DAZN is partnering with YouTube to broadcast the highest level of women's soccer. Britta Pedersen/picture alliance via Getty Images
In this week’s SportsMoney Playbook: MLB’s highest-paid players, a soon-to-be unicorn in esports and a flurry of NIL deals in college sports. Plus: why baseball’s most marketable star is only getting started.
With the NCAA lifting many of the regulations that had prohibited student-athletes from monetizing their name, image and likeness, a flurry of opportunities will open up for college stars, particularly in the sports card and memorabilia industry. Miami quarterback D’Eriq King and Fresno State basketball players Hanna and Haley Cavinder were among the first athletes to start cashing in. But as the gold rush begins, athletic departments need to be wary of the compliance challenges that lie ahead.
Trackhouse Racing is buying Chip Ganassi‘s Nascar charter, securing the future of the team. And all it took was a cold call.
A lot has changed for Roger Penske since his first IndyCar win 50 years ago—for one thing, he’s now a multi-billionaire—but his mindset hasn’t. “The same thing that motivated me when I first began racing still keeps me going today: winning,” he tells us.
DAZN and YouTube are partnering to broadcast the UEFA Women’s Champions League, a move that could expand the sport’s audience immensely.
The Columbus Crew have a new, soccer-specific home—a fresh perspective on MLS venues and the cornerstone of a brand-new neighborhood near the city’s downtown.
Months after closing a $95 million Series D funding round that valued the company at $945 million, esports and gaming platform Mobile Premier League has expanded to the U.S. as the company looks to replicate the success it has had in India and Indonesia.
Sixty-one years after they were first introduced, bobbleheads remain a driver at the gate, especially in the spring and fall when school is in session and ticket sales can fluctuate. No bag of swag can compete with the bobblehead, and the Braves are doubling down.
The Tour de France, spanning more than 2,000 miles, is a challenging event to run. This year, organizers are embracing burgeoning technologies such as artificial intelligence, digital twins and the internet of things to manage the race.
Sports card company Upper Deck is tapping into all sorts of new outlets, including NFTs, to take advantage of the booming memorabilia market. “There is always something in the hopper,” the company’s president tells us.
NBA rookie of the year LaMelo Ball is joining athletic training gear maker Powerhandz as a general partner and board member. “We wanted someone that not only moved algorithms but got us into rooms we could not have,” the startup’s CEO says.
Major League Baseball’s ten highest-paid players are earning an estimated $357 million combined this season, an all-time high and a giant leap from the pandemic-derailed 2020 season. The new No. 1 signed a huge new contract this past off-season, but not all of the sport’s big names make the cut; in fact, the player with baseball’s biggest endorsement portfolio doesn’t appear on the list, which counts both on-the-field and off-the-field earnings. See who ranks where.
- How MLB Superstar Shohei Ohtani Made $6 Million In Endorsements Without Even Trying
- Randy Levine On The Future Of Yankee Global Enterprises
Upon Further Review
Just four years after arriving in the U.S., Shohei Ohtani is MLB’s top pitchman, raking in at least $6 million a year in endorsements. Still, he doesn’t come close to sports stars like Naomi Osaka or LeBron James with his off-the-field earnings. It’s representative of a broader issue in baseball, which has lagged behind other sports in terms of marketing dollars; that helps explain why no baseball players made our 2021 list of the world’s highest-paid athletes. See who did.
The Last Word
“I think that what Naomi has done is shine a huge global light on issues of mental health and support.” – Lindsey Vonn
Two-time Olympic gold medalist Lindsey Vonn is familiar with the anxiety that comes with competing on the world’s biggest stage, but in her heyday just a few years ago, sports stars didn’t speak about mental health publicly. That’s why she lauds Naomi Osaka for raising awareness on the internal struggles athletes face. “I hope every athlete can seek out support and not feel ashamed,” she tells us. Read more of Vonn’s thoughts on mental health and the upcoming Olympics.
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