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This Week’s Sport & Business Snapshot – All Eyes Down Under?

April 8, 2022

Ben Page compiles a snapshot of some of the biggest pieces of news from around the sports industry over the past seven days.

Aussie, Aussie, Aussie – The Home Of Sport For The Next Decade?

Australia looks set to become the home of major sporting events for the foreseeable future by adding to an incredible schedule of sporting events happening within the country over the next ten years.

The country appears on the verge of securing two more prominent sporting competitions to create a long list of upcoming major events across the next decade, by being named the preferred candidate for the Rugby World Cup in 2027 and 2029.

This comes a short time after Brisbane was announced as the host of the 2032 Olympic Games, which was followed by the Commonwealth Games Federation stating that Victoria was the preferred selection for the 2026 Commonwealth Games, which also took place on Australia’s Gold Coast in 2018.

Australia’s stunning sporting events calendar for the next few years:

  • 2022 – ICC T20 World Cup
  • 2022 – UCI Road Cycling World Championships
  • 2023 – FIFA Women’s World Cup
  • 2026 – Commonwealth Games, Victoria*
  • 2027 – Netball World Cup, Sydney
  • 2027 – Rugby World Cup 2027 (Men’s edition)*
  • 2028 – ICC T20 World Cup (co-host with New Zealand)
  • 2029 – Rugby World Cup 2029 (Women’s edition)*
  • 2032 – Olympic Games, Brisbane

*Preferred candidate

With many more major events now not undergoing a bidding process and rather, as in the case of World Rugby, the international federation electing to select their next city or country in co-operation with interested parties, is this due to the sporting world potentially moving away from some of the potentially more controversial event hosts of recent years?

Major events such as the FIFA World Cup in Qatar for 2022 and Russia in 2018, whose bidding processes have since been heavily scrutinised, and the IOC taking the Winter Olympics to Sochi in 2018 and Beijing in 2022 have been subjected to extreme criticism, whether that be for political regimes, human rights and more.

Is Australia seen as a safe destination for the next decade? Are more major events heading to what are considered ‘safe bet’ territory, when you look at more recently scheduled competitions it appears to be the case.

As for now, all eyes will be heading down under it seems.

WWE Continues To Take Celebrity Influencing To The Next Level

For years, WWE has been looking at some of the most innovative ways to get their audience engaged and bring in new fans to the world of sports entertainment, one of those ways has been to bring in stars who have been completely outside of sport.

Many people my age, who had an interest in WWE as a youngster, vividly remember the iconic Vince McMahon vs Donald Trump ‘Battle of the Billionaires’ match at Wrestlemania 23. Each represented by a wrestler, the loser would have to have their head shaved live at the event.

This was not the first time WWE had utilised something like this, but it is one of the most iconic. Floyd Mayweather’s match against Big Show at another Wrestlemania was one of the next iterations. In more recent years there has been Ronda Rousey opting to join WWE rather than fight in UFC, where she made her name.

However, more recently WWE have been taking it one step further, with Puerto Rican rapper Bad Bunny fighting at last year’s Wrestlemania and showcasing some serious talent.

This past weekend, Logan Paul, one of YouTube’s most prominent celebrities, whose brother Jake has more recently become a notorious name within boxing for his exploits against other celebrities and former athletes, became the latest to take part in a live event, shocking people with his ability.

The cross-promotion is sure to be fruitful for WWE, with the YouTuber bringing a huge fanbase to the WWE audience and can be beneficial for both sides. WWE saw huge viewing figures of over 2 million the following night, higher than the previous seven months.

Paul was not the only one making an appearance at Wrestlemania, as Super Bowl winning punter Pat McAfee, who himself has built up a huge audience with his media appearances and his highly followed radio show.

WWE seems to have nailed the influencer involvement within sports entertainment, can other sports that don’t have the same flexibility of being ‘entertainment’ find a similar niche?

Sunday Morning Baseball

Peacock will become the exclusive home to a new Major League Baseball game of the week on Sunday mornings. On each of the 18 Sundays that Peacock presents a game, it will be scheduled as the exclusive home of live MLB action until 1:30 p.m. Eastern Time that day.

Start times for the first six Sunday games at 11:30 a.m. ET and the following 12 Sunday games beginning at Noon ET, meaning there will need to be some very early starts for those over on the west coast if they are to also watch these fixtures.

By putting this game at a time when many other sports will be taking place across America, MLB will be hoping that this will be able to take the game to an audience that may often spend their time watching other sports when there are clashes.

Having become so prominent with their Sunday Night Football NFL showcase game, will ‘Sunday Morning Baseball’ be able to kickstart baseball and provide a new window for fans to watch?

Also In The News:

Salesforce Creates Five-Year Partnership With Formula 1

IOC And Deloitte Announce Global Partnership To Advance The Olympic Movement

WNBA’s Atlanta Dream Partners With Microsoft And Xbox To Empower Girls And Women In Atlanta

And Finally… All In The Detail

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola really made home advantage count this week, even utilising the team’s ball boys during the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final against Atletico Madrid, encouraging them to speed up play by bringing the ball to the Atletico players. [Paywall content]

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