Oct 2021 staff moves and sports business industry news in one spot — updated as they happen, so make sure you check back regularly.
Oct 1, 2021
Following the publication of an explosive investigative report in The Athletic regarding North Carolina Courage coach Paul Riley‘s treatment of players at several previous coaching stops, including the Portland Thorns, and subsequent handling by the NWSL, the league postpones all games scheduled for the upcoming weekend. By the end of the day, Commissioner Lisa Baird resigns.
— National Women’s Soccer League (@NWSL) October 2, 2021
Oct 3, 2021
The NWSL announces the formation of a new committee — comprised of Orlando Pride EVP Amanda Duffy (previously president of the NWSL) as well as Kansas City co-owner Angie Long and OL Reign/OL Groupe’s NWSL board representative Sophie Sauvage — that will lead the league front office on a temporary basis. According to the release, “A global search for a permanent commissioner is underway.” The NWSL also announced that it has retained law firm Covington & Burling to oversee a number of investigations, to be led by Amanda Kramer, former Asst U.S. Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. Kramer, according to the league, “will lead the firm’s team and will report directly to the NWSL board’s newly-formed executive committee.”
Oct 4, 2021
PGA TOUR and PointsBet announce a three-year extension of their multi-year content and marketing relationship designating PointsBet an Official Betting Operator of the PGA TOUR. As part of the expanded relationship, PointsBet’s live betting odds integrations will be featured on PGA TOUR linear and streaming broadcasts on GOLF Channel and Peacock with plans to include on the NBC broadcast in the future. PointsBet is the official sports betting partner of NBC Sports.
The National Basketball Association (NBA) announces an extension of its current partnership with American Express. The agreement will see the corporation continue as the Official Card of the NBA, as well as the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) and the NBA G League.
Oct 5, 2021
The Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) announces Chevron as the new title sponsor of The Chevron Championship through a six-year partnership that will in part increase the prize purse by over 60 percent to $5 million.
Oct 8, 2021
Angel City Football Club (ACFC) announces Melissa’s Produce, the largest distributor of specialty produce in the U.S., as a team partner. With this sponsorship, Melissa’s and ACFC will continue to use their platforms to provide healthy food to the Los Angeles community.
Oct 12, 2021
CLC, the collegiate trademark licensing company and division of Learfield, and OneTeam Partners will work together to offer individual opt-in for co-branded licensing opportunities that combine athlete name, image, and likeness (NIL) with collegiate marks and logos.
Oct 13, 2021
DraftKings Inc. announces a deal with the National Hockey League to become an Official Sports Betting, Daily Fantasy Sports and iGaming Partner of the league in the U.S. To complement the deal, DraftKings also reaches an agreement with Turner Sports, including Bleacher Report, to be the exclusive sportsbook and daily fantasy sports provider for their coverage of the NHL.
Oct 14, 2021
The Minnesota Wild and Twin Cities Toyota dealers announce a multi-year partnership as the team’s new helmet entitlement partner. The Toyota logo will appear exclusively on the Wild’s home and road helmets. Twin Cities Toyota Dealers will continue as the Official Automotive Partner of the Minnesota Wild.
Oct 18, 2021
Google and the National Basketball Association (NBA) announces a multiyear marketing and technology partnership that will see Google Pixel become the Official Fan Phone of the NBA, NBA G League and NBA 2K League. As part of the deal, Google Pixel will become the first-ever presenting partner of the NBA Playoffs with integration into the league’s full slate of nationally televised playoff games on ESPN and TNT, joining YouTube TV, which is the presenting partner of the NBA Finals.
Oct 19, 2020
- Max Weisenbach has been named Director, Team Business Services
- Elizabeth Ingram has been named Manager, Creative Services
- Liam Chambers has been named Manager, Business Analytics
- Amanda Desaulniers has been named Coordinator, Marketing Services
- Dakota Keene has been named Coordinator, Hockey Operations
- Morgan Price has been named Social Media Specialist
In addition, Sean Smith has been promoted to Director, Marketing.
