A Walk Along The Paths of Ecstacy

The Seattle Sports fan is used to a swift kick in the teeth. Sit in a bar and throw out any year and watch them recount the travesty or tragedy of that particular annum.

  • 2001 -“How did we lose to the Yankees?”
  • 2012 – “Freaking Falcons, man.”
  • 1998 – “How did that UConn guy – what was his name – hit that shot?”

You can play this game with every year. Just don’t expect to be invited back out again.

And man were the chairs aligned yesterday for this to become one of the most debilitating moments in Seattle sports history. Our big brother San Francisco, coming into our house, a place where we embarrassed them 3 months prior. They had all their starters back, we were missing some of our stars to injury and suspension. We have the lead. We’re inches from the Super Bowl, and suddenly they have the ball on the 25 yard line with all the time in the world. They’ll have 4 or 5 shots to get in the end zone and just crush our will. If you hit pause on life at that moment, I would wager that most fans had already started to think about how they were going to deal with this bone-crushing loss.

And then something amazing happens. The Stanford guy – the import who now who would rather be in Seattle than the Bay Area – makes the play of his life. Seahawks win. Seahawks win. Cue the pandemonium.

I spent hours walking around downtown after the game. I listened to the horns blare up and down 1st Ave. Every bar had “We are the Champions” blasting every 3rd song, with a few versions of New York, New York thrown in for good measure.

To my surprise I saw more than a couple stunned 49ers fans standing on street corners by themselves.  They were graciously congratulating jubilant Hawks fans. It was a sign of a fan base who has had enough success to know how to lose as well as win. I surmised that these people were lifelong San Francisco fans who knew what it meant to Seattle fans, and were dealing with their mourning by watching other people be ecstatic. Maybe it was a bit of comfort for them – to see others experience what they had first enjoyed years – maybe even decades – before.

I saw people in bars not knowing what to do. They hugged, they ordered a drink, they watched the replays on TV and….. now what. Some kept drinking. Some went home. Some just wandered the streets.

But what I observed was honest to god ecstasy. People loved the moment they were in and loved loving the moment they were in. They had no idea what to do in it, but all they had to do was smile and feel good. Whatever life struggle they had was forgotten. Whatever uncompleted task on their “to do list” was ignored. People were happy. Truly, magnificently happy.

It’s irrational and can never model out on an economist’s spreadsheet. But that happiness was good for this city. It might manifest itself as a business owner being more motivated to succeed, or a sad person remembering what it’s like to smile, or a group of friends remembering how much they enjoy being together. But combine all of these moments together, across the city, and you see that our fabric is stronger for that moment.

2014 – “That freaking Sherman play was AWESOME!”

The Importance of Your Talents vs Your Resume

I’ve been doing more thinking recently about the role a resume (or LinkedIn Profile) plays in your job search. What is the perfect blend of connections, qualifications, overall talent and past experience?

Coincidentally, today Forbes released its annual 30 under 30 lists. Highlighted in the Marketing list is Seattle’s own Andrew Dumont.  This inclusion did not surprise me in the least.  It’s a great honor and well deserved.

Andrew_Dumont_ForbesIt reminded me of the time I first met Andrew. I was a Principal at another social media agency at the time, and no less than 3 members of the team said, “You have to meet this guy. Super bright.” I was curious why his resume never made it to my desk despite everyone having such great things to say about him, so I inquired.

Our Office Manager was the gate keeper for incoming resumes. This person had certain skills and an ability to color inside the lines, but little ability to do any creative or lateral thinking, and sometimes even struggled if forced to make a decision on which crayon to choose. It turns out a hard and fast mandate had been implemented, “No college degree, no interview.” So despite Andrew’s entrepreneurial successes and social media prowess, our gate keeper would not allow us to talk to him.

But too many people told me I had to meet Andrew, so I chose a day when the gate keeper was on a holiday and invited the 20 year old in.  It became clear within 30 seconds that we couldn’t hire him – we’d just never be able to afford him.  I knew what we paid our junior team members and he was worth 2-3x that. I knew we’d never be able to make the numbers work, but I was really glad my colleagues had made the introduction.

Years later, I’m an old guy who pays attention to Andrew’s successes and tries to learn from him. It doesn’t matter if I have more experience – he’s the one wearing X-ray glasses that cut through the clutter and can see the future. But not only that, he makes time to support the Seattle start-up community. I’ve been able to interview him for a couple of panels, and he’s supported my class at the UW whenever I’ve asked.

