The Upside Newsletter
The Upside Newsletter
🔥Upside Chat: Dr Ron Dick, Duquesne University, Ex NBA/NCAA exec on Aaron Judge's New Contract, the FTX Scandal, the Qatar Soccer World Cup, the Super Bowl predictions and More.

🔥Upside Chat: Dr Ron Dick, Duquesne University, Ex NBA/NCAA exec on Aaron Judge's New Contract, the FTX Scandal, the Qatar Soccer World Cup, the Super Bowl predictions and More.

This week we had the honor to interview again Dr. Ron Dick, associate professor of sports marketing at Duquesne University in the school of business. Ron also worked for 20 years in sports, including 15 years in the NBA with the Sixers and the Nets, and then five years in the NCAA.

📝Show Notes: Through this interview, we touched on Aaron Judge's mega contract with the Yankees, the NBA interest in adding an NBA team in Mexico. We also touched on Brittney Griner being release from Russia, the FTX / crypto scandal with now athletes like Shaq or Brady bring being sued and part of a major lawsuit. Lastly we talked about the 2026 Qatar Soccer World Cup and his favorites to win the Super Bowl.

🚀Best Quotes: Here’s some of the key discussion points and best quotes from our conversation with Ron:

  • On Aaron Judge's new mega contract with the Yankees:

    • “I think we have to go back to spring training of 2022 roughly 11 months ago when he turned down the same type of deal with the Yankees for eight or nine years. But the money was at $213.5M million. So he said, look, let's just get the free agency. Let me create other options. His agent gave him great advice, and if he had a bad year, then that offer might have been rescinded for the $213.5M”.

    • “ So I think there's a lesson for all of us to learn in there. All things being equal, bet on yourself. Believe in yourself because if you don't believe in yourself, nobody else will. So then Aaron went on to hit 62 home runs and he passed Roger Maris for the most home runs in a single season in the American League”.

    • “He did a lot of the heavy lifting for the team offensively. And then the other thing is that he flirted with the San Francisco Giants. He looked at all his options. They made a very attractive offer and he decided to stay with the Yankees when they bumped it up to this number”.

    • “And I think he has a real sense of history. He knows the Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, and Mickey Mantle era. He knows what it's like to be a Yankee, and let's be honest, they're going to spend money. He's always gonna be in the playoff hunt. He's always gonna be in the World Series hunt with a team like the Yankees”.

  • On the NBA interest in adding an NBA team in Mexico:

    • “I think it makes complete sense from a traveling standpoint. If you look historically at it one of the last places that we explored in the United States in the 48 states was Miami and Orlando. And then of course, right around that same time the hotbed of basketball in North Carolina, we came in with the Hornets and then the Minneapolis Lakers moved to Los Angeles years ago. We put a team in Minneapolis and St. Paul area. So where else can we go? In 1995-1996, we went into Vancouver. And then we also went into Toronto. Vancouver became the Memphis Grizzlies”.

    • “And I remember that when you go into these different countries, one of the things you have to really keep your eye on is the exchange rate (..) There was a famous meeting with the owner of the Vancouver Grizzlies and he said, look, I just lost 40 million last year, and this is when 40 million was a lot of money. And the other owner's like, how in the world could you possibly lose $40 million? The TV deal alone would cover that”.

    • “And he said": I'm taking in discounted Canadian dollars at the door. Through ticket sales and other revenue streams, including the local TV deal. And I'm paying the players in something that's worth twice as much as my dollar. And, I have to pay them in US dollars. And the owners are like: oh, okay. We see the exchange rates are killing you. So he moved to Memphis, Tennessee”.

    • “So we have to make sure the whole peso thing works out well for Mexico. But as far as traveling, that's very convenient. I mean, that's a fertile area to grow your product. We know that the NFL has dabbled in there. They've had the Cowboys in particular and they seem to like to play some games there, preseason or regular season games most recently”.

