Rolling sports business news wrap: Every deal, every day

Top story: Serena Williams becomes brand ambassador for Upper Deck.

Rolling sports business news wrap: Every deal, every day

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Top story

Tennis star Serena Williams has been announced as a brand ambassador for trading card company Upper Deck in a multi-year deal.

The contract permits Upper Deck to produce authenticated memorabilia and limited-edition prints featuring Williams' autograph and image.

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On her new relationship with Upper Deck, Williams said, "I love my fans. They support me through everything, and I want them to know how much I appreciate them. I want to show them that appreciation by giving something unique, and I feel like the least I can do is sign something that will bring them joy. Working with Upper Deck allows me to achieve that on a grand scale."

Williams' new collection of Upper Deck signed memorabilia includes exclusive limited-edition images, jumbo tennis balls and Nike tennis shoes, as well as extremely limited editions of Nike tennis dresses and Wilson rackets.

Sponsorship

Spanish soccer club Real Betis have announced a renewal of their main sponsorship deal with CaixaBank, extending a relationship between the La Liga club and the financial institution that stretches back in some form to 1995 for another three seasons.

French soccer club RC Strasbourg have agreed a kit supplier partnership with German sportswear manufacturer Adidas. The Ligue 1's clubs four-year deal covers the 2018/19 to 2021/22 seasons. 

In England, second-tier soccer club Millwall have announced that Macron has become their new technical sponsor. The club has agreed a four-year deal with the Italian sportswear company until the end of the 2021/22 season.

The Ghana Premier League (GPL) has been re-named to Zylofon Cash Premier League (ZCPL) after the Ghana Football Association (GFA) struck a five-year sponsorship deal with Zylofon Media.

Spanish sportswear company Joma has agreed a deal to supply clothing for this year’s summer Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Joma will produce uniforms for personnel, volunteers and technical officials during October's Games.

In esports, Gaming hardware maker Razer has announced a sponsorship deal Overwatch League's LA Valiant. The partnership is part of a larger contract between Razer and Valiant's parent company Immortals.

Sticking with a theme, Ubisoft has announced that Lenovo Legion will be the official PC and monitor sponsor for Rainbow Six: Siege esports. This year-long partnership will extend the duration of the Pro League, from spring 2018 through spring 2019 across North America, EMEA, Asia Pacific and Latin America. 

In basketball, Euroleague Basketball's long-time partner Spalding will returns to the 2018 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Final Four as the official game ball and backstop provider.

In India, OYO, the Indian hospitality company, has signed its first team sponsorship with Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise, Royal Challengers Bangalore in a deal that lasts until December. 

Media Rights

UK commercial broadcaster Channel 4 has bolstered its rugby union coverage by acquiring live rights to Wales’ three summer Test matches. The deal was first reported earlier this month, but has now been confirmed.

Kenyan media company Nation Media Group has acquired a package of free-to-air rights to the Fifa World Cup international soccer showpiece.

Agencies

The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has a new two-year partnership with Little Dot Studios designed to boost the body's digital media strategy. The agreement with Little Dot is designed to amplify the FIH’s content creation and distribution across digital platforms.

Bidding & Hosting

The CBS Sports Classic has announced that the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, will be the home for the 2019 edition.

Brioche of the Day

In possibly the most Gallic deal of the year, the French Football Federation (FFF) has renewed its sponsorship deal with bakery group Brioche Pasquier. The five-year agreement will run until June 2023 and continues a relationship that goes back 15 years. 

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