So tying this back to the original topic: Talents vs Resume.  A good HR person is recruiting talent that can add value to the future of company. And the easiest scorecard or scouting report to read is a resume. But a resume is usually just a recap of the past. It is not necessarily a predictor of future events. The HR person wants to see what your talents are, and if those talents translate into something their team needs. So you had a job at big company X. That’s great. It shows you can get a job. But what talent did you bring to the team? How much did the team win? What else did you learn while you were there?

Some people have outstanding talents that have never been showcased in a professional environment for whatever reason – bad managers, shrinking industry, crisis management, etc… Some great strategists spend their early careers putting out fires instead of planning the company’s future. But you have a ton of non-resume opportunities to showcase the talents you can bring to a company. Writing, volunteering, starting side projects, mentoring, being mentored, etc…

In a nutshell… When I met Andrew he was clearly talented, and we had an Office Manager that discriminated against him for not having the right resume. I’m sure we weren’t the only ones. But then there were other companies that evaluated his potential, not his past. And now he’s in Forbes as a 30 under 30 winner.

Moral of the story: Managers – Look for the talent, not the resume. Job seekers – Showcase your talents and don’t let a resume hold you back. This equation adds up to the right HR people hiring the right young talent. And companies full of talent and potential are the ones you end up seeing on CNBC.

Talking Startups at Entrepreneur University

Between teaching Entrepreneurial Marketing at UW, and being on the Board of the Northwest Entrepreneur Network, I get a number of amazing opportunities to sit down and talk with people who are making things happen. Not just coming up with ideas, but actually executing on those dreams.

Last Friday at NWEN’s ntrepreneur University, I had the opportunity to moderate a panel with three of my favorites; Mariah Gentry of JoeyBra, Andrew Dumont of Moz and StrideApp and Kelly Smith of Curious Office. We talked about when is the right time for someone to jump into the entrepreneurial waters.

If you haven’t met Mariah before, if you run into her at an event I encourage you to grab as much of her time as you can.  She is easily one of the most impressive people under 30 that I’ve ever come across. And she’s only something like 22 or 23.  She started her first business at 14, owned at house by 20, and launched JoeyBra as a junior at the UW. When you talk to her, you just get a sense that she can distill any complex problem to its core, and come up with an obvious solution.

I met Andrew a few years ago when some people at my company told me they had a friend we should hire. In a ironic twist, our Office Manager at the time wouldn’t forward his resume because he didn’t have a college degree (he later went back and got it). I met with him anyway and realized we would never be able to hire him because he was way too impressive to take what we would be able to offer him.  He now works from 7:00 – 5:00 at Moz, then runs his side business StrideApp.com, which he disclosed has paying customers numbering in the hundreds.  But on top of that, he also spent a weekend building a Udemy course, which now has close to 500 paying customers at $100 a shot. That’s pretty impressive. The secret behind of Andrew’s success is pretty clear – a tireless work ethic and a commitment, almost obsession, to building stuff.

And then of course there was Kelly. Investor, founder, idea guy, executor, he does a little bit of it all. I loved his advice on harnessing the power of entrepreneurship. He said the key is, “Question everything. Whenever something sucks, figure out if there’s a better way to build it. Just solve the problem and figure out how many people have the same problem.”

There’s a difference between ideas and ideas with execution. People like this are inspiring because they don’t let any excuse get in their way. They see a project they want to attack, and then relentlessly pursue it. There’s no wishing on a star or dreamland scenarios with these guys, they are all about dedication and execution. It’s great that we have people like this in the city, people who can remind us that the hardest part of entrepreneurship is the commitment to doing the work.

Join Me at the TechCrunch Meetup Thursday

The next version of the Techcrunch Meetups + Pitch-Off is headed to Seattle this Thursday. Besides the fun and frivolity of your typical Seattle tech event, a few lucky entrepreneurs will be pitching their businesses to a group of TC judges. These entrepreneurs will have one minute to explain why “their start-up is awesome.” Since all the products will be in stealth or private beta, we may see some companies we haven’t heard of before.

Thursday, July 18
ShowBox at the Market
1426 1st Ave‎nue
Seattle, WA 98101
6 PM – 10 PM

See you there.

Ben Huh Discusses Laying Off 1/3 of His Team

An interesting article ran in Inc Magazine this week about Ben Huh and the layoffs at Cheezburger a while back, “How I Live With Myself After Firing a Third of My Employees.”

