Welcome to Sportico’s transactions wire, a weekly rundown of personnel, partnerships and products across the sports business industry.
AMB Sports And Entertainment Taps NFL’s Nana-Yaw Asamoah as COO
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AMB Sports and Entertainment (AMBSE) has hired Nana-Yaw Asamoah of the NFL to the newly created position of senior vice president, chief commercial officer, and he will be a member of the AMBSE senior leadership team. Asamoah will oversee corporate partnership sales and activation for the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta United of Major League Soccer, and Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Asamoah will assume his new role beginning Sept. 5, 2023, and report to AMBSE president Tim Zulawski. Prior to joining the NFL, Asamoah spent three years with the New Jersey Nets managing and leading key accounts with brands such as Visa, UPS and Nike.
Next League Hires Sports Tech-Veteran for Growing Commercial Team
Next League has hired Lindsay Schwartz, a seasoned partnership executive, as its new director, business development. In this newly created role, Schwartz will be responsible for identifying new business opportunities, developing and growing key partner accounts and contributing to the company’s strategic consulting efforts. She will report to Pete Anderson, Next League’s VP, commercial. Schwartz was most recently at Tappit; in her three years there, she oversaw the account management function, was responsible for the adoption and utilization of Tappit’s software and drove substantial revenue growth.
Darius Walker Hired to Lead North American Sports Performance Practice at Nolan Partners
Nolan Partners, a sports and entertainment executive search firm, has hired Darius Walker as partner to lead the Sports Performance Practice in North America across professional and collegiate sports. Walker will work on behalf of sports leagues, teams and universities to support executive placement for sport performance roles including general managers, coaches, performance and medical leadership, and various other positions from the field to the front office. Walker joins Nolan Partners after previously working for ESPN, Morgan Stanley and his alma mater Notre Dame. Prior to his sports business career, Walker played in the NFL.
Visa, U.S. Soccer Announce Multiyear Extension Ahead of Women’s World Cup
Visa (NYSE: V) and the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) have renewed their partnership agreement to remain the exclusive payment services partner of the U.S. women’s and men’s national soccer teams, while providing unique benefits to cardholders through 2028. Extending its push for parity, the extension again ensures that at least 50% of Visa’s investment going toward soccer programming will be directed to the women’s national team and women’s soccer initiatives. Together, Visa and U.S. Soccer will work together to create new possibilities for fans, including new backstage experiences at select USMNT and USWNT matches that will provide fans with behind-the-scenes access.
Aroya Cruises Announces Gold Sponsorship of Al Nassr Football Club
Aroya Cruises, Saudi Arabia’s recently launched Arabian cruise line, has reached a three-year Gold Sponsorship agreement with Al Nassr Football Club. The new strategic partnership aims to foster synergies between the two entities and unlock mutual benefits. As the official sponsor of the club, Aroya’s logo will be prominently displayed on the upper chest area of Al Nassr Football Club’s jersey. As part of the sponsorship, Aroya Cruises and Riyadh-based Al Nassr FC will conduct joint promotional campaigns starting from the 2022-2023 season until 2025-2026. The campaigns will focus on linking Al Nassr’s stars and fans with the immersive cruise experience, designed and tailored to reflect the brand values of inspiration, enrichment, generosity and respect, offered by Aroya Cruises.
Callaway Golf and Jon Rahm Announce Long-Term Partnership Extension
Callaway Golf and Jon Rahm have reached a long-term partnership extension. Rahm joined Callaway in 2021 and earned his first major championship win at the 2021 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines, which moved him to No. 1 in the World Golf Rankings. He won three more times in 2022 and has continued his remarkable run of form this season. Rahm will continue to play a full bag of Callaway and Odyssey equipment, wear Callaway headwear, TravisMathew apparel and footwear, and champion Topgolf’s global golf entertainment venue business. The extension includes an equity position for Rahm in Topgolf Callaway Brands.
NHL Names MVP Index a Strategic Partner
The National Hockey League has named MVP Index, a sponsorship measurement and valuation platform, as the league’s strategic partner for valuation and asset measurement for its Digitally Enhanced Dasherboards (DED) program. DED, an advanced approach to dynamic dasherboard advertising, debuted at the start of the 2022-23 season and allows for the digital replacement of camera-visible arena dasherboards within local, national and international NHL game broadcasts. MVP will use its specialized asset-first detection technology to pick up and provide precise, true and reliable media and brand values for a logo, slogan and image on DED signage.