Oct 20, 2021
The Arizona Diamondbacks name Steve Mullins as Senior Vice President, Corporate Partnerships, Media & Events. The 18-year industry veteran returns for his second stint with the D-backs, having worked for the team previously from 2007-13, culminating with two seasons as VP, Corporate Partnerships in 2012-13.
Oct 21, 2021
The American Athletic Conference Board of Directors and Commissioner Mike Aresco announce that six universities have had their applications for membership in The American approved by the conference’s nine continuing members. The six new institutions, whose membership in The American will begin on a date to be determined, will be:
- University of Alabama at Birmingham – Birmingham, Ala.
- Florida Atlantic University – Boca Raton, Fla.
- Rice University – Houston, Texas
- University of North Carolina at Charlotte – Charlotte, N.C.
- University of North Texas – Denton, Texas
- University of Texas at San Antonio – San Antonio, Texas
The six universities will join the nine continuing members – East Carolina, Memphis, Navy (football only), South Florida, SMU, Temple, Tulane, Tulsa and Wichita State (basketball and Olympic sports only) – to bring ACC membership to 15 schools. The American will compete as a 14-team league in football and in men’s and women’s basketball, among other sports.
The Nashville Predators and Bally’s Corporation announces a partnership designating Bally’s as an Official Sports Betting Partner and the Official Free-to-Play Partner of the Nashville Predators and Bridgestone Arena. The partnership, which runs through 2025, will grant Nashville Predators intellectual property rights to Bally’s, as well as provide Bally’s with access to team logos, marks and certain content rights. The agreement marks Bally’s first partnership with an NHL franchise and its first with a professional sports team in the state of Tennessee.
Oct 25, 2021
The Philadelphia 76ers announce a multi-year partnership with Betway, making the global online sports betting company owned by Super Group an Official Partner of the team. As part of the agreement, Betway signage will be displayed throughout Wells Fargo Center during locally televised 76ers regular-season home games, including visibility on team bench aprons, courtside LEDs and basket stanchion LEDs throughout games. Betway’s marks will also be seen on TV-visible signage alongside the scorers’ table.
Oct 26, 2021
The National Lacrosse League (NLL) announces media rights agreement giving ESPN and ESPN+ exclusive rights in the U.S. and the rest of the world outside Canada for live NLL games. All NLL games will be carried on an ESPN network or platform. ESPN linear networks – with a minimum of 10 live games annually – and ESPN+ will combine to carry up to 139 games exclusively each year. It will be the largest number of live televised games in the history of the league.
Kansas City NWSL owners Angie Long, Chris Long and Brittany Matthews announce plans to construct the first soccer stadium purpose-built for a National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) team. The announcement comes just over 10 months since the group was awarded a franchise and is the latest in a series of major investments for the team. With final designs still in development, the estimated $70-million project will be entirely privately financed through the ownership group, with the team signing a 50-year lease for Parcel 8, the 7.08-acre site on the east end of the Berkley Riverfront in Kansas City, Mo. (Rendering pictured above in header.)
BMW announces two separate agreements to become the official luxury automotive partner of the New York Islanders and an official partner of the New Jersey Devils. In collaboration with the NHL teams, BMW looks to focus on creating ‘premium experiences’ for hockey fans and event attendees at Prudential Center and UBS Arena. Additionally, the partnerships will include free parking and perks for BMW owners, a host of experiential activations designed to engage current and future BMW owners, and naming rights in select arena venues.
Oct 30, 2021
At halftime of their final home match of 2021, Kansas City NWSL team officials unveil the team’s new name—Kansas City Current—as well as related branding and uniforms, effective immediately. In fact, the team came out of the locker room for the game’s second half in their new kits.
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Header photo: Rendering of planned Kansas City Current stadium (Courtesy KC Current) Updated: Oct 31, 2021