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Atlanta Is Ready for Positive Economic Impact During Super Bowl Week

Last year, Super Bowl LII generated an estimated $450 million in new spending to Minneapolis, but historical Super Bowl economic impact is felt nationwide.





Photo via bluemedia

Businesses in Atlanta, and across the country, are about to experience a major surge.

The Super Bowl activates a significant amount of economic activity not seen on normal weekends, both in the host city and communities across the U.S.

Last year, Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis brought an estimated $450 million in new spending to Minnesota, according to a report prepared by Rockport Analytics for the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee. The report also noted state and local tax receipts of more than $32 million.

According to the report, last year’s Minnesota Super Bowl was tied for the third-most estimated economic activity since 1989. Atlanta’s previous Super Bowls in the time period was less than $200 million in 1994 and nearly $350 million in 2000 — not adjusted for inflation. Phoenix, in 2015, had the highest impact at $719 million.

Most businesses see a massive increase in online activity, said Zahid Zakaria, the senior director of insights and analytics at Yext, which is an online brand management system that helps businesses control information across more than 100 sites and apps.

READ MORE: A Huge Gap in Economic Impact Numbers Begs the Question: Are Bowl Games Worth It?

As the company manages its clients’ information and keeps brands consistent, Yext also collects massive amounts of data and trends, like the economic activity impact of the Super Bowl.

“Imagine, we’re powering businesses worldwide, so we’ve got different types of information captured from all different types of publisher sources,” Zakaria said.

Yext had a small study from Super Bowl LI in Houston and wanted to build upon it last year in Minnesota. The information ranges from hospitality businesses like bars, restaurants and hotels to liquor stores, grocery stores and even financial services like ATMs. Banking-service Google searches increased eight percent on the Friday before Super Bowl LII, followed by a 20 percent drop the next week.

“My personal favorites are grocery stores; they see a rise in searches prior to a Super Bowl, 14 percent week over week in the host city versus six percent in other cities.”

Zakaria said it’s not all about online activity, but phone calls also surge.

“Perhaps expect more call volume,” Zakaria said. “If I’m going to buy beer at a store, I want to know if they’ll have all the other stuff I need before I go in.”

Sporting good stores in Minneapolis saw an increase of 41 percent week over week on the Friday before Super Bowl LII, with website clicks on the stores up 250 percent the same day. Sporting good stores across the rest of the nation saw a 10-percent dip, suggesting the only sports merchandise that matters that weekend is attached to the Super Bowl and the two teams participating. 

Hotels experienced a 62 percent week-over-week search increase on Super Bowl Sunday in Minneapolis, while the rest of the nation dropped 11 percent.

The increase in hotels makes sense, as nearly 125,000 visitors descended on Minneapolis in a 10-day period for Super Bowl LII, according to the Rockport Analytics report. The three-day period of the Super Bowl boasted an average daily room demand of 38,700 at a $330 average daily rate. The 88-percent occupancy was 35 percent more than the five-year average of the same period. Airbnb saw a 728-percent increase in daily demand (4,900 rooms). The report also noted there’s an increase in convention interest when a Super Bowl is held in a city and the city gets to show off for a global audience.

READ MORE: Inside the Revenue Generation and Marketing Frenzy of a Super Bowl

The Super Bowl isn’t the only massive sporting event Yext has tracked. Last year, it tracked online engagement of pubs in England during the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The tracking also included other nations, but few were as significant as the bump England-based businesses experienced during the nation’s games.

“The timeline of pubs’ peaks align exactly with the days England was playing,” Zakaria said. “It was a tsunami of interest. Once England was out, things went quiet.”

Oddly enough, searches for bars and liquor stores in Minneapolis on Super Bowl Sunday last year dropped 10 percent against the previous week. The rest of the country saw a 34-percent increase the same day — due to consumers watching at a bar or buying supplies for a home party.

Zakaria’s major takeaway was businesses need to prepare for surges no matter where they are for the Super Bowl, and other major sporting events. In the past, this was a natural assumption, but now businesses are able to use better information to predict the upticks to adequately staff and offer Super Bowl promotions.

Pat Evans is a writer based in Las Vegas, focusing on sports business, food, and beverage. He graduated from Michigan State University in 2012. He's written two books: Grand Rapids Beer and Nevada Beer. Evans can be reached at


Kyrie Irving Expected to Sign with Roc Nation

Kyrie Irving is expected to sign with Roc Nation, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the situation.

Michael McCarthy



Photo Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Kyrie Irving is expected to sign with Roc Nation, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the situation.

