As part of a new series, Ashwyn Lall takes a look at the key sports business stories from the last week that you may have missed.

La Liga football witnesses a groundbreaking partnership, Rugby’s partners continue to entice new audiences, Twitter gets a delicious slice of the Olympic games coverage, new sponsorship opportunities arise in esports, and the beautiful game is heading to Hollywood!. Welcome, to the Sports Business Round Up.

Valencia become the first La Liga club to create an AR partnership

La Liga Valencia has formed a two-year partnership with Canadian tech firm ImagineAR, which will see the club integrate augmented reality (AR) content into their mobile app. The partnership will enhance Valencia’s digital fan engagement strategy through collaborating with ImagineAR to focus on AR-led campaigns via innovative marketing intelligence and insights.

 

The Spanish football team also established a joint venture with Non-profit firm, Start-Up Valencia to develop the VCF Innovation Hub. This is a project set out to promote pioneering activations from medicine to smart stadiums. It’s honourable to see Valencia not only strive to champion exceptional fan engagement through technology but using their profile to raise awareness of upcoming projects in their community.

Societe Generale banks on extending its partnership with the Rugby World Cup

French multi-investment bank Societe Generale extends its historical partnership by three-years with the Rugby World Cup to maximise impact for the 2023 event in France. It’s no surprise to witness this extension considering the tremendous economic outcomes produced in Japan last year. Some of the results consisted of £4.3bn generated towards the Japanese economy alongside the rugby fan base growing from 50m to 400m global supporters.

 

The French banking firm has long been an advocate for Rugby, from the grassroots to the elite stage ever since 1991. This has leveraged the brand to become one of the most widely recognised sponsors in the game, which has been beneficial for the sport currently experiencing groundbreaking volumes of commercial interests.

Rugby is entering a new era where the sport is reaching new international territories through the power of mutually-beneficial partnerships and sponsorships.

Twitter to produce exclusive content for Tokyo 2021 & Beijing 2022 under NBC Sports

US programming division NBC Sports and Twitter are partnering to power a wider Olympic audience for Tokyo 2021 and Beijing 2022. Games content will be exclusively available through the @NBCOlympics handle in the US while NBC Sports will lead on sales for Twitter’s in-stream sponsorships.

 

Twitter and NBC Sports will create daily programming on Twitter from each host city. There will also be a poll for fans to explore NBC’s Primetime/Primetime Plus broadcasts each night, accompanied with real-time video highlights per day alongside releasing pre-games content referring to previous Olympics coverage towards the build-up of the games.

This partnership should prove useful to captivate new Gen Z audiences to the Olympics demographic alongside Twitter accumulating the Olympic’s more senior audiences to their platform. Essentially, both parties are broadening their horizons through one global event.

Gaming giants Riot Games begin to integrate in-game branding opportunities

Riot Games build in in-game sponsors in sports business move

 

League of Legends (LoL) has begun promoting sponsors and partners during in-game broadcasts. Global brands MasterCard and Alienware are already confirmed as in-game featured partners. The initiative has been labelled as some of the most valuable assets in LoL’s esports portfolio for brands to reach new audiences whilst doing what they love. Promoting stakeholders in-game also echoes a similar experience and energy for viewers that are found in major sports arenas, once again, esports fills in a gap for sports fans during lockdown.

The beautiful game is heading to Hollywood

Hollywood talent agency, International Creative Management (ICM) has penned a deal to acquire global football organisation, Stellar Group. The agreement now finds Welsh football sensation Gareth Bale join ICM’s roster involving Beyonce, Samuel L’ Jackson and 800+ other athletes accumulating to a contract value total of $3bn.

ICM buy Stellar Group. A big deal in the world of sports business

 

This collaboration has been formed to increase accessibility across the spectrum of entertainment, sports and branding for ICM’s global clientele. The Hollywood company has set their eyes on expanding management opportunities in the National Football League (NFL), particularly honing their efforts towards tantalising New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston and New York Giants safety, Xavier McKinney.

We’re beginning to see more global agencies following in the Creative Artists Agency (CAA) and Roc Nation’s footsteps to develop multi-dimensional opportunities for sports stars to establish their brands into the entertainment industry.

That’s a wrap for the sports business round up! How beneficial will Valencia’s recent partnership be for upcoming start-ups in their community? Is the sky the limit for Rugby’s international growth? What impact can we expect for Twitter’s demographic from them broadcasting Olympic games content? What commercial value is in store for esports in-game sponsor opportunities? And, are there any boundaries left for the growth of football and entertainment?

If there are any sports business stories we may have missed let us know on our social media platforms!

To see more from our insight series click here.