College enrollment drops, ESPN's women's sports contracts, Adidas Yeezy sale: Triple Play

The Yahoo Finance Live team breaks down some of the top stories of the day, including: College enrollment rates are dropping as high school graduates consider jobs over college. The increasing popularity of women's sport means ESPN will likely have to pay more to broadcast those games. Also, Adidas is beginning to sell Yeezy sneakers again for the first time since the Kanye West controversy. The company says "a significant amount" of the proceeds will be donated to charity.

Video Transcript

- All right, time now to take a look at some of the top trending stories of the day with Yahoo Finance's Alexandra Canal and Josh Schafer joining us for our little roundtable today. Up first, ahead of jobs day. We're seeing this. More high school grads are getting into blue-collar jobs rather than going to college. This is based on some recent government data showing the recent college enrollment date for high school grads is ages 16 to 24 had dropped last year to 62% from just over 66% in 2019. That was pre-pandemic. So we're just seeing this trend of people going to the job market and seeing what they can get out there. First, Ali.

ALEXANDRA CANAL: Yeah, and a few things stood out to me. One, being the fact that more women than men are entering college. Like you said, a big part of that that's driving it is trade schools, those blue-collar jobs. But this is interesting, because I've actually had this conversation with several friends, family. I'm always going to be a proponent of more education, however, if you are someone that doesn't know what they want to do, you're not going to take advantage of that degree, you're not going to take advantage of the programs that college offers, then you're going to leave college heavily in debt, still not knowing what you want to do.

So in a way, I do think it's good that these high school students are thinking about the-- the meaning of college, what they want to get out of college. Because these are a young kids, 17 years old. It's really hard to know exactly what you want to do. So I'm not totally surprised by the results of this study, because I do think a lot of people are second-guessing the value of a college--

JOSH SCHAFER: Well, I think that's it is the value proposition is just fully changed. When you think about, A, how much in the last decade college tuition--

- Cost.

JOSH SCHAFER: --has-- yeah, how much that has gone up. And then also just the last three years of what the pandemic was. I mean, has someone that finished college in 2020 and experienced part of pandemic college very different experience and probably wouldn't have paid the same amount of money for that.

And I know a lot of people felt that way even 2021-2022. Maybe I'll just work rather than go into college when they fully hadn't figured out the remote work. To pay as much as people pay for college and then learn remotely I think kind of changed the way people think about college.

SEANA SMITH: Yeah, and I think we're getting at the heart of the issue here, because I think so much of it has to-- comes down to the cost of college, especially these private institutions will charge what? Over $70,000 a year. Clearly, if you do go to college, you get a top job, a very good job. The earnings potential from going to college outweighs not going to college just in terms of what that trajectory looks like. There has been a number of studies on this.

But if you are in the group who maybe it's not going to pay off. Maybe you don't know exactly what you want to do, either take a break, go and get some experience. A lot of these apprentice-- apprenticeships have really taken off here in terms of internships, as well maybe narrow it down before you go back to school.

I'm a big proponent of the higher education. I do think it does pay off, but you got to ask yourself if you're pursuing one of those careers that it doesn't make the most sense, then, hey, it does make a heck of a lot of sense to maybe take a break or just go right into some of those jobs.

- And we often talk about inflation here. Education inflation is much higher than the general level of inflation that we talk about so that is certainly-- you know, like you mentioned, Josh-- the cost proposition. Also did you really just say 2020?


- Oh, my gosh. Josh is a wonder kid.


JOSH SCHAFER: But the one thing I think that was interesting, too, when I was looking at some of this stuff was just the unemployment rate that you see from people ages 16 to 24, its lowest level since the 1950s. That's not something I would normally look at. So just this made me get on that train. I thought that was pretty fascinating. And then you look at the JOLTS report from today and just jobs are available.

- Right.

JOSH SCHAFER: I think that's the biggest thing would be talking about something different if these kids were looking for jobs, and the job market was a little tighter, right now you can find that job.

ALEXANDRA CANAL: Yeah. And I wonder what this means for if you want to get your law degree or your MBA. We have seen studies that people are still going on to get their MBA but that's-- that's a big question--

SEANA SMITH: Yeah, and even some of the most competitive MBA programs have been having a tough time attracting the typical number of applicants that they are used to seeing. All right, guys, let's also talk about another big story that I like today, the price of broadcasting for women's sports might be going up pretty soon. Now this might not be a huge surprise given the fact that many of these women's games have been attracting more and more viewers.

But, Josh, when you take into account what exactly is going up for media rights renewal, you've got a couple of really attractive leagues that are going to be up here. WNBA is one of them. NCAA. March Madness. The women's tournament is also in the mix. How much they could potentially get for these leagues is crazy considering some of the deals that have been reached over the last decade. Just take into account. I think it tells it all is the championship game this year between LSU and Iowa. 10 million people watch that. So these higher prices, it's clearly warranted.

JOSH SCHAFER: 10 million people watch that and less than 3 million people watch the finale of "Succession," maybe that tells us where people should putting their money, right? But I think that's-- if you're ESPN, you want to be the one-stop shop for sports and specifically basketball. If they renew those NBA rights, you want the WNBA, you want college basketball, because then you get a basketball fan, and you can offer them that full thing, right?

