The Sports Business Weekly Wrap-up is back for another edition to round up some of the things that may have slipped your gaze during the last week. It’s been another hectic one with the African Cup of Nations continuing, the Australian Open getting underway and more.
Here are some of the key things you missed last week in the world of sports business…
Netflix x Tennis
We’re starting this week off where we finished last week and that’s with news about Netflix. Last week saw us talk about how Netflix will be filming with the PGA Tour and the four golf majors to produce a ‘Drive to Survive’ style documentary for the world of golf. Tennis will now also be getting the same treatment!
The streaming giant has signed a deal with the ATP Tour (Association of Tennis Professionals), the WTA (Women’s Tennis Association) and the four Grand Slam tournaments to provide an ‘unfiltered look’ behind the scenes of professional tennis, the players and their teams. It is also being billed as the first sports programme of its kind to provide an equal platform to the men’s and women’s competitors.
Box to Box Films, which worked on the hugely successful ‘Drive to Survive’ series with F1 will produce the tennis version, which currently does not have a name.
Filming has already begun at the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam of the season. They won’t be short of stories either with everything that has gone on with Novak Djokovic and the Australian government and their arguments over vaccinations…
Apple ready to move in to live sports
Tuesday’s story also focuses on another tech giant as analysts believe that Apple are ready to spend big to make the move in to the world of live sports content. Over the next 4 years, analysis from investment firm, Wedbush, suggests that Apple are reportedly ‘ready to spend billions’.
Since launching in 2019, Apple TV+ has built to around 20 million paying subscribers and 45 million viewers which in turn generated $80 billion in the last fiscal year for the company.
Wedbush analysis estimates that that Apple has spent “$7 billion annually on original content and having roughly US$200 billion of cash on its balance sheet, we believe the company is gearing up to bid on a number of upcoming sports packages coming up for contract/renewals in future years.”
In recent months, it’s been reported that Apple have been involved in substantial talks with Major League Baseball over acquiring the rights to air regular season weekday games during the 2022 season. Live TV is something Apple have never really done but with Amazon making moves in that space, it isn’t really a surprise that Apple is feeling left out and wants to join the space.
PGA Tour x Twitter
For the second week in a row, the PGA Tour features in the Sports Business Weekly Wrap-up, this time with an extension to their Twitter content partnership.
Spaces is a feature that saw a lot of growth in the back end of 2021 and the PGA Tour are now set to use the feature to host Spaces throughout the season with player and industry experts discussing the action on the tour. It will first debut during the Honda Classic which is being held between 21st and 27th of February.
Twitter’s current partnership with the PGA Tour sees them publish real-time highlights on the platform each day from tournaments, Twitter Moments, as well as branded and player-specific highlights.
Vice president of media business development for the PGA Tour, Chris Wandell said “Spaces is a great platform for the Tour to deliver exclusive content to its fans in what promises to be an exciting year in golf.”
Serena Williams x Sorare
The more I write these weekly wrap-ups, the more I consider changing its name to somehow involve the world of crypto, NFTs and collectibles as I seem to be covering so many stories. This one however, is a big one.
One of the most iconic athletes of all-time, Serena Williams has joined Sorare as a Board Advisor.
What do Sorare do, you ask? Well, it is a fantasy football game based around the blockchain and Ethereum where users can buy, sell, trade and manage a virtual team with digital player cards.
According to the Sorare announcement, Williams “will provide guidance to the board on a range of topics, including developing Sorare’s relationship with athletes around the world, advising on Sorare’s strategies to expand into new sports categories including women’s sports, as well as future impact initiatives for making Web3 more inclusive and diverse.”
This is a really interesting appointment and one that makes a lot of sense, not only is Serena Williams an icon who will bring so much knowledge to the table, she is also an entrepreneur, a brand builder and an investor at the forefront of sports and technology.
Formula E x Channel 4
For the final bit of news this week, we’re heading to the world of Formula E as they announced a new multi-year broadcast agreement with Channel 4 who will now become the exclusive free-to-air UK TV home for the Formula E World Championship.
The 16-race calendar, the biggest in the Championship’s history will be aired live on Channel 4, All4 or Channel 4 Sport’s YouTube channel.
Channel 4’s Head of Sport Pete Andrews said “Formula E is a fantastically exciting sport and this deal is wonderful news for sports fans. We’re proud to be showcasing a sport with sustainability at its heart and one that plays such an important role in seeking to combat the climate crisis.”
For a sport that is still on the rise and looking to grow its audience, free-to-air TV is a wise choice indeed. Hopefully they can make the most of it.
Content you need to watch…
ONE MISSION: Land the World’s First TRIPLE FLAIR | Kieran Reilly BMX
This Red Bull Bike video can only be described as one thing and that is, utterly ridiculous. Kieran Reilly is the only BMX rider to land a triple flair, ever. Red Bull are a sponsor of his and helped make it possible. They put together this behind the scenes look at the process. I wish I could describe just exactly what a triple flair is but I can’t, it’ll be best if you just watch the video.
Lando Norris – Making my acting debut
He doesn’t post all that regularly but this is a good example of an athlete putting in the work to build his personal brand outside of his sport.
The “Winning Expert”: How To Become The Best You Can Be: Sir David Brailsford | E115
Slightly different for the last one this week but I wanted to recommend a podcast. Steven Bartlett sits down with Sir Dave Brailsford to talk about winning and the success he had guiding the British Olympic Cycling team and Team Sky. Well worth a watch/listen.
Thank you for reading this weeks 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.