Rolling sports business news wrap: Every deal, every day

Top story: IPL to use DRS system for 2018 tournament

Rolling sports business news wrap: Every deal, every day

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Cricket: The Indian Premier League (IPL) will feature the Decision Review System (DRS) for the first time during the 2018 edition of its world leading Twenty20 tournament. 

From the 7th April season-opener, each team will get one review per innings, and the third umpire will have access to both ball-tracking and Ultra Edge. ESPN CricInfo report that the IPL will conduct a seminar for umpires and match officials before the start of the IPL featuring a session on DRS.


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The IPL follows the Pakistan Super League (PSL) in deploying DRS. The PSL became the first T20 competition to use the review technology when it did so during the play-off stages of the 2017 season. India was the last major country to adopt DRS and only began using the system for home games during the home Test series against England in 2016/17. 

DRS has not had widespread use in cricket's shortest format, with the International Cricket Council  (ICC) not using it during the World Twenty20 and only making the system mandatory for T20 internationals in October last year.

Soccer: KickOffers and Serie A outfit Chievo Verona have partnered to launch a new 'KickBond' that sees fan investments directly linked to the performance of the team. Verona are the first team to sign up with KickOffers and although the bonds are not stakes in Verona, the club do receive financial benefits based on investments.

In England, Championship club Norwich City's fund-raising bond issue has been so successful that the club cancelled its full public launch. The Canaries Bond, issued through the sports investment platform Tifosy, to fund the construction of a state-of-the-art academy beat its UK£3.5 million target and raised its maximum limit of UK£5 million.

Staying in the UK, National League side Wrexham have renewed their shirt sponsorship partnership with Ifor Williams Trailers for a third year running.

On the subcontinent, Pay-television broadcaster Star India has acquired rights to the Hero Super Cup, a new club soccer tournament that will launch in India later this week to replace the Federation Cup.

Rugby union: Colombia will host the inaugural Americas Rugby Challenge in August this year. The new tournament will be played at  Estadio Cincuentenario in Medellín and feature the hosts, as well as Guyana, Mexico and Paraguay in a round robin format.

In England, Premiership club Leicester Tigers have announced a partnership with Coco Fuzion 100 with the coconut water drink become the club’s first-ever rehydration partner. The new partnership will see Coco Fuzion 100 branding across Tigers rehydration equipment including team water bottles and water carriers, as well as branding within the home changing room and around the premises at Oval Park training ground.

Mixed martial arts: The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and UK youth charity the Prince’s Trust have announced an partnership aimed at motivating and inspiring young people.

Badminton: The Badminton World Federation (BWF) has entered into a four-year partnership with ELO Water, that sees the brand become the official water of the BWF’s championship events and tour finale.

Commonwealth Games: Caribbean pay-tv netowrk Flow Sports has become the official regional broadcaster of Gold Coast 2018.

Curling: Chinese sportswear brand 361° has been named as the title sponsor of the upcoming World Men’s Curling Championship in Las Vegas.

Drop of the day

Steve Smith has disappeared from the website of Australian cereal brand Weet-Bix in the wake of the national team’s ball tampering scandal. Weet-Bix producer Sanitarium, which is owned by the Seventh-day Adventist Church, signed up Smith in 2015 but have now removed his image from the brand's website and deleted the tweet unveiling the disgraced Australia captain as a 'Weet-Bix Kid' ahead of the results of Cricket Australia's investigation being released Tuesday night UK time.

‘We are interested in the detail of their investigation and the actions Cricket Australia will take on this matter,’ Sanitarium said in a statement on the issue. ‘Like the rest of Australia, we have been incredibly disappointed by the actions taken by the team over the weekend in South Africa.’

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