Welcome to Sportico’s Transactions wire, a weekly rundown of personnel, partnerships and purchases across the sports business industry
Fertitta Entertainment Nabs Spot on Vegas Strip
Houston Rockets owner Fertitta Entertainment has acquired a 6.2-acre development site on the Las Vegas Strip at the corner of Harmon Avenue, which was once the site of the Harley Davidson Cafe. Along with the NBA team, Fertitta Entertainment owns Golden Nugget Casino Resorts, more than 600 restaurants and the Post Oak Hotel. Spectrum Gaming Capital advised Fertitta Entertainment on the acquisition, which is reported to have cost roughly $200 million.
Lax League Brings On Two
The Premier Lacrosse League has hired Andrew Synder as EVP of sales and partnerships and Long Ellis as VP of content. Synder comes to the league with meaningful experience selling digital properties and leading sales teams, and he will head sponsorship sales efforts and partnership management, two areas of potential growth. Ellis comes from Amazon Studios, where he helped lead brand and marketing strategy. He will coordinate narratives for the PLL, all eight teams, players and other company properties and initiatives.
Triathletes Org Appoints a Pair
The Professional Triathletes Organization announced that its head of communications, Jane Hansom, has become an advisor to the PTO Athlete Board while Anthony Scammell takes over as communications director. Hansom has more than a decade of experience in triathlon from both a participatory and industry perspective; she competed as an amateur triathlete for more than 15 years, and she founded Sponge Marketing, a sports marketing agency. Scammell will lead all media relations as the PTO continues to elevate the sport and showcase professional triathlon to the mainstream media and general sports fans. Prior to joining the PTO, Anthony was a director in Hill+Knowlton Strategies’ Sports + Partnership Marketing team for 15 years.
StellarAlgo Welcomes VP of Partnership Solutions
Customer cloud platform StellarAlgo has hired Bill Nielsen as vice president of partnership solutions. Nielson will lead the company’s brand and sponsorship products business, working directly with corporate partners looking to better understand, engage with and activate their customers. Nielson has previously been a VP of partner solutions at Legends, where he was responsible for new business development efforts across diverse sectors in the world of sports and entertainment; SVP of sales at Fan Manager, where he was responsible for new client acquisition; and VP of sales at Nielsen Scarborough Sports, where he led efforts to build a client base of 200+ U.S. sports properties. He recently served on the steering committee for the National Sports Forum and is a sitting member of the Sport Management Advisory Board at Robert Morris University.
McLaren Racing Hooks Up With Goldman Sachs
McLaren Racing has named Goldman Sachs Group an official partner of the McLaren Formula 1 team for the 2022 season and beyond. The multi-year deal brings together two organizations with a focus on accelerating progress towards McLaren’s net-zero goals. With a shared belief that sustainability includes addressing social, environmental and economic impacts in the transition to an inclusive net-zero economy, Goldman Sachs and McLaren use their combined expertise to drive change faster in McLaren’s journey to a more sustainable future. McLaren aims to halve its GHG footprint by 2030 on a 2019 baseline and achieve net zero by 2040 in line with the UN Sports for Climate Action initiative and Race to Zero campaign. This partnership announcement follows the news that McLaren Racing has been awarded the FIA three-star Environmental Accreditation for the ninth year running, after becoming the first Formula One team to receive this recognition back in 2013. Goldman Sachs branding will be carried on the McLaren MCL36 F1 cars from the 2022 British Grand Prix.
NBA and Kylian Mbappé’s Production Company Join
The National Basketball Association and Zebra Valley—the newly-created production company of Paris-Saint Germain forward Kylian Mbappé—have entered a multiyear content creation partnership, which tipped off Thursday night at the NBA Draft. Mbappé attended the draft with 15 boys and girls from his foundation who made the trip from France, and they took on-stage photos with NBA commissioner Adam Silver and select draftees prior to the event. Headquartered in Los Angeles, Zebra Valley is a diverse collective that focuses on sports, music, art, technology, gaming, consumer products and youth culture.
Cricket Star Partners with Group 33 on New Show
Chris Gayle has partnered with Group 33 to create The Chris Gayle Universe, a show that will pair the cricketer with music, movie and sports stars from around the world. Gayle and guests will discuss hot topics and relive some of the sport’s iconic performances in one-on-one conversations. The partnership includes not just Gayle and New York-based media company Group 33, but also strategy company M Style Marketing. Group 33 is known for its award-winning series TdUp Golf on Twitch that paired celebrities golfers with golf pros for a simulator golf series.
Women’s PGA Championship Doubles Prize Money
The PGA of America, KPMG and the LPGA have increased the total purse for the 2022 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship from $4.5 million to $9 million. The tournament, taking place June 23-26, features 99 of the top 100 players battling it out on the Blue Course at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md. The event, one of the five majors in women’s golf, began in 1955, and this year’s cash award represents a 300% increase since 2014, when the total was $2.5 million. The winner’s share will also double, reaching $1.35 million.