The Sports Business Weekly Wrap-up | 28.3.21

Jack Glennon
Jack Glennon
Mar 28, 2021

We’re launching a new feature this Sunday with the Sports Business Weekly Wrap-up. We’ve picked out what we think is the biggest sports business news story each day of the last week so here are the big 6 stories from the last week.

Last weekend 

Manchester United’s new shirt sponsor from 2021/22

As we headed into the weekend, we saw Manchester United agree a deal with TeamViewer to become their principal shirt sponsor from next season. The global technology company, based in Germany, will replace American Car manufacturers Chevrolet in a deal worth a reported £235m. Chevrolet had been sponsors since 2014 but this new deal with TeamViewer is now the biggest shirt-only deal in the Premier League and reportedly equal to that of Rakuten’s shirt sponsorship of Barcelona. 

 

Manchester United’s Managing Director Richard Arnold said “We are tremendously proud to be establishing this partnership with one of the most exciting and dynamic global software companies. The ability to connect and collaborate has never been more important to the world and our community of 1.1 billion fans and followers.” Whilst TeamViewer’s chief executive Oliver Steil “We are very excited about this partnership, as it will significantly expand our brand positioning and it will help us to market our comprehensive solutions portfolio to all customer segments globally. With Manchester United and TeamViewer, two global winning teams join forces: Together as Team United we can bring the fan experience in the legendary Theatre of Dreams to a new level.”

The middle of a pandemic certainly isn’t the worst time to agree a bumper new sponsorship deal and it’s going to be very interesting to see how United take advantage of the technology services that they now have at their disposal with TeamViewer.

Monday

The WSL agree a new game-changing broadcast deal

We started the week of with The FA have announcing a “game-changing” domestic broadcast deal for the Women’s Super League. The new deal, which begins later this year in September is worth a reported £8m per season over the next 3 years and will see up to 44 live games shown live on Sky Sports (35 of those will be on the main football channels) and 22 live games on BBC Sport including 18 on either BBC One or Two.

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Speaking on The Ornstein & Chapman Podcast, Kelly Simmons, Director of The Women’s Professional Game at the English Football talked about the aim of this new deal being both an increase in revenue but also an increase in the audience size the WSL will now have which she argued is more important right now.

With the previous deal only covering production costs, this is a major break into the mainstream for the women’s game. The FA are anticipating that the WSL will be the most watched women’s sport league in the world. 

What a class bit of news to start the week off.

Tuesday

Lega Serie A braced for sizeable drop in international rights value

A very football heavy theme so far this week but on Tuesday we headed to the continent as sportsbusiness.com reported that Lega Serie A’s chief executive Luigi De Siervo announced that he was expecting a “significant reduction in the value of international broadcast rights to the top division of Italian club football.”

 

Speaking to the Associated Press news agency he said “It will definitely go down. A decent amount. We’ve got to try and get as close as possible to €320m.” That number refers to the value of the previous broadcast rights and part of the of the reason they’re struggling to reach that number is BeIN Sports. “BeIN was worth 50 per cent of our package and they’ve decided not to take part in our auction.”

There have been a number of problems in the relationship between Lega Serie A and BeIN, including the country’s links to pirate channels and the leagues decision to host the SuperCoppa in Saudi Arabia which had enforced an economic blockade on Qatar, the home nation and state funder of BeIN.

It’ll be interesting to see how all of this plays out and if the new deal can reach the same value as the previous one, especially with the Covid-19 pandemic still gripping the globe and world of sports.

Wednesday

OneFootball have got new shareholders 

The German Football Association (DFB), Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund and Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur have become the latest shareholders of OneFootball.

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The soccer-focused digital media company, which claims to reach 85 million soccer fans globally each month said in a press release that the trio will support the strategic direction of the business. They have also signed up to strategic content partnerships which will see OneFootball users entertained with a wide variety of original and and exclusive editorial news. 

Lucas von Cranach, chief executive and founder of OneFootball said “No one brings fans closer to their favourite teams and, through these strategic content partnerships, we will be able to offer even greater access to exclusive content”

Thursday

F1 and Zoom link up for another season of the Virtual Paddock Club

Some sports business news that isn’t football as we get towards the end of the week…

Formula 1 announced a multi-year partnership with Zoom on Thursday. This will consist of “multiple activations across the upcoming 2021 FIA Formula One World Championshipand beyond.” according to a Formula 1 press release.

 

As well as their comprehensive communications services which will help the organisation achieve their sustainability goals, Zoom will be working with F1 to provide new business and hospitality opportunities through “unique live-sport experiences during and beyond the ongoing pandemic.”

The two brands have already collaborated last season with the ‘Virtual Paddock Club’ which offers a range of bespoke hospitality offerings and they will be bringing that back for 2021 starting on Sunday for the season opener in Bahrain. 

As the F1 kicks off this weekend, a partnership like this is both topical and also a very smart one.

Friday

A lot happened on Friday so here are a few things that were worth writing about…

  • UEFA are set to rework the Financial Fair Play rule in light of the difficulties faced by clubs due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • DAZN have secured the majority of Lega Serie A’s domestic rights as the deal has finally been agreed. The contract is worth a reported €2.5 billion over the next 3 years according to SportPro.
  • Red Bull Racing Honda Formula 1 team have announced a major partnership with US-based software brand, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. They will help organise how data is used across the business. 
  • Extreme E, the new electric off-road racing series will be shown on Insight TV, a millennial focused global channel and content producer.
  • Major League Baseball has agreed a four-year partnership with Tagboard which will see them use the startups cloud-based -production platform to create interactive content both at-home and in-venue. This includes trivia and polling across live broadcasts. 

That’s it for this week for the Sports Business Weekly Wrap-up! It was fairly football heavy week news wise so we’ll try and mix it up as we move forward. We’d love to get your thoughts on the news stories we covered and the new format. Hit us up on any of our social media platforms, we’d love to get your feedback.

You can read more from our Insight series and previous Sports Business Round Ups by clicking here.

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