A few weeks ago, I was very intrigued by a notification I got on my phone about Adam Silver wanting to change the structure of the NBA Play-offs to include the top 16 teams overall, not top 8 in each division. He said (I stole this from sbnation.com):
“Ultimately we want to see your best teams in the playoffs,” Silver said. “And there is an unbalance and a certain unfairness. There is a proposal where the division winners would all automatically go into the playoffs and then you’d seed the next 10 best teams. I think that’s the kind of proposal we need to look at. There are travel issues of course, but in this day in age every team of course has their own plane, travels charter. I don’t think the discussion should end there. And as I’ve said, my first year I was studying a lot of these issues and year two is time to take action. It’s something I’m going to look at closely with the competition committee. I do think it’s an area where we need to make a change.”
I thought it was a cool idea… For about a millisecond. Then I remembered, I am a sports economist and I can, pretty quickly, figure out how I feel by running the number (yes, you read that correctly – numbers dictate my feelings). Continue Reading
Ah, variable pricing. The never-ending possibilities. Let’s talk about it.
Variable pricing is when prices change based on a region, location, date or other aspects. This is also known as ‘real-time pricing.’
I find it miraculous that teams brag about not changing their ticket prices. When they do this, they’re trying to convince the public that they are trying to make attendance affordable for everyone. Anyone who has been to a game knows that’s not true – the price of food is ABSURD (and we all know that even Andrew Demetriou thinks so).
The point I’m making is: if you’re trying to make it affordable… why don’t you try lowering your ticket prices?
Recently, we talked (well, I talked and you rolled your eyes) about the Americanisation of Australian sport. I said I didn’t think it was a good idea because it’s taking something so pure (for lack of a better word) and commercializing it. Sure, this happens all the time but in this case, not only is it sad to watch it’s also unsustainable.
For starters, Australia isn’t big enough. It’s big, , sure, but in comparison to the US it’s just not big enough. There are about 22 million people in Australia (give or take a baby or two). The US has about 315 million. That’s… heaps. There are a few implications for this but two big ones.
Winter Olympics have never been my jam. Maybe it’s because I’m from Hawaii and I used to be a gymnast when I was younger (if you can call it that) or maybe it’s because I hate being cold and (not-so-) silently judge everyone who voluntarily spends more time than absolutely necessary in the snow. I don’t know. But I’ve never been that keen on them. (But Boyfriend loves them so what can I do?)
But as an economics major, I don’t see snowboarding and bob-sledding anymore. I see a mega-event. And economists have mixed emotions about those. Easy there, don’t start begging – I’ll tell you why.
I’ll give you the cliff notes version (if you want the extended version, you know all you have to do is ask).
I am a picky person. When I want something, I want THAT EXACT THING and nothing else will suffice regardless of cost or location or sheer difficulty. It’s useless trying to get me to settle for something else because I don’t want it. I want the other thing. This applies to clothes, shoes, food, people and naps – with very few exceptions. I am, essentially, my supplier’s dream customer and their competitor’s worst nightmare because I do not except substitutes. And, apparently, I’m not the only one.
Most AFL fans are like this as well.
That’s right folks, today we’re talking about substitution. Ah, Economics.
Something has just occurred to me: many of you don’t know what sports economics is. And I go on about it – A LOT.
I did tell you that this year (well, this blog year) I would make this blog more about economics and to start, we’ll do a rundown of what sport economics is.
Economics as an area of study (Smith College, REPRESENT!) focuses on the production, consumption and allocation of resources. Usually, that means money in exchange for goods or services. The same goes for sports economics although, ‘resources’ is a bit more specific – primarily those resources are games, players, fans, coaches, sponsorships… and everything else you think of when you think of sports. Sport economics uses the principles learned in general economics (usually microeconomics) and apply them to sport.
Let’s get down to business and start with the 10 principles of economics and how they apply to sport, and what I am interested in.