Top story: Lionel Messi lands own Cirque du Soleil show

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Top story: Lionel Messi lands own Cirque du Soleil show

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Top Story

Five-time Ballon d’Or-winning soccer player Lionel Messi is to be the new focus of a new show by Canadian entertainment group Cirque du Soleil.

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It will be the first time the group has a show based on a sports star, and has announced that the production, inspired by the life of the Barcelona player, will go on a world tour next year.

Details of the show are yet to be released, but Messi himself has spoken of the news, saying: “It feels both crazy and incredible that Cirque du Soleil will create a show based on my life, my passion, my sport.”

A statement of Cirque du Soleil’s website said: ‘The show will draw its inspiration from the incredible talent and accomplishments of the football legend, who embodies the unique spirit and values of his sport.’

Messi recently delivered a man-of-the-match performance as Barcelona defeated English club Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley Stadium in the Champions League.

Sponsorship

French clothing brand Vicomte A. has become an official supplier of the Paris Masters tennis tournament in a three-year deal.

Bookmaker BetVictor has announced it will be the new title sponsor of snooker’s English Open tournament, which starts next week.

Healthcare company Dignity Health has secured a ten-year naming rights deal for the training facilities of the National Football League’s (NFL) Arizona Cardinals.

The Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) has extended its partnership deal with tour operator Gullivers Sports Travel until 2022.

Solutions company Antelope Systems has been announced as the new official sponsor of the Cyprus national soccer team.

Food chain Hunt Brothers Pizza has announced an expansion to its partnership with Nascar team Stewart-Haas Racing, in what is its tenth year of its partnership with driver Kevin Harvick. Its colours will feature on Harvick’s Ford Mustang in the 2019 season.

Online retailer Fanatics has entered a new partnership with Japanese baseball team Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks.

International event organiser OC Sport has announced sports agency Element Sports Group as a new major partner of the Extreme Sailing Series event.

Cryptocurrency company Lifelabs has been announced as an official sponsor of the British Masters golf tournament.

Media Rights

Pay-TV broadcaster Sky Deutschland has secured exclusive rights for coverage of tennis Grand Slam Wimbledon in Germany in a four-year deal, while acquiring non-exclusive rights to the championships in Austria.

Investment

The Italian Rugby Federation (FIR) has agreed a deal in principle to become a shareholder in Celtic Rugby, organisers of the Pro14 rugby tournament, securing the places of Italian clubs Benetton and Zebre in the competition for the next five years.

Agencies

Finance and entertainment company Los Angeles Media Fund has launched a sports agency named Beyond Athlete Management. Its clients include Courtland Sutton of National Football League (NFL) team Denver Broncos.

Politics & Governance

Major League Baseball’s (MLB) Kansas City Royals are locked in a trademark dispute with National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) club Utah Royals, filing an opposition notice arguing that the soccer club should be denied the opportunity to trademark their name and logo which bear similarities to that of Kansas City’s. The NWSL has denied any trademark infringement.

The 2019 International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session will be held in the Swiss city of Lausanne, moving from Milan, as the city bids to become the hosts of the 2026 Winter Olympics in a joint bid with Cortina D’Ampezzo. The winning bid is set to be announced at the session in June 2019.

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