    • “So yeah, Mexico's the next big thing. We're not gonna get into the whole build a wall thing and all that political stuff that happened, but yeah, we'll just fly right over and in and we're gonna have a team there. There's no question”.

  • On Brittney Griner being release from Russia:

    • “Britney Griner is someone that I'm sure is thrilled. And her significant other is thrilled to have her back here, but at the same time this wasn't a very good deal as far as the damage that Viktor Bout did. His nickname is the Merchant of Death. He truly was a big time arms dealer. A lot of people were murdered because of this guy. I don't think we can say there's rehabilitation that took place. So I just hope that that doesn't repeat itself”.

    • “It's wonderful to have her back. I doubt she'll ever play in Russia or maybe any other countries (..) I hope there's a lesson to be learned for all of us that when it comes to travel around the world you have to know the customs and the laws and the rules of the countries that you enter. And you have to follow them as we're all visitors when we go to these other countries”.

    • “And I know she said she hastily packed her bags and everything and didn't know the oil was in there but you we have to be a little more thorough and attention to detail when we do this”.

  • On the FTX / crypto scandal with now athletes like Shaq or Brady bring being sued and part of a major lawsuit:

    • “So there are a couple things about it. The person, Kevin O'Leary, who describes himself as Mr. Wonderful. Some of our listeners might know him from the Shark Tank. I saw an interview he did”.

    • “It looked like it was in Washington DC in which his feeling was, and the information he's getting is that two of the top shareholders had a disagreement about something to do with the company and one of them sabotaged the situation. And one of them cashed out all their chips, right?”.

    • “They cashed in all their shares, put it to the sideline, and then leaked out some information about some of the way that it was bundled with crypto, the Bitcoin. And it was a smaller percentage of Bitcoin than they thought. And it wasn't turning a profit like it was all propped up. People were buying it back to blow the price up”.

    • “And this is why I've always been skeptical of that situation. And I have never purchased anything. It even resembles Bitcoin because I don't know what's behind it. And I don't think a lot of people do know 100% what's behind it. So the bottom line is that there's a lot to unpack there”.

    • “I don't see how the players are guilty. They probably have been spokespeople for the product. They probably gave them some of the product. And some people have accused Kevin O'Leary to be that type of guy too. They call them paid hacks. It is the term that I heard. And there's gonna be a mountain of litigation that's gonna come out of this FTX scandal. So that's all I know about it. It's an ugly situation. Again, the small guy always gets hurt and if you're not sure about what's wrapped up in these mutual funds or these stocks or these bundles of stocks, then don't participate in it”.

  • On the assessment of the 2022 Soccer World Cup in Qatar:

    • “It seems to be an overwhelming success (…) I heard a lot of people talking about it, and a lot of people watching it that normally don't necessarily watch the MLS. So will that have a carryover? We've heard that so many times”.

    • “You mentioned, when we were in the green room, that Qatar spent 300 billion on their facilities for the World Cup. Wow. All I can say about that is how did that help Brazil when the Olympics come and go. How did that help In 1976 with Montreal? Did it almost bankrupt the city to hold the summer Olympics in Montreal?”.

    • “So, Yeah, what do we do with these big white elephants? While they're just sitting there you, you hopefully have a professional team or the community can use them or somebody can use these wonderful, beautiful facilities that cost so much to build. So from that standpoint, I hope they have a plan in place because I know that a lot of the poverty that was in Brazil was still there even after the Olympics left. So that was unfortunate. But yeah I thought that the Qatar Soccer World Cup was a great event”.

  • On his favorites to win the Super Bowl:

    • “I'll pick the Chiefs with Andy Reid and I'll pick the Philadelphia Eagles. So it'll be an Andy Reid final, and I would really be jacked up to see that happen. It would be really exciting to see him, the winningest head coach in the Eagles franchise history who is now with the Chiefs, play against his former employer the Eagles. That would be a great exciting Super Bowl and a great story”.

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