Mar 2020 staff moves and industry news in one spot — updated as they happen, so make sure you check back throughout the month.
Carlos Cordeiro resigns as President, U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF), with the current VP, Cindy Parlow Cone, assuming the role; Parlow Cone becomes the first female president and second former U.S. National Team player to hold the position; she will serve until the Feb 2021 U.S. Soccer Annual General Meeting
BRANDS / LEAGUES / TEAMS / VENUES
Mar 3, 2020
Athletes Unlimited announces a new professional softball league that will begin play Aug 17, 2020. The four team league will play all games the Ballpark at Rosemont, just outside Chicago in Rosemont, Ill.. The league promises more than $1 million in compensation, long-term profit participation for players and a redesigned scoring system. Each of the four Athletes Unlimited teams will have a roster of 14 players, playing three games per week over five weeks. Teams will be redrafted each week by the four players who accumulated the most points in the previous week, with those points determined according to a new individual scoring system that rewards both team performance and individual achievements.
NPF announces the Aussie Peppers of Minnesota will play in a new home throughout the 2020 NPF season. In partnership with the Mankato Moondogs of the Northwoods League, and the City of Mankato, Minn., the team will call Franklin Rodgers Park, “The Frank,” home in 2020. The Peppers will also play a special home series Jane Sage Cowles Stadium on the University of Minnesota campus in in Minneapolis, Minn.
Major League Cricket announces that Minor League Cricket will launch July 11, 2020, and run for 8 weeks, with each team playing 15 games for total of 170 games, culminating in a one-week playoff to determine the first Minor League Cricket champion.
Mar 4, 2020
Fuelster becomes the on-demand fuel delivery company of the Los Angeles Dodgers in a multi-year partnership. The agreement names Fuelster as the exclusive on-demand mobile fuel delivery service of the Dodgers. Fuelster will deliver its service during Dodgers home games, starting March 23, 2020. Fans parked at Dodger Stadium can place an order on the Fuelster app, then leave their gas door open and have their car filled up while they are watching the game. In return, Fuelster receives in-stadium assets such as signage and digital media.
Mar 6, 2020
National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) announces it will begin the search for a successor to two-term Executive Director Michele Roberts, who will not seek a third contract when her current contract expires in 2022. Dechert LLP and Heidrick & Struggles have been engaged to identify and evaluate candidates.
OL Groupe announces a name change of the recently acquired Reign FC to OL Reign, as well as a new logo which incorporates the city of Lyon’s most famous symbol, the lion. The primary colors utilized in the badge – blue, red and gold – tie directly to the Lyon coat of arms, as well as to the Olympique Lyonnais brand.
Springfield Thunderbirds announce a new five-year affiliation with the St. Louis Blues beginning with the 2020-21 season. The team has been affiliated with the Florida Panthers since the team was the Portland Pirates in 2015.
Chinese smartphone brand Oppo and the Boston Athletic Association announce Oppo’s four-year sponsorship of the Boston Marathon. Lagardère Sports China, the Chinese arm of Lagardère, brokered the deal. The deal includes Oppo’s smartphone and smartwatch products, and will allow marathon runners to use Oppo’s watch technology to measure physiological data during the race. This is the BAA’s first ever Chinese brand partner.
Mar 9, 2020
Compass Diversified Holdings (NYSE: CODI) enters into a definitive agreement to acquire Baton Rouge, La.-based Marucci Sports, LLC for $200 million (excluding working capital and certain other adjustments upon closing).
Mar 10, 2019
Yuengling becomes the “Official Lager” of the Philadelphia Phillies, in a multiyear partnership. A Phillies sponsor since 2017, Yuengling extends its partnership while introducing several new elements for the 2020 MLB season, including new, limited-edition “Phillies Yuengling Lager” cans emblazoned with the retro Phillies logo. Yuengling will also extend its 2019 partnership with Phillies’ pitcher Aaron Nola, the first active MLB player to have a partnership with a beer brand.
The National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) Board of Player Representatives elect J.C. Tretter (Cleveland Browns) as their new president and add four more new players to the Executive Committee: Alex Mack (treasurer), Calais Campbell, Malcolm Jenkins and Wesley Woodyard. All five players will serve two-year terms. Returning EC members are Sam Acho, Lorenzo Alexander, Thomas Morstead, Richard Sherman, Michael Thomas and Ben Watson, who were all re-elected.
Mar 11, 2020
National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) announces three-year media rights deals with CBS Sports and Twitch acquiring exclusive rights to all NWSL matches, beginning with the 2020 season. Octagon brokers the deals. Highlights:
- CBS Sports will deliver a total of 87 NWSL matches in 2020 across CBS, CBS Sports Network and CBS All Access, CBS’s subscription video on demand and live streaming service.
- Twitch will present 24 free, select matches during the 2020 NWSL regular season. Twitch will also serve as the NWSL’s exclusive international media rights partner outside the U.S., making all 108 regular season games, the playoffs and championship available to global viewers.
- The NWSL and Twitch will collaborate on additional league and player-related content and original programming opportunities.
Levy will begin serving Belmont Park from the opening of its spring meet on Apr 24. The course’s spring meet runs until July 12 and includes 58 total stakes races, highlighted by the three-day Belmont Stakes Racing Festival from June 4-6. Levy has agreed a multi-year deal with Belmont Park.
After the Belmont’s spring meet concludes in July, Levy will manage Saratoga Race Course’s 1863 Club, The Stretch, Turf Terrace, Club Terrace, The Porch and Easy Goer spaces. Saratoga’s 2020 meet will run from July 16 to Sep 7.
Levy will manage a hospitality team comprised of CxRA, Mazzone Hospitality and Union Square Events. Levy’s technology and analytics company, E15 Group, will also develop food and beverage options at the two race courses based on fan preferences and dining trends.
Mar 15, 2020
The NFLPA ratifies NFL owners’ proposed new Collective Bargaining Agreement. The 10-year pact was approved 1,019 to 959 and includes adding one game to the regular-season beginning with the 2021 season.
Mar 16, 2020
MLB and MLBPA make a joint donation of $1 million to help fight hunger as a result of school closures and quarantines stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. The donation will be split evenly among Feeding America and Meals on Wheels America.
Mar 18, 2020
National Lacrosse League (NLL) redesigns its logo to “honor fans, players, teams, coaches and staff during the season stoppage caused by coronavirus.” The revised logo features a mosaic of photos of fans, players and staff. The league has asked fans, and all stakeholders, to submit their photos using #NLL, and it will periodically update the logo incorporating the new submissions.
Mar 26, 2020
The NCAA Board of Governors unanimously votes to distribute $225 million to Division I members this June, down from the previously budgeted $600M. $50M will come from NCAA reserves. DI revenue distribution for 2020 previously was budgeted at approximately $600 million, with the first distribution scheduled for April.
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