Irving, who was most recently repped by Jeffrey Wechsler of 24/7 Sports Management, joins an NBA client roster at Roc Nation that includes the likes of Kevin Durant, Josh Hart, Justise Winslow, Danny Green and Caris LeVert.

The switch in representation comes on the same day that Irving took the first step toward his prospective free agency this summer.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Irving is not opting into his $21.3 million contract for the 2019-20 season and will become an unrestricted free agent.

By not opting into his contract, Irving can sign with any NBA team when free agency opens on Sunday, June 30th.

If he signs with a team other than the Celtics, he will be eligible to sign a max deal worth $139 million over four years.

If he were to stay with the Celtics, Irving can sign a five-year deal worth $188 million.

An industry source speculated that Roc Nation could be waiving the fees on Irving’s contract in order to retain his marketing rights.

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Meet the WNBA’s New Boss

Deloitte CEO Cathy Engelbert will become the first commissioner of the WNBA and the first woman to lead a Big Four professional services firm in the U.S.

Front Office Sports



Photo Credit: Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

*This piece first appeared in the Front Office Sports Newsletter. Subscribe today and get the news before anyone else.

For the first time ever, the WNBA will have a commissioner. Before now, all of the league’s previous leaders like Val Ackerman and Lisa Borders were given the title of president. 

Cathy Engelbert, the current CEO of Deloitte, will take control of the role on July 17th and will report directly to Adam Silver. 

What should you know?

1. By the time she is done at Deloitte, Engelbert will have spent more time at the company (33 years) than the WNBA has been a league (23 years)

2. Engelbert is the first female to lead a Big Four professional services firm in the U.S.

3. She is the fifth person to lead the league after Val Ackerman (1997-2005), Donna Orender (2005-10), Laurel Richie (2011-15) and Lisa Borders (2016-2018)

4. Engelbert has spent the past four years in charge of Deloitte’s U.S. operation.

Basketball is in her blood…

Although she might be an accountant by trade, Engelbert is no stranger to the game of basketball. 

According to Bob Hille of Sporting News, she played at Lehigh for Hall of Fame coach Muffet McGraw and was a team captain as a senior. Her father Kurt also played and was drafted in 1957 by the Pistons.

What are they saying?

“Cathy is a world-class business leader with a deep connection to women’s basketball, which makes her the ideal person to lead the WNBA into its next phase of growth. The WNBA will benefit significantly from her more than 30 years of business and operational experience including revenue generation, sharp entrepreneurial instincts and proven management abilities.” – Adam Silver on the hiring of Engelbert

“I think that’s probably one of the reasons I was selected for this role, to come in and bring a business plan to build the WNBA into a real business and a thriving business, quite frankly.” – Engelbert to ESPN’s Mechelle Voepel

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Adam Silver Wants More Gender Diversity

The NBA commissioner states his desire to get more women into the sports industry. The NBA currently has a 31.6 percent ratio of women in team management.

Front Office Sports




Photo Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

*This piece first appeared in the Front Office Sports Newsletter. Subscribe today and get the news before anyone else. 

If Adam Silver has his way, 50 percent of the new incoming NBA officials will be women.

That number applies to coaches too, Silver said speaking at the Economic Club of Washington.

How do the leagues stack up?

The following numbers, outside of MLB, come from 2018 reports put together by The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports (TIDES) at the University of Central Florida. MLB is the first league to have a report done on it this year.

1. NBA – 31.6% of team management are women / 37.2% of team professional admins are women

2. NFL – 22.1% of team senior admins are women / 35% of team professional admins are women

3. MLB – 28.6% of team senior admins are women / 26% of team professional admins are women

4. MLS – 26.5% of team senior admins are women / 31.6% of team professional admins are women

5. WNBA – 48.6% of team VPs and above are women / 58% of team managers to senior directors are women

6. NHL – No report done

Quotes from Silver… 

“It’s an area, frankly, where I’ve acknowledged that I’m not sure how it was that it remained so male-dominated for so long. Because it’s an area of the game where physically, certainly, there’s no benefit to being a man, as opposed to a woman, when it comes to refereeing.”

“The goal is going forward, it should be roughly 50-50 of new officials entering in the league. Same for coaches, by the way. We have a program, too. There’s no reason why women shouldn’t be coaching men’s basketball.”

That’s not all Silver wants to see change…

Silver, who has been adamant about getting rid of the one-and-done rule, provided some clarity as to when that might be achieved.

According to the commissioner, the 2022 NBA Draft will likely be the first one since the 2005 NBA Draft to allow high school players to go straight into the league rather than playing a season in college first.

Citing “active discussions” with the NBPA, Silver noted that they are still “a few years away.”

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