Soccer: Discount sports retail outlet Sports Direct came close to a major-tie-up with English soccer's Football Association (FA) but concerns from a number of stakeholders ultimately saw the deal collapse, according to a report in the Daily Mail.
The UK newspaper states that the FA were looking for a replacement for current team sponsor Vauxhall ahead of this summer's World Cup and were struggling to find a new backer.
Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley's company were in lengthy talks to step in but the deal fell through for a number of reasons, including the concerns of England kit supplier Nike about Sports Direct dictating pricing policy. The FA was also thought to prefer a blue-chip company and a less controversial figure than Ashley as a partner.
WEDNESDAY'S BIG STORIES
Basketball: The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) has announced its 3x3 World Tour calendar with the addition of two new events, one in Quito, Ecuador and another in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Elsewhere, Italian top-flight outfit Reyer Venezia Mestre have renewed their kit deal with Errea for a further four years. The Italian brand has provided the Lega Basket Serie A team's uniform's since 2011.
Rugby union: Generation Homes will remain a major shirt sponsor of New Zealand Super Rugby franchise Chiefs for the 2018 and 2019 seasons.
The building company has been a partner of the Chiefs since 2014, and has now renewed its commitment to the team for a further two years.
Motorsports: Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing have expanded their partnership with sponsors Fleet Cost and Care ahead of the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series. The company will become a full-time associate sponsor of the team, while also making its first appearance as a full primary sponsor of Graham Rahal‘s number 15 Honda at Texas Motor Speedway.
In Nascar news, Richard Petty Motorsports have announced EE Ward Moving and Storage as their 'official mover'. The Ohio-based company will be an associate sponsor of Darrell Wallace Jr's number 43 car this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Portuguese pay-television broadcaster Sport TV has acquired rights to the International Motorcycling Federation’s (FIM) Motocross World Championship (MXGP), as well as the Motocross of Nations event. The three-year deal will run from 2018 to 2020 and also includes MXGP’s magazine programme.
Snooker: The 2018 World Seniors Championship has announced Asseterum Cryptocurrency as its main sponsor. As well as being the title sponsor, Assetereum is awarding 10,000 cryptocurrency coins to the winner and 5,000 to the runner up.
Commonwealth Games: The organisers of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games have gobbled up a sponsorship deal with Peters Ice Cream. As part of the agreement, a range of Proud and Punch frozen juice pops will be served at the Coolangatta beach volleyball venue, and in Peters freezers around Queensland during the Games.
Golf: American golfer Bubba Watson has signed up as an ambassador for the Jockey Being Family Foundation to raise awareness for the foundation and the need for post-adoption services.
Innovation of the day
Tech-savvy fans of Major League Soccer’s (MLS) Orlando City will now be able to use Amazon Alexa as a new way of keeping up to date with their team.
A new partnership with the club allow fans to receive flash briefings about the latest Orlando City news in the form of soundbites from Alexa.
Once the Alexa app is downloaded and the settings have been appropriately personalised, fans will be able to prompt their enabled device for an update by asking, “Alexa, what’s in the news?” It will then respond with updates about player signings, results, upcoming matches and other daily happenings.
Check out the video below, it's pretty cool...