Happy Halloween, folks.
It’s been a little while since the last Sports Business Weekly Wrap-up was published. We took a little break as we’re working on some really cool things behind the scenes which we’ll hopefully be able to share with you soon.
Anyway, we’re back and that’s all that matters. There’s been a fair bit going on this week in the world of sports business so we might as well jump straight in to it. There’s also a new feature at the end of this article where I’ll be drawing your attention to some content you may have missed.
Here’s the latest sports business news stories you may have missed this week…
Seattle Kraken using Amazon’s ‘Just Walk Out’ shopping tech
Last weekend saw the Seattle Kraken finally make their home debut at the Climate Pledge Arena. The $1 billion venue aims to promote environmental issues but the thing that caught my eye is the use of Amazon’s new physical retail technology, “Just Walk Out’.
Amazon own the naming rights to the home of the Seattle Kraken, however instead of naming it after themselves or one of their products, they decided it would be best used to raise awareness for climate change.
There are a number of initiatives the arena has put in to place, which you can read more about here.
The ‘Just Walk Out’ is really interesting though because it could potentially make the game day experience so much easier for fans when it comes to buying food, drink and more.
Dilip Kumar, head of Physical Retail & Technology at Amazon said “Our physical retail technologies are designed to remove friction for customers as they shop, and we’re thrilled Climate Pledge Arena is offering checkout-free experiences for their guests so they can quickly get what they need and return to their event,”
England will bid for the 2025 women’s Rugby World Cup
The other story that caught my eye on Monday was news that the RFU confirmed they will be bidding to host the women’s Rugby World Cup in 2025. Having previously hosted the 2014 tournament, the RFU will be looking to host the tournament across multiple cities in England.
They will also be launching a legacy programme which will develop more female players and referees, encourage more women to take up the sport at an organised level, as well as supporting international-level development within the home unions.
The growth of women’s sport in this country continues to rise and it is fantastic to see.
Lego to sponsor Women’s Euro 2022 tournament
Both UEFA and the FA have confirmed that Lego will be a national sponsor for next years Women’s Euros. Lego has also signed up to back UEFA’s ‘Ready for Girls’ female empowerment campaign.
When it comes to sponsorship, Lego has increased its activity greatly recently with the likes of Manchester United and The Hundred selected as partners for the Danish company. There can be no denying that sports sponsorship works for brands and with access to such a big audience, and a growing one in women’s football sponsoring a major tournament is a no-brainer.
Faze Clan are going public
Tuesday also saw big news in the world of gaming an esports as Faze Clan announced that the company will be going public next year in a $1bn SPAC acquisition which will see them merge with B.Riley Principal 150 Merger Corp.
Yes this news is a little different to the sports we normally but in the world of esports, Faze Clan are huge, and I don’t say that lightly. The media specialists operate ten esports teams including Call of Duty and Fortnite. They also manage a network of creators which includes content creators and streamers. All in all, their direct and indirect channels mean they have a platform with a reach of over 350 million followers.
Lee Trink, Faze Clan chief executive said “In our short history, we have evolved from a disruptive content generator to one of the world’s most decorated and successful esports franchises, and now into one of the younger generations’ most recognised and followed brands globally,”
The $291 million cash injection will help to strengthen the core of Faze’s content and gaming endeavours but also allow them to branch out into new areas such as consumer products and acquisitions.
England Netball x Vitality
England Netball have extended their partnership with Vitality for an extra two years. The two started working together in 2015 and although no official figures have been reported on the deal, England Netball’s most recent annual report revealed that it had brought in £1.2 million in commercial revenue.
The focus of their partnership has been purpose-driven activations and also being recognised as the official wellness partner of England Netball’s ‘Back to Netball’ which has seen 125,000 women re-engage with netball since 2008.
Fran Connolly, England Netball chief executive said “Vitality shares our vision to grow the game and engage and inspire women and girls to get active and find joy in our sport, from the grassroots to the elite level.”
Facebook to become Meta
There was plenty happening on Thursday but it would be silly not to talk about Facebook’s rebrand to Meta.
Now, I’m completely new to the whole metaverse thing but the idea of it all sounds incredibly exciting and full of potential. When Mark Zuckerberg announced that the name change and I started reading more in to what could potentially be possible with the metaverse, my first thoughts immediately turned to sports and how it could potentially be used.
There is still a long way to go but for me the fan experience could be taken to a whole new level with the metaverse, especially for those who can’t attend events in person.
NBA x Adidas
Rounding off the week, the NBA announced a multi-year extension to their long running partnership with Adidas. Already partners for 20 years, the new deal will see the German sportswear brand continue as global marketing partner of the NBA, WNBA and NBA G League.
Austin Hodges, head of NBA marketing for Adidas said “We look forward to the continued success of our 20-year partnership, one that features two globally iconic brands dedicated to growing the game and changing lives through the power of sport,”
Content you may have missed
To finish off the Sports Business Weekly Wrap-up from now on, I’m going to be dropping a few links to sports content I’ve seen over the last week that I think you need to see…
ALL ACCESS: Canelo vs. Plant | Ep. 1 | SHOWTIME PPV
Next weekend sees Canelo Alvarez take on Caleb Plant for the IBF Super Middleweight World Championship and SHOWTIME Sports are back taking viewers behind the scenes of all the build up to this fight.
REWIND | Magical night against Dortmund ✨ | Ajax – Borussia Dortmund
A few weeks ago, we saw Ajax dismantle Borussia Dortmund in their Champions League group game. This mini documentary is great insight in to the events of that night, both from a storytelling and visuals point of view.
18 courses in 18 hours | The Longest Day of Golf | Episode 1
In my eyes, the European Tour are underrated when it comes to the content they produce. Their socials are brilliant but it is the longer form content that doesn’t get the attention it deserves. In this three-part activation with official partner BMW, presenter Andrew Cotter and professional player, Andrew ‘Beef’ Johnston take on 18 courses in 18 hours, playing 1 hole at each.
Even if golf isn’t a sport you’re that interested in, just from a visuals point of view this series is well worth a watch.
Wingmen Season 2: Ep3 – Adebayo Akinfenwa & Michail Antonio
Last year, Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold started a show called Wingmen which saw them drive around in their car and talk about everything from football to life and everything in between. KFC have since come on board and made it in to a proper series. So far we’ve seen the Liverpool duo, Bruno Fernandes and Jesse Lingard and now Adebayo Akinfenwa and Michail Antonio join the series. Well worth a watch.
If there are any sports business news stories we may have missed this week then make sure you hit us up on Twitter @BehindSport!
Thanks for reading the Sports Business Weekly Wrap-up, if you want to read previous editions you can click here.