IBA and ISDE launch “Sports Management” education course for 2024

The International Boxing Association (IBA) has collaborated with the Instituto Superior de Derecho y Economía (ISDE) to unveil an educational initiative; the “Sports Management” course.

Designed to cater for athletes, officials, federation, and confederation staff, as well as other stakeholders in the world of boxing, this course is set to empower individuals with the knowledge and skills necessary for success in the sports management arena.

At its core delivery, this educational program seeks to offer retired athletes a unique opportunity to embark on a new career path following their boxing journey. IBA’s commitment to supporting athletes’ transition beyond the ring is reflected in the course’s priority enrollment for retired athletes. However, other boxing stakeholders are also welcomed to join the course based on initial availability.

The “Sports Management” course is structured into three distinct tiers: Tier 1 (basic), Tier 2 (intermediate), and Tier 3 (advanced). Each tier culminates with the issuance of a certificate, and successful completion of those respective tiers, grants students the eligibility to progress to the next level. Note that both Tier 1 and 2 will be conducted as distance learning (online), whereas Tier 3 will be a residential learning environment to take place in Madrid at the University. Students are required to complete the modules in sequence dependent on success at each level or stage of the course.

‘IBA is committed to delivering the best for its Family, and continuous professional development for our managers is one of the core tools to excel. With this Sports Management education course at ISDE, we aim to educate more qualified managers to serve the sport of boxing worldwide at all levels, be it clubs, National Federations, Confederations or the IBA. We are looking forward to offering new opportunities and the whole career path for retired athletes and supporting them on their journey. Such initiatives make our Boxing Family stronger, and I thank ISDE for such a great opportunity,’ IBA Secretary General and CEO Chris Roberts OBE said.

British Basketball League signs programming partnership with YES Network

The British Basketball League has announced its programming partnership with the YES Network, the most-watched regional sports network in the United States and the exclusive regional television home of the 27-time World Champions New York Yankees, the Brooklyn Nets and the New York Liberty.

As part of this collaboration, the YES Network’s Emmy Award-winning YES App will stream two live British Basketball League games per week each Thursday and Friday starting at 2:30 pm ET, with the first League game airing today (Leicester Riders vs. London Lions at 2:30 pm ET).

The games will be available on the YES App to subscribers in YES’ regional footprint, which includes all of New York State and Connecticut, northern and central New Jersey and northeastern Pennsylvania. The network has been the most-watched regional sports network in the country for 18 of the past 20 years.

In addition to the two games streamed weekly, fans can enjoy replays of select games on the YES Network’s linear channel Thursday or Friday in primetime. The British Basketball League’s brand-new UNBEATABLE magazine show will also air on the YES Network and the YES App.

YES App subscribers will be able to watch homegrown talent play across the pond, including Brooklyn’s Tarik Phillips of the London Lions and Samuel Idowu of the Leicester Riders, and Buffalo-born Maceo Jack of the Cheshire Phoenix.

The YES App is accessible via yesnetwork.com/info/watch-yes-network and through devices such as Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV, Google TV and Samsung-connected TVs, and on mobile.

British Basketball League Chief Executive Officer, Aaron Radin, said: “We’re very excited about our partnership with the YES Network, the most-watched regional sports network in the US, to bring our League into the homes of the New York tri-state area. This announcement marks a major milestone for our League, signifying our continuing growth and ambitions.

“We are committed to delivering high-quality sports entertainment to the YES Network’s viewers to build an audience with new overseas fans.”

IOC names French Alps and Salt Lake City as candidates for 2030 and 2034

The IOC Executive Board (EB) has invited the French National Olympic Committee (CNOSF) and the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) into Targeted Dialogues towards hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games 2030 in the French Alps, and the 2034 edition in Salt Lake City-Utah.

The IOC will now start more detailed discussions with the Preferred Hosts, led by their National Olympic Committees (NOCs), with the aim of awarding both editions at the 142nd IOC Session in July in Paris.

In addition, the IOC EB decided to grant the non-edition-specific project, Switzerland 203x, a special status by inviting it into “Privileged Dialogue” for the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games 2038.

