Tonight in Unpacks: MLS Commissioner Don Garber spoke to the media today ahead of the league’s All-Star Game in DC, discussing MLS’s deal with Adidas, the addition of Leo Messi and the upcoming World Cup League. SBJ’s Wes Sanderson has more details on the committee’s press conference.
- Visa renews sponsorship of US Soccer through 2028
- USWNT and Heath Player Press Presenting a Digital Series During the World Cup
- Fox pushes intense broadcast strategy with Women’s World Cup
- The WNBA has the best audience for the All-Star Game since 2007
- Major layoffs in tech and media create recessionary vibes in sports
- Op-Ed: Navigating the Challenges for Success with Stadium Issues
- ESPN sees a big increase in men’s and women’s finals at Wimbledon
- Santander signs for the sponsorship of the golfer Jon Rahm
- MVP Index becomes a strategic partner of the NHL
In this morning buzzcastSBJ’s David Albright brings listeners up to date on:
- Liberty Media shareholders approve a spin-off from the Braves
- D-backs formally part ways with Diamond Sports Group
- BT Sports becomes TNT Sports in the UK and Ireland
- Greg Sankey says Congress must act to change NIL
- NCAA creates a women’s version of the NIT hoops tournament
- David Neal plans to resign after long career at Fox Sports
MLS commissioner Don Garber laid out a vision of the league’s success at the midpoint of the 2023 season, notes SBJ’s Wes Sanderson.
- Garber pointed to yesterday’s youth soccer clinic on the South Lawn of the White House as an excellent example of the growth the league has seen in the last five years.
- He touted the league revamp with Adidas, saying it is likely to be the brand’s biggest partnership in its portfolio.
- Garber noted that the inaugural League Cup between MLS and Liga MX is exceeding the league’s expectations.
- Garber said the real success factor is not how Messi’s signing with Inter Miami translates into ticket sales, but how it speaks in terms of the league’s reputation.
For its part, SBJ I Factor presented by Allied Sports features an interview with Charles AltchekMLS Next Pro president and member of SBJ’s Forty Under 40 class of 2023. Altchek talks with SBJ’s Abe Madkour about how joining the Mets early in his career led directly to his influential position in MLS,
Visa has renewed its sponsorship of US Soccer through 2028, ensuring that the company will continue its association with the US national teams through a series of major events in their homeland. reports SBJ’s Alex Silverman.
The renewed agreement will pay the federation a seven-figure annual sum. The financial services company’s agreement with US Soccer previously expired until the end of 2023. Visa will continue to be the title sponsor of the annual SheBelieves Cup.
Visa will also continue to be the presenting sponsor of the Mobile Fan Studio pop-up retail experience at US Soccer games. Visa cardholders will also continue to receive benefits, including complimentary T-shirt personalization and pre-sale tickets.
Former USWNT players Christen Press and Tobin Heath will co-host a digital series, “The Recap Show,” which will air as a post-match show seven times during the FIFA Women’s World Cup. reports SBJ’s John Ourand.
RE-INC will produce the show. That’s the company that Press and Heath launched in 2019 with Megan Rapinoe and Meghan Klingenberg. The show opens on Thursday with a preview of the tournament and will air after every USWNT game at the early stage.
The FIFA Women’s World Cup kicks off this week and Wednesday’s SBJ Live episode will feature a panel discussion looking at the most important technology driving the event. On July 19 at 4 pm ET, Tian Pei, Head of Esports at Roblox, and Tania Salarvand, SVP/Strategy and Growth at Globant, will join SBJ’s Joe Lemire to dive into innovation and digital content delivery, venue technology, ticketing technology, and cybersecurity technology. Sign up for the free session.
The success of the USWNT combined with the growth of women’s sports has convinced Fox Sports to dedicate more broadcast windows than ever to the FIFA Women’s World Cup, which begins this week, writes SBJ’s John Ourand.
Fox will air 29 WWC matches on its broadcast channel during the Australia/New Zealand event. Teams and matchups, of course, dictate potential viewership more than other factors, and Fox should see big numbers from Team USA, as their first two games will be in prime time on the East Coast: April 21. July against Vietnam and on July 26 against the Netherlands (the August 1 game against Portugal begins at 3 am ET).
Also in SBJ Media newsletter this week:
- Diamond Sports Group to move away from the D-backs
- TNT Sports brand expands to UK and Ireland
- Netflix gives the green light to the second season of ‘Quarterback’
- Who is most likely to invest in ESPN?
The first prime-time appearance of the WNBA All-Star Game on ABC generated the game’s best viewership since 2007, and the fifth-best viewership for the game. reports SBJ’s Austin Karp.
ABC delivered 850,000 viewers Saturday night for the broadcast from Las Vegas, which is the best number for the WNBA All-Star Game since 950,000 on ABC in 2007. Viewership peaked at 955,000 viewers. This year’s game is up 16% from last year’s 734,000 viewers on ABC (Sunday window).
Even with many reports of sales equal to or higher than last season, appetite for new sales and activation has been dampened or wiped out by issues in the technology category, causing a slowdown with a shadow far above its reality. writes SBJ’s Terry Lefton.
“In MLB, there is some question about patches due to excess inventory across all sports for anything that is visible to the camera, especially patches,” said Joe Januszewski, who leads property sales for WME Sports, helping in MLB patch sales for the Giants. Royals and Orioles, as well as the Trail Blazers of the NBA. “It’s not a full recall, but there’s a reluctance to spend on anything new that has nothing to do with whether a deal fits, and that has to do with all the inventory and all the calls. There is no sense of urgency, because there are so many options. With a patch deal, we’ve had real conversations with C-level executives for four months.”
Tonight’s opinion piece comes from Michel Cutait, Acting Secretary General of World Obstacle, the international governing body for obstacle course sports (Obstacle Course Racing, Ninja and Adventure Racing) and related events. Cutait writes about the construction and management of stadiums.
“Financing plays a crucial role in the construction of stadiums. Like colossal structures, the investments go far beyond the simple construction of the stadium itself, which requires much more significant resources. It is a complex task that covers a wide range of issues. requirements, including but not limited to property acquisition, infrastructure development, security measures, urban planning obligations, and more. Financing for such developments typically comes from public or private investment, or a combination of both, as is the case of AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, whose The project was completed in 2009 through a combination of public and private funding.”
To read the full presentation, click here.
- This year’s SBJ Thought Leaders Retreat is at the Ojai Valley Inn in California. The invitation-only retreat brings together top executives, including current and past SBJ Forty Under 40 honorees, Game Changers and Champions, in a relaxing setting that encourages conversation, discussion and idea generation from all sectors of the sports industry. Activities began Monday night and continue through Wednesday at the Southern California resort. See some photos of the event here.
- Carlos Alcaraz’s five-set victory over Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon on Sunday was the most-watched men’s final since Djokovic beat Roger Federer in five sets in 2019, and the second-best final in the past decade. reports SBJ’s Austin Karp.
- Jon Rahm added another sponsor to his portfolio ahead of the Open Championship, signing a deal with Spanish bank Santander, reports SBJ’s Josh Carpenter.
- MLS will work with Digital Seat Media to implement its web-based mobile fan experience platform at the MLS All-Star Game on Wednesday night in DC, reports SBJ’s Ethan Joyce.
- The NHL added MVP Index as a strategic partner for the measurement and valuation of advertising that appears on its digitally enhanced Backboards, reports SBJ’s Joe Lemire.