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SportsThis Week’s Most Interesting Sports Business Stories | #sports | #elderly | #seniors

This Week’s Most Interesting Sports Business Stories | #sports | #elderly | #seniors

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In this week’s SportsMoney Playbook: the NFL’s latest media platform, a new MLS stadium and an Adidas shoe made of mushrooms. Plus: a billionaire Serie A owner lambastes the attempt to form a Super League.

Sports Business

In less than two years, Zion Williamson has gone from being the first Gen Z athlete to sign with Jordan Brand to unveiling his own signature Jordan shoe.

Adidas is creating a new version of an iconic sneaker out of mushrooms. “This organism happens to have a character so much like leather,” says an executive at Adidas’ partner on the project.

Women’s rugby is the latest sport to embrace the data revolution, using a smart ball equipped with a tracking chip during tournament games.

Pro Football

The NFL continues to experiment with new media platforms, announcing a deal with social-audio darling Clubhouse that begins with live coverage of this week’s draft. Also embracing the future is presumptive No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence, who signed an endorsement deal with Blockfolio that will pay him in cryptocurrency. Chiefs tight end Sean Culkin, meanwhile, has decided to convert his entire salary into bitcoin.

Soccer

FC Cincinnati‘s new $250 million stadium features 26,000 seats and the widest video board in MLS. The club’s cofounder and president explains the design decisions that went into the stadium, telling us, “We want to be a winning team, and winning teams take the best players, and the best players tend to cost more.”

Pro Basketball

A boost in ratings and engagement ahead of the WNBA‘s 25th season could take women’s basketball to the next level. “We’ve been waiting for this kind of recognition for so many years,” one WNBA writer tells us. Two players are leveraging the heightened attention to launch media ventures, with a goal of democratizing narrative storytelling in sports.

Golf

With a deep endorsement portfolio that features Mercedes-Benz, Rocket Mortgage and TaylorMade, Rickie Fowler‘s recent downturn on the course hasn’t slowed his roll as a pitchman.

Auto Racing

Austin Cindric isn’t joining the Cup Series full time until 2022, but he’s already built an impressive stable of sponsors, bringing Verizon back into Nascar.

Ryan Blaney, who has won a race in each of the last five seasons, has become one of Nascar’s most exciting drivers. Now, the Team Penske member is ready to take the next step in competing for a championship.

Cricket

With Covid-19 cases surging, many players are abandoning the Indian Premier League, cricket’s most lucrative tournament, even as this season is played in a bubble.


Featured Story

Fiorentina’s Billionaire Owner: Why I’m Glad The European Super League Failed

Rocco Commisso, Mediacom’s billionaire founder and the U.S.-based owner of the Italian soccer team Fiorentina, denounced the recent attempt to form a European Super League as “elitist,” arguing that it makes clear the need for reform in the sport. “Smaller teams need to have the chance to dream,” he tells us. Read more on why Commisso believes the Super League could have set a dangerous precedent.

Hot Reads:


Upon Further Review

Stan Kroenke, the world’s 14th-richest sports team owner, says he doesn’t want to sell, but Swedish billionaire and Spotify CEO Daniel Ek has launched a bid to take over at English soccer club Arsenal. It will cost a pretty penny: We valued the team at $2.8 billion this month. See where Arsenal ranks among the world’s most valuable soccer teams.


The Last Word

“I tell people all the time, if I didn’t play sports, I think I’d be a pro gamer.” – Kyler Murray

Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray built a reputation for himself as a two-sport athlete, and now he’s adding a third, joining the popular gaming organization FaZe Clan as its newest member and becoming an investor as well. Murray tells us he’s followed FaZe since he was in middle school. But it’s also a savvy business decision. Read more on how Murray’s star power could move the needle for FaZe’s merchandising.


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