There’s been a fair bit going on in the sports business world this week. If anyone has got any idea where the last week has gone can they please let me know? Hopefully you’ve all been making the most of the sunshine we’ve had this week. It’s been another big week in sport as one of the biggest sporting spectacles, the Olympics got underway on Friday in Tokyo. It’s a bit of an odd one as the perception of the games in Japan itself are really mixed due to the the current Covid-19 situation in the country. 

Anyway, we’ll be touching on the games in this weeks edition of the Sports Business Weekly Wrap-up along with some of the other bog stories you may have missed whilst soaking up the sun or trying to stay cool…


Istanbul to finally host the Champions League final in 2023

Over the last couple of seasons, the Champions League and specifically the final has seen its plans disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic. In both 2020 and 2021, the final was due to be held in Istanbul, Turkey but due to it was changed both years. 2020 saw a ‘final eight’ tournament hosted in Lisbon and the 2021 final was moved at short notice to Porto.

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This has meant that a fair bit of reshuffling has been done with upcoming finals. Uefa announced on Monday that Istanbul will finally get to host the final in 2023 with Munich hosting the final in 2025. 

A statement from Uefa read “Following the relocation of the 2021 Uefa Champions League final from Istanbul to Porto, it was decided to award the staging of the 2023 Uefa Champions League final to the Ataturk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul,”

As the pandemic continues to wreak havoc across the globe, fingers crossed that the disruptions will become less frequent but I will say that tentatively.


Toyota pull Olympic ads in Japan

I’ve mentioned it a couple of times over the last couple of months but the Olympics aren’t exactly popular in Japan right now, which is odd considering they’re hosting it. However, the public are concerned about Covid-19. Cases have steadily risen in the country, especially in Tokyo and with athletes coming to the country from all over the globe, their concern makes sense.


One thing that caught my eye on Tuesday was news that Toyota have made the decision to pull all of their Tokyo Oympics-related advertisements that were due to be shown during the games in Japan. Their chief communications officer, Jun Nagata said that it had become difficult to support the games for “many reasons” 

Toyota are not the only Japanese based company to pull their support for the games and it’s interesting to see the clear conflict these brands are feeling between maintaining their brand image and public perception in Japan versus supporting the Olympics in their home country which could prove hugely beneficial for them when the global audience clearly sits in the millions. I suppose it is the long term impact to brand image that is being considered in this instant.


Nothing major caught my eye on Wednesday but here are a few stories that I thought were interesting –

  • Panasonic have followed Toyota and distanced themselves from Tokyo 2020 
  • The IOC have confirmed that Brisbane, Australia will host the 2032 Olympics and Paralympics
  • Inter Milan confirmed that ‘$Inter Fan Token’ will replace Pirelli as their main shirt sponsor. The partnership is set to earn them around €20m a year.
  • Manchester City have lost their appeal for their FFP investigation to be kept private.

Thierry Henry praises VR startup, Rezzil

As the week began to draw to a close, news from one of our good friends in the sports industry caught my eye. Rezzil, the virtual reality elite sports training startup has been backed by the likes of Thierry Henry, Gary Neville, Michail Antonio and Tyrone Mings.


The company is launching a new platform, Player 22, which has been designed and tested with the help of UEFA pro license coaches. It launches to the public on August 5 and is compatible with the Oculus Quest VR headset.

Player 22 brings a range of sport-based games into the home with the aim of improving cognitive performance, concentration, reactions, coordination and control. The platform will also help combat the risks of heading a football by recreating heading in a virtual setting. This has earned them massive praise in the football space as the issue around the impact heading a football has in later life continues to raise concern. 

A screen grab from in-game training. Image: Rezzil


Thierry Henry said “As a father, I can see the appeal of Rezzil for children and it’s exciting as a parent because the combination of e-sport and traditional sport means they’re being healthy and active when they’re playing as opposed to a sedentary game,”

“I’ve been involved in football for many years but I honestly believe Rezzil is one of the most promising technologies to enter the sport.”

Not bad praise at all that…

You can follow Rezzil on Twitter and Instagram. 


Netflix x The Olympics

The end of the week saw the opening ceremony of Tokyo 2020 take place and it was a global brand campaign from Netflix that caught my attention. During the ceremony, the global streaming giant debuted an alien watch party called ‘The World is On Netflix’.

The ad saw a gang of animated aliens watching a number of Netflix shows streamed from earth. It debuted in well over a dozen countries across the world and is the first time that Netflix has debuted a brand campaign during a major global moment. This makes me wonder, if Netflix is now participating in this major global moments, are we going to see them do more of this with say, the Super Bowl or something like that? 

That’s the Sports Business Weekly Wrap-up done once again. The Olympics is always well worth a watch but I’m definitely more intrigued this time around considering a big majority of the Japanese population think that games going ahead isn’t a good idea. If there are any stories that you found interesting this week or any that we missed, drop us a line on Twitter @BehindSport!

Thanks for reading this weeks edition of the Sports Business Weekly Wrap-up, you can read previous editions here.