NCAA is making NIL progress, Baker Mayfield becomes latest athlete to jump into CBD, esports betting has a bright outlook, and chess continues its pandemic surge.
NIL Conversation Continues
Ken Ruinard via Imagn
Formal name, image and likeness legislation could come quickly to the NCAA. A working council is drafting up recommendations for student-athletes to be paid for those rights that could be approved today and voted on for formal adoption as early as January.
An early draft of the legislation touches on a number of contested issues, such as whether athletes could use school logos in sponsored content and how agents will be allowed to help athletes procure deals, according to SI. Federal legislation is also being drawn up, including a recent bipartisan bill to protect the NCAA from lawsuits.
Beyond NIL, a Knight Commission survey of college athletics leaders also found three-fourths of respondents believe the NCAA needs major, immediate reform. The survey also found more than half of Power 5 administrators support breaking away from the NCAA Division I and creating a new division for Power 5 conferences with the exception of basketball.
Knight Commission Survey Takeaways:
22% of respondents expressed satisfaction with the current NCAA March Madness model, which distributes a portion of revenues from the tournament to all Division I member institutions each year.
25% of respondents expressed satisfaction with the College Football Playoff model, in which FBS schools receive a portion of revenues from the lucrative postseason — run separately from the NCAA.
Baker’s Latest Endorsement
Baker Mayfield is the latest athlete to endorse a CBD brand, becoming an ambassador to Beam. Mayfield had previously invested in the company — founded by former athletes — through his Camwood Ventures fund.
Last week, former NFL quarterback Michael Vick joined CBD company Champions + Legends as an athlete partner. U.S. Women’s National Team player Megan Rapinoe is also touting the benefits of CBD — her sister Rachael helped launch the company Mendi.
CBD companies are also entering the team deal space, as Social CBD has partnered with the NWSL’s Portland Thorns and AthletiCBD with the Washington Spirit. As more athletes and teams cozy up to CBD, the Brightfield Group projects it will be a $23.7 billion industry by the end of 2023.
Notable Sports CBD Investors:
Former NFL player James Harrison
Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Rob Gronkowski
Former NHL player Riley Cote
Golfer Bubba Watson
NFL Insider Jay Glazer
Climber Tommy Caldwell
What’s the most valuable asset in the world?
Gold? Nope. Tesla stock? Not until you-know-who stops tweeting. A penthouse overlooking Central Park? Close, but no cigar.
It’s art. When a single painting can (quite literally) sell for hundreds of millions of dollars, it’s no wonder that art is one the most sought-after asset classes for improving portfolio performance (yep, even now).
But the $1.7T art market has two huge problems:
1. Lack of data transparency
2. Incredibly high barrier to entry
So what do you call it when one startup manages to solve both?
We call it a great freaking opportunity. Meet Masterworks, the exclusive platform that lets you buy shares of great works by Kaws, Banksy, and more. The brainchild of serial tech entrepreneurs (who also happen to be top-100 art collectors), they make investing easier than getting upvotes on /r/wallstreetbets. Run, don’t walk: skip the waitlist.*
Along with table tennis and Belarusian soccer, esports provided sportsbook operators the ability to still draw some wagers during the early stages of the pandemic. While traditional sports are back up and running — and have created record-breaking wager amounts — esports betting looks like it will stick around.
Consulting firm Eilers & Krejcik Gaming projects esports will account for 10% of the sports betting market by 2030. Global esports betting revenue could exceed $14 billion in 2020.
In the U.S., there are still regulatory roadblocks in betting on most esports competitions. Foggy league regulations and underage athletes are among the integrity issues that have kept most politicians focused solely on traditional sports betting.
A Credit Suisse analyst said DraftKings’ stock price could reach $100 if California legalizes sports betting — California represents 12% of the U.S. population. Just 18% of the nation has access to legal sports betting currently and DraftKings is trading at $51.
Iowa and Indiana both reported record wager amounts in September — $72.4 million and $207 million, respectively.
Chess’ Twitch Success
Chess became a popular streaming category early on in the pandemic, drawing more than 41.2 million hours watched on Twitch from March to August. The board game’s surge in popularity is also hitting public markets and mainstream media.
Play Magnus Group — which offers services that allow users to play, watch and learn chess — recently listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange with an $85.9 million valuation. Currently, the company has 3 million members and 35,000 paid subscribers.
The newfound popularity of one of the world’s oldest games is also at the heart of cognac brand Hennessy’s ad campaign around Maurice Ashley, the world’s first Black chess grandmaster.
Pandemic Chess Growth:
PogChamps, an amateur chess tournament, was a top-viewed Twitch event in June, with 63,000 concurrent viewers.
Your ticketing customer base is smaller and less diverse than you think.
On average, barely 10% of a major league team’s fan base attends or spends money on tickets in a given year. That’s a small percentage considering major league teams have an average of 1,500,000 fans in their known universe.
Our friends at StellarAlgo have more on how you can monetize your ticketing customer base.
A month after returning to streaming platform Twitch on an exclusive multi-year deal, gaming phenom Tyler “Ninja” Blevins has signed with talent agency CAA for representation in all areas. In July, he said he is looking to expand into doing “literally anything and everything Hollywood,” including movies and voice acting.
The Crown League, the first community-backed fantasy football league, is rebranding as the Hall of Fantasy League after its acquisition by the Hall of Fame Resort & Entertainment Company, which is developing the Pro Football Hall of Fame site.
Question Of The Day
Does an athlete sharing a political opinion impact your fandom of that athlete?