Welcome back to the Sports Business Weekly Wrap-up. This week is going to be very cryptocurrency heavy so I’ll do my best to talk you through some of the big stories that have happened in the world of sport and crypto. I’m no expert, but I’ll do my best.
Here’s the sports business news stories you may have missed this week…
We’re jumping straight to Wednesday as it was a fairly quiet couple of days to start the week but the middle of the week saw a record breaking naming rights deal take place in America.
Since opening in 1999, the home of the LA Lakers, LA Clippers, NHL’s LA Kings and WNBA LA Sparks has been known as the Staples Center but from Christmas onwards, it will now be known as the Crypto.com Arena in a reported $700m, 20-year partnership.
The cryptocurrency platform and exchange was founded in 2016 and over the past year has been on a bit of a spending spree in sports. The platform has high-visibility sponsorship deals with the likes of Formula One, the UFC, Serie A, PSG and the Montreal Canadiens.
The $700m agreement is now the most expensive agreements for the naming rights of a stadium in the world. The Staples Center is a 20,000-seat arena and has hosted major events from sports all the way the Grammy’s and concerts. It is one of those places that has always been known as the Staples Center and probably will be known as that for a long time to most.
The name change is something quite a few people are struggling to come to terms with. Clippers player, Paul George said “It’s kind of like just stripping the history here by calling it something else,”
Money talks though and people will listen, especially when it’s to the tune of $700m…
Thursday saw more news from America but this time in regard to the Premier League. NBC have retained both the English and Spanish language broadcast rights to the Premier League, with them agreeing a six-year deal which will reportedly cost them just over $2.7 billion.
NBC Sports Chairman Pete Bevacqua said “We are excited to come to this long-term extension with the Premier League. Our Premier League team, led by Jon Miller, has been incredibly dedicated to growing the Premier League in the United States over the last nine years,”
The new deal covers the 2022-23 season and runs through to the 2027-28 season, covering 380 matches. The relationship between NBC and the Premier League first began in the 2013-14 season and the previous six-year deal in 2016 was worth $1 billion. The power and the size of the Premier League continues to grow…
Right, Friday is where this week really got interesting.
We’ll start with FC Barcelona.
Just over two weeks ago, the Spanish giants signed a marketing partnership with Ownix, an NFT (non-fungible token) marketplace. This link up would see the club host an NFT auction featuring photos and videos from the club’s 122-year history on November 24th.
However, this partnership was cancelled on Friday with immediate effect “in light of information that goes against the values of the club.”. It seemingly came out of the blue but a little digging reveals the answer.
Moshe Hogeg, a consultant for Ownix was arrested for alleged fraud using cryptocurrencies and alleged sexual offences. This was reported by the Jerusalem Post and not long after, Barcelona cancelled their contract.
Weirdly though, the NFT auction on November 24th is still set to go ahead. We’ll wait to see if that still happens…
Friday then got weirder as Manchester City were in the news with a mysterious cryptocurrency partner.
Two weeks ago, the Premier League Champions announced they’d signed a deal with 3Key Technologies to become an ‘official regional partner’ of the club. However, people began to point out that those claiming to run the business did not appear on any relevant internet searches…
As of Friday, the partnership had been suspended pending further enquiries into 3Key Technologies. The club have said they conduct due diligence for all of their partnerships but surely when unable to find any members of the company during internet searches, your due diligence needs work.
You can read more about the 3Key partnership here.
Nike taking another step in preparation for the Metaverse
We posted on our social channels a couple of weeks ago about Nike preparing for life in the Metaverse with trademarks already registered but they took another step on Friday after linking up with Roblox to create their own digital realm.
NIKELAND will be part of the online game platform and allow users to connect, create, share experiences and compete in the space.
Roblox players will be able to head into arenas and compete in various mini-games such as tag, the floor is lava, and dodgeball. They can also design their own games from interactive sports materials. In addition, NIKELAND visitors can take advantage of accelerometers in their mobile devices to transfer offline movement to online play. For example, a user can move their device and body in real life to pull off in-game moves like long jumps or speed runs. The virtual platform also has a digital showroom, where players can outfit their avatar with special Nike products, ranging from new soccer boots to classic trainers.
The Metaverse is coming folks and you’d be silly not to get clued up on it.
Thanks for reading this edition of the Sports Business Weekly Wrap-up. If there are any sports business news stories we may have missed this week then make sure you hit us up on Twitter @BehindSport! If you want to read previous editions you can click here.