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Ben Shields to Launch Sports Analytics Podcast

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The use of analytics is a continuously growing topic of debate in sports.  Starting November 15th, Ben Shields will launch a sports analytics podcast titled Counterpoints, in conjunction with MIT Sloan Management Review.

“We’re excited to bring this insider’s view to people who revel in sports analytics,” said Shields. “We’ll have great dialogue, deep insights, and surprising discoveries. For people who like to nerd out on sports analytics — this is for you.”

Formerly the Director of Social Media and Marketing at ESPN, Shields is now a Lecturer at the MIT School of Management.  His work includes writing three books with research focusing on data analytics and audience behavior in sports, media and entertainment industries.

Shields will co-host the podcast with Paul Michelman of the MIT Sloan Management Review.  Each episode, Shields and Michelman will dive into the world of sports analytics, offering lively conversations about its use and effects on team success.  Counterpoints, which is sponsored by Ticketmaster, will look to debate a different thesis each episode with expert guests to discuss the matter.

“The podcast is a wonderful new outgrowth of MIT SMR‘s digital presence,” said Michelman. “It’s a great opportunity to bring to life analytics — such a huge issue for business leaders — for our current and new customers.”

Counterpoints will be available on iTunes and its podcast page, with new episodes being released biweekly on Thursdays.

Brandon Contes is a freelance writer for BSM. He can be found on Twitter @BrandonContes. To reach him by email click here.

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Sports Media Rips Baseball Hall Of Fame For Barry Bonds Snub

“David Ortíz got the nod from 77% of voters. He was the only one to get more than the required 75% for induction.”

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Performance-enhancing drugs are a non-starter for some Hall of Fame voters. “Some” in this case likely means about 34% of those with a ballot. It is the only explanation for Barry Bonds not getting in.

The Hall of Fame revealed its 2022 class on Tuesday night. David Ortíz got the nod from 77% of voters. He was the only one to get more than the required 75% for induction. Bonds finished second in the voting with his name showing up on 66% of the ballots.

Bonds and Ortíz were amongst a group of candidates who were considered controversial. Based on numbers and on-field performance, they, along with Roger Clemens, Alex Rodriguez, and Curt Schilling likely belong in the Hall of Fame. Bonds, Clemens, Ortiz, and Rodriguez have all been tied to the use of performance enhancing drugs and human growth hormone. Schilling has become something of a pariah in baseball due to his political extremism.

While cases can be made for all five men, the sports media seemed to zero-in on Barry Bonds. His exclusion drew a series of damning tweets and criticism of the Hall of Fame and its voters.

For the record, Barry Bonds is both the single season and all-time leader in home runs. He also holds the all-time record for walks and single season records for walks, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage. He is also a seven-time MVP and fourteen-time all star.

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Sports Online

Wynn Resorts Plans To Cut Losses, Sell Sports Betting Unit For $500M

Wynn increased revenue from Q3 of 2020 at $370.5 million to $994.6 million in revenue in Q3 2021.

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Due to high marketing costs to bring in new customers, Wynn Resorts is looking to sell Wynn Interactive, the company’s betting unit, for $500 million. Wynn Interactive was valued at $3 billion last year, according to the New York Post, and has grown in revenue and popularity. But the costs are proving to be too much to handle. 

The WynnBET sportsbook has market access in multiple states including Arizona, Colorado, Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey, Tennessee, Virginia, Louisiana, and New York. It had also partnered up with NFL franchises and multiple professional athletes. Among these were the Indianapolis Colts, Detroit Lions, and New York Jets, along with Shaquille O’Neal, Tim Howard, and Chad Johnson.

Wynn increased revenue from Q3 of 2020 at $370.5 million to $994.6 million in revenue in Q3 2021. However, the company still remained at a net loss of $166.2 million during the quarter, down from a net loss of $758.1 million in Q3 2020.

Wynn is having to do a bit of backtracking and trying to cut their losses. They acquired a $1.5 billion line of credit from the Bank of China last September, with $100 million of it being planned to use to market the sports betting app for this year’s football season.

In another cancellation, Wynn was hoping to take the online sports betting division public via a SPAC merger with Austerlitz Acquisition Corporation but had to kiss that goodbye last November.

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FanDuel Makes Nearly $17 Million In New York After NFL Wild Card Weekend

Plenty of bettors in New York were chomping at the bit to legally wager on games.

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Mobile sports gambling has only been live in New York for a few weeks and already, the sportsbooks and the state are raking in the cash.

New York City news station WPIX reported Monday that FanDuel saw $16.9 million in gross revenue following Saturday and Sunday NFL Wild Card playoff games. The Monday night game featuring the Los Angeles Rams and the Arizona Cardinals was excluded from that total, but the sportsbook made an additional $2 million.

In New Jersey, PIX reported the state made $41.8 million in gross revenue in January 2021. That number was expected to be exceeded by FanDuel in New York as of Monday.

The station also reported $3.9 million in earnings for DraftKings, $14.1 million for Caesars Sportsbook, and $70,433 for RushStreet following NFL Wild Card Weekend.

Plenty of bettors in New York were chomping at the bit to legally wager on games and it’s clear the floodgates opened once everything went live earlier this month.

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