While the Big 4 sports leagues have reached new levels of popularity and profitability, this success has not necessarily come easily. Issues like the safety of players, the technology that has affected the live game attendance and experience, and the increased scrutiny into players’ off field behavior pose challenges for every league. However, there are strategic hurdles also unique to each. For the MLB, this means filling stadiums for 162 games and addressing changing audience demographics. For the NFL, concerns about the impact of the sport on the brain and increasing reticence to put young athletes at risk has created controversy for a league that was previously minting money. For outside parties, these challenges provide an opportunity to work with the leagues to preserve the integrity and longevity of the game.
This panel will provide the perspective of how leagues develop and implement their growth strategies to ensure they not only survive but thrive in spite of the obstacles they face.