Los Angeles becomes the next destination for National Women’s Soccer; a Japanese professional baseball team uses dancing robots in place of fans; and online education platform, Yuanfudao, partners with the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics to promote winter sports in China. For these stories and more, check out the Red Phoenix Global Sports Update:

Majority Female-led Investment Group to Bring National Women’s Soccer League Team to Los Angeles

A majority female-led group, including actress Serena Williams and Natalie Portman, female entrepreneurs and 14 former members of the U.S. women’s soccer team, has secured the right to launch a National Women’s Soccer League team in Los Angeles in 2022.The team will become the 11th franchise in the NWSL.

Meet ‘Spot’ and ‘Pepper’: Baseball’s Robot Fans

Japan’s Professional Baseball returned to action on June 19th. The Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks enlisted 40 robots dressed in team jerseys, waving the team flag, and singing the team song. The robots are being used to add to the players’ stadium experience, which currently lacks live fans. 

The World Games 2022 Partners with NFL, IFAF; Adds Flag Football

The 2022 World Games, held in Birmingham, Alabama, announced a deal with the NFL, the International Federation of American Football (IFAF) and the International World Games Association (IWGA), which will bring flag football to the lineup of events for the first time in the World Games. The World Games 2022 will begin on July 7, 2022 and are projected to generate a $256 million economic impact for the city.

Yuanfudao Becomes E-learning Sponsor for Beijing Winter Olympics

China’s online education platform, Yuanfudao, has announced it will be an official sponsor of the Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (BOCOG). Yuanfudao will develop courses to support the Olympic curriculum and help young people learn more about winter sports. The online education industry has exploded in China due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and the e-brand startup has raised over a billion dollars this year. Investors include NBA’s Chinese streaming partner, Tencent.

Hangzhou 2022 Promotes Mascot Animation Competition for Asian Games

Organizers of the Hangzhou Asian Games 2022 have launched a competition inviting artists to create animations featuring the Hangzhou 2022 games mascots, with a RMB500,000 ($71,000) prize. Animations should contain “distinctive features, liveliness, and easy dissemination” and is open to anyone. The submission deadline is September 10, 2020.

F1 Calls on Zoom to Deliver Virtual Race-day Fan Experience

Formula One has signed a digital partnership with Zoom Video Communications to deliver a “Virtual Paddock Club” experience. Zoom will provide an exclusive experience throughout the eight-race European season. Launching in Budapest this past weekend, this experience offers live updates, and insight from drivers and Formula One personalities.

Formula E Agrees Partnership with Chinese Video Platform Kuaishou

Chinese short-video giant, Kuaishou, has announced a strategic partnership with Formula E to create exclusive content and live-streams to attract a broader audience to the race series. Backed by Tencent, Kuaishou is China’s leading short-video and live-streaming platform after Bytedance owned – Douyin.

Tokyo 2020 Confirms All Venues and Competition Schedule for the Games in 2021

The organizing committee for the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games has confirmed all venues for the 2021 competitions. The games will begin on July 23rd and end on August 8th, and will feature 339 medal events in 33 different sports.

Goldman Sachs Announces Its First Sports Endorsement with PGA Tour Golfer, Patrick Cantlay 

PGA Tour golfer, Patrick Cantlay, has partnered with Goldman Sachs to become the first brand spokesperson for its new mobile banking app – “Marcus by Goldman Sachs”. This is the first time the brand has signed an endorsement deal with an athlete and will launch with a series of TV ads during the upcoming Memorial Tournament. The two-year deal aims to appeal to younger consumers and increase more awareness of the brand.

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