At first it looks like it’s been written by Huh. But I read it and it sounded nothing like how the charismatic CEO speaks. Then I noticed that it was “written by Liz Welch, as told to her by Ben Huh.”

This fact made have contributed to the piece sounding self-serving to some. In fact, there was a mini-debate in a Private Facebook group I belong to about this very subject. Some people found the article in very poor taste, suggesting Ben’s attitude seemed to be, “Well too bad for everyone I fired, I don’t feel bad at all.” Having met Ben several times in the Seattle start-up scene, it struck me that this didn’t seem like it would be Ben’s general attitude at all. Even the people who were neutral on Ben’s comments seemed to think the piece came across staged, edited or worse.

I want to give Ben the benefit of the doubt here, since he didn’t write the piece. So we don’t know what was lost in translation or incorrectly quoted by Welch. But I took away a few points:

  1. “We were profitable until we took VC investment” = Don’t just spend money because you have money in the bank. You still have to make smart decisions.
  2. “The Board did not ask for this, it was my decision” = As CEO, you have to think about the 42 people you are keeping just as much as the 24 you let go. I made the mistake of growing too fast, I’ll take the blame.
  3. “To mitigate the risk of a leak, I called John Cook” = The info will get out anyway, so unless you want one of the folks who got laid off to pen an anonymous op-ed piece for Geekwire, call Geekwire first and give John the straight scoop.

What do you think about this article? Any comments? Was Ben wrong, or did the magazine just butcher the story?

Learning About Phoenix Jones, Super Hero

Phoenix JonesI’ll admit, I didn’t expect to like Phoenix Jones. I was excited to attend Sasha Pasulka’s Tech Show on Feb 20, but Jones was not the person I came to see.  I figured at best he’d be kind of uninteresting.  At worst, a complete joker. I was pleasantly surprised.

For example, I did not know that Jones actually wore the same body armor that our troops wear – and that he has been shot twice in that armor.  I also did not know that he works closely with Police, making sure he gathers evidence properly when he is at a crime scene.  Also, whenever a police officer orders him to stand down, he does exactly that.

Jones has an interesting stat in his corner.  Since he and his crew started patrolling, Police response times have improved – possibly to avoid the embarrassment of being beaten to the crime by a guy in a super hero costume.  Response times in Belltown on weekend nights were 29 minutes before Jones started his work.  How they are around 6.

You may not believe in vigilante justice.  But after hearing Phoenix Jones talk for 5 minutes, I believe the streets of Seattle are actually safer with him guarding them.


My Report From the Seattle Arena Town Hall Meeting

I couldn’t resist.  I needed to check out the Town Hall meeting to discuss the SODO Arena Proposal.  I had no idea what to expect.

The Town Hall was hosted by King County Councilmember Bob Ferguson, and Seattle City Councilmember Mike O’Brien. I don’t have any previous knowledge of these two gentlemen, so I was able to enter this with an open mind.


In a word, the event was fascinating.  I now understand why so many dumb decisions get made in City Council.  You see, there are a lot of very old, very opinionated, very uninformed people who attend these meetings as a hobby.  They have the ear of the Councilmembers.  They ask questions  that are irrelevant, obtuse, confusing and just plain non-sensical. But they show up, and their voice gets heard over silent oppositon and common sense.

However, this Town Hall was filled with 150-200 Pro-Arena supporters (to go along with maybe 50-75 against).  And thanks to Sports Radio KJR, 710Sports.com, and SportsPressNW.com informing their listeners and readers with intelligent facts and data over the last few months, the Pro-Arena members of the crowd came across way more informed, way more intelligent and way more reasonable than those against it.  In some circumstances you expected the Anti-Arena person with the microphone to follow up with, “And how do we know they REALLY landed on the moon? Were you there to see it?”

That being said, it’s clear that while the arguments against the proposal aren’t 100% sound, they are loud enough to potentially kill the deal.  And with the Seattle Mariners, Seattle Times, and Port of Seattle working as hard as they can to stop it, you can’t just assume the deal will get passed because it makes sense.  There are clearly a lot of politics in the way. If you care at all, I urge you to attend the important meeting on July 19.

But I’m not an opinion writer and I’m not an expert on this subject. so I tried as best I could to transcribe the 26 questions that the crowd was able to ask Councilmembers Ferguson and O’Brien.  And I will say I was quite impressed with the two of them.  I thought they were reasonable, well informed and bright.