The principle of a potential double allocation of the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games 2030 and 2034 was approved by the 141st IOC Session in Mumbai, India, in October. This decision, which had the full support of the Presidents of the Winter Olympic International Federations, was taken to bring security for the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in climate-reliable host regions. This allows the IOC time to reflect on the long-term future of the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, given the preliminary results of studies it has commissioned on the impact of climate change.

The Future Host Commission met in Lausanne earlier this month, and the NOCs of Interested Parties with a current interest in hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games presented their projects to the Commission.

The Commission based its consensual decision on these presentations and on feasibility assessments the IOC had carried out on each Interested Party. These assessments reflect information gathered throughout Continuous Dialogue through regular meetings and workshops, together with the sharing of information by each Interested Party.

In accordance with Olympic Agenda 2020, the IOC also took into account detailed information from independent third-party sources, including the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and numerous UN agencies, including the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Independent opinion polls, commissioned by the IOC, were also considered.

Formula G inks partnership with MPA

Formula G and leading motorsport agency MPA have announced a partnership for 2024.

MPA is set to lead in all aspects of public relations (PR) and communications, as well as manage all social media accounts, for the groundbreaking world’s first all-electric, dual-powered, open-wheel motorsport series.

The series, founded by Dilbagh Gill and Nick Heidfeld, is slated for launch in 2024 and plans to take on four regions in what can only be described as a truly global championship.

Hitting a milestone 40th birthday in 2024, MPA has an admirable pedigree within the motorsport sphere. During this history, the brand has represented a great range of illustrious championships across motorsport and Formula G is excited to work with the well-respected motorsport entity in its debut year.

Aligning with the beliefs and core values of the championship, MPA is delighted to collaborate with a motorsport series committed to advancing the future of the sport.

Deborah Tee, Chief Executive Officer at MPA, said: “We are delighted to lead the communications efforts of Formula G, a pioneering new racing series which is full of innovation and ambition. Everyone at MPA is excited to see how this championship will progress ahead of launching next year and we are thrilled to be a part of that journey.

“The potential of Formula G is huge, and we look forward to bring our expertise to the series as it develops into 2024 and beyond.”

Featuring an open-wheel car with a distinctive technical capability allowing it to be driven at reduced power by one participant and at full power by a more experienced driver, Formula G promises to revolutionise the future of electric motorsport. The competition will be divided into two categories: 20 participants will race in the reduced-power race FG-2, while another 20 will compete in the full-powered FG-1 Championship.

Formula G is positioned to reshape the motorsport landscape by delivering affordable, accessible, thrilling, and fiercely competitive electric open-wheel racing that is set to captivate enthusiasts worldwide.

UK Sponsorship Awards 2024 – Early bird entry fee deadline December 15th

The early bird deadline for the 2024 edition of the UK Sponsorship Awards (UKSA) is less than 15 days away. So why not wrap up your entry now before the seasonal celebrations kick in? And claim a £50 discount on the full price of each entry until December 15th. 

Brands, agencies, rights holder, charities and other stakeholders can enter campaigns right now via the UKSA website at a discounted price. Shortlisted entries will be celebrated at UKSA’s 30th Anniversary gala awards event on March 26th, 2024, at the London Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square.

Popular perennial categories will be available for entry as always – notably arts, sport, media, diversity, digital activation and consultancy. But 2024’s event will also see several exciting innovations. These include a new rights holder category, a special 30th anniversary award and a revamped venue sponsorship category. 

The revamped rights holder segment of the awards will celebrate the massive contribution that venues, clubs and media owners make towards the health and dynamism of the sponsorship industry. Launched to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the UK Sponsorship Awards in 2024, there will be three rights holders awards up for grabs.

The three awards on offer are for: Arts Rights Holder, Media Rights Holder and Sports Rights Holder. Unlike the majority of UKSA’s awards, these three new categories will not focus on the strength of a single campaign. Instead, they will look at the success of organisations as facilitators of sponsorship across the entire year.

