Welcome back to the Sports Business Weekly Wrap-up, we didn’t publish an edition of this last weekend as we were taking part in the boycott of social media along with all of our friends and colleagues in the sports industry. Hopefully, the boycott is the beginning of some real change.
This week’s wrap-up starts on Tuesday as the boycott lasted until midnight on Monday so there aren’t as many stories this week but it’s still been an interesting week in the world of sports business, I’m happy to say as well that this week isn’t as focused on football as previous weeks have been!
Owners’ Charter to be introduced in the Premier League
As the fall out from the Super League continues in English football, Tuesday morning saw the Premier League introduce an Owners’ Charter to protect its “core principles” which all club owners must sign up to.
According to Sky Sports the Owners’ Charter is part of new rules and regulations being introduced to stop future attempts to join a breakaway Super League. Supported by the UK government and working alongside the governing bodies in football, breaches of these new rules and charter will be met with significant sanctions.
The attempted Super League sent shockwaves across football and as mentioned a few weeks ago, although the idea has collapsed, we have certainly not seen the end of the fallout.
Real Madrid appoint Kin Partners
One of the most interesting pieces of news I saw on Wednesday was Real Madrid appointing the London based agency, Kin Partners to handle their commercial sales for selected partnership opportunities.
SportsPro were reporting that Kin “will be leading the search for partners across several of Real Madrid’s top-tier global sponsorship assets and that the immediate priority is to secure a sponsor for the team’s training kit.” Their current deal, apparently worth €70 million a year with Emirates is due to expire next year.
Two bits of news for Thursday this week…
Cryptocurrency is big news at the minute from Bitcoin to Ethereum, NFTs and even Dogecoin and news came overnight that the New York Giants have become the first NFL team to announce a cryptocurrency partnership.
“As part of being the Official Digital Currency Asset Management Partner of the New York Giants, Grayscale will be the Presenting Sponsor of The Giants Foundation Golf Outing. The Giants Foundation, founded in 1993, provides financial assistance in the tri-state area to organizations dedicated to tackling important community issues, improving overall health and empowering our youth.”
Now, most people would look at the bad reaction to the European Super League and logically decide not to try anything similar. However, that’s not the case. In the world of golf there’s talk of a “Super League Golf” which will see something like 40-48 of the top players in the world compete in an 18-event schedule with a season-ending team championship. Apparently, 11 of the leading players in the world have been offered contracts worth $30m-$50m up front if they sign up.
This article here covers it a lot better than I can and you can also read this article here on BBC Sport to read Rory McIlroy’s reaction to the proposal as he describes it as a “money grab”. The 4-time major is also chairs the Players Advisory Committee on the PGA Tour so his voice carries a fair bit of weight.
Friday was a bit quieter but there was one bit of news that caught my eye. The takeover of Newcastle United has been going for a little while. Fans want owner Mike Ashley out, Ashley apparently wants to sell but selling the club seems to be easier than done.
This week HMRC dropped their investigation into both Newcastle and West Ham which have been ongoing since 2017 and Mike Ashley has now put in legal action against the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal for their scrutiny of the proposed takeover of Newcastle United by a Saudi-backed consortium. The claim says the Premier League “prevented, or hindered, the proposed takeover and knew that its actions would prevent and/or delay the proposed takeover”.
I thought I was done for the week on Friday but there was a piece of news published by The Guardian late last night which I think is worth talking about…
We all saw the protests outside (and inside) Old Trafford last Sunday which resulted in Manchester United’s game against Liverpool postponed. The Guardian are reporting that Manchester United are now set to miss out on a new proposed training kit deal worth £200 million over 10 years with Manchester-based company The Hut Group.
The deal was due to start on July 1st with MyProtein (owned by THG) due to appear on the front of the training kit. HOWEVER, since last Sunday United fans have started a campaign against their owners by targeting the clubs commercial partners. Here’s an example below…
Manchester United fans have bombarded TeamViewer, the club’s new shirt sponsor, with negative reviews online, meaning their score on Trustpilot has gone from four stars out of five to one.
The same has happened to AON, the company that sponsors Utd’s training ground.
✍️ Times pic.twitter.com/LEgHhLt6oX
— Football Tweet (@Football__Tweet) May 5, 2021
It appears that The Hut Group have noticed the backlash (how couldn’t you, to be fair) and have decided to pull out from their upcoming sponsorship deal with them apparently “concerned that as a local business it would be targeted by disaffected fans in Greater Manchester.”
They might have reached the Europa League Final but it hasn’t been the best of weeks off the pitch for Manchester United.
That’s it this week for the Sports Business Weekly Wrap-up, there was a bit more variety this week in terms of stories but there does seem to be one continuous theme through most stories at the minute, money, The fallout from the European Super League is going to continue so that will be worth keeping an eye on and it’s going to be interesting to see if the proposed Super League of golf can actually gain some momentum but I highly doubt it. Anyway, we’ll see what happens over the next week…
Thanks for reading, make sure you follow us on social media @BehindSport to keep up with everything else we’re getting up to! You can also read previous editions of the Sports Business Weekly Wrap-up here.