Welcome to Sportico’s Transactions wire, a weekly rundown of personnel, partnerships and purchases across the sports business industry.
Two Execs Named to FIM World Supercross Championship Roles
SX Global has hired Stephen Rogers as chief operating officer and Nathan Prendergast as head of television & broadcast. The veterans bring a combined 30-plus years of experience in executing global events in motorsports, including supercross, rallycross, freestyle motocross, road racing and drag racing, among others. Rogers, formerly of Thrill One Sports & Entertainment, was head of operations and business affairs at Nitro Circus. Prendergast had been the head of television & broadcast for SX Global, and has deep experience in the development and management of pre-, live- and post-production for some of the sports world’s most successful events. He has led production across a wide range of global sporting events, including V8 Supercars Championship, Australian Open Tennis, AUS-X Open, Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race and Formula One Grand Prix
Cracker Jack Introduces Cracker Jill, Commits $200K to Women’s Sports Foundation
Cracker Jack is adding a new face to its roster with the introduction of Cracker Jill to celebrate the women who break down barriers in sports. Cracker Jill arrives with five different representations on a series of special-edition bags, which will be available at the start of this year’s baseball season in professional ballparks across the country or through a $5 donation to the Women’s Sports Foundation. To extend its impact, Cracker Jack is donating $200,000 to the the foundation, a national nonprofit that conducts research and advocacy and supports community programming to help girls and women across the country reach their potential in sport and life. Cracker Jack has worked with recording artist Normani to update Take Me Out to the Ball Game to include Cracker Jill.
Liverpool Signs Up a New Official Credit Card for U.S. Supporters
Financial technology firm Cardless has teamed up with Liverpool Football Club (LFC) to launch its first branded credit card for U.S. supporters. The Liverpool FC Credit Card by Cardless, issued by First Electronic Bank, includes no annual fee, no late fees and no foreign transaction fees. Supporters can earn points redeemable for statement credits, match tickets, player-signed items and exclusive experiences and rewards. In addition, starting with the 2022-23 season in June, cardholders receive an annual LFC International Membership for as long as their card account is active. As LFC International members, cardholders will also receive a 10% retail discount in LFC official stores and online with a maximum discount value of £75 per season year. Cardholders also receive LFCTV GO complimentary for the first year; and then with LFC International Membership, cardholders receive 50% off LFCTV GO each following year. The card is Cardless’ second partnership with an English Premier League club, having partnered with Manchester United in 2021.
Caesars Sportsbook Named Official Sports Betting Partner of the New York Mets
Caesars Entertainment Inc. and the New York Mets announced a multiyear partnership to make Caesars Sportsbook an Official Sports Betting Partner of the team. In addition to a variety of VIP experiences and hospitality assets for Caesars Rewards members, this partnership features plans to open a new sportsbook lounge at Citi Field, Caesars Sportsbook at the Metro Grille. Scheduled to open during the 2022 Major League Baseball season, the new 13,000- square-foot space will sit on the Excelsior Level at Citi Field with a multi-tiered dining room and outdoor patio seating complete with panoramic views overlooking left field. Access to official New York Mets logos and marks, TV-visible in-game signage, and broadcast and digital content across Mets’ properties are included in this partnership.
Tech Innovation Drives NFL Partnership Extension With Ticketmaster
Ticketmaster has extended its long-standing relationship with the National Football League. The introduction of new technologies and digital enhancements across the fan experience are key components of the extension. The partnership has already led to innovations, including digital ticket adoption, an open ticketing platform for buying and reselling, commemorative gameday ticket NFTs, including a Super Bowl LVI NFT that dynamically populated the fan’s seat location.
NBA Foundation Hands Out 40 Grants Totaling More Than $11 Million
The NBA Foundation tipped off its second year of grant-making with 40 new grants totaling $11 million to organizations that are creating employment opportunities, furthering career advancement, and driving greater economic empowerment for Black youth throughout the United States and Canada. Named as part of the foundation’s fifth grant round and the first of 2022, the grants are focused on workforce development, pathways for higher education, mentoring and entrepreneurship for Black youth. The NBA Foundation, which was seeded with a 10-year $300 million commitment from the NBA Board of Governors in 2020, has now awarded 118 grants to-date, totaling more than $33 million to nonprofit organizations. These grants will continue to support pipeline development for high school, college-aged, job-ready and mid-career individuals in their communities. The foundation works in partnership with the teams’ affiliated charitable organizations and the NBPA to support national and local organizations with a specific focus on team markets.
No2ndplace Agency to Focus on Sports and Social Change Launches
Octagon Sports and Entertainment Network has launched No2ndPlace, a specialist agency devoted to driving social impact through sport. Focusing on the role sport plays as a catalyst for change, No2ndPlace will help brands, sporting bodies, and nonprofit organizations, drive awareness of societal issues and deliver impactful action and progress. Launching initially in Australia, No2ndPlace will be led by Octagon’s chief client officer, Ben Hartman, who will retain his current role while serving as managing director of the new agency.
Athliance Launches Two NIL Tracking Products
After meeting with hundreds of NCAA administrators and compliance officers, Athliance has introduced two new products, NIL Protect and NIL Protect Pro. NIL Protect, which is free, offers an open API integration in which third-party NIL marketplaces and school collectives create automatic disclosures that are sent directly to university compliance departments. No action is required on the school’s part. NIL Protect Pro is the premium version, which offers enhanced features and benefits to school athletic departments, including automating communication and workflow, auditing and reporting, educational resources, and more.