Football: Billionaire hedge fund manager and philanthropist David Tepper is reportedly the 'leader in the clubhouse' to purchase National Football League (NFL) franchise the Carolina Panthers, according to NFL Network's Mike Garafolo.
A high-ranking team executive with knowledge of the process told Garafolo that, Tepper, who owns five per cent of the Pittsburgh Steelers, is the leading contender to purchase the Panthers from current majority owner Jerry Richardson. With another source informed of the discussions confirming that report. Tepper's net worth has been estimated at US$11 billion by Forbes.
THURSDAY'S BIG STORIES
Soccer: Fifa has lifted the ban on voters publicly endorsing any 2026 World Cup bid. The governing body last month ordered officials not to openly discuss the merits of either the joint Northern American bid, or the rival bid from Morocco.
Secretary general Fatma Samoura informed members via letter this week of an about-turn in guidance on the bid rules of conduct.
"All public statements by football officials in support of one bidder are admissible provided that they meet the underlying principles of ethical behavior," Samoura said in the letter.
Martial arts: CSI Sports-owned broadcast network Fight Sports has landed a carriage agreement with Filipino multi-channel, multi-media company SKYcable.
Cricket: Twenty20 cricket franchise Lahore Qalandars have announced DWP Group as their title sponsor in the third edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL). The Punjab-based outfit have also added EcoStar, an electronics brand, and Gree, an air conditioning manufacturer, to their sponsorhsip roster.
Elsewhere in the PSL, Pakistan Telecommunications Company Limited announced has entered into a partnership with Islamabad United that sees company branding displayed on the franchise's shirts for the upcoming third edition of the Twenty20 competition.
Tennis: The organisers of the Brazil Open have confirmed four broadcasters for next week's edition of the men's tennis tournament. Pay-TV broadcasters Fox Sports and BandSports will show the whole entire ATP World Tour 250 event, whilst free-to-air networks Gazeta and TV Brasil broadcast only the semi-finals and final respectively.
Athletics: Recruitment company Search Consultancy Ltd has become the latest national supplier for the IAAF World Indoor Championships Birmingham 2018.
College sports: The West Coast Conference (WCC) has announced that the Gorilla Glue Company will be title sponsor of its 2018 men’s and women’s basketball championships in Las Vegas. The agreement was secured by the WCC’s multi-media rights partner Van Wagner Sports and Entertainment (VWSE).
Diving: Rostock, Germany, will host the FINA Diving Grand Prix for the 24th consecutive year.
Motorsports: Team Penske has confirmed that for the fifth consecutive season Autotrader will be its primary racing sponsor for four Monster Energy Nascar Cup Series. Autotrader branding will featur on both the number two and number 22 Ford Fusion cars driven by Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano, respectively.
Elsewhere, Pay-television broadcaster Fox Sports Latin America has extended its commitment to touring car racing by agreeing a rights deal for the newly-formed World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) to cover the competition's maiden season.
In Pirelli World Challenge news, promoters WC Vision has announced a season-long partnership with cybersecurity protection company CrowdStrike.
Sailing: Software company SAP has renewed its technology sponsorship deal with the Extreme Sailing Series for four years, through to 2022.
And Sail Newport has announced that Heineken will sponsor the Volvo Ocean Race Newport stopover.
Marine motorsports: Powerboat P1 Management has confirmed Champions as its global communications agency.
Table tennis: The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) has secured a UK media rights deal for the 2018 Team World Cup in London with the BBC. All four days of the ITTF Team World Cup will be available to watch via the BBC's over-the-top streaming services and the BBC Sport website.
Raquetball: Gearbox Sports has been announced as the ball sponsor of the International Racquetball Federation (IRF).
Comeback of the day
Talks are ongoing over Buenos Aires returning to the Formula One calendar after a 20-year absence.
“We are negotiating with Liberty Media to become the promoter of the GP in Argentina,” Arturo Rubinstein, president of investment firm Blue Capital, told the Independent. Blue Capital owns Fenix Entertainment, a music and sports event promoter which has organised concerts featuring Justin Bieber and Elton John as well as the Argentinian round of the electric-powered racing series Formula E.
The last time an F1 race was run at the Autódromo Juan y Oscar Gálvez, Marlboro was the title sponsor, McLaren-Mercedes were one team and tobacco branding was still permitted on cars.