November 23, 2021

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Front Office Sports


Negotiations with the city of Oakland are ongoing, but the A’s have submitted a bid for a plot of land in the Las Vegas Valley – the potential site of a $1 billion ballpark. Team president Dave Kaval said, “Things are getting more serious.” 👀

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports/Design: Alex Brooks

Amazon has emerged as the frontrunner to buy a minority stake in the NFL’s media properties, sources tell Front Office Sports.

The tech giant is in talks with the country’s richest sports league about acquiring up to a 49% stake in NFL Network, RedZone and, said sources. The $10 billion league hired Goldman Sachs Group in June to negotiate a deal to sell a chunk of NFL Media.

But the deal with Amazon isn’t done and a last-minute snag could push a final agreement back by several months, warned one source.

If successful, the agreement would mark a large jump in the growing business relationship between Amazon and the NFL.

  • Starting in 2022, Amazon Prime Video will become the first streaming service to control an exclusive package of NFL games, paying $1 billion a year for the rights to “Thursday Night  Football.”
  • Amazon’s foray into NFL broadcast rights began in 2017 when it became the streaming home of “Thursday Night Football,” but those games were also broadcast on Fox and NFL Network.
  • The league’s Next Gen Stats have relied on Amazon Web Services since 2015.

The NFL and Amazon both declined to comment.

With annual revenue of $386 billion, Amazon is also bidding for the “Sunday Ticket” package against Disney, ViacomCBS, Apple and others, said sources. Bidding for Sunday Ticket could reach $2 billion to $3 billion a year.

Manchester City/Design: Alex Brooks

Two top European soccer clubs are ending blockchain sponsorship deals in unrelated fallouts.

On Friday, FC Barcelona cut off its deal with Ownix after a businessman associated with the company was arrested for fraud. The two sides had agreed to a deal on Nov. 5 to launch NFTs related to Barcelona’s history.

  • Moshe Hogeg was tagged by Israeli media as one of eight suspects arrested by Israeli police on suspicion of cryptocurrency-related fraud totaling at least $65 million.
  • Hogeg, an entrepreneur behind a slew of crypto-related startups, was charged with misleading investors, theft, money laundering, and sexual assault. Hogeg has denied the charges.

Manchester City also dropped a partnership last week, nixing a deal it made with decentralized finance company 3Key Technologies on Nov. 12.

While no lawbreaking is apparent in this case, City got cold feet after reports surfaced that 3Key and its executives have a very scarce online presence. Two websites associated with 3Key went offline on Tuesday, and searches on key executives failed to turn up any information.

The club suspended the partnership until further notice. City and 3Key had said they would launch products overseas, beginning in Germany and South Korea.

Nike/Design: Alex Brooks

Nike announced its new “Mind Sets” program last week, and it’s all about helping users prioritize their mental health.

The goal is to get people to “move in any way that feels good for their mental well-being.” Mind Sets will deliver custom movement programs and mental health content across the Nike App, Nike Run Club, and social channels.

Recent months have demonstrated the increasing importance of mental care for pro athletes:

  • Naomi Osaka withdrew from the French Open to preserve her mental health in the face of media scrutiny.
  • Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley stepped away from the NFL to focus on his mental health.
  • Simone Biles admitted struggles with mental health issues during the Tokyo Olympics.
  • Ben Simmons cited mental health issues as part of the reason for his current absence from the Philadelphia 76ers.

Other companies have also gotten in the mix.

When Osaka announced her withdrawal from the French Open, meditation app Calm offered to pay the star’s fines. Peloton introduced sleep and meditation classes on Delta flights in early November.

According to the Global Wellness Institute, the worldwide mental wellness industry is estimated at $121 billion and expected to grow 18% per year through 2027.

Want to learn more about how sports-related businesses are addressing mental health? Check out Front Office Sports Insights.

IPL/Design: Alex Brooks

The Indian Premier League is currently receiving more global attention than it ever has — and with two new teams joining the league, TV rights will likely become a tug-of-war.

Disney-owned Star India’s $2.6 billion, five-year deal for IPL broadcasting rights expires next year — the same year the league expands from eight to 10 teams — and the cost is estimated to increase by at least 25%.

The most recent price tag for IPL rights nearly quadrupled from what Sony paid to broadcast the first 10 years of the league in 2008. Sony may bid for the rights again this round, along with Zee Entertainment, in which Sony plans to purchase a 53% stake.

The league has been at the center of several major deals this year.

  • CVC Capital Partners, which owns stakes in La Liga, paid around $736 million for the new Ahmedabad franchise.
  • RPSG, a conglomerate owned by Sanjiv Goenka, shelled out roughly $964 million for the new Lucknow team.
  • In June, RedBird Capital acquired a 15% stake in IPL’s Rajasthan Royals for around $37.5 million, valuing the team at $250 million.

Last season, 31.57 million people watched the league’s final. In the past few seasons, Star India says that at least 400 million people have watched at least one match.

The IPL was reportedly valued at $6.2 billion in 2020.

  • Disney’s Hulu will add Disney+ and ESPN+ to its Hulu + Live TV product for an extra $5 per month.
  • Congress believes the NFL is withholding information from the government when it comes to the investigation into the Washington Football team.
  • Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang thinks the metaverse could save companies billions of dollars in the long run.
  • Panini America’s 2021 Mosaic NFL Football NFT packs drop soon. Don’t miss out on this historic first drop.*

*Sponsored Content

*All times are EST unless otherwise noted.

*Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See for details.

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