English Premier League champions Manchester City have announced record revenues of UK£500 million in their latest financial report.
FRIDAY'S BIG STORIES
The club, owned by Abu Dhabi-based businessman Sheikh Mansour, are only the second English soccer club to post such figures, with only domestic rivals Manchester United generating a greater income – along with European giants Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich.
Accounts showed that Mansour’s overall investment into City has reached UK£1.3 billion – a value surpassing that of Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich (UK£1.17 billion) – despite his 2008 takeover occurring some five years after the Russian’s arrival at Stamford Bridge.
Last year’s runaway champions also announced profits for a fourth year in a row – on which chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak commented: “Ten years ago, the idea that 2018 would bring a fourth consecutive profitable year for Manchester City, may well have been rejected as fanciful by some commentators. That is the reality today.”
City to continue the defence of their Premier League title when they take on newly promoted Fulham on Saturday.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has announced a multi-year deal with former champion Bas Rutten to launch his mixed martial arts (MMA) training device, the UFC Bas Body Action System.
Spanish La Liga soccer club Eibar have announced Japanese technology company Hitachi, soon to be known as Hikoki, as their new sleeve sponsor.
German Bundesliga soccer club Bayer Leverkusen have extended their partnership with sports marketing agency Lagardère Sports.
Meanwhile, rivals Stuttgart have made cheese brand Gazi their main sleeve sponsor, with striker Mario Gomez becoming brand ambassador for its dairy brand Garmo.
Second-tier German soccer team Union Berlin have entered a sponsorship agreement with Italian telecommunications company Prysmian Group.
Italian drinks brand Birra Peroni has been announced as the official beer of soccer rivals Inter and AC Milan.
Nascar team Stewart-Haas Racing has entered a partnership with software company Autodesk.
English Championship soccer club Brentford have extended their sponsorship deal with Utilita Energy, which becomes the main sponsor of their women’s team.
User-generated game world Roblox has partnered with the National Football League (NFL), giving users the chance to create virtual helmets for their avatars.
Scotland Women’s Rugby have signed a sponsorship deal with electric company SP Energy Networks.
National Women’s Hockey League side Minnesota Whitecaps have announced a sponsorship deal with healthcare company Tria.
The Vanarama National League, the fifth tier of English soccer, is being rebranded as the Manarama National League for a month in a partnership with charity Prostate Cancer UK.
Eleven Sports has secured exclusive rights to broadcast coverage of next weekend’s heavyweight boxing clash between Anthony Joshua and Alexander Povetkin in Portugal, Myanmar and Taiwan.
Indian broadcaster DSport has acquired the rights to the inaugural Afghanistan Premier League cricket season in the Indian subcontinent, which is to be played in the United Arab Emirates in October.
Singaporean network Singtel has acquired rights to the English FA Cup, Eredivisie and Chinese Super League in a deal with IMG.
Chinese media company StarTimes has secured exclusive rights to the Uefa Europa League, European soccer’s second-tier competition, in sub-Saharan Africa until 2021.
OTT streaming platform DAZN will broadcast coverage from MMA event Combate Americas.
Swedish soccer player Emil Forsberg has extended his contract with supplier Nike.
Media tech company Grass Valley has entered a deal with Esports Stadium Arlington to supply the venue with its video production to deliver an improved fan experience. The Texas stadium is the largest esports arena in North America.
Also in esports, organiser Faceit has announced a partnership with broadcaster Sky Sports to show coverage of the final stages of the Counter Strike: Global Offensive Major Championship 2018, which is the biggest esports event to be held in the United Kingdom to date.
Artificial Intelligence-powered (AI) sports highlights provider WSC Sports has entered a deal to provide content for the Puerto Rican Basketball League.
The Sydney Invictus Games will use a chatbot within its digital communications, in a collaboration with solution specialist Sage.
Team Vitality has announced French telecommunications company Orange as a title sponsor.
SonyLiv, the premium over-the-top (OTT) platform of Sony Pictures Networks India, has teamed up with Amagi to use the Indian-based company’s artificial intelligence (AI) technology to push targeted ads to users.
Italian Serie B soccer club Pescara have launched a €3 million partnership with sport investment platform Tifosy to redevelop their training facilities.
Bidding & Hosting
Major League Soccer (MLS) has confirmed that the 2019 All-Star Game will be held in Orlando.
The National Football League’s (NFL) Buffalo Bills’ owner Kim Pegula has stated that plans to construct a new stadium are on hold, while they are exploring the idea of renovating their current home at New Era Field.
Japanese city Sapporo is set to drop its interest in hosting the 2026 Winter Olympics, with intentions of hosting the event in 2030. A decision is to be made on the eventual hosts next year.
Redeveloping Glasgow’s Hampden Park could cost up to UK£90 million, according to the architect behind the project.
Politics & Governance
A La Liga soccer game between Barcelona and Girona in the US has been thrown into fresh doubt after a meeting between Fifa president Gianni Infantino, Spanish federation (RFEF) boss Luis Rubiales and Pedro Sanchez, the country’s prime minister. Concerns were raised by the RFEF over how the event would be against fans’ interest and the integrity of the competition, as well as Fifa’s worries about putting business ahead of football. All parties are required to grant approval to the proposals.
German soccer organisation Deutsche Fussball Liga (DFL) is to undergo structural reform, according to president Reinhard Rauball, who will stand down next August.
Rugby league clubs in England have voted to return to a promotion and relegation format, scrapping the Super 8s in favour of a ‘one up, one down’ system from next season. Only Leeds Rhinos voted against the proposed changes.
Our industry digest will update throughout the day as deals break so check back to make sure you do not miss a story