Another week isn’t complete without your weekly dose of sports business news! The NBA slam dunks substantial viewership numbers; the PGA Tour produce a fitness-themed partnership close to their heart and Ukraine could become Olympic host contenders. UK sports stadiums put up a fight against COVID19 and car retailer, Cinch, take their first step into the football sponsorship world. 

The opening week of NBA soars in viewership figures

The NBA produced 81.5 million viewership hours across ESPN, ABC and TNT, a 95% increase from 2019’s opening week and the most viewed since 2012’s opening week. 

NBA sports business


The NBA’s Social Media (SM) game was also strong. The league witnessed a 36% increase in video views and a 279% increase in minutes watched than in 2019. The NBA Instagram account was the most-watched SM platform during the early fixtures, and their YouTube channel gained its most-watched week in the last 15 years of its history. 

On Christmas day on ESPN, the New Orleans Pelicans played Miami Heat followed by Los Angeles Clippers versus the Denver Nuggets. Average viewership rose by 10% compared to last season. 

The NBA is continually proving to be a major contender at drawing in worldwide audiences to leverage new waves of entertainment, culture and commercial success. 

The PGA Tour establish an innovative fitness-themed partnership

A multi-year agreement is put in place between the PGA Tour and fitness tracker maker, Whoop. The deal will monitor golfer’s heart rates throughout crucial moments of the season, with live metrics integrated into video content. Plus, showcased players will have the opportunity to donate $10,000 to a charity of their choice through the collaboration. 

PGA Tour x Whoop


Whoop also becomes the official wearable for the Tour’s Champions event, and their health initiative, PGA Tour Active. The fitness manufacturer provides PGA Tour fans with a chance to get insight into the PGA Tour Active programme to witness players’ performance training methods. 

Last summer saw Whoop deliver over 1,000 watches to players, caddies and other essential PGA Tour and Korn Ferry Tour staff. The device has proven efficient at improving the responsiveness to the pandemic. US Golfer, Nick Hatney’s watch during the last RBC Heritage identified his respiratory rate as significantly high overnight which caused him to leave the tournament and self-isolate. 

It’s astonishing to see sport embrace technology’s power to complement their corporate social responsibility to ensure sport remains safe to participate in. 

Ukraine hold high ambitions to host the Olympics

Ukraine’s youth and sports minister, Vadym Huttsait, announced the European nation has the interest to host the games within the next decade. 2030 and 2032 are two Games they’ve set their sights on; they’re planning what regions could host the tournament and how much it will cost. 

Ukraine x Olympics sports business


The last global sports event Ukraine delivered was the 2012 Uefa European Championship, joint-hosted with Poland. Eastern Europe’s largest country faces tough competition for the Olympics in 2030 and 2032, the likes of Australia, Germany, India, Qatar and Indonesia have also declared an interest to accommodate the competition.   

The race will likely conclude after 2025, who’s your money on? 

UK Sports stadiums transform into vaccination centres

UK Government steps up its COVID19 inoculation programme by utilising seven sports grounds as vaccination centres. Bristol’s Ashton Gate Stadium, Epsom Downs Racecourse, London’s ExCel convention centre and Manchester’s Etihad Tennis Centre are new facilities opening next week to act as regional hubs. NHS workers and volunteers will come together and support UK authorities to reach their goal of vaccinating 14 million of the nations most vulnerable people by next month. 

Vaccination centres sports business


Birmingham’s Millennium Point, the Centre for Life in Newcastle and Robertson House in Stevenage, is involved in the initial vaccine rollout. The Derby Arena, Villa Park and Leicester Racecourse have offered their resources to support the fight against COVID19 alongside Premier League club, Tottenham Hotspur. 

Since the outbreak, the UK has entered its third lockdown; the nation needs all the support it can receive. Once again, the sports industry reminds us of the tremendous impact it can bring towards supporting the community in times of adversity. 

Tottenham Hotspur FC receive their first-ever sleeve sponsorship deal

Car retailer, Cinch, becomes the English Premier League Clubs’ ground-breaking sleeve sponsor for the men and women’s team. Spurs’ and Cinch’s multi-year agreement will see the car retail firm gain LED advertising rights at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium and the clubs’ digital mediums.

Tottenham new sponsorship


This not only marks as Spurs’ first-ever sleeve sponsorship, but it’s Cinch’s first step into the football industry. Previously, HSBC was interested in securing sleeve sponsorship rights, but talks broke down. Lilywhites chairman, Daniel Levy, was hesitant to include a sleeve sponsor to prevent their lucrative stadium naming rights reducing in value. 

Tottenham’s latest sponsorship move leaves Everton the only Premier League club without a sleeve sponsorship deal. 

That’s a wrap! for the Sports Business Round Up! What’s the secret behind the NBA’s success at creating a diverse global audience? What impact will Whoop make this time round for Golf continuing through the pandemic? Do you want to see the Olympics travel to Ukraine? How integral will UK Sports stadiums be to facilitate coronavirus vaccinations? Plus, how much commercial value is to gain from Spurs’ new sleeve sponsorship?

To read more from our insight series and previous Sports Business Round Ups click here.

You can also keep up to date on the latest sports business news and content by following us on Twitter.