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Sports Tech Live - Issue #159

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Sports Tech Live

All your Sports Tech news in one place, covering topics like AR/VR, Data Analytics, eSports, Live Streaming, Sports Betting, Wearables, etc.

Hey Sports Tech Fans,
As a heads up, this will likely be the last newsletter of the year. It’s possible there might be more, but with next Friday being Christmas eve and the following one being New Year’s Eve, I am just not sure.
What a crazy year it’s been in the world of sports and sports tech.
The Euro 2020 final between England and Italy feels like a lifetime ago.
It’s most certainly been the year of crypto in sports.
From massive naming rights deals, to fan tokens to NFT’s to sponsorship deals between all manners of sports teams and all manners of blockchain technologies.
Sports pre covid was a laggard compared to others in the entertainment and media business.
But the same can’t be said in 2020 and 2021.
The adoption of blockchain technologies has been fascinating to watch.
I don’t think I had a blockchain/crypto section up until this year but there most certainly was an explosion of news stories on the subject this year.
Sports has had a very tough time in the light of covid, subsequent lockdowns, no games, no fans in stadiums, issues with some broadcasting deals etc.
Teams, leagues and federations has looked for new sources of funding and crypto seems to have been a major factor in making up the shortfall in revenues.
Fan tokens have been adopted en masse in 2021.
There is an excellent piece of research below from the BBC.
It says that about $350 million of fan tokens have been sold to date.
There are 24 teams from the top 5 European football leagues with fan tokens, including 8 Premier League teams.
As someone who is interested in both sports and blockchain technology, I have been keeping a close eye on developments.
It is hard to say whether fans buying these tokens are genuinely fans of the club offering the token or if they are people looking to trade the coins for a profit. Do these tokens provide real utility to fans?
Clubs have also partnered with companies like Sorare for collectible games and fantasy sports games.
So far 215 clubs have licensed their content to Sorare as they announced a $680 million funding deal in September to take their total raised to date to $738 million.
Watching their founder at WebSummit in November it’s clear that they will look to US sports next to continue their expansion.
They were not without their own issues this year as it is being investigated by the UK Gambling Commission for potential breaches of gambling laws in the regulated market of the UK.
I don’t see a slowing down of cryptos takeover of sports in 2022.
The hyperbole around it might dampen but adoption will continue and new innovations will happen in the space.
There is even a group of crypto investors looking to buy a football league team in the UK. The article from the Washington Post is below.
It is not a Premier League team but might be in a similarly placed team to Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney’s Wrexham.
A couple of weeks ago I also shared news of a DAO (decentralised autonomous organisation) looking to pool resources to buy and NBA team. This might be a bit pie in the sky as things currently stand but the sheer amount of money in the crypto space is stunning.
There are so many new things being tried in the industry it makes for a fascinating watch, but things do come with potential risks.
I recently came across a project promising all the sports content in the world for buying into and holding their token, a 3-second look at the white paper identified it as a pure scam but that didn’t stop people from buying into the hype and losing money.
There are huge opportunities and innovations happening in the space right now but I think a healthy reminder that there are also risks for fans, investors and sports teams and leagues is always welcome.
Have a great sporting weekend,
Will

