Thoughts on Wednesday’s news
Here is a feature on the early results of the BC-Fenway Sports Group partnership. It is very encouraging. They have expanded the reach of our radio network and brought in some new sponsors. However, two things concern me. First, it looks like BC priced out some of its older, long-time sponsors. This happens, but I worry about becoming too dependent on the Red Sox. If our sponsors are Sox sponsors first and BC sponsors second, we are vulnerable. I don’t think it will happen in the next few years, but in this relationship the Red Sox could ask for a bigger piece of the pie or scrap the Fenway Sports Group altogether. Then BC is left to mend fences with our old sponsors and rebuild sports marketing.
The second thing that concerns me is that there is still no announcement on the television broadcast of the Ball State game. The Sox own NESN, so there is no reason they cannot force this on the air. There is no Red Sox conflict (the Sox are on Fox that day). My guess is that they are waiting to see how our season starts. If BC is 4-0, they’ll put us on. If the team struggles, no TV. The guys at FSG are smart and realize that whatever they put on against Red Sox-Yankees in October will get killed in the ratings, so why bother with an expensive live BC broadcast. BC shouldn’t take that. With the money FSG can get from other outlets (Gameplan, possibly some other regional sports nets) for the game rights, there is no reason for NESN not to step up. In my mind a break-even broadcast shows good faith and builds the BC brand (which should be a FSG concern).
These are the risks of handing over a big part of your operation to a company that has more power. You are often on their terms. The partnership was a good move for BC, but I just hope the athletic department never forgets that FSG cares about the Red Sox first.
The other little news item was SI.com’s experts roundtable on the college football season. B.J Schecter lists BC as his surprise team. Thanks for the encouragement, but at this point I don’t consider BC a surprise team. Maybe I’ve just read too many “look for the Eagles to soar in the ACC” articles this summer.