Pay Ball!

How much do you know about the business side of sports?


The Major League Baseball season begins this month, and it's a sure bet that along with scores and player profiles, the sports pages will be filled with plenty of business stories. Topics ranging from players' salaries to stadium financing to television rights have become part and parcel of sports coverage. See how much you know about the business side of sports.

1) The 1920 deal that sent Babe Ruth from the Red Sox to the Yankees for $100,000 in cash (plus other considerations) is a well-known piece of baseball lore. But how did Ruth's salary in that first year with the Yankees (adjusted for inflation) compare with the current league minimum?
A. 54%
B. 101%
C. 583%
D. 1,539%

2) What NFL star recounted in his autobiography how he and his manager once followed a game at the Polo Grounds by "opening up our hotel room to all callers, [where] we collected [tens of thousands of dollars] in certified checks for endorsement of a sweater, shoe, cap, doll, and soft drink.… We also signed a movie contract that day."?
A. Frank Gifford
B. Fran Tarkenton
C. Jim Brown
D. Red Grange

3) Of course some afternoons prove anything but lucrative. What recent activity is said to have potentially cost top NFL prospect Andre Smith "millions of dollars" according to one insider?
A. A motor-vehicle infraction
B. A bad workout
C. An appearance on a Mexican soap opera
D. A comment made on a sports-radio talk show

4) Not all sports-finance stories involve player salaries. JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America recently made news when they extended a $200 million credit line to what sports entity?
B. U.S. Olympic Committee
C. Women's Professional Soccer
D. World Series of Poker

5) Ratio of 2008 television ad spending on NASCAR's premier Sprint Cup circuit to the NFL:
A. 1:10
B. 1:6
C. 1:1
D. 2:1

6) While being an athlete will not land you on the Forbes 400 list, being in this sports-oriented business will put you at #31:
A. Multiteam owner
B. Sports agent
C. Broadcaster
D. Equipment maker

7) Of the 10 highest-paid female athletes, the number who participate in a sport other than tennis or golf:
A. 0
B. 1
C. 2
D. 3

Answers: 1-A; 2-D; 3-B; 4-A; 5-B; 6-D; 7-B


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