Sportico Transactions: Moves and Mergers Roundup for Oct. 8

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Welcome to Sportico’s Transactions wire, a weekly rundown of personnel, partnerships and purchases across the sports business industry.

Personnel

National Research Group Hires Former NBA Exec Jay Kaufman

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National Research Group announced that Jay Kaufman, a longtime senior NBA executive, has been appointed Executive Vice President, Head of Sports. Kaufman will lead the company’s sports research and consulting practice, and his role will center on providing counsel in the areas of fan engagement, media strategy, issues tracking and product innovation.

Kaufman comes to NRG after a 22-year career at the National Basketball Association, where he most recently served as Senior Vice President, Global Research and Insights.

WynnBET Appoints Ian Williams as Chief Operating Officer

WynnBET, the online sports betting and iGaming app from Wynn Resorts, announced it has appointed 20-year gaming industry veteran Ian Williams as Chief Operating Officer. In this role, Williams will oversee WynnBET’s trading, marketing, customer service, payments and data science teams and report directly to Wynn Interactive CEO Craig Billings. Williams most recently served as President of Online Gaming for Churchill Downs Inc.

The Professional Triathletes Organisation Names Martin Turner Head of Broadcast

The Professional Triathletes Organisation has appointed multi-award winning director and producer Martin Turner as its Head of Broadcast. Turner’s appointment follows the successful global broadcast of the inaugural Collins Cup earlier this year, which Turner executive produced alongside host broadcaster, Film Nova. Loosely modelled after golf’s Ryder Cup, the Collins Cup is a competition between USA, Europe and the Internationals.

Hall of Famer Ben Wallace Joins Pistons in Basketball Operations Role

The Detroit Pistons announced Ben Wallace, who spent nine seasons playing for the team, will join the organization as a basketball operations and team engagement advisor. In this role, Wallace will assist Troy Weaver and the basketball operations staff, and Dwane Casey and the coaching staff by serving as a mentor and developmental asset for players on the Pistons roster and those joining the G League’s Motor City Cruise. The four-time Defensive Player of the Year will also engage on select organizational business initiatives and community efforts.

Partnerships

Pepsi Announces Partnership With Seattle Kraken and Climate Pledge Arena

PepsiCo Beverages North America and the Seattle Kraken have announced a new partnership that will deliver the company’s products to Kraken fans in Seattle while committing to the sustainability goals of Climate Pledge Arena. As a signatory, PepsiCo will join the pledge to commit to regularly reporting greenhouse gas emissions, implementing decarbonization strategies and neutralizing any remaining emissions to achieve net-zero annual carbon emissions by 2040. As part of the deal, PBNA will be the exclusive carbonated soft drink, water, sports performance (Gatorade), energy, tea, juice and mixers provider of the Seattle Kraken and Climate Pledge Arena.

MSG Sports and MSG Entertainment Renew Lexus Partnership

Madison Square Garden Sports Corp. and Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp. announced a multi-year marketing partnership renewal with Lexus, continuing the luxury automaker’s role as a Signature Partner of both companies. Lexus will receive brand exposure on static and digital signage during all Knicks and Rangers games at Madison Square Garden, as well as on the digital boards outside of Madison Square Garden.

PlayersTV Adds Streaming Content Distribution Partners

PlayersTV, the athlete-owned media and entertainment network, has announced new multi-year distribution agreements with YouTube TV, a streaming television service that offers live TV and on-demand video; Rakuten TV, a leading European transactional and free platform; Philo, a live-TV streaming cable alternative featuring content from more than 60 channels; and Local Now, an over-the-top internet television service. The new distribution channels expand PlayersTV’s reach to more than 285+MM households and devices.

More than 50 athletes are investors in PlayersTV, which develops original series, co-produced by athletes and brand partners.

Parleh Media Group to Launch Canada’s First Dedicated Sports Betting Network

Parleh Media Group, an independent content and production company, announced the launch of Parleh TV—the country’s first dedicated sports betting broadcast network. The free online channel will be available to all sports fans 24/7 starting on Tuesday, Oct. 12, just ahead of the NHL season start

Brooklyn Nets Partner With Blockchain Provider Socios

Socios.com, a global blockchain provider for the sports and entertainment industry, has announced a new partnership with the Brooklyn Nets. As part of the deal, Socios.com will be integrated across the team’s social channels and receive digital signage at all Nets home games, as well as open the SociosSuite at Barclays Center, which will serve as a fan-centric experience opportunity.

Fulham F.C. Adds Asiabet33 as Official Asian Betting Partner

Fulham Football Club has announced a partnership with Asiabet33 as the club’s official Asian betting partner for the remainder of the 2021-22 season. Established in 2017, Asiabet33 develops gaming technology in Asia. The company and its subsidiaries currently operate in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and Japan, with expansion plans in place for the rest of the continent.

Coachbetter Secures Nearly $1Million in Seed Funding for Soccer Management

Digital soccer coaching platform Coachbetter announced the close of its seed funding round, totaling almost $1 million. Coachbetter is a subscription-based platform that includes personalized training packages and activities, team management, game and training scheduling for coach and athlete development. Users can also upload and share videos of their games, tag players, and annotate with feedback around technique and performance.

Investment came from the Swiss Founders Fund, TheVentureCity and former professional soccer player Remo Staubli.

Teamworks Acquires Nutrition Technology Company Notemeal

Teamworks, the operating system for organizations, announced its acquisition of Notemeal, a performance nutrition platform andd app that connects dietitians, athletes and kitchens to optimize team nutrition. Notemeal launched in 2019 and serves 14 NFL teams and all of the college teams at nine Power 5 athletic departments.