The NHL plans to jump right into the playoffs, bidders are gathering to buy the XFL, Amazon makes a play for local podcasts, and Naomi Osaka made more money last year than any female athlete in history.
NHL Reveals Plans
Photo Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
The NHL will return this season by jumping right into the playoffs with the top-12 teams in each conference heading to two hub cities for round-robin play before beginning a playoff tournament. Each team will be allowed 50 personnel in the hub cities and will enact a comprehensive COVID-19 testing protocol. Formal training camps will begin no earlier than July 1.
The XFL has seen interest from more than 20 buyers to rescue the league out of bankruptcy. However, one person that won’t be bidding is former owner Vince McMahon. McMahon separated himself from rumors he was looking to buy the league out of bankruptcy, saying in a filing that, while he reserved a legal right to do so, he would not.
Brokerage firm Houlihan Lokey is running the process for the league and is in discussions with the potential buyers, all of whom have interest in getting the XFL back up and running for the 2021 season.
Final bids are due by July 6, and XFL President Jeffrey Pollack said a sale would need to be accomplished by August 1 to prepare for a season next year. Among those potential buyers that have signed non-disclosure agreements are “private equity firms and other strategic and financial sponsors.” A model has been created for a 2021 “made-for-TV” season.
Social Numbers From "The Match"
As sports fans continue to get live sports back in small doses, this weekend provided one of the biggest events so far.
On Sunday, golf was on display for the second weekend in a row, this time in a rematch between legends Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson. The difference this go around? The addition of NFL quarterback legends Tom Brady and Peyton Manning.
The highest watched Golf event also drove over 204 million social impressions on Sunday, the conversation around the event was well and alive. With the inclusion of sports figures like Eli Manning, JJ Watt, and Nick Foles, as well as the banter by the players and a wardrobe malfunction for Tom Brady, there was a lot to engage with on social.
In Zoomph’s latest report, they highlight the social conversation around Capital One’s The Match. The report covers the social performance of players, sponsors, and audience. We’ll tee this one up for you.
Amazon Goes Local
Photo Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Not only is Amazon reportedly looking to buy more sports TV rights, theinternet giant also wants localized sports content. From news to sports, Amazon is looking to invest in podcast companies using the Alexa Fund, named after its voice tech platform.
Localized sports podcasts have grown the past several years, including podcast networks Locked On and Blue Wire, which has been linked to Amazon. Traditional radio still dominates local audio ad spends, drawing $14.5 billion of an overall U.S. local ad market of $150 billion.
The news shook Spotify investors, as the stock dropped briefly Tuesday morning before recovering to finish up on the day. Spotify has recently chartered a path into sports audio, developing several daily podcasts as well as acquiring The Ringer and its series of shows. Last week, Spotify paid Joe Rogan $100 million to distribute his podcast exclusively, while Apple has reportedly been in the market to increase its own catalogue of original podcast content.
22-year-old Naomi Osaka has surpassed on-court rival Serena Williams as the highest-paid female athlete in the world. The two-time Grand Slam winner earned $37.4 million in prize money and endorsements the past 12 months – a record for single-year earnings, beating Maria Sharapova’s $29.7 million in 2015. Of the top 100 earners in sports this year, two are women: Osaka, at No. 29, and Williams, at No. 33.
Osaka benefited by signing an apparel deal just after winning two Grand Slam tournaments. Nike is her single largest sponsor, doling out $10 million last year in a deal that runs until 2025 and also allows her a rare “patch provision” for other sponsors to appear on her clothing while on court. Osaka’s decision to represent Japan, rather than the U.S., in the 2020 Olympics resulted in a boost by limiting national competitors, and she also has acquired equity in some companies, including sports-drink brand BodyArmor.
Procter & Gamble
All Nippon Airways
Webinar: How Does TikTok Fit Into Your Social Measurement Strategy?
TikTok is quickly becoming a must-have social network for brands. More than 75% of the sports teams in the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, and MLS have accounts and are already putting up serious numbers. As more teams and organizations spend time and resources on TikTok, there becomes an increased need to measure and quantify results on the platform.
In this webinar, Miami Dolphins Sr. Manager of Social, Stuart Drew and Nick Cicero, VP of Strategy Conviva sit down with Joe Londergan of Front Office Sports to walk through how they are incorporating TikTok into their overall social measurement strategy for a comprehensive picture of their social success.