A summary of the most exciting news in multicultural sports marketing. If you’re trying to keep up, consider this your one-stop shop.
- The NFL started an initiative, as part of the NFL Academy in the UK, designed to use American football to create “life-changing educational and professional opportunities for young people.” The NFL Academy will begin operations in September 2019 and offer student athletes aged 16-18 the opportunity to combine education with life skills and intensive training in the sport under full-time professional coaches. The initiative will be supported by Nike and based at Barnet and Southgate College, in North London.
- According to the NBA’s data, the League Pass has recorded a 400% consumer growth driven by the popularity of the league’s overseas players, including a 400 per cent spike in subscriptions to the over-the-top (OTT) service in Serbia. Denver Nuggets’ Serbian center Nikola Jokić has been instrumental to that huge increase in subscribers in his native country throughout the 2018/19 season.
- Disney is considering the option to acquire streaming rights to the NFL Sunday Ticket, as part of plans to boost ESPN’s professional football portfolio. AT&T currently holds the streaming rights until 2022, though a clause in the contract indicates that the league does have an option to opt out of its exclusive agreement at the end of the 2019 regular season. Amazon is also thinking about entering the bidding.
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- MLB presented its promotional plans for the London Series 2019, looking to highlight the growth of baseball & softball in the UK as the Red Sox face the Yankees on June 29 and 30. Activities include a baseball cultural festival, known as “London Yards,” that will include music, baseball virtual reality activations, Boston & New York cuisine, and, a live screening of the game.
- Copa America has signed a content deal with Facebook to produce behind-the-scenes content for all 12 teams this summer. The partnership will allow official tournament profiles on both Facebook and Instagram to produce content from training centers, hotels and team transportation. “This agreement will enable the production of unique content that will bring all football fans behind the scenes of the world’s oldest national team tournament and some of the top stars in today’s football,” said Thiago Jannuzzi, competition general manager at Copa America.
- More than 500,000 viewers switched on Univision to watch Combate Americas’ “Cricket Wireless Presents Combate Americas: Reinas” event, the first all-women’s Mixed Martial Arts fight lineup, which was broadcast live on network television on April 26. Viewership among adults 18-49 shot up by a margin of 28% from the previous Combate Americas event.