Nov 2020 staff moves and sports business industry news in one spot — updated as they happen, so make sure you check back throughout the month.
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AGENCIES, BRANDS, LEAGUES & TEAMS
Nov 3, 2020
Nov 6, 2020
Hedge fund billionaire Steve Cohen closes on his $2.42 billion purchase of an additional 87 percent of the New York Mets from the Wilpon/Katz family. This brings Cohen’s total stake in the team to 95 percent and officially makes him the team’s controlling owner.
Nov 7, 2020
The New York Yankees announce their realigned minor league affiliations, including ending relationships with four affiliates: Trenton Thunder, Charleston RiverDogs, Staten Island Yankees and the Pulaski Yankees. The Yankees 2021 hierarchy:
- AAA: Scranton Wilkes Barre Railriders (only affiliate carried over at same level)
- AA: Somerset Patriots (previously independent Atlantic League)
- High A: Hudson Valley Renegades (previously Low A Tampa Bay Rays affiliate)
- Low A: Tampa Tarpons (previously Yankees’ High A affiliate)
Nov 10, 2020
- Season to begin Tuesday, Dec 22
- Each team plays a 72-game schedule
- A new system will be used to ensure the parties’ agreed-upon split of basketball-related income (BRI). In the event player compensation exceeds the players’ designated share in any season, necessary salary reductions beyond the standard 10 percent escrow would be spread across that season and potentially the following two seasons, subject to a maximum salary reduction in any season of 20 percent.
- Salary Cap will be $109.140 million and the Tax Level will be $132.627 million. In subsequent seasons of the CBA, the Salary Cap and Tax Level will increase by a minimum of three percent and a maximum of 10 percent over the prior season. Teams’ Tax payments will be reduced in proportion to any BRI decreases.
- Free agent negotiations will begin on Nov 20 at 6 pm ET, with signings starting at 12:01 pm ET on Nov 22.
The Mets reveal their four 2021 minor league affiliates in the revamped minor league baseball structure. Ending relationships with (South Atlantic League) Columbia Fireflies and (Appalachian League) Kingsport Mets. The Mets 2021 heirarchy:
- AAA: Syracuse Mets (carried over at same level)
- AA or High A: Binghamton Rumble Ponies (previously Mets’ AA Eastern League affiliate)
- AA or High A: Brooklyn Cyclones (previously Mets’ Short Season A affiliate in New York-Penn League)
- Low A: St. Lucie Mets (previously Mets’ Advanced A affiliate in Florida State League)
Nov 11, 2020
The American Association of Independent Professional Baseball (AAI) partners with Facebook‘s Facebook Watch for a live Game of the Week. Each week during the 2021 season, one AAI game will be live streamed globally for a total of 16 games. Free for all fans, the Game of the Week will feature all AAI teams with at least one game from very home stadium.
Nov 13, 2020
United Soccer League (USL) and Puma agree to a three-year deal with Puma to become the national partner for the new USL Academy League, which will launch Spring 2021 with more than 50 clubs across 25 states in the U.S. In addition, Puma becomes the official apparel partner of Oakland Roots Sports Club, which moves up to USL Championship in 2021. Puma first inked a deal for 2020 with USL Championship’s New Mexico United.
Nov 16, 2020
National Lacrosse League (NLL) names equipment manufacturer Wolf Athletics the Official Goal of NLL, as well as an Official Equipment Sponsor.
Nov 17, 2020
Vistaprint and the Boston Celtics unveil a multi-year partnership in which Vistaprint becomes the team’s “Exclusive Marketing and Design Partner.” As part of the partnership, Vistaprint becomes the team’s new jersey patch sponsor beginning with the 2020-21 season. Vistaprint replaces the C’s original patch partner, General Electric. Excel Sports Management’s Properties team was engaged by the Boston Celtics to help secure the partnership.
Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury, together with Verizon, announce a naming rights deal for the teams’ new $45 million 53,000 square-foot basketball facility, to be called the Verizon 5G Performance Center. The partnership includes the application of Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband throughout the facility, along with more than 150 cameras and sensors, plus 3D force plates, fused with computer vision and motion analysis, player and ball tracking and ShotTracker. Combined, these elements form the “5G Lab” within the 5G Performance Center.
Nov 18, 2020
Major League Baseball owners formally approve Peter Seidler as the new control person for the San Diego Padres. Seidler had agreed to purchase a portion of Ron Fowler‘s shares, making Seidler the team’s largest single equity holder. Additionally, the Padres announce that Seidler will become Executive Chair, while Fowler will transition to Vice Chair and an advisory role.
Nov 19, 2020
Angel City FC announces they will call LAFC‘s Banc of California Stadium home when it takes the pitch in Spring 2022 as part of the NWSL. The team also names Heineken as its first founding partner and their first sponsor. With the partnership, Heineken and Tecate receive full marketing rights to activate the partnership along with rights to all Angel City FC marks.
Visa and the National Football League (NFL) finalize “plans for safer and more secure payments via a cash-free future for the Super Bowl” beginning with Super Bowl LV. Simultaneously, Visa unveiled Visa’s Guide to Touchless Payments: A Key To The Return Of Live Events, a new step-by-step guide to provide support to venues and events around adopting touchless payments.
Nov 24, 2020
Hyperice named “Official Recovery Technology” and Official Recovery Technology Partner of the NFL. The two will work together with PFATS (The Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society) to deliver recovery technology solutions to NFL member clubs.
Pittsburgh Steelers name BetMGM the team’s first Gaming Partner. The partnership includes assets such as presenting sponsorship of the Steelers Kickoff pregame show, as well as team broadcast programming, digital marketing assets and in-stadium promotions and signage. When BetMGM’s online sports betting product launches later this year, the company will also become an Official Sports Betting Partner.
Nov 30, 2020
- Mahoning Valley Scrappers — formerly New York-Penn League
- State College Spikes — formerly NYPL
- Trenton Thunder — formerly Eastern League
- West Virginia Black Bears — formerly NYPL
- Williamsport Crosscutters — formerly NYPL
The MLB Draft League will be run by Prep Baseball Report which in turn names Kerrick Jackson, Executive Director, MLB & Collegiate Initiatives, which also encompasses leadership of the new MLB Draft League.
Also in MLB news, the Pioneer League becomes an MLB “Partner League” starting in 2021, with all eight clubs transitioning from affiliated Rookie-level status to an independent professional league. MLB will provide initial funding for the league’s operating expenses, as well as install scouting technology in Pioneer League ballparks. The agreement also includes procedures for player transfers to MLB Clubs. The leagues also will explore joint marketing, ticketing and fan engagement opportunities. All existing Pioneer League teams remain for 2021:
- Billings Mustangs
- Grand Junction Rockies
- Great Falls Voyagers
- Idaho Falls Chukars
- Missoula Paddleheads
- Ogden Raptors
- Northern Colorado Owlz — Orem Owlz franchise moves to Windsor, Colo., from Orem, Utah
- Rocky Mountain Vibes
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