The Los Angeles Lakers crush Fanatics NBA record, eBay is launching a sneaker authentication program, youth interest in sports is declining, and Roblox is heading public.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Less than 12 hours after winning the NBA Finals Sunday night, the Los Angeles Lakers became the best-selling NBA champion team ever. Fanatics reported more Lakers gear was bought overnight than the previous record-holder — the 2016 Cleveland Cavaliers — sold in 30 days following their win.
The rush of sales is in contrast to sagging ratings throughout the NBA playoffs, suggesting a decline in viewership doesn’t mark a decrease in interest in the league. ABC’s broadcast of the series-clinching Game 6 was down 57% from last year’s NBA Finals Game 6 between the Toronto Raptors and Golden State Warriors — which wasn’t up against the NFL’s “Sunday Night Football.”
NBA officials are likely happy they’ve emerged from the bubble, estimated to cost $180 million, with no positive COVID-19 tests through the 172 games played in Orlando. Now as a thank you, Commissioner Adam Silver is giving league employees $1,000 and four Fridays off beginning Oct. 30, as well as Thanksgiving week.
EBay’s Sneaker Action
EBay is looking to get a piece of the $2 billion North American sneaker resale market. Yesterday, the company announced an authenticity guarantee that will cover sneakers priced at $100 and up to help combat knock-off sales on the platform.
Expected to launch in early 2021 for “popular sneaker styles and brands,” it builds on eBay’s authenticity program for $2,000-plus watches that began earlier this year. Authentication will be done by Sneaker Con.
StockX and GOAT have been dominating the sneaker resale market, but eBay has been working to establish its footing. Sneakers are a big business, with GOAT reaching a $1.75 billion valuation earlier this year.
EBay Sneaker Action:
500,000 average sneaker listings each day.
6 million sneakers sold on eBay in North America last year.
A sneaker sale made every 1.5 seconds.
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Youth Sports in Danger
Max Schulte-Rochester Democrat and Chronicle via Imagn
Some youth sports have returned to play, while others remain sidelined — showing the pandemic’s adverse effect on the future of the $19 billion industry. A new survey by the Aspen Institute has found 29% of parents reported their child is no longer interested in sports.
Among the findings was a widening opportunity gap, with wealthier families finding ways to keep their children active in sports. Also contributing to the lack of interest is the inability to gather for games — whether at an arena or in a communal setting — which promotes fandom that sparks children to take up sports.
Sports participation was at an all-time high in 2019, with 45 million youth program participants. With video games rising in popularity and live sports still paused in many communities, that upward trend is at risk.
Aspen Institute Findings:
28.9% of parents reported their child is no longer interested in sports as a potential barrier to resume.
63.9% reported fear of illness in children — 59.3% in parents — as a barrier to resume sports.
28% of parents reported they would willingly spend more money on sports when they return.
Children went from playing sports 13.6 hours per week pre-pandemic to 7.2 hours per week in September.
In February, Roblox announced a $150 million round of funding, valuing the company at $4 billion. The company’s developer community is on pace to earn $250 million in 2020, up from $110 million in 2019.
Video games have surged in 2020, including Roblox, which most recently reported 115 million active users playing 1.5 billion hours of games per month. The platform also reportedly has big plans for virtual events — which have seen major success on Fortnite — recently hosting 1.156 million players for an Ava Max virtual fan meetup.
Video Games’ Big 2020:
Consumer video game spending hit $11.6 billion in the second quarter.
Take Two Interactive shares are up 55% since March.
Activision Blizzard shares are up 40% since March.
Nintendo are up 67% since March.
Shares are up 60% since game engine maker Unity went public in September.
Skillz plans to go public through a $3.5 billion SPAC deal.
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The legal team representing Washington Football Team owner Dan Snyder told FOS it has made progress connecting those in the U.S. to the Indian media company allegedly behind a misinformation campaign at the heart of a current lawsuit.
Art of Sport co-founder Kobe Bryant died in January, but his legacy is being cemented into the skincare brand he helped build. “It was the hardest moment of my career,” said Matthias Metternich, AOS co-founder and chief executive officer. “His legacy is incredibly important to us.”