I captured the main points and tried to stay unbiased in my transcription.  I couldn’t keep track of which questions Ferguson was answering and which ones O’Brien was handling, so their replies are just mashed together.  Here are all the questions and answers they went thru in about 70 minutes, in order:

1. What is wrong with the Key Arena? Why would we build a new arena in an industrial area?
The Key Arena doesn’t work for NBA basketball.  It also doesn’t work for concerts. The proposal is to build a new arena in the stadium district. We do have to look at what effect that will have on our industrial area.

2. So is this deal for a stadium in SoDo or nothing?
For this proposal, yes. Chris Hansen has made it clear he’s not interested in building anywhere else.

3. Have the football and baseball stadiums worked out?
Yes (applause). However, we will have to ask, “Does the stadium reach a tipping point?”

4. Is 18,000 people at night a real traffic issue?
We’re analyzing. Independent reviews are being done to make decision based on data.

5. I’m not a sports fan, but why can’t you use the same footprint of the KeyArena?  We could bore straight down and dig out the ground and go as deep as you wanted to. (Crowd: murmurs and disbelief)
People at city have looked at this.  Not viable according to experts. I’m not an expert so I will have to rely on what the experts say.

6. Initiative I-91 passed to make sure we have no new taxes on sports arenas.  Also, how will you backfill the lack of events at Key Arena if a new arena is built?
The City operates Key Arena at break even.  We already wonder how long we will be able to continue to do so without giant improvements.  We don’t have a plan to support those kind of improvements.  This arena plan is also to support Key Arena.  If Seattle is awarded an NBA team, it would need to play for 3 years in an improved Key Arena while new arena is being built.  Mr. Hansen has committed to making improvements to Key Arena in this case, and those improvements would remain after the team moved to the new arena.

7. How can you submit to this kind of blackmail from a private property owner when the Port of Seattle is so important to us? (Crowd venomously boos this older woman.)
I hear your point on port.  This is not blackmail, its a choice.  Reasonable minds can disagree.  The Port’s point is important.  Reviews will be done, traffic and economic impacts. This isn’t an either/ or situation.  We are hoping to get data to figure out how to make it additive.

8. I am a Building trades member. I’ve heard that port will stay quiet if they get their overpass built. It’s them doing the blackmailing.  (applause)
We are all working on the (Lander St.) overpass issue.  It would cost $200m to build.  Mr. Hansen understandably doesn’t want to pay for it. If the Lander St overpass is most important issue, we will look at it. Impact of construction jobs can’t be understated.

9. Can you walk us thru the legal process of the MOU because it suddenly appeared without the knowledge of the public.
2 execs worked with Mr. Hansen and the Council was aware of what was going on. This wasn’t a backroom deal.  The Mayor and the County Exec have the authority to work on this without a committee.  That’s why we elect Execs.

10. A) Can we stop talking about Key Arena? (applause).  B) As someone who lost a job, I understand why the port complained. But traffic studies show there’s no traffic after 4pm.  Why isn’t the port on board with this?
There can be collaboration.  Disagreements now can be healthy and there may be chance to make changes.  Collaboration is taking place.

11. Has anyone seen any data from anywhere that backs up the Port’s claim that jobs would be lost?
(Raucous applause from crowd) No answer. (Note: Every time this question was asked, the Councilmembers tippy-toed around the obvious answer they didn’t want to say out loud.  That answer is – No, there is no data.  The Port is currently scrambling to pull together a report.  According to a source I trust, the port is not exactly nimble, so getting a study together at this kind of pace is causing them all kinds of hassle.)

12. In economic terms the Key Arena is sunk cost.  Key arena can make $1, new arena can make $2 .  Key arena is an asset now.  That property can be made into anything now. But this issue should go away. (No question asked)

13.  The Martin report says east side of port will be rendered useless. (No question asked)

14. How will you protect jobs of current Key Arena employees?
We have to look at how the deal will be set up.  We will look into ways that this is not something that would hurt Key Arena employees.  It makes sense to give Key Arena employees first shot at jobs at new arena.

15. A Sports palace should fund itself.  When the UW wanted us to build them a Sports Palace we voted it down and they got it built with tax dollars anyway. (Note: That statement was incorrect. The UW raised the money themselves.) We shouldn’t raise taxes to build a new sports palace.  When the Panama Canal is expanded, 1/2 the Port’s traffic will disappear.
There should be no absolutes on these issues.  This isn’t a tax it’s a bonding issue. (Note: No one seemed to understand the Panama Canal reference.)

