Horizon, Host: Ted Simons

February 2, 2009

Host: Ted Simons

Cardinals Super Bowl

  • For the first time in their history, the Arizona Cardinals went to the Super Bowl. What kind of an impact did the run have on our economy? Ted Simons talks with Ray Artigue, executive director of the Sports Business MBA program at Arizona State University.
  • Ray Artigue - Executive Director, Sports Business MBA program at Arizona State University's W.P. Carey School of Business
Category: Business/Economy   |   Keywords: Arizona Cardinals,

View Transcript
Ted Simons:
It was one of the wildest Super Bowls ever. After taking the lead with under three minutes left, the Cardinals had saw the dreams of a Lombardi trophy vanish when Santonio Holmes got the touchdown pass for the Steelers with 35 seconds left in the game. The excitement may have generated some dollars with our hurting economy. I'll talk to an expert in sports economics with that but first the Cardinals got a warm welcome home today. [Cheering and applause]

Girl 1:
Yes, yes, I cried like a baby yesterday.

Girl 2:
Welcome home, boys! Whew-hoo!

Ken Whisenhunt:
Wow, wow, this is really special! It's really hard for me to find the words to thank everyone for coming out here today. After playing such a tough game last night and not coming out with a victory, this makes it so special to come home and see our fans support us like this. [Crowd chanting "let's go, Cardinals. Let's go!"]

Kurt Warner:
I can't tell you guys how much I appreciate you guys coming out here supporting us today. Obviously there was disappointed after the game yesterday. I'll tell you what, I couldn't be more proud to be part of a football team, football organization a football community than I was this year here in Arizona. I'll tell you what. I'm so proud -- so proud to call myself a Cardinal! [Cheering and applause]

Ted Simons:
And here to talk about the impact of the Cardinals on the economy is Ray Artigue, the executive director of the sports business MBA program at Arizona State University's W.P. Carey School of Business. Good to have you here. I don't know if we'd get you or anyone else involved with anything sports wise tonight because everyone was exhausted after last night's game.

Ray Artigue:
Indeed. The state collectively just poured their hearts in the contest leading up to it these past two weeks and certainly the four-hour extravaganza that it was unfolding and we came just --

Ted Simons:

Ray Artigue:
-- That close.

Ted Simons:
Sure did. Economic impact of the Cardinals going to the Super Bowl. The economic impact here in Arizona. What is it?

Ray Artigue:
It well, it could be measured so many different ways. Really in the weeks leading up to Super Bowl XLIII, those playoffs games, having Atlanta here and then Philadelphia, games that otherwise wouldn't be played had the Cardinals not been in the playoffs. They bring their fans, their teams, coaches, media and all of that drives room nights, restaurant transactions and it stimulates spending in our marketplace where otherwise it would not take place so that's a boost at a time when we need it most even before we get to Super Bowl Sunday.

Ted Simons:
Is there a difference, a measurable difference -- would there have been a difference if the Cardinals had won the Super Bowl back here in Arizona?

Ray Artigue:
I think that the difference is very, very small. Where it would have been felt most is in merchandise sales. There was so much of that leading up to the Super Bowl game itself. And everybody loves a winner. It's the best marketing strategy out there. Had the Cardinals won yesterday, you wouldn't be able to find a piece of merchandise and they'd be continuing to manufacture it and send it into this marketplace selling it quite easily so those kinds of things are driven by victories.

Ted Simons:
In terms of numbers that could be measured, compare and contrast the Cardinals going to the Super Bowl with the Diamondbacks winning the World Series.

Ray Artigue:
Well, again, the World Series is a situation where the Diamondbacks played four of those seven games here in this marketplace. The other thing is we've got fans of the Yankees in that case coming to the market here. And so the Super Bowl is one of those events that take place on a neutral site, and it's not going to impact the participants of the game quite like the World Series or the NBA finals.

Ted Simons:
I would guess the Cardinals going to the Super Bowl this year was nowhere near the local economic impact of having the Super Bowl here last year.

Ray Artigue:
Well, that's right. Last year, we estimated that the gross economic impact of Super Bowl XLII was just a little bit over $500 million and that’s incredible. No single sporting event generates that kind of impact. So, no. This year, it's some percentage of that, but again, spending and positive impact that wouldn't have taken place had the Cardinals not played over these last several weeks and this past weekend in Florida.

Ted Simons:
I remember in years' past when we were still trying to get sports teams out here, one of the arguments always was, every time you open a sports section and there's a story about a game involving the Phoenix this or the Arizona that the by line says "Phoenix" and "Arizona" and that in and of itself is the promotion. Does that line of thinking still hold up? What are some of the ancillary benefits of having professional football teams, a, and successful professional teams.

Ray Artigue:
There’s a benefit to that. Yesterday I was post card sent around the world for Phoenix, Arizona. Arizona's blazing on the jerseys. The state flag. That's the kind of exposure via the broadcast that all the chambers of commerce combined couldn't afford to purchase in terms of exposing this marketplace around the country and the world. Now that impact is something that can't be measured immediately. It's indirect and it will unfold over months and really years as people maybe come into this marketplace for a vacation because they saw the blue skies and the mountains and some of these vignettes that NBC played over the four or five hours. They may come out for a conference or business meeting. In some rare cases, even relocate a business here because they were here for one of the playoff games, again from Atlanta or Philadelphia and it may have been a first-time exposure for them to our wonderful valley.

Ted Simons:
To that extent, do you think the FBR Open and spring training, how do you quantify what that means when people look at that golf tournament and they're in snowy, you know, in western Pennsylvania, for example, and they look at that golf tournament and go, gee, that doesn't look so bad?

Ray Artigue:
Absolutely. Yesterday on CBS, people, again, seeing our blue skies and the mountains and the trees swaying and people in short sleeves out there in the TPC enjoying this great weather. That does have an impact and it becomes -- it becomes a marketing tool for our conventions and visitors' bureau, the chambers of commerce. Spring training preceded much of everything else that we're talking about many decades ago bringing people out to the valley watching their team from a city where they reside and coming here to stay for weeks on end generating positive kinds of economic impact.

Ted Simons:
Ok, last question very quickly here, um, as far as an economic impact, how do you measure that? What do you do to measure the numbers?

Ray Artigue:
It’s all about room nights, how long people are here, how much their average daily spend is and very much becomes simple multiplication then to see how many people spent how much money while they were here and people, again, that normally wouldn't be here. That generated interest, excitement, exposure and spending.

Ted Simons:
I wish we could have won the doggone thing. Seems like the valley won any way. Thank you for joining us.

Ray Artigue:
You’re welcome.

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