Sep 2020 staff moves and industry news in one spot — updated as they happen, so make sure you check back throughout the month.
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Joe Dumars is elevated to Chief Strategy Officer at the Sacramento Kings from (Interim) EVP, Basketball Operations. In his new role, he will continue to report to the owner and chairman, and help drive strategy across the organization’s entire portfolio of activities, including business, basketball, new ventures, entertainment and real estate.
Seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson, who will retire from driving the stock car series full-time at the end of this season, announces he will work with Chip Ganassi Racing to finalize sponsorship on a two-year program in IndyCar. Johnson would drive the road and street course races on IndyCar’s schedule. Johnson is looking to run in 15 events total next year, meaning he would need to add NASCAR races and other marquee sports car events.
Pat O’Conner, re-elected to another term as president of Minor League Baseball in Dec 2019, announces he will retire effective Dec 31, 2020. He was first named president in Dec 2007 and re-elected in 2011, 2015 and 2019.
Bubba Wallace, driver of the No. 43 car for Richard Petty Motorsports in NASCAR’s Cup Series, announces he will leave RPM at the end of the 2020 season, taking his recently signed partnerships with DoorDash, Columbia Sportswear Co. and Cash App, with him, along with personal deals with Beats and McDonald’s. UPDATED: His new team has been revealed, see Sep 21 below for more details.
BRANDS, LEAGUES & TEAMS
Sep 2, 2020
The NBA G League unveils NBA G League Ignite as the name for its new team of elite prospects, which recently began training in Walnut Creek, Calif. This new team is dedicated to developing top young players through a one-year program as an alternative to college basketball, focused on NBA Draft readiness and growth of professional life skills.
Sep 4, 2020
NovaCare Rehabilitation extends with the Chicago Fire an additional three years. NovaCare will continue to serve as “official provider of physical therapy and athletic training.” The partnership provides physical therapy for the first team and athletic training for the Chicago Fire Academy and Chicago Fire Juniors City teams.
Sep 8, 2020
The Inglewood Basketball and Entertainment Center (IBEC) receives final approval from the Inglewood City Council on the planned campus that will include an 18,000-seat basketball arena, team practice facility and corporate offices for the LA Clippers (rendering shown above). As a result, the Clippers have opened their waitlist for season tickets and other selected arena experiences. The project is expected to break ground in summer of 2021, opening in time for the start of the 2024-25 NBA season.
Sep 9, 2020
The National Football League and Postmates have entered into a multi-year sponsorship agreement making Postmates the first official on-demand food delivery partner of the NFL. Postmates also becomes an official sponsor of NFL events including the Super Bowl, Pro Bowl and Draft. To kickoff the 2020 NFL season on Thurs night (Sep 10) with the Kansas City Chiefs playing the Houston Texans, Postmates has teamed up with Chiefs’ QB Patrick Mahomes’ foundation 15 and the Mahomies to deliver meals to frontline healthcare workers at the Ben Taub Hospital in Houston. Texans’ QB Deshaun Watson has stepped up to the challenge and is using Postmates to deliver meals to frontline workers at Truman Medical Center Hospital Hill in Kansas City.
Sep 10, 2020
F.N.B. Corporation, parent company of First National Bank, and the Pittsburgh Penguins announce a multi-year partnership agreement that makes F.N.B. the Official Retail Banking Partner and Official Digital Banking Partner of the Penguins. F.N.B. becomes a Penguins Founding Partner and the deal includes naming of “F.N.B. Club” premium seating on the west side of PPG Arena, as well as the “F.N.B. Gate” for premium guests.
Sep 11, 2020
Google and Hollywood Park, the home of the new SoFi Stadium, announced a multi-year, multi-faceted partnership that includes Google’s Google Cloud and YouTube brands. Details of the partnership sold by Legends Global Partnerships:
- Google Cloud will power SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park’s digital innovation experiences and provide core technologies for SoFi Stadium’s two main tenants, the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers. In return, Google Cloud has been named “exclusive cloud partner” of SoFi Stadium, Hollywood Park, the Rams and the Chargers.
- YouTube named “official video streaming sponsor” of the Rams, Chargers, SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park.
