By my estimate, Las Vegas gains as much as $400 million from gaining the Oakland Raiders as the Las Vegas Raiders, and Oakland loses that much, in a transfer of marketing wealth.
Oakland News Now – First NFL Sunday Since 1982 Where Oakland As A City Is Missing – Loses Millions From Raiders Move – vlog by Zennie62 YouTube. OaklandNewsNow.com is the original blog post for this content.
First NFL Sunday Since 1982 Where Oakland As A City Is Missing – Loses Millions From Raiders Move
The video-blog, or “vlog” above points to a generally-not-cosidered take when the subject of the economic impact of the relocation of a sports team is discussed: marketing for the once-host-city.
This occurred to me because the 2020 NFL Season was the first one where Oakland, California, once the home of the Raiders, is not part of the nation’s pop-culture attention and conversation. But I refer to the 2021 Season because it is the first one with fans, and all of the social media activity that comes with them, at stadiums. in other words, a normal NFL Season. To see the difference between Oakland Raiders and Las Vegas Raiders from a name, and impact, and marketing view, and in search of a data grab to prove my point, I turned to Google Trends.
Google Trends allows us to see the patterns in demand for a particular search term. In other words, how many times the words were looked up on Google, when, and speculatively, why. Generally, the Raiders were associated with “Oakland Raiders,” but have been called “Las Vegas Raiders” more, and starting with the 2020 NFL Season. Let’s take a look at what Google Trends shows us in a comparison between “Oakland Raiders” and “Las Vegas Raiders”.
The photo and the interactive image from Google News represent dramatic change starting in the fall of 2020, when the Raiders first played their games in Las Vegas, at Allegiant Stadium. Those contests were without fans, and so the social media content produced from traveling to, tailgating at, and being at the games in the stadium, was lost. But, the Raiders were in Las Vegas, and no spike more represents that fact that the one for September 6th – 12th 2020: when the Raiders hosted the New Orleans Saints and Drew Brees on Sunday Night Football. That was registered as an “18” on Google Trends, and no where near the celebrity search levels of over 70 enjoyed when the team was called The Oakland Raiders as recently as the 2019 NFL Season.
While the reasons for the difference are without official or research explanation at this point, and may be related to the Pandemic, the shift in discussion from Oakland Raiders to Las Vegas Raiders was in motion. This year 2021, we’re seeing a sign that the spike may eventually be greater.
If you note the set of spikes for August – September 2021, that’s related to preseason games played both in Las Vegas, and for the most part, away from Las Vegas. They almost match the 2020 high related to the Sunday Night Football Game. But on Monday, we have the Raiders hosting the Ravens in the first Monday Night Football Game of the 2021 Season. The pattern suggested an even larger spike when the game is played. Overall, the spikes are still lower than the year before, because that was the Raiders first year in Las Vegas. Now, it may be that interest in the team overall is reducing, but we need a full season to determine that. What’s clear is that Oakland is dropping from view, and that’s the concern of this post.
In 1999, when I was working to bring the Super Bowl to Oakland, I read an estimate that a Super Bowl Game gave $25 million in free advertising spending to the city that hosted it. Well, those cities are places that have NFL teams. So, let’s say that we try and figure out what the free advertising spending an NFL Home City gets from its team, using that view as a basis.
Lets take that $25 million and divide it by the 32 NFL teams – that comes to $781,250 of free advertising spending for the NFL Home City per NFL contest. So, let’s multiply that times the number of regular season games, and that comes to 17 games for this 2021 NFL Season – and we get $13,281,250 for Las Vegas, and just for hosting the Raiders, which are called The Las Vegas Raiders.
So, Oakland lost that much in the same free advertising spending an NFL Home City by not being an NFL Host City. That is reflected in lost images once shown of various Oakland landmarks like Lake Merritt and the Mormon Temple. It robs us of cultural segments about Oakland that have been seen by NFL viewers nationwide in the past. And all of that is for one year. Over ten years, that translates to $132,812,500. And over the terms of a bond issue for a stadium subsidy, which is commonly 30 years or 40 years, that comes to $398,437, 500 for 30 years, and 531,250,000 over a 40-year-period. In the contest of the 30-year $642 million Clark County Stadium Bond Issue of 2018, that means the return “pays for” 62.06 percent of the bond issue by providing, again, free advertising spending an NFL Home City – marketing money Las Vegas does not have to spend. Moreover, it comes at a time when Las Vegas needs the exposure.
