Would a Sunday be complete with a Sports Business Weekly Wrap-up? Of course not, silly question. There’s so much sport on TV at the moment that I’m struggling to keep up if I’m honest. The knockout stages of the EURO 2020 have begun (unlucky Wales…) and the Tour De France also got underway on Saturday. It’s odd how I won’t really watch professional cycling throughout the year but I’ll watch the Tour De France.
Anyway, enough of me waffling on about nothing. Here are the biggest sports business news stories from each day of the last week that you might have missed…
NHL make helmet sponsorships a permanent fixture
The week started off with a follow up to a piece of news we’ve covered in the past. For the 2020-21 season, the NHL trialed helmet sponsorships as a way for teams to help recoup lost revenues from the Covid-19 pandemic.
They have now made them a permanent option for teams, which can only mean it’s been a successful trial. A number of teams chose the option of offering the sponsorship space to long standing partners, others chose to bring in new ones.
The financials of the trial haven’t been disclosed but the chief revenue officer for the Washington Capitals, Jim Van Stone told The Athletic that “helmet deals represent an economic value in seven figures in each market.”.
KSI x Wasserman Boxing
Tuesday saw an announcement from YouTube megastar, KSI detailing the launch of a new boxing promotion company which is a collaboration between himself, Wasserman Boxing and his management team, Proper Loud. The company will focus on celebrity and crossover bouts.
Kalle Sauerland, the head of global boxing for Wasserman said “This is a major move for the boxing and entertainment industries. KSI is a mega-star with huge crossover appeal. He knows how to market himself and he knows how to sell events. He will bring a new audience to the sport of boxing.”
Opinions on YouTubers and social media stars venturing into the world of boxing have been mixed to say the least with many seeing it as a cash grab and a disrespect to the sport and those who have dedicated their lives to making a career from it. I won’t give my thoughts but it can’t be denied that when opportunities arise, it would be foolish not to take advantage of them.
Carl Nassib jersey sales sky rocket
You probably saw in the news this week that Carl Nassib of the Oakland Raiders became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Since then, ESPN have reported that his jersey has been the top-seller in the NFL section of Fantatics.
It’s incredibly heartwarming to see the support that Nassib has been shown since making his announcement. As part of the video he posted on his socials Nassib also told fans that he will be making a $100,000 donation to The Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organisation for LGBTQ youth. This donation is also being matched by the NFL.
EFL x Carabao
As the week began to draw to a close, the EFL and Carabao announced they had signed a further two-year extension to their partnership which means they will remain the Title Sponsor of the Carabao Cup until 2024.
The Thai-based energy drink company have been the Title Sponsor since 2017 which has helped the brand establish themselves in the UK market. As part of the partnership, the EFL’s reach has increased across the globe as the competition was broadcast across 181 territories.
The EFL’s Chief Commercial Officer, Ben Wright said “We are incredibly pleased to extend the EFL’s partnership with Carabao, it is a title sponsorship that has been hugely successful for both parties and highlights the strength of the competition both domestically and internationally.
Arsenal offer stadium tours in vaccination drive
The final bit of news for the week that caught my eye came from the Premier League and an event taking place at Arsenal’s ground, The Emirates.
As part of a vaccination drive over this weekend, The Emirates has become a 4-day Covid vaccination clinic. Coined ‘Gunner Get Jabbed’ (clever, I know…) the event has been organised by Islington Council, the Islington GP Federation and Arsenal. As part of the event, anybody who receives a jab over the four days on the clubs concourse is to be offered a free behind-the-scenes tour of The Emirates.
Jonathan O’Sullivan, acting director of public health in Islington, said “We hope the pop-up at this iconic landmark in the borough will provide some extra incentive.”
There has been a big drive in the first half of 2021 to get the UK population vaccinated against Covid-19 but this is one of the first times I’ve seen an incentive of this nature offered. They’re expecting something like 10,000 people to visit the clinic over the 4 days but I’d be interested to see how many of those take Arsenal up on the offer of a free stadium tour.
That’s us done for another week in the world of sports business. I’m really interested in seeing how the KSI and Wasserman Boxing partnership is going to develop over the coming months and years. Breaking into a sport like boxing is difficult for a new promotion, Triller haven’t certainly had it easy but with the kind of social following that KSI has, it can only put them in a better position to start from.
If you would like to read previous editions of the Sports Business Weekly Wrap-up, you can do so by clicking here.