The Big Deal Weekly: Hardwick quits triggering AFL coaching quake, NRL broadcast relations sour, netball's shaky future, UFC to hit Sydney, grassroots sport set to explode & more
Newsletter no.34, 23 May 2023
Richmond coach Damien Hardwick has just announced his shock decision to quit, dramatically shifting the coaching landscape in the process.
In The Big Deal’s weekly wrap, Tredders unpacks the fallout and what it means for the other coaches and clubs.
We also talk about the ugly relationship between the NRL and one of its broadcasters, netball's uncertain future, UFC coming to Sydney, a looming switch for Lewis Hamilton, NBA stars pondering moves and more.
Jump straight into the podcast below or scroll down for the notes.
Listen to the wrap and subscribe for free now on Apple Podcasts or Spotify
HARDWICK QUITS TRIGGERING AFL COACHING QUAKE
Tigers coach Damien Hardwick has confirmed he’s walking away from Punt Road, effective immediately.
Still with another year to go on his contract, Hardwick said the job had become "a little too much" and he knew he couldn't give 100 percent.
He finishes as one of the all-time great coaches, transforming his club with three premierships in 2017, 2019 and 2020.
Already attention has turned to the shifting coaching landscape, including what it means for Port Adelaide and coach Ken Hinkley.
Tredders talks about:
Why Port Adelaide needs to wait … and not be drawn into the desperate coaching merry-go-round which could include also Gold Coast, Carlton, West Coast and Richmond
Why the question needs to be asked of Hinkley: Does he even want to stay at Alberton?
Hardwick’s future beyond Richmond
The growing pressure on senior coaches and the impact of burn out
The merry-go-round - expiring coaching contracts:
End of 2023: Ken Hinkley (Port Adelaide)
End of 2024: Stuart Dew (Gold Coast), Simon Goodwin (Melbourne), Justin Longmuir (Fremantle), Craig McRae (Collingwood), Matthew Nicks (Adelaide), Chris Scott (Geelong), Michael Voss (Carlton)
End of 2025: Adam Simpson (West Coast)
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NRL’S BROADCAST RELATIONS SOUR
The relationship between the NRL and Channel 9 is getting uglier, with the league lodging an official complaint over its lack of coverage on the Today Show.
League administrators are fuming because they believe the Today Show is giving more coverage to the AFL, which is surprising because it is broadcast by rival Seven.
The league’s $130 million per-year deal with Nine expires in 2027 and with relations souring they clearly want to bring in other bids.
Including international broadcast partners and Foxtel’s coverage of every match, the NRL’s deal is reported to be worth around $400 million every year.
They are miles behind the AFL, which has a new deal at $643 million per season.
NETBALL’S SHAKY FUTURE
Australia’s Super Netball league looks set to lose the Collingwood Magpies.
The club’s position in the league for 2024 and beyond is under review by the board.
With average performances, poor fan attendances and losses of around a million dollars a season, it’s hard to see club bosses making a case to keep the team alive.
A 29 point thumping loss against the Swifts on the weekend added to the pain.
It’s an uncertain future for players who need to impress to try and earn contracts elsewhere next season.
There is also a bigger picture at play.
While the Collingwood board considers their future in Super Netball, the league still needs eight teams due to its broadcast model.
Collective Player Agreements cannot move forward as the broadcast deal between Fox and Netball Australia relies on an eight-team competition model.
It roughly costs $3 million per season to run a Super Netball club — despite being a high profit club netball appears to be at the bottom of Collingwood's priority list, which also has AFL, VFL, AFLW, VFLW teams.
Meanwhile the governing body has made a big financial move forward, announcing a $4.7 million turnaround and a $300,000 profit after being on the brink of collapse just months ago.
A sponsorship at the death from Visit Victoria saved the day after Hancock Prospecting pulled out.
Commercial and broadcast sponsorship accounted for 49% of revenue which was a big increase.
However, a debt of $4.2 million still remains.
UFC HITS SYDNEY
The UFC has signed a four-year, $16 million deal with the NSW government.
Following the success of UFC 284 in Perth in February, there are plans to hold a middleweight title bout between new champ Israel Adesanya and the winner of the upcoming Robert Whittaker and Dricus Du Plessis contender clash.
