Tuesday's sports stories

Olympics postponement throws more than $1 billion in advertising into limbo

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The postponement of the 2020 Olympic Games to next year creates problems for advertisers, who could now potentially be facing a more crowded media calendar.

What they're saying: "Cancelled is actually the easier scenario than postponed because it's a definitive yes or no kind of thing," says Jon Swallen, CRO of the media division at Kantar, an advertising analytics company.

Tokyo Summer Olympics postponed until 2021

Photo: John Walton/PA Images via Getty Images.

The International Olympic Committee announced Tuesday that the Tokyo Summer Olympics were postponed until 2021 amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: The Olympics entail a massive amount of travel, congregating and physical contact — all things that are being discouraged in order to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Multiple athletes and teams had already called for the committee to postpone the Games, which were scheduled to begin July 24.

Go deeperArrowMar 24, 2020 - Sports

The last baseball players standing during the coronavirus shutdown

Players celebrate after a preseason NPB game played behind closed doors last month. Photo: Jiji Press/AFP via Getty Images

With sports shut down almost universally, the two best baseball leagues outside MLB — Japan's NPB and South Korea's KBO — are still soldiering on, with numerous restrictions and safety measures in place, of course.

The state of play: NPB teams are playing preseason games in empty stadiums, and the league just set April 24 as the target date for its regular season to begin (likely without fans). KBO teams are playing intrasquad scrimmages while the league's preseason is suspended, but like MLB, its regular season start date remains a mystery.

Go deeperArrowMar 24, 2020 - Sports

76ers and Devils owners cut employee pay amid coronavirus fallout

Josh Harris and David Blitzer, owners of the New Jersey Devils and Philadelphia 76ers. Photo: Andy Marlin/Getty Images

Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, the sports and entertainment group that owns the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils, has notified full-time employees making $50,000 or more that they will be subject to pay cuts starting as soon as next month due to the coronavirus fallout.

The response: Not great, as you might expect. Ownership considers this a "temporary measure aimed at avoiding layoffs," per NYT's Marc Stein, but fans aren't buying it.

Go deeperArrowMar 24, 2020 - Sports

Golf becomes a rare athletic escape in the age of the coronavirus

Members of Craddockstown Golf Club in Kildare, Ireland, enjoy a round of golf while practicing social distancing. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images

People around the world are stuck indoors without gyms to visit or recreational sports to participate in, which has made outdoor exercise difficult.

Why it matters: This has left golf — played on wide-open plots of land and doesn't require people to share equipment or come into close contact — as a rare athletic escape.

Go deeperArrowMar 23, 2020 - Sports

Colorado joins California in allowing college athletes to profit off name and likeness

Reproduced from Student Player; Cartogram: Axios Visuals

California passed a bill in September that will allow college athletes in the state to profit off their name, image and likeness (NIL) starting on Jan. 1, 2023.

Driving the news: Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed a similar bill on Friday that will take effect on the same date.

Go deeperArrowMar 23, 2020 - Sports

NASCAR leads the virtual sports charge amid coronavirus outbreak

Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

FS1 broadcast a NASCAR race Sunday, and a lot of things felt familiar, from the pre-race prayer and national anthem to camera shots of the leaders and a racetrack lined with billboards.

One big difference: It was a video game. Real NASCAR drivers were behind the wheels, but they were racing on a digital track from the comfort of their living rooms using a platform called iRacing.

Go deeperArrowMar 23, 2020 - Sports

An Olympics delay due to coronavirus feels inevitable

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The International Olympic Committee acknowledged for the first time Sunday that it may have to postpone the Tokyo 2020 Games — an outcome that once felt impossible but now, amid mounting external pressure, feels inevitable.

The state of play: The IOC set a four-week deadline for a decision and added that canceling the Games is not under consideration because that "would not solve any of the problems or help anybody."

Go deeperArrowMar 23, 2020 - Sports

Canada and Australia pull out of Tokyo Olympics over coronavirus

A Tokyo 2020 Olympics banner in Tokyo, Japan. Photo: Carl Court/Getty Images

Pressure is building on organizers of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics to call off the Games, after officials in Canada and Australia announced Sunday night they would not send athletes to this summer's event.

Why it matters: Canada and Australia are the first teams to announce they won't go to the Games because of COVID-19 risks. Both countries have called for the event to be held in the northern summer of 2021.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Mar 23, 2020 - Sports

Abe says Tokyo may have to postpone Olympic Games over coronavirus

Odaiba Seaside Park in Tokyo, Japan. Photo: Philip Fong/AFP via Getty Images

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the Tokyo Olympics may have to be postponed if the Games cannot run in "complete form" because of the novel coronavirus outbreak, the Japan Times reports.

Why it matters: This is the first time Abe has made such a statement. The International Olympic Committee said in a statement Sunday it would "step up its scenario-planning" for the event and was in talks with the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee and Japanese authorities "to complete its assessment of the rapid development of the worldwide health situation and its impact on the Olympic Games, including the scenario of postponement."