It’s coming towards the end of March, but it can’t end without an edition of the Sports Business Round Up! YouTube boxing has evolved onto another scale. LeBron James continues to stay business-savvy with his latest move. Major League Baseball continue to prioritise YouTube content to optimise fan engagement. DHL and Formula 1 seem inseparable, and Socios.com sign up a Premier League giant. 

YouTuber’s and TikToker’s collaborate for a mega boxing and entertainment event

Music streaming platform, LivexLive, will present “Social Gloves: Battle of the Platforms” for an unorthodox boxing card amongst online creators. Some personalities featuring this mega sport & entertainment event include YouTubers Deji, Austin McBroom, and Tanner Fox alongside TikTok sensations Bryce Hall, Nick Austin and Taylor Holder. Live music performances will also occur throughout the card. 

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Chairman and CEO of LiveXLive, Robert Ellin, is confident this card will be the highest Pay-Per-View (PPV) event in history. He previously helped organised the KSI vs Logan Paul card in 2018 at the Manchester Arena, which acquired 1.2m PPV buys. 

Social Gloves: Battle of the Platforms could prove a colossal mix of celebrity, social media, tech, digital and pop culture, which entices a new wave of fan engagement in the sports industry. 

LeBron James joins forces with Liverpool FC owners, FSG

The National Basketball Association (NBA) star has become a part-owner of Fenway Sports Group (FSG), who are parenting Premier League champions Liverpool FC, and Major League Baseball’s Boston Red Sox. RedBird Capital Partners is reported to invest $750m in FSG, making LeBron and long-time business partner Maverick Carter the first black shareholders of the global sports holding firm. 

 

The global marketing firm Fenway Sports Management (FSM) previously worked with James and Carter for over ten years relating to promotional endorsements. RedBird’s investment will ensure FSM an 11% stake in FSG, valuing the company at $7.35bn. 

The LA Lakers player has roughly earned £1bn throughout his career and has desires to enter team ownership. 

Major League Baseball and YouTube extend their partnership for another three years

The 2021 Major League Baseball (MLB) season will see 21 live games stream through YouTube for the next three years. Matches confirmed so far include the Tampa Bay Rays vs Boston Red Sox on the 7th April, LA Angels vs Houston Astros on 22nd April and Minnesota Twins vs Cleveland Indians on 28th April. 

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Games are accessible on any device through smart TV YouTube apps, the MLB YouTube channel or the MLB’s YouTube TV platform. A new feature called ‘YouTube Player of the Game’ will allow fans to receive a trophy during postgame content this year. Plus, live chat forums, in-game polls and sports-focused creator commentary during games will be available. 

MLB and YouTube joining forces play an instrumental part to showcase MLB’s story to new audiences through personalised fan engagement initiatives. 

DHL remains the Official Logistics Partner for Formula 1

The global courier has extended its involvement with the leading motorsport championship where DHL will remain the tournament’s ‘Official Logistics Partner. Since 2004, the two parties relationship has spread across 1,000 races and now will see DHL ship over to 23 countries on F1’s racing calendar. 

 

The collaboration will involve DHL continuing their offer for two awards to teams and drivers for the DHL Fastest Lap and DHL Fastest Pit Stop Award in Abu Dhabi at the end of the season. 

DHL are Formula 1’s longest-standing international partner. Over four decades, DHL and F1’s common values have engaged them together, leaving the shipment firm confident of defending their title between each race. 

Manchester City become the latest club riding the sports crypto movement

The Premier League giants will launch fan tokens through socios.com through a partnership with fintech blockchain firm, Chiliz. City fans will access $CITY fan tokens which will involve tradeable assets to gain exclusive rewards and voting rights through the socios.com app. 

 

Socios.com has pioneered the sports crypto movement, where over 24 properties are listed through the platform, including FC Barcelona, AC Milan, Juventus and Paris-Saint Germain. The platform aims to establish more tokens across the UK, Asian and South American territory throughout 2021. 

That’s a wrap for the Sports Business Round Up! I want to know your thoughts. 

  • Will YouTuber’s or TikTokers be more influential for driving in sales for ‘Social Gloves: Battle of the platforms?”
  • Will LeBron fulfil his dream of eventually owning a sports team? 
  • How impactful will MLB’s collaboration with YouTube prove for fan engagement? 
  • How much longer will DHL and Formula 1 continue their partnership? 
  • Who else will join City in the sports crypto movement?

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

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