16. Where does the NHL fit in? What are the safeguards if we don’t get an NHL team?
It’s not accurate to say that the arena deal needs the NHL.  Mr. Hansen is focused on NBA. Potential comes down road for NHL. Likely that in the 3 years of arena being built they would pursue a NHL team.

17. Please raise hands because our elderly friends are raising theirs better than us…..  It seems clear that the port is blackmailing us.  They say the arena will cost 100,000 jobs.  Where are they getting these facts?
We shouldn’t speak negatively about port, by insinuating they are blackmailing anyone.  The decision should be grounded in real data. We’re asking for this analysis and won’t consider a deal without seeing this data.

18. Note: Jason Rubenstein then brought the house down with a fantastic monologue filled with facts, figures and emotion that came so fast an furious I couldn’t keep up.  Well done, Jason.  Well done indeed.

19.  I’m hoping the council will consider what jobs will look like in the future arena. I don’t want to lose my family wage job in Key Arena.
The MOU states that jobs in new arena will be family wage jobs. No one is looking to outsource low wage contractors to replace current Key Arena employees.

20. The seawall repair will go to vote in November.  The Kingdome was a perfectly good building  (Crowd laughs in hysterics).  If the seawall needs to go to a public vote, why can the council make the decision on the arena?  After all, a seawall is a necessity, and a stadium is not. (Note: this man was 85 years old, so I don’t want to bash him too hard on the Kingdome comment.)
The Council can issue bonds, which are funds we need to pay back in some way. There’s no revenue model to pay back seawall bonds, so we have to raise taxes to pay it back.  Thus, it has to go to vote. Arena bonds are not reliant on taxes. Now, we do need to make sure we have the security to cover the bonds, but we don’t need tax dollars to pay them back.

21. Is the city evaluating the revenue the right way? The I-91 issue.
Onsite revenues and land value issues are hard to forecast. (I’ll admit I got a little confused at the response.)

22. Port of Seattle is responsible for 194k jobs. They are the widening Panama Canal.  I’m concerned about traffic.
(Note: Both the Councilmembers were perplexed by the non-question / unclear point the person was trying to make here, so they ignored it and moved on. It appears people against the arena are really concerned about this Panama Canal issue.)

23. The Stadium district is in the most transit rich area in the Pacific NW, and the perfect place to move people in and out of a stadium WITHOUT THEIR CARS. What’s the hangup here? (applause)
Relatively few people take mass transit to sporting events. While there is good transit, there will be 6000 cars going to games.  We need to examine the issue carefully.

24. The NBA didn’t treat us well.  How much money does the NBA have and why can’t they put the money up for a new arena?
If you are asking why the NBA won’t build an arena for us, well, that issue really isn’t on the table.  I opposed the last arena deal because all residents of King County would be paying taxes.  This deal is different.  We have plenty of private-public projects. I don’t take absolutes.  I don’t believe there can’t be public involvement in an arena.  There is a significant investment from private citizens in this deal. I am sympathetic to public investment, but there is city by city competition across the country and public investment in stadiums is part of that.  There are things to work on.

25. I live in West Seattle. There is so much construction these days. I can’t get home when I want to. Is a stadium the only thing that can go into the stadium district? Why can’t the stadium go in the Rainier Valley?
This deal is for an arena in the stadium district.  That’s the only place being considered in this proposal.

26. Why is deal different for one team (NBA only) than two teams (NBA and NHL)?
The ownership group is shooting for 2 teams. If they only get one team, then the city and council are only willing to put $125MM in bonds up, not $200MM. We’re hoping to get a win-win here.


Was anyone else there to check it out? Would love to get your slant.

My Ridiculous and Unsubstantiated Prediction for How the Region Gets NBA and NHL Teams

(Part 1 of a Series)

So let me preface this. I have no inside information. I know nothing, have talked to no one I reference and have absolutely no reason to believe any of what I am going to write is going to happen. It’s purely a wild speculation that will be fun to look back on if 10% of it comes true.

The overarching point is this: Bellevue is going to get an NBA and NHL team, and it’s going to start playing around 2015. Here are some details of this ridiculous notion.

1) The rich people who want an NBA team back here have figured out how to change the conversation. They are working to change the question from, “Should we or shouldn’t we have a World Class arena” to “Should our World Class Arena be in Seattle or Bellevue.” It’s a fantastic tactic. Get two equally powerful groups to wage a battle against each other.

