Welcome to Sportico’s Transactions wire, a weekly rundown of personnel, partnerships and purchases across the sports business industry.
New CEO Named at Bruin Capital’s Oddschecker
Oddschecker Global Media has named Stuart Simms as its new CEO. Simms has been the CEO at XLMedia PLC since October 2019, where he expanded North American operations while optimizing legacy European domains. He’s also been CEO of Rakuten Marketing, where he oversaw a restructuring that resulted in a return to growth. At both stops, he established a record of transformation, international expansion, value creation, and building high-growth divisions and ventures worldwide.
Legends Appoints Sport and Event Commercialization Vet to Leadership Team
Legends, a global premium experiences company, has appointed Joaquin Martinez as chief revenue officer, Iberia, bolstering Legends’ leadership team in the region. Martinez has more than 15 years of experience in sport and event commercialization, strategically focused on stadia commercial maximization, match and non-match day events and experiences, fan engagement and innovative sport tech applications for revenue generation. Most recently, Martinez founded Bstadium, a marketplace of football experiences. In the role with Legends, Martinez will oversee the generation of traditional and nontraditional revenues of sports stadia and clubs utilizing Legends’ 360-degree services platform in Spain and Portugal.
Circuit of The Americas Tabs VP of Motorsports Properties
Andy Soucek will be the new vice president of motorsports properties at Circuit of The Americas. Soucek will oversee all track programming, including racing programs, recreational driving experiences, track rentals, club events, manufacturer relationships, educational initiatives, and related business development. Soucek, a dual citizen of the U.S. and Spain, has experience in Karting, Formula Three, World Series by Renault 3.5, GP2, Superleague Formula, Formula 2, Formula One, GT3 Endurance and Sprint Racing. These endeavors have brought him to COTA several times during his GTWC America seasons. Soucek’s racing background and experience organizing events for manufacturers, track days and other motorsport activities will bring unique insights to the venue.
USC Athletics Brings Altius Sports In-House to Manage NIL Operations
USC Athletics has joined the full-time, on-campus General Manager (GM) Program launched by Altius Sports Partners, the name, image and likeness program for elite athletics departments. ASP will hire, onboard, support and manage an NIL GM who will be placed on campus to advance comprehensive NIL efforts that ensure USC athletes have the tools, education and resources necessary to maximize opportunities and navigate this new space. The GM position will oversee operations surrounding NIL programming at USC, including education training and working alongside USC’s athletic compliance office to ensure adherence to rules and regulations. The on-campus GM will work closely with USC to conceptualize and coordinate programming and resources.
Mobile Global Esports Hires Esports Event Producer Vet as Managing Director
Mobile Global Esports Inc.—the mobile esports and social platform company driving collegiate esports tournaments, team, player and social media platform development in India—hired esports event producer Kim Meltzer as managing director. Meltzer, a 30-year veteran in the event, hotel and hospitality industry, has produced more than 500 corporate, entertainment, pharmaceutical, technology and esports events to date. For over 10 years, Meltzer has focused on global esports events supporting brands, the community, production, publishers, developers, high school, college and professional players, as well as influencers. She also holds the certified virtual events producer (CVEP) professional designation.
Wasserman Acquires BSE Media Group, Hires the Founder as SVP
Wasserman, the global sports, music and entertainment agency, has acquired BSE Media group and hired BSE founder Oscar Morilla as Senior Vice President, Talent Marketing and Partnerships, EMEA. BSE will rebrand as Wasserman effective immediately, and Morilla and his staff will join Wasserman’s sports talent division, where they will continue to represent their existing clients while also expand their talent sales, marketing, social media and branding service offerings to all Wasserman agents and clients in EMEA. Morilla and his staff will continue to work in Madrid.
NHL’s Coyotes Pair With Goodwill for Helmet Sponsorship
The Arizona Coyotes and Goodwill of Central and Northern Arizona have announced a multiyear partnership; as part of the partnership, the Goodwill logo will appear on the top left and right sides of the Coyotes’ home game helmets beginning with the 2022-23 NHL regular season and playoffs, and for all home practices. This is one of the biggest helmet sponsorship deals in the entire NHL. Additionally, the Coyotes and Arizona State University will implement a “Round Up at the Register” program at all stadium food service stations to support Goodwill for every event held at Mullet Arena.