UKSA’s organisers are also delighted to unveil a one-off award for the Best UK Sponsor of the last 30 years. Created to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the industry-leading event, the special award will be presented to the sponsor that is deemed by the industry to have made the most significant contribution to the industry through its creativity and innovation. The new award, decided by an open vote, will seek to identify one sponsor that stands out as the sector’s best in class. To enter, a sponsor needs to be nominated by one person and backed by a succinct 200-300 words statement of support.

In addition to all of the above there will be awards to celebrate fast-growing sectors including women’s sports sponsorship, esports, social media and sustainability. Long-running categories such as education, grass roots and PR will also take price of place in the line-up. Also back is the Spotlight Award, which will focus on the Travel, Tourism & Leisure Industry – after the Drinks industry in 2023. 

Company and People Awards are always an important component of the UKSA line-up – and this year is no exception. Alongside rights holders, consultancies will have three categories, and there will be new additions to our Champions of Sponsorship hall of fame. Not to be overlooked is the Barrie Gill Award for Most Promising Young Sponsorship Executive – a signpost towards the sector’s future.

“The UK Sponsorship Awards goes from strength to strength,” said UKSA CEO Rosie Sarginson, “thanks to the robust support we receive from our friends and colleagues in the industry. This year we are looking forward to an extra special event to celebrate our 30th anniversary. As always, the range of categories on offer reflects both our shared history and the industry’s dynamic direction of travel. So don’t delay – be one of this year’s awards early birds.”

The UK Sponsorship Awards attracts many loyal supporters who attend the event year after year. But there are, of course, newcomers who have never attended – tech sponsors, for example, or rights holders that didn’t exist a few years ago. And there are some who have been absent for a few years. With that in mind, we’ve drawn up a list of ten compelling reasons why it makes sense to enter.

We’ve also drawn up some advice on how to maximise your chances. There’s only one surefire way to win a UK Sponsorship Award – and that’s to convince the judges that your entry is the best. But there are a few ways in which you can improve your odds of getting noticed. Built up over years of feedback from the judges, these insights can help you hone your approach when drafting an eye-catching entry.

The early bird deadline is not the last chance to enter. The final deadline is January 23rd, so there is still time after the holiday season if the end of year rush is too intense. For more details on any of the above, contact UKSA Awards organiser Rosie Sarginson at rosie@sponsorship-awards.co.uk

Did You Know? Last year’s Sponsorship of the Year was Heineken’s Cheers To All The Fans, entered by M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment (which also won a consultancy award). Also celebrating in the consultancy categories were We Are Futures and Bright Partnerships. One of the 2023’s most hotly-contested sections was DEI, which was won by RNIB’s See The Person, entered by Wavemaker and Channel 4. In the Arts Category, the winner was a partnership between Morgan Stanley, Somerset House and The Courtauld.

For inspiration when entering this year’s UKSA Awards, why not review details of 2023’s winners and nominees? These can be found at the Awards website: http://www.sponsorship-awards.co.uk/.

Is the Premier League doing something wrong?

We all rave about the Premier League but look a little closer and is it it really underperforming?” Sandy Case, iSportConnect CEO looks at the alternative view from a wider International aspect.

I spotted these two charts from our friends at Sportico. I’ve always been interested in people’s views from different countries as we in the UK, tend to put the Premier League (PL) on a pedestal as this wonderful league that everyone should envy. Now much of the PL’s positioning has been brilliantly executed and no one can doubt the absolute success since its inception in 1992.

Interesting to note that on the Franchise Value chart, the Top 6 sides aside, the EPL valuations are below pretty much all the US major sports and F1 teams – and on a par with the MLS and most of the IPL franchises (which seem to sit in and around the $1bn level from the latest Forbes valuations.

If you look at estimated fanbases (appreciating this can be tricky to measure) but according to Betsperts 18 of the Top 25 are Football/Soccer teams and the others are all NBA with the best of them, the Lakers coming in at 12th. The EPL occupy most of the top half of the table yet still have (relatively) low valuations and profits. Something isn’t right surely. Imagine if NFL teams had the global fanbases that some of the Top EPL teams had. Kerching…..

Now the obvious reason for the valuations is around the traditional jeopardy of relegation. The Top clubs aside all have a realistic chance of being relegated and this clearly is built into their valuation. 

