Welcome to Sportico’s Transactions wire, a weekly rundown of personnel, partnerships and purchases across the sports business industry
Playmaker Snaps Up World Soccer Talk in North America Move
Playmaker has acquired 100% of the digital assets of Double Decker Group, which encompasses World Soccer Talk, a U.S.-based, soccer-focused media business that provides news, analysis, and broadcast and streaming information related to soccer events, leagues and clubs globally. World Soccer Talk’s complete multichannel offering includes a website, mobile app, podcast and multiple social media channels. Playmaker’s subsidiary, Futbol Sites, has a footprint across Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and the U.S, and this latest purchase contributes to Playmaker’s presence with North American soccer fans. Affiliate advertising, the practice of delivering users to advertisers and sponsors and receiving a fee for users that convert to subscribers or one-time customers, is a vertical that Playmaker has sought to further activate across its platforms. World Soccer Talk’s history in affiliate revenue generation will diversify Playmaker’s revenue streams and enhance user experience.
Roc Nation Names Three to Lead Football
Veteran football agent Erik Burkhardt has joined Roc Nation Sports as co-head of the company’s football division. Additionally, Roc Nation agents Kim Miale and John Thornton have been promoted to co-heads of football and will share leadership of the division. Burkhardt has been a certified NFL agent for 17 years. He received his undergraduate degree at Texas Tech University and his J.D. and masters in sports administration from St. Thomas University in Miami. He previously served as owner of Select Sports Group, and the co-president of ICM-Select’s NFL division. He has negotiated over $500 million in contracts and represented multiple top 10 picks in the NFL draft. Burkhardt’s clients who have joined Roc Nation Sports include Kyler Murray (Arizona Cardinals), Bradley Chubb (Denver Broncos), Frank Clark (Kansas City Chiefs), Marcus Maye (New Orleans Saints), Tyler Higbee (Los Angeles Rams), Irv Smith Jr. (Minnesota Vikings), Jordyn Brooks (Seattle Seahawks), Devin Duvernay (Baltimore Ravens), Terence Steele (Dallas Cowboys), Jamel Dean (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), Germaine Pratt (Cincinnati Bengals), Brandon Jones (Miami Dolphins), and Kliff Kingsbury (Arizona Cardinals).
Ascot Racecourse Signs Social and Digital Deal
Ascot Racecourse has contracted digital content agency Little Dot Sport to manage and deliver social content strategy as the organization looks to grow its digital presence and position itself as a global lifestyle brand. The partnership, which will build on in-house platforms, includes social media management across all social platforms (including a TikTok launch), paid social media amplification, live event coverage, original content series and podcast production, monetization, and data and insights analysis.
WagerWire Raises $3M, Led by Co-Owner of Miami Marlins and Leeds United FC
WagerWire, an innovative marketplace where bettors can buy and sell previously placed sports bets, closed a $3 million seed funding round today. Sports bettors will be able to profit off real-time line movements and momentum swings by buying and selling bets on WagerWire’s marketplace or within their partner sportsbook apps. The platform tracks bets in real time and allows bettors to jump in and out of futures all season, cash in on parlays before they bust, and trade game lines up to the buzzer. The round was led by Roger Ehrenberg, co-owner of the Miami Marlins and Leeds United FC, as a part of his venture funds, IA Sports Ventures and Eberg Capital. Cardinal Sports Capital is a key investor through its newly formed accelerator program with HPL Digital Sport. Additional investors include SimpleBet founder Joey Levy’s 305 Ventures, Full Moon Sports Solutions, Sports Meta, former NJ DGE Deputy Director George Rover, law firm Cooley LLP, and early investors in Palantir, Canva and Tesla.
Chiefs Hire Sportfive to Raise Profile in Germany
The Kansas City Chiefs have teamed with sports marketing agency Sportfive to collaborate in the German market on international strategy. Sportfive has regional hubs in Hamburg, Frankfurt and Munich, complemented by resources in the U.S. The partnership follows the Chiefs getting marketing and commercial rights to Germany’s market as part of the NFL’s International Home Market Area (IHMA) program. The IHMA program grants NFL teams access to specific international territories for marketing, fan engagement and commercialization as part of a long-term strategic effort to enable clubs to build global brands while driving NFL fan growth internationally. The league has said it will use its best efforts to ensure clubs play games in their international HMAs, where possible. The league will play its first regular-season game in Germany in 2022, the first of at least one game per season for the next four years.
Flag Football Teams to Compete at The World Games
The World Games return to the U.S. for the first time since 1981, and this year they’ll feature flag football as an official event, with the tournament set to be played July 10-14. The addition marks a milestone for the global growth of the format, which is the cornerstone of the NFL’s youth participation strategy. Flag football joins 33 other disciplines at the Olympic-style, multisport event, following its inclusion by the International World Games Association (IWGA) in 2020. Flag Football, in partnership with the International Federation of American Football (IFAF), will feature eight men’s and eight women’s teams from around the world. Games will take place at Legion Field in Birmingham, Ala.