U.S. Soccer Teams With Designers Capsule Collections
U.S. Soccer is teaming up with five innovative designers—Hidden NY, Awake NY, KidSuper, Jason Scott and Voycenow—to create exclusive lifestyle capsule collections as the U.S. men’s national team prepares to kick off the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. The limited edition merchandise includes T-shirts, sweatshirts, socks and hats. The designers have combined their own elements with the U.S. Soccer crest and “Only Forward” campaign marks.
Buzzer Adds Men’s Tennis in Partnership With ATP Media
Buzzer, the mobile platform for short-form live sports, reached a deal with ATP Media to distribute short-form live match content, expanding Buzzer’s portfolio of sports available on the platform. Commencing with the Rolex Paris Masters this week, Buzzer will identify, notify and provide short-form access to high-interest moments in tennis, personalized based on each fan’s preferences, giving them the opportunity to buy only those moments they want to watch. The ATP Media partnership, joins deals with NBA League Pass, WNBA League Pass, DAZN and FanDuel. Additional partnerships will be announced in the coming months.
Voiceinsport Foundation Partners With Clif Bar and Sunisa Lee
The Voiceinsport Foundation has partnered with champion gymnast and collegiate athlete Sunisa “Suni” Lee and Clif Bar to identify and address inequities faced by young women athletes. Aiming to close the opportunity gap in sports while also supporting women at all critical development stages of their sports journey, Clif is pledging funds to accelerate the VIS Advocate Program with the establishment of 20 Advocacy Chapters on campuses across the U.S. A new Clif athlete, Lee will advocate for girls and women in sport at her school, Auburn University, participate in Title IX trainings, and share advice based on her own experiences.
APGA Tour Reaches Landmark $1 Million in Prize Money, Bonuses for 2022 Season
Farmers Insurance has committed an additional $25,000 in prize and bonus money for the Advocates Professional Golf Association (APGA) Your Farmers Insurance Fall Series Finale, bringing the APGA Tour prize and bonus payouts for players to $1 million on the season—a first in APGA Tour history. The APGA Tour was established in 2010 as a nonprofit organization with the mission to bring greater diversity to the game of golf. For the second consecutive year, Farmers Insurance teamed up with APGA Tour to stage the APGA Tour Farmers Insurance Fall Series. The series expanded from three events to four in 2022, with tournaments taking place in the greater St. Louis, Philadelphia, Houston and Los Angeles areas. The series will now also feature a $30,000 bonus pool (increased from $20,000) that pays the player with the most points from the four-event series.
AWS and F1 Renew Partnership to Further Drive Innovation
Formula One announced a renewal and expansion of their partnership with Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS), elevating the cloud platform to a Global Partner. The partnership between AWS and F1 will explore new ways for fans to enjoy F1 through the power of machine learning, artificial intelligence and cloud technologies. Together, F1 and AWS technical experts will work to design solutions across the areas of motorsport, media and data architecture, future track designs and delivery of regionalized media offerings, as well as exploring the fusion of gaming, live event and live action experiences.
USA Swimming Partners With OneAmerica Financial Partners for Multiyear Sponsorship
USA Swimming announced a multi-year sponsorship deal with OneAmerica Financial Partners—an Indianapolis-based national provider of retirement services, life insurance, long-term care solutions and employee benefits—beginning in 2023. OneAmerica becomes the first signed partner ahead of swimming’s 2024 U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Indianapolis. Also, OneAmerica will be the first presenting sponsor of the USA Swimming Friends and Family Program, and they become the first non-apparel patch partner for the National Team kits. Further, through gifts to the USA Swimming Foundation, OneAmerica will receive co-entitlement to the grant program focused on creating a new 10-year, $1 million initiative to develop learn-to-swim and competitive opportunities in communities served by historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). And, as one of USA Swimming’s top partners, OneAmerica will have the opportunity to activate onsite and through digital and broadcast promotions at all of USA Swimming’s premier events.
Premier Hockey Federation Names Heartlent Group as Agency of Record
The Premier Hockey Federation (PHF) has named Heartlent Group as its agency of record for the next two years, including the 2022-23 and 2023-24 PHF seasons. Led by head of creative, Elliot Gerard, Heartlent Group will develop the creative direction for the league with a scope that features enhanced video production, social media and website graphics. Heartlent worked closely with the PHF throughout the 2021-22 season on the development and branding around the All-Star Showcase, a new logo design, and branding for the Isobel Cup Playoffs, and most recently helped develop the identity for the league’s newest team, the Montreal Force.