Welcome to Sportico’s Transactions wire, a weekly rundown of personnel, partnerships and products across the sports business industry.
Religion of Sports Hires CMO
Religion of Sports—the Emmy-winning production company co-founded by Gotham Chopra, Tom Brady and Michael Strahan—has hired Ben Whitla as its first CMO. Before joining ROS, Whitla was the head of brand and creative at Grubhub, where he oversaw the company’s brand, brand marketing, creative, social and content strategy. As CMO, Whitla will oversee the ROS brand, brand and content marketing, partnerships, social and brand creative, bringing greater visibility to the ROS brand and engaging even more deeply with audiences and partners.
KPMG Joins Stephen Curry’s Underrated Golf Tour as Sponsor
Stephen Curry’s Underrated Golf program has brought on KPMG as title sponsor in an effort to advance equity, access and opportunity for underrepresented and underrated youth in golf. KPMG will bring new offerings to enhance the four tour stops, including a mentoring and leadership development program for the participating youth. Additionally, LPGA Tour player and KPMG brand ambassador Mariah Stackhouse will serve as an Underrated Golf brand ambassador starting in the 2023 season, when she’ll host KPMG Leadership Day at the season-ending Curry Cup. At each tour stop, 60 athletes participate in tournament-style events and team-building activities.
MASL Brings Betting to Select States Through Partnership
Betting on Major Arena Soccer League games is now legal in Arizona, Colorado and Maryland, starting with the playoff game between the Tacoma Stars and the Mesquite Outlaws. Fans in those select states can begin betting on MASL action through a partnership with the league’s official data provider, ALT Sports Data. The MASL, with a growing fanbase expanding across North America, features teams in the United States and Mexico, and players from over 30 countries.
Chelsea Inks 7-Year Partnership With Tempus Ex Machina
Chelsea Football Club and Tempus Ex Machina have entered a seven-year partnership to power innovative technology enhancements for the club and its global fanbase. Tempus Ex Machina, a technology company syncing sports video and data, features proprietary technology which enables the creation of new interactive experiences around live events. Chelsea FC will utilize Tempus Ex’s technology across several club operational areas, including the club’s official app, digital and mobile fan engagement, in-stadium fan enhancements and sponsor activations, as well as coaching, training, player health and safety, and match preparation.
T-Mobile, MLB Extend Long-Term Partnership
T-Mobile has extended its partnership with Major League Baseball for six more years. With this extension comes a new Minor League Baseball sponsorship, as MLB will test its automated ball-strike (ABS) system over a T-Mobile 5G Private Mobile Network at select MiLB games this season—ensuring ultra-reliable, low latency communications as players and officials review, challenge and analyze calls. Additionally, T-Mobile will become the presenting sponsor of the Little League Baseball World Series this August, and it will partner with MLB Network to bring back the T-Mobile 5GP BP show for the T-Mobile Home Run Derby and MLB Postseason, expanding its 5G-powered batter and catcher cams giving fans first-person views from the field. Also, T-Mobile customers will receive free MLB.TV subscriptions via the T-Mobile Tuesdays app through 2028.
Brandr Group, Pearpop Team Up to Support College Athletes as Influencers
The Brandr Group (TBG) and Pearpop announce a partnership that will combine TBG’s group licensing rights at over 80 schools with Pearpop’s influencer marketing platform to help brands to identify and activate athletes as influencers. Using Pearpop’s platform and community of 200,000+ social media influencers, athletes will now have the opportunity to become influencers themselves, earning income directly from brand collaborations. Texas, Ohio State, Florida, Georgia and UConn are just a small selection of schools that have opted into TBG’s group licensing program, all of whom will now be available for brand collaborations on Pearpop.
EA Sports FC Unveils a New Brand Identity, Logo and Vision
EA Sports FC will debut a new brand in more than 100 matches in leagues across the world. The new EA Sports FC brand takes its design inspiration from triangles, which is a dominant shape in football culture that represents the game in multiple dimensions. Football fans will see the new brand identity in more than 100 matches in leagues across the world, including games in Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A, Ligue 1, WSL and NWSL. EA Sports has defined interactive football for 30 years and built a global football community of more than 150 million across multiple platforms.
Big 12 Conference to Host First Big 12 Business Summit
The Big 12 Conference will host its first-ever Big 12 Business Summit on May 22-23 in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. The summit will gather marketing and sales leadership staff from each member institution for a symposium focused on key industry topics, best practices and networking opportunities. This event was established to create a space for new and existing members to share best practices. Speakers at the business summit will include senior staff from the conference office, executives from agency partners Endeavor and Translation, Big 12 advisory board members and other industry leaders. Topics of discussion for the summit include sponsorship sales and category development, marketing, communications, digital and social media, facilities management, ticketing and more. The facilities management portion of the summit will be led by Oak View Group.