Sporticast 342: Global Stars, Soccer Clash in Wrexham-Necaxa Deals

On the latest Sporticast episode, hosts Scott Soshnick and Eben Novy-Williams discuss some of the biggest sports business stories of the week, including the collision of global celebrity and international soccer in two clubs that play 5,400 miles apart.

In a pair of recent deals, Wrexham AFC’s owners (actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney) bought a minority stake in Mexico’s Club Necaxa, and a number of Necaxa’s backers (including Eva Longoria) bought a 5% stake in Wrexham.

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The hosts discuss the success that Reynolds and McElhenney have had with Wrexham, which has been promoted twice and is making a lot more money from sponsors and international touring. That includes the success of the Welcome to Wrexham, an award-winning docuseries about the club that is entering its third season. The hosts talk about whether a similar series about Necaxa might be in the works, plus other potential offshoots of the overlap, including preseason games against each other and putting players on loan.

Next, they discuss the latest with Nike’s controversial new MLB uniforms. The MLB Players Association on Sunday sent a letter to its member blasting Nike for the problems. It’s rare for a union to so openly criticize a league partner, particularly one so prominent and entrenched as Nike. The letter also absolved Fanatics, which makes the uniforms on Nike’s behalf. The union has an equity position in Fanatics, and partners with the company on trading cards and NFTs.

Lastly, they discuss NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s plan to move the Super Bowl back a week, and add an 18th regular season game to the schedule. Goodell mentioned the two things in a recent podcast appearance, and the proposal is certain to draw criticism from the NFLPA and its members.

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