On the latest Sporticast episode, hosts Scott Soshnick and Eben Novy-Williams discuss some of the biggest sports business stories of the week, including the surging demand for live events as COVID-19 restrictions ease across the country.
Akshay Khanna, GM of StubHub’s North America business, joins the show to talk about what he’s seeing across the industry. After an 18-month stretch that he called “absolutely awful” for the ticketing industry, Khanna said demand is starting track above 2019 levels. He talks through what that demand means for ticket pricing and for the sheer number of events, as teams and venues look to recoup some of the revenue lost during the pandemic. He also talks about the proliferation of mobile ticketing, which was nearly 100% in the NFL last season, a trend that will likely continue post-pandemic.
The hosts also discuss Sportico‘s recent ranking of the 100 highest-paid athletes in the world. The list starts with UFC star Conor McGregor, who made $208 million in the past 12 months, more than any other athlete, largely due to his equity stake in an Irish whiskey company. Other standouts include tennis player Naomi Osaka, whose $55 million in earnings is a single-year record for a female athlete, and the Brooklyn Nets, who were the only sports team to have four players in the Top 100 (Kevin Durant, James Harden, Kyrie Irving and Blake Griffin).