The Big Ten has not only grabbed two more teams to get to 14 for the 2014 season, but it has also started to expand its postseason sphere of influence. Monday, in a release on the conference's web site, the Big Ten announced that it had agreed to terms with the New York Yankees and the New Era Pinstripe Bowl, replacing the Big 12 in the contest.
However, for the Pinstripe Bowl, the Big Ten does more than just add another site, it helps the conference grab another foothold in the highly coveted New York City marketplace.
Jim Delany's desire to tap into the nation's biggest media market is pretty clear. He's added the Rutgers Scarlet Knights in an effort to buy his way into the arena. Now, as the Big Ten commissioner sealed this deal, he was at Yankees Stadium throwing out the first pitch before joining the YES Network to discuss the partnership.
The New York advancements by the Big Ten are quite clear, and the game in Yankee Stadium is a point scored by the conference based in Chicago. After locking down the home base, the league is looking to take over the country, including the Big Apple.
Midwest roots with a New York state of mind, if you will.
It makes sense. The conference has its home area sewn up. There are no split markets and no competition for viewers or opposing leagues pushing into its backyard. The Big Ten has the Midwest locked down, and now it is time to expand, starting with the push east.
Getting into Washington D.C. and Maryland is nice, but New York is the crown jewel. Ask the ACC's John Swofford who, through the addition of Syracuse and possibly getting the ACC's basketball tournament into Madison Square Garden, is trying to get to New York as well.
Swofford's league is also rumored to be the top candidate to play opposite the Big Ten in the Pinstripe Bowl, as Greg Logan at Newsday points out.
In 2012, the SEC expanded into Texas and Missouri. The Big Ten has now countered and part of that buck back is the lure of the New York City market. Adding the Pinstripe Bowl and the Yankees as a partner is going to help the Big Ten Network elbow its way into the marketplace.