Michael Broughton wrote this interesting piece that talks about the unexplored opportunity 

So the question is whether PL teams are getting value from these fanbases and it would appear they aren’t. So is the structure wrong and what might the League do about it

One story that is gathering momentum is that the Premier League is looking at the possibility of implementing a rather American concept: a team salary cap.

They already have Financial Fair Play which is designed to ensure financial stability for clubs, but introducing a cap would be revolutionary 

Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish said  “I think there is change afoot. UEFA squad-cost caps are one idea. Maybe something that is a bit more rigid than that, with a hard cap at the top but as far as competitive balance people need to be bold

“There are really positive conversations going on about it. We also have to be very careful because there are also unintended consequences,” he added. 

A key impetus behind the Premier League efforts is the marked disparity in team payrolls. Manchester United’s $249.8 million  payroll this season is around x9 greater than Luton Town (according to Spotrac)— a far bigger discrepancy than is seen in any major U.S. sport.

The Premier League table has also been more predicatble at the top in recent years, with top-spending clubs such as Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, and Arsenal all regularly occupying the lead spots. Things may need to change as other leagues are gaining traction, specifically the Saudi Premier League and the MLS which continues to grow and is becoming one of the best stories in sport with attendance smashing previous records. Of course Lionel Messi’s arrival and Apple’s media deals have helped but there have been further franchise expansions and attendance are growing across the league. It was commented that MLS commissioner Don Garber remains one of the most underrated figures around.

The PL has some work to do to increase value and protect the brilliant position it has achieved in the last 2 decades

View From The US: Adelson Family Buying Majority Stake in Dallas Mavericks

In this week’s View From The US article, Sportico’s Eben Novy-Williams and Scott Soshnick broke the news that the Adelson family of Las Vegas would be buying majority control of the Dallas Mavericks from Mark Cuban

Billionaire Miriam Adelson, widow of late businessman Sheldon Adelson, and her family are close to buying a majority stake in the Dallas Mavericks from Mark Cuban, according to someone familiar with the details.

Adelson sparked speculation across the sports world Tuesday afternoon when Las Vegas Sands (NYSE: LVS) said in a filing that she would sell $2 billion in stock in order to buy a majority stake in a sports franchise. The filing said that there was a “binding purchase agreement,” but did not name the team.

It’s unclear how the Mavericks are being valued in the deal, which is still subject to NBA approval, or how much the family is buying. The filing said the agreement was for a “majority” stake, but multiple reports say Cuban will retain operational control. The family would use proceeds from the stock sale, plus “cash on hand” to finance the transaction, according to the filing. 

Cuban didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment. Cuban, 65, said earlier this week that he was leaving the popular TV show Shark Tank after 16 years. A representative for the Adelsons via Las Vegas Sands didn’t immediately return a message left at his office.    

Miriam Adelson, 78, controls more than 400 million shares of Sands, worth about $19 billion. Much of the stock is held in benefit for her children with Sheldon, as well as potentially other family members, including Sheldon’s children from a prior marriage.

Given pro sports’ wariness of mingling gambling and ownership interests, it’s possible the sale is for a trust beneficiary, who would probably have enough distance from the Sands to sidestep any prohibitions, given the fact Miriam controls all the gambling business equity. Adelson scion Matan Adelson recently purchased an Israeli pro basketball club that competes in the Euroleague.

If Miriam Adelson becomes the controlling owner, she would be a rare female owner in major U.S. sports. She would also be one of the richest. Her wealth, including the trusts she controls, is $32.3 billion, according to Forbes, making her the 44th richest person in the world.

There are only a handful of sports team owners ahead of her, including NBA Clippers owner Steve Ballmer (worth $114 billion) and Denver Broncos owner Rob Walton ($66 billion).

With assistance from Brendan Coffey.

Tennis Grand Slams record strong increases in 2023

This month’s Brand Health Index, powered by YouGov compares the 4 tennis grand slams. This data looks at the adult population for the home markets for each grand slam.

Australian Open has seen an upward surge of 0.3 % from 28.4 in November 2022 to 28.7 in November 2023. This is despite the 2023 Australian Open saw 40% viewership slump on Nine. The decrease in domestic viewership comes after the commercial network agreed US$425m rights extension until 2029.

