Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Holiday Hoops

The 41st Holiday Invitational Tournament is underway in Raleigh. The boys (20 teams) are playing at Broughton HS in Raleigh and the girls (8 squads) are encamped at Cary Academy through Saturday.

After four decades this has become one of the top prep tourneys in the country, and local ACC fans turn out to watch Duke, Carolina and NCSU recruits on the hardwood. The atmosphere is electric for the evening games in a jam-packed Holiday Gymnasium at Broughton.

Friday night in the Broughton HS gym. Photo by Bryan Hanks, tournament media coordinator.
Back in October MaxPreps/CBS Sports named the Holiday Invitational a MUST SEE prep tournament. 

Everything you could possibly want to know, from brackets to blogging, from game stories to video clips, can be found at our website. 

As Capitol Broadcasting Co. assumes the event's title sponsorship, I want to publicly thank PNC Bank and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of NC for signing on as advertisers. They appreciate prep sports as a grassroots proposition - kids playing sports, families, their schools and neighborhoods. And this tournament is a significant holiday event in our community that generates $50K in college scholarships each spring. We're all proud to play our part! See ya in the gym...

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Top Talkers at 99.9 The Fan

The sports radio business is exploding! CBS and NBC are rolling out radio networks in the new year to rival "the mothership" ESPN. Fox and Yahoo! are in the business, too.

Even though we have these national brands in the space, the best sports talk radio is LOCAL. And I proudly report that our own Adam Gold and Joe Ovies, heard from 3-7pm weekdays on 99.9 The Fan, have been named among the Top Thirty Local Sports Talkers in the country. The honor comes from Radio Ink magazine in its current issue.

Adam and Joe weighed in at #26 between stations in Tucson and Omaha. They are celebrating with Santa...

Faces made for radio: (from left) Adam, Santa, Joe 
and their producer, Shannon Penn. 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Season's Greetings from Tobacco Town

Way far back in the dark ages (30-40 years ago) two gigantic tobacco companies were rollin' two major cigarette brands in the Bull City - Lucky Strikes and Chesterfields.

Today, it's hard to believe these holiday magazine ads were ever considered legit marketing. 

The old tobacco ads with Hollywood leading man Ronald Reagan were dredged up during his presidency, but I did not realize that Santa Claus had been so terribly compromised.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Sports Radio Growth Curve

The Raleigh-Durham radio market is ranked 42nd in the country, but 99.9 The Fan is in the Top Ten among sports stations in the U.S.

Capitol Broadcasting Co.'s sports-talk FM is tied for ninth place with stations in Baltimore and Pittsburgh. Take a look at the list of October Arbitron ratings - researched by Clay Travis for the Outkick the Coverage website.

Even though our community's only major league sport is on hold due to NHL labor-management strife, college sports sustains us. The Triangle is unique in that regard with NC State, UNC and Duke within its boundaries. (And it's getting even better now that NC Central has moved up to Division I.)

I compiled these stats a few seasons ago, but they remain relevant:
  • 72,000 students are enrolled at the three ACC universities in our market. 
  • The schools employ more than 80,000 citizens.
  • Fold in the local membership of booster clubs and alumni associations and more than a quarter million people maintain strong ties to one of the three universities. 
  • More than 1.7 million people attend a college sports event in the Triangle annually. 
Regarding the last factoid, that's like recruiting a mid-tier NFL, NBA and MLS franchise to Raleigh-Durham! This is a great market for sports, and its energy comes from college sports.

Still, I wish the NHL player lock-out would end this month. I recommend our talk show host Mike Maniscalco's blog on the subject.