To digress for a moment, Las Vegas’ economy has been severely damaged by the Pandemic. Tourist flows into Las Vegas from international destinations, and which have represented at least 13 percent of the total annual visitor traffic, have been all but wiped out. Total visitor rates of over 40 million were cut to just 19 million in 2020. For a town that’s driven by tourism, that hit is too much to take. Moreover, while Las Vegas is coming back, it’s still, by estimates, about 10 percent off. The official unemployment rate is 9.4 percent for July 2021. But the underemployment rate, defined “as U-6, or total unemployed, plus all marginally attached workers, plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all marginally attached workers” according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is 17.9 percent. That means one of every 5 in Nevada, and by extension the economic engine of Las Vegas and Clark County, is under-employed, and taking some work just to get by. Of all part of the United States, only LA County, New York City, and Hawaii have higher rates of under-employment.
Another Impact of NFL Relocation To The City And To The City The Team Left
So, as you can see, NFL team relocation has another impact not considered: on city marketing. The impact is great and regardless of the city. Moreover, it points to a kind of moving of a market from one city to another – that’s a new finding.
Consider that economic impacts are generally concerned with just employment production. Never is marketing considered, and that’s even with the multi-billion-dollar advertising industry. So, obviously, the entire economic impact focus with respect to NFL teams has not been done correctly. We often forget that, as this proves, the NFL team itself has its own economic climate that it brings to a city. This post proves it.
That fact does not stop at NFL Teams, it is true for NBA and MLB Teams too, although the degree to which is to be researched. For example, what’s the impact of the Golden State Warriors moving from Oakland to San Francisco? It would seem harder to measure, given the team name. But consider the number of times Oakland has been attached to the organization in media accounts, and the picture looks different.
Take this Google news comparison of Golden State Warriors Oakland vs Golden State Warriors San Francisco, and from Google News:
Overall, the differences since 2004 would appear to be small, but look at where the blue spikes, for Oakland, overtake the red spikes, for San Francisco. They are particularly noticeable in 2015 through 2017, which represents the heart of the Warriors NBA Finals Championship success, and games played in Oakland, at what was called Oracle Arena (which achieved Google Trends celebrity status mark of 100 in search in June of 2016). But the point is, having the NBA Finals in Oakland had a noticeable marketing impact. A fact buttressed by the fact that ESPN held its national broadcasts at Lake Chalet Restaurant at Lake Merritt every time the Warriors were in the NBA Finals.
What If The Warriors Were Called The Oakland Warriors?
The big question is this: what would the impact have been if the Warriors had been named “The Oakland Warriors”? Whatever the answer, the monetary result should be banked for safe keeping should the Warriors elect to change the name to “San Francisco Warriors”. Given the findings of the NFL example, the damage to Oakland could be in the 100s of millions of dollars of lost free advertising that San Francisco would enjoy. The question would be “Did the Warriors do that change because Oakland is regarded as a black city?” The action would certainly be regarded as racist, and it should be. Hopefully, the Warriors don’t do it – enough damage has been done as it is.
In Closing: A Time For Change In How We Look At The Economic Impact Of Pro Sports Teams
From this, and as I have stated, we need to change how we look at the economic impact of sports teams on cities. It’s more than just direct employment impact: marketing plays a giant role too. Moreover, it can be argued that improved marketing drives better employment and higher investment dollars. But, in total, the body of research on this is way too small and really non-existent – that must change.
Also, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, in particular, should rethink her constant commenting on how she’s reluctant to spend public money on professional sports. It’s quite obvious from this research that her view, and those of people who call themselves “progressive” have cost Oakland almost a half-billion in lost economic wealth. (And I am a Democrat who’s views are, for the most part, progressive, but I’m not concerned with scoring points with any group, just getting our the truth.) And that does not even factor in the possible move of the Oakland Athletics to Las Vegas.
Note from Zennie62Media’s Zennie62 YouTube and Oakland News Now Today Blog SF Bay Area: this video-blog post demonstrates the full and live operation of the latest updated version of an experimental Zennie62Media , Inc. mobile media video-blogging system network that was launched June 2018. This is a major part of Zennie62Media , Inc.’s new and innovative approach to the production of news media. What we call “The Third Wave of Media”. The uploaded video is from a vlogger with the Zennie62 on YouTube Partner Channel, then uploaded to and formatted automatically at the Oakland News Now site and Zennie62-created and owned social media pages. The overall objective is smartphone-enabled, real-time, on the scene reporting of news, interviews, observations, and happenings anywhere in the World and within seconds and not hours. Now, news is reported with a smartphone: no heavy and expensive cameras or even a laptop are necessary. The secondary objective is faster, and very inexpensive media content news production and distribution. We have found there is a disconnect between post length and time to product and revenue generated. With this, the problem is far less, though by no means solved. Zennie62Media is constantly working to improve the system network coding and seeks interested content and media technology partners.
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