Across Europe, however Discovery Sports reported streaming audiences figures had grown by a third year-on-year. The average price of an annual sponsorship deal for the 2023 Australian Open was $3.1 million.

The tournament had five deals in place that the publisher estimates to be each worth over $7 million annually, with Kia, Emirates Airline, Luzhou Laojiao, Rolex and ANZ. The commonest length of deal that brands have agreed with the Australian Open is for one year.

Wimbledon Championship saw an increase of 0.8% from 26.9 in November 2022 to 27.7 in November 2023. The BBC’s coverage of Wimbledon once again exceeded all digital records with 54.3 million streams on BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport online – up from 53.8 million in 2022.

A peak audience of 11.3 million tuned into BBC One on Sunday 16 July to watch world No.1 Carlos Alcaraz defeat defending champion Novak Djokovic in a five-set thriller. The match was streamed live 4.1 million times on BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport online – a 58 percent increase from 2022.

ESPN’s coverage of the Gentlemen’s Singles Final their most-watched Wimbledon broadcast since 2019 with 3.2 million viewers, while the Ladies’ Singles Final attracted 1.3 million viewers – a 10 percent increase from 2022.

Wimbledon’s official social media channels received 1.9 billion impressions across the Fortnight and grass court season – a 75 percent increase from 2022. Our social media following increased by 1.43 million, up 34 percent on last year, bringing Wimbledon’s total social media following to 17.5 million.

French Open recorded a 0.6 % increase from 25.1 in November 2022 to 25.7 in November 2023.

A total of 630,000 fans attended Roland Garros in Paris during three weeks of the tournament – one week of qualification (May 22 to May 26) and two weeks for the main draw (May 28 to June 11) – surpassing last year’s 613,000. It further generated nearly $100 million in sponsorship revenue.

US Open too saw a 1.4% increase from 12 in November 2022 to 13.4 in November 2023. The US Open smashed single-session and daily attendance records in 2023, becoming the first Grand Slam to welcome more than 950,000 spectators over a three-week period.

Both the men’s (28,804) and women’s championship (28,143) sessions were the highest-attended championship sessions in US Open history.

Here’s the index:

MotoGP extends partnership with Network4Media Group for Hungary

MotoGP and Network4 Media Group have signed an agreement for another four years, until 2027 inclusive, for the Luxembourg-based media company to continue to bring Hungarian fans the world’s biggest motorcycle racing Championship.

The Network4 Media Group has been broadcasting MotoGP™ since 2020, and thanks to this new agreement, fans will not miss a single important moment of the championship in the coming seasons either.

Under the extended contract, Network4 Media Group will continue to hold exclusive rights to MotoGP™, Moto2™, Moto3™ and the FIM Enel MotoE™ World Championship, which of course includes the awesome Tissot Sprint for the MotoGP™ class, introduced across the calendar in 2023. Hungarian audiences will be able to follow all the races, practice and qualifying sessions on Network4’s usual platforms (ARENA4 and MATCH4 sports TV channels and the NET4+ streaming service).

Ever since MotoGP™ has been available to Hungarian audiences, Network4 is the only broadcaster that has shown fans truly comprehensive coverage, including the best documentary series and extra content about the world of MotoGP™ and has also been providing multi-camera broadcasts on its streaming platform called NET4+.

There will be plenty to watch as this new contract begins too: the 2024 MotoGP™ season promises to be of record length, with a provisional calendar of 22 Grands Prix waiting for riders, teams and factories next year. The first race weekend of the season is planned for March 8-10 in Qatar, and the checkered flag will be waved for the last time on November 17 in Valencia, Spain. In total, the Championship will stage 22 race weekends across 18 countries, and the 2024 season will also see the sport celebrate its 75th anniversary as the world’s first motorsport World Championship. As ever, it only promises to get even better!

2024 is also a key season for Hungary, with Balaton Park included on the calendar as a reserve venue ahead of a planned return to the iconic Hungaroring in 2025. If there is a Grand Prix on the shores of Lake Balaton in 2024, and for future Hungarian Grand Prix events, they will be broadcast by Network4 Media Group on its free-to-air channel called MAX4 so that as many Hungarian viewers can see the historic event as possible.

