Korean football’s K League signs a deal with non-fungible token (NFT) developer Blueberry NFT; IFSC increases event coverage with four new broadcast deals; and Manchester United signs Chinese betting brand HTH as global betting partner. For these stories and more, check out the Red Phoenix Global Sports Update:

K League Enters NFT Market with Blueberry Deal 

The Korea Republic men’s professional football team (Photo credit: AFC)

Korean football’s K League has signed a deal with non-fungible token (NFT) developer Blueberry NFT. As part of the agreement, Blueberry NFT has acquired the rights to sell and commercialize the videos of goals in K League games using blockchain technology. Blueberry NFT is expecting to attract a lot of international interest in the K League and its NFT. K-league also signed a partnership with digital sports collectibles platform Sorare in April. Full Story Ledger Insights (05/14)

IFSC Signs Four TV Rights Deals ahead of Sport Climbing’s Olympic Bow 

Oceania MACKENZIE of Australia (Photo Credit: IFSC)

The International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) has announced agreements with four broadcast partners, which the governing body hopes will increase coverage of its competitions. The IFSC has signed agreements with RAI Sport, Sport5, Zhibo.tv and SRG-SSR. It is believed the agreements will increase coverage of IFSC competitions both live and delayed across traditional televised broadcasts and digital platforms in additional territories. Full Story Sport Business  (05/13)

Chinese betting brand HTH joins Manchester United’s sponsorship portfolio  

The Red Devils (Photo credit: Getty Images)

Manchester United has added another brand to its extensive sponsorship portfolio, as the English club agrees to a deal with Chinese betting brand HTH- Hua Ti Hui. HTH will be the global betting partner of the record champions of England. Although the deal has yet to be officially announced, the brand has been positioned on the club’s digital billboard as seen on the manutd.com website and HTH branding also appeared on pitch-side LED advertising boards during United’s 4-2 defeat against Liverpool at Old Trafford on May 13th. Full Story Manchester United (05/15)

TaylorMade Bought by Korean Private Equity Group 

TaylorMade golf accessories (Photo credit: Getty Images)

Golf equipment brand TaylorMade has been acquired by Korea-based private equity firm, Centroid Investment Partners. It is the second time in four years the Californian-based golfing manufacturer has been exchanged hands after its current owners, KPS Capital Partners, acquired the group from Adidas for $425m in 2017. TaylorMade was put up for sale with an asking price of $2bn in February, according to reports. The Korea Economic Daily newspaper noted the deal could be worth $1.7bn, which would make it the largest-ever acquisition in the golfing goods industry. Full Story Forbes (05/12)

Worlds 2020 Generates $4.6M in Direct Economic Effect for Shanghai

Worlds 2020 Shanghai, China (Photo Credit: lalasport)

Five esports events were featured in the most impactful 15 sports events held in Shanghai in 2020. The rankings were reported by The Shanghai Sports Bureau (SSB). With The League of Legends World Championship 2020 (Worlds 2020) being, the biggest esports event of 2020, ranked #2,  only behind the 2020 Shanghai Marathon. Other high ranking esports events were Esports Shanghai Masters, Peacekeeper Elite World Champion Cup, and League of Legends Pro League (LPL) Spring and Summer Split were ranked #6, #7, #10, and #13, respectively. Full Story Esports Observer (05/13)

Saudi Wealth Fund Increases Shares in U.S. Gaming Companies 

Saudis acquire $3.3B in stock for video games (Photo Credit: Front Office Sports)

Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund doubled down on its pandemic-era investments in videogame developers and added more funds as it raised holdings of U.S. stocks by about a fifth to $15.4 billion. The Public Investment Fund brought its total commitment to videogame developers including Activision Blizzard Inc., Electronic Arts Inc., and Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. to $6 billion during the first quarter, according to regulatory filings. Those holdings were valued at $3.3 billion at the end of the fourth quarter. Full Story Front Office Sports (05/17)

Euroleague Basketball Rolls out Final Four VR Experience 

EuroLeague Basketball (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Euroleague Basketball has created a virtual reality (VR) experience for this month’s Final Four, the tournament which crowns the champion of Europe’s top-tier club basketball competition. The Final Four VR Pass will offer unprecedented up-close access to the on-court action, bringing home the emotions of the live event. A digital control room will let fans curate their own viewing experience by choosing among 12 live feeds, including four 180-degree cameras on the backboards and in the courtside seats. Users can switch between cameras in real-time to decide which ones they watch and how they watch them. Full Story Sports Pro Media (05/18)

Just Women’s Sports Raises $3.5 Million From Kevin Durant, DraftKings, Others

Just Women’s Sports (Photo Credit: JWS)

Digital media platform Just Women’s Sports announced a $3.5 million seed round led by Will Ventures. The round also includes investments from Kevin Durant’s Thirty Five Ventures, Drive by DraftKings, the WNBA’s Elena Delle Donne and Arike Ogunbowale, USWNT players Kelley O’Hara and Sam Mewis, and the NWHL’s Hilary Knight. Haley Rosen, the founder of just Women’s Sports, said only 4% of sports media coverage is devoted to women’s sports, and promised everything encompassed in its name: “100% women’s sports, 100% of the time.” Full Story Insider (05/10)


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