The Recession: Coming To A Franchise Near You

Bleacher ReportCorrespondent IDecember 19, 2008

With our economy in the midst of a recession, there is panic nationwide concerning the future of the automotive industry, gas prices, and other consumer goods.

Car dealerships, shopping malls, and other companies are experiencing severe declination—resulting in cutbacks and layoffs.

However, it’s not just retail outlets and other publicly traded corporations that are feeling the squeeze.  Professional sports franchises are also beginning to cut back.

Prior to the start of the regular season, the NBA announced that 80 jobs were going to be eliminated—about 9 percent of their US staff. 

If every player in the NBA were to give 3 percent of their salary back to the league, you’d have damn near close to the amount of money needed to pay those eighty salaries.

Recently, the NFL declared that 150 jobs would be cut, and the MLB has laid off 20 of its Internet division employees.

Aside from layoffs, it should be noted that travel costs have been reduced as well as corporate outings. (See AIG)

The major cause for the recent job cuts isn’t necessarily from lack of ticket or apparel sales, but sponsorships.

Sponsorships are becoming less and less distributed—once a lucrative opportunity for both corporations and sports franchises, has become minimal.

You’re going to see less and less of the big-time players in the Superbowl commercials that you’re used to seeing.  

No company in their right mind is going to pay $2 million for 30 seconds of air time in a recession.

However, it is rather ironic that the New York Yankees, just last week, coughed up nearly $250 million for two pitchers, C.C. Sabathia and A.J. Burnett—that’s a quarter of a billion dollars.

Major League Baseball cuts 20 jobs—total salaries combined which are probably equal to or less than C.C. Sabathia’s paycheck after his first game.

It just sickens me to see the Yankees throw around this kind of money.  They haven’t won a playoff series since 2004.

Why don’t Sabathia and Burnett give something back to the league and the economy, and give those people their salaries.  

I’d love to see how Sabathia uses his $160 million.

The Red Sox, believed to be the front-runners in the Mark Teixeira sweepstakes, recently pulled out of the race after hearing about other teams’ bids to the first basemen.

That’s the effect of a recession.  A top-tier franchise in all of sports pulls out of nabbing the premier fielding free agent.

While the tides have turned, and the Red Sox recently hopping back into the bidding, it’s going to take a deal near $200 million. 

What is Mark Teixeira going to do with $200 million?

Maybe it’s just me.  These guys are famous.  They make in five years what some people will never make in their lifetime—and yet they complain.

But, if they’re going to come out asking for the contracts that the media reports, with the current state of this economy—that’s just greed.

Nothing more. Nothing less.

With 2009 nearing, there’s a lot of healing to do.  With the recent loans to the automotive industry and a new president taking the reigns, who knows what this next year will entail.  

Whether the leagues will continue to cutback or franchises will begin layoffs, something’s gotta give.

I don’t know how much worse it can get, but I do know one thing—I’m not too pumped for this year’s Superbowl.