Artwork for podcast The Work in Sports Podcast - Insider Advice for Sports Careers
Don Jackson, Sports Attorney “The Sports Group” – Work in Sports Podcast
24th July 2019 • The Work in Sports Podcast - Insider Advice for Sports Careers • Brian Clapp - Work in Sports
00:00:00 00:37:36

Share Episode


Sports Attorney Don Jackson helps break down some of the major ongoing legal issues in sports and adds perspective for anyone who wants to pursue a career in sports law. Hi everybody, I’m Brian Clapp, VP of Content and Engaged Learning for and this is the Work in Sports podcast... The summer months can provide quite a lull in the sports calendar - now before all you seamheads get on me, I know baseball is alive and kicking, but it’s a long season and these middle months can be a little… draining.As I’ve admitted before I have sports ADD -- I want college bowl season, NFL playoffs, March Madness, spring training and a full slate of NBA and NHL games every night of the year...but my dream is yet to become a reality. Lucky us, this summer we had another event on the schedule that could draw our attention...the US Women's National Team competing in the World Cup. Huge global events like these bring out casual fans who likely wouldn’t watch a Tuesday night friendly against Norway, but will pack bars, sing songs, and wear the good old red white and blue with pride as our national team competes. I was glued. I have a young soccer-playing daughter, so to watch those games with her and see how she admired these gals and their compete level was awesome. A proud parenting moment, to see how she understood the calculus behind hard work, training and discipline leading to success and glory. Nothing is given. She also asked questions. Not just about formations and attack methodology - but about equal pay, and why the men get paid more than the women.Uh oh -- some of you just got angry - some of you just thought to yourself, here we go, another lecture about equal pay! Well, I’ll spare you, no lecture involved. But I would like to add some perspective that I fear many people are missing. I see the same exact response from every person who has an issue with the equal pay debate. It’s some iteration of:‘This is a business first and foremost. In the context of business, salaries of players are based on "viewership" numbers and attendance at the stadium. Nothing to do with gender. If and when the women can draw attendance numbers and viewership at par with the men, sponsorship and salaries would automatically follow. Supply and demand. if you draw large numbers, the paycheck gets bigger for both the owners and players regardless of gender.”I lifted this from one of about 600 like it on a recent article. Like most people, this person made a lot of guesses and assumptions in their argument. What if I told you, according to NIKE the Womens’ national team home jersey is now the #1 soccer jersey, men’s or womens’s ever sold on Nike in one season.What if I told you the women’s team contributed more than half of the revenue from games since fiscal 2016 -- and between 2016 to 2018 the women's games generated about $900,000 more revenue than the men’s games. Going back even earlier -- in the year following their 2015 World Cup win, women’s games generated $1.9 million more than the men’s games. Now, gross revenue — especially for games — isn’t everything. Matches are expensive to produce and players have to be paid, so games don’t always turn a profit for the federation. That said, in fiscal 2016 and 2017, the women’s team generated more cash than expenses, bringing in net revenue of $8 million and $1 million, respectively. The men’s team in fiscal 2015 and 2016 posted net revenue of $350,000 and $2.7 million, respectively.This isn’t a lecture -- this is a lesson in facts. Sure, there is more nuance to be explored, there are subtleties in revenue reporting, that’s why we have a legal process deciding what is fair and what is not.And that is true for just about every situation in sports. As much as I hate to even mention it, deflategate was a legal case. Colin Kaepernick became a legal case, Zion Williamson being sued for 100 million is a legal case, college athletes amateur status, sports gambling … all legal cases.