Bulls & Bears: Top horse American Pharoah bull of the week

 

Tom Mayenknecht hosts The Sport Market on TSN 1040 and TSN Radio, where he regularly rates and debates the Bulls & Bears of sports business. He reviews the major winners and losers of the past week every Saturday

 
 
 
 
Tom Mayenknecht, host of The Sport Market on TSN 1040 and the TSN Radio network, regularly rates and debates the Bulls & Bears of the sports business.
 

Tom Mayenknecht, host of The Sport Market on TSN 1040 and the TSN Radio network, regularly rates and debates the Bulls & Bears of the sports business.

Photograph by: Vancouver Sun graphics, .

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VANCOUVER — Sorting out the major winners and losers of this week — with a bottom-line twist — in the world of sports:

BULLS OF THE WEEK

It’s American Pharoah — not the proper spelling of “Pharaoh” — and he’s a horse, not a bull, but the three-year-old colt from Kentucky is doing a lot to pump up the horse racing sector in North America this weekend. After wins at both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, American Pharoah becomes the latest in a long line of contenders looking to sweep the American Triple Crown of horse racing for the first time since Affirmed in 1978. It’s a slump that defies statistical probability and has seen 12 horses fail in 36 years. Most recently, California Chrome last year missed on its chance to join horse racing royalty alongside Affirmed, Seattle Slew and Secretariat; the last three to sweep in the 1970s. That chance for Pharoah to make history is what will drive strong TV ratings for today’s Belmont Stakes in New York City, good news for NBC in the United States and TSN here in Canada. It’s true that the horse racing industry is only a shell of its former self in scale and popularity, but Triple Crown candidates are extremely good for business in everything from betting volume to media coverage. If American Pharoah, which has earned $3.73 million in prize money to date, wins today, it means an additional bonus payment of $4 million on the breeding rights sold this year for $9.8 million.

BEARS OF THE WEEK

Not sure what was the greater travesty — that embattled FIFA president Sepp Blatter was able to stand for election for a fifth term last week or that he resigned four days into it on Tuesday? Either way, his political clout finally fell as low as his reputational stock and with his pledge to resign within the year, he’s thrown FIFA into a state of limbo in the midst of the worst scandal in its history. It’s the right play for Blatter, since there was simply no plausible scenario in which he could have retained power through his fifth term. With more skeletons in the closet of FIFA and a U.S. attorney general committed to going the distance on a series of further investigations, including the bone-headed processes and outcomes of the bids by Russia and Qatar to win World Cup hosting rights for 2018 and 2022, this story has many legs. The brand bleed was reaching the point where global sponsors, such as VISA, were considering exits on their long-term agreements with FIFA. Blatter is, of course, not the only bear in this sport business soap opera. In a culture of entitlement and lack of accountability, far too many soccer leaders were on the take. How does FIFA regain the public trust? In this corner, reform is not possible without change at all levels of soccer, where governance structure and decision-making processes tend to lag behind the best practices. Yet if the IOC can modernize under its new president Thomas Bach, even FIFA could come out of this stronger in the years to come.

Tom Mayenknecht is host of The Sport Market on TSN 1040 and TSN Radio, where he regularly rates and debates the Bulls & Bears of sports business. He reviews the major winners and losers of the past week every Saturday in The Vancouver Sun.

 
 
 
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Tom Mayenknecht, host of The Sport Market on TSN 1040 and the TSN Radio network, regularly rates and debates the Bulls & Bears of the sports business.
 

Tom Mayenknecht, host of The Sport Market on TSN 1040 and the TSN Radio network, regularly rates and debates the Bulls & Bears of the sports business.

Photograph by: Vancouver Sun graphics, .

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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