Friday 5 is Coming Home!

Could football be finally coming home? Could the Suns finally win the NBA playoffs? Will the crowds actually be let in to watch the Olympics? Will the Lions beat South Africa in their own backyard? Will Darren Stevens ever get called up for the England cricket team?

This summer seems to have come to a crescendo when it comes to sport. Even for someone as sports-mad as myself, it’s a struggle to keep up with it all. There are literally not enough hours in the day. 

And it is not just on the field/court/track/pitch where the action is taking place. Off the pitch, on the business side of things, it is also kicking off:


Sport is no longer taking the gamble when it comes to sponsorship

Why should you care?

Sport and the betting industry have a long, and often controversial, relationship. Take horse racing. The sport has become synonymous with the likes of William Hill, Paddy Power and others. The Grand National, which attracts people who aren’t even interested in the ponies, saw £300m worth of bets put on by hopeful punters in 2019.

But there has been a sea change. Gambling firms are no longer the first name on the sponsorship team sheet. While in 2019, bookies and similar accounted for 15.3% of main sponsors of 221 football, rugby and cricket teams, 2021 has seen this nearly half to 8.1%! Football has been the main cause of change, where share has dropped by more than half from almost a third of sponsors (32.7%) to 15.2%.

Are we likely to see gambling sponsorship go the same way as Formula 1 and cigarettes? You wouldn’t bet against it.


Football fans are breaking records

Why should you care?

Because football is coming home! At the time of writing, I’m still basking in the afterglow of the England football team reaching their first major tournament final since 1966. That’s 55 years of hurt that could soon be over. Just Italy left to beat…

And people are getting excited. A LOT of people. Almost 27million people tuned in to ITV to watch England beat Denmark 2-1. That’s the biggest peak football audience ever for a single channel, a record that’s sure to be beaten on Sunday’s final. 

But while ITV is understandably delighted by these figures, it hasn’t been plain sailing for the broadcaster. Its European Championship coverage has been hamstrung with issues with its streaming service, ITV Hub. Complaints ranging from poor picture quality to freezes to delays of up to seven minutes in one England game.

This fan will be tuning into Gary Lineker and the BBC for the final, just in case.


Portland Trail Blazers causing a storm in the NBA

Why should you care?

The Portland Trail Blazers are by no means the first sports team to have cryptocurrency sponsors. This past week alone has seen Formula 1 agree a deal with and back in March, FTX took over the arena naming rights for Miami Heat.

The crypto and blockchain company, StormX will have branding on both the Blazers’ game and practice jersey as well as in the arena itself. It is also creating the team’s first NFT, a crypto asset which records ownership of a digital item on blockchain. Rumours that the partnership is worth $10m are yet to be confirmed. 

That’s around 547,517,648 StormX.


Sha’Carri Richardson Olympic dream up in smoke

Why should you care?

Sha’Carri Richardson has been branded the most exciting sprinter since Usain Bolt. And yet she is not going to be at the Toyko Olympics. The reason? Richardson is facing a ban after smoking marijuana at last month’s US trials. 

She isn’t the first. Remember swimmer / Merman Michael Phelps got a three month ban and lost his Kellog’s deal in 2009? Richardson was one of the favourites to win a gold medal in the Women’s 100m sprint as well as being one of the poster stars of Nike and was set to hit the mainstream on the biggest stage in the world.. However, now that she isn’t competing at the Games, she is set to lose out on millions of dollars worth of endorsements and sponsorship. In better news though, Nike is continuing to sponsor her and that at her age, there is still plenty of time for her to make up for lost time.

She’s certainly fast enough.


Adidas has a Common Goal in its sights

Why should you care?

Adidas has pledged 1% of its global net sales of its football’s to the charity Common Goal, as it looks to ‘maximise football’s contribution towards a more equitable and inclusive world.’

Common Goal is a charity set up by Manchester United footballer and Nicest Man in Football©, Juan Mata in 2017, using football as a source for good in the world. As part of the movement, it encourages professional football players and coaches to pledge at least one per cent of their salaries to a collective fund that supports football charities around the world.

Adidas are in good company, joining, amongst others, footballers Matt Hummels, Megan Rapione, Alex Morgan and Liverpool Manager Jurgen Klopp who are all part of the movement. 

Back of the net!