Issue 100: SportsPro’s 10 Deals

SportsPro has now been in print for ten years and 100 issues. To commemorate that landmark we’ve created the SportsPro 100, an in no way comprehensive list of the people and the developments that have coloured our history. As we continue our count to 100, here are ten deals that helped define the decade.

Issue 100: SportsPro’s 10 Deals

As we continue our 100th issue celebration here is an in no way comprehensive list of the deals that have coloured our history. 

11. Liberty Media

The company buys Formula One from Bernie Ecclestone for US$4.4 billion in 2016 and begins a new era for motosport's elite series.

What was said...

A series that managed to retain its premium allure while fashioning a more responsive, innovative outlook could remain at the forefront of global motorsport for some time to come

'Formula One: where does Liberty takeover leave motorsport’s elite series?', SportsPro, 2016


12. Major League Baseball Advanced Media

The company, later to spawn BAMTECH, signs a six-year digital rights deal with the NHL in 2015.

What was said...

Now the question is, in a direct to consumer world, do you need a third party? And it’s not clear that you do […] you might be able to do it yourself, and that’s what we’re trying to see with the NHL

President and chief executive of MLB Advanced Media, Bob Bowman, speaks to SportsPro about the deal in SportsPro Issue 2015


13. The NBA

Trebles its money in 2014 with a nine-year, US$24 billion US TV rights deal with Disney and Turner.

What was said...

The NBA has never been more popular and it continues to grow under Adam’s leadership. By acquiring significantly more NBA content for both existing and yet-to-be created platforms, we will establish a vibrant, year-round NBA presence for fans

Then ESPN president John Skipper, commenting in SportsPro, 2014


14. Amazon

The tech giant dips its toe into the sports market by snapping up coverage of the NFL's Thursday Night Football in 2017, replacing Twitter.

What was said...

It may be some time before sport – and major live sport in particular – becomes decoupled from the traditional TV model, and just as long before rights monies become more significant from digital media than they are from traditional broadcasters. But the market is in flux

Over the horizon: Sport’s digital broadcast future, SportsPro, 2016


15. BT Sport

Crashes the UK TV picture in 2012, getting two lots of Premier League rights in a three-year deal worth an annual UK£246 million.

What was said...

BT Sport and Sky Sports, whatever each might hope, have become defined in relation to one another 

'Over the horizon: Sport’s digital broadcast future', SportsPro 2016


16. William Morris Endeavour

Hollywood agency buys IMG in 2013 to create a new sports and entertainment giant.

What was said...

Across the world of sport, IMG’s fingerprints can be found everywhere. Fingers in pies is one commonly used way of describing the company’s expansive reach and influence

'The Long Read: With a spirit of collaboration, the IMG empire grows and grows', SportsPro on IMG's growth, 2017


17. Discovery

Buys pay-TV broadcaster Eurosport, then spends €1.3 billion in 2015 to make it the European home of the Olympics until 2024.

What was said...

We want Eurosport to evolve. We believe in this business; we believe in the asset, we believe in the brand, and we are operators

Then newly-installed president of Discovery, JB Perrette, speaking to SportsPro about the Eurosport purchase in 2014


18. NBC

The US network spends US$7.65 billion in 2014 to extend its Olympic broadcast deal until 2032.

What was said...

Our long-term commitment to and investment in the Olympic Movement are a reflection of our belief in the future of broadcast television

Brian Roberts, Comcast chairman and chief executive, who oversaw the deal with his company's NBC network and the IOC in 2014

19. WTA

The tennis organising body creates WTA Media with Perform in 2014.

What was said...

The great opportunity we all have relates to digital. It’s cost-efficient; the channels are better distributed and there’s the storytelling through social and the engagement with younger fans that will create an opportunity in these next five years that we perhaps haven’t had before

Then WTA chief executive Stacey Allaster, discusses the WTA's plans with SportsPro, 2014


20. FC Barcelona

The La Liga giants sign their first ever shirt sponsorship deal, with Qatar Sports Investments, in 2010.

What was said...

I came back in 2010 with this new board and they discovered a very difficult financial situation. So it was absolutely crucial for a sustainable and serene future to have the right commercial balance, so we decided to welcome a brand on our shirt 

Laurent Colette, Barcelona’s then chief marketing officer, speaks exclusively to SportsPro about the deal in 2012