Welcome to Sportico’s transactions wire, a weekly rundown of personnel, partnerships and products across the sports business industry.
Ginny Ehrlich Named CEO of USTA Foundation
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The United States Tennis Association announced that Ginny Ehrlich has been named chief executive officer of the USTA Foundation. Ehrlich will report to the USTA’s chief operating officer and general counsel Andrea Hirsch. In her position, Ehrlich will lead all aspects of the USTA Foundation, which uses tennis as a vehicle to help under-resourced youth become more engaged in school and learning. Ehrlich will be responsible for the strategic vision, financial planning, delivery, operations, staff supervision and board development of the USTA Foundation. She will work across the organization to build a culture of philanthropy within the USTA and the tennis community at large.
Former Meta Exec Joins Greenfly as Head of Analytics
Greenfly—a platform for short-form content capture, organization and distribution—announced that media analytics veteran Josh Semless is joining the company as head of analytics and business intelligence. Semless will help Greenfly’s customers develop actionable business intelligence, as well as lead the development of the company’s future data framework. He brings over 15 years of experience across sports, media and entertainment. Prior to joining Greenfly, he led the global sports and media partner solutions teams at Meta, where he worked alongside leagues, teams, athletes and media companies to utilize Meta’s product portfolio to drive audience and revenue growth both on and off the platform.
Cosm Welcomes New Head of Venues
Cosm—an immersive technology, media and entertainment company—has hired Corey Breton as its first head of venues, a new role established to build on the company’s momentum toward its forthcoming immersive entertainment venues. As head of venues, Breton will lead complete operations for Cosm’s public locations, the first two of which are set to open in 2024 in Los Angeles at Hollywood Park and Dallas at Grandscape, overseeing in-venue food and beverage, hospitality, partnerships and special events programs. Breton joins Cosm from Legends, where he served as chief revenue officer for its Global Attractions division since 2018. Before his role as CRO, Breton was executive vice president of sales at Los Angeles Football Club, where he oversaw corporate partnerships, premium sales and ticket sales.
Professional Women’s Hockey League Appoints New SVP of Business Operations
The Professional Women’s Hockey League announced that Amy Scheer has been appointed senior vice president of business operations. Scheer has spent over 35 years in the sports industry with leadership roles across multiple teams and leagues in the New York area. Scheer will be tasked with leading the league’s day-to-day business and overseeing the market performance for the league and all teams, bringing a strong strategic vision focusing on growth through sponsorship, media, marketing, communications, licensing, digital, audience experiences and special events. She will officially step into her role on Nov. 1, succeeding Ami Galani of Elysian Park Ventures, who has been serving on an interim basis since August.
Gatorade Renews Partnership With AC Milan as Club’s Official Sports Drink
AC Milan and Gatorade announce the renewal of their partnership, which will see the PepsiCo group’s brand continue as the Official Sports Drink of the Rossoneri Men’s and Women’s Team, during Serie A and UEFA Champions League matches. Gatorade will continue to support AC Milan’s players on a daily basis, providing products and coaching materials with the aim of maintaining high endurance performance in sport, by providing muscles under strain with the necessary energy. In 2022, Gatorade introduced a 500ml bottle made entirely from recycled plastic, aiming to gradually reduce the use of virgin plastic in PepsiCo Italia’s packaging and reduce CO2eq emissions by more than 4,000 tons by 2025.
Major League Pickleball Announces The Botanist Islay Dry Gin as Official Partner
Major League Pickleball and The Botanist Islay Dry Gin have announced a multiyear agreement, making The Botanist the league’s first Official Gin. The exclusive sponsorship will feature brand activations, sampling and courtside cocktails from The Botanist at upcoming MLP events. The partnership kicks off with the league’s next event, MLP Dallas—hosted at Brookhaven Country Club—on Nov. 2-5.
Mission Foods Enters Multiyear Deal as Title Sponsor of NHRA’s Premier Pro Series
Mission Foods has been named the title sponsor of the NHRA’s premier professional series, which will be known as the NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series beginning in 2024. Mission Foods and NHRA partnered together this year for the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge, introducing competitive racing, as well as a bonus purse and bonus playoff points, to Saturday qualifying. The success of the current program helped lead to the expansion of the series title partnership for Mission Foods, which will include significant activation at the track and nearby store locations for all 21 national events.
