"Deadlines spur action” (or “a deadline spurs action") is an old business adage of uncertain origin. If both sides to a negotiation know of a deadline, a deal is often struck before the deadline. “2 Festival Deadlines Spur Action” was a newspaper headline in 1947.
Sports has many deadlines, such as the start of the season and trading deadlines. Andrew Brandt, of ESPN and Sports Illustrated, has helped popularize the term. “@adbrandt is going to use his favorite line, which I steal all the time: ‘Deadlines spur action’” was cited on Twitter on January 26, 2011.
Google News Archive
2 July 1947, Lodi (CA) News-Sentinel, pg. 1, col. 6:
2 Festival Deadlines Spur Action
Barbecue, Queen Contest First Events Planned
10 September 1980, Lexington (KY) Leader, pg. A-4, col. 2:
Deadline spurs action in school races
Three of the five seats on the Fayette County Board of Education are up for grabs this year, and midnight today is the filing deadline for the Nov. 4 election.
Google News Archive
8 January 1991, The Bulletin (Bend, OR), pg. 1, col. 1:
Gulf deadline spurs action
By The Associated Press
Google Groups: openwatcom.contributors
Status of 1.8
Even if the contributors are all unpaid volunteers, having a deadline spurs action.
@adbrandt is going to use his favorite line, which I steal all the time: “Deadlines spur action.” #cheeseheadtv
8:41 PM - 26 Jan 2011
Mike Wallace, Steelers reportedly in contract standstill
By Gregg Rosenthal
Around The NFL Editor
Published: July 6, 2012 at 03:55 p.m. Updated: Aug. 3, 2012 at 01:37 a.m.
Deadlines spur action, and the next deadline for the Steelers and Wallace is the start of training camp. We wouldn’t expect there to be much negotiating until the days leading up to camp. That’s just how negotiations like these usually go.
End the referee lockout now
By Ashley Fox
8/17/2012 - NFL
There are about three weeks to go before the regular season. As my colleague Andrew Brandt likes to say: deadlines spur action. So there is still time. There is still hope.
@SI_PeterKing @Jstchilln It’s called negotiations wont end now, it will end when deadline nears or as @adbrandt says: deadline spurs action
8:43 AM - 20 Aug 2012
@adbrandt Can you remind Congress of the concept that deadlines spur action?
5:16 PM - 30 Dec 2012
Field Gulls (Seattle Seahawks blog)
July 30th the deadline for new Russell Wilson deal, per report
By Danny Kelly @FieldGulls on Jul 16, 2015, 5:12p
The term “deadlines spur action” has gotten thrown around a lot lately (by me, and many others), and as we saw on Wednesday—the deadline to sign franchise-tagged players to extensions—it’s more than just a cliche. Justin Houston, Dez Bryant, and Demaryius Thomas all got big-time, big-money deals done even after many reports had the differing sides very far apart in terms of money and guarantees. That deadline sure made an impact on the negotiations.
The News Tribune (Tacoma, WA)
JULY 29, 2015
Seahawks Insider Blog
BY GREGG BELL
It’s an old adage in labor negotiations from all professions that deadlines spur deals.