The Sports Business Round Up is back for another edition. English football club Leeds United embark on a new era with the help of Jay-Z and US TV Network NBC look to explore a new audience for the World Athletic Championships. World Rugby discover new initiatives to add further inclusion to their sport, a new era for fan engagement in Women’s Tennis awaits, and Paris 2024 continues to combat the deficit caused by COVID19. 

Leeds United look to ‘Roc & Roll’ their way into Asia and the US

Premier League side Leeds United make a ground-breaking partnership with music legend Jay-Z’s agency, Roc Nation. Following the club’s return to the pinnacle of English football, the Yorkshire based club have high ambitions to branch out into the US and Asia under Roc Nation’s strategic management.

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The joint venture will entail Roc Nation opening avenues for Leeds to connect with new audiences through creative activation, brand expansion, content development, commercial sales and more. Victor Orta, Leeds’ Sporting Director told BBC West Yorkshire Sport that “It’s a partnership that shows where Leeds United are right now. It shows the ambition of the club to keep growing.”

The Whites are under a reputable wing in Roc Nation. The sport and entertainment firm has exclusive arrangements with Italian giants AC Milan, and Premier League stars Marcus Rashford, Wilfried Zaha and Kevin De Bruyne.

NBC secure rights to broadcast the World Athletic Championships

US television network NBC Sports Group has sealed a multiplatform 10-year deal with the World Athletic Championships (WAC), covering the next five competitions. 

World Athletic Championships


The TV network already has the 2032 Olympic Games, adding the WAC will provide an opportunity for the competition to reach new audiences across US territory. The 2022 WAC will appear in the US for the first time in Eugene, Oregon where US fans’ only option to watch the tournament will be through NBC. 

In the contract, some of the WAC events consist of World Athletics Indoor Championships, World Athletics Cross Country Championships and World Athletics Relays. Plus, the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships, World Athletics Race Walking Team Championships and World Athletics U20 Championships.

World Rugby to introduce a new voting scheme for the Men and Women’s World Cup

Rugby’s leading governing body attempts to make their host selection process more transparent for the Men and Women’s World Cup. The initiative aims to avoid the repetition of occurrences in 2017. South Africa was recommended as the host nation for the 2023 tournament, but instead, France was awarded the stage through a secret World Rugby Council (WRC) ballot. 

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The WRC will instead determine the women and men’s global tournament through an open electronic vote which will not condone vote trading. The governing body will also seek advice from council members to contemplate a risk-orientated evaluation of bids from candidates by the RWC board and specialists. 

The change enhances accessibility and attractiveness to a broader set of hosts which will also deliver inclusive and diverse growth to the sport.  

Meet the Women’s Tennis Association’s new data supplier, Stats Perform!

Sports data firm Stats Perform are awarded data rights to The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) on a six-year contract, which sees them take over from IMG. Stats Perform own an illustrious clientele of sports teams, leagues, media companies and bookmakers. Their purpose lies with guiding their buyers with a winning edge powered through robust data translated into comprehensive insight. 

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Analytics company Opta will also support the WTA’s new joint venture by capturing ‘ultra-fast’ data feeds, including a specific umpire-obtained data supply for Stats Perform. The partnership will find The WTA with access to an innovative series of broadcast and betting experiences to engage tennis fans driven by real-time data. 

Stats Perform have worked with the Belgian Pro League, Australia’s National Basketball League and the upper-echelon of English football, The Premier League. 

Paris 2024 adapts its operations to optimise cost-efficiency

The organisers of the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games have created a new venue strategy to cut costs by €400 million for the global tournament. Now, 24 of the 32 sports will be delivered inside 10 kilometres of the Athlete’s Village to improve public transport accessibility. 

Paris 2024


Venue-sharing marks as a critical theme for the 2024 Games. Para-table tennis will transfer to the same location as Olympic table tennis, which is at Arena Paris Sud 4. Para-judo will move to the same site as it’s Olympic equivalent, the Champ De Mars Arena, while the same process is followed for taekwondo and swimming. 

Environmental responsibility is another factor that’s influencing the organiser’s decision to drive budget sensitivity. With venue-sharing, this will reduce the need to reduce economic costs as some venues like the Le Bourget Arena and the Olympics Aquatics Stadium will no longer be needed. 

Could Leeds United be on their way to seeing more growth overseas? How successful will WAC be at captivating a new audience across US territory? Will WRC’s new voting scheme welcome a new theme of inclusion across the game? What impact will Stats Perform bring to Women’s Tennis’s fan engagement? And, is Paris 2024 destined for major success with their cost-cutting incentives? 

That’s a wrap for our latest Sports Business wrap up! Read more insight pieces from Behind Sport here.