Free publicity is just that free.
Prior to the Cincinnati Bengals victory in the American Football Conference championship game, a Cincinnati business journal said the Cincinnati Bengals success on the football field was worth $50 million in publicity, free publicity to the city. It is unclear just how someone could conclude that number but then again it probably doesn’t matter all that much. After all, $50 million in nothing is nothing. There won’t be $50 million going into the Cincinnati’s bank account to pay down the debt on the Bengals National Football League facility nor will there be any money from that free publicity that will go to pay off the bills that are due at the Cincinnati Reds Major League Baseball stadium. With the Bengals in the Super Bowl, that $50 million figure might as well be $100 million.
If the Pat McCrory theory is correct, Cincinnati could not buy that amount of publicity on ESPN or in newspapers. Pat McCrory was the mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina when George Shinn moved his National Basketball Association franchise to New Orleans in 2002. McCrory wanted an NBA expansion team but knew he was not going to be able to land a franchise unless the city built a new arena. In 2004, McCrory came up with a reason that his city was spending $240 million on a new arena for an NBA expansion team. “Every night, your score is given on TV, it puts you in the big leagues as far as drawing attention to your city, and we think the Charlotte Bobcats will do that.” The Super Bowl is the biggest platform for exposure in American sports and that free publicity is there for the taking. In 2008, NFL Arizona Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill said the host Super Bowl city Glendale, Arizona got $13 million in free publicity. Glendale lost over a million dollars on the game.
Evan Weiner’s books are available at iTunes – https://books.apple.com/us/author/evan-weiner/id595575191