2) Once you convince Bellevue that Seattle wants an Arena, the politicians in Bellevue start making things happen. It’s a once in a century opportunity that people with power can’t pass up. Seattle is at best in a plateau, and possibly declining in economic importance. Bellevue has Microsoft, Expedia, a financial district, a huge shopping district, and the chance to recruit over any of the major tech companies with small offices in Seattle. Insert a world class arena and you could make an argument that we call the region Seattle-Tacoma-Eastside. It could even be considered like the Twin Cities. Bellevue will do its part to make the Arena happen for the promise of concerts, the Republican National Convention, the Democratic National Convention, NCAA Sweet 16 games, the NCAA Women’s Final 4, NHL All-Star game and all the Justin Bieber you can take.

3) Now the mechanics. Let’s pick Anschutz Entertainment Group as the private sponsor who recognizes that a privately funded arena, backed by an Entertainment Group, can be hugely profitable. So Arena issue solved, provided they get tenants.

4) Tenant 1: The Tampa Bay Lightning move to Seattle. The Lightning were recently bought by a Harvard Biz School Investment Banker Jeffrey Vinik. Investment bankers keep score in dollar signs. And the CEO and minority owner of the Lighting is former Seahawks CEO Tod Liewicki. He knows this area. He’s bringing the team back here to share the spotlight with…

5) Tenant 2: Everyone knows this one. Steve Balmer leads the ownership group of the new NBA team. This happens once David Stern announces his retirement. Once the new guy steps in, he’ll need to make a bold move that gets his regime off on the right foot. And what would make him more popular with owners than to rip out a franchise that is losing money (ie the Hornets) and make the owners a bunch of money by selling it to a big city in a new arena with a Billionaire owner. Easy win.

6) A small thing to consider: The new light rail through Bellevue hits all the major MSFT headquarters, with a mysterious loop through a dead region of Bel-Red. Welcome to the future home of the new stadium.

That’s all I have towards this for now. More ideas to come later…

So What is the Next Xbox/Sounders Sponsorship Worth?

It’s hard to think back to 2008, back before the Seattle Sounders officially existed in anything more than everyone’s imagination.

The Sounders were to become the 16th team in a league with a couple of marquee names in David Beckham and Landon Donovan. LA, DC and Toronto were the only teams to draw more than 18k fans a game.

So when the Sounders announced that Xbox was going to commit $20 Million bucks to the team and the league, it really seemed like – and was – a large sum of money to risk.

But now as we look at the end of the 3rd year of the deal, it’s the Sounders who can’t wait for the contract to expire. Unfortunately for them, they still have 2 more years of the deal. When you look back, the Xbox media team made a heck of a deal.

At $20 Million over 5 years, you are looking at a deal that is only $4 million a year. For that 4 million Xbox got rights to the front of the jerseys, signage in all MLS stadiums, naming rights to Xbox Pitch at Qwest (then Century Link) Field, and TV spots on all broadcasts.

Let’s look at some of the other deals in the MLS (sourced from The Brotherly Game):

  • Red Bulls: Red Bull @ $50 Million total, including stadium naming rights. But they also own the team.
  • Real Salt Lake: Xango @ $5MM per year.
  • Galaxy: Herbalife @ $3.5 – $5MM per year.
  • DC United: Volkswagen @ $3MM per year. (A few other deals are in this range, like Philly/Bimbo, San Jose / Amway.)
  • So if we assume the national value to the Sounders sponsor is roughly the same as the value any other team’s sponsor receives, the delta is in the value at home. So lets say maybe 1/2 – 2/3 the value is in national exposure, and 1/3 – 1/2 is in local. If that’s the case, then the national value is about $2 million for each team.

    So in those terms, the local value of DC United’s sponsorship would be about $1 Million per year. For Salt Lake, it’s $3 Million per year. Now the 38,500 fans per game in Seattle just about doubles everyone but the #2 LA Galaxy at 23,000 per game. So if the Sounders drive 2x more fans than Salt Lake, and 2x the TV impressions, you’d have to estimate the local value is at least $6 Million per year (2x Salt Lake).

    There are probably more scientific ways to figure this out, but we don’t have access to impression volumes, jersey sales and hard stats. And we haven’t included the premium that Xbox pays for being the local guys recruiting employees, and the international value of having the team play across Central America and Mexico, or the fact that they’ve gotten a smoking deal the last 3 years.

    So let’s ballpark a number of $9 Million per year to start the new deal in 2014. ($2 Million National Value, $6 Million Local value, $1 Million Premium.) How does that look?