I think ESPN-- when you think-- it's a different conversation when you're talking about ESPN versus some of the other sports streamers as far as what ESPN needs to provide. And I think having that women's coverage is something they've built out. They-- honestly, Allie, they just have a bigger content library than I think a lot of the other streamers that you cover.

ALEXANDRA CANAL: Yeah, and they're not just doing the live sports, right? There's a Serena Williams documentary, they're getting into sports betting and fantasy, so they have this full coverage. I love this quote from Jimmy Pitaro who's a chairman at ESPN. He said, we know that the more we invest, the more we grow the leagues, the harder it's going to be for us to renew. From my perspective, that's a high-class problem. So I do think it's this win-win.

And especially when you talk about advertising, we have this ongoing writer's strike right now. What do advertisers want? They want that live content, and they want that live sports. It's an easy sell.

- It is. And at sports, to your point earlier about the viewership, usually draws in more viewers. You compare it to different shows and different award shows, and they're the leaders typically at sports. So no surprise that they're investing more in that, and ESPN saying they know they're going to have to pay more. They realize. And you also have fantasy leagues, women's fantasy leagues coming into play here driving demand here.

And also, of course, the story of Brittney Griner. I think that drummed up a lot of interest in the WNBA, you know, her situation with coming back from Russia, President Biden being involved with that. Clearly that had an impact on interest.

JOSH SCHAFER: And ESPN has just been a great strategic partner when it comes to women's sports. There's a lot of studies out there about women's fans being more engaged, right? As Allie was saying, the advertising. You can make more money off of women's sports fan, according to multiple different studies that we've covered, versus a men's sports fan. They're more engaged. You kind of-- it's more of an opt-in experience. And I think that that's something that ESPN is also taking great advantage of when you think about what they've been able to do with the WNBA, with college basketball.

SEANA SMITH: And with so many sports. Even with women's lacrosse, I mean, I'm a little biased here, but what they have broadcasted for those games when it comes to college lacrosse just getting that more of a national scale, getting that exposure out there. There to so many people who probably didn't know about lacrosse before especially if you're a younger girl that's looking to play that sport. I mean, what they have done is incredible. And it's going to be amazing to see, I think, how much some of these rights end up going for over the next couple--

JOSH SCHAFER: Partnering with the right people always matters, right?


JOSH SCHAFER: And Adidas maybe didn't do that, right? They partnered with Kanye West and now they have a lot of Yeezy sneakers, but they're back on the market. So Adidas says that a significant amount of the proceeds from these Yeezy sales that went on sale today are going to be donated to selected organizations working to combat discrimination and hate including racism and anti-Semitism. This, of course, comes after Kanye West's multiple different comments that then led to him losing his partnership with Adidas.

Adidas has been holding on to these sneakers that have a revenue value of over $1 billion for several months now. They're bringing them back to market. I think it's very interesting. There's a launch page for these sneakers. There was a countdown clock for when they're going to put the sneakers out. It rubbed me the wrong way a little bit, Diane. At some point it's either lean in to you're going to be donating these-- glorified donating these sneakers, and they're going to-- the money is going to go to the right cause. Or stop promoting them--

- Right.

JOSH SCHAFER: --because I don't really love the way that they're promoting them if that's sort of the image that they're going for.

- Because, originally, they signaled before that they were-- I mean, they were just kind of washing their hands of the whole situation. And the idea that they signaled before was that they were just going to go away. I mean, like, you just-- you know? And to see them kind of doing an about face, especially with how much-- I mean, just how much fallout there was from this, it just doesn't seem like the right move. And again, they haven't indicated how much of the proceeds will go towards fighting racism, you know, et cetera.

JOSH SCHAFER: Hate, right.

- Yeah, hate.

JOSH SCHAFER: Because you're talking about, again, over $1 billion worth of shoes out--


- I mean, these were anti-Semitic remarks--

ALEXANDRA CANAL: Well, we have companies do this all the time, right? I mean, I think back to Travis Scott and the Astroworld tragedy. He had brand deals with Nike, with Dior. They all said they were reevaluating, but they just ended up pushing those launches until the news cycle calmed down a bit and then, oh, here-- here we go.

So this doesn't fully surprise me. I think if there's a demand out there, they're going to lean into that, which is a bit of a pessimistic view about this.

SEANA SMITH: This is a little surprising to me. I was actually hoping that they were going to donate the rest of the-- the rest of the shoes that they did have. I won't be surprised if there is more and more backlash from the fact that they are going in on this. They're trying to capitalize. They should be donating at least 100% of the proceeds--

- Like, that was what they-- sorry.

SEANA SMITH: But maybe they'll be able to change us.

ALEXANDRA CANAL: It's the greed of corporate. I don't know. I--

- Corporate greed.

JOSH SCHAFER: The one other thing that'll be fascinating to watch will be the secondary market. Because that was what Adidas said was--

ALEXANDRA CANAL: And that's gonna be--

JOSH SCHAFER: --the shoes are going to get sold anyway--


JOSH SCHAFER: --so we should sell them.

SEANA SMITH: Yeah. They were going for, what, 1,000 bucks on some sites. All right, guys.