Sep 14, 2020
For the second time this year, Steve Cohen, CEO & chair of Stamford, Conn.-based Point72 Asset Management, reaches an agreement to buy the New York Mets from the Wilpon family. Cohen, already a minority investor holding 8 percent of the team, will up his stake to 95 percent in a deal that values the team at $2.42 billion. The sale does not include SNY, the Mets’ RSN. MLB owners will vote on the sale at their next meeting in Nov 2020.
Sep 16, 2020
MLS expansion club St. Louis City SC begins taking season ticket deposits for their 2023 season launch. The team reports 30,000 seats reserved in the first 15 minutes, and hits 50,000 in the first 24 hours, “shattering the previous best turnout for season ticket deposits in the history of Major League Soccer.”
Oak View Group and the H.N. & Frances C. Berger Foundation unveil new plans to build a state-of-the-art sports and entertainment arena for Coachella Valley to house the Seattle Kraken‘s expansion AHL club. The 43-acre site includes an adjacent training facility and community gathering spaces. The first concept presented in late 2019 proposed an arena on 16 acres of tribal land in downtown Palm Springs belonging to the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, a federally recognized tribe. The project will be privately funded and erected on land owned by the foundation. Ground-breaking and arena construction are scheduled for 2021, with the venue to open in time for the 2022-23 AHL season and the team’s debut.
Sep 17, 2020
Kraken names Premera Blue Cross the team’s official health insurance partner.
Ready Nutrition becomes official protein of UCLA Athletics. Ready will be the exclusive provider of protein products to the nearly 700 student-athletes in all 25 Bruin sports. UCLA Rose Bowl Sports Properties, the Bruins’ multimedia rights holder and locally-based sponsorship team for Learfield IMG College, secured the deal.
Sep 18, 2020
The United States Hockey League (USHL) announces both the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders and Madison Capitols will suspend operations for the 2020-21 season. The RoughRiders home arena, the ImOn Ice Arena incurred substantial damage during the Aug 10, 2020 derecho storm. The Capitols face significant county restrictions related to COVID-19 that affect their ability to practice, play and host spectators.
Sep 21, 2020
Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan and NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin announce they have purchased a NASCAR team charter and will start a single-car racing team that will be the new home of driver Bubba Wallace for the 2021 Cup season. Hamlin will continue to drive for Joe Gibbs Racing with the new team reportedly partnering with JGR. More details on the new team will be announced at a later date.
Sep 23, 2020
NASCAR will wind down Americrown, International Speedway Corp.’s in-house food-and-beverage operations subsidiary since 1989, and transition F&B services for their 16 tracks to Levy. The partnership officially begins in Jan 2021 at Daytona International Speedway‘s IMSA Rolex 24 Hours events. Levy has agreed to hire current Americrown employees.
Major League Baseball (MLB) and the independent Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB) announce an agreement designating the ALPB as MLB’s first “partner league,” expanding through the 2023 season their existing arrangement as an experimental testing ground for rules changes. The two leagues will “meet regularly…to discuss joint marketing and promotional opportunities, including the leagues’ shared goal of providing baseball to communities throughout the United States.”
Sep 24, 2020
Hyperice and National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL) announce their partnership. Hyperice becomes the league’s “Official Recovery Partner” with the company “included in the league’s global streams on Twitch, and NWHL players will team up on activations that utilize Hyperice products. Hyperice technology will also be integrated into the league’s social media and other digital platforms.”
Global sportsbook operator PointsBet becomes sportsbook partner of the Indianapolis Colts. Assets include PointsBet becoming a presenting sponsor of the “Official Colts Podcast.” Additionally, PointsBet gains access to mobile app push notifications for Colts regular season games prior to kickoff, access to various Colts social media assets, advertisement opportunities, and spots during the “Colts Roundtable Live” radio show.
Turner Sports and MLB announce a seven-year media rights extension that will run through the 2028 season. Per reports, in the new agreement Turner Sports will pay roughly $535 million annually—a 65 percent increase over their previous deal’s $325 million annual sum—with the total value of the extension $3.7 billion.
Sep 25, 2020
PointsBet becomes the Chicago Bears‘ first sports betting sponsor. Through the partnership, PointsBet gains full usage of Bears IP, marks and logos, as well as sponsorship opportunities and brand visibility across various digital assets.
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