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Triple Crown Waits Another Year: Sports Business Wrap For The Week

Triple Crown Waits Another Year: Sports Business Wrap For The Week

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California Chrome Comes Up Short

More than 102,000 fans came to see 4-5 favorite California Chrome become the first Triple Crown winner in 36 years. Instead they saw Tonalist, coming into the day at 9-1 odds, steal the show at the 146th Belmont Stakes.

Tonalist beat Commissioner by a head; California Chrome tied Wicked Strong for fourth. Tonalist ran the distance in 2:28.52 and paid $20.40, $9.60 and $7. Both Tonalist and Commissioner were newcomers to the Triple Crown trail. After the race, Chrome's co-owner Steve Coburn lashed out.

"That's the coward's way out," Coburn said about the two leading horses skipping the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. "It's not fair to these horses that have been in the game since day one. If you don't make enough points to get into the Kentucky Derby, you can't run in the other two races. It's all or nothing."

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Lebron Cramps Lead To Brand War

The San Antonio Spurts took a 110-95 victory over the Miami Heat to open the NBA Finals. The story of the game, however, was the absence of Lebron James. The AT&T Center air conditioning broke during the game, leading to a very hot arena; ESPN reporter Doris Burke showed viewers a thermometer reading 90 degrees just off the playing floor.

James exited the game with about eight minutes to go, his body cramping up. He came back in the game a few minutes later, scored a quick layup, but immediately signaled for the bench in pain. The Spurs capitalized, outscoring the Heat 36-17 in the final quarter.

Gatorade is the official sports drink of the NBA, however, James personally has an endorsement deal with Powerade. Despite Gatorade's best attempt at tweet humor (see below), its smack talk was undermined when pictures surfaced of James drinking Gatorade during the game.

Who's Watching What?

With history-making potential at the Belmont Stakes and the Stanley Cup Finals starting up, NBC certainly had high hopes.

The Belmont Stakes averaged 20.6 million viewers - the second-highest on record.

The New York Rangers and Los Angeles Kings have played two hotly-contested games to open up the Finals. The Rangers blew leads in both games, as the Kings came back to win Game 1, 3-2 in overtime, and Game 2, 5-4 in double-overtime.

NBC reported that an average of 4.777 million viewers watched the 3-2 overtime win for the Kings, making it the second-most watched Final Game 1 on the network, second only to the triple-overtime opener in 2013 between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Boston Bruins (6.358 million viewers).

Game 2 averaged 6.4 million viewers, which NBC said is "the most-watched Game 2 on record (since at least 1994)."

A Closer Look At... Comcast

Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) has seen a nice rise in stock's price over the last month, up 2.6 percent in that time. Talks have been circulating about a proposed Comcast/Time Warner merger.

Tweet Of The Week

This week's tweet has since been deleted. @Gatorade got the criticisms rolling, saying "The person cramping wasn’t our client. Our athletes can take the heat." This was followed up with more tweets regarding Lebron James.

It wasn't the best look for the sports drink giant -- despite the playful social engagement, the brand called out the game's biggest star and one of the most recognizable person's in the world. Gatorade has since released a statement apologizing for the tweet.


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