Broadcast, Digital & Media, Future Trends, Governance & Commercial Growth, Partnerships, Sport Business | Sep 16, 2020 | 8 min read

Charting the money, the moves, and the media across the global business of sport

By James Emmett


Hello and thank you for clicking through to read the latest edition of the Leaders Digest, the weekly newsletter that cuts to the core of what’s happening and why across the global business of sport.


4 Questions, Answered

1.)    It’s been a few months since the last one; surely there’s a new short-form social video app to keep an eye on? 
Get off Snapchat, granddad; put your TikToks away, dad; Triller’s the platform making moves.


2.)    Does Formula 1 deserve a bit more recognition?
Almost certainly. Credit where credit is due: rebuilding an international, 17-race calendar this year has been nothing short of a monumental effort. Sponsors, broadcasters, fans, suppliers, teams, promoters, the FIA, local governments, national governments – all with different motivations, different pressures, and different systems and jurisdictions – all have had to be balanced and brought onside. The diplomacy job here is massive. Chloe Targett-Adams, the series’ Global Director of Promoters, tells me how they managed it on the latest episode of the podcast; and she’ll be going in-depth on the reintroduction of fans at Leaders Week Direct next month.


3.)    Why is the Athletic’s seven-figure moment such a good news story?
A)    It proves there’s a new, viable business model in sports media;
B)    It shows that industry disruption and product establishment don’t take a long time;
C)    It has provided another reminder of the value in long form and quality;
D)    It has provided another proof point in the appetite for localised, individualised content;
E)    It has shown there are great user experiences to be had, and more value to be carved out in sport away from the theatre of live rights.


4.)    Why is Lewis Hamilton’s stance and action on racial justice so necessary?
Because people still seem to disagree with it.


The Digest, Digested

Alexis Ohanian: Why now is the time to destigmatize paternity leave, for good (5 mins)

Playing offence: Why Nike is pulling product from Amazon while investing in direct and data (5 mins)

Palace reveal IQONIQ as new and exclusive fan engagement partner (1 min)

Australia’s SBS retains Tour de France rights until 2030 (1 min)

Steve Cohen agrees to buy the Mets, again (3 mins)

Alicia Keys launches $1bn fund for Black-owned business (3 mins)

Canelo Alvarez sues DAZN and Oscar De La Hoya for breach of $365m contract (3 mins)

Parma football club poised for sale to Amercia’s Krause family (2 mins)

Indian fantasy sports app Dream11’s parent firm raises $225m at over $2.5bn valuation (2 mins)

NFL 2020 commercial preview: All the teams, sponsors and broadcasters (25 mins)


What’s new

–    Amazon’s rugby strategy – more specifically, here’s some smart, snappy analysis of Amazon’s new Autumn rugby rights deal that goes beyond the usual ‘Amazon will drive Prime sign-ups ahead of this key retail period’ assertion.


What’s trending?

–    Tech companies showing the way on parental leave – Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian has called for an end to the stigma around paternity leave.

    Personalisation and data hoarding Nike is taking control of its distribution channels and ‘owning’ the relationships with its customers. It’s the direction of travel.

    IQONIQ – first, Crystal Palace’s sleeves; next, everywhere. Watch this space.

   Long-term media rights deals – if you’ve got the readies, you’ve got the rights; Australian broadcaster SBS has tied down the Tour de France until 2030.




–    Nathan Homer has left his role as Director of Sport, Broadband and Trading at Sky’s Now TV for the Chief Commercial Officer job at the London Legacy Development Corporation.

–    David Wright has left his position as CMO and CCO at Minor League Baseball for the CCO job at the US Soccer Federation.





Cohen, Cohen, gone
Steve Cohen has dotted the i and is taking his sweet time in crossing the t but a deal to buy the Mets which values the franchise at $2.4 billion has been agreed. The billionaire hedgefunder will take a 95% stake, with current owners Saul Katz and Fred Wilpon retaining 5%.

Keys unlocks funding with the NFL
Alicia Keys and the NFL have partnered to launch a $1 billion endowment for Black-owned business and communities.

DAZN on the ropes
DAZN and Canelo Alvarez have a $365 million beef. The boxer is suing the sports streaming service, as well as his longtime promoter Oscar De La Hoya, over the alleged failure to meet payments and guarantees on their exclusive contract, signed two years ago. It is unlikely to be the only piece of litigation in the media rights space as the fallout from the pandemic continues.

The famous Krause
The surge of US investment in Serie A looks set to continue as the billionaire Krause family are close to completing the acquisition of Parma in a deal that would value the club at €100 million. The Krause family would join American owners at AS Roma and Fiorentina if the deal goes through.

It was all a dream
Dream Sports, the parent company of Indian fantasy sports app and new IPL title sponsor Dream11, has raised $225 million in a new round of financing that values the enterprise at over $2.5 billion.


Longer reads

–    As far as sports business media goes, I think you can divide the audience into two camps: those that can’t help but click on the latest franchise valuation list, and those that prefer a comprehensive commercial season preview. I’m all in on the latter. And this, SportsPro’s commercial preview for this NFL season, is a monumental undertaking. Bookmark or upload to photographic memory.


Thanks for reading this edition of the Leaders Digest. We’ll have another for you next Wednesday; and if you haven’t subscribed yet, do remember to opt-in here.

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