Jul 2021 staff moves and sports business industry news in one spot — updated as they happen, so make sure you check back regularly.
Jul 1, 2021
American Hockey League announces that the AHL Board of Governors has approved the transfer of ownership of the Rockford IceHogs AHL franchise to the Chicago Blackhawks. In addition, the Blackhawks commit to keeping the IceHogs in Rockford through 2036 while the City of Rockford, and the Rockford Area Venues and Entertainment Authority (RAVE) and the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity (DCEO) unveil a $23 million multi-year capital project to revitalize the BMO Harris Bank Center.
Jul 2, 2021
California United Strikers FC announce a formal partnership agreement with Veo, a Danish company that has developed a camera and software solution that allows teams to record and analyze matches without the need for an operator. The partnership will see the team utilize the Veo system for all their NISA matches and training sessions while also extending the platform to their youth affiliate, Strikers FC.
Jul 7, 2021
American Hat Company and PBR (Professional Bull Riders) announce a new partnership with American Hat becoming the official cowboy hat of PBR’s weekly Unleash The Beast competition. Through the partnership, which includes digital signage and concourse space at Unleash The Beast events, 10 members of the PBR elite tour’s team, including bullfighters and announcers, will now wear American Hat Company cowboy hats. Additionally, PBR CEO & Commissioner Sean Gleason will now exclusively wear American Hat Company cowboy hats.
Jul 9, 2021
Big3 and Microsoft expand their partnership, with Microsoft named the league’s Official Technology Partner. The partnership will include Microsoft and Xbox as the official jersey patch partner, in-game signage, and product pop-ups. Of the 12 teams in the BIG3, six will have Microsoft branding on their jerseys and six will have Xbox. Microsoft will also present the “BIG3 Season MVP” and “Player of the Week,” the latter of which will be chosen by a fan vote during each week.
In additional Big3 news, the league announces it has partnered with sports wagering monitoring company US Integrity. USI will provide its integrity monitoring service to protect against betting-related fraud and corruption as fans across the country wager on the league’s fourth season.
Jul 12, 2021
Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, parent of the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils, tabs Tad Brown as the company’s new CEO effective Aug 3, replacing Scott O’Neill. O’Neill announced in late June that he was stepping down. Brown had been with the Houston Rockets for the past 15 years, most recently as CEO.
Jul 13, 2021
The Sports Marketer, LLC, a Chicago-based sports and lifestyle marketing firm, acquires BIG Sports Consulting, a Los Angeles, Calif.-based sports marketing consultancy. Terms were not disclosed.
Chicago Red Stars launch a new partnership with The Black Bread Company, the first ever Black-owned, Chicago-based sliced bread company. This first-of-its-kind partnership is part of the Red Stars’ new “Stars of Chicago Business” initiative, meant to give complimentary sponsorship opportunities to small, local and minority owned businesses.
Jul 23, 2021
The Cleveland Indians announce that, after the conclusion of the 2021 season, the team will rebrand as the Cleveland Guardians. The team had announced in Dec 2020 that it would rename the ballclub. Per the team, the process saw “1,198 name options, 40,000 surveyed fans, 140 hours of interviews with fans, community leaders and front office personnel, plus 100+ hours of brainstorming sessions.” The name is a nod to “the iconic Guardians of Traffic just outside the ballpark on the Hope Memorial Bridge.”
Jul 26, 2021
New Orleans Saints and Caesars Entertainment announce a 20-year, exclusive naming-rights partnership that rebrands the Saints’ downtown stadium as the Caesars Superdome. Caesars replaces Mercedes-Benz USA, who held the naming rights from Oct 2011-21. (View an interactive “Multichannel News Release” here: https://www.multivu.com/players/English/8834555-new-orleans-saints-caesars-entertainment-partnership-stadium-rebranded/)
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Header photo via PBR Updated: Aug 3, 2021