NBC Sports Next Becomes Official Technology Partner of Dortmund’s U.S. Academy
NBC Sports Next, the sports technology and innovation division of NBC Sports, announced an exclusive technology partnership with BVB International Academy America, an affiliate of the German professional soccer club, Borussia Dortmund BVB, and one of the fastest-growing youth soccer academies in the U.S. The multiyear agreement officially makes SportsEngine, NBC Sports Next’s team and club management technology platform, the exclusive provider of online member management, registration, payments and digital content for BVB International Academy, which operates 17 academies across the U.S. for young soccer athletes.
Premier Rugby Sevens Renews Partnership With Samurai as Official Apparel Provider
Premier Rugby Sevens (PR7s) announced Samurai will continue to be its official apparel provider for the 2024 season. Samurai has partnered with PR7s since the league was founded in 2021. The deal includes all kit design and production for eight franchises and 16 teams, plus fan apparel and merchandise. PR7s saw significant commercial and audience growth during its 2023 season. Samurai has been a supplier for over 27 years to high-profile teams across numerous sports globally. The company has a long-standing affiliation and expertise with the rugby sevens format.
Porsche’s Carrera Cup North America to Support F1 Miami Grand Prix
South Florida Motorsports (SFM), the organizers of the Formula 1 Crypto.com Miami Grand Prix, announced the Porsche Deluxe Carrera Cup North America will return as a support category for next year’s race. The Porsche Deluxe Carrera Cup North America is the premier one-make championship on the continent, with drivers competing in identical Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race cars. A total of 47 drivers competed in Porsche Deluxe Carrera Cup North America last year and the series races at some of the biggest events on the North American motorsports calendar, including the 12 Hours of Sebring, the Long Beach Grand Prix and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Kitman Labs Launches Platform for Premier League Academies
Kitman Labs, a sports technology and analytics company, announced a new partnership with the Premier League, providing all Premier League club academies with a centralized, fully integrated “Football Intelligence Platform.” The platform will aggregate data for academy players in one place, providing participants and coaching staff with a comprehensive real-time view of players’ medical, performance, training and development profiles. The platform will be supported by dedicated staff and a player app (iOS and Android), to support the need for frequent and instant access to player data on the pitch, in the training room and on the go.
Aramark Sports + Entertainment Launches Aura
Aramark Sports + Entertainment (NYSE: ARMK)—the food and beverage partner at stadiums, arenas, convention centers, cultural attractions and other entertainment destinations across North America—announced the launch of Aura, an elevated hospitality and service experience. Aura promises to provide exceptional food, beverages, service and design, while allowing for customization and flexibility when it comes to the level of experience.
Gainbridge Launches ‘Parity Week’ to Celebrate Women’s Sports Icons
Parity, a subsidiary of Gainbridge (a Group 1001 company) and a brand sponsorship platform, will launch its first-ever “Parity Week by Gainbridge.” The event will celebrate women’s sports pioneers Billie Jean King, Annika Sorenstam and Lyn. St. James, centered around three flagship golf and tennis events the week of Nov. 6-12. Between the events, 180 women athletes will compete for $12.85 million in total prize money during Parity Week. To commemorate the start of the week, NASCAR Cup driver Ty Dillon’s #77 Gainbridge Chevrolet will feature a special paint scheme highlighting the three events at the season-ending NASCAR Championship Weekend race on Nov. 5.
Pentathlon GB Launches Penta+ Multi-Sports Brand
Pentathlon GB, Britain’s governing body for the Olympic sport of modern pentathlon, has launched a new multi-sports sub brand, Penta+, for the next generation of athletes and sporting fans. The launch follows the recent announcement by the International Olympic Committee that modern pentathlon will continue to be part of their program for the Los Angeles 2028 Games. The new brand, distinct from the governing body, is a combination and culmination of the organization’s mission to modernize itself as a multi-sport provider and better reflect the diversity of its audiences. Its primary goal is to drive recruitment and participation with members, athletes and future fans of all ages and abilities, by fostering an active athlete community that empowers participation The name Penta+ reflects the sport’s multiple disciplines, including Penta Run, Penta Swim, Penta Shoot, Penta Fence, Penta Obstacle and Penta Ride.
QuintEvents Rebrands as Quint as it Broadens Travel, Experience Offerings
QuintEvents announced its rebrand to Quint, a move that reflects the company’s evolution and growth a provider of premium experiences at sports and entertainment events. The new name reflects Quint’s pursuit of broadened offerings inside the experiential and travel space. Quint provided official ticket and hospitality packages to partners including Formula 1, the NBA, the Kentucky Derby, MotoGP, the Chicago Bears, the Green Bay Packers, NASCAR, Ticketmaster and the NHL. In addition to the new brand, Quint’s corporate headquarters in Charlotte has expanded to accommodate its growing team.
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