Welcome to Sportico’s Transactions wire, a weekly rundown of personnel, partnerships and products across the sports business industry.
NFL Hires New Chief Financial Officer
The NFL named Christine Dorfler its chief financial officer. A 21-year veteran of NBCUniversal, where she was most recently the CFO of NBC Sports, Dorfler will lead the finance and league strategy functions. She will work directly with the NFL’s senior leadership team along with its 32 clubs and dozens of business partners to continue positioning the league for long-term growth. At NBC, Dorfler oversaw all NFL media partnerships as well as contracts with the International Olympic Committee, NASCAR, English Premier League, college football and college basketball. She played a role in NBCUniversal’s expansion to a digital/streaming model. Prior to her role at NBC Sports, she was the CFO of the NBC and Telemundo Owned Television Stations.
NFL Creates New SVP and Managing Director, International Role
The NFL has named Gerrit Meier as the league’s new senior vice president and managing director, international, effective April 10. In this newly created role, Meier will be responsible for leading the NFL’s international business, accelerating the growth of its global fanbase and deepening fan engagement to drive business value and NFL popularity. Meier will be responsible for the NFL’s day-to-day international operations and P&L oversight for all non-US territories, including the NFL’s international offices in Australia, Canada, China, Germany, Mexico and the United Kingdom. A dual-citizen of Germany and the U.S., he has held senior international leadership roles at Red Bull, WWE and Spotify.
World Surf League Tabs VP of Development and Partnerships
The World Surf League has named Beth Tepper as its vice president, business development & strategic partnerships. Tepper, who has over 20 years experience in media and marketing, began her career in the music industry, where she eventually ran iHeart Media’s client solutions. Most recently, she worked for META & Instagram building cross-platform programs and strategic partnerships.
Simplebet Adds Gaming Industry Executive to Board
Simplebet has named Matthew Primmer to its Board of Directors. With more than two decades of experience across gaming and technology industries, Primmer serves as chief product officer at Aristocrat Gaming, a leading global provider of casino games and a business unit of Aristocrat Leisure Limited (ASX:ALL). Aristocrat is a minority shareholder in Simplebet through its subsidiary. Primmer brings a wealth of knowledge from his experience in both land-based casino operations and in casino gaming technology. The addition of Primmer bolsters Simplebet’s efforts to pioneer micro-betting and fan engagement across the sports landscape with its proprietary automated operations platform. He replaces Pat Ramsey on the company’s board.
Coyotes, Fanatics Team Up on Streetwear E-Commerce Store
The Arizona Coyotes have launched Coyotesshop.com, which offers a blend of culture, fashion and hockey. A partnership with Fanatics as part of the NHLShop.com One Store program, the site will offer new product drops, exclusive merchandise, and information on the inspiration behind the designs from their creators. The new e-commerce store is open around the world, yet rooted in Arizona’s community and culture. Coyotesshop.com will be at the forefront of streetwear and Arizona culture, with street style and fashion at the core of each design and inspired by local artists, creators, and musicians.
Alex Morgan Launches Charity to Create Equity And Opportunity
Soccer star Alex Morgan has formed the Alex Morgan Foundation, a charitable initiative focused on sports equity, empowering girls, and supporting moms, The foundation will raise funds to invest in meaningful, action-based programs. In its first year, the Alex Morgan Foundation is pledging commitment to a few programs, including Let’s Go South Bay!, a new grassroots organization that will serve the recreational soccer needs for girls in San Diego’s South Bay region, and Casa Familiar, which supports low-income individuals in San Ysidro through initiatives like the Promotora program, which helps develop and support women as community advocates. The Alex Morgan Foundation also announced the expansion of Alex’s Homebreak program, which brings a local girls’ team to a San Diego Wave FC home game at no cost. The foundation plans to raise funds to help alleviate costs for equipment, travel, competition, and any other financial barriers for each team.
NWSL, Anheuser-Busch Extend Partnership for 2023
The National Women’s Soccer League has extended of one of its longest-standing partnerships, renewing its deal with Anheuser-Busch for the 2023 season. As part of the renewal, Bud Light will now serve as the official beer sponsor of the league. Bud Light will also serve as the presenting sponsor of the NWSL Playoffs, the NWSL Championship and the NWSL Most Valuable Player award. The beer brand will also continue to activate locally with support of the teams and stadiums.
Powers Gymnastics Secures $16.8 Million Series A
Powers Gymnastics, the youth sports, facilities, equipment and gymnastics program provider, announced a $16.8 million Series A funding round led by Nashville-based Relevance Ventures. With this funding, Powers plans to continue its mission of providing accessible, state-of-the-art gymnastics facilities, manufacturing of Ninja Warrior obstacles, and providing comprehensive insurance solutions for gym owners. Powers is an early adaptor for combining Ninja Warrior obstacle courses with gymnastics, in addition to gamifying and aligning family, fun and competition for athletes and coaches, inside and outside of the training facility.
Goldin to be Featured in Netflix Series
Ken Goldin, Founder and Executive Chairman of the Goldin collectibles marketplace, will be featured in the new series King of Collectibles: The Goldin Touch, which will premiere on April 28 on Netflix. Additionally, Goldin’s March Elite Auction is live, headlined by ultra-rare trading cards including a Michael Jordan/Larry Bird/Magic Johnson game-used triple logoman, a Steph Curry Panini rookie patch and a Trevor Lawrence Panini national treasures rookie patch, each of which have already crossed the six-figure bid threshold.