András Borsány-Gyenes, President of Network4 Media Group: “We are proud to be able to continue broadcasting MotoGP races in the future. There is a significant and growing audience for top level motorcycle racing in Hungary, and we will continue to work to provide them with the best possible quality, extra content and multiple platforms to show them all the important moments of the series.”

Alex Arroyo, Head of Media Rights at Dorna Sports: “We’re very happy to extend our partnership with Network4. Hungary is an important market and home to our reserve venue next season as just a first step, with plans already announced to race at the Hungaroring from 2025. We know that with Network4 our Hungarian audience will continue to get top quality coverage, and new fans joining the sport – as audiences continue to increase – will have a fantastic broadcast waiting for them when they tune in.”

“Gen AI is a CXO priority”

EXL recently organised a Sports and Media Analytics Meetup in New York which was attended by 20+ sports leagues, clubs and media conglomerates, more than 250 analytics leaders and had 6 expert panels and informative sessions.

With a focus on cutting-edge subjects such as gen AI, data privacy, data cleanroom, and fan experience, the event delved deep into the intersection of technology and sports. Through engaging discussions and presentations, the event fostered a collaborative environment for the exchange of ideas and the advancement of analytics.

The focus was that for Sports & Media companies to successfully navigate the evolving industry landscape, they need to embrace the change & adapt to new realities, obsess over fan experience and optimize every touchpoint, ask the right questions and separate signal from noise.

EXL provided a sneak peek into the Insights Harbor product, which spans the Communication, Media, and Entertainment industry. 

Outtakes from Panel Discussion: Gen AI in Sports & Media: Is it the most significant event of the 21st Century?

  • Gen AI will have a transformational impact on society, industries, and daily life as the advent of electricity.

  • The impending wave of Gen AI is poised to complement the workforce rather than displacing it.

  •   Bias in the data, IP concerns and data governance issues are the key challenges for Gen AI solutions.

  • Early applications in the industry are focused on accelerating insight generation and improving organizational efficiency while taking a cautious approach on implementation in customer facing applications.

Presentation: Gen AI Industry Trends and EXL Sports Data Analytics Solution

  • According to 250+ EXL client conversations, Gen AI is a CXO priority.

25% of organizations are setting up infrastructure and conducting proof-of-concept trials

50% of organizations have started developing AI strategies and prioritizing use cases

  • Gen AI can be used in the sports industry to enhance fan experience through hyper-personalization and aid in insight generation.

  • EXL showcased the Sports Data Analytics Solution (SDAS) for Sponsorship Insights and a Conversational BI tool.

From Data to Discoveries: Harnessing Graph Neural Networks for Business Decision-Making

Within the Sports and Media industry, Graph Neural Networks can be used to build customer behavior profiles, enhance content recommendations, optimize influencer marketing, and zero-in on password sharing.

Panel Discussion: Unlocking Synergy- Empowering Clubs to Reimagine Fan Engagement

  • Data cooperation between leagues and clubs enables the development of a customer 360 view, enhancing personalization, targeted marketing, and CRM strategy formulation.

  • A balance between actionability, accuracy, and turn-around time is key for the adoptability of centralized solutions at scale.

Panel Discussion: Fan Experience & Personalization in a noisy world: How can data and analytics help?

  • The high emotional engagement of fans mandates a carefully crafted personalization strategy in the sports industry.

  • Varied and evolving fan behaviors, along with ever-increasing engagement avenues, shape the context for personalization.

Presentation: Data Clean Rooms (DCR) & Collaborative Intelligence: Pioneering Privacy First Innovations

  • Key use cases for DCR include audience segmentation, lookalike modeling, personalization and funnel optimization.

  • Data encryption, differential privacy, scoped access, and auditing are best practices for laying the foundation of DCR.

  • These best practices enable the generation of valuable insights while ensuring the protection of sensitive information and the maintenance of data integrity.

For more information, visit EXL website here.  For more information, contact Sameer at Sameer.Jain@exlservice.com.