Bulls & Bears: Subban donation is a game-changer for sports philanthropy

 

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.

 
 
 
 
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, .

Subban

Bulls of the Week

The grand stage of professional sport is generally defined by wins and losses. The business of sport is often measured by the metrics of ticket sales, broadcast ratings, merchandise and concessions sales. Overall revenues and expenses such as player payrolls and the costs of stadium or arena operations square off in driving enterprise value for sport franchises. This is the tangible currency of sport. Yet the intangibles of sport - everything from its entertainment value and capacity to generate civic pride and charitable fund-raising -- are where the real magic is. That's why star Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban is our Bull-of-the-Week for what he's done to raise the bar of athlete philanthropy. After last summer signing an 8-year, $72 million contract extension with the Habs, it was announced this week that he's donated $10 million to the Montreal Children's Hospital. It's the largest single donation ever publicly acknowledged by a professional athlete. At 13.8% of his gross salary and about 10% of his overall earnings over the next eight seasons -- somewhere around 25% of his after tax income -- the generous gesture has the potential to inspire athletes in all sports when it comes to how much they give back to their communities; both in time and in money. I've wondered aloud who'd be the first highly-paid pro athlete to step up into the rarified stratosphere represented by philanthropists such as Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, American businessmen who are openly encouraging their wealthy brethren to give back half of their earnings and net worth to charitable causes. Subban is certainly not the first athlete to make a difference by giving back in this way but the sheer size and round number of his $10 million hospital donation is a game changer for sport philanthropy and a bullish move by a well-paid and privileged citizen. As we like to say, it's a golden example of giving and winning.

Kane

Bears of the Week

John McDonough has made very few mistakes in his eight-year tenure as the President & Chief Executive Officer of the Chicago Blackhawks. He's deftly overseen overall franchise operations as the Blackhawks have gone from basement dwellers playing before 8,000 fans and tumbleweeds at the United Center to three Stanley Cup championships in six years and the highest attendance in the NHL throughout that time. McDonough deserves much of the credit for the many brand wins the revitalized Original Six team has scored in moving up the Forbes Magazine NHL rankings to become the fourth-richest franchise in hockey, valued at $825 million in 2014. Yet Thursday was not a great day for the Blackhawks organization and their reputation as one of the premier organizations in North American professional sport. There is simply no rationale that can justify allowing star forward Patrick Kane to attend training camp before some form of conclusion to an investigation - and what appear to be settlement negotiations -- pertaining to allegations of sexual assault. The legal standard is surely innocent until proven guilty. The ethical standard, however, is at least clear the air.

Listen to The Sport Market on TSN 1040 AM Saturdays,7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Bulls & Bears airs at 9 a.m., followed by Weekend Extra with Sun Sports at 9:30 a.m. Follow Tom Mayenknecht at: Twitter.com/thesportmarket

 
 
 
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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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