Tweet of the Week
By: Kathleen Hessert, CEO of Sports Media Challenge
@kathleenhessert: “Univ of Mich introduced special ticket hashtag to follow if you want Tickets #pacNet12.” February 13, 2012
College athletic programs have developed new forms of revenue growth with the popularity and convenience of social media. For instance, the University of Michigan has created a Twitter account that recognizes a special hashtag fans can mention in their Twitter posts if they want tickets to sporting events. While this increase in revenue benefits the collegiate institutions, the controversy truly lies between the colleges and universities and the student-athletes, who are not reaping the benefits from the tickets they help sell.
In the fall of 2011, the NCAA passed legislation to give athletes a $2,000 stipend in addition to the full cost-of-tuition; however, that rule was suspended in December and is currently under reconsideration by the Division I Board of Directors. College sports is now a business with college basketball and football grossing more than $6 billion annually. The athletes deserve some form of compensation for the revenue they help generate. This revenue comes from the major television deals, team apparel sold, and the spark of this conversation, ticket sales.
The utilization of social media to increase ticket sales and overall revenue just provides more reason as to why athletes should be compensated for their performance. Unless the NCAA wants to face more lawsuits like the class-action O’Bannon case, a suit in which former Division I athletes are suing the NCAA for using their likenesses without compensating them, I suggest that the NCAA come up with some formal compensation scheme that does not have to be “reconsidered.”