Streaming Wars
2022 Africa Cup of Nations gets UK rights deals with BBC and Sky Sports - SportsPro
UFC signs 25-territory Canal+ broadcast deal - SportsPro
Soccer Star Neymar Jr. Inks Exclusive Facebook Gaming Streaming Deal
WTA Tour buoyed by beIN extension in Australia, France and Turkey | SportBusiness
GameChanger Partners With Logitech's Mevo to Enhance Live Video Streaming for Youth Sports
Racecourse Media Group and HBA Media unite to maximise international media rights for British and Irish horseracing – European Gaming Industry News
Gambling
BetMGM, PGA TOUR Continue Official Betting Operator Agreement
PlayUp Sues Former US CEO After Alleged Threat To 'Burn PlayUp To The Ground'
PlayUp Hires New CEO as it Files Lawsuit Against Former CEO
esports & Gaming
Twitch Criticized by CS:GO Community for Hiding the Game From New Users, Denies Claims
MLS and Electronic Arts Reveal 2022 eMLS Season Featuring 27 MLS Clubs, Return to Live Events, 350 Hours of Live Coverage
Melee God Hungrybox becomes part owner of Team Liquid - Inven Global
Swedish CS:GO Players and Streamers Auction Their Skins for Charity
Global Esports Federation Launches Global Esports Cup in Collaboration with Flare | BTCMANAGER
Niko Partners Reports India as the Fastest Growing Games Market in Asia
Content
Drive to Survive - the F1 documentary that has changed a sport – The Athletic
'Pat McAfee Show' agrees to FanDuel sponsorship deal that dwarfs McAfee's career NFL earnings | Sporting News
NBA History Lives in a Nuclear Bunker in New Jersey - WSJ
‘The Last Dance’ Emmy Winner Gregg Winik Named NBA President Of Content & Exec Producer
Deals
CVC’s $2.2 Billion LaLiga Investment Gets Green Light From 37 Clubs
‘We have a huge opportunity’: A-Leagues finalises $140m equity sale
Ticket Reseller Vivid Seats Acquires Betcha Sports 
Mixhalo raises US$24m to develop in-stadium audio mobile app - SportsPro
Michael Jordan and Son Reveal First Tech Venture, Heir Platform to Feature NFTs and Leverage Solana – Bitcoin News
FanUp Closes $4M Seed II Round With Lead Investors of DraftKings, Skillz and The Score
Nike purchased NFT fashion and collectibles startup RTFKT
Tracy McGrady Talks New Business Deal With Playmaker, Russell Westbrook And His NBA Finals Pick
Crypto
Daryl Morey among U.S. crypto investors eyeing English soccer club - The Washington Post
Football fans spending millions on club crypto-tokens - BBC News
NWSL's Voyager deal sees players get cryptocurrency cut - SportsPro
Why Google Has Sat on the Web3 Sidelines - Bloomberg
Kevin Durant combines investment and endorsement in deal with Coinbase - NetsDaily
Warriors Announce First-Of-Its-Kind Partnership with FTX | Golden State Warriors
Beach Soccer Worldwide and RealFevr sign partnership agreement – Beach Soccer Worldwide
Marketing & Social
NFL awards international marketing rights in eight countries to 18 teams - ProFootballTalk
FIFA launches new commercial partnership structure including dedicated programs for women’s football and esports – European Gaming Industry News
Philadelphia 76ers Score a New Chat Application
Hardware & Wearbles
OxeFit Launches XS1; First At-Home Fitness System To Deliver Strength, Cardio, Balance and Immersive Interactive Fitness Training
Reform RX Put "asensei inside" Connected Pilates Reformer Enabling Form Tracking And Real-Time Coaching
Pixellot Adds Video Analysis Into Youth Basketball Playbook App FastDraw
Amazon Halo View review: the Fitbit clone no one asked for - The Verge
New York Islanders go cashless at UBS Arena with Fiserv - SportsPro
Student Athletes
NCAA Probing BYU, Miami NIL Deals for Potential Pay-to-Play Violations – Sportico.com
Women in Sport
Ornstein: Legal failure putting women at risk
Sports
PTO announces new races and $5.5 million prize purse - 220 Triathlon
Partnership
BALLN Partners with World Renowned Footballer Kevin De Bruyne - SportsPro
Appointments
Seven League hires Pinterest executive Ghai to digital commercial role | SportBusiness
NBA Africa Names Gbemisola Abudu Head of New Nigeria Office | The Guardian Nigeria News - Nigeria and World News — APO Press Releases — The Guardian Nigeria News – Nigeria and World News
Covid
Covid Is Disrupting Sports. Again. - WSJ
Best of the Rest
The Most Influential People in Sports Business in 2021
French Soccer Wrestles Surge in Stadium Violence - The New York Times
The Champions League draw that never was: How social media reacted to round-of-16 redraw
Barclays Center opens sensory room to help those with ‘invisible disabilities’ - NetsDaily
Celebrity Creative Directors: Cardi B, E - The New York Times
Ticket stub from Michael Jordan's NBA debut sells for $264K, a record for a sports ticket
Techstars Startup Digest Sports Tech Live is curated by:
Will Martin Will Martin
will.martin@startupdigestmail.com
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