Rolling sports business news wrap: Every deal, every day

Top story: FC Schalke name Konami as new esports partner.

Rolling sports business news wrap: Every deal, every day

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Top story

German soccer outfit FC Schalke 04 have announced that Japanese game manufacturer Konami is set to become the club's new esports partner from next season.

The length of the deal between the Bundesliga side and Konami was not announced but it is described as long term, with German news outlet reporting it is worth around €100,000 (US$117,000) per year to the club.


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Konami will receive TV presence at Schalke home games as well as hospitality options and integration into the club's media activities.

The deal also sees the producers of the Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) series expand its licensed club portfolio for the upcoming edition of the soccer simulation game. The club's players will appear in detail in the game, as will the Veltins Arena and well-known Schalke fan songs. 

Alexander Jobst, the Schalke board member who oversaw the deal, said: "The partnership means that Schalke's position as pioneers in the field of esports is not only recognised nationally but also internationally. 

"Unlike others, Konami supports our transitioning of our main market football onto the virtual pitch. The partnership will also enable our fans and followers to play with the real team of FC Schalke 04 in the world-renowned game Pro Evolution Soccer."


Motorcycling apparel company Acerbis has enhanced its partnership with the Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK) by becoming the title sponsor of this weekend’s Czech round of the series.

Vodafone has become the new main partner of the German soccer club VfL Wolfsburg's esports division

English fourth-tier soccer club Colchester United have announced internet recruitment company JobServe is the new title sponsors of the club's stadium in a ten-year deal.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has announced a new three-year partnership with Wolf Blass that sees the Australian winemaker become the official wine partner of the 2019 Cricket World Cup and 2020 World T20.

Online training platform Zwift has joined forces with the 2018 UCI Road World Championships organising committee to become official supplier.

Media Rights

The Riot Games' North American League of Legends esports series will be broadcast on newly launched over-the-top (OTT) streaming service ESPN+ beginning with the summer split in a multiyear, non-exclusive deal.

BHRT, the public-service broadcaster in Bosnia and Herzegovina, has confirmed a rights agreement for the 2018 Fifa World Cup.

Personal Endorsement

Anthony Joshua's AJBXNG management company has agreed a multi-year deal between sportswear giant Nike and its British boxer client Joshua Buatsi.


English county cricket club Middlesex has appointed GumGum Sports, a digital sponsorship valuation firm, to capture the full media value of its sponsorship offering across broadcast and social media. 

Hashtag of the day

You can tell the World Cup is barely a week away as Lionel Messi's face is becoming increasingly visible as all of his various brand partners activate their deals. Gatorade has created an animated short film featuring the Argentina star for its World Cup campaign. The video is endearing enough but the digital branding is not the most imaginative, '#HeartOfALio' smacks of a late-afternoon meeting where no one has the energy to shout down a bad idea.


Our industry digest will update throughout the day as deals break so check back to make sure you do not miss a story