Fanatics is strengthening its grip on the sports collectibles industry with the acquisition of Topps.

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In this week’s SportsMoney Playbook: the NBA’s budding mogul, NIL momentum and Nascar’s changing landscape. Plus: the franchises that have appreciated the most over the last 20 years.


This transfer window might be particularly quiet as Premier League clubs find their squads depleted by Covid-19. Meanwhile, FIFA is looking to reform the transfer market, and soccer’s most powerful agents are ready for a fight.

New research finds that friendlies are susceptible to match-fixing—a major concern as the betting market grows.

STRIVE, a sports tech company that analyzes muscle performance data to prevent injuries, has a growing list of clients, including Leicester City.

Auto Racing

Richard Petty‘s Nascar team sold off a majority interest and both of its charters last month; Petty tells us how the introduction of the Next Gen car influenced the decision. The new car’s impact is actually being felt all over the Nascar landscape as it strengthens the demand for charters.


Golf’s 2020 resurgence continued through 2021, and the experience of Jersey City’s Liberty National Golf Club indicates the boom may last beyond the pandemic.

College Sports

Female athletes were big beneficiaries of college sports’ 2021 name, image and likeness reform, with cryptocurrency exchange FTX closing out the year by offering a deal to the entire Florida State softball team and fan-driven fundraising platform CrowdPush partnering with the Alabama women’s gymnastics team. NIL momentum is also increasing at the high school level; a junior quarterback in California recently became the first high school football player to take the plunge.


Male snowboarders with an upper-limb impairment are set to compete at the Beijing Paralympics in March, but the SB-UL class has been left off the program for women. An American pro is mounting an 11th-hour effort to change that.

Sports Business

Pickleball saw a 21% increase in its number of players in the U.S. in 2021, and lacrosse gained momentum in Florida. Women’s volleyball, meanwhile, is looking to build on a record-setting year.

Fanatics has a deal to buy Topps, but antitrust regulators may yet step in.

Featured Story

Devin Booker earns $31.7 million in salary this season and another $8 million annually from endorsement deals with brands like Nike and video game Call of Duty.


Suns guard Devin Booker has turned his seven NBA seasons into a crash course on business, and now he’s starting to act on those lessons, picking up stakes in seven startups and rolling up his sleeves as a co-owner of a sports drink. He’s already impressed Magic Johnson. Read more on the burgeoning business interests of the recent 30 Under 30 honoree.

Hot Reads:

Upon Further Review

The Golden State Warriors have led the explosion of sports team valuations over the last two decades, appreciating 3,300% to $5.6 billion. But No. 2 on the list might surprise you—this club once ranked as MLB’s least valuable. See the full list, and also check out our most recent baseball valuations.

The Last Word

“Precision is a big thing. Most of the time we are only driving for 30 to 45 seconds.” Amanda Sorensen

When 19-year-old phenom Amanda Sorensen isn’t attending classes at Utah Valley University, she’s competing on the Formula Drift series, an action-packed twist on auto racing. With success on the track and a steadily growing fan base—140,000 Instagram followers and 11 million TikTok views—she might just be the star the sport needs to reach the next level. Read more about Sorensen’s racing journey.

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