By Breanna Ramos • 19 Jul 2019 • 6 min read
Earlier this year, Nike became the official uniform and footwear supplier of Major League Baseball (MLB). This means that Nike now dominates three of the four major professional sports leagues within the U.S.: MLB, NBA, and NFL. When I learned that Nike had secured its third major deal, I was curious about its recent stock performance. Using portfolio analysis and optimization techniques, my goal was to create an efficient sports stocks portfolio. For those who are unfamiliar with portfolio analysis, a portfolio is essentially a group of assets. The assets, or stocks, that I included in my analysis were : Nike (NKE), Under Armour (UAA), Disney (DIS), Adidas (ADDYY), and Foot Locker (FL). Identifying the most efficient portfolio is an optimization problem, and there are two main objectives involved. The first is to select a portfolio that yields high returns, whereas the second is to assure that these returns are stable. For this reason, my goal is to determine which combination of sports assets will yield minimum risk and high expected return. The data is composed of monthly adjusted close prices, which are adjusted for dividends paid or stock splits. It ranges from May 2013 to May 2019.
By Haley Rao , Kristen Ahmann and Joe Dunham • 30 May 2019 • 23 min read
One of the thrills of watching playoff hockey is the emotional aspect, following a team through several games against the same opponent with everything on the line, and an especially close series makes the thrill even higher. The San Jose Sharks playing the Vegas Golden Knights in the first series of the playoffs was notable for its excitement, intensity, and controversy. The series was highly anticipated as a rematch of the previous year's second round, where the Knights won in six games. This time around, the Sharks were a much improved team, adding key players Erik Karlsson and Gustav Nyquist, while Vegas had more-or-less kept the same lineup as the previous year's Stanley Cup Final-bound team, with the notable addition of top line forward Mark Stone. The Golden Knights took early control of the series, finishing Game 4 with a 3-1 lead in games won. The Sharks managed to battle back, scoring a miraculous overtime goal in Game 6 to force a deciding game in San Jose. A close, hard-fought series was expected on the outset, but the conclusion shocked everyone.
By Vedant Sahu • 29 May 2019 • 10 min read
With the Indian Premier League wrapped up and the ICC World Cup just on the horizon, the cricket fever is definitely reaching its peak. As more and more people turn towards cricket to keep themselves entertained over the summer, it is probably safe to say that people who have been newly introduced to the sport won’t find it particularly easy to follow. While cricket is an already complicated game to begin with, there is one notorious component of the game that even most seasoned cricket fans fail to completely grasp - the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern (DLS) method.
By Kevin Hahn and Kathir Ilango • 28 May 2019 • 12 min read
When it comes to individual sports, the title of “World Number One” is the ultimate feat an athlete can achieve. Tennis may be the most popular example of such a sport, as it is played worldwide and is heavily driven by rankings from its lowest tiers to the professional stage. While the World Number One and other top players are very famous and appear in widely-known tournaments, the complex structure of men’s professional tennis and its ranking system are by no means common knowledge. The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) is the governing body that organizes the events and rankings that tennis fans are so familiar with. ATP tennis is unique in that it runs year-round with a higher activity level than most other professional sports, as tournaments take place on a weekly basis. While the four Grand Slams are the most prestigious of these events, every tournament throughout the year can impact a player’s world ranking.
By Alex Veroulis • 26 May 2019 • 9 min read
Every year, it seems that home runs become more and more prevalent in the modern version of Major League Baseball. After all, in recent years, more players seem to be following the Three True Outcomes when they go up to hit: a strikeout, a walk, or a home run. These outcomes seem rare because they do not require the involvement of any defensive players besides the pitcher and catcher; however, hitters are making these outcomes more common due to an increased motivation to hit home runs. Analytics in the past several years have advocated for batters to try to hit more home runs with the end goal of increasing the expected amount of runs scored; players and managers alike have been heavily influenced by the analytics revolution, as they want to gain any kind of competitive advantage they can. In fact, players are following these analytics to such an extent that they are sacrificing batting average and on base percentage as a direct result of strikeouts; as players try to hit the ball farther, they are more likely to swing and miss, which explains the uptick in strikeouts.
By Chad Shimozaki • 14 May 2019 • 9 min read
Following the first ever game-winning buzzer beater in Game 7 of a playoff series, Kawhi "Four-Bounce" Leonard and the Toronto Raptors will face the Milwaukee Bucks, who have patiently waited for a week since defeating the Celtics last Wednesday.
By Max Blane and Borna Nazari • 22 Apr 2019 • 5 min read
The 3-point shot, instituted into the NBA in 1979, significantly impacted the future and the direction of the league. In the shot's inaugural year, Hubie Brown's '79-80 Hawks attempted a season total of 75 three-pointers, making just 13, for a three-point shooting percentage of 17.33%. This equates to an average of 1 three pointer made every 6 games. That same Hawks team went on to the Eastern Conference Semifinals with an overall record of 50-32. 38 years later, on March 3rd 2018, over one half of the Houston Rockets' total shots in their three point victory over the Boston Celtics came from beyond the arc, as they attempted 49 three-pointers, compared to just 38 mid-range shots/layups.
By Joey Maurer • 13 Apr 2019 • 6 min read
As the 2019 Women's Gymnastics Championship approaches, a cloud of controversy looms over the sport. Many fans believe that the scores being handed out this year are misrepresentative of actual routines. The issue of score inflation seems to creep into every discussion about college gymnastics. Judges across the country have been put under a microscope, being scrutinized for scoring routines higher than they deserve. Among reasons to do this would be to attract more casual fans, thus increasing revenue for the NCAA. After all, who doesn't want to see a perfect 10?
By Stephen Chen • 03 Apr 2019 • 6 min read
At the end of 2016, Andy Murray raised the Paris Masters 1000 trophy after defeating John Isner in 3 sets, cementing his status as the world's No. 1 tennis player for the first time in his career. Murray had racked up 9 singles titles to end the 2016 season, including his second Wimbledon trophy and his third Grand Slam title. Murray seemed primed to dominate the tour for the next few years, but a hip injury in the middle of the 2017 season would derail what remained of that season and the next, losing the No. 1 ranking and dropping past rank 800.
By Joe Dunham • 10 Mar 2019 • 9 min read
With the NHL season inching closer to the playoffs, the format of the regular season is perhaps not the first thought on most fans' minds. However, this year's notable lack of inter-conference parity has drawn attention from casual and knowledgeable fans alike -- the point cutoff to make the playoffs in the Eastern Conference is currently on pace to be a relatively standard 96 points; the Western Conference, on the other hand, is on pace to have an 83 point cutoff. This would easily be the lowest bar to qualify for the postseason in the salary cap era. An 83 point team under most circumstances has well below a winning record, and would be over six games back from the eighth seed in the East. These anomalies beg the question: what factors influence a team's record at the end of the season?