Welcome to Sportico’s Transactions wire, a weekly rundown of personnel, partnerships and purchases across the sports business industry
Connexa Sports Technologies Inc. Moves to Nasdaq
SlingerBag maker Connexa Sports Technologies Inc. upgraded its stock listing to the Nasdaq Stock Market from over the counter on June 15. The company sold 1 million shares at $4 each, down from an initial plan to sell 1.2 million at $10 each. After a 1-for-10 stock split effected with the uplisting, Connexa has a diluted market cap of about $51 million. Connexa started as SlingerBag, offering a suitcase-sized portable tennis ball launcher, in mid-2018. The company later purchased automated sports video and analysis companies PlaySight and Gameface to expand its business to a tech-driven “watch, play, learn” strategy. It now trades under the ticker CNXA.
A Trio of Execs to Excel
Excel Sports Management has hired three executives to its team. Dorian Branch comes in as coordinator, women’s basketball. Prior to joining Excel, Branch was head agent at Launch Sports Group. She will be based in Atlanta and report to Erin Kane, VP, women’s sports. Eric Hsia is the new controller, finance and operations, and will work out of the New York office, coming over from Deloitte. Finally, Matt Lorah will become senior partnership analyst, brand marketing, analytics after coming over from Kemper Lesnik, where he was a senior account. He will be based in the Chicago office and report to Gabe Ottolini, VP, business intelligence.
777 Partners Names Analytics Expert
777 Partners has hired Mladen Sormaz as director of football analytics for its football group. In this newly created role, Sormaz will build and lead a team of data scientists, engineers and analysts to support 777 Partners’ portfolio of football clubs in the areas of player development, performance, sport science and player recruitment. Those clubs include Genoa C.F.C. in Italy, SA Standard de Liege in Belgium and Red Star FC in France, as well as a significant minority stake in Sevilla FC in Spain. 777 Partners is currently in exclusive negotiations to acquire a 70% stake in Vasco da Gama in Brazil. Sormaz joins 777 Partners from Leicester City, where he served as head of football analytics for the past three years, during which time the Premier League club achieved three of its highest-ever finishes in the league and won the FA Cup.
Gambling.com Group Set to Join Russell 3000 Index
Solely on the basis of preliminary market capitalization ranges published by FTSE Russell on May 6, 2022, Gambling.com Group expects to join the broad-market Russell 3000 Index. The change will take effect after the U.S. market opens on June 27, 2022, and the Group’s shares will be automatically added to the appropriate growth and value indexes. The annual reconstitution of the Russell indexes captured the 4,000 largest U.S. stocks, ranking them by total market capitalization. Membership in the Russell 3000 Index, which remains in place for one year, means automatic inclusion in the large-cap Russell 1000 Index or in the small-cap Russell 2000 Index as well as the appropriate growth and value style indexes. Approximately $12 trillion in assets are benchmarked against Russell’s U.S. indexes.
KPMG Debuts Super Suite at Capital One Arena
Monumental Sports & Entertainment and KPMG transformed an existing suite into what they call a KPMG Ignition Center, located at MSE’s Capital One Arena in Washington D.C. It will serve as a meeting place for KPMG and its clients to collaborate and solve business problems together, 365 days a year, at any time of the day, regardless of other events, including NBA and NHL games, concerts or live events or as a traditional suite during such events. The 28-person mega-suite can be transformed to meet clients’ needs via modular and movable furniture and dividers. The suite is fully equipped with a central video wall, interactive screen displays, high-resolution monitors on the ceiling and at the entryway and video streaming.
Disc League and Legends Team Up
The American Ultimate Disc League and Legends, a data-fueled experiences company, announced a long-term partnership aimed at accelerating the league’s growth. Legends, which has made a minority investment in the league, will manage sponsorships, omnichannel merchandise, media strategy and buying. The AUDL was formed in 2012 with eight teams, and in the following 10 seasons, the league has grown to 25 teams across the United States and Canada.
Knit Raises $3.55 Million to Fuel Growth
Knit announced an oversubscribed seed funding round of $3.55 million led by Silicon Road Ventures with participation from Bread and Butter Ventures, Alumni Ventures, Bootstrappers.mn, Operate Studio and TiE Global Angels. Knit’s technology enables customers to tap into a network of over 1 million Gen Z and 4 million millennial consumers to gather on-demand video feedback and quick-turn quantitative data. Through Knit’s platform, brands can upload custom research questions and get 30- to 90-second “selfie” video responses from hundreds of Gen Z consumers in as quickly as a few hours. With their video analysis AI, brands can then analyze hours of video feedback in minutes. With this investment, the Austin-based startup will continue to build out its technology to further automate the video analysis process.