Women’s Soccer sees a viewership boom in 2020; millions of global fans clamor for a limited supply of League of Legends World Championship tickets; and a UK broadcaster goes all in on Asian rugby. For these stories and more, check out the Red Phoenix Global Sports Update:

Women’s Soccer Attracted Record-breaking Television Audiences in 2020

Domestic television audiences for the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) were up nearly 500% from 2019 to 2020, including a TV audience peaking at 653,000 for the NWSL Challenge Cup final. The league’s social media mentions were up 152% year-over-year, and news media coverage was up 55%. The league’s fall series on CBS averaged 383,000 viewers, making the seven contests the most watched games in NWSL history. Full Story Soccer Wire (10/23)

3.2 Million People Compete for 6,300 League of Legends World Championship Tickets

The 2020 League of Legends World Championship finals will welcome an audience of 6,312 attendees on October 31st at the Pudong Football Stadium of Shanghai. Riot Games issued the tickets via a lucky draw for fans who passed specific qualifications. Within four hours of the signups going live, Riot had already received one million applications. By the conclusion of the signup period, Riot had tripled the applicants, with over 3,200,000.  Many of the tickets are reportedly being resold online for over $4,000 each. Full Story Load Out (10/20)

Panpan Foods Become New Snack Sponsor for Beijing 2022

Panpan Foods, a Chinese food product manufacturer, has been announced as the official packaged snack goods sponsor of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games. Panpan has exclusive rights in its category to both the Winter Olympics and Paralympics. As of October 21st, Beijing 2022 has signed 25 corporate sponsors, including ten official partners. Full Story Inside the Games (10/26)

Premier Sports Makes Bold Moves for Asian Rugby

The UK’s subscription TV broadcaster, Premier Sports, is rolling out a new live and on-demand streaming service for Asian markets following its acquisition of multiple international rugby union rights across the region, including in Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam. The Premier Player Asia over-the-top (OTT) platform will include coverage of the rescheduled matches from the 2020 Six Nations and all 15 matches from the 2021 tournament. Full Story Sports Business (10/21)

Tencent Leads $100MM Funding for China-based eSports Provider

China-based eSports platform, Versus Programming Network (VSPN), has raised almost $100 million in a Series B funding round, led by Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings. Other investors that participated in the round include Tiantu Capital, SIG (Susquehanna International Group), and Kuaishou. The funding round will go towards improving the firm’s eSports products and ecosystem across Asia. Full Story Sports Pro Media (10/26)

Vivo Becomes Official Partner of UEFA EURO 2020 and 2024

Chinese smartphone manufacturer, Vivo, has announced a four-year deal with The Union of European Football Associations(UEFA) as an official partner for UEFA EURO 2020 (now rescheduled to 2021). The matches will be played across 12 European host cities in 2021 and again in Germany in 2024. Vivo will serve as the Championship’s official smartphone provider, as well as the first-ever presenting partner of the quadrennial tournament’s opening and closing ceremonies. Full Story UEFA (10/20)

AS Monaco to become First French Club to Sell on Amazon

AS Monaco has announced that it will partner with e-commerce giant Amazon to launch a dedicated online store, making them the first French soccer club with a presence on the platform. The club will work with Amazon to create a distribution platform for its full range of replica kits and other merchandise via Amazon Prime. Other sporting goods from the team’s official kit supplier, Kappa, will be made available on the site. Full Story Monaco Life (10/22)

UFC Adds Fight Pass Video Content via Snapchat

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and Snapchat have agreed to a multi-year extension of their current partnership, including content such as UFC Shows and Our Stories on Snapchat. The renewal adds 200 more episodes to Snapchat’s Discover page, including video programming from UFC Fight Pass. Snapchat will also showcase highlights from top fights, fight preview shows, and new episodes from Embedded, a behind-the-scenes show focused on UFC athletes preparing for fights. Full Story Sports Pro Media (10/23)


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