletes face a number of options ahead of summer drafts.
  • An additional season of just for affected seniors could cost public schools in the Power Five conferences anywhere from $500,000 to $900,000, but will also cost most of the athletes.

Grant Ament, a redshirt senior lacrosse player at Penn State, had a decision to make. Turn pro and join one of the professional lacrosse leagues, or look to return to school to complete his otherwise lost final year of college eligibility. Ament, who projected as a top pick for both the Premier Lacrosse League and Major League Lacrosse, knew a lacrosse contract would likely be available to him, while a scholarship might not be. The Nittany Lions’ leading scorer ultimately […]

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College Esports to Carry On in Now-Crowded Online Space

  • The inability of collegiate esports gamers to play at in-person tournaments and events “hasn’t dampened their spirit to play or represent their school,” said esports consultant.
  • “It’s sort of fascinating because our board has authorized this because they see this as forward-looking,” said the Big East’s Val Ackerman.

The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference was set to become one of the first Division I NCAA Conferences to hold its esports championships concurrently with its men’s and women’s basketball championships this month in Atlantic City.  But, as coronavirus-caused cancellations swept through the sports world, that feat never came to fruition as the basketball tournaments were shuttered. However, the esports championship will continue, as the beauty of esports is that, in a time where live events are no longer possible, the […]

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Major League Fishing Continues to Reel in Record-Setting Virtual Crowds in 2020

  • Last week’s MLF Bass Pro Tour stage saw viewership increase by 20% over already-amplified February numbers.
  • 500,000 unique visitors watched over 19 million minutes of the stage three competition via the league’s in-house livestream.

Major League Fishing is one of the few sports that has continued to host events as the coronavirus pandemic has largely canceled professional sports nationwide, helping the league continue its uptick in viewership and relevance.  The sport had already seen an increased interest in February, with stages one and two of its second-annual Bass Pro Tour reporting a 72% increase in unique tune-ins year-over-year. The league’s in-house live stream, MLFNOW!, attracted over 886,000 unique viewers over the two events for […]

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Demand For Virtual Training Apps Climbs in $19 Billion Youth Sports Space

  • Famer, an interactive sports coaching, training, and mentorship platform, has seen the usage of its app double almost every day since late last week.
  • Techne Futbol, a soccer training app developed by former USWNT player Yael Averbuch, has seen app usage up 30 times over the previous few days.

As practices, games, and travel have been canceled across the board for the foreseeable future at the youth sports level, applications on mobile platforms are emerging as the paramount replacement for the in-person elements of sports for children. “One week ago today in our world, things changed,” said Rich Abend, CEO of Famer, an interactive virtual coaching and training app that launched just one year ago. In just the past week, those companies dedicated to meeting the sports education, practice […]

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Marble Racing League Shoots Ahead During Global Sports Hiatus

  • Jelle’s Marble Racing has seen a 339% increase in YouTube views and >999% spike in subscribers in the last week as fans tune in for the Rojo Rollers and Savage Speeders.
  • A video of an old Marble League sand race went viral, racking up 33.3 million views, almost 781,000 likes and landing on ESPN’s SportsCenter.

Viral videos of competitive marble racing have run rampant across social and digital media outlets as fans search for sports-like content to consume during the global hiatus.  That has presented a unique opportunity for the Marble League, as the more than decade-old operation is known today – which wasn’t always followed by 650,000 YouTube subscribers, 20,600 Twitter users or 23,800 Instagram accounts.  “The last few days have been absolutely incredible for the whole team,” said Anton Weber, the public relations […]

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Players And Teams Pledge to Help Thousands of Part-Time Arena Employees

  • The Bulls and the Blackhawks combined will pay about $3.5 million to cover lost wages for United Center part-time workers for the remaining regular-season games.
  • More than 2,800 hourly event staff are impacted by the suspension of sporting events at Los Angeles’s Staples Center.

The suspension of almost every major professional sports league hit hard for many of the athletes impacted – but the hits are harder for even larger numbers of hourly employees whose pay is impacted as a result of the coronavirus-related cancellations.  Thousands of non-salaried staffers will lose wages with the NBA and NHL taking a hiatus of at least 30 days. The MLB has postponed the start of its season, as has MLS, the PGA, and more. March Madness, which […]

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Without Live Events, Social Media Takes Center Stage For College Athletes

  • Social is “the only stage [college athletes] have right now” without postseason tournaments and pro days to help them boost their professional prospects, says Opendorse CEO.
  • A highlight reel that Michigan State's Cassius Winston retweeted is seeing 27 times his number of normal engagements.

A farewell post complete with a college highlight video from Marquette’s Markus Howard has more than 6,000 more likes and almost 14,000 more video views than his average post with an 89% increase in comments – 3.9 times more overall engagement than his other content, according to Opendorse.  Without live sports to fill fans’ time, increased consumption of athlete content on social media has helped a host of college athletes, like Howard, outperform their norms – from Dayton’s Obi Toppin […]

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Inside The Ivy League’s Decision To Be The First Mover On Coronavirus

  • “Everyone is saying, ‘Oh, look, the Ivy League had it right to begin with.’ But the reality is that we had it right for us,” the Ivy League executive director said.
  • Within 48 hours of the conference’s decision, all college basketball postseason play was canceled.

Initially cast as the overreactor or the outlier, the Ivy League wound up playing a leading role in what Big East commissioner Val Ackerman described as “the most extraordinary stretch of days I’ve ever had or ever seen in my 30-plus years of working in the sports business.”  That stretch included a sweep of college basketball cancellations, all the way up to the entire NCAA men’s and women’s tournaments and eventually, the entire spring sports calendar. And while the Ivy […]

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March Madness Cancellation Puts Safety Ahead of Substantial Revenue Losses

  • “It's just about impossible to insure against this,” the Big 12 commissioner told reporters. “There will be a very substantial loss of revenue.”
  • NCAA and conference television rights contracts are worth millions - and sometimes billions - of dollars.

“Fluid” was the word of the week within the college basketball space, with teams and conferences adjusting to coronavirus developments in virtually real-time to ensure the safest experience for fans, schools, venues and everyone else involved.  That is, until “canceled” became the more common word on Thursday – one that prioritizes health and wellbeing but comes at a steep cost to individual conferences and, as of Thursday afternoon when March Madness was officially canceled, the NCAA.  The evolving nature of […]

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