Friday Five: NBA’s Ralph Rivera On Playing Games In Paris

  • The NBA is playing its first-ever regular season game in Paris this season - and has already announced plans to play another in 2021.
  • The league has specifically targeted France as a growth market, a country that already supplies the league with star players like Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert.

The NBA will play its first regular-season game in Paris today, as the Charlotte Hornets will play the Milwaukee Bucks in the French capital. While it’s the first time the league is playing a game outside of London since the NBA began playing regular-season games in Europe in 2011, it won’t take long for the league to return – NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced yesterday that another game would be played in Paris in 2021. What has attracted the NBA […]

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Sportsbooks Lukewarm on Early XFL Betting Potential

  • While football is among the most popular sports to bet on, sportsbooks aren't too high on the XFL prior to its first season.
  • Among the issues are lack of team loyalty from bettors and a lack of history for setting the odds.

Football is king when it comes to the multi-billion dollar sports betting industry. However, unlike the NFL and college football, the XFL is unlikely to be a big draw. While it’s less than a month from the new league’s Week 1 kickoff, U.S. sportsbooks aren’t too high on Vince McMahon’s latest project’s prospects. Still, it’s a new entity that will certainly bring in more money on game days than a day without it. William Hill U.S. Director of Trading Nick […]

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MLR Las Vegas Weekend

Las Vegas Continues Building Sports Destination With Rugby Weekend

  • Attempting to further establish itself as a global sports destination, Las Vegas will host five Major League Rugby games in February.
  • MLR Vegas Weekend is, in part, a response to the USA Sevens rugby tournament leaving following a decade in Las Vegas.

Las Vegas continues to build toward its claim as a global sports destination next month when Major League Rugby heads to Southern Nevada.  The league, entering its third season, will hold five games across two weekends in February. The move to host MLR games in Las Vegas is a way to escape the cold climates several of the league’s teams call home, said Rob Cornelius, president of Las Vegas-based Emersion Sports & Entertainment, which is hosting the weekend.  However, it’s […]

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Comcast NBCUniversal Launches New Sports Tech Startup Accelerator

  • The new Sports Tech accelerator will offer startups the chance to undergo pilots with six partnering brands at launch including NBC Sports, The Golf Channel, and NASCAR.
  • Startups joining the inaugural Sports Tech accelerator will receive a combined $50,000 investment from Comcast NBCUniversal and Boomtown Accelerators in return for a 6% stake in their company.

Comcast NBCUniversal is introducing a new startup accelerator intended to bolster the sports media giant’s innovation efforts, while keeping a pulse on emerging technologies coming down the pipeline. At launch, the new Sports Tech accelerator will offer startups the chance to undergo pilots with six partnering brands. They include NBC Sports, The Golf Channel, NASCAR, Sky Sports, USA Swimming, and U.S. Ski & Snowboard.  Startups can now apply for the Sports Tech accelerator through May 15. The three-month program will […]

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NFL Teams Hit The Gym To Engage Fans

  • The NFL's 49ers, Bears, Browns and Cowboys are partnering with 24-Hour Fitness founder Mark Mastrov to open team-themed fitness centers.
  • The new 49ers Fit allows members to study film of how he trained for the NFL season, says three-time Super Bowl champion Roger Craig.

As NFL teams look to maximize their non-football related revenue while also engaging fans away from games, they’re looking to a place where more Americans are showing up each year – the gym. In the last few years, the San Francisco 49ers, Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns, and Dallas Cowboys have all teamed with 24 Hour Fitness founder Mark Mastrov to open team-branded gyms.  “If you think about NFL revenue streams, we have our broadcast, we have our ticket sales, we […]

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sports merchandise

Sports Merchandise Opportunities Growing Beyond Jerseys, Logo Tees

  • Team merchandise lines are growing as fans seek to show off their loyalty outside the stadium.
  • From lifestyle brand partnerships to quick moment-in-time products, teams are looking for a way into the closet.

As fan habits change, so too are the ways teams are approaching merchandise.  Teams are filling out their retail stores with wider arrays of clothing options – well beyond jerseys and logo tees – and staying nimble and launching merchandise that ties into the moment. Several teams the past year have seen immense success capturing a moment and celebrating it with the fans, from the Carolina Hurricanes’ “Bunch of Jerks” and St. Louis Blues “Gloria” to the Washington National’s “Baby […]

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Detroit Practice Facility

NBA Practice Facilities Bringing in Community, Sponsorships

  • NBA teams are increasingly investing in bigger and better practice facilities.
  • With the investments come an increased focus on community, and partners recognize the value.

As the Detroit Pistons made their move from the Palace of Auburn Hills to Little Caesars Arena in downtown Detroit in 2017, the team also made a bigger commitment to be a part of the Detroit community – a new practice facility. In October, the Pistons opened the Henry Ford Detroit Pistons Performance Center, less than two miles from its new home court. The $90 million-dollar facility is meant to help contribute to the “continued rebirth and revitalization” of Detroit, […]

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lebron lakers

Sneaker Demand Fuels Nike Earnings

  • Among the basketball shoes flying off the shelves at Nike in the company's fiscal second quarter are limited-edition Jordans, plus LeBron James and Kyrie Irving's signature sneakers.
  • China led all international markets in overall sales growth at 23%, amid continuing political tensions in Hong Kong, according to NIKE CEO Mark Parker.

Nike saw significant growth in the second quarter of its fiscal 2020 year, as sales grew by double-digits in each of its core markets.  Demand for limited-edition Jordan sneakers propelled the popular shoe line to its first billion-dollar quarter, according to the company. In recent months, Nike has steadily rolled out multiple variations of the original Air Jordan 1 in different colors which fans have gravitated to, it said. “Our deliberate strategy is to add new styles and colors to […]

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How Two American Youngsters Are Attracting Attention To The NBL

  • Since 2015, the National Basketball League has become what many argue as the second-best basketball league in the world.
  • With LaMelo Ball and RJ Hampton, the NBL has seen record attendance numbers and successful partnerships with Facebook Watch and SLAM.

When Jeremy Loeliger became CEO of the National Basketball League in June 2015, the league’s future was grim. Less than a month later, the only significant funding that backed the NBL were federal grants – that were expiring. The only notable money that was coming into the NBL came via Wilson Basketballs, which supplied the game balls. Outside of that, the NBL had no big media rights deals to lean on. It also had no advertising partners or sponsors to […]

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Minor League Baseball Bringing More Women To Winter Meetings

  • Since 2017, Minor League Baseball has welcomed women to Winter Meetings through its Women in Baseball Leadership Event Scholarship opportunity.
  • In two years, nearly 200 women have applied for a handful of scholarship slots for the Winter Meetings.

Since 2008, Minor League Baseball has hosted the annual Women in Baseball Leadership Event in December during the league’s Winter Baseball Meetings. Throughout the years though, the event proved to be a significant cost barrier for many league officials, particularly women. To assist female baseball executives who may not otherwise have the opportunity to attend the Baseball Winter Meetings, the Women in Baseball Leadership Committee launched the inaugural Women in Baseball Leadership Event Scholarship in 2017. “After the first year, […]

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