Alex Morgan and Rady Children’s Hospital Partner to Support Kids and Families
Alex Morgan, forward for the U.S. women’s national team and San Diego Wave FC, has established a partnership with Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego that furthers her mission with the Alex Morgan Foundation to support mothers and help raise the next generation of healthy and inspired kids. Launched in March 2023, the Alex Morgan Foundation centers on three areas of impact: equity in sports, opportunities for girls and support for moms. Recognizing that access to youth sports and children’s health go hand in hand, this new partnership will help fund the comprehensive care and support all children and their families receive at Rady Children’s.
LFC Partners With Peloton in Community-Focused First
Liverpool Football Club has agreed to a multiyear partnership with Peloton, making Peloton the club’s first digital fitness partner. Inclusive of both the club’s men’s and women’s teams, the focus will be on enhancing the experience for the LFC and Peloton communities by introducing supporters to Peloton’s content, which can be experienced anytime, anywhere and wherever people are on their fitness journey. Liverpool FC and Peloton will also team up to provide exclusive LFC content on the Peloton platform and will come together to also create experiences for LFC fans and Peloton Members. In addition, Peloton now has a presence at the AXA Training Centre and at LFC’s current preseason training camp in Germany.
Premier Lacrosse Leagues Partners With Dude Wipes for $H!T Talkin’
The Premier Lacrosse League (PLL) and Dude Wipes have brought together the world of professional lacrosse and innovative personal care products in a collaboration. The partnership between the PLL and Dude Wipes includes: the Dude Wipes logo on the jerseys of the league’s defending champions, the Waterdogs; the Dude Wipes logo on all referees; a weekly video series called Talkin’ Sh*t; and product sampling at events.
SailGP and CBS Sports Expand Partnership for Season 4
SailGP has increased its partnership with CBS Sports, including 12 dedicated hours on the CBS Television Network and Paramount+, doubling the network coverage from Season 3, and expanding to more than 50 hours of original programming across broadcast and CBS Sports Network. In 2022, SailGP was the most watched sailing event on U.S. broadcast in more than 30 years, with the Range Rover France Sail Grand Prix in Saint-Tropez last October averaging 1.609 million viewers during the CBS broadcast. Fans can tune in to watch every SailGP Season 4 global calendar event on the CBS Sports Network, including the upcoming Oracle Los Angeles Sail Grand Prix.
NFL’s Damar Hamlin Joins Sports Nutrition Brand Don’t Quit
Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin has joined Keurig Dr. Pepper-backed sports nutrition brand Don’t Quit. Hamlin will lead Don’t Quit’s Persevering Athlete Profiles campaign, shining the light on everyday athletes whose inspirational stories of perseverance can inspire all to achieve their fitness and life goals. Don’t Quit’s line of clean sports protein and energy drinks is expanding, with key retailers including Walmart, Ralphs, Vons, 7-Eleven, Albertsons and Pavilions. Hamlin will be featured in a 360-degree marketing plan to drive brand awareness and sell-through.
Re-Inc Launches Media Division + Video/Audio Podcast Series for Women’s World Cup
Re-Inc—the gender-inclusive lifestyle brand founded by USWNT members Christen Press, Megan Rapinoe, Meghan Klingenberg and Tobin Heath—is debuting a new podcast series The RE-CAP Show, produced by Headgum. The podcast will allow fans another way to stay engaged with the games as well as the social issues intrinsically tied to women’s sports. Ally Bank, UKG and Oofos will have branded content integrations. Producing the series is Headgum. In The RE-CAP Show, World Cup champions Tobin Heath and Christen Press will use their 15+ years on the field to offer expert postgame analysis mixed with authentic conversations about the real issues facing elite female athletes. This project marks the launch of Re-Media, the new media division from Re-Inc.
Tom Brady Joins UIM E1 World Championship as Team Owner
Tom Brady is the latest high-profile athlete to become a team owner in the UIM E1 World Championship. Brady’s team is the fifth entry announced to compete in the inaugural season of the UIM E1 World Championship, the world’s first all-electric raceboat championship, which will see an international fleet of up to 10 RaceBird teams competing starting early 2024. The seven-time Super Bowl champion will spearhead his team, competing on the water against the electric racing teams already announced by tennis legend Rafael Nadal, F1 icon Sergio Perez, former Chelsea soccer star Didier Drogba and the Venice Racing team.
Premier League Opens USA Office in New York
The Premier League has opened an international office in New York. Based in Manhattan, the office has been set up to support the continued growth of the Premier League and its clubs in the United States. The U.S. base will build on the opportunities created through the league’s long-term broadcast partnership with NBC Sports, who became the home of Premier League coverage in the U.S. in 2013. The announcement comes as the Premier League Summer Series kicks off for the first time, with six clubs playing matches across five East Coast cities.
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