Welcome to Sportico’s Transactions wire, a weekly rundown of personnel, partnerships and purchases across the sports business industry.
Collectibles Authenticator Expands East Coast Presence
The parent company of Professional Sports Authenticator, the largest authentication and grading company in the world, and Veris Residential Inc. signed a long-term lease for approximately 130,000 square feet of office space at Harborside 3 in Jersey City. PSA’s Harborside 3 space will serve as a robust, efficient grading operation, helping the company to expand and improve upon its authentication and grading services of trading cards, tickets, autographs and more as quickly as possible. As the collectibles industry continues to enjoy rapidly growing enthusiasm across the globe, this East Coast location, which will include administrative and executive offices, will serve as a complement to the company’s long-standing headquarters in Santa Ana, Calif.
Kennesaw State Teams Up With Aspire on Tickets, Services
Kennesaw State University and The Aspire Sport Marketing Group have agreed to a multi-year ticket sales and service partnership. Staff at Aspire’s on-campus Fan Relationship Management Center will drive revenue across all of the Owls sports and integrate with student works within KSU athletics and its business/sport management program. KSU and Aspire are also partners in USA Rugby 7s Collegiate Championships, the official national championship tournament for both men’s and women’s collegiate rugby 7s. KSU’s Fifth Third Bank Stadium will host the inaugural tournament on May 14-15, with live coverage on NBC, CNBC and Peacock.
IMG Arena Secures Data Distribution Partnership With Euro Football Leagues
London-based sports content and technology company IMG Arena has been appointed the official fast betting-data partner for 19 European football leagues and 44 competitions, including top and lower tiers of domestic leagues, domestic cups, super cups and women’s football competitions. The company will capture live game data from over 8,500 matches a season and distribute it to hundreds of licensed sportsbook operators around the world in under a second. IMG Arena delivers live streaming and data feeds for more than 45,000 sports events annually, as well as for on-demand virtual sports products and front-end solutions including the UFC Event Centre.
LaMelo Ball Launches Watch Brand with Memorigin
Charlotte Hornets guard LaMelo Ball last year launched his own clothing brand, LaFrance, and this year he’s adding Melofaith, a watch brand created in partnership with Memorigin, a Hong Kong-based tourbillon watch maker. Melofaith’s first offering, the Rare Tourbillon, is available in two options, the regular version with a more subdued steel case in black ($6,800), and the diamond version with a steel case inlaid with 226 diamonds ($20,000). The watch is equipped with a hand-wound tourbillon movement with a 40-hour power reserve and a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour.
The Brandr Group, Follett Join for College Apparel and Jersey Sales
The Brandr Group (TBG), the leading NIL group licensing agency in college athletics, and Follett, the largest campus store operator in North America, will bring apparel and jersey sales to schools with players who have opted in to TBG’s group licensing programs across the country. Follett will promote player and team top apparel and non-apparel brands both in-store and online building an outstanding product assortment and consumer shopping experience. In addition to the apparel and non-apparel assortment, Follett will also bring customized jerseys to the market across several key sports. The agreement creates the opportunity for products to be sold featuring athletes across several sports using name, image, and likeness in a co-branded program. Fans of these schools and athletes will also have access to products from top brands like Nike, Adidas, Under Armour, Champion, New Balance and many more.
Uncut Los Angeles, an Athlete Media Platform, Launches at USC
The nonprofit media organization Uncut Los Angeles launched a platform where nine USC athletes can share their experiences directly with fans and followers. It can accommodate videos, podcasts and written material. The enterprise is student-run, and the launch team features nine athletes and promises to give an inside look at their lives. The opportunity to build a brand and a following should help the athletes deliver on existing NIL deals and attract new ones. Uncut launched its first platform at UNC and has since added additional schools and athletes to its mix.