Phillip Stutts is the CEO at WinBigMedia.com and PhillipStutts.com. He is the author of “Fire Them Now”. Two months ago, Stutts offered Part I of “Sports Has A Problem…” you can read it here.
If you listen carefully, you can feel the tremors collectively shaking around the sports world….
- The University of Connecticut football team just opted out of their upcoming season (the first major university to do so).
- A cascade of NFL players are now opting out of their upcoming season.
- Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred threatened to cancel the season when players tested positive for Covid-19.
- PAC 12 football players have revolted against their conference leaders demanding to be compensated or they plan to sit out their season.
- Stanford University just eliminated 11 scholarship sports due to budget deficit concerns.
- The NBA’s return was a rating’s bust.
- ESPN has a subscriber decline of 6% in 2020 — the largest decline ever posted -and has seen a ratings collapse, ranking 19th amongst the top TV networks falling behind the the Hallmark Channel, Home and Garden Television, and a network called “Investigation Discovery.”
Most of these tremors were caused by the Coronavirus disruption when our leaders in medicine, government, media, and sports convinced us last spring that if we just flattened the pandemic curve, they could see sports settle back to normality soon enough.
But that isn’t going to happen now.
The disease has become a political football, wokeness has erupted everywhere, and major sports is teetering on the brink of collapse.
Five months since the lockdowns went into effect, the 21/90 rule has been adopted by many Americans and its impact on sports is a ticking timebomb.
What’s the 21/90 rule?
To quote: “It takes 21 days to build or break a habit and 90 days to create a lifestyle. If you want to make most things a cornerstone to your life, understand that it won’t feel like second nature to you until about the 90-day mark.”
140+ days into the Covid-19 nightmare and many (not all) fans have lost their passion for sports (as evidenced by the ratings). They’ve found other routines, different ways to find “escapism”, and this impact will have devastating effects on the economic future of sports.
And when you add to the mix how the Woke Cancel Culture has invaded corporate America, media, universities, and athletes, these tremors are quickly turning into a massive economic earthquake.
What does this all mean?
First of all, let’s get this out of the way, the vast majority of sports fans — black, brown, white — men and women — don’t care about the “woke sports movement.” The vast majority of Americans just want to watch the games. They want sports to provide a distraction from the “weird” world.
Since March, my company has partnered with the largest data collection, analytics and AI company in America to understand how the economy has shifted due to the Coronavirus shutdown and subsequent Black Lives Matter’s protests and riots.
Our six national consumer data insights reports have currently analyzed 225,253 consumer surveys, matched it to 200 million+ Americans in our database, 550 million connected devices, and tracking 10 billion daily online decisions. It’s the most extensive data research conducted in America to this point.
I did not originally intend to be reporting on sports data but the patterns became clear and it’s important to know what’s happening, what’s not being reported by the woke sports media, and how it will affect all sports.
The data clearly shows that 87–92% of Americans don’t want corporations and athletes preaching woke politics. You aren’t crazy for wanting to watch games and be distracted in these weird times, instead of being told how bad a person you are for not agreeing with a “woke” reporter or athlete’s opinion.
Yet, the cancel culture athletes of the NBA, NHL, and MLB decided to force their one-sided political agenda down your throat at the most inopportune time, when Covid-19 was causing the collapse of sports’ economic structure.
In politics, an industry I’ve worked in for more than 24 years, it’s perfectly acceptable to piss off 49.9% of the target voter market. All you need is 50.1% to win. But if a politician decides to stake his campaign on an issue that 87–92% of voters disagree with….well that’s political suicide.
Want a specific example of a sport that will absolutely not exist in its current form five years from now? Look no further than to college football.
But the one factor that might take college football down — and almost no one is really focusing on it right now — is how “Name, Image and Likeness” combined with athlete “Wokeism” will drastically impact the sport.
NIL is THE other nuclear bomb about to hit college football (and it’s completely overshadowed by the Coronavirus). Whether you agree with NIL or not, it takes the power, money, and control out of the hands of college coaches and administrators and puts it squarely into the athlete’s hands.
Can you imagine a college football world where 25% of the teams no longer exist and the athletes that are playing, double down on preaching a political agenda?
Get ready for it. I guarantee you won’t recognize what college football will look like in five years.
The economic stakes are incredibly high right now. Everyone in the leadership of professional and amateur sports already knows what I’m telling you too. They are all figuratively lying in the corner in the fetal position, sucking their thumbs, and hoping things go back to the way they used to be.
Unfortunately, the tremors are real and a 10.0 earthquake is about to collapse sports as you know it.
If you want to read the data I referenced — for FREE — just go to WinBigMedia.com and click on the “Covid-19 Consumer Research” tab on the top front page.