Rolling sports business news wrap: Every deal, every day

Top story: Orient Hontai Capital officially completes Mediapro acquisition.

Rolling sports business news wrap: Every deal, every day

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Top story

Orient Hontai Capital has officially completed its acquisition of Spanish broadcast company Mediapro after the Chinese government approved the purchase of a 53.5 per cent stake in parent company Imagina.


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The purchase was first announced in February with Mediapro announced the closing of the deal three days before the deadline some four months on. The Chinese company take its controlling stake from shareholders including Spanish private equity firm Torreal, which held 23 per cent of the capital, Mexican broadcaster Televisa which had 19 per cent and Mediavideo’s 12 per cent. The deal gives Imagina an enterprise evaluation of €1.9 billion. 

The deal means Imagina’s shareholders are now Orient Hontai (53.5 per cent), WPP (22.5 per cent) and its founders Tatxo Benet (12 per cent) and Jaume Roures (12 per cent). Mediapro said Roures and Benet will continue in their management roles in the company.

Mediapro recently lost the domestic rights to air games from La Liga to Telefonica but retained the international La Liga rights over the next five years for €4.48 billion as well as the bar and restaurant broadcasting rights for the next three years for €481 million.


Bologna have enhanced their partnership with Liu Jo that sees the Italian clothing brand become the Serie A soccer club’s main sponsor for the 2018/19 season.

Israeli Premier League soccer club Maccabi Tel Aviv have secured a three-year main sponsorship deal with PenguinPickUp, a network of pick-up locations for online purchases, that sees the company’s logo appear on the first team and academy team’s shirts until the end of the 2020/21 season.

Italian soccer giants Inter Milan have launched an Australian academy in Brisbane, as the first project stemming from the agreement signed in May 2018 between the club, Fullshare Holdings and Sparrow Early Learning. 

Way down in the eighth tier of English soccer, blockchain technology business has been announced as the main sponsor of Hythe Town with a focus on charity iniatives.

Econocom has been announced as an official supplier of The 2018 Ryder Cup, providing technology hardware to event staff and sponsoring the on-courrse event broadcast radio.

Kukri Sports will continue as the official kit supplier to Irish rugby union outfit Ulster after agreeing a new five-year deal. 

GMO Coin, the cryptocurrency arm of the Japanese giant GMO Internet, has announced that it is the official sponsor of the Japanese baseball team, the Chiba Lotte Marines.

The National Basketball Association (NBA) and Gatorade are partnering for the Jr. NBA World Championship, August's innaugural global youth basketball tournament for the top 13- and 14-year-old boys and girls teams from around the world being held in Orlando, Florida. 

The PGA Tour and Omni Hotels & Resorts announced a sponsorship agreement through 2022 designating Omni as the official hotel partner of the PGA TOUR and PGA TOUR Champions. 

Malaysian pewter manufacturer and retailer Royal Selangor has been named as the official trophy partner of the HSBC Badminton World Federation (BWF) World Tour Finals.

Independent chartered insurance broker Hazelton Mountford has signed a sponsorship deal with Worcester Racecourse in the UK until the end of the season in September.

Media Rights

The Global T20 Canada has revealed its broadcast partners for the new Twenty20 cricket competition. Canadian broadcast group Asian Television Network has secured domestic rights to the tournament, while Hotstar will also stream coverage of the league. Elsewhere, pay-television broadcaster Star Sports has acquired rights in India, while the league will also be covered by free-to-air digital channel FreeSports (UK), pay-television broadcaster Fox Sports (Australia), pay-television broadcaster Geo Sports (Pakistan), pay-television broadcaster Orbit Showtime Network (Middle East), pay-television broadcaster Gazi TV (Bangladesh) and pay-television broadcaster SportsMax (Caribbean).

Global TV sports producer and distributor, Sunset+Vine, has been appointed as the host broadcaster for the FEI World Equestrian Games Tryon 2018.

Stand-up combat league, GLORY, and Dutch multi-media brand Veronica, have announced a multi-year agreement that sees all of the promotion's fight nights broadcast on the free-to-air network.

The World Baseball Softball Confederation has awarded host broadcast rights for the 2018 Women’s Baseball World Cup to non-profit network, the United States Speciality Sports Association.

Australian broadcaster OVO has added to its kitty of exclusive broadcast rights for its OVOPlay streaming service by signing an agreement with domestic Super Rugby side, Brumbies.

Omni-channel content solution company Vermantia and Arena Racing Company (ARC) are partnering to launch the European Racing Channel, a dedicated racing channel aimed at retail betting shops.


UCI World Tour outfit Team Sky have partnered with Dejero for an in-vehicle mobile connectivity system using Dejero Gateway that allows the British team to receive and deliver race-related information wherever they may be.

PGA Tour golfer Charley Hoffman has announced a partnership with Halo Neuroscience, a neurostimulation device company focused on improving human performance through its first consumer headset, Halo Sport.


Esports organisation Splyce has raised US$2.6 million in a funding round from the likes of basketballer Metta World Peace, American footballer Roman Harper, and sports agent David Meltzer.

Bidding & Hosting

Spanish top-flight soccer club Girona FC will become the first La Liga team to play in India when they embark on a two-game preseason tour of the country in July.

The NBA and the Australia's National Basketball League (NBL) have announced that for the second consecutive year, NBL teams will travel to the US to participate in the NBA preseason. 

Merch of the day

French soccer giants Olympique Marseille are under the thumb of the Rolling Stones (like that one?) after striking a joint merchandising deal. The iconic rock band played at the Ligue 1 club's Orange Velodrome on 26th June with two special edition t-shirts released in partnership with Bravado to mark the occasion. 

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