Given the fact Whittaker resides in Sydney and Adesanya is from New Zealand, there could be a real ANZAC angle.
UFC 293 is set to take place in Sydney on September 10 - the first of three Pay-Per-View events to be held between 2023 and 2027.
It is the first time since 2011 that Sydney has hosted PPV event and Premier Chris Minns is talking up big return on investment, claiming that these events will be broadcast to over 900 million households across the world and inject tens of millions of dollars into the economy in NSW.
LEWIS HAMILTON TO FERRARI?
There is continued chatter about Lewis Hamilton’s future.
There are reports that Hamilton will be offered $75 million to leave Mercedes and make a high profile switch to Ferrari in 2024.
GRASSROOTS SPORT ABOUT TO EXPLODE
US sports business influencer and investor Andrew Petcash says grassroots sport is the next big thing for the industry, as emerging startups and broadcasters look to cash in on emerging opportunities.
“The biggest thing I’m paying attention to … the downstream effects of, how can grassroots sports be monetised? How can youth sports be monetised? Then what happens?” Petcash told The Big Deal podcast.
“That’s where it is going, that’s what I’m seeing … a lot of people (founders) coming in and saying ‘we’re only building for youth sports, we don’t want any pro teams or college teams, we just want all the top prep schools and high schools’ … that is very interesting to me.
Included in this growing grassroots movement is the advancement of scouting, on the back of AI and other technologies.
“In the back of my head there’s this (thought) that people slip through the cracks, that there could be these next great athletes and we’ll never know who they are … if there’s someone in a small town in Asia, you don’t know where it could go if they had better training or a better coach. They could be the next Lebron James. I’m curious about that.”
Petcash told Tredders and Monty that India is set to become the sporting capital of the world, athletes will be at the centre of sport's growth and 'recession proof' opportunities await founders of sports companies in 2023 and beyond.
Catch up on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.
HISTORY-MAKING NUGGETS AS NBA STARS PONDER MOVES
The Denver Nuggets have advanced to the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history, sweeping their series with LA.
A 113-111 win in LA on Tuesday (Australia time) wrapped up the series 4-0.
It was heartbreak for Lebron James who finished with 40 points but missed two tying shots in the final seconds.
Miami Heat became the first-ever eighth seed to win a playoffs match by 25 points or more in a crushing 128-102 win over the disappointing Boston Celtics in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
Miami are now up 3-0 with the Eastern Conference finals all but stitched up - getting through will see them become just the second eighth-seeded team, after the 1999 New York Knicks, to reach the NBA Finals.
James Harden looks set to move out of Philadelphia for a Houston homecoming.
The Rockets have $US60 million in cap space, Harden has family city and still owns multiple businesses there.
There’s also talk that Kyrie Irving could end up at the Lakers, which was supposed to happen during last trade period before he ended up in Dallas.
Meanwhile Nike has dropped its Ja Morant products, after another video of him holding a gun appeared on social media.
PLAYERS CAUGHT UP IN SOCCER VIOLENCE
West Ham’s Europa Conference League clash with AZ Alkmaar was marred by terrible scenes.
The dutch club’s fans lost the plot after the 1-0 loss, as the masked ‘AZ Ultras’ group attacked players’ families.
Players then got involved, creating even more chaos.
Meanwhile 12 people tragically died in a stampede at a soccer game in El Salvador.
500 people were treated for injuries and 100 people ended up in hospital after a crush occurred, as fans tried to enter a packed stadium for a clash between the league’s biggest clubs, Alianza FC and Club Deportivo FAS.
CLUB PRO’S HOLE IN ONE FAIRYTALE
Michael Block hit a stunning hole-in-one in the final round of the PGA Championship at Oak Hill.
He's a name you won't recognise.
Previously the most Block had won at a golf tournament was about $100,000 back in 2014.
Finishing in a three-way tie for 15th this weekend earned him $US288,333 or $433,000 Aussie, as well as the right to play at next year’s PGA Championship.
Right now Block works as a club pro at a golf club in California. You can book him for lessons at $150 USD an hour ($225 AUD)!
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